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Atlanta (ətlănˈtə, ăt–), city (2020 pop. 498,715), state capital and seat of Fulton co., NW Ga., on the Chattahoochee R. and Peachtree Creek, near the Appalachian foothills; inc. 1847. It is Georgia's largest city and one of the leading cities of the South.

Economy and Transportation

Manufactures include textiles, furniture, food and beverages, telecommunications hardware, steel, paper, and chemicals. There are automobile and aircraft assembly plants, insurance companies, and printing and publishing houses; and it is a major television broadcasting center. Atlanta is home to numerous corporations, notably Coca-Cola, founded here in 1892. The site of the 1996 Summer Olympic Games, Atlanta is also a major convention center with many large hotels. Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport is one of the busiest in the world, and the city has a modern subway system.

Points of Interest

Notable sites include the capitol (1889), housing the state library; the city hall; the Woodruff Arts Center, home of the High Museum of Art and the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra; the Fernbank Museum of Natural History; the state archives building; the Altanta History Center and the huge Cyclorama of the Battle of Atlanta; Oakland Cemetery, containing Civil War dead; “Underground Atlanta,” a four-block tract covered for 50 years by a viaduct system and restored as a tourist district; the Martin Luther King, Jr., National Historic Site, including King's birthplace and grave as well as Ebenezer Baptist Church, where he preached; Grant Park, with a zoo and Confederate Fort Walker (restored); and the Georgia Aquarium, National Center for Civil and Human Rights, and other attractions clustered around Centennial Olympic Park. The Carter Presidential Center (1986) contains a museum and library dedicated to former President Jimmy Carter as well as a forum (part of Emory Univ.) for the discussion of international issues.

Many departments of the federal government have branches in and near Atlanta, including the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention; also there are Fort McPherson, headquarters of the U.S. 3d Army, and a naval air station. The Atlanta penitentiary (est. 1899) is one of the most widely known U.S. federal prisons. The city's numerous parks are famous for their dogwood blooms. Nearby is Stone Mountain Park, with enormous relief carvings of Confederate figures and a 19th-century plantation, reminiscent of the Atlanta depicted in the film Gone with the Wind (1939). Also in the area are Kennesaw Mountain National Battlefield Park (see National Parks and Monuments, table) and Six Flags Over Georgia, a large theme park.

Atlanta is the seat of Emory Univ., Georgia Institute of Technology, Georgia State Univ., Oglethorpe Univ., the Atlanta School of Art, and Atlanta Univ., with its adjacent and affiliated schools: Clark, Morehouse, Morris Brown, and Spelman colleges. The city is home to the Atlanta Braves (baseball), Falcons (football), and Hawks (basketball).


Hardy Ivy, the first settler, built (1833) a cabin on what had been Creek tribal land. The town, founded (1837) as Terminus, one end of the Western & Atlantic rail line, was incorporated as Marthasville in 1843 and renamed Atlanta in 1845. It became a rail and marketing hub and in the Civil War was a communication and supply center; it fell to Gen. W. T. Sherman on Sept. 2, 1864 (see Atlanta campaign). Most of the city was burned on Nov. 15, before Sherman began his march to the sea. Rapidly rebuilt, it thrived as a commercial and industrial center, and became temporary (1868) and permanent (1877, following a popular vote) capital of Georgia. Conventions and expositions in the late 19th and early 20th centuries drew attention to the city's growth and strategic position. In 1973, Atlanta became the first major Southern city to elect an African American as mayor, Maynard Jackson. By then it was already losing residents to its rapidly expanding suburbs; in the late 1990s the metropolitan area had a population close to 4 million, and “sprawl” had become a major concern. This number continued to increase, topping 6 million in the 2020 census.

In 1981, Andrew Young was elected mayor, serving for two terms through 1990, and hosting the Democratic National Convention there in 1988. In 1996, Atlanta hosted the Summer Olympic Games, an event marred by the Centennial Park bombing, in which two people were killed and dozens injured. In 2001, Shirley Franklin was elected mayor, the first Black woman to lead a major Southern city and Atlanta's first female mayor. In 2008, the first recorded tornado (since weather records began in 1880) tore through the city's downtown, doing damage to major sporting arenas and other buildings. Keisha Lance Bottoms (2017-21) served as the city's mayor during a period when riots occurred following the shooting of George Floyd and the subsequent killing of Rayshard Brooks outside of a fast food restaurant in the city. Widely viewed as a rising star in the Democratic party, she surprised political insiders by declining to run for a second term.


See T. A. Hartshorn, Atlanta (1976), H. H. Martin, Atlanta and Environs (1987).

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a city in N Georgia: the state capital. Pop.: 423 019 (2003 est.)
Collins Discovery Encyclopedia, 1st edition © HarperCollins Publishers 2005
References in periodicals archive ?
(211.) Silver & MOESER, supra note 201, at 22 ("Even without the powerful legal tool of zoning, white and black Atlantans proved adept at guiding the process of black residential growth in conformity with the prescription in the 1922 plan through the use of deed restrictions and an assortment of racially sensitive real estate practices."); see also E.
Washington High School gave African American Atlantans the means to pursue a secondary education.
At first unaware that Coke guarded its secret formula, he was helped by Harold Hirsch, a Jewish Atlantan and a corporate lawyer at Coca-Cola.
"Things have not gone as expected and with no trophies it has been frustrating," admitted the accomplished Atlantan, a player determined to ensure a difficult campaign is completed on a positive note with a home court triumph in domestic basketball's showpiece event.
She's also a typical Atlantan, as a relatively new transplant.
Sixteen-year-old Atlantan Amani Wimberly, a varsity cheerleader, says she, like so many other teens her age, hangs out with her friends almost every weekend.
The documentary carries footage of a Nazi-backed archaeological expedition to Guatemala in 1933 and reveals a long-lost film of the expedition that led viewers to believe that the archaeologists had unearthed Atlantan skulls.
EXCITING Atlantan rock'n'roll four-piece The Hiss are heading to Cardiff on their mini British tour this week.
Beau was a good-natured Atlantan with the build of a wrestler; as a bumper he was second only to Bengt.
But the veteran Atlantan is in no doubt that Tyson is set to cause a sensation by claiming Lewis's trio of belts in emphatic fashion in their Memphis superfight.
But the veteran Atlantan is in no doubt that Tyson will get the better of the Briton in emphatic fashion in their Memphis superfight.
He never bothered pitching the Marks stow to his national editors, he says, because "I knew it wouldn't make it." A mention of Marks in the bureau's August 9 stories about Barton was cut, apparently for space, although a cutline did refer to Barton's spree as "the third set of shootings in Atlanta." (On July 23, Atlantan Greg Smith wounded a cop and killed two SWAT officers before he was shot to death.)