If you are a history buff and love visiting new cities specifically to explore the historical sites, there are so many cities across the country that would be appealing to you. Sometimes, you can plan entire weekend or week-long trips around the history of an area and all of the historical sites and attractions you can visit.
One of these great U.S. cities you can visit and make a plan for touring its history is Birmingham, Alabama. If you don’t have Birmingham on your list of historical cities, you had better add it and start working up an agenda. Here is what you should check out as you tour the local history in Birmingham, Alabama:
Sloss Furnace National Historic Landmark
A large part of any city’s history is its economy and what people did for work in the recent past and the distant past. With this in mind, a significant part of Birmingham’s history was the iron industry. The Sloss Furnace National Historic Landmark serves as a marker for this significant aspect of Birmingham’s history, and the landmark itself features the remains of the iron furnace.
If the industrial past of the city interests you, the Sloss Furnace National Historic Landmark is a can’t miss spot. This furnace was one of the largest manufacturers in the world at its peak or production. The plant closed in 1970, and today you can take a self-guided or group historical tour.
Birmingham Civil Rights Institute
The civil rights movement is a major component of Birmingham’s history, and no visit to Birmingham would be complete without visiting the Birmingham Civil Rights Institute. While some of the artifacts on display may be difficult for visitors to see, it is important to learn from history in order to do better.
One of the most significant artifacts on display at the Birmingham Civil Rights Institute is the actual jail cell in which Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. wrote his “Letter from a Birmingham Jail” in 1963. Other displays and exhibits highlight the history of the civil rights movement in Birmingham and its effects even up to today.
16th Street Baptist Church
Another difficult but important historical marker in the city is the 16th Street Baptist Church. The 16th Street Baptist Church is right across the street from the Birmingham Civil Rights Institute. This may be the most well-known building in the city of Birmingham. It is the site of a 1963 bombing by the KKK in which four young girls were killed.
The church was targeted because it was a major meeting place for the civil rights movement and many acclaimed speakers stopped there. Today, you can schedule a guided tour of the church with a group of 10 or more people, or you can tour the church on your own if you have a smaller group.
Birmingham is so full of history that history lovers may be drawn to search for Birmingham homes for sale to plan a move so they can experience the history of the city any time.