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Monroeville, AL
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Learn More
In Learn More the National Geographic magazine team shares some of its best sources and other information to expand your knowledge of our featured subjects. Special thanks to the Research Division.

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 Did You Know?  
 Related Links  
 NGS Resources  

Did You Know?Did You Know?

Some 30,000 people visit Monroeville (population: 7,000) each year. Monroeville's main draw as a tourist attraction is its literary legacy: The city was the childhood home of both Harper Lee and Truman Capote. Once upon a time, however, the city had a very different way of getting the country's attention. In November 1939, decades before To Kill a Mockingbird was written, Monroeville hosted a huge Hog Festival. The event drew more than 10,000 visitors, at a time when the town's population was just over 1,000. According to George T. Jones, today a columnist for the Monroe Journal and in 1939 a teenager attending the festival, the celebration was chronicled in publications as widely read as Life and Newsweek magazines. The schedule included such events as a hog-calling contest, a greased-pig race, a hog sale, the display of a four-year-old, 1,600-pound (726-kilogram) hog named Jolly Jumbo, and a parade featuring more than 25 hog-themed floats. Decades before it would capitalize on the accomplishments of its most famous native daughter and son, Monroeville already knew how to attract a crowd.
—Robin A. Palmer

Related Links

Monroe County Heritage Museums
Comprising four important historic sites in Monroeville, the Monroe County Heritage Museums is the institution that puts on a dramatized version of To Kill a Mockingbird every spring. Visit this site to learn more about the history of Monroeville and the surrounding area, and to find out how you can buy tickets for the play.
Monroeville and Monroe County Chamber of Commerce
The website of the local chamber of commerce offers visitor information, a calendar of  events, a photo gallery, and news about local businesses and schools.
To Kill A Mockingbird & Harper Lee
This site includes a publishing history of the novel, the text of a few essays by Harper Lee, and answers to some frequently asked questions about the book and the author.
To Kill a Mockingbird: The Student Survival Guide
Described by its creator as "an annotation to the text of the novel," this site offers more than 400 comments, clarifications, and explanations of passages in To Kill a Mockingbird. You'll also find lists of vocabulary, idioms, and allusions that appear in the text.


Childress, Mark. "Looking for Harper Lee." Southern Living, May 1997, 148-50.
Earley, Pete. Circumstantial Evidence: Death, Life, and Justice in a Southern Town. Bantam Books, 1995.
Lee, Harper. To Kill a Mockingbird. Warner Books, 1960.
McCoy, Kathy. Monroeville: Literary Capital of Alabama. Arcadia Publishing, 1998.
Mills, Marja. "A Life Apart: Harper Lee, the Complex Woman Behind 'A Delicious Mystery'." Chicago Tribune, September 13, 2002.

NGS Resources

Zackowitz, Margaret G. "ZipUSA: Talladega, Alabama." National Geographic (March 2004).
La Fay, Howard. "Alabama, Dixie to a Different Tune." National Geographic (October 1975), 534-69.
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