tuscaloosa is located on the black warrior river in central alabama. tuscaloosa is the county seat of tuscaloosa county. the tuscaloosa is named after the choctaw chief tuskaloosa. the area was first settled by europeans just after the war of 1812. tuscaloosa was the capital of alabama between 1826 and 1846. tuscaloosa was occupied by union troops in 1865 and the forces of union general john croxton destroyed the university of alabama. today the economy of tuscaloosa is dominated by the university of alabama and a near by mercedes-benz assembly plant. of interest to the tourist is the campus of the university of alabama and it's athletic events and a number of historic homes and buildings downtown. tucaloosa has a number of good hotels and restaurants. tuscaloosa is a very interesting town to visit in cental alabama.
the most important event is the history of tuscaloosa was the battle of tuscloosa in april 1865. in 1860 the university of alabama was converted into a military school and when alabama seceded from the union the university became the "west point" of the confederacy. the alabama military school graduated 450 officers and the town of tuscaloosa provided 30 military units for the confederate army. tuscaloosa's factories provided the confederacy with cannon balls, cloth for uniforms and tents, and shoes and hats. after the battle of bull run several warehouses in downtown tuscaloosa were converted into union prisoner of war camps. on march 29 th 1865 union general john croxton and 1,500 troops marched from present day birmingham to attack tuscaloosa. enroute to tuscaloosa croxton destroyed the tannehill foundry near mccalla alabama. tuscaloosa was defended by colonel james t. murfee CSA and the university cadet corps. after a brief battle the union forces defeated murfee's cadets at the intersection of university blvd. and greensboro ave. croxton's troops looted private homes and burned the university of alabama campus. only four structures on the campus survived the attack. it took decades for the town and the university to recover from the effects of the battle.
in modern times tuscaloosa became nationally famous for governor george wallace's "stand at the schoolhouse door". george wallace was elected governor on a segregationist platform. during his inaugural address wallace stated that there will be "segregation now, segregation tomorrow, and segregation forever". in may 1954 the u.s. supreme court upheld the court decision brown vs the board of education which mandated desegregation in u.s. public schools and universities. several hundred african-american students applied for admittance to the university of alabama between 1954 and 1963 but their applications were denied. on june 11 the 1963 two african-american students, james hood and vivian malone attemped to enter foster auditorium to register for classes. governor wallace and alabama state troopers blocked their entry into the building. deputy u.s. attorney general nicholas katzenback told governor wallace to step aside but he refused and gave a speech on state's rights. president john f. kennedy mobilized the alabama national guard and forced wallace to admit the students. vivian malone was the first african-american to graduate from the university of alabama.