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Atlanta History

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Historical Dates

1814
U.S. Military outpost, Fort Gilmer, established at Standing Peachtree, an Indian village situated on the Chattahoochee River.

1821
Creek Indians cede portions of North Georgia, including future site of Atlanta.

1833
First permanent white settler, Hardy Ivy moves near current downtown Atlanta.

1834
Last Cherokee Territories in Northwest Georgia surrender. Later, 16,000 Cherokees are removed to lands further west on the "Trail of Tears".

1837
Southern end of the line for Western and Atlantic Railroad located at settlement nick named Terminus in current downtown Atlanta.

1843
Town named Marthasville for Georgia Gov. Wilson Lumpkin's daughter.

1844
Marthasville renamed Atlanta.

1847
Atlanta incorporated as a city.

1848
Telegraph service initiated.

1850 Oakland Cemetery established. Population 2,500.

1854
Atlanta designated seat of newly organized Fulton County. Atlanta Medical College chartered.

1855
Atlanta obtains gas lighting.

1857
Atlanta dubbed "Gate City of the South" due to its importance as a rail center.

1860
Population 7,741.

1861
Georgia secedes form United States.

1864
May - Federal Gen. William Sherman launches Atlanta Campaign. July 22- Battle of Atlanta. September 2 - Atlanta surrenders.

1867
Atlanta University chartered. Summer Hill School, now Clark College, opens.

1868
Atlanta named capital of Georgia. Atlanta Constitution founded.

1869
Population 21,789.

1870
City's first trolley begins service.

1877
Telephone service introduced.

1878
Atlanta Baptist Seminary, now Morehouse College, moves to Atlanta from Augusta, Georgia.

1881
Morris Brown College and Spelman Seminary founded.

1883
Atlanta Journal founded.

1885
Georgia Institute of Technology founded.

1886
Jacob's pharmacy begins selling Coca-Cola.

1889
Inman Park, city's first planned suburb, established. Decatur Female Seminary, now Agnes Scott College, founded.

1890
Population 65,533.

1892
Equitable Building, first Atlanta skyscraper, erected. The Coca-Cola Company founded by Asa Candler.

1895
Cotton States and International Exposition held in current Piedmont Park.

1900
Population 89,872.

1913
Georgia Normal School, now Georgia State University, founded.

1915
Emory University moved to Atlanta.

1916
Oglethorpe University moves to present location on Peachtree Road.

1924
Booker T. Washington High School, city's first black public high school, opens.

1926
High Museum of Art and Atlanta Historical Society founded. 1928 Viaduct system raises city center's street level one story. Atlanta Daily World, a black newspaper, founded.

1929
City purchases Candler Field, now Hartsfield Airport, Fox Theatre completed.

1930
Population 270,366. Atlantan Bobby Jones wins golf Grand Slam: British Open, British Amateur, U.S. Open and U.S Amateur.

1935
Techwood Homes, nation's first federal public housing project opens.

1936
Margaret Mitchell's Gone with the Wind published.

1937
Election of William Hartsfield, city's longest serving mayor.

1938
Georgia's first four-lane highway, U.S 41 completed - Atlanta to Marietta.

1939
Gone with the Wind makes it's world film premiere on December 15 at Loew's Grand Theatre.

1941
Delta Airlines headquarters moves to Atlanta.

1946
Winecoff Hotel fire, America's worst hotel fire. Black voters registration drive adds almost 18,000 new voters to city's rolls.

1947
Negro Voters League established.

1948
The Georgia Museum of Art opens in its first location, the basement of Piedmont Library.

1952
Atlanta annexes surrounding areas, increasing size form 37 to 118 square miles.

1958
Temple of Hebrew Benevolent Congregation bombed.

1959
Lenox Square Mall, city's first regional shopping center, opens.

1960
A sit-in movement promotes desegregation of city restaurants and businesses.

1961
Public schools begin peaceful desegregation.

1962
Only Airport crash kills 106 Atlanta arts patrons in Paris.

1964
Martin Luther King, Jr. wins Nobel Peace Prize.

1965
Atlanta-Fulton County Stadium constructed. Braves relocate from Milwaukee, and Falcons become a new NFL expansion team.

1968
Atlanta Memorial Arts Center opens. Martin Luther King, Jr. funeral held in Atlanta. 1970 Metropolitan area population 1,458,400.

1974
Hank Aaron hits 715th home run, breaking major league home run record.

1988
Atlanta hosts Democratic National Convention.

1990
Metropolitan population 2,833,511, nations twelfth largest urban center.

1996
Atlanta hosts Summer Centennial Olympic Games.


Historical Sites worth visiting

Atlanta History Center


Despite its name, the Atlanta History Center's Museum Collection is regional in nature and includes objects dating from the early 19th century to the present. At its core are those items that refer to the history of Atlanta and its environs, but in order to place the history of city in its proper context, the collection also includes items that refer to the history of Georgia, the South and the nation.


Martin Luther King Jr. National Historic Site


Just past noon on January 15, 1929, a son was born to the Reverend and Mrs. Martin Luther King in an upstairs bedroom of 501 Auburn Avenue, in Atlanta, Georgia. The couple named their first son after Rev. King, but he was simply called "M.L." by the family. During the next 12 years, this fine two story Victorian home is where "M.L." would live with his parents, grandparents, siblings, aunts, uncles, and their boarders. The home is located in the residential section of "Sweet Auburn", the center of black Atlanta. Two blocks west of the home is Ebenezer Baptist Church, the pastorate of Martin's grandfather and father. It was in these surroundings of home, church and neighborhood that "M.L." experienced his childhood. Here, "M.L." learned about family and Christian love, segregation in the days of "Jim Crow" laws, diligence and tolerance. It was to Ebenezer Baptist Church that Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. would return in 1960. As co-pastor with his father, "Daddy King", Dr. King, Jr. would preach about love, equality, and non-violence.


Atlanta Preservation Center


The Atlanta Preservation Center is the city's only independent advocate for historic buildings, neighborhoods and landscapes. Founded in 1980, the nonprofit organization has worked with government, business and community leaders to preserve more than 100 endangered residential and commercial structures and neighborhoods. Its advocacy and education programs have made preservation come alive for thousands of area residents.

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