- The Drennen and Company Department Store opened for business.
- John Callahan and William Douthit began publishing the Elyton Sun in Elyton.
- Samuel R. Freeman became president of Howard College.
- Thomas Harrison became Shelby County Sheriff again.
- Mortimer Jordan Jr was appointed surgeon to the Alabama penitentiary.
- A. O. Lane was admitted to the bar.
- January 31: Morris Newfield, rabbi
- February 18: David McLendon, President of Birmingham City Commission (1921–1925)
- August 15: James McWane, president of ACIPCO and founder of McWane, Inc.
- August 24: George Crawford, president of the Tennessee Coal, Iron & Railroad Company was born in Madison, Georgia.
- September 19: B. H. Cooper, businessman and Birmingham Alderman
- November 11: George Huddleston Sr, politician
- November 28: J. M. Watson, pastor of First Christian Church
- Cliff Hare: chemist and chair of the Auburn Faculty Athletic Committee
- Walter Lake, industrial accident victim
- John Lewis Morris, aviator
- D. F. Sugg, Mayor of Ensley
- B. B. Comer from Emory and Henry College
In 1869, Ulysses S. Grant became president of the U.S. The American Museum of Natural History was founded in New York. Purdue University was founded. Susan B. Anthony and Elizabeth Cady Stanton formed the National Woman's Suffrage Association. The first issue of the scientific journal Nature was published. The first game of football between two American colleges was played. The Suez Canal opened.
Notable books published in 1869 included Good Wives by Louisa May Alcott, Lorna Doone by R. D. Blackmore, War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy, and Innocents Abroad by Mark Twain.
Notable births in 1869 included mystic Grigori Rasputin, British Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain, political leader Mahatma Gandhi, football coach John Heisman, and painter Henri Matisse. Notable deaths included those of composer Carl Loewe, explorer Charles Sturt, engineer John A. Roebling, lexicographer Peter Mark Roget, and former president Franklin Pierce.
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