On this day in Alabama history: Alabama History Commission was founded

On this day in Alabama history: Alabama History Commission was founded
The Alabama Department of Archives and History (ADAH) in Montgomery was founded in 1901 by historian Thomas M. Owen to document and preserve the state's records and artifacts. ADAH was the first publicly funded and independent archives and history in the United States. (From Encyclopedia of Alabama, photograph by Donnie Shackleford)

January 6, 1899

The Alabama History Commission was founded with Thomas M. Owen as the chairman. In a show of Southern patriotism and pride for state’s past, the Alabama House of Representatives passed the bill 49-1 immediately before unveiling the Confederate Monument at the State Capitol. As chairman of the commission, Owen prepared a 447-page report on the condition of historical materials in the state that recommended the creation of an independent, state-supported agency to officially house the state’s historical records. Owen later drafted the bill to create the Alabama Department of Archives and History, which passed the Legislature nearly unanimously in 1901, and served as the agency’s first director until his death in 1920.

Read more at Encyclopedia of Alabama.

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

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