Birmingham, AL

The home of civil rights has been reborn -- with inspiring memorials to spiritual leaders, baseball greats, and old blast furnaces.
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From Past to Present

There are lots of ghosts in Birmingham. Not the scary kind, mind you; but a constant reminder of this city's famous -- and infamous -- past.

Alabama's largest city was, after all, the center of an epic civil rights struggle in the 1960s, its legacy preserved in the Birmingham Civil Rights District. But Alabama was also the home of sports greats like Hank Aaron and Joe Louis, not to mention musical legends Lionel Hampton and Nat "King" Cole -- all of whom have places of honor in Halls of Fame here. Sloss Furnaces is another reminder of the city's past (iron production once fueled the local economy).

These days, however, Birmingham is a hub of science and technology -- it was recently named the "Most Livable City in America" by the U.S.Conference of Mayors. Like many reborn smokestack cities, that also means it's now a great place to take the family. You can ride in a fake rocket at the science museum, or gorge on coconut cake at Irondale Cafe. And keep your eyes peeled... you might even see a ghost.

Continued on page 2:  From Iron Age to Space Age


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