1988 was the 117th year after the founding of the city of Birmingham.
- January 28: UAB's 1917 Clinic opened.
- February 23: Sun Ra performed at The Nick.
- March 14: Construction of the Eastwood Festival Centre caused a landslide that damaged a portion of Mountain Top Apartments above the site.
- July 12: Roosevelt City residents voted 718-404 to be annexed into Birmingham.
- Larry Langford was elected Mayor of Fairfield.
- Oscar Adams Jr was re-elected to his seat on the Alabama Supreme Court.
- Cleveland Hammonds succeeded Walter Harris as superintendent of Birmingham City Schools.
- Ruffner Mountain Nature Preserve acquired the Shepherd Tract for expansion.
- April 21: Fire destroyed the interior of All Saints Episcopal Church in Edgewood.
- Agama International lizard farm was opened in Montevallo.
- Birmingham-based Highland Bank opened.
- Don Morrison and David Scheirer formed Morrison Scheirer Architects.
- Air New Orleans filed for bankruptcy and ceased operating.
- Giglio's Eat Shop closed.
- Eli Gold began announcing Alabama Crimson Tide football games
- Florida defeated Illinois 14-10 in the All-American Bowl at Legion Field on the strength of Emmitt Smith's 159 rushing yards
- March: NCAA Southeast Regional Semifinals and Finals were held at the BJCC
- April 18: Birmingham Barons played their first game at Hoover Metropolitan Stadium
- August 27: The NFL's Washington Redskins defeated the Atlanta Falcons 34-17 in an exhibition game at Legion Field.
- November 25: Auburn Tigers won the 1988 Iron Bowl 15-10 at Legion Field
- See also: 1988 Birmingham Barons
- Joe Minter began working on his "African Village in America".
- Bartow Arena
- Galleria 10
- Linn Park renovations
- Meadow Brook 300 at the Meadow Brook Corporate Park
- Minor High School
- Parisian Headquarters at Oxmoor Industrial Park on Lakeshore Drive
- Hoover Metropolitan Stadium
- UAB renamed the former Doctor's Center the Paul S. Worrell Building
- Birmingham Botanical Gardens' Blount Plaza with Granite Garden sculpture installation.
- Sam Mitchell retired from Samford University.
- Bob Roller was named director of communications for the Orange Bowl.
- January 13: Amanda Tapley, Miss Alabama 2008
- March 25: Rodney Franklin, football player
- May 31: Clinton Catlin, comedian
- June 28: Terrence Cody, NFL nose tackle
- July 28: Erica and Monica Stacy, spokesmodels
- August 1: Ryan Kinder, singer-songwriter
- August 1: Lakendall Sims, murderer
- August 22: Cory Pettway, educator and community activist
- September 26: A female Siberian tiger was born at the Birmingham Zoo.
- October 24: Chip Ghigna, painter
- November 9: Ross Wilson, baseball player
- Rachel Hood: Birmingham Police officer and former victim of child abuse
- Derrol Shaw, murderer
- Antwon Womack, political candidate
- Alabama Jazz Hall of Fame indcutees: Horace Carney, Roosevelt Hatcher, James Henderson, Nathaniel Miller, Bobby Owens, Rose Marie Rushin, Bonna Mae Perine Samuels, and Tommy Stewart.
- Alabama Sports Hall of Fame inductees: Jackie Burkett, Cary Cox, Dave Edwards, Rowdy Gaines, John Hannah and Billy Southworth.
- Butkus Award: Derrick Thomas.
- Miss Shelby County: Rebecca Dewberry
- United States Junior Invitational Championship (chess): Stuart Rachels
- Tracey Morant Adams, B.B.A. at the University of Montevallo
- Zelia Baugh, B.S. in politiical science and sociology at Birmingham-Southern College
- Bernard Buggs graduated from Phillips High School
- Spencer Horn, B.S. in biology and chemistry at UAB
- Joey Kennedy, B.A. from UAB
- Irene Latham graduated from Hewitt-Trussville High School
- Allan Lowe, B.S. in accounting at Auburn University
- Mark Wilson, M.D. at the University of North Carolina
- January 22: Carlyle Tillery, author of Red Bone Woman
- March 3: John C. Fletcher, pastor of St John's Episcopal Church for the Deaf
- March 3: Lois Wilson, actress
- March 14: Saul Weingeroff, wrestling manager
- April 9: Lula Connell, educator and first female graduate of Howard College
- May 25: Charlie Perkins, Major League pitcher
- July 3: Thales McReynolds, NBA player
- August 7: Kirkman O'Neal, founder of O'Neal Steel
- August 14: Monnie Cheves, Samford University professor
- October 27: James Sulzby Jr, historian, musician and realtor
- November 7: Carol Hayes, educator
- November 12: Vet Boswell, singer
- December 19: John Nixon, dentist, Civil Rights activist, businessman and actor
- Hosea Hudson, labor and civil rights activist
- See also: List of Birmingham homicides in 1988
1988 saw perestroika begin in the Soviet Union. George H. W. Bush defeated Michael Dukakis to become the 41st President of the United States. Oliver North was indicted in the Iran-Contra Affair. Kirk Gibson hit a dramatic home run to win Game One of the World Series for the Los Angeles Dodgers, over the Oakland Athletics, by a score of five runs to four. Singer Roy Orbison died.
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