- 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 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.
- June 18–20: The Euphonious music festival was held at the Birmingham Zoo.
- September 24–26: Furnace Fest 2021
- October 11–16: 2021 Smithsonian Journeys Cradle of the Movement tour
- October 18–23: 2021 New York Times Civil Rights Trail in Alabama tour
- 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.
- Heiche opened an advanced metal coating facility at the Jasper Industrial Park.
- January 6: Cook Out opened at 2411 3rd Avenue South.
- January 25: Buc-ee's 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.
- 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.
- January 26: 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.
- August 24: 2021 Birmingham municipal election
- 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.
- 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.
- July 1: Beck Taylor succeeded Andrew Westmoreland as president of Samford University.
- 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 Police from the Gardendale 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
- March 1: Kevin P. Turner, UAB Gospel Choir director
- March 12: Pat Bailey, speech, drama and debate teacher
- March 20: Dan Sartain, rock musician and barber
- March 23: Houston Tumlin, soldier and former actor
- April 2: Luke Ratliff, Alabama basketball "superfan"
- April 4: Areyelle Yarbrough, accountant
- April 5: Bill Lumpkin, sports writer
- The Wife Upstairs, novel by Rachel Hawkins
- Shaking the Gates of Hell, family memoir by John Archibald
- Asian Passage at the Birmingham Zoo
- Birmingham VA Mental Health Clinic on Crestwood Boulevard
- Buc-ee's travel stop in Leeds
- The Citizen "micro-unit" apartments on 18th Street South
- Cortland Vesta Apartments on Highland Avenue
- Hilton Tapestry Collection in Homewood
- Hoover Fire Station No. 11 in Trace Crossings
- Jones Valley Trail extension to Avondale
- 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
- Tarrant City Hall
- The Birmingham Police Real Time Crime Center on the 4th floor of Birmingham Police Headquarters
- Malone Roofing building at 2689 Queenstown Road in Irondale
- renovation of Samford Hall at Samford University
In 2021 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.
Notable people who died in 2021 included activist Vernon Jordan; actors Hal Holbrook, Yaphet Kotto, Cloris Leachman, Christopher Plummer, George Segal, Cicely Tyson, and Jessica Walter; authors 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; director Robert Altman; football coach Marty Schottenheimer; fraudster Bernie Madoff; magician Mark Wilson; musicians DMX and Mary Wilson; poet Lawrence Ferlinghetti; Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh; radio/television interviewer Larry King; radio host Rush Limbaugh; former Secretary of State George Schultz; and Watergate figure G. Gordon Liddy.
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