Known throughout the Deep South as "The Magic City," bustling Birmingham prides itself on retaining the charm and graciousness of a true Southern city, while celebrating its diversity by acknowledging its sometimes-controversial history. The culmination of 15 years of planning, the 1992 opening of the Birmingham Civil Rights Institute symbolized the city's evolution from the racial disharmony of the past to a progressive and positive vision of the future.
Economically, Birmingham has seen its share of highs and lows, from the iron, steel, and coal booms in the late 1800s, to the devastation of cholera epidemics and the Great Depression in the 1930s. These days Birmingham is a thriving center of activity for the biomedical research, health care, and banking fields. A temperate climate gives outdoor sports enthusiasts near year-round enjoyment of hiking, biking, golf, and bass fishing. Consistently top-ranked as one of the best cities to live in the U.S., it seems that Birmingham has regained its "Magic" touch.