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Atlanta, Georgia
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Flag Seal
Nickname: "Hotlanta, The Big Peach"
Location in Fulton and DeKalb counties in the state of Georgia
Coordinates 3345'18?N, 8423'24?W
Counties United States
Fulton County, Georgia
DeKalb County, Georgia
Mayor Shirley Franklin (D)
Geographical characteristics
  City 132.4 mi - 343.0 km
    Land   131.8 mi - 341.2 km
    Water   0.7 mi - 1.8 km
  City (2004) 419,122
    Density   1,221/km
  Urban 4,284,000
  Metro 4,708,297
Elevation 225-320 m
Time zone
  Summer (DST) EST (UTC-5)
Website: http://www.atlantaga.gov/
Atlanta is the capital and most populous city of Georgia, in the United States. It is the county seat of Fulton County, although a portion of the city (the 1909 annex) is located in DeKalb County. According to the latest census estimates (as of December, 2004), the city has a population of approximately 419,122 and the Atlanta metropolitan area totaled 4,708,297. Atlanta has long been considered the economic powerhouse of the Southern United States and is arguably a poster-child for cities worldwide experiencing rapid urban sprawl, population growth, and commercial development. As a result, Atlanta is a common case study for college students who study Urban Geography around the globe.
Atlanta is circled by Interstate 285, called the "Perimeter" by locals, which has come to delineate the interior of the city from the surrounding suburbs. This has given rise to the terms ITP (inside the Perimeter) and OTP (outside the Perimeter) to describe area neighborhoods, residents, and businesses. In this respect, the Perimeter plays a social and geographical role similar to that of the Capital Beltway around Washington, DC.
Atlanta has such a great economic impact on the state and the surrounding region that cities and towns up to 45 miles away are considered 'exurbs', defined by the fact that people depend on their livelihoods by commuting to work in the city, rapidly growing what is called Metro Atlanta. Atlanta is one of the most prosperous cities in the United States and is often referred to as the unofficial "capital of the South." Today Atlanta is one of the most economically important Southeastern cities along with Birmingham, Charlotte, Miami, and New Orleans.
The city is also an especially important cultural and economic center for African-Americans; Atlanta has not had a non-black mayor since 1974, and in recent decades nearly all Fire Chiefs, Police Chiefs, and other government officials have been African American. Atlanta is also very important in making famous Hip-Hop/Rappers who call Atlanta A-Town.
Common colloquialisms for the city include A-Town and The ATL (based on its airport code).

1 History
2 Geography
3 Climate
4 People and Culture
4.1 Demographics
4.2 Crime
4.3 Attractions, Events, and Recreation
4.4 Media
4.5 Music
4.6 Sports
4.7 Religion
5 Economy
6 Infrastructure
6.1 Government
6.2 Transportation
6.3 Education
6.3.1 Public Schools
6.3.2 Private Schools
6.3.3 Colleges and universities
7 Sister Cities

The region where Atlanta and its suburbs were built was originally Creek and Cherokee Native American territory. The Creek land in the eastern part of the metro area (including Decatur) was opened to white settlement in 1823. In 1835, leaders of the Cherokee nation ceded their land to the government in exchange for land out west under the Treaty of New Echota, an act that eventually led to the Trail of Tears. In 1836 the Georgia General Assembly voted to build the Western and Atlantic Railroad to provide a trade route to the Midwest, with the area around Atlanta--then called Terminus--serving as the terminal. The terminus was originally planned for Decatur, but its citizens did not want it. Besides Decatur, several other suburbs of Atlanta predate the city by several years, including Marietta and Lawrenceville, GA. Terminus grew as a railroad town; later it was renamed Marthasville after then-Governor Wilson Lumpkin's daughter Martha. Marthasville was renamed Atlanta in 1845 (a feminized version of Atlantic suggested by J. Edgar Thomson) and was incorporated as such in 1847.
A slave auction house on Whitehall St., before Sherman burned AtlantaIn 1864, the city became the target of a major Union invasion (the subject of the 1939 film Gone with the Wind). The area now covered by Atlanta was the scene of several battles, including the Battle of Peachtree Creek, the Battle of Atlanta, and the Battle of Ezra Church. On September 1, 1864, Confederate General John Bell Hood evacuated Atlanta after a four-month siege mounted by Union General William Sherman and ordered all public buildings and possible union assets destroyed. The next day, mayor James Calhoun surrendered the city, and on September 7 Sherman ordered the civilian population to evacuate. His forces occupied the city for several months, and he then ordered Atlanta burned to the ground on November 11 in preparation for his punitive march south. After a plea by Father Thomas O'Reilly of Immaculate Conception Catholic Church, Sherman did not burn the city's churches or hospitals. The remaining war resources were then destroyed in the aftermath and in Sherman's March to the Sea. The fall of Atlanta was a critical point in the Civil War, giving the North more confidence, and (along with the Battle of Mobile Bay) leading to the re-election of Abraham Lincoln and the eventual surrender of the Confederacy.
After the war, Atlanta was gradually rebuilt and soon became the industrial and commercial center of the South. From 1867 until 1888, US Army soldiers occupied McPherson Barracks (later renamed Fort McPherson) in southwest Atlanta to ensure Reconstruction era reforms. To help the newly freed slaves, the federal government set up a Freedmen's Bureau, which helped establish what is now Clark Atlanta University, one of several historically black colleges in Atlanta. In 1868, Atlanta became the fifth city to serve as the state capital. Henry W. Grady, the editor of the Atlanta Constitution, promoted the city to investors as a city of the "New South," by which he meant a diversification of the economy away from agriculture and a shift from the "Old South" attitudes of slavery and rebellion. As part of the effort to modernize the South, Grady and many others also supported the creation of the Georgia School of Technology (now the Georgia Institute of Technology), which was founded on the city's northern outskirts in 1885.
In 1907, Peachtree Street, the main street of Atlanta, was busy with streetcars and automobiles.As Atlanta grew, ethnic and racial tensions mounted. A race riot in 1906 left at least twelve dead and over seventy injured. In 1913, Leo Frank, a Jewish supervisor at an Atlanta factory, was put on trial for raping and murdering a thirteen-year old white employee. After doubts about Frank's guilt led his death sentence to be commuted in 1915, riots broke out in Atlanta and Frank was lynched.
In the 1930s, the Great Depression hit Atlanta. With the city government nearing bankruptcy, the Coca-Cola Company had to help bail out the city's deficit. The federal government stepped in to help Atlantans by establishing Techwood Homes, the nation's first federal housing project in 1935. With the entry of the United States into World War II, soldiers from around the Southeastern United States went through Atlanta to train and later be discharged at Fort McPherson. War-related manufacturing such as the Bell Aircraft factory in the suburb of Marietta helped boost the city's population and economy. Shortly after the war in 1946, the Communicable Disease Center, later called the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) was founded in Atlanta from the old Malaria Control in War Areas offices and staff.
In 1951, the city received the All-America City Award, due to its rapid growth and high standard of living in the southern U.S.
In the 1960s, Atlanta was a major organizing center of the civil rights movement, with Dr. Martin Luther King and students from Atlanta's historically black colleges and universities playing major roles in the movement's leadership. On October 19, 1960, a sit-in at the lunch counters of several Atlanta department stores led to the arrest of Dr. King and several students, drawing attention from the national media and from presidential candidate John F. Kennedy. Despite this incident, Atlanta's political and business leaders fostered Atlanta's image as "the city too busy to hate". In 1961, Mayor Ivan Allen Jr became one of the few Southern white mayors to support desegregation of Atlanta's public schools. While the city mostly avoided confrontation, small race riots did occur in 1965 and in 1968.
In 1990, the International Olympic Committee selected Atlanta as the site for the 1996 Summer Olympics, however, many felt that Athens should have had the right to host these games because it was the 100th anniversary of the Olympic Games and Athens felt it could usher in the second century of Olympics. (A year after the Atlanta Games, Athens would be awarded the 2004 Summer Olympics.). Following the announcement, Atlanta undertook several major construction projects to improve the city's parks, sports facilities, and transportation. Former Mayor Bill Campbell allowed many "tent cities" to be built, creating a carnival atmosphere around the games. Atlanta became the first American capital city to host the Olympics. The games themselves were a wonderful achievement in sports, but were marred by the Centennial Olympic Park bombing, which resulted in the death of two people and injured several others. The bombing was carried out by Eric Robert Rudolph.

Downtown Atlanta Skyline
Midtown Atlanta's skylineAccording to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 343.0 km (132.4 mi). 341.2 km (131.8 mi) of it is land and 1.8 km (0.7 mi) of it is water. The total area is 0.51% water.
At about 1000 feet or 300 meters above mean sea level, Atlanta sits atop a ridge south of the Chattahoochee River. Amongst the 25 largest MSAs, Atlanta is the fourth-highest in elevation, slightly lower than Pittsburgh (the city itself is higher than Pittsburgh, however) and Phoenix, but significantly lower than Denver (1 mile or 1,600 m).
According to folklore, its central avenue, Peachtree Street, runs through the center of the city on the Eastern Continental Divide. In actuality, the divide line enters Atlanta from the southwest, proceeding to downtown. From downtown, the divide line runs eastward along DeKalb Avenue and the CSX rail lines through Decatur. Rainwater that falls on the south and east side runs eventually into the Atlantic Ocean while rainwater on the north and west side of the divide runs into the Gulf of Mexico.
The latter is via the Chattahoochee River, part of the ACF River Basin, and from which Atlanta and many of its neighbors draw most of their water. Being at the far northwestern edge of the city, much of the river's natural habitat is still preserved, in part by the Chattahoochee River National Recreation Area. Downstream however, excessive water use during droughts and pollution during floods has been a source of contention and legal battles with neighboring states Alabama and Florida.

Midtown Atlanta in winter, with a fresh blanket of snowAtlanta has a humid subtropical climate, (Cfa) according to the Kppen classification, with generally hot, humid summers and mild winters by the standards of most of the U.S.
Compared to most large cities around the world at approximately the same latitude (3339'), such as Beirut, Lebanon; Casablanca, Morocco; Dallas, Texas; Los Angeles, California; and Phoenix, Arizona, Atlanta has lower average winter temperatures. The primary reason for this is that the North American continent extends into high latitudes that allows systems to form and move eastward and southward without obstruction by major mountain ranges. Other factors include Atlanta's distance from large bodies of water; its higher elevation, which can lead to rapid weather changes; prevailing wind patterns; and extensive tree cover, which reduces the urban heat island effect (an advantage during summer).
In the winter, weather systems sweeping south from Canada, through the Midwest, bring temperatures that can reach below 25 Fahrenheit (-3.9 Celsius) a few times a year. The lowest temperature recorded in the city is -9F (-22C), reached on 13 February 1899. It also reached 8F (22C) in Atlanta in 1985 and 5F (21C) in 1982. An average year sees frost on 48 days; snowfall, which occurs most years, averages 2 inches (5 centimeters) annually. The greatest single accumulation of snow was 10 inches (25 centimeters), on January 23, 1940.[1] The frequent ice storms can cause more problems than snow; the most severe such storm may have occurred on January 7, 1973.[2] Also during winter, warm air sometimes flows from the Gulf of Mexico, raising temperatures as high as 75F (24C).
Though summers are humid, actual temperatures are lower than they may feel, with afternoon highs peaking at about 90F (32C) in late July. Temperatures rarely reach 100F (38C), which, during the last 30 years, was recorded in 1980, 1983, 1986, 1993, 1995, and 2000. The highest temperature recorded in the city is 105F (40.6C), reached on 13 July and 17 July 1980. Despite the oft-heard nickname "Hotlanta", average summer highs are only slightly higher than those of more northerly cities, such as Chicago, Illinois; New York, New York; and Washington, D.C.. Atlanta's summers are somewhat cooler than those of other Southern cities, such as Charlotte, North Carolina; Dallas, Texas; and New Orleans, Louisiana.[1]
Like the rest of the Southeastern U.S., Atlanta experiences abundant rainfall, which is relatively evenly distributed throughout the year. Average annual rainfall is 50.5 inches (127 centimeters); the only other major U.S. cities with greater rainfall are Miami, Florida, and New Orleans, Louisiana[3][4]
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Average high F (C) 52 (11) 57 (14) 65 (18) 73 (23) 80 (27) 87 (31) 89 (32) 88 (31) 82 (28) 73 (23) 63 (17) 55 (13) 72 (22)
Average low F (C) 34 (1) 37 (3) 45 (7) 50 (10) 59 (15) 66 (19) 72 (22) 70 (21) 64 (18) 54 (12) 45 (7) 36 (2) 52 (11)
Average rainfall: inches (millimeters) 5.03 (127.8) 4.68 (118.9) 5.38 (136.7) 3.62 (91.9) 3.95 (100.3) 3.63 (92.2) 5.12 (130.0) 3.63 (92.2) 4.09 (103.9) 3.11 (79.0) 4.10 (104.1) 3.82 (97.0) 50.16 (1274)
People and Culture
Atlanta population
Year City
proper[5] Metro
1850 2,572
1860 9,554
1870 21,789
1880 37,409
1890 65,533
1900 89,872 419,375
1910 154,839 522,442
1920 200,616 622,283
1930 270,366 715,391
1940 302,288 820,579
1950 331,314 997,666
1960 487,455 1,312,474
1970 496,973 1,763,626
1980 425,022 2,233,324
1990 394,017 2,959,950
2000 416,474 4,112,198
2003 423,019 4,386,262
2004 419,122 4,708,297
2005 442,100 5,266,134
Thematic map of African Americans, the largest ethnic group in AtlantaThe census of 2000 states there are 416,474 people (419,122 in the July 2004 estimate), 168,147 households, and 83,232 families residing in the city. The population density is 1,221/km (3,161/mi). There are 186,925 housing units at an average density of 548/km (1,419/mi). The racial makeup of the city is 61.39% Black, 33.22% White, 1.93% Asian, 0.18% Native American, 0.04% Pacific Islander, 1.99% from other races, and 1.24% from two or more races. 4.49% of the population are Hispanic or Latino of any race. The city has one of the largest gay populations in the nation; according to Census 2000 both DeKalb and Fulton counties are among the ten most heavily gay counties in America. There are several predominantly and largely gay neighborhoods, mostly in the Midtown area of the city.
There are 168,147 households out of which 22.4% have children under the age of 18 living with them, 24.5% are married couples living together, 20.7% have a female householder with no husband present, and 50.5% are non-families. 38.5% of all households are made up of individuals and 8.3% have someone living alone who is 65 years of age or older. The average household size is 2.30 and the average family size is 3.16.
In the city the population is spread out with 22.3% under the age of 18, 13.3% from 18 to 24, 35.2% from 25 to 44, 19.4% from 45 to 64, and 9.7% who are 65 years of age or older. The median age is 32 years. For every 100 females there are 98.6 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there are 97.6 males.
The median income for a household in the city is $51,482 and the median income for a family is $55,939. Males have a median income of $36,162 compared to $30,178 for females. The per capita income for the city is $29,772, and 24.4% of the population and 21.3% of families are below the poverty line. 38.8% of those under the age of 18 and 20.7% of those 65 and older are living below the poverty line.
According to the Census Bureau's daytime population estimate,[6] over 250,000 more people are in Atlanta on any given workday, boosting the city's daytime population to 676,431. This is an increase of almost 60% over Atlanta's normal population total.

See also: population of Atlanta

For several decades, Atlanta had been among the most violent cities in North America but in recent years the city has reduced violent crime considerably. In 2005, Atlanta recorded 89 homicides the lowest total since 1963, and an almost 40% decrease from the 151 killings reported in 2002.
However, in 2005 Atlanta received media attention for the high-profile Brian Nichols manhunt, who became internationally known as the "Courthouse Killer". In addition, broadcast media focused attention on a standoff involving a murder suspect (not an Atlanta resident) who perched himself on top of a construction crane for several days in the upscale Buckhead district.
The latest Uniform Crime Reports can be downloaded at the Atlanta Police Department's Website.[7]

Attractions, Events, and Recreation
The Sweet Auburn district is preserved as the Martin Luther King, Jr. National Historic Site.
The Varsity has been an Atlanta landmark for over 75 years.
Atlanta's Piedmont Park is the city's largest park.Atlanta boasts a variety of museums on subjects ranging from history to fine arts, natural history, and beverages. Prominent among them are sites honoring Atlanta's participation in the civil rights movement. Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. was born in the city, and his boyhood home on Auburn Avenue in the Sweet Auburn district is preserved as the Martin Luther King, Jr. National Historic Site. Meetings with other civil rights leaders, including Hosea Williams and current Congressman John Lewis, often happened at Paschal's, a diner and motor inn which was a favorite for "colored" people, banned from "white" restaurants in an era of racial segregation and intolerance. King's final resting place is in the tomb at the center of the reflecting pool at the King Center.
Other history museums and attractions include the Atlanta History Center; the Atlanta Cyclorama and Civil War Museum (a huge painting and diorama in-the-round, with a rotating central audience platform, that depicts the Battle of Atlanta in the Civil War); the Carter Center and Presidential Library; historic house museum Rhodes Hall; and the Margaret Mitchell House and Museum.
The arts are represented by several theaters and museums, including the Fox Theatre. The Woodruff Arts Center is home to the Alliance Theatre, Atlanta Symphony, High Museum of Art, and Atlanta College of Art. Museums geared specifically towards children include the Fernbank Science Center and Imagine It! Atlanta's Children's Museum. The High Museum of Art is the city's major fine/visual arts venue, with a significant permanent collection and an assortment of traveling exhibitions. The Atlanta Opera, which was founded in 1979 by members of two struggling local companies, is arguably the most important opera company in the southeastern United States and enjoys a growing audience and international reputation.
Atlanta features the world's largest aquarium, the Georgia Aquarium, which officially opened to the public on November 23, 2005. The aquarium features over 100,000 specimens in tanks holding approximately eight million gallons of water. One unique museum is the World of Coca-Cola featuring the history of the world famous soft drink brand and its well-known advertising. Adjacent is Underground Atlanta, a historic shopping and entertainment complex situated under the streets of downtown Atlanta. In addition the Atlantic Station, a huge new urban renewal project on the northwestern edge of Midtown Atlanta, officially opened in October of 2005. While not a museum per se, The Varsity is the main branch of the long-lived fast food chain, featured as the world's largest drive-in restaurant.
The heart of the city's festivals is Piedmont Park. In 1887, a group of prominent Atlantans purchased 189 acres (0.76 km) of farmland to build a horse racing track, later developed into the site of the Cotton States International Exposition of 1895. In 1904, the city council purchased the land for $99,000, and today it is the largest park in metro Atlanta, with more than 2.5 million visitors each year. The grounds were part of the Battle of Peachtree Creek a Confederate division occupied the northern edge on July 20, 1864 as part of the outer defense line against Sherman's approach. Next to the park is the Atlanta Botanical Garden.Zoo Atlanta, with a panda exhibit, is in Grant Park.
Just east of the city, Stone Mountain is the largest piece of exposed granite in the world. On its face are giant carvings of Jefferson Davis, Robert E. Lee, and Stonewall Jackson. It is also the site of impressive laser shows in the summer. A few miles west of Atlanta on I-20 is the Six Flags Over Georgia Theme Park, which opened near the city in 1967, and was the second theme park in the Six Flags chain.
Popular annual cultural events include:
Atlanta Dogwood Festival, a Spring arts and crafts festival at Piedmont Park.
Music Midtown - Three-day music festival in early summer. (Now on hiatus)
Screen on the Green - Outdoor classic movies in June in Piedmont Park.
Atlanta Gay Pride[8]
Atlanta Jazz Festival,[9] largest free jazz festival in the USA
Sweet Auburn SpringFest
Inman Park Festival[10]
Virginia-Highlands Summerfest[11]
Georgia Renaissance Festival[12]

Mayor of Atlanta: Shirley FranklinThe major daily newspaper in Atlanta is The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Other weekly papers include Creative Loafing and Atlanta Nation.
The Atlanta metro area is served by a wide variety of local television stations, and is the ninth largest designated market area (DMA) in the U.S. with 2,059,450 homes (1.88% of the total U.S.). All of the major networks have stations in the market, along with two PBS stations and some independant ones. There are also numerous local radio stations serving every genre of music, sports, and talk. See List_of_broadcast_stations_in_Atlanta for a complete list of local TV and radio stations.
Several cable television networks also operate from Atlanta, including TBS, CNN, Cartoon Network, Boomerang, and TNT. These stations are owned by Turner Broadcasting System (now a subsidiary of Time Warner). The Weather Channel (owned by Landmark Communications) also broadcasts from the Atlanta area.
Nintendo's American Division has its distribution center based in Atlanta, the primary location from where imported games and products arrive to United States and are often inspected and shipped to stores nationwide.
See also: list of newspapers in Atlanta

Jermaine Dupri's 2001 hip hop single "Welcome to Atlanta" (feat. Ludacris) declares Atlanta the "new Motown", referencing the city of Detroit, Michigan, which was known for its contributions to popular music. A significant number of Atlantans have become successful musicians, including artists such as Ciara, OutKast, Jerry Reed, Goodie Mob, Gladys Knight & the Pips, Blaque, Ludacris, T.I., Young Jeezy, Ying Yang Twins, D4L, Lil Scrappy, Monica, Youngbloodz, Pastor Troy, and Lil Jon. Others, such as Bobby Brown and Whitney Houston, Too $hort, B5, Phife Dawg, and Brian Littrell of the Backstreet Boys, have moved to the city and made it their home. Of the many modern day recording artist/groups to be originated in Atlanta, TLC still by records sold, holds the crown for the biggest present day act with record sales hovering around the 50 million mark. Atlanta has also produced rock and pop music singers, such as alternative metal band Sevendust, modern rock band Collective Soul, and was a proving ground for Connecticut-born pop-rock-blues musician John Mayer.
Record Producers L.A. Reid and Babyface founded LaFace Records in Atlanta in the late-1980s; the label has eventually become the home to multi-platinum selling artists such as Toni Braxton, TLC, OutKast, Goodie Mob, Usher and Ciara, many of whom are Atlantans themselves. It is also the home of So So Def Records, a label founded by Jermaine Dupri in the mid-1990s, that signed acts such as Da Brat, Jagged Edge, Xscape, Dem Franchise Boyz. The success of LaFace and SoSo Def led to Atlanta as an established scene for record labels such as LaFace parent company Arista to set up satellite offices.
Atlanta's classical music scene includes well-renowned ensembles such as the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra, Atlanta Opera, Atlanta Ballet, period-instrument ensemble New Trinity Baroque, Atlanta Boy Choir, and many others. Classical musicians include renowned conductors such as late Robert Shaw, Atlanta Symphony's Robert Spano, New Trinity Baroque's Predrag Gosta, and others.
Atlanta has a well known, active live music scene, though recent early closing times in the city and in-town's rapid gentrification have hurt small clubs and other music venues. In the early 1980s, Atlanta was the home of a thriving new wave music scene featuring such bands as The Brains and The Producers, closely linked to the new wave scenes in Athens, Georgia and other college towns in the southeast.

Atlanta Centennial Olympic StadiumClub Sport League Stadium
Atlanta Falcons Football National Football League Georgia Dome
Atlanta Braves Baseball Major League Baseball, NL Turner Field
Atlanta Hawks Basketball National Basketball Association Philips Arena
Atlanta Rollergirls Roller Derby Women's Flat Track Derby Association All American Skating Center
Atlanta Silverbacks Soccer USL First Division Silverbacks Park
Atlanta Thrashers Ice Hockey National Hockey League Philips Arena
Georgia Force Arena Football Arena Football League Philips Arena
Atlanta Vision Basketball ABA:Blue Conference The Sampson's Center
Atlanta has a rich sports history, including the oldest on campus division one football stadium, Bobby Dodd Stadium, built in 1913 by the students of Georgia Tech. Atlanta also played host to the second intercollegiate football game in the South[citation needed], Auburn University vs. University of Georgia in 1892. This game is often considered the Oldest Rivalry in the South[citation needed]. Currently it hosts college football's annual Chick-fil-A Bowl and the Peachtree Road Race, the worlds largest 10 km race. Atlanta was the host city for the Centennial 1996 Summer Olympics. Centennial Olympic Park, built for 1996 Summer Olympics, sits adjacent to CNN Center and Philips Arena. It is now operated by the Georgia World Congress Center Authority.
The city is also host to four different major league sports. The Atlanta Braves baseball team has been the Major League Baseball franchise of Atlanta since 1966; the franchise was previously known as the Boston Braves (1912-1952), and the Milwaukee Braves (1953-1965). The team was founded in 1871 in Boston, Massachusetts as a National Association club, making it the oldest continuously operating sports franchise in North American sports. The Braves won the World Series in 1995 and have had an unprecedented run of fourteen straight divisional championships since 1991. Before the Braves moved to Atlanta, the Atlanta Crackers were Atlanta's professional baseball team from 1901 until their last season in 1965. They won 17 league championships in the minor leagues. The Atlanta Black Crackers were Atlanta's Negro League team from around 1921 until 1949.
The Atlanta Falcons American football team plays at the Georgia Dome. They have been Atlanta's National Football League franchise since 1966. They have won the division title three times, and a conference championship once, only to go on to lose to the Denver Broncos in Super Bowl XXXIII. Super Bowl XXVIII and XXXIV were held in the city. In the Arena Football League, The Georgia Force has been Atlanta's team since the franchise relocated from Nashville in 2002. The 2005 National Conference champions currently play in Philips Arena.
The Atlanta Hawks basketball team has been the National Basketball Association franchise of Atlanta since 1969; the team was previously known as the Tri-Cities Blackhawks (1946-1951), Milwaukee Hawks (1951-55), St. Louis Hawks (1955-68). Their only NBA championship was in 1958, when they were the St. Louis Hawks.
From 1992 to 1996 Atlanta was home to the short-lived Atlanta Knights, an International Hockey League team. Their inaugural season was excellent for a new team, and was only bested by their sophomore season in which they won the championship Turner Cup. In 1996 they moved to Quebec City and became the Quebec Rafales. In 1999 the Atlanta Thrashers hockey team became Atlanta's National Hockey League franchise. They replaced the Atlanta Flames which had departed for Calgary in 1980, becoming the Calgary Flames. The Thrashers have yet to make it to the playoffs. Both the Thrashers and the Hawks play in Philips Arena.
In golf, the final event of the PGA Tour season, THE TOUR Championship, is played annually at East Lake Golf Club. This golf course is used because of its connection to the great amateur golfer Bobby Jones, an Atlanta native.
From 2001 to 2003 Atlanta hosted the Atlanta Beat soccer team of the defunct Women's United Soccer Association. They appeared in two of the three Founders Cup championships held, losing to the Bay Area CyberRays in 2001, and the Washington Freedom team in 2003. Currently, Atlanta is the home of the Atlanta Silverbacks of the United Soccer Leagues First Division (Men) and W-League (Women)
The Atlanta Kookaburras are a successful Australian rules football club that compete in mens and women's divisions in the MAAFL and SEAFL and USAFL National Championships.
Other nearby sports facilities include Atlanta Motor Speedway, a 1.5 mile (2.4 km) NASCAR race track in Hampton, Georgia.
See also: U.S. cities with teams from four major sports

There are over 1,000 churches and other places of worship within the city of Atlanta.[13] A large majority of Atlantans profess to following a Protestant Christian faith, and many people point out that religion plays a reasonably important role in their weekly lives.[citation needed] As a result, the city could arguably have the distinction of being among the most religious major cities in the country.[citation needed] Furthermore, a large number of students in the Metro area's northern counties attend faith-based private schools at a rate unsurpassed by many other parts of the country.[citation needed] In addition to nearly 50 nonsectarian private schools listed in Fulton[14] and DeKalb[15] counties, there are over 80 religiously-affiliated private schools.
Atlanta is also home to a large, vibrant Jewish community estimated by the Jewish Federation of Atlanta's Jewish Community Study to include 120,000 individuals in 61,300 households (study by the Ukeles Associates, 2006). This study places Atlanta's Jewish population as the 11th largest in the United States, up from 17th largest in 1996.
As the see of the Catholic Archdiocese of Atlanta, Atlanta serves as the Provincial See for the Province of Atlanta. The city is also a major Southern Baptist center.
The city is also the headquarters of the Greek Orthodox Metropolis of Atlanta, with Annunciation Cathedral and Metropolitan Alexios presiding. In total, there are eleven Orthodox parishes in Atlanta, including Greek, Orthodox Church in America, Antiochian, Serbian, Ukrainian and Romanian.

The World of Coca-ColaDespite romantic associations, Atlanta has always been more a commercial city than an ante-bellum monument. It is the major center of regional commerce, and boasts an especially strong convention and trade show business. According to the ranking of world cities undertaken by the Globalization and World Cities Study Group & Network (GaWC) and based on the level of presence of global corporate service organisations, Atlanta is considered a "Gamma World City."
Several major national and international companies are headquartered in Atlanta or its nearby suburbs, including four Fortune 100 companies: The Coca-Cola Company (started in Atlanta), Home Depot (started in Atlanta), BellSouth, and United Parcel Service in adjacent Sandy Springs. Home Depot founder Bernie Marcus donated more than 200 million dollars to build the new Georgia Aquarium. Delta Air Lines is also headquartered in Atlanta and is a major employer. Newell Rubbermaid is one of the most recent companies to relocate its headquarters to the metro area (Sandy Springs).
Among the bad things to hit Atlanta's economy is the closing of General Motor's Doraville Assembly plant in Doraville around 2008, and the Ford Motor Company's Atlanta Assembly plant in Hapeville in 2006. The combined job loss is estimated to be from 6,000 to 8,000. However, Kia is planning to build an assembly plant near West Point, Georgia.
Just west of Midtown, a former Atlantic Steel plant has been redeveloped as Atlantic Station, a mixed-use urban renewal project combining housing, retail, and office space, and promoted as part of the solution to Atlanta's serious traffic and air quality problems. The metro area has one of America's longest average daily commutes, and is one of the most car-dependent cities on the planet due both to suburban sprawl and underfunded mass transit systems. It also has a reputation as being one of the most dangerous for pedestrians,[16] as far back as 1949 when Gone with the Wind author Margaret Mitchell was struck by a speeding car and killed.
The city is a major cable television programming source; CNN Center, headquarters of the Cable News Network, is in Atlanta where the network was founded by Ted Turner, and The Weather Channel broadcasts from just outside of town. In addition to CNN, Time Warner's other networks from Atlanta include Cartoon Network/Adult Swim and companion channel Boomerang, TNT, Turner South, CNN International, CNN en Espaol, CNN Headline News, CNN Airport Network, and TBS. Atlanta's WTBS channel 17 (originally WTCG) was Turner's start in television in the 1970s; after he bought the struggling UHF TV station, he turned it into a "Superstation" broadcasting both locally and nationally on the emerging cable providers. Atlanta's WSB was the first AM radio station in the South.
See also: list of major companies in Atlanta


Atlanta City HallAtlanta is governed by an at-large elected mayor and a city council. The city council consists of representatives of twelve districts from the city as well as three at-large positions. The mayor may veto a bill passed by the council, but the council may override with a two-thirds majority. The current mayor of Atlanta is Shirley Franklin.
Possibly owing to the city's African American majority, each mayor elected since 1973 has been black; the uninterrupted string of black mayors in excess of thirty years is a first for any metropolitan area in the country. Maynard Jackson was elected for two terms and then for another term in the early 1990s. His successors Andrew Young (and later, Bill Campbell) owed their success in the mayoral election at least in part to Jackson's endorsement. This is a reflection of the political structure of Atlanta an its ward system.
This passed in a referendum during the July 20th primary election with a 75% majority, after being allowed by the state legislature earlier in 2004. The sales tax helped to reduce a huge rate increase on water and sewer bills, necessary to pay three billion dollars in bonds to fix the city's aging (and in places decrepit) municipal water and sewer systems. Combined sewer overflows will also be eliminated, so that runoff water is separated, preventing diluted sewage from overflowing at sewage treatment plants during heavy rains.
The Georgia State Capitol in AtlantaAs the state capital, Atlanta is also the site of most of Georgia's state government, including the Georgia State Capitol (topped with gold from Dahlonega, Georgia), the General Assembly, and the residence of the Governor of Georgia in Buckhead. It is also home to Georgia Public Broadcasting headquarters and Peachnet, and is the county seat of Fulton County, with which it shares responsibility for the Atlanta-Fulton Public Library System.
MARTA provides public transportation in Atlanta.Atlanta is served by Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport (IATA: ATL, ICAO: KATL), the world's busiest airport by passenger traffic and by aircraft traffic, providing air service to and from many national and international destinations. It is situated 10 miles south of downtown, adjacent to the intersection of I-85 and I-285. The MARTA rail system has a station within the airport terminal, and provides direct service to the business areas in downtown Atlanta, Buckhead and Sandy Springs. The major general aviation airports near the city proper are DeKalb-Peachtree Airport (IATA: PDK, ICAO: KPDK) and Brown Field (IATA: FTY, ICAO: KFTY). See List of airports in the Atlanta area for a more complete listing.
Three major interstate highways intersect the city; I-20 runs east-west, while I-75 runs NW to SE and I-85 runs NE to SW, and join together as the Downtown Connector through the center of the city. The Downtown Connector carries more than 340,000 vehicles a day and is considered one of the 10 most congested stretches of interstate in the U.S.[17] I-285 (also known as "the Perimeter") encircles the city and some of its inner suburbs. I-75 just north of the Windy Hill Road interchange in Cobb County is one of the widest freeways (seventeen lanes) in the entire world. The intersection of I-85 and I-285 in Doraville, locally referred to as Spaghetti Junction, is one of the tallest in the eastern United States. Metropolitan Atlanta is crisscrossed by thirteen freeways (in addition to the aforementioned interstates, I-575, Georgia 400, Georgia 141, I-675, Georgia 316, I-985, Stone Mountain Freeway (US 78), and Langford Parkway (SR 166)). The Georgia Department of Transportation operates Georgia Navigator to disseminate current traffic (travel times, camera images, accidents) and road (construction, flooding, ice, debris) conditions throughout the state.[18]
The Metropolitan Atlanta Rapid Transit Authority (MARTA) is Atlanta's public-transit system, operating the rail and bus system within Fulton and Dekalb Counties. Clayton, Cobb, and Gwinnett counties each operate separate, autonomous transit authorities, using buses but no trains. However, many commuters in Atlanta and the surrounding suburbs use private automobiles as their primary transportation. (This may be partly because Georgia has had one of the lowest excise taxes on gasoline in the United States. Such taxes in Georgia have risen, however, in recent years: for example, in July 2002, Alaska was the only state with a tax lower than Georgia's 30.6 cents per gallon, but, by August 2005, Georgia's tax had risen by 34.6%, to 41.2 cents per gallon, and 21 states and the District of Columbia had taxes lower than Georgia's.[19][20]) This results in heavy traffic during rush hour and contributes to Atlanta's air pollution. In recent years, the Atlanta metro area has ranked at or near the top of the longest average commute times in the U.S. In 2001 a group of transit riders joined to form Citizens for Progressive Transit, an organization dedicated to increasing the reach and improving the quality of public transportation in metro Atlanta.
Atlanta grew up as a railroad town and is still today a major rail junction, with several busy freight lines belonging to Norfolk Southern and CSX intersecting below street level in the downtown area. Long-distance passenger service is provided by Amtrak's Crescent train, which connects Atlanta with Baltimore, Maryland; Birmingham, Alabama ; Charlotte, North Carolina; New Orleans, Louisiana; New York, New York; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; and Washington, D.C. The Amtrak station is at 1688 Peachtree Street Northwest, several miles north of downtown and not well placed for onward public transportation. An ambitious, long-standing proposal would create a Multi-Modal Passenger Terminal downtown, adjacent to Philips Arena and the Five-Points MARTA station, which would link, in a single facility, MARTA bus and rail, intercity bus service, proposed commuter rail service to other Georgia cities, and Amtrak.
Greyhound Lines provides intercity bus service between Atlanta and many locations throughout the United States and Canada. The Greyhound terminal is situated at 232 Forsyth Street, on the southern edge of the downtown area and directly beneath MARTA's Garnett rail station.
The proposed Beltline would create a greenway and public transit system in a circle around the city from a series of mostly abandoned rail lines. This rail right-of-way would also accommodate multi-use trails connecting a string of existing and new parks. In addition, there is a proposed streetcar project that would create a streetcar line along Peachtree from downtown to Buckhead as well as possibly another East-West line.[21]


Public Schools
The public school system (Atlanta Public Schools) is run by the Atlanta Board of Education with superintendent Dr. Beverly L. Hall. Currently, the system has an active enrollment of 51,000 students, attending a total of 85 schools: 59 elementary schools (three of which operate on a year-round calendar), 16 middle schools, 10 high schools, and 7 charter schools.[22] The school system also supports two alternative schools for middle and/or high school students, two community schools, and an adult learning center. The school system also owns and operates radio station WABE-FM 90.1 (the National Public Radio affiliate) and PBS television station WPBA 30.

Private Schools
Notable private schools in Atlanta include The Marist School,The Westminster Schools (Buckhead), The Lovett School (Buckhead), Pace Academy (Buckhead), Holy Innocents' (Buckhead), Woodward Academy (College Park), The Paideia School, The Galloway School, St. Pius X High School, Inman cooperative pre-school (Inman park)http://ipcp.org/index_f.aspx, Atlanta International School (Buckhead) and Dar-un-Noor School (Atlanta)

Colleges and universities
Georgia Tech TowerAtlanta has more than 30 institutions of higher education, among which Emory University, the Georgia Institute of Technology (popularly known as Georgia Tech), Georgia State University, Mercer University, and Oglethorpe University are prominent. Atlanta University Center, a consortium of historically black colleges and universities, is also located in the city; members of the consortium include Clark Atlanta University, Morehouse College, Morehouse School of Medicine, Morris Brown College, and Spelman College. The Reformed Theological Seminary is another Atlanta school. The Savannah College of Art and Design opened a Midtown, Atlanta, campus in 2005 and acquired the Atlanta College of Art shortly thereafter. John Marshall Law School is the city's only freestanding law school and produces many local lawyers.
Institutions in the metropolitan area include Agnes Scott College, in Decatur; Clayton State University, in Morrow; DeVry University, in Decatur; Georgia Perimeter College, with campuses in Alpharetta, Clarkston, Conyers, Covington (scheduled to open in January 2007), Decatur, Dunwoody, and Lawrenceville; Gwinnett University Center (soon to be known as Georgia Gwinnett College, in Lawrenceville); Kennesaw State University, in Kennesaw; Southern Polytechnic State University, in Marietta; and the University of West Georgia, in Carrollton.
Sister Cities
Atlanta has nineteen sister cities, as designated by Sister Cities International, Inc. (SCI):[23]

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