A spotlight on Birmingham’s Smithfield community—where history hides in plain sight

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Bethel House’s mural. Photo via The Celebration Bowl.

As a part of Bham Now’s neighborhood series, we’re shining a spotlight on Birmingham’s Smithfield community. Keep reading to learn more about this historic area including Bethel House, A.H. Parker High School and gearing up for The World Games 2021.

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The countdown to the World Games 2021 begins

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City of Birmingham leaders met with the President and CEO of the International World Games Association at Legion Field. Photo by Chaise Sanders for Bham Now.

Come July 2021, all eyes will be on Birmingham for the World Games 2021. 3,600 of the world’s best athletes from 110 countries are coming right here to the Magic City. The city’s gearing up for this pivotal event and the countdown has begun!

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5 Birmingham venues approved for events during 2021 World Games

World Games
Birmingham big-wigs posing with the first countdown clock for the 2021 Birmingham World Games. Photo via World Games 2021

The City of Birmingham, the Parks and Recreation Board and The World Games 2021 recently came to an agreement about which Birmingham venues would host events for the upcoming World Games. Here are five locations where you can witness The World Games, July 15-25!

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5 things that will help you prepare and have an eventful Magic City Classic

The Magic City Classic is on October 27. Get ready for one of the biggest rivalries in Alabama as ASU plays Alabama A&M at Legion Field. Photo via Magic City Classic on Facebook

A few weeks ago it was announced by the city of Birmingham that there is a budget of $800,000 for the Annual 77th Magic City Classic. The event is the largest HBCU football game, between Alabama A&M University (AAMU) and Alabama State University (ASU)  with an estimate of 100,000 people in attendance every year. 

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Remembering Billy Graham’s visits to Birmingham in 1964 and 1972

Birmingham Billy Graham
Left to Right – Mary Bryant, Paul Bryant, Joe Namath, Tom Landry and Billy Graham. Photo from Billy Graham Evangelistic Association

With the passing of Billy Graham this week, Birmingham is remembering the time the beloved evangelist spoke to tens of thousands at Legion Field in 1964 and 1972.

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Future of Birmingham’s Legion Field uncertain; renovate, repair or replace

More recent view of Legion Field. Via- Stanley Robinson:Provided.

90 years ago one of the first games played at Legion Field in Birmingham was the Tide facing Georgia. Here we are nine decades later, the rivalries are still as fierce as ever, but the stadium that hosted that game, is facing an uncertain future.

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Discovered at Legion Field – Monument to city’s first black orphanage and old folks home

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Last week, while taking photos of Legion Field, in the midst of a vast asphalt parking lot on the north side of the stadium, stands a small green patch of planted, well kept, overlapping shade trees and vines, with two metal park benches and a monument in front.

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Legion Field: “The Old Gray Lady” on a gray day in December

Legion Field Birmingham

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With the SEC championship game being played once again today in Atlanta between Alabama and Florida, we took a quick visit to the place where the inaugural SEC championship game was played 24 years ago –Legion Field.

It was a gray and chilly day when we took these photos today (Dec. 3, 2016) much like it was back on December 5, 1992. Interestingly, just like today’s 2016 Alabama team, the 1992 Crimson Tide was undefeated coming into the game, and was needing a win to play for the national championship.  Florida’s 1992 team also had 3 defeats on it’s record, the same as this 2016 Gators.

Another fact. 83,091 people attended the game in 1992. Today, Legion Field’s capacity is considerably smaller at 71, 594.

Enjoy the pictures and memories.