1853 was 18 years before the founding of the City of Birmingham and the 34th year of Alabama statehood.
- July 4: The Alabama locomotive chugged into Shelby County.
- December 20: John A. Winston became Governor of Alabama.
- December 12: The North-East and South-West Rail Road Company was chartered.
- The Tennessee and Alabama River Railroad extended to Montevallo.
- August 17: Richard Hudson became Jefferson County Sheriff.
- James Powell ran successfully for the Alabama Senate.
- Henry Talbird became president of Howard College in Marion.
- March 19: Samuel Greene, Circuit Court judge
- March 31: George Raps, saloon keeper
- September 12: Robert Jemison Sr utility executive and developer
- September 23: Emmet O'Neal, 36th Governor of Alabama
- November 15: Thomas Molton, real estate executive and developer
- December 12: John Phillips, school superintendent
- W. T. Bibb, Baptist minister
- Paul Gilardoni, chef and restaurateur
- James Moore, educator and hardware dealer
- John Sutcliffe, architect
- March 9: Attorney Mitchell Porter to J. Catherine Martin
- Architect Charles Wheelock to Eliza Manchester
- Francis Nabers, pioneer farmer
In 1853, the Taiping Rebellion continued. Franklin Pierce succeeded Millard Fillmore as the 14th President. Legend has it potato chips were first prepared. The Crimean War began. Piano manufacturer Steinway & Sons and clothing company Levi Strauss & Co. were founded.
Notable births in 1853 included astronomer John Martin Schaeberle, painter Vincent van Gogh, Egyptologist Flinders Petrie, chemist Ernst Otto Beckmann, businessman Cecil Rhodes, actor William Gillette, physicist Heike Kamerlingh Onnes, and architect Stanford White. Notable deaths included mathematician Christian Doppler, scientist and politician François Arago, and Queen Maria II of Portugal.
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