1956 was the 85th year after the founding of the City of Birmingham.
- Frank P. Samford, Jr commissioned a bronze replica of the Statue of Liberty for the Liberty National Building.
- The Woodlawn High School debate team won the inaugural Barkley Forum tournament in Atlanta.
- Maytown was incorporated.
- March 3: Brothers Billy and Robert Dye and their cousin Dan Brasher disappeared.
- April 15: An F4 tornado killed 25 and injured 200 along a 20 mile path through Pleasant Grove, McDonald Chapel and Trussville.
- May 3: The Birmingham Amateur Radio Club was incorporated with Layton Dorman, president.
- August: Saint Rose Academy was founded in the Terence Mackin residence on Red Mountain.
- The Birmingham Community Chest changed its name to United Appeal.
- The University of Montevallo became coeducational.
- The Birmingham Symphony Orchestra debuted as a fully professional ensemble.
- Rock bands The Knightmares and The Premiers were founded.
- The Apollo Boys' Choir disbanded at the retirement of founder Coleman Cooper.
 Civil Rights movement
- February 3: Autherine Lucy enrolled at the University of Alabama. She was expelled a week later for causing disruption.
- April 10: Kenneth Adams and E. L. and Willis Vinson assaulted singer Nat King Cole on stage during a performance at Municipal Auditorium. They were each sentenced to 180 days in jail.
- May 26: A Montgomery judge banned the NAACP from operating in Alabama.
- June 5: The Alabama Christian Movement for Human Rights was founded by Fred Shuttlesworth at Sardis Baptist Church. Abraham Woods, Jr was vice-president.
- Bull Connor was elected to the Birmingham City Commission after a four-year absence.
- December 25: Fred Shuttlesworth's home was bombed. He emerged from the basement unscathed.
- December 26: Fred Shuttlesworth led hundreds of Blacks onto Birmingham busses in defiance of local law. 22 were arrested and the ACMHR filed a federal lawsuit against the police.
- WAPI-AM, WAFM-FM, WAPI-TV and the Birmingham News were sold to Samuel Newhouse.
- The Jefferson County Truck Growers Association moved to Finley Avenue.
- The Tutwiler Hotel was purchased by J. Henry Hoffman for $1,250,000.
- Sloan Bashinsky, Sr purchased Magic City Foods from his father and uncle.
- A labor strike against the local Tip-Top Bakery was marked by sabotage.
- WFHK-AM began broadcasting from Pell City.
- Joe's Restaurant opened in Woodlawn.
- Anderson Brass Works went public as Anderson Electric.
- The La Rocca Nursing Home opened in Tuscaloosa.
- Birmingham Financial Federal Credit Union was founded.
- Houston Blount joined the board of directors of Vulcan Materials.
- February 15: The Pittsburgh Pirates and Kansas City A's cancelled an exhibition at Rickwood Field due to segregation ordinances.
- The Birmingham Black Barons played their first season in the new Negro American League.
- December 1: Auburn defeated the Alabama 34-7 in the 1956 Iron Bowl at Legion Field, and finished the season with a 7-3 record.
- Alabama's men's basketball team was SEC champion with a 14-0 league record (21-3 overall).
- October 20: Howard College's final homecoming game at its East Lake campus was won 25-6 by Carson-Newman under steady rain. Viola Beard reigned as queen.
- Milton Graff set a Birmingham Barons single season record for at bats with 653.
- The Magic City Classic ended in a 0-0 tie.
- Virgil Trucks became a relief pitcher for the Detroit Tigers.
- Elbert Jemison won the Alabama Amateur Golf championship.
- Kings Go Forth by Joe David Brown
- Hugh Martin and Ralph Blane released the album "Martin and Blane Sing Martin and Blane".
- Tommy Charles released the single "Our Love Affair"/"If You Were Me" on Decca Records.
- Richmond Beatty retired from the faculty of Vanderbilt University.
- Frances and John Carter began teaching at Howard College.
- Bull Connor began his second term as Commissioner of Public Safety.
- B. Roper Dial succeeded William Hoover as president of The Club.
- David F. Friedman began his career in exploitation films by partnering with Kroger Babb.
- Hueytown High School principal Harley F. Gilmore retired.
- "Cousin Cliff" Holman's "Tip-Top Clubhouse" became "Cliff's Clubhouse".
- Luther Patrick served as delegate to the Democratic National Convention.
- Newton Price resigned from West End High School
- Mack Russell succeeded Norris Hadaway as manager of the Alabama Theatre.
- E. G. Walker succeeded Ray Acton as Mayor of Homewood.
- Arthur Winograd left the Juilliard String Quartet to become a conductor for MGM Records.
- Edwin H. Wood became chief of the Homewood Police Department.
- Charles Vines succeeded Harley Gilmore as principal of Hueytown High School.
- March 6: Sammy Lee, professional fisherman and radio host
- March 16: Ozzie Newsome, football player and NFL executive
- April 18: Jay Miller, Midfield Police Department veteran and Jefferson County Sheriff's Office sergeant
- May 29: Dominick Brascia, actor and radio personality
- July 11: Sela Ward, actress and model
- July 16: Rich Wingo, linebacker
- July 18: Emily Lyons, nurse and 1998 abortion clinic bombing victim
- August 19: Buddy Aydelette, football player and politician
- August 23: Douglas L. Ragland, superintendent of Midfield City Schools
- September 2: State Senator Del Marsh in Wheeling, West Virginia
- September 5: Kevin Peasant, Elmwood Cemetery salesman
- October 2: Kamau Afrika, community activist
- October 10: Johnny O'Neal, jazz pianist
- December 14: Tony Nathan, football player and coach
- Otis Agee, minister
- David Cochran, Blount County Commission
- Henry Clay Dennison, miner
- Ray Melick, sportswriter
- Joel Montgomery, Birmingham City Council
- Han Nolan, author
- Charles Ridley, peanut vendor
- Melissa Springer, photographer
- Birmingham Woman of the Year: Cecil M. Johnson
- Miss Alabama: Anne Stuart Arial
- Mr Crestwood: Woodrow Wilson
- Guggenheim Fellowship: Roland Frye
- Fulbright Scholarship: John C. Fletcher, Jr
- Nolan Harmon was elected a bishop of the Methodist Church
- Don Drennen, Jr graduated from the Virginia Military Institute.
- Don Morrison earned his bachelor's degree in architecture from Auburn University.
- Ottokar Cadek, violinist
- Heman Drummond, mine owner
- Robert and Billy Dye and Dan Brasher, presumed murder victims
- July 30: Tommy Sewell, baseball player
- August 4: Edwin Stephenson, murderer of Father James Coyle
- November 11: Isaac Beatty, Jr, real estate executive
The 1956 Winter Games were held in Cortina d'Ampezzo, Italy. The Summer Olympics were in Melbourne, Australia. Elvis Presley had his first hit single, "Heartbreak Hotel". Morocco declared independence from France. My Fair Lady opened on Broadway. Grace Kelly married Prince Rainier of Monaco and Marilyn Monroe married Arthur Miller. "Under God" was added to the Pledge of Allegiance and "In God We Trust" was made the national motto. Yankee Don Larsen pitched a perfect game 5 of the World Series against the Brooklyn Dodgers. President Eisenhower was re-elected, and Japan joined the United Nations.
Notable 1956 births included Mel Gibson, Sugar Ray Leonard, Tom Hanks, Martina Navratilova, Dwight Yoakam, Bo Derek, and Larry Bird. Deaths that year included H. L. Mencken, A. A. Milne, Connie Mack, Jackson Pollock, Bertolt Brecht, Bela Lugosi, Art Tatum, and Tommy Dorsey.
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