- The Langston Station post office was established.
- Shandy Jones ended his term in the Alabama House of Representatives.
- December: Robert B. Lindsay succeeded William H. Smith as Governor of Alabama.
- The first railway through Jones Valley opened.
- Joseph Riley Smith retired from the medical profession and went into business.
- May 3: Alburto Martin purchased a tract of land from Martha Clift that would later become part of Birmingham.
- December 8: Josiah Morris purchased the 4,150 acres on which Birmingham would be laid out.
- February 13: Jere King, attorney and State Representative
- March 13: Seale Harris, physician and medical researcher, in Cedartown, Georgia
- May 7: A. H. Parker, principal of Industrial High School
- Nathaniel Barrett, President of the Birmingham City Commission, 1917-1921
- Henry Batterton, businessman
- James Bray, president of Miles College
- Edwin Stephenson, minister and murderer
- August 23: Attorney William Walker, Jr married Virginia Mudd.
- James Bowron married Ada Barrett.
- Theophilus Jowers married Sarah Latham.
In 1870, John D. Rockefeller incorporated Standard Oil. A political cartoon for the first time symbolized the United States Democratic Party with a donkey. The final Confederate states, Virginia, Mississippi, Texas, and Georgia, were readmitted to the Union. The 15th Amendment to the Constitution, guaranteeing African-Americans the right to vote, was passed. The U. S. Department of Justice was created. Pope Pius IX declared papal infallibility in matters of faith and morals. The Franco-Prussian War began. Old Faithful Geyser was observed and named. The U. S. Weather Bureau (later renamed the National Weather Service) made its first official meteorological forecast.
Notable books published in 1870 included The Vicar of Bullhampton by Anthony Trollope and Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea by Jules Verne.
Notable births in 1870 included psychologist Alfred Adler, Soviet Premiere Vladimir Lenin, serial killer Albert Fish, painter Maxfield Parrish, writer Hilaire Belloc, educator Maria Montessori, and writer Ivan Bunin. Notable deaths included winemaker Nathaniel de Rothschild, author Charles Dickens, explorer Fitz Hugh Ludlow, former Confederate general Robert E. Lee, and author Alexandre Dumas.
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