1931 was the 60th year after the founding of the City of Birmingham.
- March 9: "Alabama" with words by Julia Tutwiler and music by Edna Gockel Gussen was adopted as the official state song.
- March: Leon Medlock and two other guardsmen were assigned to protect the suspects in the "Scottsboro Boys" prosecution.
- March: Homewood bought 16 acres of land along Shades Creek for a future public park.
- Spring: Miss Fancy, the elephant at Avondale Park Zoo, broke her chains and barreled through trees up Red Mountain until she was caught on Overlook Road.
- April 29: Jefferson County prison guard William Lee Taylor was ambushed and murdered on Narrows Road between Pinson and Morris.
- May 31: The $1 million Birmingham Airport opened with day-long ceremonies and Steadham Acker's Birmingham National Air Carnival.
- A replica bronze statue of the "Capitoline Wolf" was presented to the city by Benito Mussolini's Envoy to the United States.
- December 29: The 1931 Overton No. 1 Mine explosion resulted in five deaths.
- Donald Beatty led a J. P. Morgan-financed scientific expedition into the interior of the Amazon.
- The Homewood City Council established racial zoning in Rosedale.
- Robert Jemison Jr donated a pair of swans to Avondale Park.
- The Southern Club closed.
- Thirty-six paintings by Birmingham artist Carrie Hill were exhibited at the Montgomery Museum of Fine Arts.
- Harry M. and Nettie Buten of Merion, Pennsylvania began collecting Wedgwood.
- Robert Van de Graaff demonstrated his high-voltage generator for the American Institute of Physics in Schenectady, New York.
- During the summer, several downtown theaters closed, including the Empire, Galax, and Lyric, unable to reach an agreement with the Motion Picture Operators Union. When many of them reopened with non-union projectionists in the fall, they were targeted in a "terror campaign" involving stink bombs, tear gas and large snakes.
- Houston Brice Sr founded the Brice Building Company.
- Torme's Associated Foods opened.
- The Liberty National Life Insurance Company purchased the Liberty National Building.
- WAPI-AM applied to the FRC for permission to boost its transmission to 50 Kilowatts.
- WBRC-AM increased its power to 5 kilowatts and moved to a "Crystal Studio" on the mezzanine of the Temple Theater.
- Joe Giattina and his Bama Cardinals ended a six-year run on Sunday afternoons on WBRC-AM.
- The Birmingham, Selma & Mobile Railroad shut down.
- George Brownell Jr became president of Brownell Travel.
- The Birmingham Vending Company was incorporated.
- Douglas McConnell and Leslie F. McConnell founded the McConnell Sales and Engineering Corporation.
- The Sunnyland Refining Company began producing oleomargarine.
- East Lake Cemetery was sold.
- Tallulah Bankhead signed with Paramount Pictures.
- Julian Aland opened the Emily Shop at Five Points South.
- Architect Jack B. Smith closed the "Birmingham Branch Office" of Holabird & Root and opened his own firm.
- January 19: Benjamin M. Miller succeeded Bibb Graves as Governor of Alabama.
- January 19: Hugh Merrill succeeded William C. Davis as Lieutenant Governor of Alabama.
- January 19: James Hawkins succeeded W. O. Downs as Jefferson County Sheriff.
- March 4: John H. Bankhead II began serving in the U.S. Senate.
- March 5: Samuel Peck was made the first official Poet Laureate of Alabama.
- Cooper Green was elected to the Alabama State House of Representatives.
- Charles Kennamer was appointed to the United States District Court for the Northern District of Alabama.
- A group of members left First Presbyterian Church and founded the Congregational Community Church.
- May 29: A group of members left Jackson Street Baptist Church and founded First Baptist Church of Woodlawn.
- Louis Pizitz succeeded Harry Berlin as president of Temple Beth-El.
- John C. Fletcher became pastor of St John's Episcopal Church for the Deaf.
- Milton Grafman was ordained as a rabbi.
- William Lantrip succeeded L. F. Stansel as pastor of Avondale Methodist Church.
- Paul Hardin was ordained an Elder in the Methodist Church.
- E. E. Sechriest succeeded E. E. Smith was principal of Ensley High School.
- Brooks Dickens succeeded Mack Burley as president of Miles College.
- January 1: Coach Wallace Wade's 1930 Alabama Crimson Tide football team defeated the Washington State Cougars 24-0 in the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, California, finishing the year with a 10-0 record and claiming a national championship.
- May 10: Art Weist hit a Birmingham Barons record three home runs in a game against Nashville. He also set records for consecutive home runs (3) and home runs in an inning (2).
- John Cortazzo set a Birmingham Barons record for being hit by pitches 15 times during the 1931 season.
- Wallace Wade left Alabama to become head coach of the Duke Blue Devils. Frank W. Thomas succeeded him as head coach of the Alabama Crimson Tide football team.
- August 6: Pitcher Satchel Paige made his debut with the Crawford Colored Giants.
- August 15: Pitcher Ivy Andrews made his debut with the New York Yankees.
- The 1931 Birmingham Barons, managed by Clyde Milan, won the Southern Association pennant.
- September 25: The 1931 Birmingham Barons beat Texas League champion Houston Buffaloes in the "Dixie Series" 4 games to 3.
- The Dunbar High School Blue Devils began their football program under coach Mule Knox.
- The Seattle Indians traded infielder Stuffy Stewart to the Knoxville Smokies.
- Langston University joined the Southwestern Athletic Conference.
- Pitcher Bob Adams was signed by the Philadelphia Phillies as an amateur free agent.
- Douglas Arant began serving on the Alabama State Bar's Board of Commissioners.
- A. N. Barrentine succeeded S. D. Kilgore as Walker County Sheriff
- Hugo and Josephine Black moved in with her parents in the Sterling Foster residence.
- Scholar Harvie Branscomb began a two-year Guggenheim Fellowship.
- Bear Bryant accepted a scholarship offer from Alabama Crimson Tide football assistant coach Hank Crisp.
- Alice Chalifoux became principal harpist with the Cleveland, Ohio Orchestra.
- E. T. Leech became editor of The Pittsburgh Post
- Joseph Loveman briefly retired from Loveman, Joseph & Loeb.
- Sidney van Sheck took a job at Bechtel-McCone.
- Helen Walpole debuted on Broadway.
- January 6: Don Morrison, architect
- February 21: James Walker, artist and historian
- March 7: Sonny Penhale, Mayor of Helena.
- March 20: Henry Aizenman, Holocaust survivor
- March 27: Ken Forbes Jr, Presbyterian minister and head shop owner
- April 4: John Porter, pastor of 6th Avenue Baptist Church
- April 21: Martha Wilson, civic and business leader in Gardendale
- May 6: Willie Mays, Hall of Fame outfielder
- May 10: Robert Vance, federal judge
- May 24: Leon Edwards, auto dealer
- May 25: Bill Holdefer, surgeon
- May 29: John Baumgartner, baseball player
- September 8: Cecil Coghlan, cardiologist
- November 6: Gil Hill, actor and Detroit City Council president
- November 15: Sonny Smith, Auburn Tigers basketball coach
- November 15: Frank Bromberg Jr, president and chairman of Bromberg's
- November 21: Clyde Foster, NASA mathematician and official
- December 1: John Schnorrenberg, chair of UAB Department of Art & Art History
- Bobby Allgood
- Joel Bearden, dairy farmer and Shelby County Commissioner
- Ira De Ment, District Court judge
- Camille Desmarais, Episcopal priest
- Gage Bush Englund, ballerina and civic leader
- Erskine Faush, AME Zion pastor, radio host, executive and gospel singer
- Glenn House, artist and papermaker
- Sis Levin, peace activist and author
- Bob Moody, interior designer and artist
- Homer Smith, Alabama Crimson Tide football coach
- Richard Vigneulle, banker and pastor
- Jim Wall, president of O'Neal Steel
- Educator Mildred Brown graduated from Miles Memorial Teachers College at age 16.
- Educator Delos Culp graduated as valedictorian of Isabella High School in Maplesville.
- Pathologist Joseph Cunningham completed a bachelor of arts at the Catholic University of America.
- Restaurateur John Holcomb Jr graduated from Phillips High School.
- Librarian William Hoole completed his master's in English at Wofford College.
- Sporting goods dealer Fred Sington completed his bachelor's degree at the University of Alabama.
- February 11: William Weir, former Birmingham Chief of Police
- May 23: W. W. Rose, architect and former mayor of Kansas City, Kansas
- July 29: William Graves, attorney and real estate developer
- August 4: Jennie Wood and Augusta Williams died after being shot during an outing on Leeds Highway.
- September 10: George Macon, former Howard College professor
- October 14: Thomas Molton, real estate developer
- November 27: Sumter Bethea, real estate broker
- December 14: William Jelks, former Governor of Alabama
- December 29: George Bodeker, former Birmingham Police and founder of Bodeker's National Detective Agency.
- December 29: 5 miners were killed in the 1931 Overton No. 1 Mine explosion.
- Thomas Walter III, architect
- There were 148 homicides reported in the city during the year. See List of Birmingham homicides in 1931.
- Roderick MacKenzie completed the fresco murals in the rotunda of the Alabama State Capitol.
- Avondale United Methodist Church, new sanctuary
- Avondale Villa at Avondale Park
- Birmingham Municipal Airport
- Dr Pepper Syrup Plant
- Hill Elementary School, two-room annex
- Jefferson County Courthouse at Woodrow Wilson Park
- Jefferson County Home
- McAdory High School additions
- Medical Arts Building at Five Points South, developed by the Kamram Grotto
- Pickwick Club at Five Points South, developed by the Kamram Grotto
- Railroad Reservation grade separation
- Stockham Woman's Building at Birmingham-Southern College
- Willis Rushton residence
- Gene Autry recorded "Birmingham Daddy"
The year 1931 saw The Star-Spangled Banner adopted as the United States National anthem. Nevada legalized gambling. The Scottsboro Boys were arrested for rape, tried, and initially sentenced to death. The Empire State Building in New York City was completed. The Geneva Convention rules regarding treatment of prisoners went into effect. Comic strip detective Dick Tracy debuted. Al Capone was sentenced for tax evasion. The George Washington Bridge in New York City opened. The Chinese Soviet Republic was proclaimed by Mao Zedong.
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