Mobile County was founded in 1812, predating Alabama statehood by nearly seven years. The city of Old Mobile was even older; it was founded by the French in 1702 and served as a capital of French Louisiana. Mardi Gras festivities in the area date back to 1699, the first in the nation, and are celebrated at the Mobile Carnival Museum. The region’s rich history and cultural significance is showcased in many other museums and historic homes, including the childhood home of baseball great Hank Aaron. On the harbor, the World War II-era battleship USS Alabama and submarine USS Drum are preserved and open to visitors. The Archaeology Museum, on the University of South Alabama campus, offers many exhibits including a series of dioramas focusing on Native American cultures.