Tuscaloosa celebrates 200th anniversary

Local News

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. (WIAT) — On Friday, the city of Tuscaloosa celebrated a major milestone. 

It’s the city’s 200th birthday and the area celebrated the occasion in a big way. Hundreds of people, including University of Alabama President Stuart Bell and Mayor Walt Maddox, gathered along the Tuscaloosa RiverWalk Friday morning at Manderson Landing for the celebration of the city’s bicentennial.

“Today is the day the 200th anniversary was December 13, 1819, when Tuscaloosa was formed and I think as we sit on these very grounds, we should imagine what was it like 200 years ago,” Bell said.

The party culminated with the unveiling of three landmarks celebrating the city’s past, present and future on Tuscaloosa’s 200th birthday: a 30-foot sculpture depicting Roman goddess of wisdom Minerva, a timeline of monumental dates in the city’s history as well as a time capsule.

Tuscaloosa Mayor Walt Maddox said Friday was a special day for everyone living in the city.

“What a great day to be in Tuscaloosa Alabama to celebrate our 200th birthday,” Maddox said. “Dr. Bell on behalf of the city of Tuscaloosa we are deeply appreciative of this very kind historic gift.”  

For local artist Caleb O’Connor, Friday had a special meaning. He is one of the artists who created the Minerva sculpture.

“Well, it’s always an amazing opportunity to do public artwork because it’s in a place where the public can interact with art and it can reflect the environment,” O’Connor said. “But to have something that commemorates the 200 years of Tuscaloosa was a special honor.”

The time capsule is scheduled to be opened again on December 13, 2069.


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