Freedom City

Mission: To brand Birmingham positively for national contributions to Veterans Day, Human Rights, and Freedom history and service before the World Games.

Photo from Birmingham Forward, the official web site of the City.

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"Here's my proposal: Let's rename our city... Freedom City."

From an article in by General Charles Krulak, former commandant of the Marine Corps and president of Birmingham-Southern College

City of Birmingham Branding Survey
(7 questions, 2 minutes)

Your Responses Will Help Us Advise Mayor Bell
Birmingham is the only city in America known as a top leader for both Veterans Day and Civil Rights national movements.
Life Leaders is working on these and a third national movement—to equip educational leaders, teachers, and parents to help students write plans for life while in school that inspire and guide them through character education, academic plans, and the Seven Areas of Life so they are more College and Career Ready—more prepared for life.
Three national movements originating in Birmingham link to “Freedom:” freedom of life & liberty, freedom of civil & human rights, and freedom to flourish at our callings. We believe Birmingham needs a new, positive nickname/brand, in addition to "Magic City" which has to be explained. We like "Freedom City" because this name tells of our national distinctions, mainly Veterans Day and Civil Rights. We explain why below: Iron City - Steel City - Magic City -  Freedom City.

You can see the U.S. Senate Resolution below, which made it official that Birmingham started our nation's Veterans Day. That movement, combined with the Civil Rights Movement, makes Birmingham the main city in America known for leading both movements for freedom.

Do you know someone who cares about advancing Birmingham, Alabama, and Freedom? We hope you will tell them of this web site and online media such as the Freedom City Facebook page to like and follow.

We also hope you will tell foundations or philanthropists who care about positive actions for city and state and/or teachers and students so they might learn how their support can help this mission succeed better and faster.

Iron City - Steel CityMagic City – Freedom City

Birmingham has been known as “Steel City” and "Iron City" as well as "the Pittsburgh of the South" because of past thriving steel mills and iron works. Local businesses use Iron City and Steel City in their names.  “Magic City” emerged as a nickname because Birmingham was growing so fast some said it was like “magic.” Iron as a natural resource and steel production at U.S. Steel, Sloss Furnace, and others contributed to the growth.

The 21st Century Birmingham Area economy has changed with more emphasis on education, banking, as well as technological and service industries. Sloss Furnace is a historic landmark, tourist attraction, and popular venue for events. While good names for businesses, Birmingham is not distinctively branded for these nicknames--an Internet search suggests Birmingham is not in the "Top 5" in the nation for any of the names. 

If we are honest with ourselves, we admit many people do not understand why the name "magic"' is still used, though it is a nice nickname that some citizens like. An Internet search for "Magic City" shows an "adult club" in Atlanta. Birmingham does not seem to be branded as "Magic City" except in the minds of some citizens, many of whom grew up hearing the name. Visitors are more likely to ask what "Magic" in the name means.

When the World Games arrive, do we want the international media to try to explain what "Magic City" means or do we want them to know two of the most distinctive and positive national distinctions--Veterans Day and Human Rights, both connected by Freedom, a core value for most?

After WWII, National Veterans Day started in Birmingham in 1947 to honor veterans of all wars. Many veterans and cities had the same basic idea though Raymond Weeks and Birmingham took action to lead the national movement that included endorsement and assistance by General Eisenhower. General Omar Bradley was the keynote speaker at the 1947 World Peace Banquet. The United Nations supported the parade in Birmingham providing flags of all countries in the UN, which were carried by native sons or Boy Scouts in Birmingham. President Reagan made Birmingham's role more official when in 1982 he honored Raymond Weeks of Birmingham as the "driving force" for establishing America's holiday, Veterans Day. The U.S. Senate confirmed this history through a resolution in 2012. Other cities claim to have started Veterans Day, though they sponsored their founding events seven years after Birmingham started.

Birmingham and Veterans Day stand for Freedom of Life and Liberty. Because of freedoms protected by WWII veterans and others, America was motivated and able to aim higher to improve civil and human rights we honor.

The Civil Rights Movement reached its tipping point in Birmingham, Montgomery, and Selma in 1963. Now, “50 Years Forward,” we stand for Freedom of Civil and Human Rights in our city and state. Birmingham is often called the "Cradle of the Civil Rights Movement." Numerous cities claim that nickname and historical distinction though Alabama seems to be the only one with three cities playing such key national roles in the movement. 

Birmingham is only city in America known as a top leader for both national movements—Veterans Day and Civil Rights. The core value that links the two is Freedom.

Because of the freedoms of Life and Liberty plus Civil and Human Rights, we can aim higher at Freedom to Flourish at our Callings. With that freedom, we can Plan for School and Life seeking, writing, and acting on our callings and choices.

Life Leaders has launched a third national movement—Plan for School and Life--to equip educational leaders, teachers, and parents to help students write plans for life while in school that inspire and guide them through character education, academic plans, and the Seven Areas of Life so they are more prepared for College, Career, and Citizenship. We have begun work in Birmingham and with State educational leaders. More must be done. Attitude, Attendance, and Achievement will improve in Alabama, then the USA. Most say they "know" about the value of goals, plans, and best-self leadership--the call now is for leadership to put that common sense into place so students are expected and rewarded for taking action on their freedoms by identifying their purposes and plans.

Three national movements originating in Birmingham align for “Freedom City.” It’s time to add a new nickname and positive brand for Birmingham, Alabama. If we cooperate and do this well, education, conventions and tourism, as well as civic action can improve like “magic.”

We welcome what you think: complete the survey or write to or We invite you to Follow Freedom City (Birmingham) on Facebook and Twitter. Thanks for reading our message and considering new possibilities. --David

--Dr. David Dyson--

(seeking to write for others who value Freedom and Birmingham: Mayor William Bell, Mr. John Hornsby, General Charles Krulak (USMC Ret),     Col. Stretch (USA Ret) and Joan Dunn, Col. Bob (USA Ret) and Nancy Barefield, and other members of the team serving to Brand Birmingham      in a new way to benefit the City and its citizens)

Ad in the magazine of Southwest Airlines 2013 honoring The Tuskegee Airmen and telling more of America that the National Veteran Award was founded and is hosted annually in Birmingham, Alabama. Design by Freedom Lives program led by John Hornsby and Terry Slaughter. This program supports National Veterans Day Founding Education with a page on this site.

Mayor Bell proclamation affirms Birmingham as a national leader
for Veterans Day, Civil Rights, and Freedom--initiated by Life Leaders.

Life Leaders does this work in service to and cooperation with Mayor Bell of Birmingham and a growing number of civic leaders and action-oriented citizens. Much of this information may get moved or copied to a separate web site though we have agreed with Mayor Bell to lead on parts of this movement until the City or another organization decides if to take the lead.
Birmingham has contributed positively to national movements. It's time to tell the world and benefit from reputation, branding, convention and tourism business, and added inspiration for students. More event planners will choose Birmingham.
Veterans Day started here though an estimated 1% of Americans know where the national holiday launched--many in Birmingham still do not know this inspiring history that connects to school character traits. More people know of our negative past in civil rights though more can know how freedoms of liberty and rights advanced here. 

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