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 email@example.com.
How do you see the Magic City? Share your views in the Birmingham View Photo Contest. This contest is open to amateurs and professionals. People of all ages may submit photos taken with a cell phone or a professional camera. The deadline to enter is Sept. 2, 2021.
For more information, visit www.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 firstname.lastname@example.org with the subject line: I Love Birmingham Because
“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 email@example.com 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.
Aggressive Clean-up Programs For All 99 Neighborhoods
Mayor Randall L. Woodfin has launched an aggressive clean-up schedule to address overgrown lots and litter in Birmingham. The initiative, which is designed to be a group effort between the city, citizens and community partners, is known as the “99 for the 150th: Taking Pride Where I Reside.’’ It will start on June 21, 2021.
This effort will consist of a weekly blitz in the four quadrants of the city to focus on cleanliness, overgrown lots, trash and brush. It will also tie into the city’s 150th anniversary because neighborhoods have remained at the core of the city throughout its 150-year history and they will continue to be at the center. (The state legislature officially declared Birmingham a city on Dec. 19, 1871.)
Plan of Engagement for “99 for the 150th”: Taking Pride Where I Reside”
- Four Birmingham communities will be “swept” each week; one in each quadrant of the city- North, South, East and West
Check back with www.birminghamal.gov/takingpride for weekly updates and progress of this effort
People with interests in doing a neighborhood clean-up project or those who want to report illegal dumpsites, should send emails to firstname.lastname@example.org.
- 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.
- Grow through reading with the 2021 Summer Learning programs, which will take place virtually on the Birmingham Public Library Facebook page, www.Facebook.com/BirminghamPublicLibrary. Featured programs are for youth, teens and adults. BPL is also hosting 14 virtual craft programs for patrons of all ages. “Grab N Go” craft kits containing supplies needed to do the activities are available for pick up from all 18 BPL locations. All locations are open. Visit www.bplonline.org/summerreading.aspx.
- The Legion Field Kickball Classic, a six-week adult co-ed kickball league, will run June 10 – July 22. Games will be played every Thursday night on the field. Gates open at 5 p.m. Games will start at 5:45 p.m. Admission is free. Food trucks and concessions will be available. Legion Field, which opened 94 years ago in 1927, is named in honor of the American Legion, a U.S. organization of military veterans.
- The Southern Museum of Flight will commemorate the City of Birmingham’s 150th anniversary by honoring the city’s namesake, The USS Birmingham, in the fleet of the United States Navy. On Nov. 14, 1910, a Curtiss Model D Aircraft took off from the deck of the USS Birmingham, representing the very first time that an aircraft had taken off from a ship. A Curtiss Model D Aircraft, along with the original stern plate of the USS Birmingham and other artifacts and memorabilia, will be on exhibit through December 2021 to honor the legacy of the USS Birmingham. In addition to this exhibition, museum-guided tours and programming highlighting the complete history of Birmingham’s namesake in the fleet throughout the 20th century will also be available. For more information regarding tours and programs, please visit www.southernmuseumofflight.org.
- 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
- The Birmingham Negro Southern League Museum will present its “Black Diamond Reception Salute to Unsung Legends” in August 2021. The program will serve to recognize those determined Negro League players from our local area who without question are unsung heroes in baseball history.
- The men and women of the Negro League devoted their lives to playing baseball during a very tumultuous time and spent their waking days telling the storied history of an era that brought them their claim to fame. Several players will be recognized posthumously for their outstanding accomplishments as stellar athletes. There will also be an unveiling of two amazing painting gifted to the NLSM by the Atlanta Braves. More details to come.
The City of Birmingham is turning 150 years old this year, so join us at Legion Field on Friday, July 16 for the 150th Summer Celebration from 5 to 9 p.m. Logan the Entertainer will perform. There will also be food trucks, vendors, music and more! Be sure to bring your lawn chair.
Birmingham Park and Rec will provide 3-on-3 basketball for youth and adults. Also, community partners will present a 3-on-3 soccer tournament during the Summer Celebration at Legion Field. All soccer participants must be 18 years old or older. Visit https://bit.ly/3yA4Bh1 to register for free. This is a 16 team, single elimination for the soccer games.
In an effort to encourage people to get out and discover or rediscover what the city has to offer, the city will present the “Experience Birmingham Weekend’’ July 16 -18. The Birmingham Zoo will offer $5 off all general admission July 16-18. Vulcan Park and Museum will offer a “buy one, get one free’’ admission for residents over the weekend.
Several other “Experience Birmingham Weekend’’ events include:
* Arlington House will host Soul Food Saturday on July 17 from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. for in-person lunches or grab-and-go orders. People can call Arlington House at 205-780-5656 for orders. Starting July 12, free exercise classes will return to Railroad Park.
* The Birmingham Civil Rights Institute will offer free walking tours of the Civil Rights District on July 16 and July 17. Participants can check in at BCRI’s ticket booth for an hour-long, guided tour. Tours will be offered from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. on July 16 and at 10 a.m. on July 18.
* BCRI will also continue its outdoor classroom series, Who’s on the Wall, on July 17 when a guest speaker will discuss Birmingham native Dr. Angela Davis, who is featured on the mural on the center’s exterior wall. The event will take place at the Firehouse Community Arts Center in Avondale, 412 – 41st St. South. Tickets are $20 and are available at https://whosonthewall.swell.gives.
* Check out BCRI’s “A.G. Gaston: The Man and His Legacy’’ exhibit which explores Birmingham black must-millionarie A.G. Gaston and how he still inspires today’s entrepreneurs and business leaders. Timed tickets to view the BCRI galleries are available at www.bcri.org.
* The Birmingham Public Library will have Grab and Go Kids available at all locations for children to create their own fun animal craft. Four BPL locations, Avondale, Central, Five Points West and Springville Road, will be open on July 17 from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
* The Birmingham Museum of Art and Sloss Furnaces will also be open this weekend. Admission is free.
* Restaurants with a love for Birmingham have connected their food to the 150th, too. In June, Top that Grille II named a salad after the 150th. In July, Birmingham native LaToya Jolly of Jolly Cakes named her red velvet cupcake the Magic City Velvet in honor of the 150th. She will be selling it the whole month. She will be one of several food truck vendors at the city’s Food Truck Friday on July 16 from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. outside City Hall. To read more of her story, go here.
* Free, evening exercise classes will return to Railroad Park on July 12. Classes will start at 6 p.m. They include: boot camp on Mondays; hip hop cardio on Tuesdays; Zumba on Wednesdays; Yoga on Thursdays; and family fun on Fridays. A senior fit class will be held on Tuesdays at 8 a.m.