1897 was the 26th year after the founding of the City of Birmingham.
- February 16: The town of Vincent in Shelby County was incorporated.
- September 20: Five people died in a fire at the Belle Ellen Mine.
- December 23: Tom Ashford, serving on the Board of Aldermen, shot traveling salesman Felix Brown in downtown Birmingham.
- Hillman Hospital was rechartered by the state.
- The towns of Horse Creek in Walker County and Wilsonville in Shelby County were incorporated.
- The Lakeview Theatre hosted the Albert Taylor Company and a demonstration of Thomas Edison's Vitascope.
- Birmingham's third Mardi Gras celebration was held.
- Rosedale was incorporated. (The incorporation was revoked in 1899.)
- January: Rosenberger's Birmingham Trunk Factory was founded.
- July 23: The City Paper Company was founded.
- The Alabama Brewing Company was established and took over the idled brewery of the defunct Birmingham Brewing Company.
- The Avondale Mills began operation.
- The Birmingham Railway and Electric Company converted the Ensley route to electric cars.
- John Rountree sold his interest in the Age-Herald Publishing Company.
- The Seaboard Saloon opened for business.
- Benjamin Windham joined his brother and company founder, Thomas C. Windham, at Windham Construction.
- Edwin Adams founded E. C. Adams & Co wholesale produce distributors.
- February 3: A committee from the Methodist North Alabama College decided to establish its new North Alabama Conference College in Birmingham.
- Bessemer City Schools were established.
- Frank M. Roof succeeded A.D. Smith as president of Howard College.
- James Powers succeeded Richard Jones as president of the University of Alabama.
- December: J. D. Ellis succeeded H. C. Howard as pastor of Avondale United Methodist Church.
- M. Grosberg became rabbi of the Knesseth Israel Congregation.
- Eugene Hawkins succeeded J. D. Ellis as pastor of East Lake United Methodist Church.
- Joseph Zoettl took his monastic vows.
- The Alabama Crimson Tide football team only played a single game due to a ban on student athletes traveling.
- November 23: Andrew Beard was awarded a patent for "car-coupling".
- Edward Barrett moved to Birmingham.
- Louis Clark was promoted to Brigadier General by Governor Joseph Johnston.
- Culpepper Exum and Frank Burbridge relocated to Birmingham.
- Hilary Herbert retired.
- Jere King was admitted to the Alabama State Bar.
- A. H. Parker quit teaching for two years to join the Internal Revenue Service.
- D. F. Sugg moved to Ensley and helped to build the Southern Steel Company plant there as a general construction foreman.
- January 27: Carol Hayes, educator
- April 1: Lucille Bogan, blues singer
- May 19: Douglas Arant, attorney
- May 30: Sidney Smyer, president of Birmingham Realty Company
- July 11: Bull Connor, Birmingham Commissioner of Public Safety and segregationist
- July 17: Ed Sherling, baseball player
- August 10: Frank Welch, baseball player
- Rucker Agee, investment banker and map collector
- Ottokar Cadek, musician
- Lily May Caldwell, newspaper editor
- Lottice Howell, singer and actress
- Roy Kracke, college dean
- Newman Waters, Sr, theater executive and real estate developer
- June 9: Attorney Hugh Morrow to the former Margaret Smith.
- June 24: State legislator and District Court Judge Oscar Hundley to the former Bossie O'Brien.
- November 2: Crawford Johnson to the former Caroline Acree.
- Newspaperman Victor Hanson to the former Weenona White.
- Dennis Echols to the future Mary Echols.
- March 5: Bolling Hall, state legislator and Elyton Land Company shareholder
- June: Sylvester Steele, merchant
- July: Mildred Clark, wife of Louis Clark
- August 5: Ellis Phelan, attorney and judge
- August 10: James A. Webb, a railroad car painter, was found in a pit of boiling water at Sloss Furnaces.
- Margaret Rowan
In 1897, William McKinley succeeded Grover Cleveland as President. Grant's Tomb was dedicated. Teatro Massimo opened in Palermo, Italy. Oscar Wilde was released from prison. The United Mine Workers Union was established. Mark Twain, responding to rumors that he was dead, was quoted by the New York Journal as saying, "The report of my death was an exaggeration." Queen Victoria celebrated her Diamond Jubilee. The Klondike Gold Rush began. Ransom E. Olds founded Oldsmobile. The Boston subway, the first underground metro in North America, opened. Spain granted Puerto Rico autonomy. The play Cyrano de Bergerac premiered in Paris.
Notable books published in 1897 included The Spoils of Poynton and What Maisie Knew by Henry James, Captains Courageous by Rudyard Kipling, Dracula by Bram Stoker, and The Invisible Man by H. G. Wells. Notable music released included "On The Banks Of The Wabash Far Away" by Paul Dresser, The Sorcerer's Apprentice by Paul Dukas, and Hymnus amoris by Carl Nielsen.
Notable births in 1897 included actress Marion Davies, composer Quincy Porter, singer Marian Anderson, baseball player Lefty O'Doul, psychiatrist Wilhelm Reich, film director Frank Capra, stooge Moe Howard, aviator Amelia Earhart, actor Charles Boyer, country singer Jimmie Rodgers, actor Walter Pidgeon, writer William Faulkner, Pope Paul VI, religious leader Elijah Muhammad, Nazi propagandist Joseph Goebbels, and mobster Lucky Luciano. Notable deaths included mathematician Karl Weierstrass, aboriginal insurrectionist Jandamarra, composer Johannes Brahms, saint Thérèse of Lisieux, and economist Henry George.
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