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Be sure to pick up a copy of the Montgomery Advertiser, the city’s daily newspaper when you arrive in town. Reading up on local events will clue you in to what’s going on in the area.
There are plenty of travel guides available to help you plan your trip while you're still at home. "Lonely Planet" and "Let's Go," are both budget-friendly series that offer guides that cover the entire United States. Fodor's has a general United States version, as well as an edition specifically focused on destinations in the South, including Montgomery. Another southern-specific guide to check out is the Mobil Travel Coastal Southeast edition. These region-specific guides offer more in-depth information than the general versions that cover the entire country.
The city of Montgomery and the Montgomery Convention and Tourist Bureau both offer a multitude of information on their websites. On each website you will find additional information about attractions, event calendars, and up-to-date information on traffic and travel within the city. From the tourist board's website you can order a FREE copy of the Montgomery Visitor Guide to help you plan your vacation as well.
If you already have your trip planned and just want to bone up on your knowledge of the area, here are a few books you might want to check out:
Rosa Parks: My Story by Rosa Parks and James Hawkins
An autobiographical account of Rosa Park’s role both in the Montgomery Bus Boycott and the civil rights movement in general.
The Thunder of Angels: The Montgomery Bus Boycott and the People Who Broke the Back of Jim Crow by Donnie Williams and Wayne Greehan
An in-depth historical account (research involved 1000s of documents and interviews over a number of decades) of the violence and abuse aboard city buses prior to the boycott and important players in the struggle for civil rights.
Cradle of Freedom: Alabama and the Movement that Changed America by Frye Gaillard
Rather than focus solely on events in Montgomery, this book covers events that occurred across the state of Alabama during the civil rights struggle.
Confederate Home Front: Montgomery during the Civil War by William Warren Rogers
If you are a Civil War buff, this is the book for you. This book takes an in-depth look at the political, social, and economic issues facing Montgomery before, during, and after the war.
Sense of Place: Montgomery’s Architectural Heritage by Jeffrey C. Benton, Robert L. Gamble, with photos by Hum Goodwyn
For those interested in architecture, this book provides a visual look at architecturally and historically significant homes, churches, public buildings, and building establishments in Montgomery.