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The city of Huntsville, Alabama played a key role in the United States space program during the Cold War. The Redstone Arsenal, located in Huntsville, was the site of the development of the first ballistic missile, and later became the center of the U.S. Army's missile and rocket programs.
Morgan County, Alabama has a rich and diverse history that stretches back thousands of years. The area was once home to Native American tribes, including the Cherokee and Creek, who utilized the ample natural resources of the Tennessee River Valley. European settlers arrived in the late 18th century, with the city of Decatur being founded in 1820.

During the Civil War, Morgan County played a significant role as it was strategically located along the Tennessee River. The Battle of Decatur in October 1864 saw Union forces successfully repel Confederate attacks and secure the city. The river also allowed for the transportation of troops and supplies, making it a crucial area for both sides throughout the war.

In the late 19th and early 20th centuries, the agricultural industry, particularly cotton farming, boomed in Morgan County. The region's fertile soil and access to the Tennessee River made it an ideal location for agriculture. With the construction of railroads in the late 1800s, Decatur became an important transportation hub, further driving economic growth.

In the 20th century, the development of Redstone Arsenal near Huntsville brought a significant military presence to Morgan County. The arsenal was initially established as a chemical weapons facility but later transitioned into a center for rocket research and development, with the formation of NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center. This marked the beginning of the area's transformation into a leading center for aerospace and technology, which continues to drive the local economy today.

This timeline provides a condensed summary of the historical journey of Morgan County, Alabama.

  • 1818: Morgan County, Alabama is established.
  • 1821: Decatur is named the county seat of Morgan County.
  • 1832-1833: The relocation of the county seat from Somerville to Decatur is completed.
  • Early 1860s: Morgan County becomes a center of Confederate military activity during the American Civil War.
  • 1870s: Railroads are built in Morgan County, leading to increased industrialization and economic growth.
  • 1887: Trinity, a small town in Morgan County, is incorporated.
  • 1901-1903: Decatur's public utilities are established, including waterworks and electric lighting.
  • 1941: Wheeler Dam is completed on the Tennessee River, bringing hydroelectric power and a boost to the local economy.
  • 1956: The Huntsville-Decatur Area becomes a hub for the growing aerospace industry, with NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center and the Redstone Arsenal being established nearby.
  • 1990s: Morgan County experiences significant growth in industries such as manufacturing, automotive, and distribution.
  • 2011: Morgan County celebrates its bicentennial anniversary.