1917 was the 46th year after the founding of the city of Birmingham.
- The Civitan Club was founded in Birmingham by Courtney Shropshire.
- Glenn Messer joined the U. S. Army Signal Corps, Aviation section.
- The unfinished Roden Hotel was dismantled and sold for scrap.
- Nathaniel A. Barrett was elected mayor with an anti-immigration platform.
- The Kiwanis Club of Birmingham was founded.
- The 1917 Presbyterian General Assembly was held in Birmingham.
- The Tennessee Coal, Iron and Railroad Company hired Lloyd Noland to head its health department.
- Ottokar Cadek founded the Cadek String Quartet.
- Edna Gockel Gussen won a statewide competition sponsored by the Alabama Federation of Music Clubs to set Julia Tutwiler's poem "Alabama" to music.
- Emma Gelders Sterne founded a school for delinquent children.
- The Birmingham Railway, Light & Power Company purchased the Birmingham Tidewater Railway out of receivership.
- Books-A-Million founded as a newsstand in Florence.
- Raymond Rochell began bottling Grapico soda in Birmingham.
- Sloss-Sheffield Steel & Iron Company acquired furnaces in Gadsden.
- The Alabama Brewing Company's ice manufacturing business closed.
- June 30: The Tennessee Coal, Iron and Railroad Company purchased the North Branch of the Birmingham Mineral Railroad from the Louisville & Nashville Railroad.
- Woodward Iron Company sunk the Redding Shaft to access the workings of the Songo No. 1 Mine.
- The Eureka Coal Company opened Eureka No. 4 Mine in Helena.
- The University of Alabama football team went 5-2-1 in Thomas Kelley's last year as coach.
- The 1917 Birmingham Barons finished 3rd in the Southern Association with a record of 87-66.
- William Bankhead began serving in the U. S. House of Representatives
- January 12: Jessie Hale Downs, co-founder of the Jimmie Hale Mission in Moundville
- January 24: Jazz pianist Avery Parrish in Birmingham
- February 3: Newspaper publisher and entrepreneur Pat Courington, Sr in Saragossa
- February 14: Hardware salesman Robert Tyler in Bluff Park
- April 7: Actor R. G. Armstrong in Pleasant Grove
- April 26: Pitcher Virgil Trucks in Birmingham
- July 1: Psychiatric researcher Humphry Osmond in Surrey, England
- July 3: Baseball player and manager Piper Davis in Piper
- July 29: Pediatrician Leo M. Bashinsky in Troy, Pike County
- August 7: Journalist and historian Marguerite Johnston Barnes in Birmingham
- October 2: Educator Ernest Palmore in Richland, Georgia
- October 30: Baseball player Bobby Bragan in Birmingham
- November 24: Builder Houston Brice, Jr in Birmingham
- Interior designer Ruby Ansley
- Bus company owner Worcy Crawford in Hurtsburo
- Auburn University dean of students James Foy
- Socialite Marie Ingalls
- Heart surgeon John W. Kirklin
- Advertising executive Robert Luckie, Jr in Clanton
- Tuskegee airman and Tuskegee University professor Herbert Carter in Opelika
- October 16: Kelly Ingram, the first US enlisted serviceman killed in WWI.
1917 was the year that the United States declared war on Germany, entering "The Great War" (World War I). "Our Lady of Fatima" was sighted by three children in Portugal. 300 acres of the city of Atlanta burned in that city's "Great Fire" on May 21. The first Pulitzer Prizes were awarded. Scott Joplin, Edgar Degas, and Auguste Rodin all died in 1917.
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