2021 is the 150th year after the founding of the City of Birmingham. To mark the sesquicentennial, the city invited residents to write "love letters" to be archived at Birmingham Public Library and increased the fireworks budget for Thunder on the Mountain.
- January 6: Phillip Bromley of Sterrett and Joshua Black of Leeds participated in an attempted disruption of Congress in the U.S. Capitol.
- January 25: A deadly tornado struck Fultondale and Center Point.
- February 20: 2021 Cullman County plane crash
- March 17: The March 17, 2021 tornado outbreak produced 24 tornadoes across central Alabama.
- March 25: The March 25, 2021 tornado outbreak produced several tornadoes across central Alabama.
- March 26: 2021 Bessemer airport plane crash.
- April 1: The 2021 Warrior Met Coal strike began.
- April 13–14: The Frontier Conference 2021, originally scheduled for April 2020 at the Lyric Theatre, was held online instead.
- April 15–18: The Alabama Auto Show was held at the BJCC.
- April 23–25: The Magic City Arts Connection was held at Sloss Furnaces.
- May 15: Do Dah Day was held at Cahaba Brewing
- June 12: Magic City Brewfest was held at Sloss Furnaces.
- June 18–20: The Euphonious music festival was held at the Birmingham Zoo.
- July 3: Jeezy, Boosie, Lil Durk, Pooh Shiesty, Yung Bleu, and Mooski performed at Legion Field.
- August 13–14: Rock The South was held at York Family Farms in Cullman.
- August 21: Donald Trump held a "Save America" rally with approximately 45,000 attendees at York Family Farms in Cullman.
- September 11: Trussville City Fest was held at the Trussville Entertainment District.
- September 11–12: BirmingFAM Fest was held at Trim Tab Brewing Co.
- September 13: The Homewood City Council approved the Downtown Homewood Entertainment District.
- September 14: An unknown number of fish were killed in Valley Creek just west of downtown Birmingham.
- September 24–26: Furnace Fest 2021
- October 11–16: 2021 Smithsonian Journeys Cradle of the Movement tour
- October 16: The Women's Fund of Greater Birmingham rebranded as the Women's Foundation of Alabama.
- October 18–23: 2021 New York Times Civil Rights Trail in Alabama tour
- October 22–24: 2021 International Association of Culinary Professionals Conference (IACP) at the Sloss Furnaces and Pepper Place.
- 1st quarter: SouthFirst Bank of Sylacauga merged with FirstBanc of Talladega.
- February: Tuscaloosa's University Boulevard Hooligans relocated to 15th Street.
- February 8–March 29: Workers at the Bessemer Amazon Fulfillment Center voted not to form a collective bargaining unit through the Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union.
- March: Hollywood Pools acquired Alabama Gas Light & Grill.
- April 1: United Mine Workers of America began a labor strike against Warrior Met Coal.
- April: Diversified Energy acquired $135 million in oil and gas assets in Texas and Louisiana from Indigo Minerals.
- May: Diversified Energy acquired $180 million in oil and gas assets in Texas and Louisiana from Blackbeard Operating.
- May 5: ProAssurance acquired NORCAL Mutual of San Francisco, California.
- May 6: Diversified Gas & Oil PLC changed its name to Diversified Energy.
- Heiche opened an advanced metal coating facility at the Jasper Industrial Park.
- Encompass Health acquired Frontier Home Health and Hospice of Bozeman, Montana.
- June 1: O'Henry's Coffees purchased Chelsea Coffee House from Jeff and Rhonda Gross.
- June: Vulcan Materials acquired U.S. Concrete Inc. of Euless, Texas.
- June: Medical Properties Trust acquired 18 behavioral health hospitals from Welsh Carson Anderson & Stowe of San Francisco, California.
- July 31: IN8bio went public on the Nasdaq Global Market exchange.
- August: Upstram Rehabilitation acquired Results Physiotherapy of Nashville, Tennessee.
- August: Missy Polhemus succeeded Tommie Mayfield as CEO of Wyndy.
- August: RxBenefits acquired Confido of Towson, Maryland.
- August: SouthPoint Bank merged with the Cullman-based Merchants Bank of Alabama.
- August: Diversified Energy acquired $154 million in oil and gas assets in Louisiana and Texas from Tanos Energy Holdings.
- September: Bradford Health Services acquired Knoxville, Tennessee-based Cornerstone of Recovery.
- October: Regions Bank acquired EnerBank USA of Salt Lake City, Utah and Sabal Capital Partners of Irvine, California.
- October: Ligon Industries acquired Alcast Co. of Peoria, Illinois.
- January 1: Charlie Nelson opened Alabama Vintage at 2210 University Boulevard (Tuscaloosa).
- January 6: Cook Out opened at 2411 3rd Avenue South.
- January 25: Buc-ee's travel center opened in Leeds.
- February: Alexander Shunnarah and Tyler Vail founded Shunnarah Vail Trial Attorneys.
- March: Laura Newman and Mudd Townley opened the Neon Moon cocktail bar.
- April 1: Neighbors Brew & Pies and Saw's BBQ opened at The Backyard adjoining the Shops of Grand River.
- April: Reggie and Michelle Torbor opened Taproot Cafe at the Shoppes at Hwy 150 Crossings.
- June: Cassanova Mckinzy opened Cassanova Bar & Lounge on 1st Avenue North.
- June: Kevin and Karla Butler and Taylor Spink opened Travelin' Tom’s Coffee.
- June: Ready Mix USA opened a new aggregates plant in Brierfield.
- July 1: The Son of a Butcher opened at Pepper Place.
- August: Joy Smith opened Sorelle Cafe in Edgewood.
- Encore Rouge opened at The Waites.
- October: Eric Pippert opened Creekside BBQ on Oak Mountain Park Road.
- October: Ryan and Dakota Stone opened The Copper Train on 1st Street South in Alabaster.
- October: Kevin Nelson opened Price's Ice Cream in the former Price's Drugs on Main Street in Pinson.
- November: Pizza Grace opened at Mercantile on Morris.
- January: My Supply Chain Group was acquired by NTT DATA Business Solutions of Bielefeld, Germany.
- January: Magnolia Meadows Golf Course in Columbiana closed.
- February: Moe's Southwest Grill at Vestavia Hills City Center closed.
- February 20: Tuscaloosa's Ruan Thai restaurant closed.
- February 28: Catfish Cabin in Albertville closed.
- February: The Plainsman transitioned to an online publication.
- March 1: Cabaniss, Johnston, Gardner, Dumas & O'Neal was acquired by Phelps Dunbar of New Orleans, Louisiana.
- March 19: Ichiban Japanese Grill & Sushi in Tuscaloosa closed.
- March: Blackwell's Pub in Cahaba Heights closed.
- April: Integrated Solutions was acquired by Dynamic Quest of Greensboro, North Carolina.
- April: AQ2 Technologies was acquired by Embrace Software of Potomac, Maryland.
- April: Mata Electric filed for chapter 7 bankruptcy liquidation.
- April 21: Birmingham Fastener acquired Steel City Bolt & Screw.
- April 24: Phở Quê Hương Vietnamese restaurant closed.
- May 6: The board of Judson College voted to close the school and file for chapter 11 bankruptcy reorganization.
- June 7: Hudson Automotive Group of Charleston, South Carolina acquired Hoover Toyota.
- June: ChipRewards was acquired by Icario of Minneapolis, Minnesota.
- June 19: Yanfeng closed its automotive interiors plant in Cottondale.
- June: SkinDx was acquired by PathGroup of Nashville, Tennessee.
- June: Spot Color / Cornerstone Media was acquired by Smart Source of Atlanta, Georgia.
- July: Egan's Bar in Tuscaloosa closed.
- July 31: Prairie Farms Milk closed its plant on Barber Court.
- August: Eberspaecher closed its exhaust systems plant in Northport.
- August: Wittichen Supply Co. was acquired by Gryphon Investors of San Francisco, California.
- September 30: Revenue Discovery Systems closed its Birmingham operations.
- October: Mayer Electric Supply was acquired by Rexel USA of Dallas, Texas.
- October: Total Fire Protection of Alabaster was acquired by Fire Safety & Protection of Atlanta, Georgia.
- September 28: The UAB School of Medicine was renamed in honor of Marnix Heersink following a $95 million gift.
- January 26: Walter Wilson won the District 7 seat in the 2021 Birmingham Board of Education special election.
- February 2: The 2021 Alabama legislative session began.
- February: Birmingham's Mayor’s Office of Sports and Entertainment was merged into the Birmingham Department of Innovation and Economic Opportunity.
- Kimberly annexed sections of the Franklin Parc subdivision.
- May 10: The City of Birmingham received an initial $74.41 million payment from the United States as part of the "American Rescue Plan".
- May 24–August 27: "Operation Python" cleared 309 outstanding warrants in western Jefferson County.
- August 24: The 2021 Birmingham municipal election was held.
- The 2020–2021 Alabama Crimson Tide basketball team won the 2021 SEC Men's Basketball Tournament and advanced to the Sweet 16 of the 2021 NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament.
- April 18: Alex Palou won the 2021 Honda Indy Grand Prix of Alabama at Barber Motorsports Park.
- April 25: Brad Keselowski won the 2021 GEICO 500 at Talladega Superspeedway.
- May 9: Alex Čejka defeated Steve Stricker in a playoff to win the 2021 Regions Tradition at the Greystone Golf and Country Club.
- October 9: The Morehouse Maroon Tigers defeated the Tuskegee Golden Tigers 31-15 in the 2021 Morehouse-Tuskegee Classic at Legion Field.
- November: The Birmingham Squadron began playing at Legacy Arena.
- Chuck Holmes became executive director of the Alabama Humanities Alliance.
- January 11: Cornell Wesley began his term as head of the Birmingham Department of Innovation and Economic Opportunity.
- February: Chad Carson was named permanent dean of the Brock School of Business at Samford University.
- March: Andy Cunningham became CEO of Precision Grinding Inc.
- March 22: DeJuana Thompson was named interim President and CEO of the Birmingham Civil Rights Institute.
- April 12: Danielle Dunbar became executive director of the Alabama Association of Nonprofits.
- April 12: Chief Jason Rickels was fired from the Tarrant Fire & Rescue Department.
- June 1: Josh Carpenter succeeded Ray Watts as president and CEO of Southern Research.
- July 1: Beck Taylor succeeded Andrew Westmoreland as president of Samford University.
- September 27: Acting Birmingham VA Medical Center director Oladipo Kukoyi was appointed to the permanent post.
- September 27: Jaye Loggins succeeded Ted Cook as Chief of the Mountain Brook Police Department.
- September 30: Chase Anderson succeeded Bruce Akin as CEO of B.A.S.S.
- October 1: Charlotte Shaw succeeded Frank Martin as director of the Birmingham Jefferson County Transit Authority.
- October 1: Barbara Evers succeeded Torrey DeKeyser as executive director of the EyeSight Foundation of Alabama.
- October 15: Assistant Chief Darnell Davenport resigned from the Birmingham Police Department.
- Alabama Business Hall of Fame:
- Birmingham Business Hall of Fame: Grayson Hall, John Hand, Elmer Harris, Basil Hirschowitz, Tom Jernigan, Billy Martin, William Pettiford, & Shelley Stewart
- The Dick Lee Memorial Scholarship Fund was established to support deserving Gardendale High School seniors.
- Edgar Weldon Sr, WeldenField
- Vulcan Community Awards:
- Alabama Academy of Honor:
- June 12: Lauren Bradford was crowned Miss Alabama at the Alabama Theatre.
- July 30: Marcelle LeBlanc was crowned "Miss America’s Outstanding Teen" at Universal Resorts in Orlando, Florida.
- John Owen retired as chief operating officer of Regions Bank.
- Photographer Joe Songer retired from al.com.
- April 30: Mike Walker retired as Chief of the Gardendale Police Department.
- Fouad Fouad retired from the UAB Department of Civil, Construction and Environmental Engineering.
- December 31: Ted Cook retired as Chief of the Mountain Brook Police Department
- January 1: Mike Coppage, former Birmingham Police chief and Alabama Department of Public Safety director
- January 3: Bill Stewart, professor of political science
- January 3: Joann Bashinsky, Golden Flake heiress
- January 10: Derrick Johnson, Huffman High School coach
- January 10: Corbin Day, chair of Jemison Investment Company
- January 16: Scotty McCallum, UAB president and Vestavia Hills mayor
- January 16: Leon Edwards, Edwards Chevrolet president
- January 20: Sonny Penhale, Helena mayor
- January 21: Marc Phillips, musician and music minister
- January 28: Sammy Wilson, Clanton city council
- February 2: Danny Ray, emcee and "cape man" for James Brown
- February 15: Jimmy Evans, former Attorney General of Alabama
- February 17: Eileen Walbert, civil rights activist
- February 25: Catherine Cabaniss, artist
- March 1: Kevin P. Turner, UAB Gospel Choir director
- March 4: Polly Graham, market research executive
- March 12: Pat Bailey, speech, drama and debate teacher
- March 17: James Ferguson, former Million Dollar Band director
- March 20: Dan Sartain, rock musician and barber
- March 23: Houston Tumlin, soldier and former actor
- March 24: Shotgun Giddens, barber, circuit clerk and gospel singer
- April 2: Luke Ratliff, Alabama basketball "superfan"
- April 4: Areyelle Yarbrough, accountant
- April 5: Desmon Ray, shot to death by police.
- April 5: Bill Lumpkin, sports writer
- April 21: Donald Jones, chief of Midfield Fire & Rescue Service
- April 22: Frank W. Bromberg, president of National Woodworks
- April 24: Margaret Jemison
- June 4: John Patterson, former Governor of Alabama
- June 7: Steve Austin, Christian author
- June 11: Stanley Mackin, former Regions Bank CEO
- June 12: Chris Sign, television news anchor
- June 18: Bunny Stokes, banker
- June 24: Sonny Callahan, former state legislator
- July 2: Russell Brakefield, World War II veteran
- July 17: Shelly Millender Jr, auto salesman, radio host and civil rights activist
- July 29: Larry Gipson former dean of Cathedral Church of the Advent
- August 1: Tom York, television host
- August 3: Wade Morris, Baptist minister
- August 8: Bobby Bowden, football coach
- August 22: Ann Dawson-August, former BJCTA director
- September 2: Keith McCants, former professional football player
- September 7: Ronnie Marchant, retailer
- September 9: Harold Franklin, history professor and funeral director
- September 9: Catherine Greene Browne, local historian
- September 11: Sarah Price, community activist
- September 11: Pamela Ruffin Owen, elementary school teacher
- September 18: Willie Hall, Jefferson County Sheriff's deputy
- September: Randa Graves, UAB English adjunct professor
- September 28: Hank Johnson, golf instructor
- September 30: William Rushton III, former Protective Life CEO
- October 5: Sam Graphos, restaurateur
- The Wife Upstairs, novel by Rachel Hawkins
- Shaking the Gates of Hell, family memoir by John Archibald
- The Official U.S. Civil Rights Trail by Lee Sentell
- 2nd Avenue overpass (Tuscaloosa)
- Asian Passage at the Birmingham Zoo
- The Birmingham Police Real Time Crime Center on the 4th floor of Birmingham Police Headquarters
- Birmingham VA Mental Health Clinic on Crestwood Boulevard
- Buc-ee's travel stop in Leeds
- The Citizen "micro-unit" apartments on 18th Street South
- Connie's Cottages in Crane Hill
- Cortland Vesta Apartments on Highland Avenue
- Eastwood Amazon Distribution Center at the former Century Plaza site
- Hoover Fire Station No. 11 in Trace Crossings
- Jones Valley Trail extension to Avondale
- Kelly Hotel in the Protective Life building on 1st Avenue North
- Malone Roofing building at 2689 Queenstown Road in Irondale
- Motion Industries area fluid power shop, hose & rubber shop, and engineering department
- Protective Stadium at the BJCC
- The Railyard "micro-unit" apartments on 1st Avenue South
- Red Mountain Theatre's "Art Campus"
- renovation of Samford Hall at Samford University
- Tarrant City Hall
- UAB Honors Hall was built in the former location of Snoozy's College Bookstore on the UAB Campus
- Valley Hotel in Homewood
- Warrior Elementary School
- McFarland Mall in Tuscaloosa
- UAB Education Building at UAB
- Pittman Center at UAB
- Kracke Building at UAB
- May 2: The petting zoo at Noccalula Falls Park was destroyed by fire.
- June 6: Demolition of the former Banks High School began.
- July: 32nd Street Baptist Church
- September 9: Three boiler houses and a vent stack at Gorgas Steam Plant.
In 2021 the United States withdrew its military and diplomatic personnel from Afghanistan. In January insurrectionists stormed the U.S. Capitol, disrupting Congress's certification of the 2020 presidential election. For inciting the mob, President Trump was impeached for a second time. In the Spring, widely-available vaccinations greatly reduced the spread of COVID-19 and allowed most restrictions to be lifted, only to be resumed in the fall with the spread of a "Delta" variant and a plateauing immunization campaign. Congress declared Juneteenth (June 19th) a federal holiday. Billionaires Richard Branson and Jeff Bezos rode their respective companies' commercial flights into space.
Notable people who died in 2021 included activist Vernon Jordan; actors Ed Asner, Ned Beatty, Olympia Dukakis, Charles Grodin, Hal Holbrook, Yaphet Kotto, Cloris Leachman, Christopher Plummer, George Segal, Cicely Tyson, and Jessica Walter; architect Helmut Jahn; astronaut Michael Collins; attorney F. Lee Bailey; authors Roberto Calasso, Eric Carle, Beverly Cleary and Larry McMurtry; baseball hall of famers Hank Aaron and Don Sutton; basketball coach John Chaney; basketball player/executive Elgin Baylor; boxer Marvin Hagler; comedian Norm MacDonald; directors Robert Altman and Melvin Van Peebles; football coach Marty Schottenheimer; fraudster Bernie Madoff; magician Mark Wilson; marketer Ron Popeil; musicians DMX, Dusty Hill, Biz Markie, Charlie Watts and Mary Wilson; poet Lawrence Ferlinghetti; Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh; President of Haiti Jovenel Moïse; radio/television interviewer Larry King; radio host Rush Limbaugh; televangelist Ernest Angley; former Secretaries of State Colin Powell and George Schultz, former Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld; former vice president Walter Mondale; Louisiana governor Edwin Edwards; and Watergate figure G. Gordon Liddy.
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