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Alabama History: http://www.archives.state.al.us/timeline/index.html
Alabama Through the Ages: http://www.asc.edu/archives/timeline/timefr.html
Alabama is about the same size as Greece.
(SSFC, 10/9/05, Par p.27)
The Choctaw phrase "Alba Ayamule" translates as "I open the
thicket" and is the listed origin of the state's name.
(SFC, 10/31/98, p.D4)
77Mil BC In 2005 it was reported
that paleontologists had identified a new dinosaur species, an early
relative of Tyrannosaurus rex that roamed what is now the
Southeastern US about this time. The scientists made the
identification from hundreds of fossilized fragments collected
mostly in Montgomery County, Ala., and southwestern Georgia. They
named the new dinosaur Appalachiosaurus montgomeriensis, which means
"the Appalachian lizard from Montgomery County." The 25-foot-long
creature roamed the earth 10 million years before T. rex and was
smaller and more primitive, with a narrower snout.
1540 Oct 19, Hernando de Soto
fought native Indians at the bloody battle of Mabila in present day
1807 Feb 19, Former Vice
President Aaron Burr was arrested in Alabama. He was subsequently
tried for treason and acquitted. [see May 22, Sep 1]
(HN, 2/19/98)(AP, 2/19/98)
1813 Apr 15, U.S. troops under
James Wilkinson sieged the Spanish-held city of Mobile in future
state of Alabama.
1813 Aug 30, Creek Indians
massacred over 500 whites at Fort Mims Alabama.
1813 Nov 3, American troops
destroy the Indian village of Tallushatchee in the Mississippi
Valley. US troops under Gen Coffee destroyed an Indian village at
(HN, 11/3/99)(MC, 11/3/01)
1814 Mar 27, General Jackson
led U.S. soldiers who killed 700 Creek Indians at Horseshoe Bend,
La. [in Northern Alabama] Jackson lost 49 men. In 2001 John Buchanon
authored "Jackson’s Way" and Robert V. Remini authored "Andrew
Jackson and His Indian Wars."
(SFEC, 2/16/97, BR p.4)(HN, 3/27/99)(WSJ,
1814 Mar 29, In the Battle at
Horseshoe Bend, Alabama, Andrew Jackson beat the Creek Indians. [see
1817 Mar 3, Mississippi
Territory was divided into Alabama Territory and Mississippi.
1819 Dec 14, Alabama was
admitted as the 22nd state, making 11 slave states and 11 free
(AP, 12/14/97)(HN, 12/14/98)
1821 Jul 6, Edmund Pettus
(d.1907), for whom the civil rights landmark Edmund Pettus Bridge
was named, was born in Alabama. He earned his fame as a Confederate
brigadier general. Pettus was a lawyer and judge and served
throughout the western theater during the Civil War. He resumed his
law practice after the war and went on to serve in the U.S. Senate.
Pettus died while in his second term in Congress. The Edmund Pettus
Bridge in Selma, Alabama, became a civil rights landmark when on
March 7, 1965, a band of civil rights marchers on their way to
Montgomery crossed the bridge, only to be attacked by state troopers
on the other side.
1839 A law banning the carrying
of concealed weapons was passed in Alabama.
1841 Dec 31, Alabama became the
1st state to license dental surgeons.
1845 Henry Lehman, an immigrant
from Germany, opened a dry goods store in Montgomery, Alabama. He
was joined by his two brothers in 1850. The family often accepted
raw cotton instead of cash for merchandise, which resulted in a
successful cotton business on the side. In 1862, the brothers formed
Lehman, Durr & Co. with cotton merchant John Durr, and in 1870,
helped to form the New York Cotton Exchange.
1860 Nov, Abraham Lincoln won
the US presidential elections with a majority of the electoral votes
in a 4-way race. Following his election South Carolina seceded from
the Union followed by Mississippi, Florida, Alabama, Georgia,
Louisiana and Texas.
(WSJ, 9/19/97, p.A13)
1861 Jan 5, Alabama troops
seized Forts Morgan & Gaines at Mobile Bay.
1861 Jan 11, Alabama became the
4th state to secede from the Union.
(AP, 1/11/98)(HN, 1/11/99)
1861 Feb 4, Delegates from six
southern states met in Montgomery, Ala., to form the Confederate
States of America. They included Mississippi, Florida, Alabama,
Georgia, Louisiana and Texas. They elected Jefferson Davis as
president of Confederacy.
(AP, 2/4/97)(ON, 11/00, p.1)
1861 Feb 8, Delegates from
seceded states adopted a provisional Confederate Constitution in
(HN, 2/7/97)(MC, 2/8/02)
1861 Feb 9, The Confederate
Provisional Congress, meeting in Alabama, declared all laws under
the US Constitution were consistent with constitution of Confederate
states. The Congress elected Jefferson Davis of Mississippi as
president and Alexander H. Stephens vice president. Jefferson Davis'
Mexican War exploits led him to the Confederate White House. In 2001
William C. Davis authored "The Union That Shaped the Confederacy:
Robert Toombs and Alexander H. Stephens."
(HN, 2/9/97)(AP, 2/9/99)(WSJ, 6/13/01, p.A18)(AH,
1861 Feb 18, Jefferson F. Davis
was inaugurated as the Confederacy’s provisional president at a
ceremony held in Montgomery, Ala., where the Confederate
constitutional convention was held. Davis was sworn in on Feb 22 in
(AP, 2/18/98)(HN, 2/18/98)(AH, 10/04, p.60)
1861 Mar 11, The Confederate
convention in Montgomery, Ala., adopted a constitution.
Representatives from the 7 Confederate states ratified the
constitution of the Confederate states of America.
(AP, 3/11/98)(Econ, 12/1/12, p.34)
1861 May 21, The Confederate
Congress, meeting in Montgomery, Ala., voted to move the capital of
the Confederacy from Montgomery to Richmond, Va.
1862 Oct 2, An Army under Union
General Joseph Hooker arrived in Bridgeport, Alabama to support the
Union forces at Chattanooga.
1862 The US battleship
Monticello crashed trying to get past the US Navy and into Mobile
Bay during the Civil War after sailing from Havana. In 1969
Hurricane Camille uncovered wreckage near Fort Morgan, Alabama, that
some believed to be the Monticello, though others thought it was a
schooner that ran aground in 1933.
1863 Apr 27, Battle of
Streight's raid: Tuscumbia to Cedar Bluff, AL.
1863 Jul 27, William Lowndes
Yancey (b.1814), former Alabama state senator, and advocate of
states’ rights and slavery, died at his home near in Montgomery,
Alabama. In 2006 Eric H. Walther authored “William Lowndes Yancey
and the Coming of the Civil War.”
1864 Feb 16, Battle of Mobile,
Al., operations by Union Army.
1864 Aug 3, Federal gunboats
attacked but did not capture Fort Gains, at the mouth of Mobile Bay,
1864 Aug 4, Federal troops fail
to capture Fort Gaines on Dauphin Island, one of the Confederate
forts defending Mobile Bay. [see Aug 3]
1864 Aug 5, During the Civil
War, Union Adm. David G. Farragut is said to have given his famous
order, "Damn the torpedoes, full speed ahead!" as he led his fleet
against Mobile Bay, Ala. The Union Navy captured Mobile Bay in
(AP, 8/5/97)(HN, 8/5/98)
1864 Aug 6, Rebels evacuated
Ft. Powell, Mobile Bay.
1864 Aug 8, Union troops and
fleet occupied Fort Gaines, Alabama.
1864 Aug 23, Union troops and
fleet occupied Fort Morgan, Alabama.
1864 Sep 4, Bread riots took
place in Mobile, Alabama.
1864 Sep 16, Confederate
General Nathan Bedford Forrest led 4,500 men out of Verona, Miss.,
to harass Union outposts in northern Alabama and Tennessee.
1864 Oct 25, Skirmishes took
place at Mine Creek, Ka., and Turkeytown, Al.
1864 Nov 19, Confederate
commander Nathan Bedford Forrest joined Gen. Hood at Gunter’s
Landing on the Tennessee River in northern Alabama.
(AH, 10/02, p.41)
1864 Nov 21, Confederate
General John Bell Hood launched the Franklin-Nashville Campaign into
Tennessee from northern Alabama. Hood led the Confederate Army of
Tennessee in its offensive into Tennessee, which was decisively
broken in the battles of Franklin and Nashville. Hood, a graduate of
West Point, had been in the U.S. Cavalry until the Civil War broke
out. He was seriously wounded attacking Little Round Top during the
Battle of Gettysburg and later lost a leg at Chickamauga in
September of that year. In 1864, he was appointed a Lieutenant
General under Joseph E. Johnston‘s command in defense of Atlanta. In
July, Confederate president Jefferson Davis put Hood in command who
promptly attacked Sherman‘s Union army and was repulsed. Hood then
attempted a long march to the north and west to assault Sherman‘s
rear and ran into Union Army of the Cumberland. The November Battle
of Franklin and December Battle of Nashville decisively defeated
Hood‘s Army which was harassed and almost destroyed in its retreat.
Hood‘s own request to end his command was granted the following
month. After the war he lived in New Orleans.
1865 Mar 18, Battle of Wilson's
raid to Selma, AL.
1865 Mar 22, Raid at Wilson's:
Chickasaw, AL, to Macon, GA.
1865 Mar 25, Battle of Mobile,
AL (Spanish Fort, Fort Morgan, Fort Blakely).
1865 Mar 27, Siege of Spanish
Fort, AL. It was captured by Federals.
1865 Apr 1-9, Battle at
1865 Apr 2, Battle of Ft.
Blakely, AL. and Selma, AL.
1865 Apr 9, Federals captured
Ft. Blakely, Alabama.
1865 Apr 11, Battle of Mobile,
AL., evacuated by Confederates.
1865 Apr 14, Mobile, Alabama,
1865 Apr 23, Union cavalry
units continued to skirmish with Confederate forces in Henderson,
North Carolina and Munsford Station, Alabama.
1865 May 4, Battle of Mobile,
AL. [see Apr 11,14]
1866 Apr 2, Pres. ended war in
Ala, Ark, Fla, Ga, Miss, La, NC, SC, Ten & Va.
1867 Apr 1, Blacks voted
in the municipal election in Tuscumbia, Alabama.
1868 Feb 24, The 1st US parade
with floats was at the Mardi Gras in Mobile, Alabama.
1868 Jun 25, Florida, Alabama,
Louisiana, Georgia, North Carolina and South Carolina were
re-admitted to the Union.
1873 Nov 16, William
Christopher Handy, W.C. Handy, father of the blues famous for "St.
Louis Blues," was born in Alabama.
(HN, 11/16/98)(MC, 11/16/01)
1881 Jul 4, In Alabama Tuskegee
Institute enrolled 30 students. It was founded by former slave
Booker T. Washington as a "normal" school and industrial
institute where "colored" people with little or no formal
schooling could be trained as teachers and skilled workers.
(NH, 2/97, p.82)(WSJ, 2/24/98, p.A22)(IB,
1884 Feb 19, A series of
tornadoes left an estimated 800 people dead in 7 US states (Miss,
Ala, NC, SC, Tenn., Ky & In).
(WSJ, 9/13/01, p.B11)(MC, 2/19/02)
1886 Feb 27, Hugo L. Black
(d.1971) was born in Alabama. He became the 78th Supreme Court
Justice (1937-71) and wrote opinions forbidding prayer in schools
1887 Mar 3, Anne Mansfield
Sullivan arrived at the Alabama home of Capt. and Mrs. Arthur H.
Keller to become the teacher of Helen, their blind and deaf
1887 Apr 5, In Tuscumbia, Ala.,
teacher Anne Sullivan taught her blind and deaf pupil, Helen Keller,
the meaning of the word "water" as spelled out in the manual
1894 Jul 16, Many negro miners
in Alabama were killed by striking white miners.
1898 Sep 10, Waldo Lonsbury
Semon (d.1999 at 100) was born in Demopolis. He later became a
chemist for B.F. Goodrich and invented polyvinyl chloride in 1928.
He received a patent for PVC in 1933. In 1940 he invented the
synthetic rubber named Ameripol.
(SFC, 5/29/99, p.A23)
1901 The Alabama state
constitution was enacted to reverse gains made by blacks after the
Civil War. It included a prohibition on marriages between blacks and
whites. In 1999 steps were taken to repeal the ban.
(SFC, 11/7/98, p.A11)(SFC, 4/17/99, p.A4)(WSJ,
1905 Mary Anderson of Alabama
received a patent for a streetcar windshield wiper. Her effort was
the result of a trip to NYC in 1903 where she watched drivers coping
with the weather.
(WSJ, 5/9/05, p.R10)
1910 Tennessee passed a
Prohibition law that gave distillers one year to dismantle their
operations. George Dickel's operations moved to Kentucky and Jack
Daniel's to Missouri and Alabama. Prohibition knocked both out of
business in 1920.
(SFC, 2/04/04, p.D2)
1913 Feb 14, Mel Allen,
sportscaster (voice of NY Yankees), was born in Birmingham, Alabama.
1913 In Alabama a white man was
executed for murdering a black man.
(SFC, 6/6/97, p.A3)
1914 May 13, Joe Louis, world
heavyweight boxing champion from 1937 to 1949, was born in
Lafayette, Ala. His boxing record was 63-3 with 49 knock-outs.
(AP, 5/13/97)(HN, 5/13/99)
1914 Oct 28, Fayard Nicholas
(d.2006), the elder half of the Nicholas Brothers tap dancing duo,
was born in Mobile, Ala.
1915 Nov 14, Booker T.
Washington (b.1856), Black American educator, died in Tuskegee,
Alabama. The former slave later founded the Tuskegee Institute
(1881). Booker Taliaferro Washington later became the 1st black on a
US postage stamp. His autobiography "Up From Slavery" was listed in
1999 as the 3rd best work of non-fiction in the English language in
the 20th century by the Modern Library. In 2009 Robert J. Norrell
authored “Up From History: The Life of Booker T. Washington.”
(AP, 5/5/97)(HN, 4/5/99)(SFC, 4/29/99, p.C5)(WSJ,
1915-1998 Margaret Walker Alexander, black author,
was born in Birmingham. She died Nov 30, 1998 at age 83. Her work
included the 1942 poem "For My People," and the 1966 novel
(SFC, 12/1/98, p.B2)
1917 Flooding in Mobile, Ala.,
reached 11 feet.
(SFC, 8/31/05, p.A11)
1919 Aug 25, George C. Wallace,
governor of Alabama and presidential candidate who led the fight to
keep segregation in the South, was born in Clio, Ala.
(HN, 8/25/98)(MC, 8/25/02)
1920 Apr 20, Tornadoes struck
northern Alabama and Mississippi. The final Alabama death toll
reached 92 people. As many as 219 people were reportedly killed.
1921 Jun 19, Howell Heflin,
senator from Alabama, was born.
1922 The Ebenezer Baptist
Church in Atlanta was constructed. Martin Luther King Sr. became
co-pastor in 1927. His son Martin Luther King Jr. became co-pastor
(AH, 6/02, p.6)
1924 Aug 29, Dinah Washington
(d.1963), singer, was born as Ruth Jones in Tuscaloosa, Alabama. She
was known in the 50s as "Queen of the Harlem Blues."
(HN, 8/29/00)(SSFC, 8/22/04, p.M1)
1927 In Alabama and many other
states sheriffs and other county office holders were paid fixed fees
for services performed and were allowed to keep whatever was left
over. In 2008 all but 12 of Alabama’s 67 counties remained on the
fee system with a $1.75-a-day allowance for feeding prisoners. Some
sheriffs still profited with no accounting to auditors.
(SFC, 5/20/08, p.A4)
1930 Dec 31, Odetta, [Holmes],
folk singer (Sanctuary), was born in Birmingham, Ala.
1931 Mar 25, In Alabama 9 young
black men, arrested at Paint Rock after riding a freight train, were
taken to Scottsboro. Victoria Price (21) and Ruby Bates (17), who
had worked as prostitutes in Huntsville, were also found on the
train dressed as boys. The 9 men were soon charged with raping the 2
white woman, while riding on the freight train.
1931 Mar 30, In Scottsboro,
Ala., 9 young black men were indicted for rape. By the end of April
all were tried, convicted and sentenced to death, except for one age
13, who was sentenced to life in prison. The US Supreme Court later
overturned the convictions, but they were convicted at a 2nd trial,
even though one of the accused said no rape had occurred. Five
convictions were overturned in 1937 after one alleged victim
recanted her story. Clarence Norris received a pardon before his
death in 1976. In 2013 Alabama’s parole board approved posthumous
pardons for the “Scottsboro Boys” during a hearing for three black
men whose convictions were never overturned.
(WSJ, 6/20/07, p.A17)(SFC, 11/22/13, p.A15)
1931 Apr 6, The 1st Scottsboro
(Ala) trial began for 9 blacks accused of rape.
1932 The US government began
its 40-year Tuskegee Syphilis Study on 623 black men in rural Macon
County, Ala. It ended in 1972 after Health Service investigator
Peter Buxton exposed the study's unethical procedures.
(SSFC, 1/25/04, p.A27)
1934 Jul 18, Cotton-mill
workers in the US south went on strike. The UTW locals in the
northern part of Alabama launched a strike in Huntsville, Alabama,
then spread to Florence, Anniston, Gadsden, and Birmingham. While
the strike was popular, it was also ineffective: many employers
welcomed it as a means of cutting their expenses, since they had
warehouses full of unsold goods. A documentary called the "Uprising
of ‘34" was made in 1995 and scheduled for PBS on 6/27/95.
1934 Sep 9, Sonia Sanchez,
poet, was born in Birmingham, Alabama.
1934 Alabama’s last Confederate
veteran living at the Mountain Creek Confederate Soldiers' Home
died. The hospital, which was converted into apartments for widows,
closed in 1939 and the five women who lived there were moved to
Montgomery. In 2011 residential property taxes, initiated in 1901,
continued to support Confederate Memorial Park.
1935 Monsanto began producing
PCB in Indiana and Anniston, La. PCBs were banned in 1979. Tons of
PCBs were released into the environment and hidden from the public
for over 40 years.
(SFC, 2/23/02, p.A7)
1937 Jul 2, Polly Holliday,
actress (Flo-Alice, Flo-Flo), was born in Jasper, Ala.
1937 Jul 24, The state of
Alabama dropped charges against 4 black men accused of raping two
white women in the so-called Scottsboro case.
1937 Aug 19, Hugo Black
(1886-1971), US Senator from Alabama, was sworn in as associate US
Supreme Court Justice.
1939 Arthur Davis Shores became
the first black attorney licensed in Alabama.
(SFEC, 3/1/98, Z1 p.4)
1941 Jan, The US War Dept.
formed an all-black flying unit that achieved fame as the Tuskegee
Airmen. On June 20 the Tuskegee program officially began with the
formation of the 99th Fighter Squadron at the Tuskegee Institute in
Alabama. Their 1st mission was in June 1943. African-Americans were
barred from the Air Corps until this year, and then were shunted to
(SFC, 9/22/99, p.A24) (WSJ, 8/17/99, p.A1)(NPub,
1942 May 5, Tammy Wynette,
country singer (Stand by your Man), was born in Redbay, Alabama.
1943 Jan 5, George Washington
Carver, Educator and scientist, died at age 81 at Tuskegee, Alabama.
Carver was born the son of a slave woman in the early 1860s, went to
college in Iowa and then headed to Alabama in 1896. There, at the
Tuskegee Institute, Carver served as an agricultural chemist,
experimenter, teacher and administrator, working to improve life for
African Americans in the rural South by teaching them better
agricultural skills. One of the farming methods Carver devised,
using peanut and soybean crops to enrich soil depleted by cotton
crops, revolutionized Southern farming. Carver became somewhat of a
benevolent example of the potential of black intellectuals. He was
well-respected by people such as President Franklin D. Roosevelt,
Mahatma Gandhi, Josef Stalin and Thomas Edison, whose offer of a job
for more than $100 a year Carver refused. Carver worked at Tuskegee
until his death.
(AP, 1/5/98)(HNPD, 1/5/99)
1943 May 25, There was a riot
at Mobile, Al., shipyard over upgrading 12 black workers.
1943 Jul 2, The U.S. Army Air
Corps 99th Fighter Squadron, the first of the all-black Tuskegee
Airmen to see combat, had been based in Africa for four months when
they were assigned to escort 16 B-25 Mitchell bombers on a routine
mission over Sicilian targets. Lieutenant Charles B. Hall of Brazil,
Indiana became the first Tuskegee Airman to score a confirmed kill
when he shot down a German fighter plane. The United States would
not allow black airmen to fight for their country until 1943, when
the first of a contingent trained at Tuskegee, Alabama, were formed
as the 99th Fighter Squadron and shipped out to North Africa. That
unit and the 332nd Fighter Group that followed (which comprised the
99th) would prove their worth in the last two years of World War II.
Besides establishing an outstanding record for not losing a single
bomber they escorted to enemy fighters, several of the Tuskegee
Airmen went on to distinguished postwar careers in the U.S. Air
1944 Feb 17, Oil was discovered
in commercial quantities in Alabama.
1944 Aug 10, Race riots took
place in Athens, Alabama.
1946 James E. Folsom, aka "Big
Jim," was elected as governor.
(SFC, 4/3/00, p.B2)
1947-1963 The Louvin Brothers of Alabama, born Ira
and Charlie Loudermilk, recorded their country music, a mix of
bluegrass, gospel, blues and antique fold ballads. A boxed set of
their recordings called "Close Harmony" was put together by Richard
Weize of Bear Family Records, Hamburg, Germ.
(WSJ, 9/11/98, p.W3)
1948 May 1, Glenn Taylor, Idaho
Senator, was arrested in Birmingham Alabama for trying to enter a
meeting through a door marked "for Negroes."
1949 George Wallace asked for
and received an appointment to the Board of Trustees of the Tuskegee
(WSJ, 4/17/00, p.A30)
1950 German physicist and
engineer Wernher von Braun and a team of some 118 German scientists,
described as “prisoners of peace,” began arriving in Huntsville,
Alabama, to work on the US space program at Redstone Arsenal.
(WSJ, 11/10/04, p.A1)(Econ, 3/13/10, p.34)
1951 Oct 25, Ransom Wilson,
flutist and conductor, was born in Tuscaloosa, Alabama.
1952 Aug 17, Kathryn C.
Thornton, PhD, astronaut, was born in Montgomery, Alabama.
1952 Dec 30, Tuskegee Institute
reported 1952 as the 1st yr in the last 71 with no US lynchings.
1953 Oct 8, Birmingham,
Alabama, barred Jackie Robinson's Negro-White All-Stars from playing
there. Robinson gave in and dropped white players from his group.
1954 Jun 18, Albert Patterson
was assassinated in Phenix, Ala. He had recently been elected as
attorney general on a platform to crack down on vice. His murder led
the governor to call in the National Guard to replace local law
enforcement and cleanup the vice. Patterson’s son John filled the
attorney general position and soon became the subject of the movie
“The Phenix City Story.” He was elected governor in 1958.
(USAT, 6/29/04, p.7A)
1954 Jul 4, WMSL (WYUR,
now WAFF) TV channel 48 in Huntsville, AL (ABC) began.
1954 Sep 1, Martin Luther King
Jr. (1929-1968) became pastor at the Dexter Avenue Baptist Church in
(SFEM, 2/2/97, p.8)(ON, 4/2011, p.2)
1954 Nov 30, A meteorite struck
Mrs. Elizabeth Hodges of Alabama as she was sleeping on a couch. The
space rock was a sulfide meteorite weighing 8.5 pounds and measuring
seven inches in length. Mrs. Hodges was not permanently injured but
suffered a nasty bruise along her hip and leg. This was the
1st modern report of a Meteorite striking a human.
1955 Mar 2, Claudette Colvin
refuses to give up her seat in Montgomery, Alabama, nine months
before Rosa Parks' famous arrest for the same offense.
1955 Nov 3, An Alabama woman
was bruised by a meteor.
1955 Dec 1, Rosa Parks (42), a
seamstress and secretary of the Montgomery NAACP, was arrested in
Montgomery, Alabama, as she sat in a section of a bus just behind
the area reserved for whites. She refused to move to the back the
bus, to accommodate a white male passenger, as ordered by driver
James F. Blake (d.2002 at 89) and defied the South’s segregationist
laws. This prompted the Dec. 5 bus boycott, a year-long boycott of
the buses by blacks, and launched the Civil Rights movement in the
United States. Virginia Durr (d.1999 at 95) helped a black civil
rights leader bail Parks out of jail. In 1985 Durr wrote her memoir:
"Outside the Magic Circle." In 1999 Pres. Clinton authorized a
Congressional Gold Medal for Rosa Parks.
(SFC, 5/12/96, p.A-6)(SFEC, 9/15/96, p.A2)(SFEM,
2/2/97, p.8)(AP, 12/1/97)(SFC, 3/10/99, p.A23)(SFC, 5/5/99,
p.A3)(SFC, 3/26/02, p.A24)
1955 Dec 5, The Montgomery,
Alabama, bus boycott began in an effort to overturn the city’s bus
segregation law. It was organized in part by Jo Ann Robinson
(1912-1992) following the Dec 1 arrest of Rosa Parks, who had
refused give up her seat to a white male passenger and move to the
(ON, 4/2011, p.2)
1956 Feb 3, Autherine Lucy
(b.1929) arrived at the Tuscaloosa branch of the Univ. of Alabama
and became the first black person to enroll there. She had been
accepted in 1952 and then was denied because of her race.
1956 Feb 6, The Univ. of
Alabama board of trustees voted to suspend Autherine Lucy, the 1st
black admitted to school, on the grounds that the campus was no
longer safe for her.
1956 Feb 21, A Grand Jury in
Montgomery, Ala., indicted 115 in a Negro bus boycott.
1956 Feb 22, The US Montgomery
Boycott sparked arrests that included Martin Luther King. He was
found guilty on March 22 and ordered to pay a $500 fine.
(HFA, ‘96, p.22)(SFEM, 1/19/97, BR p.1)(Sm, 3/06,
1956 Apr 11, Singer Nat Cole
was attacked on stage of Birmingham theater by whites.
1956 Nov 13, The U.S. Supreme
Court struck down the Alabama bus segregation law. The Supreme Court
struck down laws calling for racial segregation on public buses.
(AP, 11/13/97)(HN, 11/13/98)
1956 Dec 20, The Supreme Court
affirmed the Jun 5 decision against segregation on buses in
Montgomery, Alabama. Montgomery removed race-based seat assignments
on its buses.
(SFEM, 1/19/97, BR p.8)(SFEM, 2/2/97,
p.12,13)(ON, 4/2011, p.4)
1957 Jan 10, Rev. Martin Luther
King Jr. organized the Southern Christian Leadership Conference
(SCLC) to fight facial segregation by means of nonviolent protests.
In 1986 David J. Garrow authored “Bearing the Cross: Martin Luther
King Jr. and the Southern Christian Leadership Conference.”
(ON, 4/2011, p.4,5)
1957 Jun 17, The Tuskegee
boycott began as Blacks boycotted city stores.
1957 Jul 17, Lila Bliss found
her daughter, Juliette Hampton Morgan (b.1914), dead next to an
empty bottle of sleeping pills. In 1936 Juliette had signed a pledge
with other women in Montgomery, Alabama, to no longer remain silent
in the face of crime done in their name. In 2007 Mary Stanton
authored “Journey Toward Justice,” a biography of Juliette Hampton
(WSJ, 2/17/07, p.P13)
1958 Jun 29, A bomb exploded at
the Bethel Baptist Church in Birmingham, Ala.; there were no
1958 Sep 5, Martin Luther King
was arrested in an Alabama protest for loitering and fined $14 for
refusing to obey police.
1958 George Wallace ran for
governor of Alabama but was defeated by John Patterson, a rabid
racist with ties to the Klan. Patterson was the son of lawyer Albert
Patterson, assassinated in 1954.
(WSJ, 4/17/00, p.A30)(USAT, 6/29/04, p.7A)
1960 Feb 17, Martin Luther King
Jr. was arrested in the Alabama bus boycott.
1960 Mar 1, 1,000 Black
students prayed and sang the national anthem on the steps of the old
Confederate Capitol in Montgomery, Ala.
1960 Sep 8, NASA’s Marshall
Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Ala., was dedicated by President
Dwight D. Eisenhower. This followed the activation of the facility
in July of that year, when a key element of the U.S. Army’s
Ballistic Missile Agency was transferred from the Department of
Defense to NASA. The Marshall Center is named in honor of
General George C. Marshall, who was the Army Chief of Staff during
World War II, U.S. Secretary of State, and a Nobel Prize winner for
his post-World War II "Marshall Plan."
(NASA PR, 8/22/00)
1961 May 14, Bus with 1st group
of Freedom Riders was bombed and burned in Alabama.
1961 May 20, A white mob led by
Claude Henley attacked a busload of "Freedom Riders" in Montgomery,
Ala., prompting the federal government to send in U.S. marshals to
(AP, 5/20/97)(HN, 5/20/98)(SFEC, 9/19/99, p.A3)
1961 May 21, Governor Patterson
declared martial law in Montgomery, Alabama.
1961 Oct 31, A US Federal judge
ruled that Birmingham, Alabama, laws against integrated playing
fields were illegal.
1963 Jan 14, George C. Wallace
was sworn in as governor of Alabama with a pledge of "segregation
1963 Apr 12, Police used dogs
and cattle prods on peaceful civil rights demonstrators in
1963 May 3, In Birmingham,
Alabama, police Commissioner Bull Connor unleashed dogs and
high-powered fire hoses on boycott-bound school children.
(SFEC, 3/16/97, p.T5)(SFEC, 3/1/98, Z1 p.1)
1963 May 11, Racial bomb
attacks took place in Birmingham, Alabama.
1963 May 12, There was a race
riot in Birmingham, Alabama.
1963 Jun 11, Federal troops
were used to force Alabama Gov. George Wallace to accept black
students, Vivian Malone Jones and James Wood, at the Univ. of
Alabama. In 1996 George Wallace apologized in a formal ceremony.
Gen'l. Henry V. Graham (d.1999 at 82) of the National Guard escorted
Wallace from the doorway at Foster Auditorium.
(WSJ, 5/13/96, p.A-16)(SFC, 10/11/96, p.A3)
1963 Sep 2, Alabama Gov. George
C. Wallace prevented the integration of Tuskegee High School by
encircling the building with state troopers.
(AP, 9/2/97)(HN, 9/2/98)
1963 Sep 9, Alabama Gov George
Wallace served a federal injunction to stop orders of state police
to bar black students from enrolling in white schools.
1963 Sep 10, 20 black students
entered public schools in Birmingham, Tuskegee and Mobile, Ala.,
following a standoff between federal authorities and Gov. George C.
1963 Sep 15, The Ku Klux Klan
bombed the 16th St. Baptist Church in Birmingham, Alabama. Four
young black girls (Denise McNair, Carole Robertson, Addie Collins,
and Cynthia Wesley) were killed in the bombing as they prepared
their Sunday school lesson on "The love that forgives." Later on the
same day James Ware,16, and his brother Virgil, 14, were shot at
while bicycling home. Virgil was killed. Another James Ware went on
to become a US district judge and falsely used the James and Virgil
Ware story for self promotion. Judge Ware withdrew from a new
appointment to the SF 9th Circuit Court of Appeals in 1997 after he
admitted that he was not the same James Ware. In Birmingham,
Alabama, police dogs were set on peaceful, Black demonstrators. The
1997 film "Four Little Girls" by Spike Lee was a documentary of the
church burning in Alabama. In 1977 Robert Chambliss (d.1985) was
tried and convicted of murder. Suspect Herman Cash died in 1994. In
2000 Thomas E. Blanton Jr. and Bobby Frank Cherry (d.2004) turned
themselves in after they were indicted by a state grand jury. In
2001 Thomas Blanton was convicted of murder and sentenced to life in
prison. Cherry was convicted May 22, 2002, and sentenced to life in
(SFC, 4/14/96, p.Z1, p.1)(SFC, 8/16/96,
p.D11)(SFEC, 3/16/97, p.T5)(SFEC, 5/18/97, DB p.45)(SFC,11/6/97,
p.A9)(AP, 9/15/97)(SFC, 5/18/00, p.A1)(SFC, 5/2/01, p.A1)(SFC,
5/23/02, p.A1)(NW, 5/27/02, p.43)
1965 Jan 2, The New York Jets
signed University of Alabama quarterback Joe Namath for a reported
1965 Feb 1, In Selma, Alabama,
Reverend Martin Luther King Jr. and 770 of his followers were
arrested on their civil rights march. They protested against voter
discrimination in Alabama.
(SFEC, 3/16/97, p.T1)(HN, 2/1/99)
1965 Feb 18, Alabama police
were sent to Marion as some 500 people marched from a church toward
the city jail to protest the jailing of a civil rights worker.
Street lights went out and troopers began swinging clubs on the
marchers. Jimmie Lee Jackson (26) was shot while aiding his
grandfather (82) and mother. Jackson died 2 days later. In 2007
trooper James Bonard Fowler was indicted for the shooting death of
Jackson. In 2010 Fowler (77) pleaded guilty to 2nd degree
manslaughter and was sentenced to 6 months in jail.
(SFC, 5/10/07, p.A3)(SFC, 11/16/10, p.A17)
1965 Mar 7, A march by some 600
civil rights demonstrators was broken up in Selma, Ala., by state
troopers and posse under Sheriff Jim Clark (d.2007). The Black
community of Marion, Ala., marched to protest the earlier killing of
a demonstrator by a state trooper. John Lewis, later US
Representative, led the march and was hit in the head by a state
(AP, 3/7/98)(SFC, 3/8/99, p.A9)(SFC, 11/27/99,
p.C3)(Econ, 6/16/07, p.99)
1965 Mar 11, The Rev. James J.
Reeb (65), a white minister from Boston, died after whites beat him
during civil rights disturbances in Selma, Ala.
(AP, 3/11/98)(MC, 3/11/02)
1965 Mar 20, Lyndon B. Johnson
ordered 4,000 troops to protect the Selma-Montgomery civil rights
1965 Mar 25, Martin Luther King
Jr. led a group of 25,000 to the state capital in Montgomery Ala. to
protest the denial of voting rights to blacks. Civil Rights
pressures increased in the US and blacks and whites marched in Selma
(TMC, 1994, p.1965)(AP, 3/25/97)(HN, 3/24/98)
1965 Mar 25, Viola Liuzzo
(b.1925), a white civil rights worker from Detroit, was shot and
killed by the Ku Klux Klan on a road near Selma, Ala. The later
trial of Collie Leroy Jenkins, one of 3 men charged in the killing,
ended in a hung jury. Jenkins was also acquitted at a 2nd trial but
was later convicted along with Eugene Thomas of civil rights
violations in federal court and sentenced to 10 years in prison.
1956 Apr 10, In Alabama singer
Nat Cole was attacked on stage at the Birmingham Municipal
Auditorium by a small group of white supremacists. Six local men
were arrested for the attack.
1965 May 30, Vivian Malone
(later Vivian Malone Jones) became the first black graduate of the
University of Alabama with a degree in Business Management.
(NYT, 10/14/2005, p.C15)
1966 Jul 31, Alabamans burned
Beatle products due to John Lennon's remark that the Beatles are
more popular than Jesus.
1966 Lurleen Wallace, the wife
of George Wallace, was elected governor with 63% of the vote.
(WSJ, 4/17/00, p.A30)
1968 Feb 8, George Wallace, the
pro-segregation governor of Alabama, entered the US presidential
race. Wallace ran as a third-party candidate. He was mainly popular
in the deep south, but he was able to attract 14% of the popular
vote in the November election.
1968 Feb 16, America’s first
911 emergency telephone system was inaugurated in Haleyville, Ala.
1968 Oct 3, American
Independent Party presidential candidate George Wallace tapped
retired Air Force Gen. Curtis E. LeMay to be his running mate.
1970 Sep 12, The Univ. of
Alabama under coach Bear Bryant football team played against an
integrated opponent for the 1st time losing to the Univ. of Southern
(WSJ, 9/8/05, p.D10)
1971 Morris Dees founded the
Southern Poverty Law Center. It developed the legal strategy of
suing white supremacist groups for monetary damages on behalf of
victims of hate crimes.
(SFEC, 9/19/99, p.A3)
1972 May 15, Alabama’s Gov.
George Wallace was shot by Arthur Bremer while campaigning in
Laurel, Maryland, for the Democratic presidential primary. Wallace
was left paralyzed. In 2007 Bremer was released from jail after
serving 35 of his 53 year sentence.
(HFA, '96, p.30)(SFC, 8/16/96, p.D11)(AP,
1972 Jul 25, US health
officials conceded that blacks were used as guinea pigs in the 40
year Tuskegee Syphilis Study in Macon County, Ala. By this time 28
participants had died of syphilis, 100 were dead of related
complications, at least 40 wives had been infected and 19 children
had contracted the disease at birth [see 1932].
(SC, 7/25/02)(SSFC, 1/25/04, p.A27)
1972 Aug 4, Arthur Bremer
(b.1950) was sentenced to 63 years for shooting Alabama Gov.
Wallace and 3 bystanders on May 15, 1972, in Laurel, Maryland. An
appeal reduced the sentence to 53 years. After 35 years of
incarceration, Bremer was released from prison on parole on November
9, 2007. He remains on probation until 2025 and resides in a halfway
house in Cumberland, Maryland.
1972 Nov 10, Three black men
successfully hijacked a Southern Airways DC-9 after a stopover in
Birmingham, Ala., and flew to multiple locations in the United
States and one Canadian city and finally to Cuba with $2 million
(actual cash, Presidential "grant" totaled $10 million) and 10
parachutes. Co-pilot Halroyd was wounded; they threatened to crash
the plane into one of the Oak Ridge nuclear installations; at McCoy
Air Force Base, Orlando, the FBI shot out the tires; they forced
pilot William Haas to take off. The plane finally landed in Havana;
two were sentenced in Cuba to 20 years, one to 15 years. They
returned to Alabama in 1980 and received 20-25 year sentences.
1972 Monsanto ceased producing
PCBs in Anniston, Alabama. In 2001 Monsanto agreed to a $40 million
settlement for toxic pollution.
(SFC, 4/25/01, p.A5)
1974 Apr 3, A series of 148
deadly tornadoes struck wide parts of the South and Midwest before
jumping across the border into Canada; some 330 people were killed
in 13 states: Alabama, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky,
Michigan, Mississippi, North Carolina, Ohio, South Carolina,
Tennessee, Virginia, and West Virginia. Total property damage was
estimated at $600 million. In 2007 Mark Levine authored “F5:
Devastation, Survival, and the Most Violent Tornado Outbreak of the
(AP, 4/3/99)(WSJ, 9/13/01, p.B11)(SSFC, 9/4/05,
p.A7)(WSJ, 6/16/07, p.P10)
1974 The Bellefonte nuclear
power plant was begun by the TVA in Hollywood, Ala. Construction was
halted in 1988 amid soaring costs.
(WSJ, 7/18/01, p.B1)
1975 Mar 22, In Alabama a fire
at the Browns Ferry Unit 1 nuclear power plant caused $10 million in
damage and knocked the reactor out of service for over a year. A
worker checking for air leaks with a candle ignited insulation near
the control room. The reactor was mothballed in 1985. It was
scheduled to reopen in 2007 following a 5 year, $1.8 billion
(SFC, 5/5/07, p.A6)(http://tinyurl.com/33l4hc)
1976 Oct 16, In Alabama Sheryl
Lynn Payton (24) was abducted, raped and murdered. In 1977 Thomas
Whisenhant (29) was convicted after he confessed to her murder and
that of 2 other convenience store clerks. Whisenhant's original
conviction was overturned by the Alabama Court of Criminal Appeals.
He was convicted again at a retrial in 1981. On May 27, 2010,
Whisenhant was executed by lethal injection.
(http://tinyurl.com/39dbsea)(SFC, 5/28/10, p.A8)
1976 Oct 25, Gov. Wallace of
Alabama granted full pardon to Clarence Norris, the last known
survivor of 9 Scottsboro Boys who were convicted in a 1931 rape.
1979 In Brookwood Alabama, the
Blue Creek No.5 mine opened. The mine is the deepest in North
America at 2,140 feet below the surface.
(SFC, 9/25/01, p.A14)
1981 Mar 20, Michael Donald
(b.1962), a black teenager in Mobile, Alabama, was abducted,
tortured and killed in what prosecutors charged was a Ku Klux Klan
plot. Henry Hays (d.1997) murdered Michael Donald in a random
abduction. Donald was beaten, cut, strangled and his body was strung
up a tree. Hays was convicted and sentenced to death. He was
executed Jun 6, 1997. In 1987 A wrongful death suit filed by
Donald’s mother, Beulah Mae Donald, gave a $7 million verdict
against the United Klans of America, led by Robert Shelton (d.2003
1981 Nov 28, Bear Bryant of the
Univ. of Alabama won his 315th game to out distance Alonzo Stagg
& become college football's winningest coach.
1982 Dec 29, Coach Paul "Bear"
Bryant ended his career with Alabama. He logged 323 wins
(http://bryantmuseum.ua.edu/direction.cfm?dir=bio). In 1996 Keith
Dunnavant authored “COACH: The Life of Paul "Bear" Bryant.”
1982 George Wallace ran for
governor for a 5th time and was elected. During his term he elected
a record number of black Alabamans and depended on a coalition of
blacks and whites for legislative support.
(WSJ, 4/17/00, p.A30)
1982 Troy Wicker of Muscle
Shoals, Ala., was shot to death. Judy Wicker later testified
that she had had sex with Thomas Arthur and paid him $10,000
to kill her husband. Arthur was convicted and sentenced to death.
His execution, set for Dec 6, 2007, was delayed because of a pending
Supreme Court case involving lethal injections.
1983 Jan 17, Alabama Gov George
C. Wallace (1919-1998), became governor for a record 4th time.
1983 Jan 26, Paul Bryant (Bear
Bryant), former Univ. of Alabama football coach, died at age 69. In
1975 he authored his autobiography “Bear.”
1983 May, The mysterious Jack
Smith invited a number of Blacks and Whites to have supper together
at the Piccadilly Cafeteria. 35 people convened and the Friendly
Supper Club thus was born and continued to convene.
(WSJ, 12/17/98, p.A1,10)
1984 Richard Scrushy founded
HealthSouth. It went public in 1986.
(SFC, 6/29/05, p.C1)(WSJ, 6/29/05, p.A8)
1984 A rural store owner was
slain. Robert Lee Traver Jr., was convicted and sentenced to death.
(SFC, 2/5/00, p.A2)
1985 Jun 4, The Supreme Court
upheld a lower court ruling striking down an Alabama law providing
for a daily "moment of silence" in public schools.
1986 Apr 2, George Corley
Wallace (1919-1998), Governor of Alabama (Dem.), announced his
1986 Apr 13, Phillip Hallford
forced his daughter (15) to lure her boyfriend Eddie Shannon (16) to
an isolated area in Daly County, Alabama, where he shot and killed
the boy and threw his body off a bridge. Melinda Hallford was
pregnant at the time of the killing and had been sexually abused by
her father. In 2010 Hallford (63) was executed.
1987 May 10, President Reagan
visited Tuskegee University, one of the nation's oldest black
educational institutions, where he told graduating seniors his
administration "won't be satisfied until every American who wants a
job has a job and is earning a decent living."
1987 Nov 21, James E. Folsom
(79), former 2-term governor of Alabama (1947-1951 and 1955-59),
1988 Feb 8, Jimmy Lee Dill
fatally shot and killed Leon Shaw in Birmingham, Alabama, and robbed
him of cocaine and about $200. Dill (49) was executed in 2009.
1988 Mar 18, In Alabama
Elizabeth Dorleen Sennett (45), the wife of a preacher, died after
she was brutally beaten and stabbed in a contract killing. A week
after becoming a suspect in the case, the victim's husband, Charles
Sennett, shot and killed himself in his son's backyard. Sennett had
contracted Bill Gray Williams to kill his wife for $3,000. According
to court documents, Williams paid Kenneth Eugene Smith and John
Forrest Parker $1,000 each to commit the murder. Parker was
convicted in 1989 and executed for the murder in 2010.
(http://tinyurl.com/2696ump)(SFC, 6/11/10, p.A6)
1988 The first gathering of
Airstream enthusiasts was held in Huntsville, Ala., and attracted
2,741 trailers. The Airstream was born when Wally Byam
(d.1962) riveted shiny aluminum to a steel frame on wheels in
(SFEC, 6/29/97, p.A12)
1989 Dec 16, US Federal appeals
court judge Robert S. Vance was killed by a mail bomb at his Alabama
home. Walter Leroy Moody Junior was later sentenced to death for
killing Vance, and received seven life terms on federal charges in
that killing and the death of civil rights attorney Robert E.
1989 Bart Chamberlain
(1914-2007, Alabama oil man, fled to Switzerland following court
ordered penalties of $25 million for oil sales that circumvented
(WSJ, 6/2/07, p.A5)
1990 Jul 31, Shoal Creek, a
private club in Birmingham, Alabama, that drew criticism for being
all-white, announced it had accepted a black businessman as an
1992 Oct 9, In Alabama Jack
Trawick abducted and killed college student Stephanie Gach (21) in
Birmingham. Trawick (62), a serial murderer, was executed in 2009.
1992 The Birmingham Civil
Rights Institute was begun.
(SFEC, 3/1/98, Z1 p.4)
1992 Governor Guy Hunt was
indicted for looting his tax-exempt inaugural fund to pay off
(SFC, 6/12/97, p.A2)
1992 Autherine Lucy Foster
(b.1929), wife of Rev. Hugh Foster, finally got a degree from the
Univ. of Alabama, when she received a Master's in Education. She had
been suspended from the school in 1956 due to campus safety issues
relating to her race. Also in that graduating class was her daughter
Grazia, who received a Bachelor's Degree in Corporate Finance.
(NYT, 4/26/1992, p.43)
1993 Jul 13, Race car driver
Davey Allison died in Birmingham, Ala., of injuries suffered in a
1993 Sep 22, Forty-seven people
were killed when an Amtrak passenger train derailed and crashed into
Bayou Canot near Mobile, Ala.
1993 The $13 million Civil
Rights Institute opened in Birmingham. It was dedicated to research
on civil rights around the world with focus on the Deep South.
(SSFC, 5/12/02, p.C12)
1993 Mobile, Ala., became
sister cities with Havana, Cuba.
(Econ, 8/1/09, p.26)
1993 Governor Guy Hunt, halfway
through his 2nd term, was convicted and forced to resign. He was
sentenced to 5 years probation, 1,000 hours of community service,
and a $212,000 fine. In 1997 a parole board, partly appointed by
Hunt, voted to pardon him.
(SFC, 6/12/97, p.A2)
1993 Alabama Governor James E.
Folsom Jr. (b.1948) led an offer to Mercedes-Benz of $253 million in
incentives to build its 1st auto plant in Vance.
1993 Deborah Spivey Barton (39)
and her mother Eloise Powell Spivey (59) of Georgia were found
beaten to death in a camper at a campground in northern Alabama.
Mark O. Barton, Deborah's husband was a suspect, but never charged.
[see Georgia Jul 29, 1999]
(SFC, 7/30/99, p.A3)
1994 Mar 27, More than 40
people were killed as violent thunderstorms tore across the
Southeast. A church in Piedmont, Alabama, collapsed in a tornado and
19 were killed.
1994 Aug 6, In Wedowee, Ala.,
an apparent arson fire destroyed Randolph County High School. It had
been the focus of tensions over the principal's stand against
1994 Sep 17, Heather Whitestone
of Alabama was crowned "Miss America," the first deaf woman to win
1994 Apr, Jean-Damascene
Bizimana, Rwanda’s UN ambassador, blamed the killings in Rwanda
first on public anguish over the president's death, then on the
Tutsi-led RPF. He also called on the UN Security Council to persuade
the Tutsis to agree to a comprehensive cease-fire. Weeks later, he
wrote to the UN secretary general blaming the Tutsi "war machine"
for "large-scale massacres." At the end of the summer Bizimana ended
his tenure as ambassador and moved to Alabama. In 2010 Rwanda’s
government began an investigation of Bizimana (51) for possible
1995 Feb 16, Four people were
killed when tornadoes tore through rural north Alabama.
1995 Apr 17, An Air Force jet
exploded and crashed in a wooded area in eastern Alabama, killing
eight people, including an assistant Air Force secretary and a
1995 Sep 27-Oct 6, Hurricane
Opal caused at least 50 deaths in Guatemala and Mexico and 20 deaths
in the United States. The storm hit Central America before striking
Florida, Alabama, Georgia, and North Carolina.
1995 The Fort McClellan Army
base in Louisiana was closed.
(SFC, 9/15/02, p.A5)
1996 Jan 31, Felicia Scott (29)
shot and killed Carethia Curry (17), who was pregnant, then
performed a crude cesarean section to remove Curry’s baby for
herself. Scott was sentenced to life in prison in 1998.
(SFC, 12/15/98, p.A3)
1996 Jul 3, The Clinton
administration awarded a $1 mil grant to the Univ. of Alabama for an
experiment that would test for illicit drug use of everyone arrested
(SFC, 7/4/96, p.A3)
1997 Jul 5, An editorial stated
that Governor Fob James had declared Alabama to be a rights-free
zone. In a letter to a federal judge Gov. James stated that the
Constitution’s Bill of Rights does not apply to the states.
(SFC, 7/5/97, p.A16)
1997 Federal Judge Ira DeMent
ordered public schools in DeKalb County to stop evangelizing
students. Gov. Fob James vowed to resist the order. Negotiator
Charles Haynes was brought in and helped settle the dispute with a
program that taught about religions and their value systems with no
(WSJ, 3/23/98, p.A1)
1997 Community Newspaper
Holdings was formed in Birmingham, Alabama. By 2006 it published
papers in over 200 US communities.
(SFC, 10/28/06, p.C3)
1997 Mercedes-Benz began
producing SUVs in Vance.
(WSJ, 4/3/02, p.A1)
1997 Monsanto spun off its
chemical operations and created Solutia Inc. In 2002 an Alabama jury
found Monsanto and its corporate successors guilty of releasing tons
of PCBs in Anniston between 1935-1979.
(SFC, 2/23/02, p.A7)
1997 Randy McCullar was shot in
the back of the head by Timothy Richards, who did so at the urging
of his wife, Shonda Nicole Johnson, so she could be cleared of a
bigamy charge. In 1999 Johnson, later married to Bill McIntyre, was
convicted in the murder of McCullar.
(SFC, 10/23/99, p.A3)
1998 Jan 29, In Birmingham,
Ala., the New Woman, All Woman Health Care [abortion] Clinic was
bombed. Robert Sanderson (35), a moonlighting police officer, was
killed and Emily Lyons, a nurse, was critically injured. A note was
later received claiming the "Army of God" was responsible. Suspect
Eric Robert Rudolph (31) of North Carolina was arrested May 31,2003.
Rudolph was convicted and sentenced to life in prison in 2005.
(SFC, 1/30/98, p.A3)(SFC, 2/3/98, p.A2)(SSFC,
6/1/03, p.A1)(SFC, 7/19/05, p.A9)
1998 Feb 14, Authorities
officially declared Eric Rudolph a suspect in the bombing of a
Birmingham, Ala., abortion clinic and offered a $100,000 reward.
1998 Mar 9, A vast storm caused
deadly flooding in the South and heavy snows in the Midwest. In
Elba, Alabama, the Pea River broke its levee and put the town under
5 feet of water.
(SFC, 3/10/98, p.A3)
1998 Mar 10, A teenager killed
his parents with an ax and a sledgehammer. Jeffery Franklin (17)
also wounded 3 siblings and led police on a "wild car chase" before
(SFC, 3/11/98, p.A3)
1998 Apr 8, A line of storms
struck the southeast and killed at least 41 people. 32 were left
dead in Alabama, 8 in Georgia and 1 in Mississippi.
(SFC, 4/9/98, p.A3)(SFC, 4/10/98, p.A1)(WSJ,
1998 Jul 14, Flash floods hit
Tennessee and Alabama and 2 people were reported killed. Meanwhile
hot weather in Texas was responsible for some 23 deaths where
temperatures hit over 100 for the last 26 days.
(SFC, 7/15/98, p.A3)
1998 Jul 20, A report on
political trouble in Greene Ct. noted that the population was 80%
black, while over 90% of the land belonged to whites.
(WSJ, 7/20/98, p.A1)
1998 Sep 13, George Wallace
(79), former governor of Alabama, died in Montgomery. Dan Carter
authored Wallace’s biography: "The Politics of Rage."
(WSJ, 9/15/98, p.A1)(WSJ, 4/17/00, p.A30)
1998 Sep 15-Oct 1, Hurricane
Georges caused 602 deaths in the Caribbean and four in the United
States. The storm hit the Dominican Republic, Haiti, Cuba, Puerto
Rico, Antigua, Guadeloupe, St. Kitts and Nevis, Anguilla and British
and U.S. Virgin Islands before striking Alabama, Mississippi,
Louisiana, and Florida.
1998 Nov 18, At the Holyland
Commune in Emelle 4 preschoolers died after a fire started from an
upset electrical lamp.
(SFC, 11/19/98, p.A2)
1998 Nov, Gov. Fob James was
defeated. He had recently signed a law that prohibited nude dancing
in night clubs and banned the sale of sex toys including vibrators.
Women challenged the law in 1999.
(SFC, 2/18/99, p.A4)
1999 Jan, Most of the state's
public libraries acquired computers and internet access through the
Gates Learning Foundation. The foundation planned to cover all 50
(SFEC, 2/21/99, p.A1)
1999 Feb 19, In Sylacauga,
Alabama, Billy Jack Gaither (39), a textile warehouse worker, was
abducted, beaten to death with an ax handle and burned on a pyre of
tires due to a sexual advance. Steven Eric Mullins (25) and Charles
Monroe Butler Jr. (21) were later arrested and charged with murder.
Butler was convicted in 1999 and sentenced to life in prison without
(SFC, 3/5/99, p.A1)(SFC, 6/25/99, p.A3)(SFC,
1999 Mar 29, A federal judge
overturned Alabama's 1998 ban on sex toys.
(SFC, 3/30/99, p.A3)
1999 Apr 20, A Mobile jury
decided that waitress Tonda Dickerson (28) would have to share her
$10 million lottery jackpot with 4 co-workers due to a share-the
wealth agreement, which she denied.
(SFC, 4/21/99, p.A7)
1999 Aug 5, In Alabama Alan
Eugene Miller (34) killed 3 people at 2 firms in Pelham. Miller
pleaded not guilty by reason of diminished mental capacity. He was
convicted and sentenced to death. On July 31, 2000, he was assigned
to death row at Holman CF.
1999 Don Siegelman began
serving as governor of Alabama.
(SFC, 5/28/04, p.A3)
1999 Cecil Jackson founded the
Hank Williams Museum in Montgomery, Alabama. Country singer Hank
Williams (1923-1953) grew up in Montgomery and died enroute to a gig
(SFC, 10/26/06, p.E3)
2000 Feb 3, The US Supreme
Court granted a stay of execution for Robert Lee Traver Jr., who was
to be electrocuted in Alabama.
(SFC, 2/5/00, p.A2)
2000 May 17, Two former Ku Klux
Klansmen were arrested on murder charges in the 1963 church bombing
in Birmingham, Alabama, that killed four black girls. Thomas Blanton
Junior was convicted and sentenced to life in prison May 1, 2001.
Bobby Frank Cherry was indicted in 2000 and later convicted and
sentenced to life in prison.
(AP, 5/17/01)(AP, 5/17/05)
2000 Sep 12, Selma elected
James Perkins as its 1st black mayor. He defeated Joe Smitherman,
who was seeking his 10th straight term.
(SFC, 9/13/00, p.A10)
2000 Oct 2, James Perkins took
office as the mayor of Selma.
(SSFC, 1/21/01, p.D8)
2000 Oct 7, A statue to
Confederate Gen. Nathan Bedford Forrest was erected in Selma and
opposed by civil rights activists.
(SSFC, 1/21/01, p.D8)
2000 Dec 1, In Montgomery Rosa
Parks (87) attended the dedication of the Rosa Parks Museum and
(SSFC, 1/21/01, p.T14)
2000 Dec 16, Tornadoes hit the
state and 10 people were killed at a Tuscaloosa trailer park. 12
people were killed and 50 injured.
(SSFC, 12/17/00, p.A7)(WSJ, 12/18/00, p.A1)
2001 Sep 23, Four coal miners
were killed in an explosion at the Blue Creek Mine Number Five in
Brookwood, Ala. 9 miners who rushed to their aid also died. The mine
is the deepest in North America at 2,140 feet below the surface.
(SFC, 9/25/01, p.A14)(AP, 9/23/06)
2001 Alabama’s chief justice
Roy S. Moore placed a monument to the Ten Commandments in the
rotunda of the state Supreme Court building. A federal judge ruled
the monument unconstitutional in 2002.
(SFC, 11/19/02, p.A4)
2002 Jan 3, A judge in Alabama
ruled that former Ku Klux Klansman Bobby Frank Cherry was mentally
competent to stand trial on murder charges in the 1963 Birmingham
church bombing that killed four black girls. Cherry was later
convicted, and served a life sentence until his death in November
2002 Feb 1, The NCAA placed
Alabama on five years' probation, jolting the football program with
a two-year bowl ban and heavy scholarship reductions.
2002 Feb 22, An Alabama jury
found Monsanto and its corporate successors (Solutia Inc.) guilty of
releasing tons of PCBs in Anniston between 1935-1979. In 2004 some
18,447 plaintiffs were scheduled to an average of $7,725, while 27
lawyers were scheduled to receive over $4 million each.
(SFC, 2/23/02, p.A7)(SFC, 3/24/04, p.A5)
2002 Mar 25, The Bush
administration filed an agreement for an immediate study and
eventual clean-up of PCBs in Anniston.
(SSFC, 3/24/02, p.A12)
2002 Mar 28, It was reported
that the US government planned to distribute safety hoods and
training to some 35,000 state residents in an eastern county prior
to the incineration of nerve-gas weapons in the fall.
(WSJ, 3/28/02, p.A1)
2002 Apr 1, Hyundai Motor Co.
picked a site near Montgomery for its 1st US assembly plant.
(WSJ, 4/3/02, p.A1)
2002 May 10, In Alabama Linda
Lyon Block (54), a political extremist, was put to death in an
electric chair. She had been convicted of murdering a police officer
(SFC, 5/11/02, p.A6)
2002 May 22, Bobby Frank Cherry
(71), former Alabama Klansman, was convicted for the Sep 14, 1963,
murder of 4 Black girls at the 16th Street Baptist Church. The jury
sent him to prison for life.
(SFC, 5/23/02, p.A1)
2002 May 22, Robert Rhodes
(68), former Florida dog track security guard, was charged in
Alabama with cruelty to animals after the remains of some 3,000
greyhounds were found on his property.
(SFC, 5/23/02, p.A6)
2002 Nov 6, Alabama Gov. Don
Siegelman called for a state recount following his loss to GOP Rep.
Bob Riley by 3,195 votes. Siegelman conceded Nov 18.
(SFC, 11/9/02, p.A4)(WSJ, 11/19/02, p.A1)
2002 Nov 10, A series of
pulverizing storms barreled through more than a half-dozen US states
including Tennessee, Ohio, Alabama, Mississippi and Pennsylvania,
killing at least 36 people. More than 100 were injured.
(SFC, 11/12/02, p.A4)(AP, 11/10/07)
2002 Alabama’s William E.
Donaldson Correctional Facility began a meditation program. The
Vispassana program had been successfully used in India for decades,
but was soon shut down over concerns by Christians that it was some
sort of evangelical Buddhism. The program was re-instated in 2006
and by had 2007 led to 20% fewer disciplinary actions at the prison.
(SFC, 2/3/11, p.A12)
2003 Jan 1, A US Army
incineration at the Anniston Army Depot in Alabama, scheduled to
begin destroying stockpiled chemical weapons in Oct 2002, was
postponed to at least Jan 1, 2003. A global treaty called for
complete destruction by 2004.
(SFC, 9/15/02, p.A5)
2003 Jan, Susan Pace Hamill,
tax-law professor, launched an effort for state tax reform with her
paper: An Argument for Tax Reform Based on Judeo-Christian Ethics."
Alabama had the lowest income tax threshold at $4,600.
(WSJ, 2/12/03, p.A1)
2003 Feb 25, In Alabama
4 job seekers were killed at an employment agency following an
argument over a CD player.
(WSJ, 2/25/03, p.A1)
2003 Mar 19, The SEC filed a
civil suit claiming that HealthSouth Corp. and its chairman Richard
M. Scrushy had committed massive accounting fraud to overstate
earnings by some $1.4 billion since 1999. Weston Smith, the former
finance chief, later pleaded guilty to 4 charges. HealthSouth
fired Scrushy as chairman and CEO. He was indicted in November.
(WSJ, 5/20/03, p.A1)(WSJ, 1/2/04, p.R8)(WSJ,
2003 Aug 9, The US Army fired
up its first chemical weapons incinerator located near a residential
area, outside Anniston, Ala., to destroy two rockets loaded with
enough sarin nerve agent to wipe out a city.
(SSFC, 8/10/03, p.A4)(AP, 8/9/08)
2003 Aug 14, Roy Moore,
Alabama's chief justice, said that he would refuse to move a Ten
Commandments monument from the state judicial building in
(SFC, 8/15/03, p.A4)
2003 Aug 27, A moving crew
rolled a massive Ten Commandments monument out of the rotunda of the
Alabama Judicial Building to comply with a federal court order as
protesters knelt, prayed and chanted, "Put it back!"
2003 Sep 9, Alabama voters
rejected Amendment One by a margin of 2 to 1. The liberal tax
measure was endorsed by Gov. Bob Riley and based on Judeo-Christian
(SSFC, 12/12/04, p.A14)
2003 Oct 22, Christina Mae
Watson (26) died as she and her new husband dove off the tropical
coast of Queensland. In 2009 David Gabriel Watson, of Birmingham,
Alabama, pleaded guilty to manslaughter. He was expected to serve
just one year of the four-and-a-half-year sentence in the death of
his wife of 11 days. Watson served an 18-month sentence in Australia
and was deported to the US in 2010 where he faced 2 murder counts in
Alabama. On Feb 23, 2012, Watson was acquitted of murder charges
after a Birmingham judge ruled that prosecutors lacked sufficient
(AP, 6/5/09)(SFC, 11/26/10, p.A7)(SFC, 2/24/12,
2004 Jan 4, Jake Hess (b.1927),
Gospel music star, died at an Opelika, Alabama, hospital after
suffering a heart attack. With a career spanning six decades, Hess
came to national prominence as a member of the Statesmen Quartet and
founder of the Imperials. The four-time Grammy winner performed on
several of Elvis Presley albums and sang at Presley's funeral in
1977. Hess also sang at Hank Williams' funeral in 1953. He was
buried in Columbia, Georgia. Hess was born Sept 6, 1927, in
2004 May 17, The Alabama
Legislature approved a 26 cent increase for a pack of cigarettes.
This increased the tax from 16.5 cents to 42.5 cents.
(USAT, 5/18/04, p.17A)
2004 May 27, Former Alabama
Gov, Don Siegelman was indicted on bid-rigging charges.
(SFC, 5/28/04, p.A3)
2004 Aug 5, Alabama executed
James Hubbard (74) by lethal injection for the 1977 murder of
Lillian Montgomery (62). The 2-time killer was the oldest inmate
executed in the US since 1941, when James Stephens of Colorado was
executed at age 76. The oldest person executed in the 20th century
was 83-year-old Joe Lee of Virginia in 1916.
p.A1)(SFC, 8/6/04, p.A2)
2004 Sep 16, Hurricane Ivan
slammed ashore in Alabama with winds of 130 mph, packing deadly
tornadoes and a powerful punch of waves and rain that threatened to
swamp communities from Louisiana to the Florida Panhandle. At least
23 people were killed.
(AP, 9/16/04)(SFC, 9/17/04, p.A1)
2004 Sep 17, The violent
remains of Hurricane Ivan pounded a large swath of the eastern
United States, drenching an area from Georgia to Ohio. Ivan left 70
dead in the Caribbean and 40 dead in the US including 4 in Alabama,
16 in Florida, 4 in Georgia, 4 in Louisiana, 3 in Mississippi, and 8
in North Carolina.
(AP, 9/17/04)(SFC, 9/18/04, p.A16)
2004 Sep 18, Miss Alabama
Deidre Downs, an aspiring medical student, won the Miss America
2004 Nov 18, Former Ku Klux
Klansman Bobby Frank Cherry (74), who was convicted of killing four
black girls in a racially motivated bombing of a Birmingham, Ala.,
church in 1963, died in prison.
2005 Mar 29, Howell Heflin
(83), former Democrat senator from Alabama (1978-1996), died. "It
has been publicly stated by black leaders that I was the first
senator from my state who believed in and supported the civil rights
movement," Mr. Heflin said in his farewell speech. "I worked to
secure the extension of the Voting Rights Act; to appoint
African-Americans and women to the federal bench and other federal
offices; to support historically black colleges; to ensure passage
of the civil rights restoration bill; to help pass the fair housing
bill; and to establish a national holiday honoring the late Martin
Luther King Jr."
(WSJ, 3/30/05, p.A1)(NYT, 3/30.05)
2005 May 30, Natalee Holloway
disappeared on the last night of a trip to Aruba to celebrate her
graduation from Alabama high school. On Jan 12, 2012, an Alabama
judge declared Natalee dead.
(AP, 6/3/05)(SFC, 1/13/12, p.A4)
2005 Jun 28, In Alabama a jury
acquitted former CEO Richard Scrushy of federal corporate corruption
charges in a $2.7 billion accounting fraud at HealthSouth. The SEC
soon announced that it would press a civil fraud case seeking $800
million from Scrushy.
(SFC, 6/29/05, p.C1)(SFC, 7/6/05, p.C1)
2005 Jul 10, Hurricane Dennis
swamped homes, ripped off roofs and felled power lines and trees
when it hurtled into northwest Florida and Alabama with 120-mph
(190-kph) winds. The storm left at least 16 dead in Haiti. Dennis
killed at least 16 people in Cuba, damaged or destroyed 15,000 homes
and caused an estimated $1.4 billion in property damage.
(Reuters, 7/11/05)(WSJ, 7/11/05, p.A1)(AP,
2005 Jul 18, In Alabama Eric
Rudolph was sentenced to life in prison without parole for a 1998
abortion clinic bombing in Birmingham. On Aug 22 he was sentenced to
4 life terms for the 1996 Olympics bombing in Atlanta, and 1997
attacks on an abortion clinic and gay nightclub.
(SFC, 7/19/05, p.A3)(WSJ, 8/23/05, p.A1)
2005 Aug 19, An Alabama gas
station owner was run over and killed when he tried to stop a driver
from leaving without paying a $52 gas bill.
(SFC, 8/22/05, p.A3)
2005 Aug 29, An oil rig tore
free of its moorings as Hurricane Katrina lashed the Alabama coast,
before surging downriver and smashing into a suspension bridge. 92%
of crude and 83% of natural gas production were shut down, as Gulf
of Mexico rigs were evacuated.
2005 Aug 30, The death toll in
Mississippi from Hurricane Katrina passed 100. Flooding reached 11
feet in Mobile, Ala. Breaches in at least 2 levees from Lake
Pontchartrain put parts of New Orleans under 20 feet of water. Mayor
Ray Nagin estimated that 80% of New Orleans was flooded. Tourists
snapped pictures of looters in the French Quarter.
(AP, 8/30/05)(SFC, 8/31/05, p.A10)
2005 Sep 2, Pres. Bush made a
tour of damages from Hurricane Katrina in Alabama, Mississippi and
New Orleans. He acknowledged that current relief results were not
(SFC, 9/3/05, p.A1)
2005 Alabama Gov. Bob Riley
announced a $10 million pilot program called Alabama Connecting
Classrooms Educators and Students Statewide (Access). The idea was
use the Internet and videoconferencing to link students in one town
to teachers in another.
(Econ, 7/18/09, p.30)
2005 South Korea’s Hyundai
Motor Co. opened a site near Montgomery, Alabama, for its 1st US
(WSJ, 4/3/02, p.A1)(SFC, 3/14/06, p.D3)
2006 Feb 3, In Alabama 5 small
Baptist churches were found burned to the ground in Bibb County. 4
of the churches had white congregations, one was black. On Dec 20
three former college students, aged 19-20, pleaded guilty to burning
9 churches over 2 nights. In 2007 Benjamin N. Moseley and Matthew L.
Cloyd were sentenced to 8 years in prison. Russell L. DeBusk Jr.,
who only took part in the 1st burnings, was sentenced to 7 years
[see Feb 7].
(SFC, 2/4/06, p.A3)(SFC, 12/21/06, p.A3)(SFC,
2006 Feb 7, Alabama state
officials reported four more rural Baptist churches following rash
of suspected arsons that burned five others south of Birmingham last
week [see Feb 3].
2006 Feb 11, In northwest
Alabama an arson fire severely damaged the Beaverton Freewill
Baptist Church. This was the 10th in a recent string of blazes.
(SFC, 2/13/06, p.A3)
2006 Mar 8, US federal law
enforcement officials arrested 3 college students, Matthew Lee Cloyd
(20), Benjamin Nathan Moseley (19) and Russell Lee DeBusk Jr. (19),
for the string of church arsons that destroyed or damaged nine rural
churches in Alabama last month.
(AP, 3/8/06)(SFC, 3/9/06, p.A4)
2006 Mar 13, The US Agriculture
Dept. confirmed that a cow in Alabama had tested positive for mad
cow disease. The animal had not entered the food supply for people
of animals. This case of the disease, as well as one from Texas in
2005, was later reported as atypical.
(SFC, 3/14/06, p.A3)(SFC, 6/12/06, p.A6)
2006 May 24, In Alabama Regions
Financial Corp. and rival AmSouth Bancorp struck a $10 billion deal
(WSJ, 5/25/06, p.A1)
2006 Aug 25, The Alabama
Supreme Court ruled that Richard Scrushy, the fired CEO of
HealthSouth Corp., must repay $47.8 million in bonuses he received
during a massive financial fraud at the medical services chain.
(WSJ, 8/26/06, p.A9)
2006 Nov 20, A bus crash in
Huntsville, Alabama, killed 3 teenage girls and left at least 30
students injured. A 4th student died the next day.
(SFC, 11/21/06, p.A3)(SFC, 11/22/06, p.A3)
2006 Dec 5, In Alabama Geontae
Glass, a 5-year-old boy who was asleep in the back of a car when it
was stolen from a parking lot a day earlier, was found dead in a
2006 The US Navy planned to
launch 2 versions of its new Littoral Combat Ships (LCS), currently
under construction in Wisconsin and Alabama.
(SFC, 6/16/06, p.A24)
2007 Mar 1, A violent storm
system ripped apart an Alabama high school as students hunkered
inside and later tore through Georgia, hitting a hospital and
raising the death toll to at least 20 across the Midwest and
Southeast. Eight students died when a tornado struck Alabama’s
Enterprise High School.
2007 May 3, In Alabama Jamison
Stone (11) killed a wild pig weighing 1,051 pounds with a .50
caliber revolver. The pig measured 9 feet, 4 inches from snout to
tail. The animal's former owner later said the not-so-wild pig,
named Fred, had been raised on an Alabama farm and was sold to the
Lost Creek Plantation just four days before it was shot there in a
150-acre fenced area.
(SFC, 5/25/07, p.A3)(AP, 6/1/07)
2007 May 11, Germany’s
steelmaker ThyssenKrupp AG said it will build a new $4.19 billion
steel plant in Alabama. Deutsche Telekom employees began an
open-ended strike in protest at restructuring measures at Europe's
biggest telecoms operator.
(AP, 5/11/07)(AFP, 5/11/07)
2007 May 24, The Alabama
Legislature passed a resolution that expressed profound regret for
the state’s role in slavery. Gov Bob Riley was expected to sign it.
In recent months Maryland, North Carolina and Virginia made formal
(SFC, 5/26/07, p.A3)
2007 Jun 4, Jim Clark (84),
sheriff and segregationist from Alabama, died. He turned back the
march 7, 1965, civil rights march at the Edmund Pettus Bridge
leaving 57 people injured. National revulsion led to the Voting
Rights Act later that year.
(Econ, 6/16/07, p.99)
2007 Jun 28, In Alabama a
district judge ordered Richard M. Scrushy, former head of
HealthSouth to immediately begin serving an 82-month prison sentence
for bribery. Former Alabama Gov. Don Siegelman was sentenced to over
7 years in prison. In 2008 he was released on bond after serving 9
months in prison.
(WSJ, 6/28/07, p.A3)(WSJ, 3/28/08, p.A1)
2007 Sep 11, In northeast
Alabama a US Army helicopter on a training flight in foggy weather
struck a power line and crashed, killing all three soldiers on
2008 Jan 7, In Alabama Lam
Luong (37), a shrimp fisherman and drug addict, threw his 4 young
children into the Intracoastal Waterway from the Dauphin Island
bridge. He initially reported the children missing and then
confessed. On March 5, 2009, Luong pleaded guilty and asked to be
put to death. On April 30 he was sentenced to death. In 2013 an
appeals court ordered a new trial.
(SFC, 1/10/08, p.A3)(SFC, 3/6/09, p.A6)(SFC,
5/1/09, p.A8)(SSFC, 2/17/13, p.A12)
2008 Feb 5, Storms swept across
southeast US as Super Tuesday primaries were ending. At least 31
people were killed in Tennessee, 13 in Arkansas, 7 in Kentucky and
four in Alabama. It was one of the 15 worst tornado death tolls
since 1950, and the nation's deadliest barrage of tornadoes since 76
people were killed in Pennsylvania and Ohio on May 31, 1985. The
death toll rose to 59.
(AP, 2/6/08)(AP, 2/7/08)(WSJ, 2/8/08, p.A1)
2008 Jul 1, An Alabama jury
found Glaxo and Novartis guilty of drug-price fraud and ordered them
to pay $114 million.
(WSJ, 7/2/08, p.A1)
2008 Jul 28, Police in Alabama
arrested Anthony Hopkins (37), a part-time evangelist, after finding
a body in his home freezer. Police believed it was the body of his
wife, Arletha Hopkins, who had not been heard of for 3 years.
2008 Aug 20, In Alabama five
men were found killed, execution style in Shelby County. The
killings were soon identified as a retaliation hit over drug money
with ties to Mexico's notorious Gulf Cartel.
2008 Oct 3, In Alabama a
collision on a rural highway between an 18-wheeler and a state van
killed 6 applicants for prison jobs and their driver.
(SFC, 10/4/08, p.A3)
2008 Dec 1, In Alabama mayor
Larry Langford of Birmingham was arrested on charges of steering
millions of dollars of bond work to a friend in exchange for over
$230,000 in bribes. The 101-count indictment also charged Montgomery
banker Bill Blount and lobbyist Al LaPierre.
(SFC, 12/2/08, p.A2)
2008 Dec 22, In Tennessee a dam
broke at the Kingston Fossil Plant spilling some 5.4 million cubic
yards of toxic coal ash sludge near the Emory River. TVA officials
later said the spill does not threaten water in the Tennessee River,
which is fed in part by the Emory River. On Jan 2 federal data
showed arsenic levels over 100 times the acceptable amount in the
Emory River. In February the TVA estimated cleanup costs of up to
$825 million. In May the estimate for cleanup was raised to $975
million. In 2010 state regulators hit the TVA with penalties
totaling $11.5 million for the coal ash spill. The sludge was
shipped to a landfill outside Uniontown, Alabama.
(SFC, 12/25/08, p.A6)(WSJ, 12/26/08, p.A2)(SFC,
12/27/08, p.A2)(SFC, 1/3/09, p.A3)(WSJ, 2/13/09, p.A1)(SFC, 5/2/09,
p.A4)(SFC, 6/15/10, p.A4)(Econ, 12/4/10, p.44)
2009 Jan 11, Marcus Schrenker's
plane went down en route to Destin, Fla., from Anderson, Ind.
Schrenker (38), an Indiana investment manager, had reported that the
windshield imploded and that he was bleeding profusely. Federal
marshals believe he faked a distress call before parachuting from
his plane over Alabama and disappearing on a motorcycle he had
stashed in advance. US Marshals apprehended Schrenker on Jan 13 at a
northern Florida campground. Officers had to tend to Schrenker's
self-inflicted gash to the wrist before he was airlifted to
Tallahassee Memorial Hospital. In August Schrenker pleaded guilty
was sentenced in Florida to 4 years and 3 months in federal prison.
(AP, 1/13/09)(AP, 1/14/09)(SFC, 8/20/09, p.A4)
2009 Feb 14, In Alabama
suspicious fires destroyed 2 churches and damaged a third near the
(SFC, 2/18/09, p.A6)
2009 Mar 8,
Country singer Hank Lochlin (b.1918) died at his home in Brewston,
Alabama. His 70 charted singles included “Send Me the Pillow You
Dream On” (1949 & 1958) and “Please Help Me, I’m Falling”
(SFC, 3/12/09, p.B6)
2009 Mar 10, In Alabama Michael
McLendon (28) set off on a rampage of 10 slayings across two rural
counties and then killed himself.
(AP, 3/11/09)(SFC, 3/12/09, p.A6)
2009 Apr 7, In Alabama
authorities found the body of Kevin Lee Garner (45) near his burned
home in Priceville. The home had burned overnight. Garner's body was
found following a day of searching for him in several north Alabama
counties following the murders of four of his family members in the
Greenhill community of Lauderdale County.
2009 May 20, In Alabama 5
Birmingham police officers were fired for beating an unconscious
suspect ejected from a car after a chase. The attack was captured on
a patrol car videotape but didn't surface publicly for a year. The
video shows police pursuing Anthony Warren's van on Jan. 23, 2008.
One officer on foot was hurt when the van swerved through traffic.
It overturned on a ramp, ejecting Warren, who lay motionless as
officers ran toward him. The video shows them beating him with their
fists, feet and a billy club.
2009 May 25, In Alabama
prisoners Joshua Southwick (26) and Ashton Mink (22) were mistakenly
allowed outside a prison by a worker who thought they were kitchen
trusties. On June 6 they were arrested after a nearly 14-hour
standoff on a ranch in North Dakota. Also taken into custody were
two women who authorities said helped the men escape: Angela Diana
Mink (25) and Jacquelin Rae Kennamer Mink (25) Mink's sister and
2009 Jun 18, An Alabama state
judge ordered former HealthSouth CEO Richard Scrushy to pay nearly
$2.9 billion to shareholders who sued over a massive accounting
fraud that nearly sent the rehabilitation chain into bankruptcy.
2009 Jul 18, In southern
Tennessee 5 people were found dead in two neighboring rural homes
near Fayetteville, and a sixth body was discovered at a business
about 30 miles away in Huntsville, Ala. Jacob Shaffer (30) of
Fayetteville was charged later that day with homicide.
2009 Jul 30, Bill Leigon,
president of Hahn Family Wines in Soledad, Calif., said that visits
to the company's Web site have increased tenfold since news of an
Alabama ban on his Cycles Gladiator wine broke late last week.
Callers from across the country have been asking where they can buy
the wine. It was reported that the Alabama Alcoholic Beverage
Control Board had recently told stores and restaurants to quit
serving Cycles Gladiator wine because of a label that features a
nude nymph. The wine's label is copied from an 1895 French
advertising poster for Cycles Gladiator bicycles. It shows a side
view of a full-bodied nymph flying alongside a winged bicycle.
2009 Aug 14, Real estate lender
Colonial BancGroup Inc. was shut down by federal officials in the
biggest US bank failure this year. The FDIC, which was appointed
receiver of the Montgomery, Ala.-based Colonial and its about $25
billion in assets, said the failed bank's 346 branches in Alabama,
Florida, Georgia, Nevada and Texas will reopen at the normal times
starting on Aug 15 as offices of Winston-Salem, N.C.-based BB&T.
Regulators also closed four other banks: Community Bank of Arizona,
based in Phoenix; Union Bank, based in Gilbert, Ariz.; Community
Bank of Nevada, based in Las Vegas; and Dwelling House Savings and
Loan Association, located in Pittsburgh. The closures boosted to 77
the number of federally insured banks that have failed in 2009.
2009 Aug 21, Guaranty Bank
became the 2nd-largest US bank to fail this year after the Texas
lender was shut down by regulators and most of its operations sold
at a loss of billions of dollars for the US government to a major
Spanish bank. Guaranty's failure, along with those of three small
banks in Georgia and Alabama, brought to 81 the number of US bank
failures this year.
2009 Oct 28, In Alabama a
federal jury convicted Birmingham Mayor Larry Langford on charges of
accepting bribes in exchange for funnelling $7.1 million in bond
business to an investment banker.
(SFC, 10/29/09, p.A6)
2009 Dec 12, Alabama running
back Mark Ingram won this year’s Heisman trophy.
2009 Dec 22, Parker Griffith
(b.1942), a Democratic congressman from Alabama, announced that he
was switching parties to become a Republican.
2009 Silly Bandz, rubber band
bracelets of various shapes, became a fad among kids in Alabama and
then across the nation. Robert Croak of Ohio began manufacturing and
marketing the product after seeing a similar item from Japan in
2007. A pack of 24 was priced at around $5.
(SSFC, 7/11/10, Par
2010 Jan 17, In Hoover,
Alabama, a fire at a Days Inn motel killed 4 college students from
Mississippi Univ. for Women in Columbus, Miss.
(SFC, 1/18/10, p.A6)
2010 Feb 5, The US White House
increased its criticism of Republican Senators following reports
that Sen. Richard Shelby of Alabama had placed a blanket hold on
more than 70 administration nominees in order to secure funding for
home-state projects. On Feb 9 Shelby’s office said he will stop
blocking Senate confirmation of some 70 nominees.
(SFC, 2/6/10, p.A6)(AP, 2/9/10)
2010 Feb 5, In Alabama a boy
(14) was shot by another student inside a middle school in Madison.
The victim died at a hospital.
(SFC, 2/6/10, p.A6)
2010 Feb 12, In Alabama Amy
Bishop (42), a biology professor at the University of Alabama in
Huntsville, gunned down three of her colleagues during a faculty
meeting in an apparent tenure dispute. On Sep 11, 2012, Bishop
pleaded guilty to killing her colleagues. On Sep 24 she was
sentenced to life in prison.
(AP, 2/13/10)(SFC, 9/12/12, p.A8)(AP, 9/24/12)
2010 Mar 5, In Alabama Larry
Langford (63), the former mayor of Birmingham, was sentenced to 15
years in prison for taking $241,000 in bribes.
(SFC, 3/6/10, p.A5)
2010 Apr 24, In Mississippi a
devastating tornado sliced through the state killing 10 people
including 3 children. Tornadoes also were reported in Louisiana,
Arkansas and Alabama with 2 deaths in Alabama.
(AP, 4/25/10)(AP, 4/26/10)
2010 Apr 29, Alabama shrimpers
filed a class-action lawsuit against oil giant BP Plc and owners of
the drilling platform that exploded in the Gulf of Mexico, as claims
for economic losses anticipated from the disaster began to mount.
2010 May 8, BP’s first attempt
to divert a major crude spill was foiled and it could be at least a
day before another attempt at putting a lid on the well could be
made. Meanwhile, thick blobs of tar washed up on Alabama's white
sand beaches, yet another sign the spill was worsening.
2010 Jun 30, In Alabama a grand
jury indicted Joran van der Sloot on charges that he tried to extort
$250,000 from Beth Holloway, the mother of Natalee Holloway, a
teenager who disappeared during a 2005 trip to Aruba.
(SFC, 7/1/10, p.A4)
2010 Aug 5, US federal
indictments were unsealed in Alabama, California and Minnesota
charging 14 people with terrorism offenses for allegedly aiding the
radical Islamist al-Shaba organization in Somalia.
(SFC, 8/6/10, p.A8)
2010 Oct 4, US federal agents
spread out across Alabama to arrest 11 people on charges of
conspiracy, bribery and honest services fraud related to attempts to
legitimize bingo halls in 2009 and 2010.
(SFC, 10/5/10, p.A6)
2011 Jan 17, Alabama Gov.
Robert Bentley was inaugurated. After the official inaugural
ceremony he said "Anybody here today who has not accepted Jesus
Christ as their savior, I'm telling you, you're not my brother and
you're not my sister, and I want to be your brother."
2011 Apr 6, In Alabama a
parking lot shooting in Opelika left one woman dead. The estranged
wife of Thomas Franklin May (34) and another woman were wounded. It
was all related to a domestic problem and was preplanned. The next
day May was arrested after he walked up to journalists and said he
was the man authorities were after.
2011 Apr 16, Vicious storms and
howling winds smacked the deep South, killing at least 7 people in
Alabama including three family members whose homes were tossed into
nearby woods. Combined with earlier reported fatalities in Arkansas
and Oklahoma, the confirmed death toll over 3 days rose to 16.
2011 Apr 17, A furious storm
system that kicked up tornadoes, flash floods and hail as big as
softballs has left at least 45 people dead on a rampage that
stretched for days as it barreled from Oklahoma to North Carolina
and Virginia. 11 people were confirmed dead in Bertie County, NC,
bringing the state's death toll to at least 18 people. Authorities
have said 7 died in Arkansas; 7 in Alabama; 2 in Oklahoma; one in
Mississippi and at least 5 in Virginia.
(AP, 4/17/11)(AP, 4/18/11)
2011 Apr 19, A Virginia jury
convicted Lee Farkas (58), the majority owner of what had been one
of the nation's largest mortgage companies, on all 14 counts in a
$2.9 billion fraud trial. Prosecutors said Farkas led a fraud scheme
of staggering proportions for roughly eight years as chairman of
Florida-based Taylor Bean & Whitaker. The fraud not only caused
the company's 2009 collapse and put its 2,000 employees out of work,
but also contributed to the collapse of Alabama-based Colonial Bank,
the sixth-largest bank failure in US history.
2011 Apr 27, Dozens of
tornadoes spawned by a powerful storm system wiped out neighborhoods
across a wide swath of the South, killing at least 350 people in the
deadliest outbreak in nearly 40 years. Alabama had 254 deaths, 34 in
Mississippi, 34 in Tennessee, 15 in Georgia, 8 in Arkansas, 5 in
Virginia and one in Kentucky.
(AP, 4/28/11)(AP, 4/29/11)(AFP, 4/30/11)
2011 Apr 28, Pres. Obama
declared a major disaster in Alabama. Declarations for Mississippi
followed on Apr 29, Georgia on Apr 30, and soon followed for
Tennessee and Arkansas.
(Econ, 5/7/11, p.28)
2011 Jun 9, Robert Bentley, the
Republican governor of Alabama, signed a harsh new anti-immigration
law. Among the provisions in the legislation, schools will be
required to check the immigration status of their students, and
landlords will be expected to do the same when renting an apartment;
it will be a crime to knowingly give a ride to a person who illegal,
and when police conduct a traffic stop, they can arrest
any person suspected of being in the country illegally.
2011 Aug 1, The Obama
administration sued to block enforcement of Alabama's new
immigration law, widely considered to be the toughest measure in the
United States to try to crack down on illegal immigrants.
2011 Aug 29, A US federal judge
blocked enforcement of Alabama’s new law cracking down on illegal
(SFC, 8/30/11, p.A6)
2011 Oct 5, Rev. Fred
Shuttlesworth (89), a dynamic leader of the civil rights movement,
died in Birmingham, Alabama.
(SFC, 10/6/11, p.A7)(Econ, 10/15/11, p.100)
2011 Oct 20, Alabama executed
Christopher Johnson (38) by lethal injection for the 2005 murder of
his infant son.
(SFC, 10/21/11, p.A7)
2011 Nov 9, Alabama's Jefferson
County, with debts of $4.2 billion, filed for bankruptcy court
protection in the biggest municipal bankruptcy in US history.
(Reuters, 11/10/11)(Econ, 12/3/11, p.89)
2011 Nov 16, At least six
people were killed and dozens more injured as a storm system that
spawned several possible tornadoes moved across the Southeast.
Suspected tornadoes were reported in Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama
and South Carolina.
2011 Dec, In Alabama a district
judge struck down a section of the state anti-immigration law
forbidding illegal immigrants from doing business with the state.
Other provisions were blocked in September and October.
(Econ, 1/28/12, p.30)
2012 Jan 23, Severe storms and
possible tornadoes pounded the South, injuring more than 100 people
and killing at least two in Alabama, including a man who lived in an
area devastated by a deadly twister outbreak in the spring.
2012 Jan 29, In Alabama police
investigating a possible robbery at a Birmingham home instead found
five people dead inside. 3 suspects were arrested the next day.
(AP, 1/29/12)(SFC, 1/31/12, p.A6)
2012 Feb 1, A Univ. of Alabama
study said the state’s crackdown on illegal immigrants, widely seen
as the toughest in the United States, has cost the state's economy
up to $10.8 billion.
2012 Feb 10, In Alabama
Uzbekistan-born Ulugbek Kodirov (22) pleaded guilty to plotting to
kill Pres. Obama with a rifle. He claimed to be acting on behalf of
a terror group in his home country.
(SFC, 2/11/12, p.A5)
2012 Feb 15, Alabama state
officials said they will shut down most of the state’s mental health
hospitals by the spring of 2013 in an effort to cut costs and change
(SFC, 2/17/12, p.A5)
2012 Feb 20, In Alabama
Savannah Hardin (9) died at Children's Hospital in Birmingham from
dehydration and low sodium. On Feb 22 her stepmother and
grandmother, Joyce Hardin Garrard, were accused of murder for
allegedly killing the young girl by forcing her to run for three
hours without stopping as punishment for lying about eating candy
(Reuters, 2/23/12)(SFC, 3/2/12, p.A8)
2012 Mar 1, A US Coast Guard
helicopter crashed in Mobile Bay near Point Clear, Alabama. 4 crew
members were killed and one remained missing.
(SFC, 3/3/12, p.A5)
2012 Mar 2, A string of violent
storms scratched away small towns in the South and Midwest as an
early season tornado outbreak left 39 people in 5 states, including
14 in Indiana, 19 in Kentucky, 3 in Ohio and one each in Alabama and
2012 Mar 13, Republican
presidential primaries were held in Alabama and Mississippi. Rick
Santorum won both state. Newt Gingrich placed second in both
contests with narrow leads over Mitt Romney.
(SFC, 3/14/12, p.A6)
2012 May 10, In Alabama
Katelynn Arnold (9) was found hanged to death. The next day a boy
(14) was charged with her murder.
(SFC, 5/12/12, p.A5)
2012 Jun 9, In Alabama several
people were shot at an apartment complex near Auburn Univ. when a
fight broke out during a pool party. 2 former Auburn football
players were among 3 people killed. Suspect Desmonte Leonard (22)
turned himself over to police on June 12.
(AFP, 6/11/12)(SFC, 6/12/12, p.A6)(SFC, 6/13/12,
2012 Jun 24, At least one
person was killed by a tornado spun off by Tropical Storm Debby as
it approached Florida and Alabama.
(SFC, 6/26/12, p.A5)
2012 Jul 2, Europe’s Airbus
said it would open its first jet assembly line in America in Mobile,
(Econ, 7/7/12, p.63)
2012 Jul 13, A federal judge in
Birmingham, Alabama, sentenced Ulugbek Kodirov (22) of Uzbekistan to
15 years in prison for plotting to kill Pres. Obama.
(SFC, 7/14/12, p.A4)
2012 Aug 3, Ex-Alabama Gov. Don
Siegelman (66), convicted in 2006, was sentenced to 6½ years in
prison for bribery and other convictions.
(SFC, 8/4/12, p.A5)
2012 Sep 24, A federal appeals
court reversed itself ruling that the US Army Corps of Engineers is
not liable for devastation caused in Hurricane Katrina from a
government-built navigation canal. The same court had ruled in march
that the government was liable for some of the flooding, affirming a
(SFC, 9/26/12, p.A5)
2012 Oct 11, In Alabama River
Falls Mayor Mary Ella Hixon (91) pleaded guilty to transferring
$201,610 of town money to other people in the past three years. She
was sentenced to 5 years in prison, which was suspended because of
her age, and ordered to repay the money.
(SFC, 10/12/12, p.A4)
2012 Nov 16, The US National
Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration issued a "heads up" directive
putting officials on alert for an increase in human interaction with
dolphins in the waters across Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama.
Authorities were investigating several attacks on dolphins in the
northern Gulf of Mexico after some were found with gunshot wounds,
cuts and missing jaws.
2012 Nov 23, In Alabama Michael
Jansen shot and killed a sheriff's deputy and critically wounded
another when they went to his home near Fairhope on a report that he
was acting aggressively toward family members. Jansen was also
killed in the exchange of gunfire.
2012 Dec 11, In Georgia
Mohammad Abdul Rahman Abukhdair (28) and Randy Lamar Wilson (25)
were charged with conspiring to kill persons or damage property
outside the US. FBI agents arrested Wilson at the Atlanta airport as
he boarded a flight to Mauritania. Abukhdair was arrested at a bus
station in Augusta. On April 19 Wilson pleaded guilty in Mobile,
Ala., to one charge of conspiracy to provide material support to
terrorists. On Dec 20, 2013, both men were sentenced to 15 years in
(SFC, 12/12/12, p.A5)(SFC, 4/19/13, p.A4)(SFC,
2012 Dec 15, Alabama police
shot and killed an assailant armed with an AK-47 assault rifle
following a pursuit after 3 people were killed at a trailer home in
(SSFC, 12/16/12, p.A12)
2013 Jan 30, In Alabama Jimmy
Lee Dykes (65) holed up in a bunker with a 5-year-old hostage kept
law officers at bay in an all-night, all-day standoff that began
when he killed a school bus driver and dragged the boy away. Bus
driver Charles Albert Poland Jr. (66) was hailed by locals as a hero
who gave his life to protect 21 students.
(AP, 1/30/13)(AP, 2/1/13)
2013 Feb 4, In Alabama police
officers stormed the underground bunker where Jimmy Lee Dykes held a
5-year-old boy hostage. The boy, taken hostage on Jan 30, was
rescued and Dykes was left dead.
(SFC, 2/5/13, p.A5)
2013 Mar 22, In Alabama Luke
Bresette (10) was killed at the Birmingham-Shuttlesworth Int’l.
Airport when a flight information panel fell on a family from
(SSFC, 3/24/13, p.A8)
2013 Apr 4, Alabama lawmakers
voted to allow posthumous pardons to the Scottsboro Boys, 9 black
teens who were wrongly convicted of raping two white women over 80
(SFC, 4/5/13, p.A5)
2013 May 24, Pres. Obama signed
legislation awarding the Congressional Medal fo Honor posthumously
to the 4 girls killed in the Sep 15, 1963, Alabama church bombing.
(SFC, 5/25/13, p.A6)
2013 May, Alabama lifted the
threat of prosecution for making beer at home. Home brewing remained
illegal in the state’s dry counties.
(Econ, 7/20/13, p.29)
2013 Jun 10, BP PLC said the
Coast Guard has concluded cleanup operations in Mississippi, Alabama
and Florida from the April 2010 oil well blowout. Work
continued along 84 miles of Louisiana’s shoreline.
(SFC, 6/11/13, p.A4)
2013 Aug 14, In Alabama a UPS
plane crashed near the Birmingham airport killing two pilots and
scaterring wreckage over a rural area. Reliance on computer
automation appeared to contribute to the crash.
(SFC, 8/15/13, p.A6)(SFC, 2/21/14, p.A8)
2013 Nov 15, In Alabama the
Southern Museum of Flight opened in Birmingham. It featured prints
of artworks that were only displayed at CIA headquarters in McLean,
(SFC, 11/29/13, p.A15)
2013 Dec 28, In Alabama
Kimberle Johnson (21) and Glenn Thomas (22) died in an early morning
shooting in Montgomery. Six others were wounded. Thomas was an
up-and-coming rapper known as Doe B. Jason Quan Williams (25) was
arrested after turning himself in to police.
(SSFC, 12/29/13, p.A14)(SFC, 12/31/13, p.A5)
2014 Jan 29, A rare winter
storm gripped the US South, killing five people in Alabama,
stranding children overnight at their schools, gnarling traffic
across many states and canceling flights at the world's busiest
Subject = Alabama