Questions & answers Ask a question See all questions (8)
What was Birmingham Alabama known for?
Here are a few: –
With a metropolitan population of nearly a million people, Birmingham is the largest city in Alabama. No need to pigeonhole Birmingham as serving only fried pies and barbecue. The city is home to “the Oscars of dining,” with James Beard Foundation award winners and nominees. Birmingham is a national leader in urban green spaces. Thousands of wooded acres for biking and hiking are within minutes of downtown in area parks. The University of Alabama at Birmingham’s UAB Hospital is an international leader in health care and one of the top transplant centers in the world. Though iron and steel production gave rise to the city of Birmingham, the area’s largest employer is now the health care industry. Barber Vintage Motorsports Museum has the largest collection of vintage and contemporary motorcycles in the world. Adjacent is Barber Motorsports Park, one of the finest racing facilities in the world and beautifully landscaped in the rolling hills just outside the city. Barber Motorsports Park hosts the Honda Indy Grand Prix of Alabama, making Birmingham the only Deep South city on the North American Indy circuit. USA TODAY calls Birmingham’s Sidewalk Film Festival one of “Ten Great Places for a Fabulous Film Festival.” Since its debut in 1999, the festival has attracted filmmakers from around the world to screen their work for fans of independent cinema. The Eternal Word Television Network (EWTN), the global Catholic Television giant, is headquartered and broadcasts from its studios in Birmingham to millions of viewers around the world. In 1995, Mercedes Benz chose a site just west of Birmingham to build its first assembly plant outside Germany. Their visitors center indoctrinates guests on the automaker’s history. Tours of the plant are available by appointment. Birmingham’s role in America’s Civil Rights Movement of the 1960s placed the city at the center of the most significant domestic drama of the 20 th The city’s Civil Rights District is now designated a National Monument. Birmingham is known as the founding city for the recognition of Veterans Day and hosts the nation’s oldest and largest Veterans Day celebration, Birmingham is the only place in the world where all the ingredients for making iron are present—coal, iron ore and limestone, all within a ten-mile radius. Vulcan, the mythical god of metalworking, is the largest cast iron statue in the world and is second in size only to the Statue of Liberty. The statue sits high atop Red Mountain as a symbol of Birmingham’s birth in the iron and steel industry. Vulcan’s bare buttocks, facing the suburb of Homewood, measure as wide as a Greyhound bus. The Club’s multi-colored dance floor was the inspiration for a key icon in the 1970s movie Saturday Night Fever starring John Travolta. The Birmingham Museum of Art houses 10,000 pieces of Wedgwood, the largest museum collection outside England. With the opening of Alabama’s Robert Trent Jones Golf Trail, the state became the “Godfather of Great Golf.” Two of the RTJ courses are in Birmingham. Birmingham is home to the nation’s oldest baseball park, Rickwood Field, which opened in 1910 and hosted baseball greats such as Jackie Robinson, Ty Cobb, Babe Ruth, Lorenzo “Piper” Davis, Willie Mays and “Shoeless” Joe Jackson. Tours are available weekdays. The University of Alabama at Birmingham’s Kirklin Clinic was designed by world-renowned architect I.M. Pei. Sloss Furnaces produced iron for nearly 90 years during the early days of the city’s emerging as an industrial giant. Today it is a city-operated museum and recognized as a National Historic Landmark, the only facility of its kind being preserved anywhere in the world. Country singing legend and Alabama native Hank Williams spent the last night of his life at Birmingham’s Redmont Hotel before leaving for a New Year’s Day performance January 1, 1953, in Canton, Ohio. Somewhere along the way, Williams’s friend and driver found him dead in the back of the famous blue Cadillac. The Alabama Theatre is one of only a handful of 1920’s movie palaces still in operation. The “Mighty Wurlitzer” pipe organ still rises from beneath the theater floor for live accompaniment to silent movie screenings and other events. The Irondale Café is a home-style cafeteria with strong Hollywood ties. The café was the inspiration for author and actress Fannie Flagg’s successful novel Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistle Stop Café and hit movie of half that name.
What do they call Birmingham Alabama?
Birmingham Located in the north-central part of Alabama, Birmingham is the state’s most populous city and the seat of Jefferson County, The youngest of the state’s major cities, Birmingham was founded in 1871 at the crossing of two rail lines near one of the world’s richest deposits of minerals,
The city was named for Birmingham, England, the center of that country’s iron industry. The new Alabama city boomed so quickly that it came to be known as the “Magic City.” It later became known as the “Pittsburgh of the South” after the Pennsylvania center of iron and steel production. Birmingham has survived booms and busts, labor unrest, and civil rights tragedies and triumphs; today it is home to one of the nation’s largest banking centers as well as world-class medical facilities.
Birmingham has a mayor-council form of government, with its mayor and nine council members being elected every four years. Early History Henley, Robert H. Birmingham is located in Jones Valley, one of the southernmost valleys of the Appalachian mountain chain. Veterans of Gen. Andrew Jackson’s army that defeated the Creeks at Horseshoe Bend were the first settlers to reach the area in 1815. James Powell Recognizing the area’s potential, a group of investors and promoters of the North and South Railroad (which later became the Louisville and Nashville Railroad) met with banker Josiah Morris in Montgomery on December 18, 1870, and organized the Elyton Land Company for the purpose of building a new city in Jefferson County.
The company met again in January 1871, and chose as its president James R. Powell, who had recently returned from Birmingham, England’s iron and steel center, and suggested that the new Alabama industrial center be given the same name. A flamboyant and colorful promoter for the proposed city, Powell became known as the “Duke of Birmingham.” He advertised across the state and nation announcing lots for sale in the new city on June 1, 1871, and six months after the lots sold, the city was chartered by the state legislature on December 19, 1871.
Gov. Robert Lindsay appointed Robert Henley to a two-year term as Birmingham’s first mayor. In 1873, Powell was elected mayor and quickly had the legislature call for a vote to allow Jefferson County residents to choose between Elyton and Birmingham as the county seat.
- In a bitter contest, Powell courted newly enfranchised black residents, who voted overwhelmingly for Birmingham.
- Soon after Birmingham became the county seat, its very existence was threatened by two events.
- In July, a cholera epidemic hit many southern cities, and Birmingham suffered greatly because it had little clean water and few adequate sewage facilities.
Thousands fled the city. Just as cooler fall weather began to bring an end to the epidemic, the economic Panic of 1873 chilled Birmingham’s real estate boom. As no significant industries had yet been established to create a sufficient number of jobs, people were again forced to leave. Bessie Mine Laborers In 1878, Truman H. Aldrich, James W. Sloss, and Henry F. DeBardeleben, owners of the Pratt Coal and Coke Company, provided a major stimulus for Birmingham’s recovery from the 1873 recession and for its future economic growth by opening the nearby Pratt mines.
- Henry Debardeleben then joined with Thomas T.
- Hillman to construct the Alice Furnaces, facilitating the large-scale production of pig iron.
- In June 1881, Sloss began constructing the area’s second set of blast furnaces, known then as the City Furnaces, in eastern Birmingham.
- The Tennessee Coal, Iron, and Railroad Company ( TCI ) opened facilities in Birmingham soon after and purchased many of the properties held by DeBardeleben and Aldrich.
The Louisville and Nashville Railroad aided these flourishing enterprises by investing money and providing special freight rates. As a result of these events, Birmingham’s production of pig iron increased more than tenfold between 1880 and 1890. Birmingham had become the region’s leading industrial city, evolving from a rough and tumble “boom town” of muddy streets, saloons, fistfights, and shootouts to a civilized city with paved streets, gaslights, telephone service, and a public school system. Birmingham Coal Miners, 1937 The two most important economic developments in Birmingham between 1900 and the Great Depression were the purchase of TCI by U.S. Steel in 1907, which brought financial resources to the city, and the completion of the lock-and-dam system on the Tombigbee and Warrior Rivers in 1915, which provided Birmingham manufacturers with cheap water transportation for their goods all the way to Mobile,
- Birmingham quickly became the transportation hub of the mid-South.
- Just as the city’s economy was beginning to take off again, the stock market crashed in October 1929, throwing thousands of residents out of work and prompting the Hoover administration to call Birmingham “the hardest hit city in the nation.” U.S.
Steel shut down its Birmingham mills and the city remained depressed for eight years. Birmingham recovered from the Depression with the outbreak of World War II as the city’s steel mills became an important part of the nation’s arsenal. After the war, Birmingham diversified its economy with 140 new industries that manufactured farm equipment, chemicals, byproducts used for road building, nails, wire, cement, cottonseed oil, and many other goods.
- With these new industries, along with Hayes International Aircraft and the launch of a modern medical complex, Birmingham in the 1950s had the potential to soar into the 1960s.
- Instead, city officials and residents were faced with a civil rights struggle of epic proportions that left the city’s national reputation in shambles and greatly hampered its ability to attract investors.
Civil Rights Movement Sixteenth Street Church Bombing African Americans began moving into Birmingham to escape the white-owned farms where they had once toiled as slaves and later as sharecroppers, By 1880 African Americans comprised more than half of Birmingham’s industrial workers.
- Working and living conditions were bad enough, but black citizens’ lives were made more miserable by Birmingham’s deeply entrenched system of segregation,
- Nicknamed “Bombingham” for the many racially motivated bombings of black homes, the city became a focal point for the national civil rights struggle after the brutal treatment of the Freedom Riders in 1961.
Later, Fred Shuttlesworth and other leaders of the Birmingham movement invited Martin Luther King Jr. to participate in a protest of segregated downtown businesses in 1963 that came to be known as the “Birmingham Campaign.” King was arrested during these demonstrations and wrote his famous “Letter from Birmingham Jail” as a response to an opinion piece by white ministers to end the protests. Shuttlesworth, Fred Lee The city was then publicly shamed in the media by Police Commissioner Eugene “Bull” Connor ‘s use of fire hoses and police dogs to drive back thousands of youthful demonstrators in early May 1963. Following several weeks of demonstrations, civil rights and business leaders reached an agreement that ended some of the segregationist barriers.
- This spirit of good will was soon shattered by the bombing of the Sixteenth Street Baptist Church, which claimed the lives of four young girls.
- That horrific event, more than anything else, prompted the passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which outlawed racial segregation in public accommodations in America.
Also, with the passage of the Voting Rights Act of 1965, African Americans were increasingly able to participate in the city’s civic and governmental affairs, culminating in the 1979 election of Richard Arrington Jr. as the city’s first black mayor. Modern Birmingham UAB’s Heritage Hall Birmingham today is a modern city of the New South boasting one of the finest medical and research centers in the country at the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB). In addition to the continued presence of several of the nation’s largest steelmakers, including U.S.
- Steel, McWane, and Nucor, Birmingham is now a center of bioscience and technology development and the home to some of the nation’s top construction and engineering firms.
- The Birmingham metropolitan area is Alabama’s largest commercial center and has become one of the nation’s largest banking centers.
Beginning in the mid-1970s, commercial construction in the downtown area gave the city an impressive modern skyline. Between 2006 and 2009, Larry Langford, who was then mayor of Birmingham, and six former members of the Jefferson County Commission were convicted of a variety of corruption charges, including bribery, conspiracy, mail fraud, and money-laundering.
- On January 17, 2012, the U.S.
- Supreme Court declined to hear an appeal of Langford’s conviction.
- Demographics According to 2020 Census estimates, Birmingham recorded a population of 210,928,.
- The greater metropolitan area—which includes numerous surrounding suburb cities such as Hoover, Vestavia Hills, Bessemer, Alabaster, Homewood, Mountain Brook, Hueytown, Center Point, Pelham, Trussville, Gardendale, Fairfield, Forestdale, Leeds, Pleasant Grove, Irondale, Tarrant, and Fultondale —had a population of approximately 1,350,646.
Of that total, 68.3 percent of respondents identified themselves as African American, 26.6 percent white, 4.1 percent Hispanic, 2.0 percent as two or more races, 1.2 percent Asian, and 0.2 percent American Indian. The city’s median household income was $38,832, and the per capita income was $25,725. Alabama Power Building Detail UAB, which boasts one of the finest medical and research centers in the nation, is by far the city’s largest employer, with 18,750 employees. Other leading employers include AT&T, Regions Bank, Birmingham Board of Education, City of Birmingham, Jefferson County Board of Education, Children’s Health System, Wells Fargo (formerly Wachovia), Alabama Power Company, and Blue Cross-Blue Shield of Alabama.
Educational services, and health care and social assistance (27.1 percent) Retail trade (12.6 percent) Arts, entertainment, recreation, and accommodation and food services (10.6 percent) Professional, scientific, management, and administrative and waste management services (10.0 percent) Manufacturing (8.3 percent) Finance, insurance, and real estate, rental, and leasing (6.9 percent) Transportation and warehousing and utilities (5.6 percent) Other services, except public administration (5.0 percent) Construction (4.9 percent) Public administration (3.8 percent) Information (2.5 percent) Wholesale trade (2.4 percent) Agriculture, forestry, fishing and hunting, and extractive (0.2 percent)
BBVA Compass Bank Birmingham remains home to several of the nation’s largest steelmakers, including U.S. Steel, McWane, and Nucor and is also host to bioscience and technology development and some of the nation’s top construction and engineering firms.
Birmingham is also headquarters for the engineering and technical services divisions of several power companies, including Alabama Power Company, ENERGEN Corporation, and SONAT. The Birmingham metropolitan area is Alabama’s largest commercial center and is currently one of the nation’s largest banking centers, serving as headquarters for Regions Financial Corporation,
The overall banking structure in the city recently has been altered. Compass Bancshares, which still has headquarters in Birmingham, is now part of Banco Bilbao Vizcaya Argentaria ( BBVA ), a worldwide financial services group based in Bilbao, Spain. Wachovia, which had a regional office in Birmingham, is now part of Wells Fargo as a result of financial trouble during the banking crisis of 2008. Ruffner Mountain Park The Birmingham City School System oversees a large number of public schools throughout the city. In addition to UAB, the city has two other major institutions of higher learning, Samford University and Birmingham-Southern College,
Historically black Miles College and Miles Law School, Birmingham School of Law, Jefferson State Community College, and Lawson State Community College provide other educational opportunities in the Birmingham area. Southeastern Baptist College, a nondenominational four-year institution, also is located in Birmingham.
Transportation Birmingham is crossed by an extensive network of highways and roadways: Interstates 65, 20, 59, and 459; and U.S. Highways 31, 280, 11, and 78. Birmingham-Shuttlesworth International Airport is the state’s largest and busiest airport, with seven major airlines offering daily flights to many major cities in the United States. McWane Science Center Birmingham’s hallmark attraction is the towering statue of Vulcan that overlooks the city from the top of Red Mountain. Italian sculptor Guiseppe Moretti constructed Vulcan, the Roman god of fire and metalworking, in 1904 to serve as a fitting symbol of the industrial city for the St.
Louis World’s Fair. In 2004, after a four-year renovation, Vulcan Park reopened to the public and welcomed more than 100,000 visitors its first year. The downtown Civil Rights District also draws many tourists to the Civil Rights Institute, the Sixteenth Street Baptist Church, and Kelly Ingram Park. Other nearby attractions include the McWane Science Center, Arlington Antebellum Home and Gardens, the Birmingham Museum of Art, the Alabama Jazz Hall of Fame, the Alabama Sports Hall of Fame, the Southern Museum of Flight, the Alabama Theatre, the Sloss Furnaces Historic Landmark, the Birmingham Zoo, Barber Vintage Motorsports Museum, and the Birmingham Botanical Gardens,
Other outdoor recreation areas include Oak Mountain State Park, Railroad Park, and Red Mountain Park. The corner of 20th Street and 1st Avenue North in the city is popularly known as “The Heaviest Corner on Earth” after a 1911 magazine article on the construction of the last of four large buildings at the site. Rickwood Field Boasting the third-longest golf course in the world, the Renaissance Birmingham Ross Bridge Golf Resort & Spa, located just a few miles southwest of downtown Birmingham, features an 8,194-yard Robert Trent Jones Golf Trail course, which hosts the Regions Charity Classic, a stop on the PGA Seniors golf tour.
Birmingham is also home to the Birmingham Barons, a minor league affiliate of the Chicago White Sox. Rickwood Field, home of the Barons from 1910-1987, is the nation’s oldest baseball park. Legion Field, built in 1926, has been the host to memorable sporting events over the years, including many of the annual Iron Bowl contests between the University of Alabama and Auburn University as well as games by the University of Alabama at Birmingham; the Southeastern Conference and Southwestern Athletic Conference Championship Football Games; bowl games, pro football games, and soccer matches during the 1996 Summer Olympics.
See Gallery Additional Resources Armes, Ethel. The Story of Coal and Iron in Alabama,1910. Reprint, Leeds, Ala.: Beechwood Books, 1987. Atkins, Leah Rawls. The Valley and the Hills: An Illustrated History of Birmingham & Jefferson County.1981. Reprint, Tarzana, Calif.: Preferred Marketing and the Birmingham Public Library, 1996.
Why is Birmingham Alabama called Birmingham?
Birmingham, largest city in Alabama, U.S., located in the north-central part of the state. It is a leading industrial centre of the South. Birmingham is the seat (1873) of Jefferson county, a port of entry in the Mobile customs district, and the focus of a large metropolitan area that includes the surrounding counties of Blount, St.
- Clair, and Shelby as well as such cities as Bessemer, Homewood, and Fairfield.
- The site, in the narrow Jones Valley at the southern end of the Appalachian Mountain system, was settled about 1813, and Elyton (now part of Birmingham) became the county seat in 1821.
- In 1870 the east-west and north-south railroads met at this point; the city was founded there the following year by a land company backed by railroad officials.
Named for Birmingham, England, it developed as the iron and steel centre of the South. The city’s industrialization was based primarily on abundant local deposits of coal, limestone, and iron ore, essential for making steel. Dolomite, marble, barites, bauxite, pyrite, quartz, millstone, clays, sand, and gravel were also found in the area.
- Birmingham’s most important products are iron, steel, and related manufactures (including cast-iron pipe and wrought-iron furniture).
- The city’s industrial trend is toward diversification, and other products include aircraft parts, fire extinguishers, chemicals, paint, electronics, furniture, paper products, automotive parts, plastics, and textiles.
Coal mining and high-technology industries also contribute to the economy. Education, government, banking, and health care are the chief service industries. From nearby Port Birmingham an inland waterway leads southward to the seaport of Mobile on the Gulf of Mexico,
- The city is the seat of several institutions of higher education, the largest of which, the University of Alabama at Birmingham, is a unit (founded 1969) of the state university system.
- Birmingham-Southern College (Methodist) was created in 1918 by the consolidation of Birmingham College (1898) and Southern University, established at Greensboro in 1856.
Samford University (Baptist; chartered in 1841 at Marion) moved to Birmingham in 1887, where it was operated as Howard College until 1965. Miles College, maintained by the Methodist Episcopal church, was founded in 1905. Birmingham is also home to the Birmingham School of Law (1915) and Southeastern Bible College (1935) as well as several community colleges.
- The city’s medical centre includes the medical and dental colleges of the University of Alabama and a number of specialized hospitals and clinics.
- The Southern Research Institute, founded in Birmingham in 1941, now has facilities in several other southern states.
- The Birmingham Museum of Art houses the Samuel H.
Kress Collection (Renaissance art). Other attractions include the Birmingham Civil Rights Institute, Sloss Furnaces National Historic Landmark, Barber Vintage Motorsports Museum, the Southern Museum of Flight, and the Alabama Jazz Hall of Fame. The city has an opera company, a symphony orchestra, and theatre and ballet groups.
Annual events include the Festival of Arts in the spring and the Alabama State Fair in the fall. Arlington Antebellum Home and Gardens (c.1845–50) is a restored antebellum home that was used as the headquarters of the Union general James H. Wilson toward the end of the American Civil War, A cast-iron statue of Vulcan, the Roman god of fire, stands 55 feet (17 metres) tall atop a 124-foot (38-metre) pedestal on Red Mountain overlooking the city.
Two state parks, Oak Mountain and Rickwood Caverns, are nearby. During the 1960s Birmingham was the scene of violence over racial segregation as well as civil rights demonstrations and voter-registration drives led by the Reverend Martin Luther King, Jr.
And others. A change in the form of city government (replacement of the commission form of government by a mayor-council form in 1963) helped improve race relations in the civil rights struggle. In 1979 Richard Arrington, Jr., became the city’s first African American mayor, In 1971 Birmingham became the first American city in which industrial plants were closed under federal law during an air-pollution crisis.
In April 2011 Birmingham was struck by a powerful tornado (part of the Super Outbreak of 2011 ) that caused widespread damage in parts of the city and in the surrounding area. Inc.1871. Pop. (2010) city, 229,800; Birmingham-Hoover MSA, 1,128,047; (2020) city, 200,733; Birmingham-Hoover MSA, 1,115,289. Get a Britannica Premium subscription and gain access to exclusive content. Subscribe Now The Editors of Encyclopaedia Britannica This article was most recently revised and updated by Michele Metych,
Which city is the Magic City?
Miami, The Magic City Just one month after its incorporation in 1896, the City of Miami adopted its enduring moniker, the Magic City, which is appropriate for a city that has developed almost magically and uniquely in a relatively brief period. Featuring images from the late 1800s through the 1980s, the exhibition before you draws on HistoryMiami Museum’s vast treasure trove of photographs, and peers into the many layers of life and activities that have shaped Miami over time, enabling us to appreciate the sharp changes in its development and direction, and understand its uniqueness among American cities.
These photographs inform us of Miami’s recent pioneer past, of the quickening development following its birth and the natural disasters that slowed, but failed to halt this progress, of its glitz and glamour as a tourist mecca, of transportation modes linking the area to destinations near and far, of an area ideally suited for military training in wartime, of protests across a broad spectrum of causes, of a growing historic preservation movement that has changed the destinies of neighborhoods and even municipalities, of immigrants and refugees who helped catapult Miami and the area into the ranks of international cities, of eye-catching crimes and high drama.
Together, these elements represent the ingredients that have made this unique slice of the subtropics the Magic City. Paul S. George Resident Historian, HistoryMiami Museum : Miami, The Magic City
What is Birmingham city slogan?
Following the incorporation of Birmingham as a borough in 1838, the corporation approved the design of a seal comprising ‘The Birmingham Arms, encircled with a wreath’, with the motto ‘Forward’.
How do you pronounce Birmingham Alabama?
The Birmingham, Alabama skyline (Photo by Jon Eastwood for Bham Now) Birmingham, Alabama was named after Birmingham, England (the UK’s second largest city). It may not be that surprising given our British namesake was a major industrial center which city founders wanted to achieve here with iron and steel production.
The cities are unique – but have there been cases of mistaken identity due to sharing a name? Let’s find out. Both Birmingham’s are similar in size and have an industrial past. While our city is nicknamed ‘Magic City’ due to the rapid speed it was founded and developed, Birmingham, England (established in the 6th century) is often called ‘Brum’ and locals are called Brummies.
Although spelled the same, it’s pronounced ‘Birming-HAM’ here in Alabama, while across the pond they pronounce it as ‘Birming-AM’. As a Brit in the US, I quickly had to learn how to pronounce Birmingham all over again following some confused looks! Birmingham, UK (Photo by Gavin Warrens) I’ve been to the UK city a few times. Both have some similarities in terms of featuring a mix of modern building designs alongside beautiful historic architecture, and experiencing a recent resurgence from their industrial past.
Further similarities are emerging, with Birmingham, England being home to two professional soccer clubs ( Birmingham City FC and Aston Villa FC ) and being the hub of Cricket in England. Both sports have developed great followings here in Alabama. Wouldn’t it be great if Birmingham could play an exhibition game against Birmingham in the future? Confused? Well, some people have genuinely been caught out by the same name.
Here are some examples.
What is cool about Birmingham?
11 Things You Didn’t Know About Birmingham Birmingham is a unique and diverse city; this is our breakdown of the top 11 interesting things about Birmingham that you didn’t already know.1. Celebrations and festivals Every year, the St Patrick’s Day parade takes place in Digbeth, celebrating the death of Ireland’s foremost patron saint, St.
Patrick. The parade is the third largest in the world celebrating the saint, behind New York City and Dublin.80,000 people attend each year. Other multicultural events include the Bangla Mela, celebrating the Bengali new year, and the Vaisakhi Mela – the Sikh new year celebration with a fantastic reputation in Birmingham.
There’s also the Birmingham Heritage Festival – a Mardi Gras-style event in August. Caribbean and African culture are celebrated with parades and street performances by buskers.
- 2. A great place to be young
- Birmingham is thought to be the most youthful city in Europe, with 40% of residents under 25.
- 3. Parks and open spaces
There are 571 parks in Birmingham – more than any other European city – totalling over 3,500 hectares of public open space. Sutton Park is the largest urban park in Europe and a National Nature Reserve.4. British engineering at its finest Britain’s most famous and best-loved plane was built in Birmingham – the Spitfire.
- Local inventor Alexander Parkes was also from Birmingham, he invented plastic.
- 5. Food for thought
- Birmingham is the only English city outside of London to have 5 Michelin starred restaurants.
- 6. A buzzing, vibrant city
- Birmingham is the largest and most populous city in England, outside of London.
- 7. Unique experiences
The Electric cinema is the oldest working cinema in the UK. It is also home to a new wave of quirky and independent cinemas, including The Mockingbird and Everyman Mailbox.8. Selly Oak The area of Selly Oak is named after a great oak tree that stood before being felled in 1909.
- A plaque remains on Oak Tree Lane.9.
- A footballing city The precursor to the Football League was born in Aston in 1885.
- The first teams to join were Birmingham City, Aston Villa and West Bromwich Albion.10.
- Bingley Hall Bingley Hall, the world’s first exhibition hall, opened in 1850 on the site now occupied by the ICC, also the home to Birmingham’s very own symphony hall.
It was built to exhibit all of Birmingham’s wonderful products.11. A hub for business Food brands that started in Birmingham include Cadbury, Typhoo and HP Sauce. Sound like the place for you? Check out our today. : 11 Things You Didn’t Know About Birmingham
Why Birmingham is great?
Birmingham is an incredible city to study in, with a big student population, great infrastructure and a vibrant cultural scene.1. Thriving professional communities Brindleyplace is a fantastic destination right in the city centre, including bars, retail, offices and leisure facilities – with its very own film festival,
- It is the perfect place for professionals to get together, relax and network.2.
- Affordable Compared to nearby rival London, good old ‘Brum’ (the name given by locals to the city) is a whole lot cheaper.
- Rent in Birmingham is 63% cheaper than London, not to mention food, clothing and transport.3.
- Student city There are 65,000 students in Birmingham, ensuring great student deals at restaurants, bars, cafes and cinemas.
It also means there are hundreds of societies and clubs to get involved in, sports clubs from cricket to ultimate Frisbee are particularly strong in the city.4. Football fans of the world unite If you love footy, Birmingham is the place for you. With Birmingham City, Aston Villa, West Brom and Wolves all nearby and playing in England’s top divisions.5.
- The Custard Factory Right at the centre of Digbeth is the Custard Factory, the creative industries hub of the city, full of design studios, digital agencies and exciting popups.
- This is a fantastic resource and source of opportunity for those studying business, marketing and professional service degrees in the city.6.
Great local music scene Sure, Birmingham has a great musical heritage with huge bands like ELO and Dexys Midnight Runners, but who have they produced lately? Well, loads actually! Ever heard of Peace? Swim Deep? Superfood? All from Birmingham.7. Digbeth chic Known as the Shoreditch of Birmingham, Digbeth is the trendy side of Birmingham that students love.
- The spacious, ripped out industrial units and redbrick facades are home to cool galleries, studios and record shops.8.
- Chocolate heaven If you love chocolate – and come on, who doesn’t? – Birmingham might tempt you by being home to Cadbury World, the official Cadbury’s chocolate experience.
- They even do student discount tickets! Life doesn’t get sweeter than this.9.
More canals than Venice Where better to relax, hang out with friends and enjoy a drink than by a canal? Birmingham has 35 miles of them, meaning you won’t have to walk far for a picturesque picnic spot. Now you know why Birmingham is such a great place to study, it’s time to find the perfect course! Discover Ulster University’s Birmingham campus courses,
What is the Birmingham story?
History >> Civil Rights for Kids What was the Birmingham Campaign? The Birmingham Campaign was a series of protests against racial segregation in Birmingham, Alabama that took place in April of 1963. Background In the early 1960s, Birmingham, Alabama was a very segregated city. This meant that black people and white people were kept separated. They had different schools, different restaurants, different water fountains, and different places they could live. There were even laws that allowed and enforced segregation called Jim Crow laws, In most cases, the facilities such as schools for black people were not as good as those for white people. Planning a Protest In order to bring the issue of segregation in Birmingham to the rest of the nation, several African-American leaders decided to organize a mass protest. These leaders included Martin Luther King, Jr., Wyatt Tee Walker, and Fred Shuttlesworth. Project C The protests were codenamed Project C. The “C” stood for “confrontation.” The protests would be non-violent and included boycotting downtown stores, sit-ins, and marches. The organizers thought that if enough people protested, the local government would be forced to “confront” them and this would make national news gaining them support from the federal government and the rest of the country. The protests began on April 3, 1963. Volunteers boycotted downtown stores, marched through the streets, held sit-ins at all-white lunch counters, and held kneel-ins in all-white churches. Going to Jail The main opponent to the protesters was a Birmingham politician named Bull Connor. Connor got laws passed that said the protests were illegal. He threatened to arrest the protesters. On April 12, 1963, knowing they would get arrested, a number of protesters led by Martin Luther King, Jr. set out on a march. They were all arrested and sent to jail. Letter from Birmingham Jail King remained in Jail until April 20, 1963. While in jail he wrote his famous “Letter from Birmingham Jail.” In this letter he outlined why his strategy for non-violent protest against racism was so important. He said that the people had a moral responsibility to break unjust laws. The letter has become an important document in the history of the American civil rights movement. Youth Protests Despite the efforts of the campaign, it wasn’t getting the national attention the planners had hoped. They decided to include school children in the protests. On May 2, over one thousand African-American children skipped school and joined in the protests. Soon the Birmingham jails were overflowing with protesters. The next day, with the jails full, Bull Connor decided to try and disperse the protesters in order to keep them from downtown Birmingham. He used police dogs and fire hoses on the children. Pictures of children getting knocked down by the spray from fire hoses and attacked by dogs made national news. The protests had grabbed the attention of the country. An Agreement The protests continued for several days, but on May 10th an agreement was reached between the protest organizers and the city of Birmingham. The segregation in the city would come to an end. There would no longer be separate restrooms, drinking fountains, and lunch counters. Black people would also be hired as salespeople and clerks in the stores. Things Turn Violent On May 11th, a bomb went off at the Gaston Motel where Martin Luther King, Jr. was staying. Fortunately he had left earlier. Another bomb blew up the home of King’s younger brother A.D. King. In response to the bombings, the protesters became violent. They rioted throughout the city, burning buildings and cars and attacking police officers. Soldiers from the U.S. army were sent in to regain control. Bomb Wreckage near Gaston Motel by Marion S. Trikosko Results Although there were still many issues with racism, the Birmingham campaign did break down some barriers with segregation in the city. When the new school year started up in September of 1963, the schools were integrated as well.
Take a ten question quiz about this page. Listen to a recorded reading of this page: Your browser does not support the audio element.
To learn more about Civil Rights: Civil Rights Leaders Overview
Civil Rights Timeline African-American Civil Rights Timeline Magna Carta Bill of Rights Emancipation Proclamation Glossary and Terms
Works Cited History >> Civil Rights for Kids