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Mammoth Spectacle was planned for Vulcan in 1939

Birmingham was preparing for a huge dedication celebration for Vulcan in 1939 as can be seen in the newspaper article below.

News from The Times Daily April 14, 1939, Florence, Alabama


“Vulcan,” world’s largest iron figure and the second largest statue in America, will be formally dedicated with a mammoth spectacle, staged at the foot of the statue on Red Mountain May 9th – 17th. Visitors from every state in the union are expected to attend the event, which will be one of the outstanding civic affairs ever held in Alabama.

Vulcan photographed by Carol Highsmith 2010Vulcan in 2010 by Carol Highsmith (Library of Congress)

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A Vulcan dedication committee is busy making plans for the celebration. Erskine Ramsey, capitalist and philanthropist, is president of the committee and Howard B. Richards is executive chairman.

Nationally known theatrical directors have come to Birmingham to select a cast of 1,000 persons and direct rehearsals for the spectacle, which has been written around the history of Alabama’s natural resources and the mythological story of Vulcan.

The spectacle will be an elaborate display of fast moving pageantry, gorgeous costumes and spectacular lighting effects, and the event will attract many nationally known celebrities to Alabama.

Among the special events being planned will be a religious night, an Alabama night, a labor and industry night, agricultural night, education night. Mayors from all Alabama towns will be honored on Alabama night and governors from several southern states will be presented one night during the celebration.

vulcan - looking towards vulcan st. louisVulcan at the World’s Fair in Louisisana

Vulcan was cast in a Birmingham Foundry in 1903 from pig iron produced in the Birmingham district and sent to the Louisiana Purchase Exposition in 1904. Recently he has been placed on a 124-foot pedestal atop Red Mountain, overlooking the business section of the city. It is second only to the Statue of Liberty and with its pedestal is taller than Niagara Falls. It is the only statue in the world erected to the natural resources of a state and symbolizes the wealth of minerals found in Alabama.

The Vulcan dedication celebration is being sponsored by the Birmingham Chamber of Commerce and other civic interests.

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About Donna R Causey

Donna R. Causey, resident of Alabama, was a teacher in the public school system for twenty years. When she retired, Donna found time to focus on her lifetime passion for historical writing. She developed the websites www.alabamapioneers and All her books can be purchased at and Barnes & Noble. She has authored numerous genealogy books. RIBBON OF LOVE: A Novel Of Colonial America (TAPESTRY OF LOVE) is her first novel in the Tapestry of Love about her family where she uses actual characters, facts, dates and places to create a story about life as it might have happened in colonial Virginia. Faith and Courage: Tapestry of Love (Volume 2) is the second book and the third FreeHearts: A Novel of Colonial America (Book 3 in the Tapestry of Love Series) Discordance: The Cottinghams (Volume 1) is the continuation of the story. . For a complete list of books, visit Donna R Causey

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  1. Going to Red Mountain was a favorite treat.

  2. Vulcan Park and Museum

  3. Red Torch…green torch flame??

  4. Toured it when I was in Birmingham for granddaughter went to college there. Enjoyed the tour.

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