Selma to mark city’s and state’s bicentennial

Published 8:25 pm Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Alabama has a birthday coming up, and no birthday is complete without a celebration.

That’s why Alabama and communities across the state will be holding events over the next three years to celebrate the state’s bicentennial.

“We are thrilled to be participating in the state’s bicentennial by celebrating our own local bicentennial,” said Landon Nichols, a member of the committee. “We’re really excited to not only honor the past, but to really take a moment to reflect on the totality of our history and the many different aspects of our stories that have brought us to today. Then take that knowledge and take that experience that we’ve all shared and look toward the next 200 years.”

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Alabama was founded Dec. 14, 1819, and Selma was founded shortly after in 1820. To celebrate both, the Selma-Dallas County 200 Community Celebration Committee decided to add an extra year to the state’s plan.

“In 2017 in both the state and here locally, we’re going to be recognizing our places, then in 2018 we’re going to be honoring our people and then in 2019 we’re going to be telling our stories,” Nichols said. “Locally, we wanted to extend the celebration one more year, because Selma was founded in 1820. So we’re going to follow the state model, but in 2020 we’re going to specifically celebrate Selma.”

The committee will be holding a kickoff for the bicentennial celebrations at Old Cahawba at the Crocheron Columns on March 28 at 2 p.m. and they are hoping for the community to attend and be part of the festivities.

“We are inviting all of our area elected officials to participate in the preconference kickoff and then we are inviting the community to come out and witness this momentous occasion,” Nichols said. “We’re really excited to get some things rolling and announce our plans and excited to begin these greater conversations about what it means to be from Selma and Dallas County and what our history means not only to the story of Alabama but really to the story of the world.”

Nichols said the committee chose to have the kick off at Old Cahawba because of its historical significance.

“We are especially fortunate here in Dallas County to have Alabama’s first permanent state capitol,” Nichols said. “Not only is it incredibly rich with natural resources there at the confluence of the Cahaba and Alabama Rivers, but the history of Old Cahawba is incredible and to be able to stand on the location where our state’s first capitol was and where the first Supreme Court met is just a powerful connection to our history. It’s a powerful reminder that Dallas County has been Alabama from the start.”