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Birmingham, Alabama
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Town Nicknames: Industrial Center Of The Southeast, Industrial City Beautiful, Industrial City Of Dixie

Town Nicknames: Industrial Center Of The Great South, Magic City, Mineral City Of The South
Town Nicknames: Inland Metropolis, City Of Executives, Pittsburgh Of The South, Magic City Of The South

Birmingham was founded in 1871 at a railroad junction just to the west of the still-standing Arlington House museum, and was named for the English city of Birmingham. Through the early 20th century, due largely to its abundant mineral reserves, Birmingham grew rapidly, and soon became a leading industrial center. The mushrooming early development of the city led to its nickname of "The Magic City". Its economy was based largely upon iron and steel production and for that reason it also became known as the "Pittsburgh of the South".

Birmingham was hit hard by the Great Depression in the 1930s. The city's economy subsequently evolved into a more service-, research-, and engineering-oriented system.

In the 1950s and 60s Birmingham received national and international attention as a center of the civil rights struggle for African-Americans. Most notoriously, four black girls were killed in a church bombing in 1963. However, like most industrial cities, the economy and population have suffered since the 60's. It's population has fallen from 340,887 in 1960 to 242,820 in 2000, a loss of about 45%. - Wikipedia

Birmingham, Alabama was founded on June 1, 1871 by real estate promoters who sold lots near the planned crossing of the Alabama & Chattanooga and South & North railroads. The site of the railroad crossing was notable for the nearby deposits of iron ore, coal, and limestone - the three principal raw materials used in making steel. Birmingham is one of the very few places worldwide where significant amounts of all three minerals can be found in close proximity. From the start the new city was planned as a great center of industry. The founders borrowed the name of Birmingham, England's principal industrial city, to advertise that point. Birmingham got off to a slow start: the city was impeded by an outbreak of cholera and a Wall Street crash in 1873. But soon afterward the city began growing rapidly.

In the 1950s and '60s Birmingham received national and international attention as a center of the civil rights struggle for African-Americans. A watershed in that movement occurred in 1963 when Martin Luther King, Jr., imprisoned for having taken part in a nonviolent protest, wrote the now famous Letter from Birmingham Jail, a defining treatise in his cause against segregation. Birmingham is best known, however, for a bombing which occurred later that year. Four black girls were killed by a bomb planted at the 16th Street Baptist Church. Although Birmingham was never home to large scale racial violence (Mass racial violence in the United States) such as has occurred in other cities as recently as 1992, common modern knowledge of the city is dominated by the 1963 bombing.

Following the same pattern as many other American cities, the population inside Birmingham's city limits has fallen over the past few decades. From 340,887 in 1960, the population was down to 242,820 in 2000, a loss of about 29 percent. However, the growth of Birmingham's suburbs over that same period has kept the metropolitan population growing.

In 1971 Birmingham celebrated its centennial with a round of public works improvements, including the upgrading of Vulcan Park.

In 1979 Birmingham elected Dr. Richard Arrington Jr. as its first African-American mayor.

In 1996 Birmingham's Legion Field hosted early rounds of Olympic soccer.

Over the course of the 20th century, while industry declined nationwide, the city's economy successfully diversified. Though manufacturing is still a strong sector, Birmingham also is a major medical research center and a regional banking and publishing power. - Wikipedia

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