1998 was the 127th year after the founding of the City of Birmingham.
- January 29: Eric Robert Rudolph detonated a bomb at the New Woman All Women Clinic in Birmingham, killing officer Robert Sanderson and critically injuring nurse Emily Lyons.
- February 26: The USAirways Flight 861 incident occurred at the Birmingham International Airport.
- March 18: All four lanes of I-20/59 North were closed for five days after a 23-ton steel coil bounced down the interstate after falling off a truck.
- April: Birmingham International Festival Salute to Brazil
- April 8: An F5 tornado killed 32 in western Jefferson County.
- April 15: President Clinton visited the area to view tornado damage.
- June: Phil Collins, the Doobie Brothers, the Gap Band, Ohio Players, Dixie Chicks, Violent Femmes and the Neville Brothers headlined the 1998 City Stages
- August 4: The MAPS proposal was defeated by voters.
- September 9: A 22-ton coil punched 17 holes along a section of I-65 South after falling off a truck.
- October: Sloss Fright Furnace debuted.
- Area code 205 was reduced a second time to covering central and western Alabama. New area code 256 covered north and northeast Alabama.
- The "Crawfish Crawl" 5K run was added to the Schaeffer Eye Center Crawfish Boil schedule.
- The Birmingham Zoo experienced a record low annual visitorship of 296,102.
- Jesse's Place shelter opened downtown.
- 40,000 attended Do Dah Day
- Pyro Productions began producing Thunder on the Mountain
- Samford University's chapter of Kappa Alpha Psi was chartered.
- Rock band Brother Cane split up.
- "The Fine Line" with Russ and Dee Fine premiered on WERC-AM
- A bill earmarking a percentage of lodging taxes for the American Village passed the Alabama legislature.
- The first "Perspectives" series exhibit, curated by David Moos, featured Willie Cole.
- Frances Carter founded the American Rosie the Riveter Association.
- Ruffner Mountain Nature Preserve was expanded by 227 acres purchased by Forever Wild.
- The Birmingham Public Library Foundation was established.
- Agnes relocated to the Hugh Martin Cottage.
- BancorpSouth Bank entered the Birmingham market by acquiring Highland Bank.
- Compass Bank made major acquisitions in Florida, Texas and Arizona.
- Jeremy Erdreich founded Erdreich Architecture.
- Just for Feet acquired Sneaker Stadium.
- Harold Ripps and Wally Nall purchased MedjetAssist.
- Larry House resigned as CEO following a failed merger between MedPartners and PhyCor.
- The Peoples Bank and Trust Company entered the Birmingham market by acquiring Merchants and Planters Bank of Montevallo.
- The Sheraton Birmingham Hotel became part of the Starwood system.
- Ken Adams bought Southern Cal Transport.
- David and Jimmy Gorji bought The Store on Highland.
- Tony and Tim Vaziri bought Triple T's.
- Storkland Furniture moved its retail shop from 2211 2nd Avenue North to Vestavia Hills.
- Walter Schoel III became president of the Walter Schoel Engineering Company.
- The Bank was formed as a public company.
- The Birmingham Children's Choir was founded.
- John Cassimus launched Big Air Records
- CAC's Gourmet Deli opened.
- Cohen Carnaggio Reynolds was formed.
- J & M Child Development Center opened on Bessemer Road.
- Naked Art Gallery opened on 1st Avenue North.
- RugbyRugby.com was launched.
- Saks, Inc. was formed by merger of Proffitt's Inc. and Saks Fifth Avenue.
- Higdon Paper was incorporated.
- February 1: Jodi Newton became superintendent of Homewood City Schools.
- Bill Cleveland became assistant principal of Minor High School.
- John Draper became principal of Homewood High School.
- Jackie Dye became assistant principal of Shades Valley High School.
- Joe Langston retired as chair of the Department of Communication at Jacksonville State University.
- Patricia Todd was named Director of Alumni Affairs at UAB.
- Terrence West began his teaching career for Birmingham City Schools.
- Bernard Williams became the choir director at Miles College.
- Anthony Barnes became Chairman of the Birmingham Water Works board.
- Mike Coppage succeeded Johnnie Johnson as chief of the Birmingham Police Department.
- Priscilla Dunn was elected to represent Alabama House District 56.
- William Noble was appointed to the Jefferson County Circuit Court.
- Don Siegelman won the gubernatorial election.
- February 5: WBMG 42 relaunched as WIAT with a new news format.
- November 23: WRRS-FM debuted at FM 101.1.
- WTTO 21 joined the WB network and introduced the Dubba Dubba Twins.
- WRAX-FM moved from FM 105.9 to FM 107.7. Beaner and Ken debuted, and Luka was dropped.
- The first WZZK-AM debuted on AM 610 as a simulcast of WZZK-FM.
- Paul Finebaum was named sports director for WIAT 42.
- The Rick & Bubba Show debuted in Birmingham.
- The Birmingham Weekly was boycotted in Gardendale.
- Bama Environmental News was first published by Pat Byington.
- Robert Walker, Sr was named deputy chief of the Birmingham Police Department.
- Mother Angelica reported a miraculous cure of debilitating problems with her legs.
- Buddy Gray was elected president of the Alabama Baptist Convention.
- Henry Parsley succeeded Robert Miller as Episcopal Bishop of Alabama
- March 25: Alabama named Mark Gottfried as its head basketball coach.
- August 16: Birmingham Barons Demond Smith hit a record two triples vs the Mobile BayBears.
- October: Alabama State University defeated Alabama A&M 34-28 in the Magic City Classic at Legion Field.
- December: the 1998 Iron Bowl, won by Alabama, was the last one played at Legion Field.
- Terrell Owens caught a 25-yard touchdown to give the 49ers the win over the Packers in a wild card playoff matchup.
- The Alabama Gunners hockey team held their sole season.
- The Alabama Saints soccer team held their second season.
- Hubert Green won the Bruno's Memorial Classic
- Vestavia Hills High School won the state 6A football championship.
- The UAB Blazers men's basketball team received an NIT bid.
- Josh Hancock was selected by the Boston Red Sox in the 5th round of the MLB draft.
- 31,897 attended a game between the UAB Blazers and Virginia Tech.
- Buck Brock joined the Board of Trustees of Samford University.
- Relatives were unable to locate the gravesite of Addie Mae Collins at Greenwood Cemetery.
- Lonnie Holley was relocated to Harpersville.
- Vijay Misra joined the UAB Division of Cardiovascular Disease.
- Tom Self retired as photo editor of the Birmingham News
- Pat Sullivan resigned as head football coach at Texas Christian University.
- Andrew Westmoreland became president of Ouachita Baptist University in Arkadelphia, Arkansas.
- Birmingham Business Hall of Fame: Wallace Bunn, John M. Harbert III, Emil Hess, C. Caldwell Marks, Thomas Rast, and Joseph Volker
- Alabama Healthcare Hall of Fame: Alston Callahan, Tinsley Harrison, Lister Hill, Jean Kelley, John Mosteller, Richard Scrushy, et al
- Red Farmer and Neil Bonnett were named to the list of the 50 Greatest Drivers in NASCAR History.
- Davey Allison was inducted into the International Motorsports Hall of Fame
- The first Birmingham Area Music Awards:
- Gene Walker was inducted into the AMA Motorcycle Hall of Fame.
- Miss Shelby County: Mollye Yates
- Jeremy Brown from Hueytown High School
- Sandra Gregory from Birmingham School of Law
- Henry Parsley, doctoral degrees from Sewanee and the General Theological Seminary
- Stuart Rachels, Ph.d in philosophy from Syracuse University
- Tim Ritchie, masters in public administration from Harvard University's Kennedy School of Government
- Jason Simpson from Holly Pond High School
- Stephen Wallace from Birmingham-Southern College
- Ken Ward, master of arts in communication from the College of New Rochelle
- Jared Weinstein from Mountain Brook High School
- January 29: Robert Sanderson killed in abortion clinic bombing
- February 6: Petric Smith, Methodist minister, activist and author
- February 24: William Poole, architect
- March 29: Harold Wilson, Marine officer and Medal of Honor recipient
- April 6: Tammy Wynette, singer
- April 15: Clettus Atkinson, columnist for the Birmingham Post-Herald
- June 2: A. E. Burgess, highway contractor
- July 23: Harvie Branscomb, theologian and chancellor of Vanderbilt University
- August 20: Fred Sington, athlete and businessman
- September 13: George Wallace
- November 30: Margaret Walker, writer, poet
- Samantha, Birmingham Zoo lioness
- Apache, Birmingham Police Mounted Patrol horse
- See also List of Birmingham homicides in 1998
- Birmingham-in-a-Box, novelty board game.
- Floating Away, film directed by John Badham
- Main Street, film shot in Birmingham
- The "Civitas" sculpture in English Village was dedicated in honor of architect Carolyn Smith.
- The "Centurion" sculpture in front of the Mel Bailey Criminal Justice Center was rededicated.
- Consilience: The Unity of Knowledge, by E. O. Wilson
- Gone for Good, novel by Mark Childress
- Behind the Stained Glass: a History of Sixteenth Street Baptist Church, by Christopher Hamlin
- Birmingham and Jefferson County, Alabama, by the Jefferson County Historical Commission
- BE&K, Inc., Newcomen Society Address by Ted C. Kennedy and Mike Goodrich
- Shelby Iron - A Celebration of Our History...And a Look to the Future. by the Historic Shelby Association
- Silk, novel by Caitlín R. Kiernan
- Principles of Clinical Electromyography: Case Studies, by Shin Oh
- Welcome to the World, Baby Girl, by Fannie Flagg
- Ransom My Heart, Whisper My Love, Remember My Touch, Honor's Bride, and Never Let Her Go, romance novels by Gayle Wilson
- Beating the Odds, Raising Academically Successful African American Males, by Freeman Hrabowski
- What Became of Wystan: Change and Continuity in Auden’s Poetry. by Alan Jacobs
- Like the Singing Coming Off of Drums: Love Poems, by Sonia Sanchez
- Important Things, by Melissa Springer
- Rejoice, by Mary Ann Sampson
- No Safe Place, novel by Richard North Patterson
- A Walk to Freedom: The Reverend Fred Shuttlesworth and the Alabama Christian Movement for Human Rights, by Marjorie Longenecker White
- Grandview II office building
- Renovation of the Clark Building at 20th Street and 4th Avenue North
- McWane Center
- New Hope Baptist Church
- Kobe Japanese Steakhouse
- The Crescent
- Cahaba Pump Station renovation and additions
- Alabama Theatre interior restoration
- Bama 6 and Hoover Square 6 closed
- Trussville Public Library expansion and renovation
- Hewitt-Trussville Junior High was damaged by a sinkhole
- Hewitt-Trussville High School's "Husky Stadium" was renamed for Jack Wood
- Riverchase Galleria renovations
- Bryant-Denny Stadium, east upper deck addition
- Hamburger Heaven, Inverness location
- UAB's Tidwell Hall was demolished.
- West End Masonic Temple demolished
- Three homes were added to the Monte D'Oro subdivision
- Derrill Crowe residence in Mountain Brook
- Trussville Wastewater Treatment Plant
- Gangstabilly, album by the Drive-By Truckers
- Ezra Sims, album by Ezra Sims
- The Heritage of a Black Man, and Lovers Do, albums by Sam Dees
- Wishpool Virgin, album by Brother Cane
- Villa Elaine, album by Remy Zero
- Small Talk, album by Eric Essix
- Serve You, Ma'am, album by Robert Moore and the Wildcats
- Live in the X Lounge debut CD produced by WRAX-FM.
- "Spirit of Steel”: Music of the Mines, Railroads and Mills of the Birmingham District. album
1998 was the "International Year of the Ocean". California banned smoking in all bars and restaurants. Ted Kacszinsky pleaded guilty to a string of letter bombs. The Broncos beat the Packers 31-24 in Super Bowl XXXII. Ford bought Volvo. A USMC EA-6B Prowler cut a cable car line in Cavalese, Italy, killing 20. The S&P index broke 1000 for the first time. The Winter Olympic games were held in Nagano, Japan. Dale Earnhardt won the Daytona 500. Viagra was approved by the FDA. The iMac was launched by Apple Computer. Seinfeld aired its final episode. Michael Jordan played his last game for the Chicago Bulls. The International Criminal Court was founded. France won the FIFA World Cup. US embassies in Kenya and Tanzania were bombed by Al-Qaeda. Mark McGwire broke Roger Maris' record of 61 home runs in a season. Jesse Ventura became governor of Minnesota. John Glenn returned to outer space for Discovery mission STS-95. Daimler-Benz merged with Chrysler. President Clinton was impeached over the Monica Lewinsky scandal. Exxon merged with Mobil Oil. The Petronas Towers were completed in Kuala Lumpur.
Deaths in 1998 included those of Sonny Bono, Carl Perkins, Harry Carey, Benjamin Spock, Pol Pot, Frank Sinatra, Phil Hartman, Barry Goldwater, Roy Rogers and Gene Autry. The top-grossing films included Armageddon, Saving Private Ryan, and There's Something About Mary. Shakespeare in Love won the "Best Picture" Oscar. Philip Roth won the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction for American Pastoral.
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