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Mobile, Alabama

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Template:Infobox City

Mobile (Template:IPA2) (pronunciation) is the third most populous city in the U.S. state of Alabama[1] and is the county seat of Mobile County. The population of the city was 197,833 according to the 2006 estimate.[2] It is the principal city of the Mobile metropolitan statistical area (MSA), which had a population of approximately 429,622 and a population of 588,246 in the combined statistical area in 2006.

The city's name is derived from the presence of the Mobile (Mauvile or Maubila) Indians in the area at the time of founding. [3]

Mobile is the original home of Mardi Gras, a tradition that started in 1703, and is the second largest celebration in the United States.[4] Mobile is the only saltwater port in Alabama.

Located along the northwest shore of Mobile Bay, the city began as the first capital of colonial French Louisiana in 1702. Over the past 300 years, Mobile has officially flown six flags, including France, Britain, Spain, the Republic of Alabama (1861), the Confederacy, and the United States. [5]

History[edit]

In 1702 Mobile was a frontier town and trading post on the Mobile River at Twenty-Seven Mile Bluff. The settlement was first named Fort Louis de la Louisiana and was the first capital of French Louisiana. In 1711, due to the risk of floods the city was moved to the junction of Mobile River and Mobile Bay and renamed Fort Conde. The Louisiana Capital was moved to the city of Biloxi in 1720 and the to present day New Orleans in 1723. [6]

Mobile, Alabama (upper left), during the American Civil War.

Over the next ninety years Mobile saw vast changes in commerce and political rule. For forty of those years the British ruled Mobile, because of the signing of Treaty of Paris in 1763. The port city flourished under this rule and was renamed Fort Charlotte after the Queen.

In 1790, Mobile was captured again by the Spanish, during the American Revolutionary War and was held until 1813. By then, being the second largest seaport in the Gulf Coast, it was then captured by the American General Wilkinson. From the middle of the nineteenth century to the beginning of the twentieth century Mobile expanded into a cosmopolitan city of commerce maintaining its culture. The Cotton Boom and Mobile being one of the busiest ports in the United States brought the city recognition throughout the world. [6]

During the American Civil War, Mobile was a confederate city and in 1864 surrendered to the Union army to avoid destruction after defending its port for a year. Ironically though, a year later in 1865 the city lost a large part of its residents, some three hundred people, to an ammunitions plant explosion destroying a large portion of the city. [6]

After the war, the city revived and became a shipbuilding port churning out vessels for the military. One of the first submarines was built in Mobile. World War II led to a massive military effort causing a considerable increase in Mobile's population, largely due to the building of Army, Air Force and Naval bases. By 1956, Mobile's metropolitan area tripled in growth. [6]

The 1960s brought about post war changes in Mobile's economy. Instead of shipbuilding, the paper industry began to flourish and military bases were converted to civilian uses. Mobile's seafood industry, notable for Mobile Bay oysters rose and fell in the last quarter of the twentieth century; leaving behind a few shrimpers hanging on to a uncertain future. [6]

In reference to Mobile's seafood industry, Mobile's eastern portion of the bay experiences a unique phenomenon called the Jubilee. In the middle of warm nights, an upsurge from the bottom of the bay brings a variety of seafood delicacies. News quickly spread of this phenomena and brought about spur-of-the moment fishing parties known as the Jubilee. This phenomenon happens in Japan as well, and is thought to be caused by low oxygen levels in the water. [6]

Geography[edit]

Topography[edit]

Mobile is located at 30°40'46" North, 88°6'12" West (30.679523, -88.103280).Template:GR According to the US Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 412.9 km² (159.4 mi²). 305.4 km² (117.9 mi²) of it is land and 107.6 km² (41.5 mi²) of it is water. The total area is 26.05% water.

Monthly Normal and Record High and Low Temperatures
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
Rec High °F 84 82 90 94 100 102 104 105 99 93 87 81
Norm High °F 60.7 64.5 71.2 77.4 84.2 89.4 91.2 90.8 86.8 79.2 70.1 62.9
Norm Low °F 39.5 42.4 49.2 54.8 62.8 69.2 71.8 71.7 67.6 56.3 47.8 41.6
Rec Low °F 3 11 21 32 43 49 60 59 42 30 22 8
Precip (in) 5.75 5.1 7.2 5.06 6.1 5.01 6.54 6.2 6.01 3.25 5.41 4.66
Source: USTravelWeather.com [1]

Climate[edit]

Mobile's geographical location on the Gulf of Mexico provides a mild subtropical climate, with an average annual temperature of 67.5 degrees. January through December temperatures range from 40 degrees min and 91 degrees max. The average annual precipitation of 66.29 inches benefits