2021 is the 150th year after the founding of the City of Birmingham. To mark the sesquicentennial, the city invited residents to write "love letters" to be archived at Birmingham Public Library and increased the fireworks budget for Thunder on the Mountain.
- January 6: Phillip Bromley of Sterrett and Joshua Black of Leeds participated in an attempted disruption of Congress in the U.S. Capitol.
- January 25: A deadly tornado struck Fultondale and Center Point.
- February 20: 2021 Cullman County plane crash
- March 17: The March 17, 2021 tornado outbreak produced 24 tornadoes across central Alabama.
- March 25: The March 25, 2021 tornado outbreak produced several tornadoes across central Alabama.
- March 26: 2021 Bessemer airport plane crash.
- April 1: The 2021 Warrior Met Coal strike began.
- April 13–14: The Frontier Conference 2021, originally scheduled for April 2020 at the Lyric Theatre, was held online instead.
- April 15–18: The Alabama Auto Show was held at the BJCC.
- April 23–25: The Magic City Arts Connection was held at Sloss Furnaces.
- May 15: Do Dah Day was held at Cahaba Brewing
- June 12: Magic City Brewfest was held at Sloss Furnaces.
- June 18–20: The Euphonious music festival was held at the Birmingham Zoo.
- July 3: Jeezy, Boosie, Lil Durk, Pooh Shiesty, Yung Bleu, and Mooski performed at Legion Field.
- September 11–12: BirmingFAM Fest at Trim Tab Brewing Co.
- September 24–26: Furnace Fest 2021
- October 11–16: 2021 Smithsonian Journeys Cradle of the Movement tour
- October 18–23: 2021 New York Times Civil Rights Trail in Alabama tour
- 1st quarter: SouthFirst Bank of Sylacauga merged with FirstBanc of Talladega.
- February: Tuscaloosa's University Boulevard Hooligans relocated to 15th Street.
- February 8–March 29: Workers at the Bessemer Amazon Fulfillment Center voted not to form a collective bargaining unit through the Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union.
- March: Hollywood Pools acquired Alabama Gas Light & Grill.
- April 1: United Mine Workers of America began a labor strike against Warrior Met Coal.
- May 5: ProAssurance acquired NORCAL Mutual of San Francisco, California.
- May 6: Diversified Gas & Oil PLC changed its name to Diversified Energy.
- Heiche opened an advanced metal coating facility at the Jasper Industrial Park.
- Encompass Health acquired Frontier Home Health and Hospice of Bozeman, Montana.
- June: Vulcan Materials acquired U.S. Concrete Inc. of Euless, Texas.
- June: Medical Properties Trust acquired 18 behavioral health hospitals from Welsh Carson Anderson & Stowe of San Francisco, California.
- January 1: Charlie Nelson opened Alabama Vintage at 2210 University Boulevard (Tuscaloosa).
- January 6: Cook Out opened at 2411 3rd Avenue South.
- January 25: Buc-ee's travel center opened in Leeds.
- February: Alexander Shunnarah and Tyler Vail founded Shunnarah Vail Trial Attorneys.
- March: Laura Newman and Mudd Townley opened the Neon Moon cocktail bar.
- April 1: Neighbors Brew & Pies and Saw's BBQ opened at The Backyard adjoining the Shops of Grand River.
- June: Cassanova Mckinzy opened Cassanova Bar & Lounge on 1st Avenue North.
- January: My Supply Chain Group was acquired by NTT DATA Business Solutions of Bielefeld, Germany.
- January: Magnolia Meadows Golf Course in Columbiana closed.
- February: Moe's Southwest Grill at Vestavia Hills City Center closed.
- February 20: Tuscaloosa's Ruan Thai restaurant closed.
- February 28: Catfish Cabin in Albertville closed.
- February: The Plainsman transitioned to an online publication.
- March 1: Cabaniss, Johnston, Gardner, Dumas & O'Neal was acquired by Phelps Dunbar of New Orleans, Louisiana.
- March 19: Ichiban Japanese Grill & Sushi in [[Tuscaloosa] closed.
- March: Blackwell's Pub in Cahaba Heights closed.
- April: Integrated Solutions was acquired by Dynamic Quest of Greensboro, North Carolina.
- April: AQ2 Technologies was acquired by Embrace Software of Potomac, Maryland.
- April: Mata Electric filed for chapter 7 bankruptcy liquidation.
- April 21: Birmingham Fastener acquired Steel City Bolt & Screw.
- April 24: Phở Quê Hương Vietnamese restaurant closed.
- May 6: The board of Judson College voted to close the school and file for chapter 11 bankruptcy reorganization.
- June: ChipRewards was acquired by Icario of Minneapolis, Minnesota.
- June 19: Yanfeng closed its automotive interiors plant in Cottondale.
- June: SkinDx was acquired by PathGroup of Nashville, Tennessee.
- January 26: 2021 Birmingham Board of Education special election
- February 2: The 2021 Alabama legislative session began.
- February: Birmingham's Mayor’s Office of Sports and Entertainment was merged into the Birmingham Department of Innovation and Economic Opportunity.
- Kimberly annexed sections of the Franklin Parc subdivision.
- May 10: The City of Birmingham received an initial $74.41 million payment from the United States as part of the "American Rescue Plan".
- August 24: The 2021 Birmingham municipal election was held.
- The 2020–2021 Alabama Crimson Tide basketball team won the 2021 SEC Men's Basketball Tournament and advanced to the Sweet 16 of the 2021 NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament.
- April 18: Alex Palou won the 2021 Honda Indy Grand Prix of Alabama at Barber Motorsports Park.
- April 25: Brad Keselowski won the 2021 GEICO 500 at Talladega Superspeedway.
- May 9: Alex Čejka defeated Steve Stricker in a playoff to win the 2021 Regions Tradition at the Greystone Golf and Country Club.
- The Birmingham G League team began playing at Legacy Arena.
- Chuck Holmes became executive director of the Alabama Humanities Alliance.
- January 11: Cornell Wesley began his term as head of the Birmingham Department of Innovation and Economic Opportunity.
- February: Chad Carson was named permanent dean of the Brock School of Business at Samford University.
- March: Andy Cunningham became CEO of Precision Grinding Inc.
- March 22: DeJuana Thompson was named interim President and CEO of the Birmingham Civil Rights Institute.
- April 12: Danielle Dunbar became executive director of the Alabama Association of Nonprofits.
- April 12: Chief Jason Rickels was fired from the Tarrant Fire & Rescue Department.
- June 1: Josh Carpenter succeeded Ray Watts as president and CEO of Southern Research.
- July 1: Beck Taylor succeeded Andrew Westmoreland as president of Samford University.
- John Owen retired as chief operating officer of Regions Bank.
- Photographer Joe Songer retired from al.com.
- April 30: Mike Walker retired as Chief of Police from the Gardendale Police Department.
- January 1: Mike Coppage, former Birmingham Police chief and Alabama Department of Public Safety director
- January 3: Bill Stewart, professor of political science
- January 3: Joann Bashinsky, Golden Flake heiress
- January 10: Derrick Johnson, Huffman High School coach
- January 10: Corbin Day, chair of Jemison Investment Company
- January 16: Scotty McCallum, UAB president and Vestavia Hills mayor
- January 16: Leon Edwards, Edwards Chevrolet president
- January 20: Sonny Penhale, Helena mayor
- January 21: Marc Phillips, musician and music minister
- January 28: Sammy Wilson, Clanton city council
- February 2: Danny Ray, emcee and "cape man" for James Brown
- February 15: Jimmy Evans, former Attorney General of Alabama
- February 17: Eileen Walbert, civil rights activist
- February 25: Catherine Cabaniss, artist
- March 1: Kevin P. Turner, UAB Gospel Choir director
- March 4: Polly Graham, market research executive
- March 12: Pat Bailey, speech, drama and debate teacher
- March 17: James Ferguson, former Million Dollar Band director
- March 20: Dan Sartain, rock musician and barber
- March 23: Houston Tumlin, soldier and former actor
- March 24: Shotgun Giddens, barber, circuit clerk and gospel singer
- April 2: Luke Ratliff, Alabama basketball "superfan"
- April 4: Areyelle Yarbrough, accountant
- April 5: Desmon Ray, shot to death by police.
- April 5: Bill Lumpkin, sports writer
- April 21: Donald Jones, chief of Midfield Fire & Rescue Service
- April 22: Frank W. Bromberg, president of National Woodworks
- April 24: Margaret Jemison
- June 4: John Patterson, former Governor of Alabama
- June 7: Steve Austin, Christian author
- June 11: Stanley Mackin, former Regions Bank CEO
- June 12: Chris Sign, television news anchor
- June 18: Bunny Stokes Jr, banker
- The Wife Upstairs, novel by Rachel Hawkins
- Shaking the Gates of Hell, family memoir by John Archibald
- Asian Passage at the Birmingham Zoo
- Birmingham VA Mental Health Clinic on Crestwood Boulevard
- Buc-ee's travel stop in Leeds
- The Citizen "micro-unit" apartments on 18th Street South
- Cortland Vesta Apartments on Highland Avenue
- Kelly Hotel in the Protective Life building on 1st Avenue North
- Valley Hotel in Homewood
- Hoover Fire Station No. 11 in Trace Crossings
- Jones Valley Trail extension to Avondale
- Motion Industries area fluid power shop, hose & rubber shop, and engineering department
- Protective Stadium at the BJCC
- The Railyard "micro-unit" apartments on 1st Avenue South
- Red Mountain Theatre's "Art Campus"
- Tarrant City Hall
- The Birmingham Police Real Time Crime Center on the 4th floor of Birmingham Police Headquarters
- Malone Roofing building at 2689 Queenstown Road in Irondale
- renovation of Samford Hall at Samford University
- McFarland Mall in Tuscaloosa
- UAB Education Building at UAB
- May 2: The petting zoo at Noccalula Falls Park was destroyed by fire.
In 2021 insurrectionists stormed the U.S. Capitol, disrupting Congress's certification of the 2020 presidential election. For inciting the mob, President Trump was impeached for a second time. Widespread vaccination greatly reduced the spread of COVID-19 and allowed most restrictions to be lifted. Congress declared Juneteenth (June 19th) a federal holiday.
Notable people who died in 2021 included activist Vernon Jordan; actors Ned Beatty, Olympia Dukakis, Charles Grodin, Hal Holbrook, Yaphet Kotto, Cloris Leachman, Christopher Plummer, George Segal, Cicely Tyson, and Jessica Walter; architect Helmut Jahn; astronaut Michael Collins; attorney F. Lee Bailey; authors Eric Carle, Beverly Cleary and Larry McMurtry; baseball hall of famers Hank Aaron and Don Sutton; basketball coach John Chaney; basketball player/executive Elgin Baylor; boxer Marvin Hagler; director Robert Altman; football coach Marty Schottenheimer; fraudster Bernie Madoff; magician Mark Wilson; musicians DMX and Mary Wilson; poet Lawrence Ferlinghetti; Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh; radio/television interviewer Larry King; radio host Rush Limbaugh; televangelist Ernest Angley; former Secretary of State George Schultz; former vice president Walter Mondale; and Watergate figure G. Gordon Liddy.
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