Dec. 13, 1819
Jefferson County was created by the Alabama Legislature on this day in 1819, the day before Alabama became the 22nd state in the United States. Located in north-central Alabama, Jefferson County is the most populous county in Alabama, with a population of almost 660,000, according to a 2018 Census estimate. The county was the setting for Alabama’s industrial revolution in the 19th and early 20th centuries, thanks to the area’s abundant mineral deposits. The county is also the site of many defining moments in the civil rights movement. Today, Jefferson County is a business center, especially in banking, medicine and research, and the University of Alabama at Birmingham is a significant employer and driver of the economy. Birmingham is the county seat.
Read more at Encyclopedia of Alabama.
Map of Birmingham, AL, c. 1885. (Beck & Pauli Lithograph, Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division)
Photograph of the Jefferson County Courthouse, 1889. (Bhamwiki)
Company steel town. Jefferson County, 1937. (Arthur Rothstein, Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division)
The Jefferson County Courthouse was built in Birmingham in 1931 by the Chicago firm Holabird and Root, which also designed Chicago’s famed Soldier Field football stadium. The Art Deco-style courthouse was constructed of granite and limestone. It is on the National Register of Historic Places. (From Encyclopedia of Alabama, courtesy of Jimmy Emerson)
Birmingham City Hall and Linn Park. (Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division)
Alabama Theatre. (Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division)
Aerial view of Birmingham, 1993. (Jet Lowe, Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division)
Steel mills at Birmingham, c. 1923. (Keystone View Company, Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division)
The Birmingham Museum of Art, which sits on 3.9 acres in the heart of the city, houses more than 24,000 works of art, including major collections from Africa, the Americas, Asia, and Europe as well as a large collection of works by Alabama artists. (From Encyclopedia of Alabama, photo courtesy of the Birmingham Museum of Art)
For more on Alabama’s Bicentennial, visit Alabama 200.