- January 2: The Alabama Legislature authorized a Geological Survey of Alabama with Michael Tuomey as State Geologist.
- The town of Montevallo was incorporated.
- Frank O'Brien immigrated to the United States with his parents.
- Mitchell Porter graduated from East Tennessee University in Knoxville.
- October 17: Truman Aldrich, Birmingham postmaster and U.S. Representative
- October 20: John Boddie, real estate investor
- October 29: A. O. Lane, Mayor of Birmingham
- November 7: B. B. Comer, Governor of Alabama
- Horace Salter, first Postmaster of Elyton
- John Camp from the University of Tennessee.
In 1848, the California Gold Rush began and the Irish Potato Famine continued. Construction of the Washington Monument began. The Mexican–American War formally ended. Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels published The Communist Manifesto. Wisconsin was admitted as a state. The Second Republic of France was established. Zachary Taylor was elected president.
Notable births in 1848 included composer Henri Duparc, novelist Octave Mirbeau, lawman Wyatt Earp, engineer Otto Lilienthal, artist Paul Gauguin, and optician Henry Lomb. Notable deaths included former president John Quincy Adams, businessman John Jacob Astor, writer François-René de Chateaubriand, locomotive pioneer George Stephenson, horologist Simon Willard, and author Emily Brontë.
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