On this day in Alabama history: Julia Tutwiler was born in Tuscaloosa

On this day in Alabama history: Julia Tutwiler was born in Tuscaloosa
Julia Strudwick Tutwiler (1841-1916) was a pioneer in the fields of education and prison reform in Alabama. She worked to open doors to university education for women, and her efforts resulted in major changes to the Alabama prison sytem, including separate facilities for men and women. Tutwiler was president of Alabama Normal College, which eventually became the University of West Alabama. Her poem, "Alabama," was put to music and became the state song. (From Encyclopedia of Alabama, Courtesy of Birmingham Public Library Archives)

August 15, 1841

Education and prison reformer Julia Tutwiler was born in Tuscaloosa. Known as the “Angel of the Stockade,” Tutwiler worked tirelessly to improve Alabama’s prison system. Her efforts convinced the state to appoint a state prison inspector, fund teachers for Sunday and night schools in prison, create separate prisons for women, and establish the South’s first juvenile reform school for white boys. She also worked closely with the state to innovate women’s education and helped found the University of West Alabama and the University of Montevallo. Tutwiler was inducted into the Alabama Hall of Fame and the Alabama Women’s Hall of Fame, and her poem “Alabama” is immortalized as the official state song.

Read more at Encyclopedia of Alabama.

For more on Alabama’s Bicentennial, visit Alabama 200.

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