1920 was the 49th year after the founding of the city of Birmingham. The United States 1920 Census showed Birmingham with a population of 178,806, of which 108,550 were white and 70,230 were black. It was also the census year with the greatest number of foreign immigrants, 2,160 of which hailed from Italy.
- B. B. Comer filled the unexpired term of John H. Bankhead in the U. S. Senate
- Oscar Underwood, became United States Senate Minority Leader.
- Glenn Messer founded the Messer Flying Circus.
- J. Mercer Barnett was elected president of Kiwanis International.
- Howard College joined the Southern Association of Colleges.
- Cooper Green married Hattie Taylor.
- F. C. Bishop served as pastor of McElwain Baptist Church.
- Property was purchased for a new building for Industrial High School.
- William Dobyns became pastor of South Highland Presbyterian Church.
- St Timothy Baptist Church was organized with Reverend Sutton presiding.
- November 23: 12 miners were killed in the 1920 Parrish Mine explosion.
- The North Birmingham By Products Coke Oven Plant produced its first coke.
- James Mitchell stepped down as president of Alabama Power Company.
- 1920 general strike by the United Mine Workers of America led to the closing of Brookside mine.
- Walter Hunter opened Hunter Furniture downtown.
- Bromberg's moved to 218 20th Street North.
- Tom Stevens founded the Home Baking Company
- The Grapico Bottling Works was incorporated by Raymond Rochell.
- Operations at the Helen Bess Mine were ended.
- April 4: Franklin Glass stepped down as editor of The Birmingham News.
- April 18: The Birmingham News acquired the rival Birmingham Ledger.
- Birmingham Black Barons of the Negro Southern League founded
- October 23: 1920 International Balloon Race
- Cruikshank, George H. (1920) History of Birmingham and Its Environs: A Narrative Account of Their Historical Progress, Their People, and Their Principal Interests. 2 volumes. Chicago, Illinois: Lewis Publishing Company.
- Bankers Bond Building
- Galax Theater
- Hill Elementary School
- Jefferson County Courthouse Bessemer Division
- Levert Apartments
- McAdory High School
- Mortimer Jordan High School
- Erskine Ramsay Hall (Miles)
- Shades Cahaba High School
- Tuggle Elementary School
- January 10: Jimmy Lee, Jr, chairman of Buffalo Rock Company
- January 10: Richard Frye, scholar of Iranian history
- January 20: Sam Hairston, baseball player
- February 1: Nancy Crews, World War II aviator
- March 19: George Huddleston, Jr, U. S. Representative, 9th District
- April 3: Mary Anderson, film and television actress
- April 22: Arthur Winograd, Birmingham Symphony Orchestra conductor
- May 3: Dan Bankhead, baseball player
- June 20: Joseph Gomer, Tuskegee Airman
- June 26: Edgar Arendall, pastor of Dawson Memorial Baptist Church
- July 1: Paul Lehner, baseball player
- July 5: Maree Blackwell, UAB professor and radio host
- July 17: Joe Rumore, radio announcer
- August 1: Ross Gray, Medal of Honor recipient
- September 16: Chuck Dryden, pilot
- October 8: William Maddox, surgeon
- October 22: Timothy Leary, LSD advocate
- December 10: William Spencer III, co-founder of Motion Industries
- Bob Bales, aviator, illustrator and college administrator
- Jack Bingham, attorney
- Charles Brooks, editorial cartoonist
- Mary Burks, environmentalist
- Harry Ford, Tuskegee Airman
- John Godbold, federal judge
- Benjamin Greene, former Birmingham Housing Authority commissioner
- Ann Hodges, struck by meteorite
- Elbert Jemison, insurance executive and golfer
- Thompson Reynolds, football coach
- Helen Saxon, dance instructor
- Alf Van Hoose, Birmingham News sportswriter
- February 5: J. T. Banks, miner, in a collapse at Eureka No. 4 mine in Helena
- March 1: John H. Bankhead, U. S. Senator
- June: William Gussen, director of the Birmingham Conservatory of Music.
- July 11: Martin Eagan, former Birmingham Police Chief
- December 7: U. S. Marshal Dick Griffin, killed in the line of duty
- Mary Gordon Duffee, historian
1920 was a leap year. It was the first year of women's suffrage, and also the first year of national prohibition (an experiment already tried in Birmingham between 1908 and 1911). Babe Ruth was traded to the Yankees. The Senate blocked the United States' membership in the League of Nations while Woodrow Wilson was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for its establishment. The Royal Canadian Mounted police were created. Joan of Arc was canonized. The Mexican Revolution puts Alvaro Obregon in power. Warren Harding defeated James Cox in the 1920 presidential race. British troops gunned down soccer fans in Dublin on Bloody Sunday. Those born in 1920 include Isaac Asimov, Sun Myung Moon, Federico Fellini, Ravi Shankar, Pope John Paul II, Yul Brynner, Ray Bradbury, Mickey Rooney and Dave Brubeck. 1920 saw the deaths of Amedeo Modigliani, Robert Peary, William Dean Howells, Max Weber, Peter Carl Fabergé and Gaston Chevrolet. Notable works of 1920 included Edith Wharton's The Age of Innocence, D. H. Lawrence's Women in Love, Karel Čapek's play R.U.R.', Gustav Holst's The Planets, and the film The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari.
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