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In 1710, the sieur de Bienville founded the town of Mobile at the head of Mobile Bay and at the mouth of the Mobile River. It served as the capital of French Louisiana from 1710 to 1719. The British held it from 1763 to 1780, when Bernardo de Gálvez took it for Spain. Mobile was seized for the Americans by General James Wilkinson in 1813. During the Civil War, ships from Mobile evaded the Union blockade until Admiral Farragut's victory at Mobile Bay in 1864. General E. R. S. Canby captured the city in April 1865.

Mobile has many beautiful antebellum homes and magnificent gardens. Also noteworthy are a Roman Catholic cathedral, the city hall, which dates from 1858 and Marine Hospital, which was built in 1842. Of historical interest are the homes of Admiral Raphael Semmes and General Braxton Bragg, the headquarters of General Canby and the forts of Morgan and Gaines at the entrance to Mobile Bay.

Mobile is the seat of the oldest college in Alabama: Spring Hill College. Also in Mobile are Mobile College and the University of South Alabama. Brookley Air Force Base, a coast guard station and a coast guard aviation training center are there as well. The colorful Mardi Gras was begun in the early 1700's and is still held at Mobile every year. Another big event is the Azalea Trail Festival, which dates from 1929. The Bankhead Tunnel lies under the Mobile River.

Mobile is one of the larger ports in the United States. It is the only seaport in Alabama and the second largest city in the state. Mobile has an important history as a shipping and shipbuilding center. The city's economy is primarily based on its oil refineries and industries that produce paper, textiles, aluminum and chemicals. In 1984, the Tennessee-Tombigbee waterway was completed. It connects the Tennessee River in northern Mississippi with the Tombigbee River in west Alabama. After the canal's completion, Mobile got access to the Gulf of Mexico and the city enjoyed a boom to downtown business growth and redevelopment.

There are many hotels and restaurants in Mobile. The city is 250 km southwest from Montgomery and 1370 km southwest from Washington D.C.

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