1972 was the 101st year after the founding of the City of Birmingham.
- Mary Kay Beard made the FBI's Ten Most Wanted list.
- St Elias Maronite Church hosted the 1972 National Apostolate of Maronites convention.
- James C. Parsons was named Birmingham Police Chief.
- Joe Shannon retired from the U.S. Air Force.
- Ralph M. Tanner was succeeded Charles D. Hounshell as President of Birmingham-Southern College.
- Gage Bush Englund donated her collection of dolls to the Birmingham Public Library.
- The Tuscaloosa Sailing Club was founded.
- Frank Barker and Bill Hay founded the Birmingham Theological Seminary at Edgewood Presbyterian Church.
- The Grand Bijou Theatre revival cinema opened in the former Lyric Theatre.
- Bert Bank was appointed to oversee the implementation of court-ordered patient care improvements at Bryce Hospital and Partlow Hospital.
- January: The first Birmingham Boat Show was held in the newly-opened BJCC North Exhibit Hall.
- April 1: The original Tutwiler Hotel closed its doors.
- May 18: The Birmingham Festival Theatre debuted with a performance of "The Threepenny Opera" at East Lake Library.
- June 30: The Highland Racquet Club (former Birmingham Country Club building) was destroyed by fire.
- July 15: The Buzzard Roost Bridge was destroyed by fire.
- Fall: The Red Mountain School opened.
- October 5–14: 1972 Alabama State Fair.
- November 10: Southern Airways Flight 49 from Birmingham was hijacked and flown to Havana, Cuba.
- December 12: Deep Purple and Fleetwood Mac played at Municipal Auditorium.
- First National Bank was renamed AmSouth Bancorporation.
- April: The Forty Thieves Restaurant and Lounge opened in Lakeview
- April: Seafood & Chicken Box opened.
- Ken Forbes, Jr opened the Angry Revolt head shop in Homewood.
- BE&K was founded.
- Chuck Binninger founded the Electronic Repair Company in East Lake.
- The Food World chain was launched by Bruno's.
- Carl Miller purchased office furniture dealer Bodine, Bryson and Rolling.
- The Owen-Richards Company became Motion Industries.
- The Salt and Pepper chain of fast food restaurants debuted with eight locations in Birmingham.
- The Thomas Jefferson Hotel was renamed the "Cabana Hotel".
- Trilogy Leather was founded.
- WBRC-FM and WBRC-AM were acquired by Mooney Broadcasting.
- WJLD-AM moved from downtown to Spaulding Ishkooda Road in Mason City.
- Alabama Brick Deliver was founded by C. J. South.
- George N. and Kostas Sarris opened Sarris Steak and Seafood in Homewood.
- George Wallace was shot on the campaign trail. Jere Beasley served as acting governor.
- Bull Connor was defeated in re-election bid for the Alabama Public Service Commission.
- William Noble was elected to the first of six terms as Mayor of Gardendale.
- 1972 primary elections were held.
- The 1972 general election was held.
- October 2: John Scates was sworn in as Mayor of Vestavia Hills.
- October: Alabama A&M beat Alabama State 8-7 in the Magic City Classic.
- December 2: Auburn defeated Alabama with two blocked punts in the 1972 Iron Bowl.
- Jimmy Means joined the Alabama Gang.
- Richard Gilliam was hired as Montevallo High School basketball coach.
- Eli Gold debuted as a sports announcer for the Mutual Broadcasting System.
- Mel Allen was inducted into the Sportswriters and Broadcasters Hall of Fame.
- Arthur Elementary School
- Barber's Dairy dairy plant
- Birmingham International Airport Terminal Building
- Carson Filter Plant
- Daniel Payne College, Sayreton Road campus
- East Town Shopping Center
- First National-Southern Natural Building (now Regions Center)
- Homewood High School
- Mercy Hospital (now Cooper Green Mercy Hospital)
- Sheraton Inn at I-65 and 3rd Avenue North
- Ski Lodge Apartments I
- Tannehill Valley Estates bridge
- Garywood Assembly of God, new 450-seat sanctuary
- Expansion of Children's Hospital
- Completion of the Monte D'Oro subdivision
- Renovations to the YWCA Building
- Interior renovations at St Paul's Cathedral
- May: The Arnold Palmer Putting Course opened at Cascade Plunge.
- July 22: Sloss Blast Furnace Site: 1st Avenue North was added to the National Register of Historic Places
- Stay Hungry by Charles Gaines
- Reprint edition of Ethel Armes' 1910 The Story of Coal and Iron in Alabama by Book Keeper's Press
Films and TV
- Fair Play, starring Phillip Alford
- The Erotic Adventures of Zorro and The Adult Version of Jeckyll & Hide, produced by David F. Friedman
- Kate Jackson appeared in "The Rookies"
- "Papa Was a Rollin' Stone", The Temptations, featuring Dennis Edwards
- "Black Tattler" / "Stop the Merry-Go-Round" & "Black Haze Express", Sam Dees
- ""I've Been Lonely for So Long." Frederick Knight, recorded by Neal Hemphill
- Elmer Moree left Woodlawn High School to become the first headmaster of Franklin Academy.
- Camille Desmarais was named rector of St John's Episcopal Church for the Deaf.
- Jim Parsons succeeded Jamie Moore as Chief of the Birmingham Police Department.
- Kool Korner Sandwiches owner Ildefonso Ramirez defected to the United States from Cuba.
- USMC Chief Warrant Officer and Medal of Honor recipient Harold Wilson retired from his military service.
- January 8: Alann Johnson, minister
- January 30: Jennifer Hale, actress and voice-over artist
- March 1: Jerome Murkerson, U. S. Marine gunnery sergeant killed in Iraq
- March 17: Marc Gunn, musician and podcaster
- April 6: Jason Hervey, actor and former HealthSouth executive
- June 15: Carlos Subero, 2008 Birmingham Barons manager
- June 19: James-Paul Dice, meteorologist
- June 19: Antonio Spurling, attorney and real estate developer
- June 21: April Odom, director of communications for the City of Birmingham
- July 20: Jay Barker, football player and radio personality
- October 18: A male zebra was born at the Birmingham Zoo.
- December 27: Walter Maddox, Mayor of Tuscaloosa
- Frank Adams, Jr, health care consultant, president of A. G. Gaston Boys and Girls Clubs
- Jay Brandrup, founder and principal of Kinetic Communications
- Jeffrey Cain, guitarist and record producer
- Trey Devey, former executive director of the Alabama Symphony Orchestra
- Dearniki Echols, community activist
- Sandi Gregory, attorney
- Chiquita Holloway, education specialist
- Sean Meyer, sommelier
- Chris Newsome, chef
- Conlin Payne, Lipscomb Police chief
- Amy Pleasant, artist
- Shannon Riley, president of One Stop Environmental
- Kamau Afrika graduated from Parker High School.
- Dale Benos earned a bachelor's in biology at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, Ohio.
- David Cromwell Johnson earned his juris doctorate from the Birmingham School of Law.
- David Cutcliffe graduated from Banks High School.
- Larry DeLucas earned a degree in chemistry from UAB.
- Owen Drake earned his associate's degree from Jefferson State Community College
- Rob Henrikson earned his juris doctorate at the Emory University School of Law.
- Larry Langford earned a degree in social and behavioral sciences from UAB.
- Branko Medenica earned a bachelor's degree in business at Birmingham-Southern College.
- Kim Price graduated from Benjamin Russell High School.
- Gary Weinberger completed a bachelors in American studies at the University of Alabama.
- Charles Webster graduated from Hewitt-Trussville High School.
- Tobias Wolff earned a degree in English from Hertford College, Oxford.
- May 4: Reverend Arthur W. Dycer
- June 26: Don Buel Schuyler, architect
- September 2: Marti Turnipseed Moore, Civil Rights activist
- September 10: Ann Hodges, struck by a meteorite in 1954
- October 10: Tom Stewart, U. S. Senator (Tennessee)
- October 12: Walter Roland, blues pianist
- Bill Battle Jr, Birmingham-Southern athletic director
- Clifford Stiles, owner of the Redmont Hotel from 1946.
- See also List of Birmingham homicides in 1972
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