1985 was the 114th year after the founding of the City of Birmingham.
- The Redmont Hotel celebrated its grand re-opening after extensive renovations,
- The Birmingham Museum of Art opened its first crowd-drawing exhibit, Armand Hammer Collection
- The Magic City Art Connection's festival jurors were Harvey K. Littleton and Elaine Horwitch.
- The first Function in the Junction was held in Ensley.
- Hugo Black Park was dedicated.
- The annual Southside reunion began.
- The Linn-Henley Research Library opened.
- The Mark and Brian radio show debuted on I-95 (WAPI-FM)
- January 21: Birmingham's record low temperature of -6°F was set.
- May: Birmingham AIDS Outreach was founded.
- June 6: President Ronald Reagan appeared at the BJCC for a fundraising luncheon for Senator Jeremiah Denton.
- August 11: The Heaviest Corner on Earth was added to the National Register of Historic Places.
- Jesús Morales won the commission for Granite Garden at the Birmingham Botanical Gardens.
- The Ether Dogs split up.
- Birmingham and its sister city of Hitachi, Japan exchanged a bronze replica of Vulcan and a large stone lantern.
- The City of Birmingham purchased two 120-acre parcels from the Jim Walter Company for expansion of the Ruffner Mountain Nature Preserve.
- Jim 'N Nick's Bar-B-Q was founded by Jim Pihakas and his son Nick.
- First Commercial Bank was founded by Birmingham businessmen Richard E. Anthony and John T. Oliver, Jr.
- Frank Carnaggio sold Carnaggio's to a woman from Cullman.
- Pinson Coin Laundromat opened in Pinson.
- Southern Progress Corporation was purchased by Time, Inc. for $498 million.
- The Comedy Club moved to Green Springs Highway.
- May: The original banks that made up First Alabama Bank formally merged. They had been under the same holding company as separate banks since 1971.
- Rocky Rawlins and Tom Egan launched the America On-Line bulletin board system.
- Balch, Bingham, Baker, Hawthorne, Williams & Ward became Balch & Bingham.
- Babe's Hot Dogs opened on 1st Avenue North
- Larry Snell purchased Empire Refractory Specialists of Fort Wayne, Indiana.
- Bo Jackson won the Hiesman trophy for the Auburn Tigers.
- The final Hall of Fame Classic college football bowl game was played at Legion Field; Georgia Tech defeated Michigan State 17-14, finishing at #19 in the AP Poll.
- The Birmingham Stallions played their final season at Legion Field.
- The Birmingham Barons changed affiliations to the Chicago White Sox.
- April 18: UAB's Young Memorial Field was dedicated in honor of Jerry Young.
- July: Davey Allison started his first NASCAR Cup race.
- Hubert Green won the PGA Championship at Cherry Hills Country Club in Cherry Hills Village, Colorado.
- September 28: Sherri Martel made her American Wrestling Association debut in Chicago.
- Long-time City Councilor Nina Miglionico retired from electoral politics.
- Robert F. Bumpus replaced Michael Gross as Homewood Schools Superintendent. Gross became the principal at Vestavia Hills High School.
- Abdurrahim El-Keib joined the faculty of the University of Alabama as an assistant professor of electrical engineering.
- Mary Smith joined the Birmingham Police Department.
- Paul Bailey, Academic Dean of Birmingham-Southern College, retired.
- Bert Bank retired from the Alabama Football Network, which he founded in 1953.
- William Spencer III retired from Motion Industries
- Arthur Winograd retired from the Hartford (Connecticut) Symphony Orchestra.
- Ray Melick began covering the Alabama Crimson Tide for the Birmingham Post-Herald.
- Irvin Penfield was named dean and vice president for academic affairs at Birmingham-Southern College.
- Bill Elder became pastor of Pulaski Heights Baptist Church in Little Rock, Arkansas.
- Dale Benos joined the faculty of UAB.
- Robert Kaufmann was hired as a librarian at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, New York.
- February 11: Emeel Salem, baseball outfielder
- April 9: David Robertson, baseball pitcher
- May 8: Jamie, Birmingham Zoo gorilla
- August 23: Two-Boys Gumede, UAB Blazers soccer player
- September 12: Bobby Smith, songwriter and worship leader
- September 19: Gio Gonzalez, Birmingham Barons pitcher
- October 17: John Parker Wilson, Alabama Crimson Tide football player
- October 22: Deontay Wilder, boxer
- Dan Puckett, bodybuilder
- Jessica Tinney, 2006 Miss Alabama USA
- Vector, Birmingham Police Mounted Patrol horse
- Morefu, Birmingham Zoo giraffe
- Kamau Afrika, Birmingham-Southern College
- Eli Capilouto (current UAB Provost), Masters in Public Health from Harvard University
- Murry Bartow, UAB
- Chris Dupont, Birmingham-Southern College
- John Hallum, Auburn University
- Steven Hoyt, Miles College
- Richard Shahan, master's degree in childhood education at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary
- Al Sutton, bachelor's from Bishop College in Dallas, Texas
- Robert R. McCammon won the Alabama Library Association Author Award.
- Arthur Stewart was inducted into the Portrait Painters' Hall of Fame.
- Tobias Wolff's 1984 novella The Barracks Thief won the PEN/Faulkner Award for Fiction.
- Bo Berry, Edward A. Brown, Henry Caffey, Andrew Fair, Howard Funderburg, W. C. Handy, Jerome Hopkins, Everett Lawler, James Lowe, Willie Richardson, Lee Stanfield, Jonny Williams were inducted into the Alabama Jazz Hall of Fame. Honorary inductees were Richard Arrington, Jr, Gloria Curry, J. Garrick Hardy, C. W. Hayes, David Vann and Lewis White.
- Blanche Dean was inducted into the Alabama Women's Hall of Fame
- January 8: Wyatt Blassingame, writer
- January 24: Willie Perry, the "Batman of Birmingham"
- May 6: Raymond Weeks, founder of National Veterans Day in Birmingham
- August 8: Myron Massey, Fairfield Police officer shot in the line of duty
- August 15: Sidney Smyer, president of Birmingham Realty Company
- September 3: Jo Jones, jazz drummer
- November 23: Sammy West, baseball player
- December: Abe Berkowitz, attorney
- Rucker Agee, investment banker and map collector
- Bob Bodine, office furniture dealer
- Neal Hemphill, record producer and plumber
- Angelena Rice, former teacher and mother of Condoleezza Rice
- See also List of Birmingham homicides in 1985
- A monument of Bear Bryant was erected outside Legion Field
- Blonde Heat, film produced by David F. Friedman
- I-459 was completed.
- The final segment of I-65 in northern Jefferson County, near Morris and Kimberly, was completed.
- April 15: A bare-bones revival of the Cousin Cliff Show debuted on the Alabama Cable Network.
- May 3: "Pumping Iron II: The Women", a documentary feature based on the book by Charles Gaines, debuted.
- Back in the World, a collection of short stories by Tobias Wolff
- Violence Against Women and the Ongoing Challenge to Racism by Angela Davis ISBN 0913175110
- Birmingham Turf Club
- Chase Corporate Center Building One
- Funtime Skate Center in Fultondale
- Hoover Municipal Complex
- UAB purchased the Doctor's Center
- Restoration of the former Denechaud House on 2nd Avenue North
- February 14: Jasper First United Methodist Church was added to the National Register of Historic Places.
In 1985, Mikhail Gorbachev became head of the Soviet Union after Konstantin Chernenko's death. A hole was discovered in the ozone layer. An earthquake near Mexico City killed tens of thousands. The Italian liner, Achille Lauro, was hijacked. Nevado del Ruiz in Columbia erupted. Howard Cosell retired. "We Are the World" was released. New Coke debuted only to have the original Coca-Cola formula return. The Calvin and Hobbes comic strip debuted.
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