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We are continuing on with our Great American Cities series. After visiting Asheville, we’re staying in the South and heading to Atlanta.
Name: There are a few stories about where the name came from. One is that it came from the governor’s youngest daughter, Martha Atlanta Lumpkin. However, it was the Chief Engineer of the Georgia Railroad who suggested calling the area ‘Atlantica-Pacifica’ which was then shortened to Atlanta.
Location: Atlanta is the capital city of the south-eastern state of Georgia.
Nicknames: Atlanta has many nicknames, but the most popular are: The ATL, The A, Hotlanta, and City in a Forest.
Year Founded: The area was first settled when it was called ‘Terminus’ in 1837. It was renamed ‘Marthasville’ in 1843. Then the town was incorporated as Atlanta in December 1847.
Population: In 2013 the city’s population was estimated to be about 447,841. It has likely grown to more than 450,000 since then. African-Americans make up the largest portion of the population at 54%, Caucasians at 42%, and the remaining population is composed of Asians, Hispanics and Non-Hispanics.
Transportation: The Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport is the world’s busiest airport based on passenger traffic and aircraft traffic. Atlanta also has a passenger train service with destinations of cities between New Orleans and New York. The local mass transit system is called MARTA (Metropolitan Atlanta Rapid Transit Authority) and has a large network of bus routes as well as subway lines. There is also a streetcar that goes in a loop around the downtown area.
Famous Places: There are many famous places in Atlanta. If you are planning a trip there, a great way to see many of these places at a cheaper cost is to purchase a City Pass. This will allow you entrance into five different places. The attractions included are the World of Coca-Cola, the Georgia Aquarium, Inside CNN Studio Tour, College Football Hall of Fame, Museum of Natural History, Center for Civil and Human Rights and Zoo Atlanta. Other places worthy of a visit are the Centennial Olympic Park where the 1996 Olympics were held, Turner Field where the pro baseball team plays, High Museum of Art and the Martin Luther King, Jr. National Historic Site.
Culture: As with most big cities in the US, there is quite a lot of culture. Although Atlanta is the largest city in the south and Southern culture is very much a part of the city, its culture extends much further than that. There are many different types of museums, from art, to history, to design. There is a large arts community as Atlanta has permanent and professional companies in opera, ballet, theater, and orchestral music. Speaking of music, Atlanta has one of the largest music communities in the US, ranging from hip-hop started in the 1990’s, to pop, to indie, to punk rock, classic rock, and everything in between. It has a thriving business culture as some of the most well-known brands like Coca-Cola and CNN were started here. Tourism is also huge as Atlanta is the seventh-most visited city in America.
Sports Teams: Atlanta has 3 professional sports teams:
Interestingly, Atlanta is the only American city to have had two ice hockey teams relocate. The Atlanta Flames moved to Calgary in 1980, and the Atlanta Thrashers moved to Winnipeg and became the Jets in 2011. Perhaps this hot, southern city just wasn’t meant to have ice hockey.
There are still plenty of other “Great American Cities” to visit, so check back to the blog every month for a new post!