Alabama History Timeline
Alonzo Alverez de Pineda of Spain explores the Gulf of Mexico
1528-36.. Spaniard Panfilo de Narvaez fails Gulf Coast colonization attempt
1539-41.. Hernando de Soto explores the Southeast
Largest Indian battle in North America occurs at the Village of Mabila between Hernando de Soto's
Spaniards and Chief Tuscaloosa's warriors. The Indians and their village were destroyed.
1559-61.. Don Tristan de Luna fails to establish a permanent Spanish colony on the Alabama-Florida Gulf Coast
. Beginning of the rise of the historic Indian tribes of Alabama - Choctaw, Chickasaw, Cherokee
Iberville and Bienville Le Moyne establish French Fort and settlement at Twenty-seven Mile Bluff
_ Settlement and fort moved down river to Mobile
_ Fort Toulouse established on Coosa River to trade with Indians. Established a French influence
_ French Louisana capital moved from Mobile to Biloxi
_ The Africane sails into Mobile Harbor with over 100 slaves
_ French Code Noir extended from French West Indies to North American Colonies, institutionalizing
slavery in the Mobile area
_ Spanish capture Mobile during American Revolution an retain West & East Florida as a part of war
_ U.S. Army Lt. John McClary takes Fort St. Stephens from Spanish raising American flag on soil that
eventually becomes Alabama
_ Georgia formally cedes Western claim for its Southern boundary at the 31st parallel
_ John Ditto establishes a trading post and ferry service on the Tennessee River.
1803-11.._ Federal Road constructed connecting Milledgeville, Georgia to Fort Stoddard, American outpost north
1805-06.._White Settlements begin to form in large portions of western and northern Alabama. The Western
Section had been inhabited by the Choctaw Indians and the northern territory by the Chickasaw and
_ John Hunt is the first Anglo-Saxon to settle on land around Big Spring
_ Madison County is created by the Governor of Mississippi. In order to raise money for its
development, the U.S. government ordered land sales in the northern part of the Alabama
_ Land office was moved from Nashville to Huntsville where Leroy Pope purchased Hunt's Spring
and surrounding acreage for $23 per acre. His influence lead to Twickenham, the name Pope had
selected, being named the county seat. The territorial legislature soon reverted back to the name
Huntsville, in honor of John Hunt.
_ Schools established in Mobile and Huntsville
1813-14.._ Creek Indian War
Battle of Burnt Corn
Fort Mims Massacre
Battle of Holy Ground
Treaty of Fort Jackson opened up half of the present state of Alabama to white
_ Leroy Pope's home is built on Huntsville highest hill providing him with a view of the growing
_ Alabama Territory is created.
_ First Legislature of the Alabama Territory convenes. Huntsville is chosen as the temporary capital
_ A two-story brick Courthouse is completed in Huntsville.
_ President Monroe signs the Alabama enabling act on March 2.
_Constitutional Convention meets in Huntsville on July 5 and draft the state's first Constitution which
was adopted on August 2.
_William Wyatt Bibb is elected Governor on September 20-21 along with members of U.S. Congress,
legislators, court clerks, and sheriffs as established in the Constitution of 1819. Cahaba will be the new capital city of Alabama.
_The General Assembly, composed of 19 senators and 47 representatives from Alabama's 19 counties
meet in Huntsville(temporary capital) on October 25 in anticipation of achieving statehood.
_Alabama becomes the 22nd state in the Union on December 14.
_ John McKinley elected to the Alabama legislature as a representative from Madison County.
_ Alabama Supreme Court convenes for the first time. Clement C. Clay was appointed Chief Justice.
_William Wyatt Bibb, the first Governor of Alabama, dies from injuries received in a riding accident.
_His younger brother, Thomas Bibb, president of the state senate, served the remainder of his term.
_ Legislature charters Athens Female Academy. Later became Athens State University.
French General and Revolutionary War hero, the Marquis de Lafayette, tours Alabama being
entertained in Montgomery. Governor Israel Pickens spared no expense for Layfayette's visit,
spending more money than the state treasury had.
Tuscaloosa becomes the new capital of the state of Alabama.
The United States established an arsenal at Mt. Vernon, near the juncture of the Tombigbee and
Choctaw Indians sign the Treaty of Dancing Rabbit Creek, ceding all their land east of the Mississippi
River, including parts of west Alabama, to the United States.
University of Alabama opens its doors.
First railway opens. The Tuscumbia Railway running from Tuscumbia to the Tennessee River.
Treaty of Cusseta (United States and the Creek Indians)
Treaty of Pontotoc (United States and the Chickasaw Indians)
November 12-13.. "the night the stars fell on Alabama" fantastic meteor shower.
Alabama gold rush in east-central hill country
Second Creek War(Seminole)
Last Indian battle in Alabama was the Battle of Hobdy's Bridge.
The first state prison is established by legislative act.
Julia Tutwiler born in Tuscaloosa
The 1st Alabama Infantry Regiment organizes in Mobile to fight in the Mexican War.
The Alabama Legislature holds their first session in the new capital building in Montgomery.
The Alabama Insane Hospital is established by legislative act
William Rufus King of Selma is inaugurated as Vice President of the United States near Havana,
Cuba. He was in the warm climate to recover his failing health. He never recovered. He died in
Alabama having never served as Vice President.
Statewide public school system is established in Alabama.
Birth date of Booker T. Washington African-American educator
Alabama Coal Mining Company begins the first systematic underground mining in state
East Alabama Male College founded at Auburn by Methodist. Later became Auburn University
The Alabama School for the Deaf is founded in Talladega, Alabama by Dr. Joseph Henry Johnson
Governor A.B. Moore orders the seizure of federal military installations within the state on January 4
The Alabama Secession Convention passes the Ordinance of Secession declaring Alabama a "Sovereign
And Independent State on January 11.
Confederate States of America was established on February 4 in Montgomery by representatives from
Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, and South Carolina. They organized the Confederacy
with the adoption of the provisional constitution.
Jefferson Davis was inaugurated as the first and only President of the Confederate States of America with
great fanfare on February 18 on the portico of the Alabama capital.
"Stars and Bars" is raised over the state capital by Letita Tyler daughter of former President John Tyler.
.. Federal Troops under General Mitchell took control of Huntsville.
A Confederate submarine, the H.L. Hunley built in Mobile became the first submarine in history to
sink an enemy ship the USS Housatonic.
On August 5, the Battle of Mobile Bay begins and ends 18 days later with the surrender of Fort Morgan
.. Three and a half weeks after Lee's surrender at Appomattox, the last major Confederate force east of
Mississippi surrenders at Citronelle, Alabama.
Confederate veteran Joe Cain paraded through the streets of federally occupied Mobile dressed as a
Chickasaw Indian Chief on Fat Tuesday. It marked the first public celebration of Mardi Gras
Lincoln Normal School founded as private institution for African-Americans evolves to Alabama
Benjamin Sterling Turner born a slave, was elected as Dallas County tax collector after freedom
On October 1-4, African- Americans voted for the first time in Alabama history in a statewide election
Alabama legislature ratifies the 14th amendment to the U.S. constitution, meeting one of the requirements
for readmission to the Union. The amendment guaranteed that states could not abridge citizenship rights
On July 25, for the first time in 5 years, Alabama's 2 U.S. senators take their seats in Congress signifying
Alabama's readmission to the Union.
Alabama legislature, by joint resolution, ratifies the 15th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution guarantying
the right to vote to blacks, including former slaves.
Birmingham is born. Becomes the center of Southern iron and steel industry.
Huntsville Normal and Industrial School chartered. Becomes Alabama Agricultural and Mechanical
W. C. Handy is born in Florence, Alabama on November 16.
Helen Keller is born in Tuscumbia
Isaac "Honest Ike" Vincent is elected to an unprecedented third term as State Treasurer. He absconded in
1883 with state funds totaling aver $200,000.
Alabama passes it first child labor law, fixing age limits and restricting work hours for certain types
Rube Burrow, the most wanted outlaw in the south, is killed escaping from jail in Linden, Alabama
Women are allowed to attend University of Alabama
First Alabama/Auburn football game played in Birmingham's Lakeview Park. Auburn won 32-22
State formally adopts a state flag. A crimson cross of St. Andrew upon a field of white.
George Washington Carver comes to direct Tuskegee Institute's agricultural school. Fame came from
innovative uses of peanuts, sweet potatoes, and other southern products
Booker T. Washington becomes the first African-American to be awarded an honorary degree by
State's first archival agency is organized. It is called Alabama Department of Archives and History
Alabama's Constitution is ratified by statewide vote, disfranchising black and poor whites.
Electric street cars appeared in Huntsville
Tallulah Bankhead, star of stage, screen, and radio in the 1930's, 1940's, and 1950's is born in Huntsville
on January 31.
A powerful hurricane wreaks havoc on the Gulf Coast, killing dozens and causing millions of dollars
Orville Wright pilots the first plane in Alabama and opened a pilots' training school.
An explosion kills 129 miners in Banner Mine in Jefferson County. Most of the miners were prisoners
leased from the convict lease program.
Jesse Owens is born on September 12 in Oakville, Alabama.
Joe Louis, "The Brown Bomber," was born on May 13 near LaFayette.
Statewide prohibition goes into effect in Alabama
Author of Jubilee, Margaret Walker is born.
A strong earthquake occurs east of Birmingham around 4 p.m.
George C. Wallace is born in Clio on September 2.
Hattie Hooker Williams of Selma, becomes the first woman to win a seat in the Alabama Legislature
WSY becomes Alabama's first radio station
Legendary Country Music singer, Hank Williams is born in Georgiana on September 23.
University of Alabama football team wins the Rose Bowl marking the first time a southern football
team was invited to play in a bowl game
Harper Lee, author of "To Kill A Mockingbird" is born on May 1
The electric chair was used for the first time at Kilby Prison
Convict leasing ends in Alabama
Nine black youth, know as the Scottsboro Boys, are arrested in Paint Rock and jailed in Scottsboro
charged with raping 2 white women. Their conviction by an all white jury generated international
Over 250 people die as tornados sweep the state
Tennessee Valley Authority(TVA) is established by Congress
Nationwide Textile Strike
Ava Maria Grotto Park dedicated at the St Bernard Benedictine Abbey in Cullman
First Statewide law enforcement agency, Alabama Highway Patrol, is created by Governor Bibb Graves
Jesse Owens wins his first of four, gold metals at the 1936 Olympic in Berlin, Germany. He was snubbed
by Adolf Hitler because he was black
Joe Louis defeats James J. Braddock at Chicago's Comiskey Park to become the first black heavyweight
boxing champion since 1908. He held the title until 1948.
Hugo Black is appointed to the U.S. Supreme Court by President Franklin Roosevelt. Served until 1971
Sales tax added to aid education
Legislature outlaws open-range livestock grazing in Alabama
Groundbreaking ceremonies for U.S. Army's Redstone Ordinance Plant in Huntsville
Training for African-American military pilots, "Tuskegee Airmen" begins
Huntsville Arsenal, a chemical warfare plant was constructed
Tuskegee Airmen are involved in their first air battle with German fighter planes
First oil well in Alabama
United Negro College Fund is established by Tuskegee President F. D. Patterson.
Half of the Alabama delegation walks out of the National Democratic Convention in Philadelphia
in protest of the party's stand for Civil Rights
Dixiecrat Convention assembles in Birmingham with 6000 delegates from across the south
Huntsville Arsenal and Redstone Arsenal are merged under one name "Ordinance Guided Missile
Center" but still known as Redstone Arsenal.
Wernher von Braun along with 118 German scientist are brought to Huntsville
Annie Lola Price becomes the first woman to serve on the Alabama Court of Appeals. Ironic though since
women were not allowed to serve on juries
Willie Mays gets his first hit in Major League Baseball a home run
New license plates carry an image of a heart and phrase "Heart of Dixie"
Hank Williams dies at the age of 29. Over 20,000 mourners attend his funeral
Martin Luther King Jr. is installed as minister of Dexter Avenue Baptist Church in Montgomery
Rosa Parks is arrested for refusing to give up her seat to a boarding white passenger which lead
to the Montgomery Bus Boycott
Werner von Braun and 105 of the German Scientist become American Citizens
Martin Luther King Jr.'s home was bombed during the Montgomery Bus Boycott
Autherine Lucy becomes the first African-American to enroll at University of Alabama
NAACP is barred from operating in Alabama
Alabama Christian Movement for Human Rights is founded in response to ban on NAACP
Army Ballistic Missile Agency established in Huntsville's Redstone Arsenal
Six pre-dawn bombings damage 4 black churches and 2 ministers homes in Montgomery
Earthquake with epicenter in Guntersville rumbles causing little damage
Jupiter-C developed in Huntsville is launched successfully into space. NASA is born
Earthquake centered in Huntsville and felt over a 25 mile radius causes minor damage.
NASA's George C. Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville is dedicated by President
Dwight D. Eisenhower
Freedom Riders arrive at the Greyhound Bus Station in Montgomery
Harper Lee wins the Pulitzer Prize for "To Kill A Mockingbird"
George C. Wallace makes his infamous "stand in the schoolhouse door" to block admittance
of African-Americans to the University of Alabama
16th Street Baptist Church is bombed in Birmingham, killing 4 black girls ages 11-14.
Civil Rights worker Jonathan Daniels is shot and killed in Lowndes County
Nat King Cole dies in Santa Monica, California
Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. leads 3200 marchers from Selma to Montgomery in support of
USS Alabama dedicated in Mobile.
Lurleen Wallace is inaugurated as state's first woman governor
Lurleen Wallace, Governor of Alabama, dies from cancer
First running of the Talladega 500 as Talladega Speedway opens on September 14.
U.S. Space and Rocket Center is dedicated
Start of construction on the Tennessee-Tombigbee Waterway
Governor George C. Wallace shot in Maryland while campaigning for Democratic nomination for
Hank Aaron playing for the Atlanta Braves, hits his 715th homerun breaking Babe Ruth's record
Record outbreak of tornados in United States and Canada killing 86 Alabamians
Richard Arrington becomes the first black Mayor of Birmingham
Alabama named Country Music's "Vocal Group of the Year"
Paul "Bear" Bryant retired University of Alabama football coach dies of a heart attack
Tennessee-Tombigbee Waterway opens
Kathryn Thornton of Montgomery becomes the first woman to fly on a military space mission on the
Space Shuttle Discovery