1989 was the 118th year after the founding of the city of Birmingham.
- January 3: Bartender David Painter was was shot and killed during a robbery at Mabel's Beauty Shop & Chainsaw Repair.
- April: Festival of Arts Salute to France.
- May: I Cover the War published its final issue.
- May 24: Cobb Festival 12 Cinemas opened at Eastwood Festival Centre and Books-A-Million opened at Eastwood Mall, which underwent a major renovation.
- June 16-18: The first City Stages was held at Linn Park.
- July 4: "To Strengthen the Arm of Liberty", a small-scale version of the Statue of Liberty, was dedicated at Liberty Park.
- December 9: Bishop Raymond Boland announced that John Carroll Catholic High School would relocate to Wildwood.
- Bonds were issued for expansion of the Birmingham Museum of Art.
- James Andrews purchased the Wofford residence on Salisbury Road.
- Omicron Lambda chapter of Chi Omega was founded at Birmingham-Southern College.
- A new Birmingham City Council was seated.
- WBRC-6 premiered its Sideline high school football reports.
- Barrett Elementary School was converted from a K-8 to a true elementary school.
- Rock band Remy Zero was founded.
- The Sardis Christian School was founded at Sardis Missionary Baptist Church.
- Jessica Hahn appeared as the grand master of the Do Dah Day parade.
- The first funds for feasibility studies were earmarked for a Northern Beltline.
- 1-gallon jugs of Milo's Tea appeared in grocery stores.
- The first trail was cut through the Boulder Canyon Nature Area in Vestavia Hills.
- Cousin Cliff's Clubhouse moved from the Alabama Cable Network to Birmingham Cable Communications.
- Robert Miller succeeded Furman Stough as Episcopal Bishop of Alabama
- The Birmingham Beautification Board changed its name to the Keep Birmingham Beautiful Commission.
- Coats & Co. was founded by Rob Coats.
- Benny LaRussa purchased the Jack's franchise.
- Barnes & Associates was founded by Anthony Barnes.
- WTTO-21 was sold to ABRY Broadcasting Partners.
- Airwave Recording Studios was founded by Marc Phillips and Joel Bouchillon.
- Antique Super Mall was opened in Hoover.
- Compass Bank acquired the City National Bank of Plano, Texas.
- The Alabama Power Foundation was established.
- 55th Place thrift shop was opened by the Episcopal Diocese of Alabama.
- Deborah Stephens founded Behavioral Health Systems.
- WJLD-AM switched to an urban oldies format.
- Metro Bank was founded in Pell City.
- NewsBreak closed.
- Manna Grocery & Deli in Tuscaloosa moved to its present location on McFarland Boulevard.
- Joe Farley stepped down as president of the Alabama Power Company.
- Pat Courington Sr retired from business.
- Brownell Travel was bought by a group of investors.
- Rocky Rawlins and Tom Egan sold the rights to the name "America On-Line" to Quantum Computer Services.
- WKXX-FM returned to Top-40 as X-106.
- Catherine Oztekin opened Cacky's bar in Crestline Village.
- Gary Ivey purchased the Scoles Cadillac dealership and renamed it Crest Cadillac.
- Guaranty Federal Savings and Loan was placed under FDIC control.
- Applebee's Neighborhood Bar & Grill opened at Brookwood Village.
- The architecture firm of Warren, Knight & Davis was dissolved with the death of John Davis Jr.
- The J. C. McGahan Company was acquired by Trinity Industries of Dallas, Texas.
- The Birmingham City Council amended the Birmingham sign ordinance to prohibit the construction of new billboards within the city limits.
- January 29: "Demolition" defended their WWF Tag-Team Championship.
- October: The 1989 Birmingham Barons won the Southern League title.
- October: Alabama A&M defeated Alabama State 17-10 in the Magic City Classic at Legion Field.
- December 2: The Auburn Tigers won the 1989 Iron Bowl 30-20, the first to be played at Jordan-Hare Stadium.
- Mike Davis was hired as an assistant basketball coach at Miles College.
- Murry Bartow joined the staff of the UAB Blazers, under his father, Gene Bartow
- Texas Tech defeated Duke 49-21 in the All-American Bowl at Legion Field.
- 9,010 fans watched the UAB Blazers play Alcorn State at Bartow Arena.
- Davey Allison won the Winston 500.
- Bo Jackson named MVP of the MLB All-Star Game
- January 3: Charles Gordon joined the Birmingham Fire and Rescue Service.
- Oliver Adams was appointed chief of the Bessemer Police Department.
- Glen Browder was elected to represent the 3rd Congressional District of Alabama.
- Pat Byington became executive director of the Alabama Environmental Council.
- Wes Chapman was promoted to principal dancer in the American Ballet Theatre.
- Larry David served as president of AIA Birmingham.
- Bill Elder became pastor of Vestavia Hills Baptist Church.
- Elmer Harris became President and CEO of Alabama Power.
- Hank Hartsfield was appointed Director of Technical Integration and Analysis for NASA.
- Joey Kennedy joined the editorial board of The Birmingham News.
- Richie Kingsmore became minister of instrumental music at Shades Mountain Baptist Church.
- Richard Shahan became associate pastor for childhood education and family growth at Shades Mountain Baptist Church.
- Juan M. Navia was named acting dean of the UAB School of Public Health.
- Condoleezza Rice was named Director of Soviet and East European Affairs in the National Security Council.
- Eric Robert Rudolph was discharged from the Army.
- James Spann returned to the Birmingham market at WBRC 6.
- Kay Tipton was named chair of the Vestavia Hills High School math department.
- July 14: Rolando McClain, Alabama Crimson Tide football linebacker
- August 5: Hamilton Cleverdon, composer
- September 8: Natalie Williams, Al.com sports reporter
- December 21: Mark Ingram Jr, Heisman trophy winner
- December 28: Marcus Jemison, high school football star
- Buster, Birmingham Zoo cheetah
- Matt Gossett, champion skeet shooter
- Janelle Issis, bellydancer
- Marquis Maze, Alabama Crimson Tide football wide receiver
- Deandrea "Teddy T" Thomas, rapper
- Alabama Walk of Fame: (17 honorees)
- Birmingham Association of Realtors Realtor of the Year: Jim Lawrence
- AHSAA girl's basketball Coach of the Year: Iola Baylor
- Miss Shelby County: Teresa Chappell
- Reid Adair, bachelor's degree in journalism from UAB
- Al Sutton, master's of divinity at Virginia Union College in Richmond, Virginia
- Annie Easley retired from NASA after 34 years.
- Sergeant Betty Jensen retired from the Birmingham Police Department.
- John Wright retired from UAB Hospital.
- May 3: Joseph Volker, first president of UAB and first Chancellor of the University of Alabama System
- May 7: William Veenschoten, manufacturers' representative
- August 16: Amanda Blake, actress and cheetah breeder
- September 17: Francis Falkenburg, State legislator and Alabama Theatre manager
- September 21: Rex Copeland, Samford University student
- October 30: Afton Lee Sr: businessman and land owner
- November: Mildred Brown, newspaper publisher
- November 30: John Farr Sr, auto dealer
- December 16: Robert Vance, Circuit Court Judge
- See also: List of homicides in 1989
- Sex and Buttered Popcorn, documentary about David F. Friedman
- "After All"/"True Believer in Love", single by Sam Dees
- "Singin' in the Bathtub", audiocassette of the Alabama Theatre's Wurlitzer Organ by Jim Riggs
- Elvis' Grave, feature film shot in Birmingham
- The Inner Frontier, sound recording by Timothy Leary and Robert Anton Wilson
- The Fraternal Order of Police Birmingham Lodge No. 1 commissioned Centurion sculpture from Branko Medenica.
- "Mr President", song co-written and co-produced by Ray Reach to benefit the homeless.
- Pinky Bass constructed her "Portable Pop-up Pinhole Camera and Darkroom".
- The feature film "Elvis' Grave" was shot in the Birmingham area.
- Designs on Birmingham: A Landscape History of a Southern City and Its Suburbs. by Philip Morris and Marjorie Longenecker White
- Place Names in Alabama by Virginia O. Foscue
- Women, Culture and Politics, book by Angela Davis
- Franklin, Jimmie Lewis (1989) "Back to Birmingham: Richard Arrington Jr, and His Times" Tuscaloosa: University of Alabama Press
- This Boy's Life, memoir by Tobias Wolff
- Wendel on the Rebound, comic strip anthology by Howard Cruse
- Returning to Earth by Charles Ghigna
- Streets of Fire by Thomas H. Cook
- Julia Tutwiler: the Pathfinder by Rusty Bynum
- The Wolf's Hour and Blue World by Robert R. McCammon
- This Is My Century: New and Collected Poems by Margaret Walker
- Fish and Purple Dreams by Mary Ann Sampson
- Feminine Ground: Essays on Women and Tibet by Jan Willis
- Paladin comic book, issue no. 1, by Lee Walser
- All Saints Episcopal Church repairs and renovations
- AmSouth-Harbert Plaza
- Eastwood Festival Centre / Festival 18
- Expansion of Jack Wood Stadium
- Interior renovation of the Linn-Henley Research Library
- Expansion of Children's Hospital
- First Christian Church at Valleydale Road
- Graymont Elementary School closed.
- Shades Mountain Baptist Church held the first services in their new 3,500-seat worship center.
- St Theresa Catholic Church bell tower
- March 26: Hunter Street Baptist Church
In 1989 the Showa period in Japan ended with the death of Hirohito. George H. W. Bush was sworn in as president. The USSR pulled out of Afghanistan. The first GPS satellite was launched. Author Salman Rushdie went into hiding. Time Inc. merged with Warner Communications. The Exxon Valdez ran aground in Prince William Sound. The Gameboy debuted in Japan. Disney-MGM studios opened in Orlando. The Chinese government was defied by student protesters in Tiananmen Square. Seinfeld premiered on NBC and The Simpsons debuted on FOX. Pete Rose was banned from baseball. Hurricane Hugo hit South Carolina. The Velvet Revolution brought democracy to Czechoslovakia. The Nobel Peace Prize went to the Dalai Lama. I. M. Pei's Louvre pyramid was completed.
Notable 1989 births include actors Jake Lloyd & Daniel Radcliffe and golfer Michelle Wie. Notable deaths included Emperor Hirohito of Japan, the Ayatollah Khomeini of Iran, artist Salvador Dalí, Ted Bundy, Robert Mapplethorpe, actress Lucille Ball, Sergio Leone, Gilda Radner, Mel Blanc, Laurence Olivier, Irving Berlin, Secretariat, Bette Davis, Alvin Ailey and Samuel Beckett.
The top films were Batman, and Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade. Driving Miss Daisy was Best Picture at the Academy Awards.
Top pop singles included Madonna's "Like a Prayer", Phil Collins "Another Day in Paradise", and Milli Vanilli's "Girl I'm Gonna Miss You," "Baby Don't Forget My Number," and "Blame it on the Rain."
The Booker Prize for literature went to Kazuo Ishiguro for Remains of the Day.
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