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Local History and Description
States >> Alabama
the third most populous city in Alabama (195,111) and seat of Mobile County
Located on the Mobile River, where it meets Mobile Bay, Mobile is Alabama's only seaport.
Fort Louis de la Mobile (named for the Mobila Indians) was established as a trading post and French military outpost by explorer Jean Baptiste Le Moyne, Sieur de Bienville, in January 1702. River flooding forced the fort and surrounding colony to move to 27 miles south to the present site of Mobile in 1711.
France gave Mobile to Great Britain following the French and Indian War (1754-1763). Spain captured Mobile in 1780, and the United States seized it in 1813. Mobile was incorporated as a city in 1819.
Mobile became an important seaport during the early 1800's as cotton production flourished in the South. The Civil War crippled that production, however, and Mobile's economy suffered greatly as a result. The Battle of Mobile Bay, won by Union naval forces under Rear Admiral David G. Farragut, closed Mobile's port in August 1864, and the city itself fell nine months later (the last Southern stronghold to surrender). Mobile's economy gradually improved after the war, and by the beginning of World War I it was once again a thriving seaport.
The Port of Mobile continues to be the linchpin of Mobile's economy, along with aerospace, ship building, manufacturing, steel, and construction. Mobile Regional Airport provides direct passenger service to four major hub airports, and Mobile Downtown Airport serves corporate, cargo, and private aircraft.
Since 1985 the government of Mobile has consisted of a mayor and a seven-member city council. The Mayor is elected at-large, while Council members are elected by individual districts.
Public schools in Mobile are operated by the Mobile County Public School System, which has an enrollment of over 65,000 students. Major colleges and universities in Mobile include the University of South Alabama, Spring Hill College, the University of Mobile, Faulkner University, and Bishop State Community College.
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This page was last updated on January 11, 2017.