Birmingham is located in Jefferson and Shelby County in central Alabama. It rests at the foothills of the Appalachian Mountains and is the largest city in the state of Alabama. Over the years, Birmingham has transformed itself into a major medical and finance center. It ranks as one of the major banking sites in the United States.
Birmingham was recognized as a city on June 1, 1871, during the post-Civil War Reconstruction period. Those who settled and founded Birmingham were of English descent. They named it after the United Kingdom’s second largest city and industrial center, Birmingham, England. It became a mining hub due to natural mineral deposits of iron ore, limestone and coal. This made Birmingham a prime site for iron and steel manufacturing. Over the years, the city established itself as a well-known steel and mining city and was commonly referred to as the “Pittsburg of the South” and “The Magic City” due to a spike in population.
During the 1950s and 1960s, Birmingham was at the center of the Civil Rights Movement. It was in a Birmingham jail where Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. wrote his famous “Letter from Birmingham Jail” after being imprisoned following a nonviolent protest. King and other local leaders played an integral role in the passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.