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Sunday, 2 October 2011


The area was settled in 1837 and was chosen as the southern terminus of the Western and Atlantic Railroad. Originally named Terminus, it was renamed Atlanta in 1843.

It got its current name from railroad engineer J. Edgar Thompson. It’s thought to be a shortened version of “Atlantica-Pacifica.”

On November 11, 1864, after Atlanta surrendered to the Union Army during the Civil War, General Sherman ordered the city to be burned to the ground, sparing only its churches and hospitals. Four days later he started Sherman's March to the Sea.

Atlanta in ruins during the Civil War, 1864

Only 400 buildings survived, which is why the Atlanta's symbol is a phoenix.

The Great Atlanta fire of 1917 caused $5.5 million in damages, destroying some 300 acres including 2,000 homes, businesses and churches, displacing about 10,000 people but leading to only one fatality (due to heart attack).

Atlanta was the first large city in the South to elect a black mayor, Maynard Jackson, in 1973.

Atlanta is the headquarters of Coca-Cola and also since 1994 EarthLink, an Internet service provider second only to AOL in the USA.

Atlanta hosted the 1996 Summer Olympic Games. A pipe bomb exploded at Centennial Olympic Park during the Olympics on July 27th. One woman (Alice Hawthorne) wass killed, and a cameraman suffered a heart attack fleeing the scene. One hundred eleven were injured.

Atlanta is the fifth capital of the state of Georgia. The previous capitals were Savannah, Augusta, Louisville and Milledgeville.

In Atlanta it is illegal to tie a giraffe to a telephone pole or street lamp.

Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport is the world's busiest airport, both in terms of passenger traffic and aircraft operations. The terminal is as big as 45 football fields.

Atlanta is located within a two-hour flight of 80% of the U.S. population.

The escalator in the CNN Center in Atlanta, Georgia is the longest freestanding escalator in the world, rising 160 feet or approximately eight stories in height.

Sources Hutchinson Encyclopedia,

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