Welcome to the Birmingham History Center

Magic Moments
O'Brien's Opera House
Just one of scores of Birmingham theaters to meet the wrecking ball
In 1878, future Jefferson County sheriff and Birmingham mayor, Frank O'Brien, bought 125 feet of frontage at the nor...
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Announcements
Volunteers arise
BHC is seeking a volunteer to help with a summer Game Show performance.Read More...
 
 
We've moved!!
The Birmingham History Center moved Nov. 1, 2013 to 1807 Third Avenue North. The museum exhibits ha...Read More...
 
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SURVEY ANSWERS
See your answers to CAN YOU REPEAT THAT?
 





In June and July, more than 300 people answered survey questions about Birmingham and its history for our game show, Can You Repeat That? We covered the top five answers at the show. Here, week by week, we will publish the results of the other questions.

Question #2 - It seems common knowledge, at least among our respondants, that 1873 was the year of the great cholera epidemic. Out of 274 answers, 117 correctly named cholera, followed by Fire (10), unspecified Disease (9), and Yellow Fever (8) as top answers.

Although half the city's residents did flee, according to reports, the total population was only 2,500 in that second year after the founding, when Birmingham had not yet attained its "magic" growth. Fire, and infectious diseases such as typhus, smallpox, scarlet fever and tuberculosis were all epidemic in Birmingham's early years due to poor sanitation and other failures in public health and safety. The cholera epidemic also gave rise to the legendary aid brought to cholera sufferers by Birmingham's famed "Madame," Lou Wooster. 

However, Yellow Fever, originating in the West Indies, primarily impacted the port city of Mobile.
Tell us something we DON'T know--
And someone did ...
Much of the historical information used in the History Center's Aug. 7 quiz show, Can You Repeat That? was mined from the website bhamwiki.com and its fastidiously accurate publisher John Morse. As part of our show promotion, we issued an offer of free tickets to anyone who could present information of historical significance to Birmingham that was not already in the bhamwiki.com website. A few tried and failed. One person heroically succeeded, and his story about a now destroyed North Jefferson County wooden railway trestle will be presented in an upcoming blog. For now, we simply ask, "Does anyone know anything about the Newfound Creek railroad trestle, which burned to the ground in 2006?     
 
Can You Repeat That?
Even if you weren't there, say you were!
Souvenir posters benefit BHC
 
$12 gets you a
silkscreened edition
of the coveted
Yellowhammer Creative
poster commemorating
the historic show!

Buy one to remember
the event, if you were
there. If you weren't,
buy one to pretend you were!

Either way, proceeds benefit
the Birmingham History Center.  Call 205-202-4146 to purchase.
The latest from 1807 Blog Avenue

Where were YOU when you saw the Beatles' perform live on The Ed Sullivan Show in front of 73 million Americans? 

Not Birmingham!  

No media outlet was without a tribute
or retrospective in the lead-up to the
50th anniversary of the Beatles' first
performance on American live
television. But personal accounts
from the state's largest city were
strangely absent. Wasn't there
anyone in Birmingham on that day in
1964 who can remember the TV
moment when Ed Sullivan gestured to
the band's wildly anticipated performance and announced:
“Ladies and Gentlemen, the Beatles?”

Click here to read the article.
 
A current event
This building on 18th Street North is being gutted and remodeled for a a new restaurant with a familiar name--especially to those from Homewood.
 




Just a stone's
throw from
the Lyric Theatre
on 18th
Street,
this once-vacant
building
is being
remodeled
for a live/work
space that will
house a
restaurant
on
the ground floor.
 
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