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6 Things the World Needs to Thank Alabama For

by Anna Irving Jul 11, 2017

1. Wikipedia

One of the founders of The Free Encyclopedia was an Alabamian. Jimmy Wales was born in Huntsville, Alabama, and was educated at Auburn University and the University of Alabama before moving on to bigger things. In the year 2000, Wales teamed up with Larry Sanger, and together they launched the world’s largest online encyclopaedia — Wikipedia.

2. Harper Lee

The writer, Nelle Harper Lee is a true Alabama gem and the author of one of the most compassionate and hard-hitting novels of our lifetime — To Kill a Mockingbird. She was born and raised in Monroeville, Alabama. She also helped her childhood friend and neighbor, Truman Capote, write In Cold Blood.

3. Windshield wipers

The true story of the invention of windshield wipers is a prime example of brilliant women not being taken seriously. Mary Anderson had traveled to New York City from her home in Alabama and was riding on a trolley. She noticed that the sleet was impairing the driver’s vision so much, that he drove with both front windows open. Innovative Alabama woman got home, hired a designer, and the windshield wiper was born. However, when Anderson tried to pitch her invention to a firm in Canada, she was told that it was a frivolous idea. Her patent eventually expired, and the windshield wiper was then picked up by someone else. Say no more.

4. Records

Though he didn’t invent the actual record, nor vinyl, in 1926, Waldo Semon, an Alabamian invented a way of plasticizing vinyl so that it could be made into a record. Semon, a man from Demopolis, Alabama, invented more innovative gadgets and was inducted into the Invention Hall of Fame.

5. Airbags

Auburn University graduate, George F. Kirchoff, was a member of the group who invented the airbag safety feature.

6. Channing Tatum

You’re welcome.

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