1979 was the 108th year after the founding of the city of Birmingham.
- January 15: Howell Heflin was sworn in as a U. S. Senator.
- May: Birmingham city workers went on strike to protest a change in their insurance carrier.
- May 2: A letter bomb at Bessemer City Hall killed Bessemer Police Lieutenant Clifford Hill.
- August 18: Legion Field hosted the Drum Corps International World Championships.
- Festival of Arts Salute to Canada
- Richard Arrington, Jr took office as the first African-American Mayor of Birmingham.
- Lonnie Holley began carving sculptures in foundry stone cast-offs.
- WBRC 6 launched its new "Chopper 6" helicopter.
- The Birmingham Sunlights were founded.
- The first Do Dah Day parade was held on Highland Avenue.
- Bobby T debuted his pioneering music video show.
- Fob James was sworn in as Governor of Alabama.
- Cleveland Eaton joined the Count Basie Orchestra.
- The Alabama Theatre began its annual showing of The Phantom of the Opera at Halloween.
- The Birmingham Symphony Orchestra became the Alabama Symphony Orchestra.
- A committee was formed to pursue development of the Birmingham Civil Rights Institute.
- Richard Shelby was elected to represent the 7th Congressional District of Alabama.
- The Vestavia Belles debuted as part of the Vestavia Hills Dogwood Festival.
- The Auburn University School of Nursing began operating.
- Tadpole joined fellow hippopotamus Mama Petite at the Birmingham Zoo.
- Ellsberry Park was dedicated in honor of Pearl Harbor casualty Julius Ellsberry.
- Patti and the Doc debuted on WZZK-FM.
- See also 1979 Birmingham municipal election.
- BE&K purchased the F. N. Thompson Company.
- William A. Powell became president of AmSouth Bank.
- The O. Jay Fence Company was founded by Jay Owens.
- Lee's Buildings and Sheet Metal was founded by Joe Lee.
- The Legal Environmental Assistance Foundation was founded.
- Bates Brothers Recording Studio was founded in Hueytown.
- The Buck Creek Cinema at Buck Creek Mill closed down.
- Baby Doe's Matchless Mine restaurant opened on Red Mountain.
- Grundy's Music Room was founded by Jerry Grundhoefer.
- Tony Ruffino began booking acts for the BJCC with Gary Weinberger.
- Mark Whitson founded Mark's Outdoor Sports.
- Millie Ray began baking orange rolls for her Homewood garden club.
- Houston Blount became CEO of Vulcan Materials.
- The Alabama Crimson Tide were the 1979 college football champions
- The Alabama Vulcans played their sole season, finishing 13-6 and losing in the 1st round of the AFA playoffs.
- The Birmingham Bulls played their last season as part of the Central Hockey League at the BJCC Coliseum.
- The BJCC hosted the SEC basketball tournament.
- Missouri defeated South Carolina 24-14 in the Hall of Fame Classic at Legion Field.
- Buddy Aydelette was voted All-SEC during his senior season with the Alabama Crimson Tide.
- The Southern League of Professional Baseball opened a new headquarters in Trussville.
- Football player Tony Nathan was drafted by the Miami Dolphins.
- Watson Brown became the head football coach at Austin Peay State.
- Donnie Allison and Cale Yarborough are involved in a crash and fight in the final lap of the Daytona 500.
- Kenny Stabler played his last season for the Oakland Raiders.
- Aubie made his debut at Auburn's home opener against Kansas State.
- Catcher Mike O'Berry made his Major League debut with the Boston Red Sox.
- The Nibblers, feature film produced by David F. Friedman
- -- and, as I was saying..., record album by Ezra Sims
- ""Get Off"/"I'm Lonely Tonight", jazz single by Cleveland Eaton
- Dracula, feature film directed by John Badham
- The Lasko Tangent, novel by Richard North Patterson
- On Knowing Reality: The Tattvartha Chapter of Asanga's Bodhisattvabhumi, by Jan Willis
- Intelligence Agents by Timothy Leary
- Expansion of the east wing of the Birmingham Museum of Art
- Newton DeBardeleben Operations Center (AmSouth Bank)
- Sidewalks and landscaping at the Anna Dupuy Elementary School
- New building for the Lynnwood Church of God
- Center Point Fire Station No. 4 in Clay
- The Molton Hotel and adjacent Retail Block was demolished.
- The Powderly Library was constructed in Wiggins Park.
- February 11: John Loper became pastor of Garywood Assembly of God.
- Don Siegelman took office as Secretary of State for Alabama.
- Kate Jackson left the hit show Charlie's Angels to start a film career.
- Richard N. Murray became director of the Birmingham Museum of Art.
- Howell Raines became bureau chief for the New York Times Atlanta bureau.
- Marvin L. Warner completed his term as Ambassador to Switzerland.
- James Pfaffman served as president of AIA Birmingham.
- Ron Casey was promoted to the editorial board of The Birmingham News.
- Wayne Rogers starred in Trapper John M.D..
- John Horgan became priest of the Holy Infant of Prague Catholic Church.
- Colonel Stone Johnson retired from the Louisville & Nashville Railroad.
- Robert F. Gibbons retired from the University of New Orleans.
- January 12: Mauricio Papapietro, restaurateur
- February 5: Johnathan Austin, Birmingham City Councilor
- February 8: Tara Gray, television reporter
- March 24: Seth Bobbitt, baseball player
- April 15: Victor Mercedes, baseball player
- July 30: Graeme McDowell, golfer
- October 1: Rudi Johnson, football player
- October 25: Jeremy Brown, baseball player
- December 22: Babec, Western Lowland gorilla
- Yaniv Attar, Alabama Symphony Orchestra assistant conductor
- Nelsan Ellis, actor
- John Joseph, entrepreneur
- Tori LaConsay, artist and designer
- Gina Locklear, sock manufacturer
- Marquelon Sigler, Realtor
- Michael Williams, singer
- Mr Blonde Wonder, Birmingham Stallions mascot (as "Field General")
- Alabama Jazz Hall of Fame: Avery Parrish and Cleveland Eaton
- Mike Davis was Alabama's "Mr Basketball" and an All-American.
- Emory Anthony passed the Alabama State Bar.
- Ben McKinnon was named Broadcaster of the Year by the Alabama Broadcasting Association
- Larry DeLucas earned his second bachelor's degree from UAB.
- Mark Gaines earned his bachelor's degree from Auburn University.
- Buddy Gray graduated from Samford University.
- Alan Hunter earned his bachelor's degree from Millsaps College.
- Carl Lewis graduated high school.
- Mike Graffeo graduated from the University of Alabama School of Law.
- Samantha Shaw earned her bachelor's degree from Auburn University.
- Luther Strange earned his juris doctorate at the Tulane School of Law.
- Mark Wilson graduated from East Mecklenburg High School in Charlotte, North Carolina.
- May 2: Clifford Hill, Bessemer Police Lieutenant
- June 7: Asa Carter, segregationist speechwriter and novelist
- June 22: Bonita Carter
- August 13: Ben Gross, radio critic
- See also: List of Birmingham homicides in 1979
In 1979 the United States was experiencing an energy crisis. The US established diplomatic relations with China. The Khmer Rouge was overthrown in Cambodia. Ayatollah Khomeini took over Iran after the Shah fled the country. Isreal and Egypt signed a peace treaty. The nuclear plant at Three Mile Island leaked radiation. Malta won its freedom. Margaret Thatcher became prime minister of the United Kingdom. A jetliner crash at O'Hare airport kills 273 people. The Susan B. Anthony dollar was introduced. ESPN debuted. Hurricane Frederic hit Mobile. The USSR invaded Afghanistan. Notable 1979 births include singer Norah Jones, actresses Claire Danes, Rosario Dawson and Kate Hudson, and football players LaDainian Tomlinson, Carson Palmer and Jamal Lewis. Deaths in 1979 included Charles Mingus, Nelson Rockefeller, Sid Vicious, Mr Ed, Mary Pickford, Vivian Vance, Mamie Eisenhower, Peggy Guggenheim and Zeppo Marx. Mother Teresa won the Nobel Peace Prize. Top grossing films were Kramer vs Kramer, Rocky II, Alien, Star Trek: The Motion Picture, and The Muppet Movie.
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