Economic Irony: Timeline

1904
Vulcan cast at McWane Foundry of Sloss Furnaces pig iron. Sent to World's Fair in St. Louis; wins top prize.
1910
Population of Birmingham tops 130,000. Becomes fastest growing urban area in the United States.
1929
Stock market crashes. Banks begin to fail and close.
1930s
Birmingham is one of the hardest hit U.S. cities during the Great Depression. Thousands lose work.
1938
Vulcan statue placed atop Works Progress Administration pedestal atop Red Mountain overlooking "Jones Valley," city of Birmingham.
1941
Japanese attack Pearl Harbor. Johnny Rutledge accepts job at U.S. Steel's Fairfield Works (the former Tennessee Coal and Iron)
1940s
Recovery from the Great Depression. Iron and steel production increases dramatically. World War II drives orders for munitions, planes, warships.
1944
University of Alabama moves its medical school from Tuscaloosa to Birmingham. Now state's largest city, doctors are needed in industrial setting.
1951
Dr. Charles "Scotty" McCallum enters medical school in Birmingham. At the same time, 18% of jobs in metro Birmingham are in primary metals.
1963
Birmingham embroiled in civil rights movement. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. jailed. Sixteenth Street Baptist Church bombed; 4 girls killed.
1969
By designation of the Alabama Legislature, the University of Alabama at Birmingham, or UAB, is born.
1979
Dr. Richard Arrington is elected mayor of Birmingham. He is city's first African-American mayor.
1980s
State and federal banking laws loosened (pdf file). Banks can "merge" branches into one chartered state bank and can buy existing out of state banks.
1990s
Birmingham-based banks continue aggressive acquisition of smaller out-of-state banks.
2000
Vulcan in disrepair. Park closed for fear of falling parts from statue. Vulcan removed from 1970s marble pedestal and disassembled for future repairs.
2001
Banking payrolls top 1 (B) billion dollars in Alabama.
2003
Health Care and social assistance jobs top 14% in metro Birmingham. Financial services jobs top 8%. Primary metals jobs down to 1% of workforce.
2004
Vulcan placed atop original WPA pedestal on Red Mountain. Rededicated on 100th birthday.
2004
Birmingham-based SouthTrust Bank acquired by North Carolina-based Wachovia in 14.3 (B) billion dollar deal. More