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Hometown America Huntsville Alabama.

"Sweet home Alabama, where the skies so blue." That's right, we're talking about Huntsville, Alabama. It's in the heart of the Tennessee Valley, in the foothills of the Appalachian Mountains. Our hometown is probably best known for the U.S. Space & Rocket Center. But Huntsville has so much more to offer.

Huntsville is named after John Hunt. He came from Virginia in 1805 and built a cabin beside the springs at what is now Big Spring Park (see map, p. 17). It wasn't long before squatters (people who settle on property hoping to claim it as their own) rolled in, searching for a place to settle. We're Rocket City

We're Rocket City

Today, Huntsville has 200,000 people, and is known as Rocket City. That's because German rocket scientist Wernher Von Braun and his team of scientists arrived here in 1950 with a mission: to put U.S. rockets into space.

The scientists succeeded. They developed the rocket that carried America's first satellite into orbit. Von Braun and his team also launched America's first astronaut into space, and sent the first men to the moon on the Apollo 13 mission.

The Space & Rocket Center is a great place for family and friends to learn all about space. You can ride some heart-dropping rides, watch an IMAX movie, go to Space Camp, and just have a blast.

Entertainers such as Switchfoot, JoJo, and Lynyrd Skynyrd draw huge crowds.

Yummy in My Tummy!

Do you have a taste for Southern food? You can start with a spiced nut appetizer or bite into hot cheese wafers. For the main course, try an old-fashioned chicken casserole or a piece of piping-hot chicken pot pie. If your sweet tooth is calling, jump into a big slice of sweet granola apple pie or some tasty butter-pecan pie. Then wash it all down with a tall glass of ice-cold tea.

Special Times

One of Huntsville's largest events is Big Spring Jam. At this musical celebration, people can hear popular bands, including Uncle Kracker and Switchfoot. Besides listening to the music, visitors may buy food from extravagant stands, or even make a few crafts for themselves.

In 2005, Huntsville celebrated its 200th birthday. Special events included the dedication of Bicentennial Park, a huge fireworks display, and the placement of a time capsule.

Huntsville is a town you definitely do not want to miss. So come on down.

Put Your Hometown in Junior Scholastic and win a DVD player!

Here's your chance to tell other JS readers about your hometown. It's a fun activity for you or your whole class.

Tell us, in 500 words or fewer, what is most interesting about your hometown. Where is it located? Who first settled there? What are some of the most interesting local customs, events, or landmarks? What is it like to be a kid growing up in your hometown?

Include a map that shows the location of places mentioned in your article. The winning entry will be published in JS, and the grand-prize winner will receive a DVD player. Full details are in your Teacher's Edition. Mail by January 30, 2006, to Hometown America, Junior Scholastic, 557 Broadway, New York, NY 10012-3999.

Seventh-grade students of teacher Sally Moore, Mountain Gap Middle School, Huntsville, Alabama
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Article Details
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Title Annotation:CONTEST
Author:Moore, Sally
Publication:Junior Scholastic
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Dec 12, 2005
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