March 5, 1931
The state legislature confirmed Samuel Minturn Peck as Alabama’s first poet laureate. A native of Tuscaloosa, Peck studied languages and literature at Columbia University and published his first volume of poetry, Caps and Bells, to great success in 1886. Known for simple, easy-to-understand poems in the style of vers de société, Peck published seven volumes of poetry, but never received critical acclaim. Many of Peck’s poems, including “The Grapevine Swing,” were set to music by various composers. Nominated for the position of poet laureate by the Alabama Writers Conclave, Peck served until his death in 1938.