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12 Things We Have Alabama To Thank For

Y'all are welcome anytime. And while you're there, take a test drive in the 2015 Hyundai Sonata, proudly built in Montgomery.

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2. The First Successful Submarine

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Privately assembled in Mobile during the Civil War, the H. L. Hunley measured 40 feet long and carried a nine-person crew — eight to hand-crank the propeller and one to steer. In 1864, it became the very first submarine in history to sink a warship.

4. The Saturn V Rocket

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Nicknamed "The Rocket City" for its close ties to the space program, Huntsville, Alabama proved instrumental to NASA in the sixties and seventies as the birthplace of the Saturn V, the rocket that sent humans to the moon — like, oh, Neil Armstrong.

5. Harper Lee

Donald Uhrbrock / The LIFE Images Collection / Getty Images

Born in Monroeville in 1926, beloved author Harper Lee won the Pulitzer Prize in 1961 for her only novel, To Kill a Mockingbird, which was partly based on her Alabama upbringing. Today, students all over the country still read and cherish her work.

6. The Van de Graaff Generator

Boston Museum of Science (CC BY-SA http://3.0) / Via

Remember that electrostatic ball from science class — the one that made your hair stand on end when you touched it? It's called a Van de Graaff generator, and it came from Tuscaloosa-born physicist Robert J. Van de Graaff, so yeah — you're welcome.

7. Lionel Richie

David Redfern / Redferns / Getty Images

Originally a member of the funk/soul outfit The Commodores, Lionel Richie went on to become one of the most successful stars of the 1980s, earning five GRAMMYs, an Oscar, and selling 100 million albums worldwide. And hello — he's from Tuskegee!

10. The Klaxon Horn

Via Cineflex (CC BY http://3.0) and the http://U.S. Navy (CC0)

Turn your volume down. That beautiful sound was composed by Montrose native Miller Reese Hutchison. Because musical car horns were so ineffective, Hutchison purposely designed the awooga noise as "disagreeable and penetrating." Nice job!

The First Hyundai Plant

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Based in Montgomery, Hyundai's first plant in the United States is the starting point of a 3,000-mile test drive starring the all-new 2015 Hyundai Sonata. Join us here!