Birmingham Timeline


David Vann

David Vann

Birmingham Mayor David Vann mentions in a weekly news conference that a civil rights museum would be an appropriate project for the city.


Birmingham City Council

Birmingham City Council endorses Mayor Vann’s recommends the creation of a civil rights museum.


Dr. Richard Arrington, Jr.

Mayor Vann is defeated in his bid for re-election by Dr. Richard Arrington, Jr., Birmingham’s first African American mayor. Birmingham City Council adopts a resolution authorizing the mayor to form a museum committee to conduct a feasibility study.


Horace Huntley

Mayor Arrington appoints former mayor, David Vann, and UAB historian Horace Huntley to co-chair a Civil Rights Museum Study Committee. The Committee recommends that the city incorporate a Board of Directors and acquire property for a museum.  The City of Birmingham begins acquiring property for a civil rights museum.


Mission Set

Mayor Richard Arrington, Jr. appoints a Civil Rights Institute Task Force to create a mission statement and plan for the new facility.  Odessa Woolfolk, Director of the UAB Center for Urban Affairs, and Frank Young, Chairman of the Birmingham Chamber of Commerce, serve as co-chairs of the Task Force.  The Task Force..Read More


Schematics Approved

Civil Rights Institute Task Force approves schematic drawings and a program statement developed by the architectural firm Bond Ryder James and museum consultants, the American History Workshop.  Mayor Richard Arrington, Jr. authorizes plans for a Civil Rights Cultural District, including a renovated Kelly Ingram Park, a Jazz Hall of Fame in..Read More


Revenue Bonds

The Historical Preservation Authority of Birmingham issues revenue bonds for financing a portion of the cost of redesigning Kelly Ingram Park and constructing the Civil Rights Institute.


Alabama Jazz Hall of Fame

The Birmingham Civil Rights Institute and the City of Birmingham enter into a funding and management agreement for both the Institute and the Carver properties, which include the Alabama Jazz Hall of Fame.  November 14, 1992The Birmingham Civil Rights Institute unveils a statue of Rev. Fred L. Shuttlesworth sculpted by John Rhoden..Read More

Grand Opening

The Birmingham Civil Rights Institute opens to the public.

Recent Blogs

PRESS RELEASE: Shuttlesworth 2017

The Birmingham Civil Rights Institute to Present the 2017 Fred L. Shuttlesworth Human Rights Award to activist Harry Belafonte, Former Birmingham Mayor Dr. Richard Arrington, Jr. and to activist Viola Liuzzo In honor of its 25th Anniversary, the Birmingham Civil...

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The Impact of Fear by Ahmad Ward

December 15th, 2015 14:24 Fear. It causes the best of us to make problematic decisions and say regrettable things.  Historically, fear has been at the root of some of the worst examples of discrimination and oppression this country has seen.  Fear of an emancipated...

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From Talk Radio to Trump by Josh Cannon

Original Post: June 22nd, 2016 12:46 In August of 2014, on a local conservative talk radio station, I heard the host of a syndicated program liken African American protesters in Ferguson, Missouri  to “beasts,”  “animals,” and “savages.” He then equated people in...

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Perspective by Ahmad Ward

Original post: August 3rd, 2016 14:03 As a Black man just entering his 40’s, I freely admit that there was a time when I believed certain things would not be achievable in my lifetime.  I thought that we may eventually see a Black Secretary of State or Attorney...

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Tuesday – Saturday: 10:00 AM – 5:00 P.M.

Every day from MLK Day – February.