1948, a leap year, was the 77th year after the founding of the city of Birmingham.
- The City of Trafford was incorporated.
- The Birmingham Municipal Airport was returned by the Army Air Corps to city control after World War II.
- May: Senator Glen Taylor of Idaho was arrested for attempting to speak to the Southern Negro Youth Congress in Birmingham, a violation of the city's segregation laws.
- The last Miss Birmingham pageant was held at the Alabama Theatre.
- Homewood Park was dedicated.
- Birmingham Railway & Electric Company ridership peaked at 93 million passengers.
- A small fire broke out in room 315 of the Tutwiler Hotel.
- Land on Red Mountain was purchased for development of The Club.
- The State Teachers College was re-named "Alabama State College for Negroes".
- The Birmingham Film Council was reconstituted by Charles Zukowski, Jr and Mrs E. M. Darton.
- January 23: A snowfall brought 3.8 inches to Birmingham.
- April 11: The last streetcar ran on the No. 5 Ensley-Fairfield streetcar line.
- June 5: The Kiddieland amusement park at Fair Park opened its doors.
- June 8: The Ku Klux Klan raided Camp Blossom Hill in Brummitt Heights.
- Summer: Tarrant City Schools took over Jefferson County High School from Jefferson County Schools and renamed it Tarrant High School.
- June 10: The Ku Klux Klan raided Camp Fletcher near Bessemer.
- July 15: The pageant "The Yankees Are Coming" was staged by the Birmingham Historical Society on the grounds of the Arlington plantation.
- July 17: The 1948 States Rights Democratic Party convention, held at Municipal Auditorium, nominated Strom Thurmond as its presidential candidate.
- July 30: 11 miners were killed in the 1948 Edgewater Mine explosion.
- August 15: Trackless trolleys took over for streetcars on the No. 7 Wylam-Bush Hills streetcar line.
- September 21: Alberta City annexed into the city of Tuscaloosa.
- December 4: The presidents of the Student Government Associations of the University of Alabama and Auburn University buried an actual hatchet in Woodrow Wilson Park to signify the end of the dispute that had interrupted the annual Iron Bowl football rivalry 41 years earlier.
- March 9: Johnny Johnston founded Tire Engineers in Lakeview.
- Western Supermarkets was founded with a first location at Five Points West.
- December 10: The Newmar Theatre opened on 2nd Avenue North.
- Cobb Lane Restaurant was opened by Virginia Cobb in the former Levert Apartments.
- The Pell City Steak House was opened.
- Dichiara's Steak House opened on Avenue F Ensley.
- Uncle Tom's Bar-B-Q opened on 6th Avenue South.
- The Birmingham Labor Advocate ceased publication.
- George's Grill opened in the Altamont Apartments on Highland Avenue.
- Bandleader Dewitt Shaw leased the Hollywood Country Club and took over as manager.
- The Launderwell laundromat opened at Five Points West.
- The Coffee Cup Restaurant opened at Five Points West Shopping City.
- The Jack O'Lantern dinner club opened on Montgomery Highway in Homewood.
- The Canterbury Shop was founded by Bernard Goldstein and Irving Warner.
- Birmingham Travelodge No. 1 opened on 26th Street North.
- A. E. Burgess founded the A. E. Burgess Co., Inc..
- Blessed Sacrament Academy in West End dropped the upper grades and became an elementary school.
- Martin Biscuit Company dissolved.
- J & M Tank Lines was founded in Americus, Georgia.
- February 1: The Burchfiel Chimes at East Lake United Methodist Church were dedicated.
- February 1: Edgar Arendall preached his first sermon at Dawson Memorial Baptist Church.
- Trinity Lutheran Church in West End was founded by members of First Lutheran Church.
- Southeastern Bible School began offering a four-year degree program.
- October 10: Canterbury United Methodist Church merged with Mountain Brook Methodist Church in Crestline Village.
- January 1: Alabama lost to Texas 27-7 in the Sugar Bowl.
- January 1: Central State (Ohio) defeated Grambling State 27-21 at Rickwood Field in the seventh Vulcan Bowl.
- January 1: Arkansas defeated William & Mary 21-19 in the first Dixie Bowl at Legion Field.
- August 31: Jim Wasdell recorded a Barons record six hits against Chattanooga.
- September 11: The NFL's Green Bay Packers defeated the Washington Redskins 43-0 in an exhibition game at Legion Field.
- December 4: The 1948 Iron Bowl, won by Alabama 55-0, was the first to be held at Legion Field.
- The Southeastern Conference moved its headquarters to Birmingham.
- The 1948 Birmingham Barons drew 445,926 to Rickwood Field and won the Dixie Series over Fort Worth.
- The 1948 Birmingham Black Barons won the Negro American League pennant over the Kansas City Monarchs, then lost to the Homestead Grays in the final Negro Leagues World Series.
- Satchel Paige signed a Major League contract with the Cleveland Indians.
- Frank House signed a Major League contract with the Detroit Tigers.
- The Birmingham Vulcans and Bessemer Whiz Kids of the Southern Professional Basketball League played their final seasons.
- Ted McCrary coached the Samford Bulldogs to a 4-4-0 season.
- Columnist Clettus Atkinson joined the staff of the Birmingham Age-Herald.
- Al Awtrey joined the Birmingham Fire Department.
- Cartoonist Charles Brooks joined the staff of the Birmingham News.
- Reporter Clarke Stallworth joined the staff of the Birmingham Post.
- Gus Koutroulakis began working at Pete's Famous Hot Dogs.
- Hoyt Ayers succeeded J. R. Smith as Chief of the Birmingham Fire Department.
- Henry Stanford was named president of Georgia Southwestern College.
- Eugene Zeidman succeeded Max Hurvich as president of Temple Beth-El.
- Samuel Burr entered the partnership of Burr & Forman.
- Edgar Arendall succeeded William M. Vines as pastor of Dawson Memorial Baptist Church.
- H. C. Crelly was re-elected Mayor of Homewood.
- Carl Elliott was elected to the United States Congress.
- James Permutt was named president of the Jewish Community Center.
- William Engel succeeded Carl Hess as president of Temple Emanu-El.
- J. Duncan Hunter served as interim pastor at Pilgrim Church.
- Kenneth Daniel was promoted to chief engineer for ACIPCO.
- Henrietta Boggs-MacGuire became First Lady of Costa Rica.
- Tom Bradley joined the Bessemer Fire Department.
- Bill Dorrough succeeded Grady Price as Mayor of Leeds.
- James Foy joined the student affairs staff at the University of Alabama.
- Joseph Volker was named as the first dean of the University of Alabama School of Dentistry.
- January 31: Mike Kolen, football player
- February 5: Mary Anne Blake, nurse
- February 18: Jimmy Lee III, soft drink bottler
- March 17: Larry Langford, politician
- April 28: David Carrington, Racing USA founder and Jefferson County Commission president
- May 17: Carlos May, baseball player
- July 2: Elvin Ivory, NBA player
- July 18: Tyrone Williams, Birmingham City Schools administrator
- July 23: Mary Moore, state legislator
- August 3: Ray Reach, jazz pianist
- August 7: John Amari, judge
- August 20: Tom Banks, football player
- September 3: Stan Starnes, attorney and executive
- September 8; Donald Watkins, attorney and banker
- September 11: Phillip Alford, child actor
- September 13: Nell Carter, entertainer
- October 29: Kate Jackson, actress and Henry Parsley, Episcopal Bishop of Alabama
- October 30: Dennis Covington, author
- November 21: Elizabeth MacQueen, sculptor
- November 22: Diane Rivers, educational consultant
- November 23: Young Boozer III, banker
- November 30: Longin Soverow, artist
- December 5: Randy Marsh, Alabama School of Fine Arts teacher and Birmingham Festival Theatre co-founder
- December 26: Gary Edwards, CEO of United Ability
- Ray Bauer, steel executive and long-distance runner
- George Bowman, Army general
- Gary Childs, BPD East Precinct commander
- Jim Dearth, oncologist and hospital administrator
- Sonny Ferguson, attorney and judge
- Ralph Hicks, server
- Cam Langley, glass artist
- Barbara Malki, business owner
- Edward Partridge, gynecologic oncologist
- David Pollick, college administrator
- Sperry Snow, co-owner of Barton-Clay Fine Jewelers
- Bob Whitley, contractor
- Bobby Bowden and Cliff Holman from Woodlawn High School
- Bill Edmonds from Virginia Military Institute with a bachelor's in civil engineering
- Joe Farley from Princeton University with a degree in mechanical engineering
- John Fuller from Auburn University with a bachelor of architecture
- Robert Guillot from the University of Alabama School of Law with a Juris Doctorate
- Howell Heflin from the University of Alabama School of Law with a Juris Doctorate
- Tom King from the University of Alabama with a bachelor's in accounting
- Vaughn Mancha from the University of Alabama
- Ward McIntyre from Ramsay High School
- Huland Moore from West Point High School in Cullman
- George M. Murray from the Virginia Theological Seminary
- John Porter from Industrial High School
- John Rice, Jr from Johnson C. Smith University in Charlotte, North Carolina
- Ezra Sims completed his studies at the Birmingham Conservatory of Music
- Birmingham Woman of the Year: Dorothy Thames Schwartz
- Miss Alabama: Martha Ann Ingram/Marjorie Orr
- John Rhoden won 1st prize for sculpture at Columbia University.
- February 1: John W. Black III, president of the Dixie Drive-It-Yourself System
- March 1: John Hornady, newspaper editor and Birmingham City Commission member
- May 27: William Oliver, former U.S. Representative
- June 27: Frank Yeilding, Yeilding's founder
- July 30: James Dovel, engineer
- August 10: Lucille Bogan, blues singer
- August 30: Claude Ritter, attorney
- October 28: Roy Ellam, Birmingham Barons shortstop
- Henry T. DeBardeleben, Industrialist
- Cliff Hare, chemistry professor and chair of the Auburn Faculty Athletic Committee.
- The Little Southerner train at Kiddieland debuted
- "Jupe", the giraffe mascot for Junior League of Birmingham programs, made his first appearance.
- The Patchwork Time, a novel by Robert F. Gibbons
- Camp McDowell
- Camp Sumatanga
- Fair Park Drive-In
- Guaranty Savings and Loan headquarters
- Jack Wood Stadium
- Jefferson County Public Health Building
- Joe's Ranch House
- Moton High School
- Newmar Theatre, renovation of former Capitol Theatre on 2nd Avenue North
- Park Lane Apartments
- Rickwood Field, new ladies' restroom and shorter outfield fence
- South Park Apartments in Central Park
- Robert Tyler residence
- 6th Street Peace Baptist Church
- Vestavia (estate) restoration with new interior murals
- Vestavia Hills Elementary School East
- Wenonah High School
- The Birmingham YWCA purchased the Dixie Carlton Hotel for its downtown headquarters.
- Phillips High School's Alma Mater was composed by Alfred Mayer
- Hardrock Gunter left the Golden River Boys.
- Jo Jones left the Count Basie Orchestra.
Film, Radio and TV
- WBRC-FM began the transition to become the first television station in Birmingham in 1949.
- The Inside Story, film starring Gail Patrick.
- WJLN-FM was launched as a sister station to WJLD-AM.
- Hank Penny joined the "Hoffman Hayride" television show.
- Dick Hawley joined the WSGN-AM & WSGN-FM broadcasts of the Birmingham Barons.
- Joe Rumore began working at WVOK-AM.
In 1948 the first color newsreel was produced. Mahatma Gandhi was assassinated. The winter olympics were held in St Moritz, Switzerland and the summer olympics in London, England. The Supreme Court ruled that religious instruction in schools is unconstitutional. The Hell's Angels gang was founded. President Truman signed the Marshall Plan. The U. S. House Un-American Activities Committee held its first televised hearings. The Cleveland Indians won the World Series over the Boston Braves. Harry Truman was reelected over Thomas Dewey and Strom Thurmond. The UN adopted its Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
Notable 1948 births include those of musicians Stevie Nicks, Robert Plant, Cat Stevens and Ronnie Van Zant, actors Billy Crystal, Samuel L. Jackson and Rhea Perlman, hockey player Bobby Orr, composer Andrew Lloyd Webber, broadcaster Bryant Gumbel, politicians Howard Dean and Al Gore, and fitness guru Richard Simmons.
Among those who died in 1948 were Gandhi, inventor Orville Wright, baseball player Babe Ruth, and former First Lady Edith Roosevelt.
Notable films included The Red Shoes, The Three Musketeers, Laurence Olivier's Hamlet, and The Treasure of the Sierra Madre. The most popular singles included Pee Wee Hunt's "12th Street Rag" and Art Mooney's "I'm Looking Over a Four Leaf Clover". The 1948 Nobel Prize for literature went to T. S. Eliot while the Pulitzer Prize went to James Michener for Tales of the South Pacific. Tennessee Williams' A Streetcar Names Desire won the Pulitzer Prize for Drama.
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