SAVANNAH, Ga. (WSAV) — It’s the day that aligns with Savannah’s area code, 912. Let’s take the time to celebrate nine little-known facts, plus celebrities and some animals from the Hostess City.
Savannah’s iconic Spanish Moss isn’t really moss
Only growing in tropical regions, this epiphytic flower plant is more closely related to pineapples and orchids than moss.
How do they get onto trees? the seeds from the moss are carried by the wind until they land on nearby tree bark. The plant also has some practical applications such as stuffing for furniture and home insulation.
Why are there so many dolphins?
Due to the geography and coastal environment of Savannah’s waterfronts, bottle-nosed dolphins love to feed in its waters.
They’re known to utilize strand feeding, where they corral small fish into tidal ridges and scoop fish up from the shallow mug. That is why you can see so many happy dolphins along Tybee Island and the Savannah River.
The very first African-American church
First African Baptist Church is officially the oldest standing Black church in America. Established in 1776, the same year as America’s founding, this church stands in the heart of the city.
Where did the name “Savannah” come from?
Around the 1680s, the Shawnee tribe came to the area from the Carolinas and named the river they lived off of after themselves. Savannah and Shawnee both come from the word ‘šaawanwa’ meaning southerner.
Tunnels underneath the city
There is an unknown number of tunnels underneath the city of Savannah and little is known about their purpose and how they got there.
Some, like the one under Pirate’s House Restaurant, led to the port while others, like the cellar under First African Baptist Church, led out of the city for runaway slaves.
There are supposedly also tunnels underneath Wright Park used to smuggle slaves and one under Forsyth Park used to hide bodies from the yellow fever epidemic that hit the city in 1876.
The furthest city from Savannah
On the opposite side of the Earth, the farthest city from Savannah is a city on the southwest side of Australia called Gnarabup. Between the two cities, 11,806 miles and a direct flight would take over 21 hours.
The founder of the Girl Scouts, Juliette Gordon Low, hails from Savannah. After meeting the founder of the Boy Scouts in England, she came back to Savannah to start her own Girl Scouts.
Low also became partially deaf, due to the combination of a poorly treated ear infection when she was young and rice thrown at her wedding damaging her eardrum.
The first golf course in America
The Savannah Golf Club was established in 1794 and was more than likely the first place the game of golf was played in the country.
The course for the private club today was built in 1899, with signs of Confederate fortifications still visible.
Celebrities from Savannah:
- Omari Hardwick, Actor
- Flau’jae, Rapper
- Dianna Agron, Actor
- Jayda Cheaves, Entrepreneur
- Quando Ronda, Rapper
- Big Boi, Rapper
- Nivea, R&B Singer
- Aaron Jones, Football Player
- Stacy Keach, Actor
Animals unique to Savannah:
- Ossabow Island hog, Savannah sparrow, loggerhead turtles, tricolored bat and periwinkle snails