1941 was the 70th year after the founding of the city of Birmingham.
- February 28: Two inches of snow fell on the city.
- March 29: The North American Regional Broadcasting Agreement came into effect, with WAPI-AM and WSGN-AM moving temporarily to AM 1170 and AM 1340, respectively.\
- June 14: 1941 Docena Mine explosion.
- July 10: 1941 Acmar No. 6 Mine explosion.
- September 29-October 4: 1941 Alabama State Fair
- October 24: Pianist Sergei Rachmaninoff performed in Birmingham.
- December 1: The USS Osmond Ingram was recommissioned as a destroyer, DD-255.
- December 7: Japanese forces bombed Pearl Harbor in the Territory of Hawaii, leading the United States to declare war and join the Allied Forces fighting World War II.
- Fraternal Order of Police Birmingham Lodge No. 1 was chartered.
- Twenty-five Chinese elm trees were planted around Glen Iris Elementary School by the Parent-Teacher Association.
- Donald Beatty organized the "Consairway" trans-Pacific cargo system for the Consolidated Aircraft Corporation of San Diego, California.
- The Apollo Boys' Choir relocated to Dallas, Texas.
- Nazareth Bogan Jr moved his Bogan's Birmingham Busters to Los Angeles, California.
- Gustave Courbet's painting "Entrée d'un gave" was seized from Parisian businessman Moïse Lévy de Benzion by the Nazis.
- Hubert Drouais's painting "Les Portraits de MM. De Béthune Jouant avec un Chien" was seized from Parisian art dealer S. R. Founes by the Nazis.
- Addresses on the eastern section of Warrior Road were renumbered to continue the scheme from the western section.
- February 15: WSGN-AM moved its studios to the Dixie Carlton Hotel.
- The Birmingham News and Birmingham Age-Herald adopted Linotype's new "Corona" typeface.
- Emory Jackson took over publication of the Birmingham World.
- Penn Central Airlines inaugurated direct passenger service from Birmingham Municipal Airport to Pittsburgh's Allegheny County Airport.
- The New Ideal department store expanded into the former Sears building on 2nd Avenue North at 18th Street.
- Standard Furniture relocated to the New Ideal building at 111 19th Street North.
- Leo E. Bashinsky sold his stake in the Bashinsky Case Cotton Company to become president of Automatic Machine Products.
- I. L. Fabian, Abe Klotzman and Ralph Blach bought the Empire Hotel at 2130 4th Avenue North.
- Tom Martin founded the Alabama Research Institute.
- A & P opened a store at in the former Adamson Motor Company showroom at 1729 5th Avenue North.
- A second Alley's Drugs opened at 5017 5th Avenue South in Woodlawn Heights.
- The Anchorage Restaurant opened in Homewood.
- Ariail Drug Co. opened in Crestline Village.
- The Brooke Hill School for Girls opened.
- The Homewood Public Library was created at Homewood City Hall.
- John Packas Barbecue opened at 414 18th Street South.
- Morris Sher launched the clothing business that evolved into Krown Kredit.
- The Lucky Strike Bowling Alley opened at 2217 3rd Avenue North.
- Stapleton's Fine Foods opened at 2131 7th Avenue South.
- Paul Vaughan and Ferd Weil opened their Vaughan-Weil store at 1816 3rd Avenue North.
- The Birmingham Civic Symphonic Orchestra was disbanded.
- The U.S. Army Air Corps created the 332nd Fighter Group which trained African-American aviators at the Tuskegee Army Air Field.
- The Alabama Highway Department took over maintenance of the "Rose Trails" along the Florida Short Route.
- September 1: Reservists from the 106th Observation Squadron were assigned to the 66th Observation Group.
- October 13: 1941 Birmingham municipal election
- Our Lady Queen of the Universe Catholic Church was founded by the Diocese of Mobile.
- St Theresa Catholic Church was founded by the Diocese of Mobile.
- Ensley First United Methodist Church hosted the 1941 North Alabama Methodist Conference.
- January 1: Morris Brown defeated Wilberforce 19-3 in the inaugural Steel Bowl at Legion Field.
- Frank W. Thomas' 1941 Alabama Crimson Tide football team went 9-2 and was awarded the national championship by the Deke Houlgate collegiate football rating system.
- The Gardendale Elementary School murals were completed.
- The neon sign for the Bright Star Restaurant was installed.
- February 17: The U.S.S. Birmingham (CL-62) was laid down at the Newport News Shipbuilding and Dry Dock Company.
- Polk's Birmingham (Jefferson County, Ala.) City Directory, including Fairfield and Homewood (1941) Richmond, Virginia: R. L. Polk & Co.
- Now Let Us Praise Famous Men by James Agee and photographer Walker Evans.
- The Church and Her Children by Raimundo de Ovies
- Alabama Army Ammunition Plant near Childersburg
- Bessemer City Hall (built by the Works Progress Administration)
- Five Points West Shopping City
- Sears, Roebuck & Co. store in downtown Birmingham
- Gantt Machinery Co.
- Hanger C, 101st Observation Squadron, Birmingham Airport
- Inglenook Park was dedicated.
- McAdory High School in McCalla (built by the Works Progress Administration)
- Joe Money Machinery Co.
- Dam at Lake Tranquility, Oak Mountain State Park (built by the Works Progress Administration)
- Pilgrim Congregational Church at 1819 8th Avenue North
- Rock Mountain Fire Lookout Tower on Rock Mountain (built by the Civilian Conservation Corps)
- Southtown Court (built by the United States Housing Authority)
- Wharton Lookout Tower on Ruffner Mountain (built by the Civilian Conservation Corps)
- Wigwam Village on Bessemer Super Highway
- Eight-room addition to F. D. McArthur School in Druid Hills
- Expansion and renovation of the Homewood Theatre
- Addition to McElwain Elementary School (built by the Works Progress Administration)
- Indoor plumbing was added to Mortimer Jordan High School.
- Expansion of the clinic at Slossfield Community Center
- Remodeling of the Ensley Theatre
- New "Memorial Gateway" at Underwood Park
- March 14: Barker Elementary School was destroyed by fire.
- The Drennen Department Store at 123 20th Street North was destroyed by fire.
- June 7: Joseph Vath was ordained a priest of the Roman Catholic Church.
- July 20: Joseph Raya was ordained a priest of the Melkite Catholic Church.
- November: F. K. Gamble succeeded G. Fred Cooper as pastor of Avondale United Methodist Church.
- December 7: Milton Grafman succeeded Myron Silverman as rabbi of Temple Emanu-El.
- Douglas Arant was elected chair of the American Bar Association's Committee on the Bill of Rights.
- Mattie Bush began directing the 8th Avenue YMCA.
- George Denny re-assumed the position of President of the University of Alabama on an interim basis following the death of Richard Foster.
- Leon Hicks succeeded William Poe as president of Thompson High School.
- Seybourn Lynn was elected to the Eighth Judicial Circuit of Alabama.
- Ida Moffett assumed management of nurses at Highland Avenue Baptist Hospital and Birmingham Baptist Hospital.
- Avery Parrish left the Erskine Hawkins Orchestra.
- John Persons was promoted to Major General of the Alabama National Guard.
- Erskine Ramsay resigned from the Birmingham Board of Education.
- Oscar Roettger succeeded Ira Smith as manager of the Birmingham Barons.
- Luke Sewell began managing the American League's St Louis Browns.
- Virginia Tyler assumed directorship of the Ensley Community House.
- Margaret Walker began her teaching career at Livingstone College in Salisbury, North Carolina.
- February 1: Giuseppe Bertolone, restaurateur
- March 24: Lester Cobb, drummer, artist, activist, and social worker
- March 25: Ralph Lindsey, Mayor of Kimberly
- March 30: Ocie Burton, Baptist minister
- April 1: Benny Nelson, professional football player
- April 13: Richard Williamson, professional football coach
- April 27: Lee Roy Jordan, professional football player
- May 3: Helen Shores Lee, clinical psychologist, attorney, and judge
- May 25: Jerry Woodard, rockabilly singer and guitarist
- June 8: Frank Parsons, attorney, travel agent, and civic leader
- June 21: Mitty Collier, soul and blues singer and Christian minister
- June 29: Elizabeth Garner, science teacher
- July 5: John Lusco, Latin teacher and dean of students
- July 27: Bill Baxley, Attorney General and Lieutenant Governor of Alabama
- August 9: Way Bandy, make-up artist
- August 15: Tommie Reynolds, professional baseball player
- September 6: Melford Espey, college administrator and creator of "Big Al"
- September 26: Bev Head, attorney, business leader, and political aide
- October 7: Thomas Corts, President of Samford University
- October 15: Marty Eagle, bar owner
- November 15: Jimmy Graphos, restaurateur
- December 7: Wayne Rasco, newspaper publisher
- December 8: Bill Battle III, sports licensing pioneer, football coach, and athletic director
- Larry Barton, barber, gospel singer, banker, and Mayor of Talladega
- Bill Morgan Freeman, artist and craftsman
- Mike Froning, educator
- Billy Gandy, Christmas tree farmer
- Donald Green, baseball coach and athletic director
- Barry Ivker, psychotherapist, literary scholar, poet, playwright, musician, dancer, and artist
- Jim Lawrence, real estate executive and poet
- Vincent Oliver, barber
- Albert Pacifico, cardiac surgeon
- Thomas Precise, Methodist minister
- Jim Reed, bookseller
- Dave Roddy, radio personality
- Carole Samuelson, pediatrician and Jefferson County Health Officer
- Judge Clarence Allgood completed his bachelor of laws at the Birmingham School of Law.
- Playwright William Berney graduated from the University of Alabama.
- Attorney Samuel Burr earned his bachelor of arts at the University of Alabama.
- Patholigist Joseph Cunningham completed a residency at the Boston University School of Medicine.
- Architect George Gaunt earned his degree at the University of Michigan.
- Historian Virginia Hamilton completed her bachelor's degree in English at Birmingham-Southern College.
- College administrator Harry Lipson Jr earned his master's in business administration at Northwestern University in Chicago, Illinois.
- Insurance executive Lee McGriff earned a mathematics degree at the University of the South in Sewanee, Tennessee.
- Business owner Katherine McTyeire graduated from Birmingham-Southern College.
- Educator Ernest Palmore earned a bachelor's degree in agriculture at Tuskegee Institute.
- Novelist Walker Percy completed an M.D. from the Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons.
- Radio announcer Joe Rumore graduated from Ramsay High School.
- Industrialist William Spencer III earned a bachelor of science in chemistry at the University of the South in Sewanee, Tennessee.
- Businessman Hall Thompson graduated from the Duncan Preparatory School in Nashville, Tennessee.
- Park director Frank Wagner graduated from West End High School.
- U.S. Marine Corps Commandant Louis Wilson Jr earned his bachelor of arts at Millsaps College in Jackson, Mississippi
- UAB President Joseph Volker earned his Ph.D. in biochemistry at the University of Rochester, New York.
- June 21: William Sulzby married Mildred Wood.
- June 28: William Yester married Ruth Anne Mulvaney.
- October 18: Henrietta Boggs married José Figueres Ferrer, head of Costa Rica's Social Democratic Party.
- December 24: Buck Falkner married Lorene Juzan.
- Willie Foster married Thelma Quigless.
- Dorothea Warren married Charles Fox.
- Izzy Jannazzo married Francesca Tombrello.
- B. Davie Napier married Joyce Robertson White.
- Fred Shuttlesworth married Ruby Keeler.
- Lois Wilson retired from acting.
- January 19: Logwood Goin, physician
- January 27: Roderick MacKenzie, artist
- January 28: James "Brother" Bryan, Presbyterian minister
- February 28: Wallace Rayfield, architect
- March 11: Harry Breeding, architect
- June 10: John Coe, coal and lumber dealer
- June 14: Five workers were killed in the 1941 Docena Mine explosion.
- July 10: Eleven workers were killed in the 1941 Acmar No. 6 Mine explosion.
- July 12: Birmingham Police motorcycle officer Newton Wolff was killed in a traffic accident.
- July 30: Eugene Enslen, real estate and business investor
- October 14: Herbert Salmon, mining engineer
- December 7: Julius Ellsberry, U.S. Navy crewman
- December 7: Billy McCary, U.S. Navy musician
- Richard Foster, President of the University of Alabama
- See also: List of homicides in 1941
In his third inaugural address, President Franklin Roosevelt elaborated "Four Freedoms" (freedom of speech, freedom of worship, freedom from want and freedom from fear) as fundamental human rights. The US passed the Lend-Lease Act to provide material aid to the United Kingdom and China. Germany and its allies invaded the Soviet Union and Hitler authorized a "final solution" to murder all Jews and other "undesirable" individuals in territories under his control. Charles Lindbergh's involvement in the isolationist America First Committee made him increasingly unpopular.
On December 7, 1941 Japan attacked a U.S. Naval base at Pearl Harbor. President Roosevelt addressed Congress, saying that the attack was "a date which will live in infamy." Congress voted to declare war against the Empire of Japan. Soon later the Axis powers declared war against the United States, involving the nation in the European and Pacific theaters of war.
During 1941, Glenn Seaborg first isolated the element plutonium. The National Gallery in Washington D.C. was dedicated. General Mills introduced "Cheerioats" breakfast cereal. Joe DiMaggio maintained a 56-game hitting streak between May and July. Walt Disney's animation department went on strike. The first commercial television broadcasts aired in New York City. Willys produced the first general purpose military vehicle, later known as a "Jeep". The first of H. A. Rey's "Curious George" books were published. Robert Frost was awarded the Robert Frost Medal for distinguished lifetime service to American poetry. A major hurricane struck the Texas Gulf Coast. North Dakota's "Mount Rushmore" monument was completed. Joe Louis reigned as heavyweight champion in boxing and Whirlaway won the triple crown of horse racing.
Notable people born in 1941 include actors Beau Bridges, Faye Dunaway and Nick Nolte; architect Todao Ando; athletes Pete Rose; authors Anne Rice and Anne Tyler; television personalities Martha Stewart and Chuck Woolery; musicians Joan Baez, Neil Diamond, Bob Dylan, Aaron Neville, Paul Simon, and Otis Redding; political leaders Dick Cheney, Kim Jong-Il, Slobodan Milošević, and Bernie Sanders; and sculptor Dale Chihuly. Notable deaths in 1941 include those of architect El Lissitzky; baseball player Lou Gehrig; authors James Joyce and Virginia Woolf; philosopher Henri Bergson; musician Jelly Roll Morton; Scouting founder Robert Baden-Powell; sculptor Gutzon Borglum; Supreme Court justice Louis Brandeis; German Emperor Kaiser Wilhelm II, and King Alfonso XIII of Spain.
Notable films of 1941 included Citizen Kane, How Green Was My Valley, The Maltese Falcon, and Dumbo.
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