1781 was 90 years before the founding of the City of Birmingham.
- October 2: William Wyatt Bibb, first governor of Alabama, was born in Prince Edward County, Virginia.
In 1781, the Revolutionary War continued. Sir William Herschel discovered the planet Uranus. Los Angeles was founded by a group of 44 Spanish settlers. Immanuel Kant published his Critique of Pure Reason.
Notable births in 1781 included stethoscope inventor René Laennec, Hindu avatar Swaminarayan, engineer George Stephenson, guitarist Mauro Giuliani, physicist David Brewster, and Shaka Zulu. Notable deaths included author and philosopher Gotthold Ephraim Lessing and Peruvian rebel Túpac Amaru II.
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