- February 9: The Alabama Legislature established the Alabama Hospital for the Insane in Tuscaloosa.
- The University of Alabama temporarily became a military school.
- Alabama's delegates to the Democratic National Convention in Charleston, South Carolina walked out, eventually reconvening with other pro-slavery party members in Baltimore to nominate John Breckinridge for president.
- The town of Birmingham, Kentucky was incorporated.
- May 10: Alburto Martin married the former Harriett Louise Mudd.
- Richard H. Brasher became Shelby County Sheriff.
- Andrew Tarrant married the former Martha Ayre.
- Reinhard Wilda emigrated to the United States.
- March: Andrew Fulenwider, real estate executive
- April 27: James Stiles, judge
- August 8: John Payne, physician
- October 15: Henry Stockmar, builder and Alderman
- Benjamin Popwell
In 1860, the Taiping Rebellion continued. The Pony Express went into operation. The Oxford evolution debate took place. The Second Opium War ended in China. The first Open Championship, a.k.a. the British Open, took place. The Expedition of the Thousand led to the dissolution of Kingdom of the Two Sicilies, an important step in reunifying Italy. Abraham Lincoln was elected president. Charles Dickens published the first installment of Great Expectations. South Carolina seceded from the U.S.
Notable births in 1860 included writer Anton Chekhov, politician William Jennings Bryan, composer Gustav Mahler, murder suspect Lizzie Borden, show performer Annie Oakley, painter Grandma Moses, and General John J. Pershing. Notable deaths included reformer Theodore Parker, architect Charles Barry, inventor Charles Goodyear, and philosopher Arthur Schopenhauer.
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