Why Is Alabama Called the “Heart of Dixie”?

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Alabama is commonly called the “Heart of Dixie” because of its location among the Southern states, the territory referred to as “Dixie.” The slogan came about in the late 1940s as a public relations tool by the Alabama Chamber of Commerce.

According to the Alabama Department of Archives and History, the idea behind the motto was to give Alabama, known as the “Cotton State,” a more distinct identity, since several other Southern states could also make the claim. The Chamber of Commerce noted that Alabama is geographically and industrially the “Heart of Dixie,” and a bill was passed in 1951 to add the phrase to license plates; it officially appeared in 1955.