Prior to 1979, when the Alabama Birmingham Mission was created, the south experienced heavy persecution against Mormons and African Americans. The history of the south wouldn't be complete without learning about the struggle for human rights at the Birmingham Civil Rights Institute. African Americans play a huge role in the south. It was in 1843 when some of the first African Americans were baptized into the Mormon church, some of which were slaves. Of course, cotton plantations and farming are synonymous with the south and many immigrants came to this area to farm. Focused proselyting started in the 1870's after the Civil War. Many Sunday Schools and branches were then organized, which eventually led to the building and dedication of the Birmingham Alabama Temple in 2000. This is the first and only temple in Alabama and is one of the smaller, modern temples that were built in large numbers during 2000.
Gardendale and Birmingham are beautiful cities full of rich history and charm. To get the best view of Birmingham, climb the stairs at the Vulcan Park and Museum and see the largest cast iron statue in the world. If you're visiting in the summer and need to get out of the heat for a while, visit the McWane Science Center to experience changing exhibits or the free Birmingham Museum of Art to gain appreciation for art and culture. Southern Museum of Flight gives you a chance to discover airplanes and the Tuskegee Airmen. Stop by the Golden Flake Tour to taste fresh snacks, hot off the production line.
The Original Pancake House is a great way to start your day with breakfast starting at 6 a.m. Our Place also has yummy breakfast and lunch items. Jim 'N Nick's Bar-B-Q has the best hickory smoked BBQ around. If you're up for something interesting, try the turducken at Surin or the sushi and Thai are good choices as well. Ragtime Cafe specializes in the flavors of the sea as well as American specialties.