January 31: Tallulah Bankhead, star of stage, screen, and radio in the 1930s, '40s, and '50s, is born in Huntsville.
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March 2: Trustees of the Alabama Department of Archives and History meet in Gov. William J. Samford's office to organize the nation's first state archival agency.

New state Constitution ratified, disfranchising substantial numbers of black and white voters (November).
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November 29: The New York Medical Record publishes an account of Dr. Luther Leonidas Hill performing the first open heart surgery in the western hemisphere when he sutured a knife wound in a young boy’s heart. Dr. Hill was the father of Alabama politician and U.S. senator Lister Hill.

Colonel William Crawford Gorgas of Alabama begins elimination of scourges of yellow fever and malaria in Panama Canal Zone.

Sculptor Guiseppe Moretti created an iron statue of Vulcan to represent Alabama Industry and Birmingham at the St. Louis World's Fair.
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Tennessee Coal and Iron Company in Birmingham purchased by U.S. Steel.

Wright Brothers, Orville and Wilbur, establish "flying school" on land outside Montgomery (present site of Maxwell Air Force Base) six years after their first flights.
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Boll Weevil, insect destroyer of cotton, enters state from Mississippi border.

State population= 2,138,093.

1910 Federal Census:

White population= 1,228,832
African-American population= 908,282
Urban population= 370,431
Rural population= 1,767,662
Cotton production in bales= 1,129,527
Corn production in bushels= 30,695,737
Number of manufacturing establishments= 3,398.

United States enters World War I. Alabama's 167th Regiment, a part of the 42nd "Rainbow Division," serves at the front longer than any U.S. regiment.
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Eighteenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution bans manufacture and sale of alcoholic beverages.

December 11: The boll weevil monument is dedicated in Enterprise. The monument honors the insect that killed cotton plants and forced local farmers to diversify by planting more profitable crops such as peanuts. Even though the monument was in appreciation of the boll weevil, the weevil statue was not added to the monument until 30 years later.
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1920 Federal Census:
State population= 2,348,174.
White population= 1,447,031
African-American population= 900,652
Urban population= 509,317
Rural population= 1,838,857
Cotton production in bales= 718,163
Corn production in bushels= 43,699,100
Number of manufacturing establishments= 3,654.

Nineteenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution grants women the right to vote.
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University of Alabama football team, the first southern team to be honored with an invitation to the Rose Bowl, defeats the University of Washington (January 1).

Convict lease system ended in Alabama.

1929 ..1940
Great Depression and New Deal.
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State population= 2,646,248.

1930 Federal Census:

White population= 1,700,844
African-American population= 944,834
Urban population= 744,273
Rural population= 1,901,975
Cotton production in bales= 1,312,963
Corn production in bushels= 35,683,874
Number of manufacturing establishments= 2,848.

March 25: Nine black youths, soon to be known as the Scottsboro Boys, are arrested in Paint Rock and jailed in Scottsboro, the Jackson County seat. Charged with raping two white women on a freight train from Chattanooga, the sheriff had to protect them from mob violence that night. Within a month, eight of the nine were sentenced to death. Based on questionable evidence, the convictions by an all-white jury generated international outrage.

Tennessee Valley Authority created to develop resources of poor Appalachian South, including large parts of north Alabama.

Bankhead Cotton Control Act, sponsored by Alabama Senator John Bankhead, Jr., passed to boost the price of cotton by limiting the amount a farmer could market.

August 3: Lawrence County native Jesse Owens wins his first gold medal at the 1936 Olympics in Berlin, Germany. Owens went on to win four gold medals in Berlin, but German leader Adolf Hitler snubbed the star athlete because he was black. Today visitors can learn more about Owens at the Jesse Owens Memorial Park and Museum in Oakville, Alabama.
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William B. Bankhead elected Speaker, U.S. House of Representatives.

State sales tax instituted to help fund education.

Alabama Senator Hugo Black appointed by President Franklin Roosevelt to the U.S. Supreme Court.

Bankhead-Jones Farm Tenancy Act, co-sponsored by Alabama Senator John Bankhead, Jr., passed to provide federal loans to farm tenants to purchase land.

State population= 2,832,961.

1940 Federal Census:

White population= 1,849,097
African-American population= 983,290
Urban population= 855,941
Rural population= 1,977,020
Cotton production in bales= 772,711
Corn production in bushels= 31,028,109
Number of manufacturing establishments= 2,052.

1941 .. 1945
United States in World War II. Alabama has new or expanded military bases in Montgomery, Mobile, Selma, and Anniston; munitions plants in Huntsville and Childersburg.
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Training of African-American military pilots, the "Tuskegee Airmen," underway.
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First Oil Well In Alabama--On January 2, 1944, the State of Alabama granted Hunt Oil Company a permit to drill the A.R. Jackson Well No. 1 near Gilbertown, Choctaw County.

University of Alabama Medical School moved from Tuscaloosa to Birmingham.

Georgiana's Hank Williams signs recording contract with MGM and becomes regular on The Louisiana Hayride radio program.

July 17: The Dixiecrat Convention assembles in Birmingham, with over 6,000 delegates from across the South in attendance. They selected Strom Thurmond as their candidate for President for their States' Rights Party. In the 1948 presidential election the Dixiecrats carried four states, including Alabama, where Democratic candidate Harry Truman's name did not even appear on the ballot.

State population= 3,061,743.

1950 Federal Census:

White population= 2,079,591
African-American population= 979,617
Urban population= 1,228,209
Rural population= 1,833,534
Cotton production in bales= 824,290
Corn production in bushels= 40,972,309
Number of manufacturing establishments (1954)= 3,893.

1950 .. 1953
Korean War.
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Alabama casualties in the Korean War

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See also This Week in Alabama History