1956: Brothers Billy and Robert Dye and their cousin Dan Brasher disappeared. They spent what was probably the last night of their lives at a party in the Sardis community. There was some drinking, and a small fight that witnesses said didn’t amount to much. Around midnight the three men left in Billy’s green Ford, dropped Robert Earl’s wife off at her house, and were never seen again.
Tales of a moonshine war and latenight trips to an illegal whiskey stash in a northern Jefferson County cave spice up the story. Some say the answer to what really happened years ago lies in one of the many abandoned mines in the rough hillsides around Trafford and Warrior. Others claim the bodies of the three men are at the bottom of a quarry in the Ketona area near Tarrant.
1861: Letitia Christian Tyler, granddaughter of President John Tyler, raised the flag of the provisional government of the Confederate States of America over the Capitol of Alabama. The date was recognized by the state in 1953 as “Confederate Flag Day.”
1886: Birmingham’s first Mardi Gras parade was organized by the German Society.
1943: George Watson drowned while rescuing shipmates during World War II. Watson was awarded the Distinguished Service Cross after the war, the first African-American to be so honored. That medal, and six other Distinguished Service Crosses given to black soldiers, were upgraded to Medals of Honor in a 1997.
2007: Mama Petite, a hippopotamus who had lived at the Birmingham Zoo since 1959, was euthanized.
The Week in Birmingham History is a collaborative effort of AL.com and Bhamwiki.