National Peanut Festival Majorette, Dothan, Alabama, Copyright Bret Moreland 2012

National Peanut Festival
Dothan, Alabama

George Washington Carver spoke at the first National Peanut Festival in Dothan in 1938. Dothan borders with Georgia and Florida in the Tri-state or Wiregrass region.

More than 50% of US peanuts are grown within 100 miles of Dothan.


How Dothan became a Peanut Center

In 1913 a county agent from Enterprise, Alabama took a train trip to Texas investigating cotton crop damage caused by the boll weevil. The agent returned to Alabama warning farmers to diversify crops, but farmers did not. It's likely that farmers could not obtain seed money from the banks for any crops other than cotton.

Cotton was King in the south, but this would soon change. The Boll Weevil was about to make Alabama, Georgia, and Florida cotton fields his home.

Alabama peanut farming began in Enterprise, Alabama when Moultrie Sessions encouraged one farmer to plant 100 acres of peanuts by loaning him seed money. The farmer growing peanuts was able to pay his bills at harvest time while the cotton farmers could not.

Thus began commercial farming of peanuts in Southeastern USA.

Growing and processing peanuts quickly became a lucrative industry in Alabama, Georgia and Florida during the early 20th century.



Vintage National Pea-nut Festival Images

1947 National Pea-nut Festival Souvenir Programme

In 1938 the National Peanut Festival began in Dothan. The second was held in 1939. Dothan Jaycees revived the Festival in 1947 after WWII.

1947 National Peanut Festival Dothan Alabama Houston County souvenir programme 3rd

1954 National Peanut Festival Parade

Captain Supreme

Earl Hutto was 'Captain Supreme' for WEAR TV in Pensacola, Flordia. He was born near Midland City, in Dale county, Alabama.

Supreme Ice Cream (based in Dothan) sponsored the 'Rocky Jones Space Ranger' television show on WEAR when the series began airing in February 1954. Captain Supreme promoted Supreme Ice Cream products to the TV audience during commercial breaks.

Hutto hosted the 'Auburn Football Review' with coach Shug Jordan in the early 1960's when Earl served as sports director for WSFA TV in Montgomery, Alabama.

Later Earl represented the western panhandle of Florida as a member of congress. Earl Hutto's autobiography is entitled 'Captain Supreme goes to Washington'

Captain Supreme Earl Hutto Supreme Ice Cream Dothan Alabama National Peanut Festival

1954 Miss Alabama

Miss Alabama 1954, Marilyn Tate from Haleyville, AL, rode atop a 1954 Chevy Belair convertible during the National Pea-nut Festival in Dothan.

1954 Miss Alabama Dothan National Peanut Festival Parade

1954 Miss Alabama Dothan National Peanut Festival Parade Float

Early Wynn

Early Wynn, born in Hartford, AL., was a right handed pitcher for the Washington Senators, Cleveland Indians and Chicago White Sox from 1937 to 1963. Wynn signed with the Senators at age 17. Quoted as saying "I've got a right to knock down anybody holding a bat", he was known for his fastball and aggressive attitude towards batters. Early's career ended in 1963 with Cleveland after pitching his 300th winning game. He was the last major league baseball player from the 1930's to play the game professionally.

Early Wynn baseball pitcher 300 wins 1937 1963

Flowers Sunbeam Bread

Flowers Sunbeam Bread Dothan Alabama

1954 National Peanut Festival Queen

1954 National Peanut Festival Queen Dothan Alabama

Dothan Alabama 1954 Peanut Festival Queen Parade Foster Street Float

1954 National Peanut Festival Queen parade

Majorettes, Bands, Banks and Business

Majorettes National Peanut Festival High School Dothan Alabama

High School Majorettes National Peanut Festival Dothan Alabama

1954 National Peanut Festival Parade Crowd Foster Street

1954 National Peanut Festival Parade Dothan Alabama Marjorettes High School

1954 National Peanut Festival Parade Malone Motor Company 1913 Ford

1954 National Peanut Festival Parade Crowd Foster Street

1954 National Peanut Festival Parade Fiddle, String Band Drums float

National Peanut Festival Parade 1954 Dothan Alabama Furniture Dealers

1954 National Peanut Festival Parade Fertilizer Manufactures

Dothan Alabama Fertilizer Manufacturers 1954 National Peanut Festival

Your Banks Serving the Wiregrass

Dothan Alabama Banks First National Bank

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