1956 was the 85th year after the founding of the City of Birmingham.
- Frank Samford Jr commissioned a bronze replica of the Statue of Liberty for the Liberty National Building.
- The Woodlawn High School debate team won the inaugural Barkley Forum tournament in Atlanta.
- Maytown was incorporated.
- March 3: Brothers Billy and Robert Dye and their cousin Dan Brasher disappeared.
- March 25-April 1: "Holiday on Ice" was presented at Municipal Auditorium. (One show for African Americans was held on April 1 at 8:30 PM.)
- March 28: Federal funding for the Avondale Urban Renewal project was approved by the Housing and Home Finance Agency.
- April 15: An F4 tornado killed 25 and injured 200 along a 20 mile path through Pleasant Grove, McDonald Chapel and Trussville.
- May 3: The Birmingham Amateur Radio Club was incorporated with Layton Dorman, president.
- June 1: The Skyview Drive-In opened in Fultondale.
- June 10: The University of Alabama Extension Center building was named Tidwell Hall.
- August: Saint Rose Academy was founded in the Terence Mackin residence on Red Mountain.
- The Birmingham Community Chest changed its name to United Appeal.
- The University of Montevallo became coeducational.
- The Birmingham Symphony Orchestra debuted as a fully professional ensemble.
- Rock bands The Knightmares and The Premiers were founded.
- The Apollo Boys' Choir disbanded at the retirement of founder Coleman Cooper.
- The city of Ohatchee was incorporated.
Civil Rights movement
- February 3: Autherine Lucy enrolled at the University of Alabama. She was expelled a week later for causing disruption.
- April 10: Three Klansmen assaulted singer Nat King Cole on stage during a performance at Municipal Auditorium. They were each sentenced to 180 days in jail.
- May 26: A Montgomery judge banned the NAACP from operating in Alabama.
- June 5: The Alabama Christian Movement for Human Rights was founded by Fred Shuttlesworth at Sardis Baptist Church. Abraham Woods Jr was vice-president.
- Bull Connor was elected to the Birmingham City Commission after a four-year absence.
- December 25: Fred Shuttlesworth's home was bombed. He emerged from the basement unscathed.
- December 26: Fred Shuttlesworth led hundreds of Blacks onto Birmingham busses in defiance of local law. 22 were arrested and the ACMHR filed a federal lawsuit against the police.
- February 22: Bruno's supermarket at 407 19th Street in Bessemer held its grand opening.
- March 21: Equipment supplier Vulcan Service Company opened a new headquarters at 714 3rd Avenue North in Smithfield.
- April 16: Phipps Piano Co. opened on 4th Avenue North.
- September 19: Bruno's supermarket at Powderly held its grand opening.
- WAPI-AM, WAFM-FM, WAPI-TV and the Birmingham News were sold to Samuel Newhouse.
- The Jefferson County Truck Growers Association moved to Finley Avenue.
- The Tutwiler Hotel was purchased by J. Henry Hoffman for $1,250,000.
- Sloan Bashinsky Sr purchased Magic City Foods from his father and uncle.
- A labor strike against the local Tip-Top Bakery was marked by sabotage.
- WFHK-AM began broadcasting from Pell City.
- Joe's Restaurant opened in Woodlawn.
- Anderson Brass Works went public as Anderson Electric.
- The La Rocca Nursing Home opened in Tuscaloosa.
- Birmingham Financial Federal Credit Union was founded.
- Houston Blount joined the board of directors of Vulcan Materials.
- Homer Milam opened the Artists Recording Company above Britling Cafeteria on 1st Avenue North.
- Plantation Patterns was founded by Tom Jernigan, William Jernigan, John Goodwin and James Stone.
- Tommy Watkins opened Watkins Cleaners in Homewood.
- October: St Thomas the Apostle Catholic Church in Montevallo was raised from mission church to parish with Reverend Thomas J. Blythe as resident pastor.
- February 15: The Pittsburgh Pirates and Kansas City A's cancelled an exhibition at Rickwood Field due to segregation ordinances.
- The Birmingham Black Barons played their first season in the new Negro American League.
- December 1: Auburn defeated the Alabama 34-7 in the 1956 Iron Bowl at Legion Field, and finished the season with a 7-3 record.
- Alabama's men's basketball team was SEC champion with a 14-0 league record (21-3 overall).
- October 20: Howard College's final homecoming game at its East Lake campus was won 25-6 by Carson-Newman under steady rain. Viola Beard reigned as queen.
- Milton Graff set a Birmingham Barons single season record for at bats with 653.
- The Magic City Classic ended in a 0-0 tie.
- Virgil Trucks became a relief pitcher for the Detroit Tigers.
- Elbert Jemison won the Alabama Amateur Golf championship.
- Richmond Beatty retired from the faculty of Vanderbilt University.
- Frances and John Carter began teaching at Howard College.
- Bull Connor began his second term as Commissioner of Public Safety.
- B. Roper Dial succeeded William Hoover as president of The Club.
- David F. Friedman began his career in exploitation films by partnering with Kroger Babb.
- Hueytown High School principal Harley F. Gilmore retired.
- "Cousin Cliff" Holman's "Tip-Top Clubhouse" was cancelled and he took over hosting the hour-long Circle Six Ranch program.
- Luther Patrick served as delegate to the Democratic National Convention.
- James Pittman moved to Birmingham for a residency under internist Tinsley Harrison.
- Constance Pittman moved to Birmingham for a residency under doctors Tinsley Harrison and Walter Frommeyer.
- Newton Price resigned from West End High School
- Mack Russell succeeded Norris Hadaway as manager of the Alabama Theatre.
- E. G. Walker succeeded Ray Acton as Mayor of Homewood.
- Arthur Winograd left the Juilliard String Quartet to become a conductor for MGM Records.
- Edwin H. Wood became chief of the Homewood Police Department.
- Charles Vines succeeded Harley Gilmore as principal of Hueytown High School.
- March 1: Sue Bell Cobb, Chief justice of the Alabama Supreme Court
- March 6: Sammy Lee, professional fisherman and radio host
- March 16: Ozzie Newsome, football player and NFL executive
- March 28: Joey Kennedy, Pulitzer Prize-winning editorial columnist
- April 18: Jay Miller, Midfield Police Department veteran and Jefferson County Sheriff's Office sergeant
- May 29: Dominick Brascia, actor and radio personality
- June: Joe Hilley, author
- June 6: Ronald Mims, Birmingham Water Works board chair
- July 11: Sela Ward, actress and model
- July 16: Rich Wingo, linebacker
- July 18: Emily Lyons, nurse and 1998 abortion clinic bombing victim
- August 4: Kim Walker, bartender
- August 19: Buddy Aydelette, football player and politician
- August 23: Douglas L. Ragland, superintendent of Midfield City Schools
- September 2: State Senator Del Marsh in Wheeling, West Virginia
- September 5: Kevin Peasant, Elmwood Cemetery salesman
- September 9: Myrna Ria Ross, choir director
- October 2: Kamau Afrika, community activist
- October 10: Johnny O'Neal, jazz pianist
- December 14: Tony Nathan, football player and coach
- Otis Agee, minister
- David Cochran, Blount County Commission
- Henry Clay Dennison, miner
- Thomas Hargrove, retired Birmingham Post-Herald reporter
- Priscilla McWilliams, minister and Pleasant Grove City Council member
- Ray Melick, sportswriter
- Joel Montgomery, Birmingham City Council member
- Han Nolan, author
- Sarah Patterson, Alabama Crimson Tide gymnastics coach
- Charles Ridley, peanut vendor
- Melissa Springer, photographer
- Birmingham Woman of the Year: Cecil M. Johnson
- Miss Alabama: Anne Stuart Arial
- Mr Crestwood: Woodrow Wilson
- Guggenheim Fellowship: Roland Frye
- Fulbright Scholarship: John C. Fletcher Jr
- Nolan Harmon was elected a bishop of the Methodist Church
- Edward Burges, earned a bachelor of science, cum laude, from Auburn University.
- Don Drennen Jr graduated from the Virginia Military Institute.
- Don Morrison earned his bachelor's degree in architecture from Auburn University.
- Lee Walls earned a bachelor's degree in management from the University of Alabama.
- April 5: Heman Drummond, mine owner
- April 19: Jap Bryant, Mayor of Bessemer
- July 14: J. D. Webb, city engineer
- July 30: Tommy Sewell, baseball player
- August 4: Edwin Stephenson, murderer of Father James Coyle
- November 11: Isaac Beatty Jr, real estate executive
- November 25: Coleman Hudson, former Tutwiler Hotel manager
- Ottokar Cadek, violinist
- Robert and Billy Dye and Dan Brasher, presumed murder victims
- Kings Go Forth by Joe David Brown
- 2015 Highland Avenue
- Anna Dupuy Elementary School
- Hotel Stafford
- Shades Valley Lodge No. 829
- Skyview Drive-In
- Vestavia Hills City Hall
- Grading work began on a new 4-lane section of U.S. Highway 31 between Kimberly and the Blount County/Jefferson County line which would eventually become part of I-65.
- Hugh Martin and Ralph Blane released the album "Martin and Blane Sing Martin and Blane".
- Tommy Charles released the single "Our Love Affair"/"If You Were Me" on Decca Records.
The 1956 Winter Games were held in Cortina d'Ampezzo, Italy. The Summer Olympics were in Melbourne, Australia. Elvis Presley had his first hit single, "Heartbreak Hotel". Morocco declared independence from France. My Fair Lady opened on Broadway. Grace Kelly married Prince Rainier of Monaco and Marilyn Monroe married Arthur Miller. "Under God" was added to the Pledge of Allegiance and "In God We Trust" was made the national motto. Yankee Don Larsen pitched a perfect game 5 of the World Series against the Brooklyn Dodgers. President Eisenhower was re-elected, and Japan joined the United Nations.
Notable 1956 births included Mel Gibson, Sugar Ray Leonard, Tom Hanks, Martina Navratilova, Dwight Yoakam, Bo Derek, and Larry Bird. Deaths that year included H. L. Mencken, A. A. Milne, Connie Mack, Jackson Pollock, Bertolt Brecht, Bela Lugosi, Art Tatum, and Tommy Dorsey.
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