On this day in Alabama history: Arrington elected Birmingham’s first black mayor

On this day in Alabama history: Arrington elected Birmingham’s first black mayor
A campaign poster for Richard Arrington's 1975 re-election run for a seat on the Birmingham City Council. (From Encyclopedia of Alabama, courtesy of John Morse)

October 30, 1979

In a run-off election on this day, Richard Arrington Jr. was elected the first black mayor of Birmingham. Arrington served until July 1999, for nearly 20 years, until his resignation. So far, he holds the title as the longest-serving mayor in the city’s history and its only five-term mayor. Arrington served immediately following David Vann and ahead of his retirement in 199, installed then-City Council president William Bell as interim mayor in an unsuccessful effort to help Bell succeed Arrington. Arrington was born in 1934 in Livingston.

Read more at Encyclopedia of Alabama.

For more on Alabama’s Bicentennial, visit Alabama 200.

Related Stories