2011 was the 140th year after the founding of the City of Birmingham.
- January 2: Bethel Metropolitan Community Church closed.
- January 3: The Fairfield City Council appointed Primus Mack to fill the District 2 seat left vacant by the retirement of Vincent Smith.
- January 5: A single-engine plane crashed near the Birmingham-Shuttlesworth International Airport, killing pilot Eugene Scott.
- January 7: The vacant Powell School building caught fire.
- January 13: The Community Foundation of Greater Birmingham announced their "Prize 2 the Future" contest.
- January 13: A fire damaged part of the Porter Chapel Christian Methodist Episcopal Church in Bessemer.
- January 15: "Dream, Child. Hope" by Adolphus Hailstork had its world premiere at the "Realizing the Dream Concert" in Tuscaloosa.
- January 16: A section of McMillon Avenue Southwest was dedicated in honor of Colonel Stone Johnson.
- January 16: "Reflect and Rejoice" concert at the Alys Stephens Center
- January 17: Robert Bentley was sworn in as the 53rd Governor of Alabama.
- January 17: Unity Breakfast at the BJCC
- January 20: The Alabama Tourism Department's Year of Alabama Music kicked off at the Alabama Jazz Hall of Fame at Carver Theatre.
- February 2: Groundhog Birmingham Bill saw his shadow, portending 6 more weeks of winter.
- February 3: The Hood-McPherson building was sold at auction.
- February 5: The Year of Alabama Music kicked off with the "Abalalip!" concert at the Alabama Theatre.
- February 24: US Census data on population of cities and towns was released.
- April: Bob Sykes Bar-B-Q Blues Festival
- April 27: A major tornado outbreak struck mid- and north Alabama.
- May: Specimens of Obling rocksnail, thought to be extinct, were collected in the Cahaba River.
- June 9: Governor Robert Bentley signed the "Beason-Hammon Alabama Taxpayer and Citizen Protection Act" (HB56), enacting the strongest state legislation aimed at controlling illegal immigration into the United States.
- June 14: The Bama Rising concert raised funds for tornado victims.
- June 18: Jefferson County placed 546 workers on indefinite administrative leave without pay due to the loss of revenue from the Jefferson County Occupational Tax and ongoing effects of the Jefferson County debt crisis.
- August 12–14: Birmingham Arts and Music Festival.
- August 23: Incumbent William Bell won the 2011 Birmingham mayoral election.
- September 8: The rush darter was added to the U. S. Fish & Wildlife Service's endangered species list.
- November 3: The matter of approving funds for an on-campus football stadium for UAB was removed from the University of Alabama Board of Trustees agenda, effectively stopping the project.
- November 9: The Jefferson County Commission, unable to resolve its financial crisis, voted to file for Chapter 9 bankruptcy protection.
- The Birmingham Museum of Art acquired an important Le Dynasty jar for its Asian collection.
- December 20: Patton Hill Baptist Church in Oakman was destroyed by arson.
- December 31: A magnitude 2.0 earthquake was detected Southeast of Trussville and West of Moody (map).
- Bromberg's held a closeout sale of merchandise from its closed Riverchase Galleria location at its former flagship store in downtown Birmingham.
- Muzik & More relocated to the Crown Plaza Shopping Center.
- Brownell Travel relocated to The Summit.
- January: EWTN News launched a Spanish-language version, called EWTN Noticias.
- January 22: The first FoodBlogSouth conference was held at Woodrow Hall.
- February: Gus Mayer moved from Brookwood Village to the Summit.
- February 25: Cans of Good People Brewing Company's Brown Ale and IPA appeared in stores.
- April 15: Banking regulators seized Superior Bank and Nexity Bank.
- The Birmingham Children's Choir was changed to the Birmingham Girls Choir.
- Galaxy Magic in the Night opened.
- January: Mix bakery and café opened in One Federal Place.
- January: Yolo Dessert Bar opened at Brookwood Village.
- February 2: Pinches Tacos opened at Hallman Hill.
- February 2: The new Ona's Music Room opened in the Martin Biscuit Building at Pepper Place.
- February 18: Dunkin' Donuts opened on 6th Avenue South near UAB.
- February 25: Gus Mayer opened at The Summit.
- February: Pinson Valley Flea Market opened in Pinson.
- April: Frio en La Paz, a second location of La Paz Mexican restaurant, opened at Vestavia Hills City Center.
- June: Click Salon opened at Pepper Place.
- June: Gallery Soleil opened on Richard Arrington Jr Boulevard South.
- June: Slice Pizza & Brew opened in Lakeview.
- June 20: Hallelujah FM debuted at 105.1 FM.
- July 25: TJ's on Fourth opened.
- July 28: Paramount yogurt shop opened on 20th Street North.
- August 1: Sweet Tea Restaurant opened on 3rd Avenue South.
- August 9: Ollie Irene opened in the Mountain Brook Shopping Center.
- August: Caribe Cigar Co. in the Vintage Building in downtown Birmingham.
- August: The Ridge restaurant opened in Vestavia Hills.
- September: Vino opened in English Village.
- September: Donut Chef opened in Calera.
- Bacchus night club opened in the Studio Arts Building.
- The Magic City Metro Bar opened in the former Metro Bistro.
- The Griffin Wheel Co. near Bessemer was reopened after being idled for a decade.
- October: Alfredo's Pizza Cafe opened a second location on Green Springs Highway.
- October: Estate Liquidators opened in East Lake.
- November: Rock-N-Roll Sushi opened at the Pinnacle at Tutwiler Farm.
- December 13: El Barrio restaurant and bar opened on 2nd Avenue North.
- The Communicating Vessels and Spring Street Records labels were launched.
- YoYo Donuts Etc. opened at Merchant's Walk.
Mergers and acquisitions
- January: Southern Cal Transport was bought by Transport America of Eagan, Minnesota.
- January: Jenkins Brick was acquired by the Acme Brick Company of Fort Worth, Texas.
- February 1: EWTN acquired the National Catholic Register newspaper.
- March 1: Law firms Feld Hyde and Dominick, Fletcher, Yeilding, Wood & Lloyd merged to form the new firm of Dominick Feld Hyde.
- March: Lazarus Capital Partners purchased NelBran Glass.
- April: Don Drennen Motor Company was bought by Hendrick Automotive Group of North Carolina.
- April 1: Big Sky Bread Company consolidated all operations to the Cahaba Valley Business Park.
- April 1: The George F. Wheelock Co. was acquired by Mingledorff's Inc. of Norcross, Georgia.
- September: Cumulus Media acquired Citadel Communications, along with several radio stations in the Birmingham market.
- August 30: Primavera coffee roasters merged with Octane coffee house chain and the Fresh Hospitality management company.
- October 22: The Emanuel-St Matthew African Methodist Episcopal Church was formed by merger of Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church with St Matthew African Methodist Episcopal Church.
- October 22: The New Seed of Faith African Methodist Episcopal Church was formed by merger of Miles Memorial African Methodist Episcopal Church with St Stephen African Methodist Episcopal Church.
- October 31: Birmingham News Multimedia took over publication of Birmingham magazine from the Birmingham Business Alliance.
- November 11: Community Bancorp LLC merged its holdings, Superior Bank, N. A. and Cadence Bank.
- Mazer closed its final Green Springs Highway location.
- January: G. T.'s on Acton closed.
- April: Grump's Great Grill on 3rd Avenue South closed.
- May: Pianeta 3 in Mountain Brook Village closed.
- July 8: Fire Restaurant in Crestline Village closed.
- July: Super Suppers at the Vestavia Hills City Center closed.
- August: Big Bolton’s Barbecue in Springville closed.
- October 27: Birmingham Financial Federal Credit Union was taken over by federal regulators.
- November: Church & Stagg closed.
- November: Yolo Dessert Bar at Brookwood Village closed.
- December: The Birmingham Southern Railroad was sold to Watco Transportation Services.
- Brannon's: A Public House closed.
- JoJo's Gun and Pawn closed.
- The Leeds News was closed by Community Newspaper Holdings.
- Paul Bryant Jr sold the Irondale-based Ready Mix USA to Mexico's CEMEX.
- January 25: Mayor of Birmingham William Bell delivered the 2011 State of the City address.
- August 9: The Public Athletic, Cultural and Entertainment Facilities Board was incorporated to build Regions Field.
- January 8: The first BBVA Compass Bowl saw the Pitt Panthers take on the Kentucky Wildcats.
- January 10: The 2010 Auburn Tigers football team defeated the Oregon Ducks in the BCS National Championship game in Glendale, Arizona.
- January 14–January 16: Alabama defeats Auburn 3 games to 0 to win the inaugural Iron Cup at the Pelham Civic Complex.
- January 22: Gerald Swindle won his first Bassmasters tournament.
- February 13: David Tuwei, a native of Kenya, set a new course record of 2:19:41 in the Mercedes Marathon.
- May 2–8: The Regions Tradition golf tournament was held at the Shoal Creek Golf and Country Club.
- November 12: UAB defeated Memphis 41-35 in the 14th annual Battle for the Bones.
- November 26: Alabama won the 2011 Iron Bowl.
- Doug Goodwin succeeded Dickey Wright as head coach of the Homewood football team.
- Jim McElwain left his position as offensive coordinator for the Alabama Crimson Tide football team.
- April: Leon Davis succeeded Pat Mardis as chief of the Fairfield Police Department.
- July 6: Connie Rowe succeeded Danny Patton as chief of the Jasper Police Department.
- August 14: John Cantelow gave his first sermon as senior pastor of Sixth Avenue Baptist Church.
- August 28: Bill Hay retired from Covenant Presbyterian Church.
- October 1: Mark Wilson succeeded Michael Fleenor as Jefferson County Health Officer.
- October 31: Abdurrahim El-Keib was installed as interim Prime Minister of Libya.
- November 1: David Fleming became executive director of Operation New Birmingham.
- November 27: UAB Blazers football head coach Neil Callaway was fired.
- December 4: Garrick McGee was hired as head coach for the UAB Blazers football team.
- December: Margaret Tolbert retired from the National Science Foundation.
- December 21: Charles Samuels was appointed director of the U. S. Bureau of Prisons.
- Ralph Cook succeeded Thomas Hamby as chairman of the board of directors for the Birmingham Museum of Art.
- Ted Cook succeeded Johnny Stanley as Chief of the Mountain Brook Police Department.
- After concluding his term as Representative for the 7th District of Alabama, Artur Davis joined the law firm SNR Denton in Washington D.C.
- Bill Foisy retired from the Regional Planning Commission of Greater Birmingham.
- Bill Mason and Bobby Scharfenstein established the Mason-Scharfenstein Museum of Art at Piedmont College in Demorest, Georgia.
- Aaron Miller was ordained a rabbi at Isaac M. Wise Temple in Cincinnati, Ohio.
- Henry Parsley retired as Episcopal Bishop of Alabama.
- Bud Precise became pastor of the Church of the Reconciler.
- Jim Roberson succeeded Phil Dodd as Homewood Police Chief.
- Jason Simpson was announced as chief meteorologist for WHNT-TV in Huntsville.
- Butch Wilson retired as Chief of the Vestavia Hills Police Department.
- Alabama Business Hall of Fame: Larry Drummond (Drummond Company), John McMahon Jr (Ligon Industries), Drayton Nabers Jr (Protective Life Corporation), Ted Henry (Henry Brick Co.), Edward Spencer Jr (AuburnBank)
- Alabama Lawyers' Hall of Fame: Roderick Beddow, John McKinley, Nina Miglionico, Charles Morgan Jr, William Scruggs Jr
- Birmingham Business Hall of Fame: Glenn Ireland II (Vulcan Materials)
- Miss Alabama: Courtney Porter
- Miss Shelby County: Sydnii Todd
- January 2: Bill Ricker, former Operation New Birmingham director
- January 5: Eugene Scott, owner of Pee-Wee's Pawn Shop
- January 10: Houston Blount, former CEO of Vulcan Materials
- January 27: Vaugn Mancha, former Alabama football player and Florida State AD
- January 28: Sam Mitchell, former Samford University professor of English
- February 9: Luther Smith, former Salvation Army Birmingham Commander
- February 12: Jack Shannon, investment banker
- February 13: Dona Hardekopf, actress
- February 24: Charles Sutton, exterminator and former Homewood City Council president
- February 24: Martha Gaskins, educator, principal, and Birmingham School Board member
- February 25: Jim Jeffrey, football player, coach and educator
- February 28: Dewayne Davis, founder of UAB Gospel Choir and More Than Conquerors Faith Church
- March 2: Dude Hennessey, former Alabama Crimson Tide football coach
- March 2: Wallace Lockett, CME Bishop, died on a flight from Amsterdam
- March 4: Don Drennen Jr, auto dealer
- March 5: Josh Newman, Jemison police officer
- March 11: Hugh Martin, songwriter
- March 13: Eleanor Harrison, insurance executive and community activist
- March 14: Butch Ridley, former NYPD detective
- March 16: Oliver Adams, former Bessemer Police Department chief
- March 24: Roszetta Johnson, soul and gospel singer
- March 24: Rod Abbott, computer technician
- March 25: David Barnes, former municipal judge and dean of Miles College School of Law
- April 1: Laura Knox, founder of Southern Danceworks
- April 4: David Crenshaw, WWII veteran and Pratt City community leader
- April 5: Gus Koutroulakis, owner of Pete's Famous Hot Dogs
- April 10: Homer Smith, former Alabama Crimson Tide football offensive coordinator
- April 13: Doris Powell, Fountain Heights president and BJCTA chair
- April 13: Camille Desmarais, rector of St John's Episcopal Church for the Deaf
- April 14: Donald Green, Jeff State baseball coach and athletic director
- April 17: Andrew Sorensen, former University of Alabama President
- April 27: Ernie Mundi, business owner
- April 30: Tennant Smallwood, judge
- May 21: Jim Pyburn, baseball player and football coach
- May 31: Wayne Greenhaw, journalist and author
- June 3: Raymond Josof, founder of Raymond's Five Points Market
- June 4: Vijay Misra, UAB cardiologist
- June 12: Kathryn Tucker Windham, storyteller
- June 18: Gerald Bartholow, minister of Unity of Birmingham
- June 27: Owen Drake, state representative
- June 28: John Fuller, architect
- July 4: Gloria Howton, UAB administrator
- July 14: Noel Gayler, retired U.S. Navy Admiral and NSA director
- July 15: Guy Lytle, Dean of Sewanee School of Theology
- July 16: Ira De Ment, Federal judge
- July 16: Jim Currier, football coach
- July 16: Forrest Blue, football player
- July 18: Guillermo Castro, chef and restauranteur
- July 30: Winston Boutwell, fire chief
- August 16: Chris Clark, fabric artist and painter
- August 17: Sperry Snow, co-owner of Barton-Clay Fine Jewelers
- August 22: Tony Ruffino, concert promoter
- September 6: Bev Head, businessman
- September 12: Koundu, western lowland gorilla
- September 18: Ken Tremelling, radio DJ and executive
- October 1: Julia Crowder, civic activist
- October 5: Fred Shuttlesworth, leader of the Civil Rights Movement in Birmingham.
- October 8: Jeanne Voigt, painter and president of Alabama Episcopal Church Women
- October 22: Ben McKinnon, former general manager of WSGN-AM and president of the Alabama Broadcasters Association
- October 26: Greg Gantt, punter
- October 31: Otis Agee, minister and radio engineer
- November 12: Ethel Hall, educator
- November 15: Mac Parsons, state senator and circuit court judge
- November 20: Fay Quick, Shelby County Tax Collector
- November 23: Gil Wideman, physician and BJCC Authority member
- November 29: Shane Corn, blogger and radio personality
- December: Lee Smith, Baptist minister
- December 6: Linda Kimbrough, artist and illustrator
- December 9: Gabby Bell, Birmingham Barons announcer
- December 19: Wayne Rasco, Shelby County Reporter publisher
- December 27: William Maddox, surgeon
- 2011 Alabama Waterfowl Stamp by David Nix of Cottondale
- Fountain Heights mural on 18th Street North
- Lion of Judah sculpture in East Lake
- Nick Saban statue
- The Cultural Alliance of Greater Birmingham's Birmingham365.org events website launched.
- "Freedom Riders" PBS documentary
- "Promesas y Traiciones" and "Staying Well in Camberwell" radio dramas
- Various "You Are Beautiful" graffiti tags and related messages
- October Baby feature film (limited release)
- The Barber of Birmingham documentary short film
- Abroms-Engel Institute for the Visual Arts (ground broken November 18)
- Auburn Arena
- Bark Park, Fultondale (opened in May)
- Birmingham CrossPlex (opened August 20)
- Birmingham Fire Station No. 14 (ground broken in March)
- Birmingham Regional Intermodal Facility (ground broken June 6)
- Center Point High School (ground broken May 11)
- Consolidated Pipe and Supply, Inc., pipe-coating shop and storage yard
- Cullman County Courthouse renovations
- Grant's Mill Road bridge (reopened September 6)
- Hallman Hill phase II ("The Hill")
- Hayes K-8 School
- Hillside Homes, Bessemer (completed in September)
- Hueytown High School
- Pediatrics East, Trussville
- Shops at River Ridge, Inverness
- St Theresa Catholic Church expansion, Leeds
- Trails of Africa exhibit at the Birmingham Zoo (opened in March)
- Tuscaloosa federal building (dedicated December 19)
- Woodlawn United Methodist Church (opened November 29)
- Wayne Greenhaw (2011) Fighting the Devil in Dixie: How Civil Rights Activists Took on the Ku Klux Klan in Alabama. Chicago: Illinois: Lawrence Hill Books. ISBN 1569763453
- Staci Simon Glover (2011) Coal Mining in Jefferson County. Images of America Series. Mount Pleasant, South Carolina: Arcadia Publishing. ISBN 9780738582177
- David Fleming & Mary Allison Haynie (2011) Ensley and Tuxedo Junction. Images of America Series. Mount Pleasant, South Carolina: Arcadia Publishing. ISBN 9780738586809
- 2011 Birmingham Barons
- 2011 Iron Bowl
- 2011 Sidewalk Moving Picture Festival
- 2011 UAB Blazers football
In 2011, a 9.0 magnitude earthquake struck northern Japan, causing a tsunami and destabilizing nuclear power plants. The Arab Spring movement saw major protests against repressive regimes across the Middle East and north Africa. Prince William married and Catherine Middleton at Westminster Abbey in London. South Sudan became an independent state. NASA shut down the Space Shuttle program. The European Union faced a debt crisis. The United States formally declared an end to the Iraq War.
The top-grossing films in 2011 included Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 2, Transformers: Dark of the Moon, Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides, and The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn – Part 1. The Artist took Academy Awards for Best Picture, Best Director (Michel Hazanavicius), and Best Actor (Jean Dujardin), while Best Actress went to Meryl Streep for The Iron Lady.
Top pop music hits in 2011 included "Born This Way" by Lady Gaga, "E.T." by Katy Perry featuring Kanye West, "Rolling in the Deep" by Adele, "Party Rock Anthem" by LMFAO featuring Lauren Bennett and GoonRock, and "We Found Love" by Rihanna featuring Calvin Harris. Adele won Grammys for Record of the Year ("Rolling in the Deep"), Album of the Year (21), Best Short Form Music Video ("Rolling in the Deep"), and co-won Song of the Year with Paul Epworth for "Rolling in the Deep". The Best New Artist Grammy went to Bon Iver.
Notable deaths in 2011 included actresses Jane Russell & Elizabeth Taylor, former vice presidential candidate Geraldine Ferraro, chemist William Lipscomb, terrorist leader Osama bin Laden, actor Jackie Cooper, wrestler Randy Savage, euthanasia advocate Jack Kevorkian, actor Peter Falk, former First Lady Betty Ford, singer Amy Winehouse, businessman Steve Jobs, Libyan dictator Muammar Gaddafi, boxer Joe Frazier, author Anne McCaffrey, actor Harry Morgan, comic book creator Joe Simon, and North Korean dictator Kim Jong-il.
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