Oct. 13, 1909
Promising a day of amazing sights, renowned showman William F. Cody brought his famous Buffalo Bill’s Wild West performers to Birmingham on Oct. 13, 1909. Performers paraded through downtown and hosted crowds at Smith’s Park near Smithfield. The tour was among five times Cody and his famous performers visited Birmingham between 1895 and 1913.
The show provided excitement for Magic City residents. Buffalo Bill’s Wild West was famous, following a European tour with a 14-week run in London in 1902. That extravaganza was capped by a visit from King Edward VIII and the future King George V. For four years, Buffalo Bill’s gang traveled and performed in Great Britain, France, Austria, Germany, Poland, Hungary, Romania, the Ukraine and other European nations.
Combined with Pawnee Bill’s Far East, the Birmingham show featured cowboys, soldiers, the cavalry and more. People came for a spectacle: great displays of horsemanship, riding, athleticism, lassoing, frolics, music, maneuvers, equestrian shows, acrobats, shooting, marches and other shows. The Wild West performance culminated with “The Battle of Summit Springs,” Rossi’s Musical Elephants and Thompson’s Trained Horses.
For more on Alabama’s Bicentennial, visit Alabama 200.