Year of Alabama History



May 3, 1963












May 4, 1865









May 5, 1799






May 5, 1910








May 8, 1820







Fred Shuttlesworth

This Week in Alabama History

May 3 - 9




Featured Event:

Peaceful African American demonstrators, many of them teenagers, are beaten back in downtown Birmingham by fire hoses and police dogs. The extreme tactics, ordered by police commissioner Eugene "Bull" Connor brought international attention to Project C, the name given to civil rights demonstrations in the city led by Martin Luther King Jr. and Fred Shuttlesworth.

Other Events this Week

At Citronelle, Alabama, three and a half weeks after Lee's surrender at Appomattox, the last major Confederate force east of the Mississippi surrenders. Lt. Gen. Richard Taylor surrendered the 12,000 troops of the Department of East Louisiana, Mississippi, and Alabama to Maj. Gen. E. R. S. Canby of the U.S. Army.


U.S. Army Lieutenant John McClary takes possession of Fort St. Stephens from the Spanish and the United States flag is raised for the first time on soil that would eventually belong to Alabama.


An explosion at Palos Coal Mine No. 3 in Jefferson County kills 84 miners. At the time it was the second-worst mine disaster in Alabama history, and it followed on the heels of a mine explosion at nearby Mulga that killed 40 miners. The Palos tragedy also marked the first time that the Red Cross led a disaster relief effort in Alabama.


The Alabama Supreme Court convenes for the first time. The court, meeting in the capital of Cahaba, was composed of Alabama's circuit court judges. Clement C. Clay, who later served in Congress and as governor, was appointed Chief Justice.


Listen: Click the play button below to hear Archives Staff discuss this event on Alabama Public Radio.