February 6, 1852
February 1, 1839
February 1, 1956
February 4, 1861
This Week in Alabama History
February 1 - 7
The Alabama Insane Hospital is established by the legislature. Built in Tuscaloosa, it received its first patient in 1861, with Dr. Peter Bryce as director. Applying modern methods, Bryce became renowned for humane treatment of his patients. Today, the Alabama Department of Mental Health and Mental Retardation oversees multiple facilities and programs, including Bryce Hospital in Tuscaloosa.
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Other Events this Week
The Alabama legislature abolishes imprisonment for debt, except in cases of fraud. This action continued a modification of English common law that had begun with the Mississippi and Alabama territorial governments. The constitutions of 1868, 1875 and 1901 would prohibit imprisonment of debtors even in cases of fraud.
Autherine Lucy of Birmingham becomes the first African American to enroll at the University of Alabama. Her stay at the school ended abruptly, however, as she was suspended and then expelled amid campus unrest. Permanent integration of the university would be delayed until 1963, when two black students enrolled the day of Gov. George Wallace's "stand in the schoolhouse door."
Delegates from six states that had recently seceded from the Union meet in Montgomery to establish the Confederate States of America. Four days later this provisional Confederate Congress, comprising representatives of Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, and South Carolina, organized the Confederacy with the adoption of a provisional constitution.