A biographical film, or biopic, is a film that dramatizes the life of a non-fictional or historically-based person or people. Such films show the life of a historical person and the central character's real name is used, they differ from films "based on a true story" or "historical drama films" in that they attempt to comprehensively tell a single person's life story or at least the most important years of their lives. Because the figures portrayed are actual people, whose actions and characteristics are known to the public, biopic roles are considered some of the most demanding of actors and actresses. Ben Kingsley, Johnny Depp, Jim Carrey, Jamie Foxx all gained new-found respect as dramatic actors after starring in biopics: Ben Kingsley as Mahatma Gandhi in Gandhi, Depp as Ed Wood in Ed Wood, Carrey as Andy Kaufman in Man on the Moon, Foxx as Ray Charles in Ray, Eddie Redmayne as Stephen Hawking in The Theory of Everything. In rare cases, sometimes called auto biopics, the subject of the film plays himself or herself: Jackie Robinson in The Jackie Robinson Story.
Biopic scholars include George F. Custen of the College of Staten Island and Dennis P. Bingham of Indiana University – Purdue University Indianapolis. Custen, in Bio/Pics: How Hollywood Constructed Public History, regards the genre as having died with the Hollywood studio era, in particular, Darryl F. Zanuck. On the other hand, Bingham's 2010 study Whose Lives Are They Anyway? The Biopic as Contemporary Film Genre shows how it perpetuates as a codified genre using many of the same tropes used in the studio era that has followed a similar trajectory as that shown by Rick Altman in his study, Film/Genre. Bingham addresses the male biopic and the female biopic as distinct genres from each other, the former dealing with great accomplishments, the latter dealing with female victimization. Ellen Cheshire's Bio-Pics: a life in pictures examines UK/US films from the 1990s and 2000s; each chapter concludes with further viewing list. Christopher Robé has written on the gender norms that underlie the biopic in his article, "Taking Hollywood Back" in the 2009 issue of Cinema Journal.
Roger Ebert defended The Hurricane and distortions in biographical films in general, stating "those who seek the truth about a man from the film of his life might as well seek it from his loving grandmother.... The Hurricane is not a documentary but a parable." Some biopics purposely stretch the truth. Confessions of a Dangerous Mind was based on game show host Chuck Barris' debunked yet popular memoir of the same name, in which he claimed to be a CIA agent. Kafka incorporated both the surreal aspects of his fiction; the Errol Flynn film They Died with Their Boots On tells the story of Custer but is romanticized. The Oliver Stone film The Doors about Jim Morrison, was praised for the similarities between Jim Morrison and actor Val Kilmer, look-wise and singing-wise, but fans and band members did not like the way Val Kilmer portrayed Jim Morrison, a few of the scenes were completely made up. Casting can be controversial for biographical films. Casting is a balance between similarity in looks and ability to portray the characteristics of the person.
Anthony Hopkins felt that he should not have played Richard Nixon in Nixon because of a lack of resemblance between the two. The casting of John Wayne as Genghis Khan in The Conqueror was objected to because of the American Wayne being cast as the Mongol warlord. Egyptian critics criticized the casting of Louis Gossett, Jr. an African American actor, as Egyptian president Anwar Sadat in the 1982 TV miniseries Sadat. Some objected to the casting of Jennifer Lopez in Selena because she is a New York City native of Puerto Rican descent while Selena was Mexican-American; the musical biopic Bohemian Rhapsody, based on the life of Queen singer Freddie Mercury, became the highest-grossing biopic of all time in 2018. Biographical novel Biography in literature List of biographical films
Find a Grave
Find A Grave is a website that allows the public to search and add to an online database of cemetery records. It is owned by Ancestry.com. It receives and uploads digital photographs of headstones from burial sites, taken by unpaid volunteers at cemeteries. Find A Grave posts the photo on its website; the site was created in 1995 by Salt Lake City resident Jim Tipton to support his hobby of visiting the burial sites of famous celebrities. He added an online forum. Find A Grave was launched as a commercial entity in 1998, first as a trade name and incorporated in 2000; the site expanded to include graves of non-celebrities, in order to allow online visitors to pay respect to their deceased relatives or friends. In 2013, Tipton sold Find A Grave to Ancestry.com, saying that the genealogy company had "been linking and driving traffic to the site for several years. Burial information is a wonderful source for people researching their family history." In a September 30, 2013, press release, Ancestry.com officials said they would "launch a new mobile app, improve customer support, introduce an enhanced edit system for submitting updates to memorials, foreign-language support, other site improvements."As of October 2017, Find A Grave contained over 165 million burial records and 75 million photos.
In March 2017, a beta website for a redesigned Find A Grave was launched at gravestage.com. Public feedback was mixed. Sometime between May 29 and July 10 of that year, the beta website was migrated to new.findagrave.com, a new front end for it was deployed at beta.findagrave.com. In November 2017, the new site became the old site was deprecated. On August 20, 2018, the original Find; the website contains listings of graves from around the world. American cemeteries are organized by state and county, many cemetery records contain Google Maps and photographs of the cemeteries and gravesites. Individual grave records may contain dates and places of birth and death, biographical information and plot information and contributor information. Interment listings are added by individuals, genealogical societies, other institutions such as the International Wargraves Photography Project. Contributors must register as members to submit listings, called memorials, on the site; the submitter may transfer management.
Only the current manager of a listing may edit it, although any member may use the site's features to send correction requests to the listing's manager. Managers may add links to other listings of deceased spouses and siblings for genealogical purposes. Any member may add photographs and notations to individual listings. Members may post requests for photos of a specific grave. Although it does not ask permission from immediate family members before uploading the photos, it will remove and take down photos or a URL for a deceased loved one at the request of an immediate family member. Find A Grave maintains lists of memorials of famous persons by their "claim to fame", such as Medal of Honor recipients, religious figures, educators. Find A Grave exercises editorial control over these listings. Canadian Headstones Interment.net United States National Cemetery System's nationwide gravesite locator Random Acts of Genealogical Kindness Tombstone tourist Official website
Ace Atkins is an American journalist and author. Atkins worked as a crime reporter in the newsroom of The Tampa Tribune before he published his first novel, Crossroad Blues, in 1998, he became a full-time novelist at the age of 30. While at the Tribune, Atkins earned a Pulitzer Prize nomination for a feature series based on his investigation into a forgotten murder of the 1950s; the story became the core of his critically acclaimed novel, White Shadow, commented on positively by noted authors and critics. In his next novels, Wicked City and Devil’s Garden, Atkins continued this kind of story-telling, a style, compared to that of Dennis Lehane and George Pelecanos. Devil’s Garden, Wicked City, White Shadow are personal books for Atkins, all set in his former homes: San Francisco, where he lived as a child; each novel contains bits of himself – friends and colleagues he once knew, people he respected or admired, family members, personal heroes. In Devil’s Garden, Atkins explores the early life of one of those heroes: Dashiell Hammett, the originator of the hard-boiled crime novel.
As a Pinkerton Agency detective, Hammett investigated the rape and manslaughter case against early Hollywood star Roscoe Arbuckle, one of the most sensational trials of the 20th Century. Atkins' 2010 novel Infamous is based on the 1933 Charles Urschel kidnapping and subsequent misadventures of the gangster spouses George "Machine Gun" and Kathryn Kelly. In 2011 Atkins was selected by the estate of Robert B. Parker to take over writing the Spenser series of novels; the Boston Globe wrote that while some people might have "viewed the move as unseemly, those people didn’t know Robert B. Parker, a man who, when asked how his books would be viewed in 50 years, replied:'Don’t know, don’t care.' He was proud of his work, but he saw writing as a means of providing a comfortable life for his family."Atkins lives on a historic farm outside Oxford, Mississippi with his family. He graduated from Auburn University in 1994 and lettered for the Auburn University football team in 1992 and 1993, he was featured on the Sports Illustrated cover commemorating the Tigers' perfect 11-0 season of 1993.
The cover shows Atkins celebrating after sacking future Heisman Trophy winner Danny Wuerffel of the Florida Gators. Atkins wore number 99 for the Tigers. Crossroad Blues Leavin' Trunk Blues Dark End of the Street Dirty South The Ranger The Lost Ones Broken Places The Forsaken The Redeemers The Innocents The Fallen The Sinners Robert B. Parker's Lullaby Robert B. Parker's Wonderland Robert B. Parker's Cheap Shot Robert B. Parker's Kickback Robert B. Parker's Slow Burn Robert B. Parker's Little White Lies Robert B. Parker's Old Black Magic White Shadow 400 pages ISBN 0-425-23054-6 Wicked City 368 pages ISBN 0-425-22707-3 Devil's Garden 368 pages ISBN 0-399-15536-8 Infamous 416 pages ISBN 0-399-15630-5 List of Auburn University people Author page, UK publisher
Croix de Guerre 1914–1918 (France)
The Croix de guerre 1914–1918 is a French military decoration, the first version of the Croix de guerre. It was created to recognize French and allied soldiers who were cited for valorous service during World War I, similar to the British mentioned in dispatches but with multiple degrees equivalent to other nations' decorations for courage. Soon after the outbreak of World War I, French military officials felt that a new military award had to be created. At that time, the Citation du jour existed to acknowledge soldiers, but it was just a sheet of paper. Only the Médaille Militaire and Legion of Honour were bestowed for courage in the field, due to the numbers now involved, a new decoration was required in earnest. At the end of 1914, General Boëlle, Commandant in Chief of the French 4th Army Corps, tried to convince the French administration to create a formal military award. Maurice Barrès, the noted writer and parliamentarian for Paris, gave Boëlle support in his efforts. On 23 December 1914, the French parliamentarian Georges Bonnefous proposed a legislative bill to create the Croix de la Valeur Militaire signed by 66 other parliamentarians.
Émile Driant, a parliamentarian who served in the war zone during much of this time, became its natural spokesman when he returned to the legislature. On 18 January 1915, Driant submitted this bill but the name of the military award was renamed to Croix de guerre. After parliamentary discussions, the bill was adopted on 2 April 1915. World War I began in 1914 and ended in 1918, so the final name adopted is "Croix de guerre 1914–1918"; every Croix de guerre awarded carries at least one citation for gallantry or courage to a member of any rank of the French military or of an allied army. Ribbon devices indicate the degree of the soldier's role during the action cited; the lowest degree is represented by a bronze star and the highest degree is represented by a bronze palm. The cross is only awarded once and subsequent actions worthy of citations will be limited to additional ribbon devices on the received insignia; the number of ribbon devices on a Croix de guerre is not limited, some awards to ace fighter pilots, had long ribbons with dozens of stars and palms.
The Croix de guerre 1914-1918 was attributed to: French and allied soldiers individually cited for a wartime act of gallantry. Soldiers who were/are members of units recognized by a collective unit award of the Croix de guerre may wear the Fourragère of the Croix de guerre 1914-1918 as long as they remain members of that unit. Soldiers who took part as members of units during repeated feats of arms recognized by more than one collective award of the Croix de guerre may continue to wear the fourragère after leaving the meritorious unit. Battle streamers in the colours of the Croix de guerre 1914-1918 are affixed to the colours of recipient units; the cross was designed by the sculptor Paul-Albert Bartholomé. It is 37 mm wide, Florentine bronze cross pattée, with two crossed swords pointing up between the arms; the obverse centre medallion bears the relief image of the French Republic in the form of the bust of a young woman wearing a Phrygian cap surrounded by the circular relief inscription RÉPUBLIQUE FRANCAISE.
Not knowing how long the war would last, the reverse centre medallion bears the dates 1914–1915, 1914–1916, 1914–1917 and 1914–1918. The cross is suspended by a ring through a suspension loop cast atop the upper cross arm, it hangs from a 37 mm wide green silk moiré ribbon with seven narrow 1,5 mm wide vertical red stripes evenly spaced and two 1 mm red edge stripes. The lowest degree is represented by a bronze star and the highest degree is represented by a silver palm; the cross was worn with the appropriate attachments to signify the singular or multiple awards of the decoration. Bronze star: for those who were mentioned at the regiment or brigade level. Silver star: for those who were cited at the division level. Silver gilt star: for those. Bronze palm: for those who were cited at the army level. Silver palm: could be worn in lieu of five bronze palms. General Charles de Gaulle Fighter ace lieutenant Charles Nungesser Fighter ace captain Georges Guynemer General Edgard de Larminat General Joseph de Goislard de Monsabert Colonel Théophile Marie Brébant General Jean Vallette d'Osia General Raoul Salan Fighter ace colonel René Fonck General Marie-Pierre Kœnig General Raoul Magrin-Vernerey Fighter ace lieutenant-colonel Charles Nuville Fighter ace captain Georges Madon Marshal Joseph Joffre General Robert Nivelle Corporal Eugene Bullard, French Air Force United States Major General Charles Budworth United Kingdom Lieutenant Colonel John Creagh Scott United Kingdom General George S. Patton United States General Douglas MacArthur United States Lieutenant General Lewis H. Brereton United States Brigadier General Edward Terence
Cumberland School of Law
Cumberland Law School is unrelated to the University of the Cumberlands in Williamsburg, is no longer a part of Cumberland University in Lebanon, Tennessee. Cumberland School of Law is an ABA accredited law school at Samford University in Birmingham, United States. Founded in 1847 at Cumberland University in Lebanon, Tennessee, it is the 11th oldest law school in the United States and has more than 11,000 graduates, its alumni include two United States Supreme Court Justices. S. representatives. The school offers two degree programs: the 90-hour Juris Doctor, the Master of Comparative Law, designed to educate foreign lawyers in the basic legal principles of the United States; the school offers eight dual-degree programs and a Master of Laws program with concentrations in financial service regulatory compliance, health law and policy, higher education law and compliance, legal project management. This summary is based on From Maverick to Mainstream, a review of Cumberland's history and the development of the American legal education system.
Langum and Walthall summarize the history of Cumberland Law School as: From its local, Tennessee origins in 1847, Cumberland...emerged as a premier law school with a national status. It excelled in faculty, teaching methodology, numbers of students. Following the American Civil War, Cumberland rebuilt itself and succeeded on a grand scale with its single-year curriculum. Cumberland School of Law was founded on July 29, 1847 in Lebanon, Tennessee at Cumberland University. At the end of 1847, there were 15 law schools in the United States. Prior to the law school's official founding, Cumberland University facilitated the study of law and admitted a diverse student body, evidenced by graduates such as George W. Harkins, a Choctaw chief, who received a law degree from Cumberland and became a judge in 1834. Prior to the founding of the United States' first law schools, the primary means for a legal education was apprenticeship. Establishing law schools was difficult in the early 19th century. Harvard was only able to reestablish its law school in 1829 and Yale in 1826.
By 1859 Cumberland and the University of Virginia School of Law were the three largest law schools in the United States. A year 1860, only 21 university law schools existed in the country, and, in no school did the curriculum extend beyond two years. During the Antebellum years, Cumberland enjoyed success. Nathan Green, Jr. son of professor Nathan Green, Sr. stated that Cumberland enjoyed "the highest degree of prosperity", with a beautiful 20-acre campus, picturesque trees and fences, fine architecture. Cumberland's first graduate Paine Page Prim became chief justice of the Oregon Supreme Court. Students were taught through reading treatises two hours worth of recitations each morning, a mandatory moot court program. Caruthers considered the Socratic Method a necessity; the cost was $50 a session and a $5 "contingent fee". After the Civil War, this treatise method, the legal formalism of the school's approach, Nathan Green Jr.'s unwillingness to make changes, were all considered reasons for Cumberland's drift out of the mainstream.
At the start of the American Civil War, the campus split within a week. Nathan Green Jr.'s father, a law professor, went home, but in fear of arrest, Abraham Caruthers fled to Marietta, where he died a year later. During the war, professors John Carter and Nathan Green, Jr. fought as Confederate officers. Carter was killed; the campus did not. The trees were cut down and fences destroyed and burned; the Confederate Army burned the University buildings because a Confederate major was offended that Black Union soldiers had used them as barracks. The law school began the slow process of rebuilding. In July 1866, Cumberland adopted the image of the phoenix, the mythological Egyptian bird, reborn from its own ashes; the new motto was E Cineribus Resurgo or "I rise from the ashes."In September 1865 classes resumed with 11 students, which soon grew to 20. The 1865 class included enemies only a few months earlier. Nathan Green, Jr. kept the school together until Henry Cooper, a circuit judge, Andrew B. Martin, Robert L. Caruthers, brother of deceased founder Abraham Caruthers, joined the faculty.
Robert Caruthers had served as the state attorney general and had been elected Governor of Tennessee during the war in 1863, but was never inaugurated. In 1873 Robert Caruthers purchased Corona Hall from the Corona Institute for Women for $10,000, which he donated to the University for use by the law school; the destruction of the campus and the devastation of war had impoverished the school, it was 15 years before it saw students enter from outside the South, when a student from Illinois and a member of the Choctaw Nation enrolled at Cumberland. But there were few students from outside of the defeated Southern states, which Langum and Walthall claim underscored "how the Civil War blighted Cumberland."Robert Caruthers persisted, despite the setbacks, in 1878 Caruthers Hall was dedicated in his honor. This new school replaced Corona Hall; the new hall had "excellent acoustics and hard seats" and is described as a: splendid structure, built after the latest architectural style, is nearly one hundred feet from base to spire, contains two recitation rooms for the Law Department, two Society Halls, a Library, a chapel whose sea
John Malcolm Patterson
John Malcolm Patterson is an American politician who served one term as the 44th Governor of the U. S. state of Alabama from 1959 to 1963. A staunch segregationist, he was his state's attorney general from 1955 to 1959, his turbulent tenure as governor was roiled by numerous civil rights protests and a long-running extramarital affair with Tina Sawyer, a mother-of-two who would become his third wife. In 2003, Patterson was the presiding judge over former Chief Justice Roy Moore's appeal against his removal from the Alabama Supreme Court. Patterson ran with the support of the Ku Klux Klan when he won the Governorship of Alabama in 1958. Patterson was born in Goldville in Tallapoosa County in east central Alabama, his father was attorney Albert Patterson. He joined the United States Army in 1939 and served in the North African, Italian, Southern France, German campaigns of World War II. In 1945, he left the Army as a major, obtained an LL. B. degree from the University of Alabama School of Law at Tuscaloosa.
He was recalled to active duty in the Army from 1951 to 1953 in the Korean War. After his military service, he joined his father's law practice. In 1954, Patterson's father ran for state attorney general in the state's Democratic primary on a platform promising to eliminate crime in the mob-controlled town of Phenix City, where he lived, across the state. In those days, Alabama was a de facto one-party state dominated by the Democrats, the Democratic nominee was all but assured of election. Albert Patterson was shot to death in Phenix City less than two weeks after winning the Democratic nomination on June 18, 1954. John Patterson replaced his father on the ballot, as expected won the general election handily; the 1955 film The Phenix City Story was based on these events, actor Richard Kiley portrayed Patterson in that film. Patterson continued to fight organized crime, but became better known for his actions in opposition to civil rights. Following the 1954 Supreme Court decision in Brown v. Board of Education, which ordered an end to racial segregation in public schools, Patterson used existing state law to frustrate and oppose attempts by African Americans to enforce court decisions against segregation.
When the NAACP failed to register as an out-of-state organization, he used this technicality to ban it from operating in the state. Patterson instituted legal action to defeat boycotts by Tuskegee blacks against white businesses. In 1958 Patterson ran for governor of Alabama on a platform of strong law enforcement and segregation, citing his background in Phenix City and his crime-fighting efforts as attorney general, his strong stand in favor of segregation earned him the endorsement of the Ku Klux Klan. He promised "if a school is ordered to be integrated, it will be closed down." Patterson won the Democratic primary against a field of candidates that included future governor George Wallace. Patterson became the second-youngest governor in Alabama history and the first to move directly from the post of attorney general to governor; as governor, Patterson had black students who staged a sit-in at Alabama State University expelled, defended Alabama's voter registration policies against federal criticism.
Aside from his support of segregation, Patterson's tenure was considered progressive for the time. During his term, the Alabama legislature increased funding for highways, inland waterways and mental health facilities. Laws curtailing loan sharking were passed. During his term as governor, Patterson embarked on a long running extramarital affair with Tina Sawyers, a woman who would become his third wife. Rumors of the affair spread throughout Montgomery, Alabamians remarked that his infidelity affected his political career; the affair led to the end of his second marriage. In 1959, Patterson was approached by the CIA to allow Alabama air national guardsmen to help train pilots preparing for an invasion of Fidel Castro's Cuba. Assured that the project had the backing of President Eisenhower, Patterson gave his assent. During the 1960 presidential campaign Patterson was among a handful of Southern governors who backed John F. Kennedy for president, he raised money, collected delegates loyal to Kennedy within the state of Alabama and led the state's delegation to the 1960 Democratic convention in Los Angeles.
Patterson informed Kennedy of the Cuban invasion plan, thinking that carrying out the invasion before election day would have benefited Kennedy's Republican opponent, Vice President Richard M. Nixon. Only a few months into his presidency, Kennedy approved a modified version of the invasion plan, the Bay of Pigs Invasion. Patterson left office in 1963, his Democratic opponent, from 1958, George Wallace, succeeded him. In 1966 Patterson ran a second time for governor but was defeated by Wallace's wife, understood to be a surrogate candidate for her husband. In 1972, Patterson unsuccessfully contested the Democratic nomination for the post of Alabama Chief Justice, losing to U. S. Senator Howell Heflin. From the late 1970s through the late 1980s, Patterson taught American government at Troy State University, now Troy University. During part of this time, George Wallace, Jr. was an administrator at the school. During the same time, former California Superintendent of Public Instruction, Max Rafferty, headed the education department.
In 1984, Patterson was appointed to the Alabama Court of Criminal Appeals, at which he remained until his retirement in 1997. In 2003, Patterson was appointed chief justice of a "Special Supreme Court" that tried the case of Alabama Chief Justice Roy M
Gadsden is a city in and the county seat of Etowah County in the U. S. state of Alabama. It is located on the Coosa River about 56 miles northeast of Birmingham and 90 miles southwest of Chattanooga, Tennessee, it is the primary city of the Gadsden Metropolitan Statistical Area, which has a population of 103,931. As of the 2010 census, the population of the city was 36,856, with an estimated population of 35,837 in 2016. Gadsden and Rome, are the largest cities in the triangular area now defined by the interstate highways between Atlanta and Chattanooga. In the 19th century, Gadsden was at one time Alabama's second-most important center of commerce and industry, trailing only the seaport of Mobile; the two cities were important shipping centers: Gadsden for riverboats and Mobile for international trade. From the late 19th century through the 1980s, Gadsden was a center of heavy industry, including the Goodyear Tire and Rubber Company and Republic Steel. More than a decade after the sharp decline in industry, in 1991 Gadsden was awarded the honor of All-America City by the National Civic League.
This honored the way Gadsden's citizens, government and voluntary organizations have worked together to address critical local issues. The first substantial European-American settlement in the area that developed as Gadsden was a village called "Double Springs", it was founded in about 1825 by John Riley, a mixed-race American Indian and European-American settler who built his house near two springs. Riley used his house for a stagecoach stop on the Huntsville-to-Rome route; the original building still stands as the oldest in Gadsden. The house was purchased by brothers Gabriel and Asenath Hughes in 1840; the Hughes brothers purchased much of the land between Lookout Mountain, the Coosa River, the mouth of Wills Creek. The brothers proposed constructing a railroad from the port of Savannah to Nashville, Tennessee through their land; the original 120 acres survey of Gadsden included the Hughes brothers' land, plus that of John S. Moragne and Lewis L. Rhea. On July 4, 1845, Captain James Lafferty piloted the steamboat Coosa to the settlement.
He landed near the site. The Hughes brothers suggested renaming the town as "Lafferty's Landing", but residents adopted "Gadsden" in honor of Colonel James Gadsden of South Carolina, he was noted for negotiating the United States' Gadsden Purchase from Mexico. In 1867, after the American Civil War, the legislature organized Baine County. After a constitutional convention, the new legislature dissolved Baine County in 1868 and renamed it as Etowah County. Gadsden retained its standing as county seat. By the late 19th century, Gadsden had developed as a major river port on the Coosa River, was second to Mobile, a seaport on the Gulf Coast, in importance, it developed as a center of heavy industry. With unionization, industrial workers could earn middle-class salaries and improve their lives as African Americans struggled under Jim Crow laws and political disfranchisement; the city reached its peak of population in 1960. Affected by the national restructuring of railroads and heavy industry, most of Gadsden's major industries closed in the 1970s and 1980s.
The city lost many jobs and much population, began to decline. The city government has struggled to manage the transition to a different economy, just as numerous other industrial cities had to do. Redevelopment efforts, such as the Cultural Arts Center and downtown revitalization, earned Gadsden first place in the 2000 City Livability Awards Program of the US Conference of Mayors. Underemployment continues to be a severe problem. Gadsden is located in central Etowah County at 34°0′37″N 86°0′37″W, developed on both sides of the Coosa River. According to the U. S. Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 38.3 square miles, of which 37.1 square miles is land and 1.1 square miles, or 2.96%, is water. The southern end of Lookout Mountain rises to the north of the city center. Typical of the Deep South, Gadsden experiences a humid subtropical climate with four distinct seasons. Winter lasts from early December to late-February. On average, the low temperature falls to the freezing mark or below on 60 days a year, to or below 20 °F on 6.9 days.
While rain is abundant, measurable snowfall is rare, with most years receiving none. Summers are hot and humid, lasting from mid-May to mid-September, the July daily average temperature is 80.6 °F. There are 2.1 days of 100 °F + highs. The latter part of summer tends to be drier. Autumn, which spans from mid-September to early-December, tends to be similar to spring in terms of temperature and precipitation, although it begins dry. With a period of record dating only back to 1953, the highest recorded temperature was 106 °F on June 30, 2012, while the lowest recorded temperature was −6 °F on January 20–21, 1985; as of the census of 2000, there were 38,978 people, 16,456 households, 10,252 families residing in the city. The population density was 1,083.6 people per square mile. There were 18,797 housing units at an average density of 522.6 per square mile. The racial makeup of the city was 62.7% White, 34.0% Black or African American, 0.3% Native American, 0.5% Asian, 0.1% Pacific Islander, 1.2% from other races, 1.2% from two or more races.
2.6% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race. There were 16,456 households