ATLANTA: A BRAVE AND BEAUTIFUL CITYSM
At every turn, rich Atlanta history is revealed through the people and events that grew this settlement into an international city. The roads you travel through Atlanta were worn from the Native Americans who first called this land home. The beautiful and serene greenspaces once were the battlefields of a nation torn apart in civil war. From the many railroad tracks crossing the area to the skyscrapers lining Peachtree Street to the world's busiest airport, the story of two centuries of changing Atlanta, Georgia history unfolds. The spirit of Atlanta and the ideals of our people reflect those of the courageous and visionary leaders of our past and present.
This Atlanta history and timeline is filled with turning points that forever changed the city, the nation and the world.
1821: Permanent settlers began moving into former Creek Indian lands that would eventually become metropolitan Atlanta.
1837: The area now comprising the city was chosen as the site for a new railroad terminus connecting Georgia with Chattanooga, TN and points west, including the Chattahoochee and Tennessee Rivers. The city was dubbed "Terminus," and the termination point is now Five Points in downtown Atlanta.
1843: "Terminus" was renamed "Marthasville" in honor of Martha Lumpkin, daughter of Georgia Gov. Wilson Lumpkin. The town spread out around the train depot.
1845: "Marthasville" was renamed "Atlanta," a feminine form of Atlantic, probably created by Steven Harriman Long, a Western & Atlantic Railroad engineer.
1847: Atlanta was incorporated as a city.
1861: The Civil War began. Atlanta was considered the transportation hub of the Southeast.
1864: During the Civil War, Union General William T. Sherman burned Atlanta to the ground (about 70 percent of its buildings were destroyed) on his infamous March to the Sea. The war ended the next year.
1886: A local drug store, Jacob's Pharmacy, began selling a new headache and hangover tonic called Coca-Cola. The tonic was invented by John S. Pemberton.
1891: Entrepreneur Asa Candler paid $2,300 to own Coca-Cola. The next year he founded The Coca-Cola Company.
1917: The worst fire since Sherman's March to the Sea leaves 10,000 Atlantans homeless as it burns nearly 2,000 buildings covering 300 acres.
1919: Ernest Woodruff and the Trust Company of Georgia headed a syndicate that bought The Coca-Cola Company for $25 million from the Candler family.
1928: The Varsity opens at the corner of Spring Street and North Avenue.
1929: The city purchased Candler Field (now the site of Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport), which was handling 16 passenger and airmail flights daily.
1935: Techwood Homes, dedicated by President Franklin D. Roosevelt, became the nation's first federal public housing project.
1936: Margaret Mitchell's "Gone With the Wind" was published. Mitchell won the Pulitzer Prize for the novel the next year.
1939 : The movie "Gone With the Wind" made its world premiere in Atlanta.
1946: 119 people died in America's worst hotel fire at the Winecoff Hotel. The Communicable Disease Center (CDC) was established in Atlanta. While it's still known by the initials CDC, the agency's name today is Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
1950: After fifty years, the Confederate Memorial carving on Stone Mountain is completed and dedicated.
1958: Temple of the Hebrew Benevolent Congregation was bombed by what were believed to be racial extremists. No one was ever convicted in the case. This was depicted in the movie "Driving Miss Daisy."
1962: 106 Atlanta Art Association members and relatives died in a plane crash at Orly Airport in Paris. Richard Rich led a $13 million fundraising drive to build the Atlanta Memorial Arts Center, now the Woodruff Arts Center, in their memory.
1964: Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Atlanta native, won the Nobel Peace Prize.
1965 : The $18 million Atlanta-Fulton County Stadium was built in 364 days "on land we didn't own, with money we didn't have and for teams we had not signed," according to Atlanta Mayor Ivan Allen, Jr. That same year, the Braves moved to Atlanta from Milwaukee, and the Atlanta Falcons became a new National Football League expansion team.
1968: Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. was assassinated in Memphis, Tenn. The funeral and burial were in Atlanta.
1969: The opening of Underground Atlanta put downtown Atlanta on the entertainment and social map.
1970: Metropolitan Atlanta Rapid Transit Authority (MARTA) purchased the Atlanta Transit System and began extending its routes, replacing its old buses and engineering a rapid rail system.
1973: Maynard Jackson was elected Atlanta's first black mayor.
1974: Atlanta Brave Hank Aaron hit his 715th home run, breaking Babe Ruth's long-held major-league home run record.
1975: R.E. "Ted" Turner's Turner Broadcasting System (TBS) went on the air and is headquartered in Atlanta.
1988: Atlanta Hosted the Democratic National Convention
1991: The Atlanta Braves move from worst to first by winning the National League pennant and playing in the World Series against the Minnesota Twins.
1994: The Dallas Cowboys beat the Buffalo Bills 30-13 on January 30 in Super Bowl XXVIII, held in the Georgia Dome.
1995: The Atlanta Braves defeat Cleveland Indians to win the World Series.
1996: The Centennial Olympic Games were held in Atlanta: July 20-August 4.
2000: Atlanta hosts Super Bowl XXXIV.
2001: Shirley Franklin is elected Atlanta's first female African-American mayor and becomes the first black woman to be elected mayor of any major Southern city.
2002: Atlanta hosts NCAA Men's Final Four basketball championships.
2003: Atlanta hosts NCAA Women's Final Four basketball championships.
2005: Atlantic Station opens. High Museum of Art opens expansion, doubling in size. Georgia Aquarium opens.
2006: Atlanta History Center opens Centennial Olympic Games Museum. High Museum of Art begins three-year partnership with Musée du Louvre. Atlanta becomes the 10th city in 10 years and first city in the Southeast to offer CityPass. Mayor Shirley Franklin announces a deal with the King family for $32 million to purchase a significant collection of papers of Martin Luther King Jr.
2007: Relocated and expanded World of Coca-Cola opens, adjacent to Centennial Olympic Park and the Georgia Aquarium. Atlanta hosts NCAA Men's Final Four basketball championships
2008: Atlanta hosts NHL All-Star Game.
* Historical information provided by the Atlanta History Center.
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