1882 was the 11th year after the founding of the City of Birmingham.
- May 8: Birmingham's first telephone exchange was established on the 2nd floor of Terry Building with 39 subscribers.
- The Alabama Insane Hospital finally abandoned altogether the use of shackles, straitjackets and other restraints on patients.
- John Lonnergan purchased the John Looney house.
- The town of Readmon was founded in St Clair County.
- Joseph Riley Smith began developing Smithfield.
- The first systematic weather observations for Birmingham were initiated on behalf of the Signal Service.
- April 12: Sloss Furnaces was blown in.
- April 18: Sloss Furnaces began pouring iron.
- November 14: The O'Brien Opera House opened with a production of Charles Barras' The Black Crook.
- Frank Evans and W. C Garrett reorganized The Daily Age and the Birmingham Iron Age under the Iron Age Publishing Company with Evans as president.
- Moore & Handley Hardware Company was founded by James and Benjamin Moore and W. A. Handley.
- The Southern States Coal, Iron and Land Company was purchased by the Tennessee Coal, Iron and Railroad Company.
- Memphis industrialist Enoch Ensley acquired the Pratt Coal and Coke Company, Alice Furnace and Linn Iron Works, which he combined into the Pratt Coal and Iron Company with an eye toward developing a huge industrial complex in what would become the city of Ensley.
- Birmingham issued its first municipal bonds, for construction of the first Birmingham City Hall.
- W. P. Brewer became Chief of the Birmingham Fire Department.
- Ellis Phelan was elected as Alabama's Secretary of State.
- December 1: Edward A. O'Neal succeeded Rufus Cobb as Governor of Alabama.
- December 3: A. O. Lane won a four-way race to succeed Thomas Jeffers as Mayor of Birmingham.
- June 28: Temple Emanu-El was founded. Joseph Stolz served as the first rabbi.
- Thomas Beard became rector of Cathedral Church of the Advent.
- First Congregational Christian Church was founded.
- Samuel H. Henderson succeeded Benjamin F. Hendon as pastor of Ruhama Baptist Church.
- Rock Springs Baptist Church was organized in Moody.
- Thomas Walker succeeded Silas Jones as pastor of Second Colored Baptist Church.
- November: Attorney James Weatherly moved to Birmingham.
- Henry F. DeBardeleben returned from a brief relocation to Mexico.
- George Raps moved to Birmingham.
- Edmund Rucker moved to Birmingham.
- Architect Charles Wheelock moved to Birmingham.
- J. Q. A. Wilhite was named president of the Foreign Missions Board for the National Baptist Convention.
- January 20: Gus Jebeles, shopkeeper
- February 9: Herbert Tutwiler, industrialist and executive
- August 1: Robert Meyer, hotelier
- October 27: Robert I. Ingalls, businessman
- Irene Hawes, murder victim
- W. W. Rose from Ogdensburg Academy.
- July 23: Reverend James Hall married Emma Gardner in Montevallo.
- October 1: Nimrod Scott married the former Estelle Samples of Bayview.
- December 6: Banker T. L. Hudgins married the former Lucy Pope, his second wife.
- December 7: Businessman Belton Gilreath married the former Julia Margaret Burbage.
- December 13: James Weatherly married the former Florence Milner in Birmingham.
- Lawyer Rufus Rhodes married the former Margaret Smith.
- Alabama Secretary of State Ellis Phelan married his second wife, the former Mary A. Frisbie.
- March 14: Frank Pfaffenschlaeger, Civil War veteran and musician
- August 7: Charles Linn, sailor, merchant, banker and industrialist
In 1882, polygamy was made a felony by the Edmunds Act as passed by the U.S. Congress. The Knights of Columbus were established. Old West outlaw Jesse James was shot and killed by Robert Ford. Thomas Edison flipped the switch to the first commercial electrical power plant in history, lighting one square mile of lower Manhattan. Great Comet of 1882 appeared suddenly on a September morning.
Notable books published in 1882 included The Fixed Period by Anthony Trollope and The Prince and the Pauper by Mark Twain. Notable music composed in 1882 included "The Skaters' Waltz" by Emile Waldteufel, comic opera Iolanthe by Gilbert and Sullivan, Voices of Spring by Johann Strauss, and opera Parsifal by Richard Wagner.
Notable births in 1882 included actor Noah Beery, author A. A. Milne, writer Virginia Woolf, President Franklin D. Roosevelt, author James Joyce, actor John Barrymore, composer Igor Stravinsky, painter Edward Hopper, blues singer Ma Rainey, rocket scientist Robert Goddard, and actor Bela Lugosi. Notable deaths included author Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, outlaw Jesse James, sanitary engineer George Jennings, naturalist Charles Darwin, assassin Charles Guiteau (executed), gunfighter Billy Claiborne, and First Lady Mary Todd Lincoln.
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