Happy 148th birthday Birmingham!
On this day, December 19th, 1871, the city of Birmingham was incorporated by the state of Alabama. In 1925, the Birmingham City Commission officially adopted December 19th as Birmingham Day.
Nicknamed “The Magic City”, Birmingham rapidly became Alabama’s largest city and an economic powerhouse built on mining and steel.
The city grew from a population of 3,086 in 1880 to 259,678 in 1930. In 1960, the city’s population topped 340,000.
In the late 50s & 60s Birmingham was the epicenter of the American Civil Rights movement. The non-violent protests of the civil rights movement in Birmingham “took down” the Jim Crow laws and spurred the passage of the Civil Rights Act.
Today, the city has become a home for innovation, growth and development. The city’s largest employer, the University of Alabama Birmingham (UAB) is a world class health research and health care institution tackling the AIDS and diabetes epidemics.
Culturally, Birmingham has become a mecca for fine dining and for culinary innovation- from BBQ to Frank Stitt’s James Beard Award winning Highlands Bar and Grill.
Once known as “Smoke City” because of its air pollution, Birmingham is now recognized nationally for its green spaces, such as Railroad Park.
Birmingham also has within its boundaries TWO nature preserves- Ruffner Mountain and Red Mountain- that are larger than New York City’s Central Park.
Bottomline, it’s the people of Birmingham that make this place special. This city has produced Willie Mays, Condoleezza Rice, Dr. James Andrews, E.O. Wilson, and many, many more everyday folks who make Birmingham truly magical – The Magic City.