1996 was the 125th year after the founding of the City of Birmingham.
- January 1: The West End Masonic Temple caught fire.
- July 1-September 1: The First Emperor: Treasures from Ancient China exhibit at the Birmingham Museum of Art.
- August 14: Clay-Chalkville High School and the new location of Shades Valley High School opened.
- September 1: ABC 33/40 went on the air and WBRC 6 became Birmingham's FOX affiliate.
- October 24: President Bill Clinton spoke at Birmingham-Southern College.
- Lonnie Holley was the 1996 "Distinguished Artist" from the Magic City Art Connection.
- The Birmingham Fire and Rescue Service began wearing newly-redesigned shoulder patches.
- Cleveland Hammonds was hired as superintendent of St Louis, Missouri's public schools.
- Birmingham City Schools launched the Workplace Instructional Resources and Educational Development with Steve Orel as director.
- The original John Carroll Catholic High School buildings on Highland Avenue were demolished.
- January 1: Dowd Ritter became president and CEO of AmSouth Bank.
- February: The Cobb Midfield 6 closed.
- April 11: Compass Bank acquired Equitable Bankshares of Dallas, Texas.
- April 19: Compass Bank acquired Post Oak Bank of Houston, Texas.
- July 15: WFFX-FM (95.7 The Fox) changed over to WBHJ-FM (95.7 Jamz)
- August 23: Compass Bank acquired CFB Bancorp of Jacksonville, Florida.
- October: Hibbett Sporting Goods went public.
- Torchmark Corporation acquired United American of McKinney, Texas.
- Cohen Carnaggio Reynolds was founded.
- Wes Chapman was hired as director of the Alabama Ballet.
- Lazlo's Pizza in Lakeview closed.
- Steve Hewett left AmSouth Bank to work for Nashville's Quorum Health Group.
- The Fifth Avenue Coffee House opened.
- Hubbell Power Systems acquired Leeds' Anderson Electric.
- April 20: Terrell Owens was drafted by the San Francisco 49ers as the 89th overall pick.
- May: John Bland won the Bruno's Memorial Classic.
- June 4: Josh Hancock was selected in the 3rd round of the MLB draft.
- June 12: The Barons defeated the Memphis Chicks 3-2 in the inaugural Rickwood Classic.
- July: 1996 Olympic soccer games at Legion Field.
- Murry Bartow was hired as UAB Blazers men's basketball head coach.
- Gene Stallings retired from the head coaching job for the Alabama Crimson Tide football team.
- Alys Stephens Center Phase I
- American Printing
- Cahaba Cycles
- Clay-Chalkville High School
- Shades Valley High School
- Southside Branch Library
- Ryals Public Health Building at UAB
- A proposal to convert the City Federal Building into the "Renaissance Apartments" was put forth, but came to naught.
- Burr & Forman purchased and renovated the Forbes Building.
- Birmingham View: Through the Years in Photographs
- In Search of Nature
- I Hate Paul Finebaum: 303 Reasons Why You Should, Too
- Drive By Truckers was launched.
- Irvin Penfield's title of dean of the college and vice president for academic affairs at Birmingham-Southern College was changed to "provost".
- Dale Benos was named chair of the UAB Department of Physiology and Biophysics.
- Abdurrahim El-Keib was made a full professor at the University of Alabama.
- Phyllis Wyne retired from South Central Bell.
- After completing his sixth term as Mayor of Gardendale, William Noble resumed serving as city attorney.
- Jefferson State Pioneers baseball coach and athletic director Donald Green retired.
- St John's Episcopal Church for the Deaf rector Camille Desmarais retired.
- Catholic priest Michael Dubruiel was "laicized".
- Educator John Monro retired from Tougaloo College outside Jackson, Mississippi.
- April 5-9: Coroner Robert Brissie served as acting Jefferson County Sheriff.
- September 21: Robbie Fearn married Pamela Rowe.
- October 16: Attorney Hugo Black III married Jeannine Crowell in Pinecrest, Florida.
- Lonnie Holley was the 1996 "Distinguished Artist" from the Magic City Art Connection
- Dan Holliman was named 1996 Wildlife Conservationist of the Year by the Alabama Wildlife Federation
- Roy Wood Jr graduated from Ramsay High School
- Vivian Malone Jones was presented with the inaugural "Lurleen B. Wallace Award of Courage".
- John Godbold won the Edward J. Devitt Distinguished Service to Justice Award.
- Alabama Academy of Honor: Ann Bedsole, Thomas Bradford Jr, Frank Bromberg Jr, Alston Callahan, Thomas Corts, Edward Friend III, and William Spencer III
- Miss Shelby County: Haley Spates Mims
- January 19: A. G. Gaston, businessman and civil rights activist
- January 29: James Bailey, former mayor of Leeds
- February 19: Charlie Finley, Oakland A's owner
- May 31: Timothy Leary, proponent of psychedelic drugs
- June 16: Mel Allen, New York Yankees broadcaster
- August 7: Helen Nies, Federal judge
- August 8: Tommy Charles, disc jockey and talk radio host
- September 22: Ferd Weil, businessman
- October 9: Lyn Spotswood, theater director
- November 11: Lum Harris, baseball player and manager
- November 17: Ida Moffett, nurse and educator
- December 2: Joe Gunther, professional wrestler and wrestling promoter
- December 16: Arthur Shores, attorney and former Birmingham City Council member
- Larry Connatser, painter
- Paul Hardin, Methodist bishop
- See also List of Birmingham homicides in 1996
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