Mobile, AL Battleship USS ALABAMA was the 6th ship of the US Navy named after the state of Alabama. It was commissioned in 1942 and served in World War II in the Atlantic and Pacific theaters. The battleship measures 680’ from stem to stern, half as long as the Empire State Building is tall. Armed with 9, 16-inch guns in 3 turrets and 20, 5-inch, .38-caliber guns in 10 twin mounts, her main batteries could fire shells, as heavy as a small car, accurately for more than 20 miles. In fact, the ship is so massive, it is divided into 3 tours. It's particularly easy to get lost inside. We did. The park contains the battleship, the USS Drum submarine, and many aircraft including a B-52 bomber and a SR-71 Blackbird. We toured both the battleship and the submarine. We learned all US submarines are named after a species of fish.
The Basilica Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception was established in 1703. One of the cathedral’s finest attributes is its stained glass windows made in Munich, Germany. The 12 main windows each depict an event involving Mary in the life of Jesus. In 1962, Pope John XXIII elevated the cathedral to a minor basilica. A basilica is entitled to its own coat-of-arms.
Did you know that Mardi Gras started in Mobile, AL, in 1703 and not in New Orleans? The Mobile people taught the New Orleans people about Mardi Gras parades in 1857. The Mobile Carnival Museum is a history museum that chronicles over 300 years of Carnival and Mardi Gras in Mobile. The Queen's Gallery houses gowns, trains, and jewels worn by the queens of Carnival. The gowns were incredible. Both men and women had amazing trains that could weigh as much as 65 pounds. The trains are 6 yards long, 2 yards wide and take about 3 months to sew. Each year’s Royal Court design the trains themselves and each year’s trains seem more elaborate than the previous year.