Atlanta, Georgia has been called “The Capital of the South” and for good reason. It is the largest metropolis in the Southeast, both in terms of population and area. The capital of Georgia, Atlanta is a top commercial, transportation and distribution hub. All of Georgia’s main government and federal buildings, as well as many major corporations, are headquartered in Atlanta.History
Atlanta sits on land that was originally a Cherokee and Creek Indian village. The Indians called the land “Standing Peachtree”, eventually selling it in 1822 to white settlers.
The Georgia legislature, looking to open a trade route to the mid-western United States, mandated construction of the Western and Atlantic Railroad on December 21, 1836. After the removal of the Cherokee Nation from 1838 to 1839 on the “Trail of Tears”, the former Indian area was made ready for the railroad. Because this area would serve as the end of the railroad line, the community named the area “Terminus” in 1837. Within 5 years, the Terminus community was home to half a dozen buildings and 30 residents. Terminus was then renamed “Marthasville”. Georgia Railroad’s Chief Engineer J. Edgar Thomson, proposed the name “Atlantica-Pacifica”, instead of Marthasville. The name was truncated to “Atlanta”, and the city was incorporated on December 29, 1847. By 1860, the Atlanta population was 9,554.
At the time of the Civil War, Atlanta was an key railroad and military supply center for the states of the Confederacy. In 1864, Atlanta was invaded by the union forces. The area comprising Atlanta today was the scene of several military engagements, including the Battle of Atlanta, the Battle of Ezra Church and the Battle of Peachtree Creek. After an intense 120 day siege on Atlanta by Union forces, Confederate General John Bell Hood ordered the evacuation of Atlanta on September 1, 1864. During the evacuation, Hood ordered destroyed all buildings and provision that could benefit the Union Army. After occupying the city, Sherman burned Atlanta on November 11, 1864 before proceeding south to Savannah.
Rebuilding Atlanta during reconstruction was slow and painful. From 1867 to 1888, U.S. Army soldiers were quartered at Fort McPherson near downtown Atlanta. These troops were ordered to ensure compliance with federal Reconstruction reforms. After an act of the legislature, rebuilt Atlanta became the Georgia state capital in 1868.
Atlanta aggressively promoted its rebirth, labeling the city a part of the “New South”, one built on a modern industrial and railroad economy, and not exclusively on agriculture. As Atlanta tried to resurrect itself, however, racial problems, still raw from the time of the Civil War, exploded. The Atlanta Race Riot of 1906 resulted in 27 deaths. Anti-semitism was also very prevalent. Leo Frank was the only Jewish American in history to have been lynched. He was hanged by an angry mob after he was convicted of murdering and raping 13 year-old Mary Phagan. Frank endured what was widely considered to be an unfair prosecution.
Atlanta continued to grow throughout the early 1900s. The city revisited and seemed to make peace with its painful past on December 15, 1939, when Atlanta hosted the film premiere of Gone with the Wind, based on Atlantan Margaret Mitchell’s best-selling novel. The movie starred Vivien Leigh, Olivia de Haviland and Clark Gable. Each of these stars visited Atlanta, attending the premiere at Loew’s Grand Theatre and thrilling Atlanta crowds. Several surviving Confederate veterans were in attendance.
At the time of World War II, the city served as a manufacturing center, hosting the Bell Aircraft factory in Marietta. In the late 1940s, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention was established near Emory University in Decatur.
In response to the landmark U.S. Supreme Court decision Brown v. Board of Education, which helped usher in the Civil Rights Movement, racial and ethnic tensions in Atlanta began to smolder and ignite into acts of violence. A Reform Jewish temple on Peachtree Street was bombed on October 12, 1958, carried out by the “Confederate Underground”. Racial violence also simmered.
In the 1960s, Atlanta loomed large as a headquarters of the Civil Rights Movement. Atlantan Dr. Martin Luther King was the leader and seminal figure of this movement. The Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee and the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, two key supporting organizations, were also headquartered in Atlanta. Atlanta suffered sporadic racial problems in the era of Civil Rights, but Atlanta’s political and commercial leaders were more moderate than mayors and governors in other southern states, working hard to label Atlanta as “the city too busy to hate”. By 1961, Atlanta Mayor Ivan Allen Jr. publicly supported desegregation of Atlanta’s public schools, a position that was not adopted by many other southern mayors.
With white residents increasingly fleeing to the suburbs, Atlanta became a majority black city. In 1973, Atlantans elected their first African American Mayor, Maynard Jackson.
Since 1990, many white Atlantans have moved back into the city. The addition of new immigrants such as Latinos and Asians is also altering city demographics, making the city a multicultural mix.
In 1990, Atlanta was selected to host the 1996 Summer Olympics. Following the announcement, Atlanta proceeded to rebuild much of its transportation infrastructure, as well as its parks and recreational facilities. Atlanta was only the third US city in history to host a Summer Olympics.
Today the city is experiencing a population and growth boom. Like many other cities, Atlanta struggles with issues such as crime, pollution, transportation and growth management.
Atlanta is the capital and most populous city in the state of Georgia. The population of Atlanta is 519,145, the 33rd largest city in the United States. Atlanta is the county seat of Fulton County and the fifth location for the seat of government of the state of Georgia. A small portion of the city of Atlanta extends into DeKalb County. Atlanta and the metro area are one of the most rapidly growing urban cores in the United States.
The Atlanta Metro Area The metro Atlanta region consists of the Atlanta-Sandy Springs-Marietta Statistical Area, an area comprising 28 counties. The total population of the Atlanta metro area is 5,365,285. The counties making up the metro area, with their respective populations are as follows: Barrow (67,139), Bartow (92,834), Butts (23,759), Carroll (111,954), Cherokee (204,363), Clayton (272,217), Cobb (698,158), Coweta (118,936), Dawson (21,484), DeKalb (739,956), Douglas (124,495), Fayette (106,144), Forsyth (158,914), Fulton (1,014,932), Gwinnett (789,499), Haralson (28,718), Heard (11,387), Henry (186,037), Jasper (13,660), Lamar (16,961), Meriwether (22,748), Newton (96,019), Paulding (127,906), Pickens (30,488), Pike (17,204), Rockdale (82,052), Spalding (62,826) and Walton (83,144).
Some of the major highways traversing metro Atlanta include the following: Interstate 20, Interstate 75, Interstate 85, Interstate 285, U.S. Route 19, U.S. Route 23, U.S. Route 29, U.S. Route 41, U.S. Route 78, U.S. Route 278, State Route 3, State Route 6, State Route 9, State Route 10, State Route 13, State Route 14, State Route 42, State Route 54, State Route 70, State Route 74, State Route 92, State Route 120, State Route 138, State Route 139, State Route 140, State Route 141, State Route 154 and State Route 400.
Secondary highways include: Peachtree Street, Peachtree Road, Roswell Road, Abernathy Road, East Wesley Road, Freedom Parkway (S.R. 10), Glenridge Drive, Hammond Drive, Johnson Ferry Road, Lindbergh Drive (S.R. 236), Memorial Drive (S.R. 154), Moreland Avenue (U.S. 23/S.R. 42), Mount Vernon Highway, Peachtree Road (S.R. 141) Peachtree-Dunwoody Road Piedmont Road (S.R. 237), Ponce de Leon Avenue (U.S. 23/29/78/278/S.R. 8/10), Powers Ferry Road Roswell Road (U.S. 19/S.R. 9) and Windsor Parkway.
Atlanta is home to several of the world’s largest companies including Coca-Cola, Bell-South and Delta Airlines. The surrounding metro region is home to many other corporate titans, including United Parcel Service and Home Depot. Atlanta possesses the country’s third highest concentration of Fortune 500 companies, and more than 75 percent of the Fortune 1000 companies have a presence in the Atlanta metropolitan area. Other large company headquarters in Atlanta include: Equifax, Earthlink, Southern Company, Gentiva Health Services, Waffle House, Chick-Fil-A, Arby’s, Oxford Industries, SunTrust Banks, Georgia-Pacific and Mirant. Atlanta hosts business locations for approximately 1,200 multinational corporations, and as of 2006, the Atlanta Metropolitan Area ranks as the 10th largest cybercity (high-tech center) in the US, with 126,700 high-tech jobs. Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport, which is located seven miles south of downtown Atlanta, is the world’s busiest airport.
According to Forbes magazine, Atlanta was estimated to have attracted 37 million visitors into the city in 2007. Visitors came to Atlanta for conventions and tourism. Atlanta is home to the World Congress Center downtown and several other convention venues near Hartsfield Jackson airport. In 2005, Atlanta opened the world’s largest indoor aquarium, the Georgia Aquarium. The new World of Coca-Cola features the history of the Coca-Cola soft drink and provides its guests samples of carbonated beverages from around the world. Underground Atlanta is a historic entertainment and shopping center lying within an old railroad junction under the streets of downtown Atlanta. Atlantic Station, a huge new Brownfield reclamation project in Midtown Atlanta, officially opened in October 2005, and is a mixed-use pedestrian friendly community.
Atlanta is home to many museums and visitor attractions including: the Carter Center and Presidential Library, the Atlanta History Center, the APEX Museum, the Martin Luther King, Jr. National Historic Site, the Atlanta Cyclorama and Civil War Museum; Rhodes Hall; and the Margaret Mitchell House and Museum. For children, attractions include: Imagine It!, the Fernbank Science Center and the Children’s Museum of Atlanta.
Atlanta’s largest downtown park is Piedmont Park, home to the annual Dogwood Festival, Screen on the Green and sundry other cultural events. The Atlanta Botanical Garden offers exotic and beautiful flora, and Zoo Atlanta, in Grant Park, features a panda exhibit and the Cyclorama, a painting depicting the Civil War Battle of Atlanta.
Musically and Theatrically, Atlanta has eclectic offerings for every taste. The Fox Theatre is one of the finest venues for watching shows and plays. It is home to one of the oldest and best pipe organs in the entire world. The city also has a large collection of highly successful music venues of various sizes that host top and emerging touring acts. Art galleries in the city include the renowned High Museum of Art, the Center for Puppetry Arts, the Atlanta Institute for the Arts, and the Georgia Museum of Contemporary Art.
Atlanta hosts renowned fine arts offerings including: the Atlanta Opera, the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra, the Atlanta Ballet, the Metropolitan Symphony Orchestra, the New Trinity Baroque, and the Atlanta Boy Choir.
Atlanta is a dynamic and vibrant town. However, because of it is home to so many major interstates, highways and surface streets, Atlanta residents are vulnerable to being victims in tractor trailer accidents and auto accidents.
If you have been seriously injured in a car wreck, motorcycle accident, boating mishap or tractor-trailer accident near Atlanta, Georgia or in Fulton County, please call Charles Scholle. He has an office near the Perimeter on Glenlake Parkway, in Midtown and in Duluth (Google map to office), and he serves clients throughout Metro Atlanta and the state of Georgia. To talk more about your case at a free, confidential consultation, please contact the firm online or call 866-972-5287 or, in Atlanta, 770-717-5100.
Atlanta Police Department 404-546-2374
Fulton County Police Department 404-763-4780
Fulton County Sherriff Department 404-612-5100
Fulton County Fire Department 404-612-5700
Atlanta Fire Department 404-853-7000