This Week in Alabama History Mar 13 – Mar 19

This Week in Alabama History Mar 6 – Mar 12
March 6, 2017
This Week in Alabama History Mar 20 – Mar 26
March 20, 2017

This Week in Alabama History Mar 13 – Mar 19

Every day of the year, something exciting, notable, or just downright strange has happened in Alabama history.

Scroll down and check out what happened THIS week.

Alabama physician Seale Harris. (University of Alabama Birmingham Archives, Encyclopedia of Alabama.)

March 13, 1870

Physician and medical researcher Seale Harris was born in Georgia. Harris is best remembered for opening the Seale Harris Clinic in Birmingham in 1922 and for discovering that excessive sugar consumption causes hyperinsulinemia. A prolific writer on a variety of subjects, he earned the nickname “the Benjamin Franklin of medicine” and served in Europe under the leadership of fellow Alabamian William Crawford Gorgas, surgeon general of the army, during World War I. Harris was awarded the 1949 Distinguished Service Medal of the American Medical Association and was posthumously inducted into the Alabama Hall of Fame in 1965.

Barber Vintage Motorsports Museum, 2011. (Silosarg, Wikimedia.)

March 14, 1995

The Barber Vintage Motorsports Museum opened to the public in Birmingham with 325 motorcycles on display. The vision of former racecar driver and dairy industrialist George Barber, the collection moved to a new, 740-acre location in Birmingham in 2003. The five-story, 144,000-square-foot museum displays over 1,400 motorcycles, the largest such collection in the world, and an array of various racecars. The site is also home to a 2.3-mile, 16-turn racetrack used to host professional races, including the Honda Superbike Classic and the Grand-Am Cup. Barber was inducted into the American Motorcyclist Association Motorcycle Hall of Fame in 2014.

William Luther Sibert. (Archive of the US War Department, Wikimedia.)

March 15, 1915

The US Army promoted civil engineer William Luther Sibert to the rank of brigadier general. A native of Etowah County and graduate of the US Military Academy at West Point, Sibert worked on several largescale construction projects over his 40-year military career, including the Panama Canal, the Soo Locks on the Great Lakes, and the Hoover Dam. Sibert is known as the “father of the Chemical Corps,” having served as the inaugural commander of Chemical Warfare Service during World War I. In 1923, he returned to Alabama to oversee the $10 million Alabama State Docks project in Mobile. Sibert was posthumously inducted into the Alabama Hall of Fame in 1961.

"The Flower Garden" by Clara Weaver Parrish, oil on wood panel, 4.6 x 7.1 inches. (Johnson Collection, Spartanburg, South Carolina, Wikimedia.)

March 16, 1861

Artist and designer Clara Weaver Parrish, best known for her paintings and stained-glass windows, was born in Dallas County. A wealthy young woman, Parrish studied art in New York City and abroad as she developed a painting style deeply influenced by the New Art style, which typically includes forms and structures inspired by nature. She later became one of the few women to freelance for the Tiffany Glass and Decorating Company, owned by renowned designer Louis Comfort Tiffany. Stained-glass windows designed by Parrish are still viewable in several churches in Alabama. Parrish was posthumously inducted into the Alabama Women’s Hall of Fame in 1983.

Mia Hamm. (Photograph by Tamika Moore, The Birmingham News, Encyclopedia of Alabama.)

March 17, 1972

Soccer player Mia Hamm was born in Selma. The daughter of a US Air Force pilot, Hamm moved frequently as a child before becoming the youngest player ever to play for the US women’s national soccer team at the age of fifteen in 1987. Playing as a forward for the team until 2004, Hamm won two FIFA Women’s World Cups and two Olympic gold medals and held the record for number of international goals, male or female, until 2013. Hamm was named the women’s FIFA World Player of the Year in 2001 and 2002 and was inducted into the National Soccer Hall of Fame and the Alabama Sports Hall of Fame.

Wilson Pickett. (Alabama Music Hall of Fame, Encyclopedia of Alabama.)

March 18, 1941

Singer Wilson Pickett was born in Prattville. Working in the cotton fields of his sharecropping parents as a child, Pickett’s music career took off in 1965 with his hit “In the Midnight Hour,” recorded at Stax Records’ studios in Memphis. Pickett recorded many of his biggest hits at Fame Studios in Muscle Shoals, including “Land of 1,000 Dances,” “Mustang Sally,” and “Funky Broadway.” In all, he recorded more than fifty songs that made the Billboard US R&B charts. Pickett was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1991 and the Alabama Music Hall of Fame in 1999.

Willie Mays with arm around the shoulders of Roy Campanella, 1961. (World Telegram & Sun photo by William C. Greene, Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division.)

March 19, 2010

Baseball superstar and Fairfield native Willie Mays was inducted into the African-American Ethnic Sports Hall of Fame. Known as the “Say Hey Kid,” Mays became one of the greatest baseball players of all time. In 22 seasons as a center fielder, mostly with the New York and San Francisco Giants, Mays won one World Series and two National League Most Valuable Player awards. He finished his career with a record 24 All-Star Game appearances, 660 home runs, and a record 12 Gold Glove awards, despite the award not being introduced until 1957. Mays became a first-ballot Baseball Hall of Fame inductee in 1979 and was inducted into the Alabama Sports Hall of Fame in 1977.

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