What Is the Story Behind the Alabama State Song?


Quick Answer

Julia S. Tutwiler, an eminent educator and humanitarian, wrote the words to the eponymous state song of Alabama, while Mrs. Edna Gockel Gussen, an Alabaman organist and choirmaster, composed the music for it. Though the song first aired to an Austrian audience, it was later adopted as the official state song of Alabama on March 3, 1931.

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Full Answer

Julia Strudwick Tutwiler was a heavyweight in early feminism and worked hard to provide women with an education further than just finishing school. She fought for separate prisons for male and female prisoners and also succeeded in separating juveniles from criminals. The poem came into being after Julia Tutwiler returned home from Germany after undergoing an academic course that highlighted educational methods for the female population. She put her observations of the spirited German patriotism in motion and came up with a patriotic song to restore the spirits of her people. She called it "Alabama."

A state-wide competition ensured that Mrs. Edna Gockel Gussen would render music to Julia Tutwiler's poem. The State Federation of Music Clubs later adopted the music. Consecutively, the Alabama House Joint Resolution 74, Act No. 128 adopted the words and the music as the official state song of Alabama.

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