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1856 was 15 years before the founding of the City of Birmingham and the 37th year of Alabama statehood.







In 1856, the Taiping Rebellion continued. Dallas, Texas was incorporated. The Crimean War ended. Congressman Preston Brooks of South Carolina beat Senator Charles Sumner with a cane in the hall of the United States Senate, for a speech Sumner had made attacking Southerners who sympathized with the pro-slavery violence in Kansas. The Great Train Wreck occurred near Philadelphia. The Second Opium War between several western powers and China began. James Buchanan defeated former President Millard Fillmore in the presidential election. Gregor Mendel started his research on genetics.

Notable births in 1856 included efficiency expert Frederick Winslow Taylor, Tongzhi Emperor of China, psychiatrist Sigmund Freud, author L. Frank Baum, inventor Nikola Tesla, writer George Bernard Shaw, architect Louis Sullivan, biologist William Emerson Ritter, lawman Bat Masterson, physicist J. J. Thomson, statesman Frank B. Kellogg, and President Woodrow Wilson. Notable deaths included soprano Anna Gottlieb, chemist Amedeo Avogadro, composer Robert Schumann, and revolutionary Francesco Bentivegna.

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