150th City Anniversary

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Celebrate The City’s 150th With Us!

The year 2021 marks a major milestone for the City of Birmingham – our city is marking its 150th birthday.

The Elyton Land Company began selling lots in what would become Birmingham in June 1871. Birmingham started to take form that month with the merger of the Elyton lots and neighboring farmland. However, the state legislature did not charter the city until Dec. 19, 1871.

That date, Dec. 19, 1871, is officially recognized as Birmingham’s birthday.

Change has come to Birmingham over the years, and change continues to take place for the Magic City. The 2020 pandemic challenged us, but it did not break us. This city has experienced so much, but, still, it rises to meet another day. This city, our city, and its residents cannot be broken. Like the steel we were built on, we were built to last.

Birmingham is resilient, which is why “Built to Last’’ is the theme for Birmingham’s 150th. This special anniversary will be highlighted from June to December 2021.

To learn more about initiatives to help celebrate the birth of Birmingham, its history, its growth and more, please visit www.birminghamal.gov/150. Questions or comments? Send emails to builttolast@birminghamal.gov.

Birmingham Photo Challenge

To see photos, please visit birminghamal.gov/photochallenge

Birmingham 150th T-shirts Are On Sale Now

Birmingham 150th T-shirts are on sale at the Birmingham Museum of Art, 2000 Rev. Abraham Woods Jr. Blvd. They currently have Small, Medium, Large, XL and 2X. You may visit the museum to buy shirts or order them online. If you order them online, you may visit the museum to pick up your order. They are $ $12. To order shirts, visit: City of Birmingham 150 Year Anniversary T-Shirt – SHOP ARTS BMA. The museum gift shop is open Tuesday – Saturday from 11 a.m. to 4:45 p.m. and 1 to 4:30 p.m. on Sunday. Their number is 205-254-2777.

Special Initiatives for the 150th

What better way to show your love for Birmingham than to write a love letter to the city or about the city. Letters submitted in the  “I Love Birmingham Because …’’ letter writing campaign will be given to the Birmingham Public Library Archives Department for preservation for years to come.  All letters should contain no more than 150 words. The deadline to submit is Dec. 19, 2021. Letters should be submitted to builttolast@birminghamal.gov with the subject line: I Love Birmingham Because.


Birmingham poet and author Seneca Wilson has taken his love letter to the Magic City to another level by writing a poem and pairing it with a video. He’s one of the latest to share his love for Birmingham as part of the city’s 150th birthday. To check out his video and story, go here.

Here is his poem, The Magic City

We celebrate 150 years of this city
Where magic lives in this city
There’s laughter, hope, power
And this city loves hard
Like the iron and steel it was built on
And still strong
Because this city is built to last
Like the corner of 16th street
Like the movement of April 16 ‘63
Like the home of diversity
Like the city’s heartbeat
This city is vibrant and colorful with a sweet taste of culture
Blessed from a Vulcan
With fire to blaze this city
Legends are made in this city
Classic’s are played in this city
You can feel the 99 voices that raised this city
And this city gave a promise to the children downtown and across the other side of the railroad
To believe
To succeed
To achieve a dream of reality in this city
And like family, this city will continue build
Rise and thrive
Building better
This is the Magic City
Birmingham, Alabama


“Milestone Monday” highlights people, organizations, businesses, etc. in Birmingham celebrating significant milestones in 2021. It could be someone turning 50, someone celebrating 20 years of marriage, someone who’s been on the job for 40 years, a company that has been in business for 1 year, 10 years, 25 years, etc.

Nominations for Milestone Monday should be sent to builttolast@birminghamal.gov with the subject line: Milestone Monday.

Nominees should submit their photo, what type milestone they are celebrating in 2021 and what the milestone means to them.

Nominees celebrating the milestone should live, work, attend school or volunteer in Birmingham. Businesses and organizations should be based in Birmingham. The person’s photo or photo of their business will be shown on social media and www.birminghamal.gov/milestonemonday throughout 2021.

Historic entries about Birmingham will be featured as “Did You Know” posts on social media and on www.birminghamal.gov/bhamhistory on Thursdays in 2021.

  • Did you know that Birmingham has the Birmingham Business Legacy Program for Birmingham businesses that have been open 25 years or more within the Magic City? The goal is to help preserve Birmingham’s oldest and most historic small businesses. Offered through the City of Birmingham’s Office of Business Diversity and Opportunity, applications are available at www.birminghamal.gov/bhmup under the “Promote” section. (Go here for the application.) Applications will be accepted at any time.
    • A legacy business is defined as a business that has operated within the city limits of Birmingham for a minimum of 25 years, typically has less than 20 employees and has contributed in some way to the cultural and historical fabric of the community. The business must still be located within the city limits of Birmingham.


  • Discover the beginnings of Birmingham, how the iron and steel industry impacted the growth of the city, and the voices of the men who labored in area blast furnaces and mines—making the city a reality by checking out the video, “Sloss Furnaces and the Rise of the Birmingham Industrial District.” Sloss Furnaces National Historic Landmark produced this video to commemorate Birmingham’s 150th anniversary. Visit https://youtu.be/GuKGeqdBetk.


  • Experience the history and beauty of Birmingham’s neighborhoods and cultural districts in a fun way with Vulcan Park and Museum’s walking tours. For more information, visit www.birminghamwalkingtours.com