Historic Markers Across Alabama

Hodges Meteorite / Stars Fell on Alabama

Marker ID: ABT 
Location: on Old U.S. Highway 280 0.2 miles north of Odens Mill Road (County Road 36), Oak Grove, Alabama
County: Talladega
Coordinates: N 33° 11.362    W 086° 17.671
  33.18936666    -86.29451666
Style: Free Standing **
Waymark: WMEYG7


Hodges Meteorite

The Town of Oak Grove, Alabama has the distinction of being home to the first modern instance of a meteorite striking a human being. On this property, owned by the Guy Family, an 8½ pound"comet” crashed into a house that stood 50 yards southwest of this site facing Odens Mill Road. It was around 12:30 p.m. on November 30, 1954 when Elizabeth Ann Hodges, who was feeling a bit ill, was taking a nap on the couch in the living room. The meteorite crashed through the roof, bounced off a radio and stuck her thigh. Even though she was under a couple of blankets, the grapefruit-sized rock left severe bruises on Mrs. Hodges left hip and hand. She became an instant celebrity. The Hodges meteorite has been on display at the University of Alabama's Museum of Natural History in Tuscaloosa since March of 1956.

Stars Fell On Alabama

November 30, 1954. It was cold, clear early afternoon when Dr. Moody Jacobs left his office for lunch, in the sky, he saw a trail of dark smoke and heard an explosion before white smoke shot out in several directions."I thought a plane had exploded,” Moody said. Back by 1 p.m. he received a call to an Oak Grove home to treat Mrs. Ann Hodges who'd been struck by a"comet.” The descending fireball had actually been seen by many people across Alabama that day. The Air Force even searched for a crash. The next day, Julius K. McKinney, a farmer who lived near the Hodges, was driving a wagon when his mules shied away from a black rock in the road. After geological confirmations, McKinney sold the 3½ pound rock to the Smithsonian Institute where it resides today in the Hall of Meteorites. The Hodges and McKinney Aerolites are the only known meteors from that day but other"comets” surely reached the ground the day"Stars Fell On Alabama.”

Erected 2010 by Alabama Tourism Department and the Town of Oak Grove.

End of Hodges Meteorite / Stars Fell on Alabama