Birmingham still has Perpetual Promise

12.27.2010 by André Natta · → Leave a comment

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CPP cover. Dystopos/FlickrThere are many nicknames that have been given to Birmingham, AL by its citizens. There are some that are actually associated with the city, including being the original Magic City – or are we?

It’s also been called Tragic City (a nickname that isn’t associated with the city that much, unless you’re talking about our roller derby squad

Another popular nickname is Steel City, though it doesn’t seem to be used by that many people outside of the city as it is inside metro Birmingham.

A tag applied to the city since 1937 by some historical buffs is “The City of Perpetual Promise.” It’s taken from the title of a piece written by George Leighton for the August 1937 edition of Harper’s Magazine. The piece has influenced several pieces in recent years, from former Birmingham mayor Larry Langford’s 2009 Birmingham News editorial to a February 2008 piece published in Harper’s looking at what had changed since 1937.

John Morse (the man behind BhamWiki) recently scanned the article and posted the pages to Flickr . The article is also available for reading via Harper’s Magazine‘s own archives in PDF format – if you have a subscription. You’ll also find the text included in a book published by Leighton in 1939.

Photo: CPP cover. Dystopos/Flickr

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