At the center of Linn Park, facing the city hall, lies the statue of Nina Miglionico, a trailblazer politician, lawyer, activist, and the first woman to serve and chair the Birmingham City Council.
Nina Miglionico (1913-2009) was born and lived most of her life in Birmingham, Alabama, the daughter of Italian immigrants. She graduated from the University of Alabama at Birmingham in 1936 with a law degree. After being offered only secretary jobs, she opened a private practice and used her legal knowledge to fight for equal rights for women. She served and chaired several organizations, including the National Association of Women Lawyers, the Alabama Women Lawyers Association, and the Alabama League of Municipalities.
Since Ms. Miglionico was hard to pronounce, she became known as Ms. Nina.
In 1963 she won a seat on the Birmingham City Council and served there till 1985. Working to end segregation and for women’s rights put her life on the line several times, including a bomb planted outside her home.
As a member and then president of the city council, Ms. Nina promoted prison reform and food safety, the elimination of the poll tax and child labor, and the right for women to own and inherit property and to serve on juries.
From 1985 till her death, she continued working as an attorney, making her not only one of the first female lawyers in Alabama but also the longest-practicing female attorney.
In commemoration of the 30th anniversary of her retirement from government, on October 23rd, 2015, the city of Birmingham dedicated a statue in her honor. It was created by the renowned sculptor and fine artist Dr. Ronald McDowell and is one of the few statues that honor a real woman in the city.
A Symbol of Perseverance Unveiled in Linn Park
A statue to honor Nina Miglionico was unveiled @ Linn Park. Miss Nina was the first Birmingham female Councilor and Council President serving from 1963-1981. While paving the way for women's rights, she endured an assassination attempt and bigotry for many years. For more information about everything the Birmingham City Council is doing visit www.birminghamalcitycouncil.org.
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