There's a French Connection
In 1786, French explorer Jean Francois de Galoup de la Perouse arrived at Lituya Bay in Alaska and claimed it for his country.
Although we know that didn't exactly work out (we ended up buying the massive acreage from Russia in 1867), Alabama still has a strong French connection to its history. To this day, the state hosts an annual re-enactment of French Colonial times. Known as Alabama Frontier Days, the re-enactment offers a close view of authentically costumed soldiers who commandeer French Fort Toulouse, as well as educational events aimed at deciphering the French influence that lingers in local culture.
Of course, Perouse's exploration of Alaska got its due, too. Alaska's La Perouse glacier and mountain are named after him.