Alabama was the first state in the United States to declare Christmas a legal holiday, in 1836.
Lee County, Alabama traces its roots back to the early 19th century when it was established as a county on December 5, 1866. Before its establishment, the area was home to the Creek Native American tribe, who inhabited the region for centuries. The county was named after General Robert E. Lee, a prominent Confederate Army general during the American Civil War.

During its early years, Lee County experienced significant growth and development, particularly due to the arrival of the railroad in the 1840s. This new transportation infrastructure led to the establishment of several thriving towns within the county, including Auburn and Opelika. Auburn, in particular, played a crucial role in the county's history as it became the site of the founding of Auburn University in 1856, which has since become a significant educational institution in the Southeastern United States.

Like many areas in the South, Lee County also grappled with the challenges brought on by the Civil Rights Movement in the mid-20th century. The county experienced significant racial tensions and conflicts during this time, with African Americans fighting for equal rights and desegregation. One of the most notable events occurred in Tuskegee, a city within Lee County, where the Tuskegee Airmen—a group of African American military pilots—made history during World War II by overcoming racial barriers.

In recent years, Lee County has continued to experience growth and development. The county's population has steadily increased, and its economy thrived with the presence of Auburn University, local industries, and a diverse range of businesses. Today, Lee County remains a vibrant and diverse community that embraces its rich history while working towards a prosperous future.

This timeline provides a concise overview of the key events in the history of Lee County, Alabama.

  • Lee County was established on December 5, 1866.
  • In 1883, the first railroad, the Atlanta & West Point Railroad, was completed in Lee County.
  • In 1899, Auburn University, then known as Alabama Polytechnic Institute, was founded in Lee County.
  • In 1931, Chewacla State Park was established in Lee County.
  • In 1961, the Robert G. Pitts Municipal Airport was opened in Lee County.
  • In 1975, the Lee County Historical Society was formed to preserve and share the history of the county.
  • In 2007, the East Alabama Medical Center opened its new hospital facility in Lee County.
  • In 2019, Lee County was struck by a devastating tornado, resulting in 23 fatalities.