Atlanta is a city and metropolitan area in Georgia; the city is the state capital of Georgia and has a population of 477,000 inside the city limits in 2008; adding in the suburbs, the Atlanta metropolitan area had a population of 5,376,000 in 2008, up from 2.9 million in 1990, making it the 9th largest in the United States.
After a recount, Kasim Reed was declared the winner in the Nov. 2009 election for mayor, beating Mary Norwood, who would have become the first white mayor since 1973 in the predominantly black city.
Atlanta has been growing rapidly, but has been hit hard by the national Recession of 2008, ranking behind only Phoenix in the number of job losses among the 13 largest metro areas in 2008.
Atlanta is home to the busiest airport in the world (both by number of people that fly though and by number of takeoffs and landings) the Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport
A large majority of Atlantans attend church regularly and the city is a major center in the Southern Baptist conventions.
- 1 History
- 1.1 1860-1920
- 1.2 1920-1945
- 1.3 1945 to present
- 2 Sports in Atlanta
- 3 See also
- 4 External links
- 5 Further reading
- 6 References
Atlanta began as a railroad town in 1837, when the Western and Atlantic Railroad selected an uninhabited site for its western terminus. Here, a small settlement, aptly named Terminus, was built; its name was changed to Marthasville in 1843 and finally to Atlanta in 1845. With the arrival of two other railroads, Atlanta became a major crossroads and the center of a fast growing transportation network. Wholesalers and bankers located in Atlanta, making it one of the main inland commercial centers of the Southeast. An important founder was John James "Cousin John" Thrasher (1818–99), an entrepreneur who built railroads in Georgia. Thrasher represented Fulton County in the state legislature during 1859-63, and during the Civil War his Atlanta home was used as a headquarters by the Confederate Army. After the war, Thrasher helped the South rebuild by constructing civic buildings and railroads.
By the eve of the Civil War, Atlanta, with a population of more than 9,000, was the fourth largest city in Georgia.
Civil WarThe Civil War saw Atlanta as the main object of General William T. Sherman's attacks in 1864. The Union bombardment of Atlanta, 20 July-24 August 1864, caused considerable property damage and seriously disrupted the lives of the inhabitants. But civilian casualties were relatively light because many people fled the city even before the bombardment began. Those who remained huddled in backyard caves and cellars during intensive shelling, and employed other techniques to minimize danger. Confederates burned the downtown as Sherman approached, but it was quickly rebuilt.
During Reconstruction at the end of the war several federal agencies, especially the Freedmen's Bureau of the Army, and northern religious organizations began operating in Atlanta to aid the freedmen (freed slaves), who poured into the city from the devastated plantations. The first and most extensive efforts were made by the Union Army through its Freedman's Bureau. In addition American Missionary Association, and the (northern) Methodist Episcopal Church also offered limited assistance. A rudimentary school system was established.
With its central location and excellent railroad connections, Atlanta became a major commercial center. Boosters moved the state capital here in 1868. The greatest booster of all was Henry W. Grady, who became managing editor of the Atlanta Constitution in 1880, and became the principal spokesman for the New South. In his famous 1886 speech, "The New South," given before the New England Society in New York City, Grady won over his Yankee audience with wit and charm and the message that the wounds of the Civil War had healed and that the South was meeting the challenges of the new era.
Local entrepreneurs (then and now) heavily promoted tourism and conventions. Atlanta hospitality businesses, especially hotels, saloons, and theaters, grew rapidly from 1880 to 1900. Three major expositions and a convention attracted tens of thousands of visitors: the International Cotton Exposition (1881), the National Commercial Convention (1885), the Piedmont Exposition (1887), and the Cotton States and International Exposition (1895). At the 1895 event black leader Booker T. Washington proclaimed the "Atlanta Compromise," which involved middle class white support for black education, with the quiet promise of an end to black political activism.
Christian evangelicals lost the battle over the commercialization of the theater and other entertainments in downtown Atlanta but held ground in their opposition to Sunday motion pictures. Dime museums, vaudeville, and burlesque attracted scores from the white working class, while drawing criticisms from an elite that was self-consciously attempting to establish Atlanta's position as a regional center of high culture. The white cultural elite turned to the high culture of New York and Paris, notably opera and classical music. They found it impossible to gain support for such new forms of entertainments among the fellow upper crust, who were only a generation removed from the plantations. Meanwhile, the city's black elite sought to distinguish itself from the black working class which sponsored jazz in its brothels. The city's white and black laboring classes, without concern for appearances or the image they were projecting, were responsible for Atlanta's development into a true cultural center of blues, country, and hillbilly music.
The Atlanta chapter of the Women's Christian Temperance Union (WCTU) was founded in 1880, followed in 1883 by the Georgia WCTU under the presidency of Jane Elizabeth Sibley. The organization at first enjoyed close relations with the Methodist Church in Georgia but conflict later arose over the issue of women's rights, particularly since the WCTU had close connections with the Georgia Women's Suffrage Association, set up in 1889. Warren Akin Candler, president of Emory College, was a particularly vociferous Methodist opponent of WCTU support for female suffrage in the 1890s.
Given the success of the WCTU and the churches in banning liquor from middle-class homes, Southern pharmacists searched for a concoction that would quench thirst without alcohol. The stunning breakthrough took place in Atlanta's large patent medicine industry by three pharmacists. John Stith Pemberton, who moved to Atlanta in 1870, became noted for developing Coca-Cola. He urged customers to "drink the brain tonic and intellectual soda fountain beverage, Coca-Cola." During the 1880s, Joseph Jacobs developed a variety of proprietary products that he dispensed in his Atlanta pharmacy. He also acquired a financial interest in Coca-Cola that was to increase his wealth. Asa G. Candler (1851-1929) was another Atlanta pharmacist interested in selling proprietary medicines. He became convinced of Coca-Cola's commercial potential and disposed of all of his resources to promote his interest in the product, which he had purchased in 1888. Coke remains headquartered in the city. Candler at first advertised the therapeutic values of his drink. By 1900 he realized that this limited the potential clientèle to sick people, and he therefore switched to the appeal that Coke and pleasure were synonymous. Candler, who became mayor in 1916, was a conservative felt that the urban commercial elite had a responsibility to improve the living conditions of the poor and the working classes. The family sold its stake in Coca-Cola in 1919 to a group of investors led by Ernest Woodruff (1863-1944). Robert Winship Woodruff (1889 – 1985) ran the company from 1923 until 1954 and used his vast fortune to promote Atlanta and Emory.
Progressive EraProgressive era of the early 20th century to the 1960s. A lawyer who was both a reformer of social ills and a shaper of welfare, higher education, and philanthropic programs in Georgia, Weltner preferred to remain anonymous, letting others take credit for efforts in which he played a significant role. Obtaining support from wealthy and influential men such as John Eagan, Joseph Logan, Marion Jackson, and Robert W. Woodruff, Weltner helped people better themselves in the areas of housing, health, labor conditions, prison life, and small farm enterprises. He helped establish and served on Georgia University System's Board of Regents and served as regional director of the Resettlement Administration. He also restored fiscal soundness to and gained accreditation for Oglethorpe University, where he was president for ten years.
The Chamber of Commerce's monthly magazine "The City Builder" (1916–35) was used by boosters to define Atlanta's unique characteristics and to apply them to daily city life. Money, morality, idealism, and sanctification of the city became known collectively as "the Atlanta Spirit," which supposedly united all citizens in a fervor of boosterism. Local businessmen hoped to attract new industries and populations by these zealous appeals to civic pride, which included the black community. It published information about the labor force, particularly its skill, cleanliness, and docility, observing that the Blacks knew their place. Realizing that Atlanta was the center of the cotton economy, it promoted agricultural growth, improvement in farm productivity, modernization of the state education system, and extolled the talent of its businessmen.
In early-20th century Atlanta, police often arrested or detained young working-class women who frequented cheap theaters and other places of amusement. The stated object was to protect women from becoming victims of prostitution and other vices, but it seems to have been more a Progressive Era technique to control male vice. It was easier and less controversial to control women's activities than to attempt to control the entertainment businesses. The coming of World War I in 1917 and the presence of a large Army facility at nearby Camp Gordon intensified the enforcement efforts and prompted the hiring of full-fledged policewomen, an Atlanta "first," to more effectively patrol the streets and inspect commercial establishments where prostitution was suspected.
Leo Frank, Jewish co-owner of an Atlanta pencil factory, was convicted in 1913 of murdering Mary Phagan, a 13-year-old white Catholic employee, but after his sentence was commuted by the governor of Georgia in 1915, he was taken by a mob from a Milledgeville, Georgia, prison and lynched. Many historians believe he was innocent in the first place and was the victim of anti-Semitism.
As a center for religion and publishing Atlanta could not rival Nashville, but it made its mark. John Melvin Henson (1887-1972) was an Atlanta-based composer and publisher of gospel music songbooks, and the proprietor of the J. M. Henson Music Company. Henson's company and the gospel songbooks he published were central to the gospel singing conventions that were popular in the South before World War II but declined thereafter.
Few blacks had lived in Atlanta before the war but by 1867 almost 9,000 African Americans and 10,000 whites migrated to the city. By 1870 blacks numbered over 12,000 and made up almost one half of the city's population.
In the rapid growth of the 1870s race and class determined of residential location. Rich whites lived in mansions near the center of the city with the poor (both black and white) on the urban periphery. Emerging black settlements in Atlanta, as in many other southern cities, were further relegated to the most undesirable areas of the city: back alleys; low-lying, flood-prone ground; industrial sites; and tracts of land adjacent to railroads, cemeteries, city dumps, and slaughter houses. Most blacks lived in Jenningstown on the west side, Summer Hill to the south, Shermantown on the east side, and Mechanicsville in the southwestern. They worked as unskilled laborers and domestic servants. About 90% of the unskilled laborers in 1900 were black. Most blacks were poor but some prospered, including undertakers, barbers, insurance company entrepreneurs, hotel owners and grocers; they catered to black clients. The black leadership class also included politicians, preachers and teachers. With little aid from government before 1910, blacks created their own self-help welfare agencies that operated orphanages and insurance funds, health centers, youth clubs, and vocational education. The First Congregational Church of Atlanta, with financial support from new England, sponsored a home for black working women, business and cooking schools, a kindergarten, and an employment bureau. Similar community services and programs were provided by the city's other leading black churches such as Big Bethel A.M.E. Church and Wheat Street Baptist Church.
The blacks made Atlanta their national center for higher education. Atlanta University was founded by the American Missionary Association in 1865. Atlanta Baptist College for men (now Morehouse College) opened in 1867, and Clark University, supported by the Freedmen's Aid Society of the Methodist Episcopal Church, was established in 1870. The final two schools of what would later become the Atlanta University Center—Morris Brown College, affiliated with the African Methodist Episcopal Church (A.M.E.), and Spelman Seminary (Spelman College) for women, a Baptist school—opened in 1881. At first these were advanced secondary schools, this nucleus of black higher provided important educational and training opportunities for Atlanta's black students and contributed to the growth of what by 1910 was a large and well-educated black middle class second in size only to Washington. By contrast the public school system lagged far behind, so that working class black Atlanta had low levels of schooling.
Not until the 1920s did Atlanta open its first black public high school. It came about because blacks worked through their churches to vote in city bond referendums and negotiated with the Commission on Interracial Cooperation to gain a commitment from the board of education to build a black high school. It was located on the west side of town, where pioneer black businessman, banker, realtor, and builder Heman Perry was already developing new homes for Atlanta's upscale blacks.
It was the era of Jim Crow and by 1880 all public spaces and transportation lines were racially segregated, with inferior facilities for blacks. As the population surged 1880-1910 blue collar workers moved to the city and entrepreneurs built rental housing for them. Real estate agents sold property for development of cheaply built rental homes. Unlike other cities, such houses were mixed in with more upscale middle-class homes, making neighbors of skilled and unskilled whites and African Americans. There was little neighborhood segregation by race or class, although the races did not mingle socially. Industrial jobs within walking distance made the housing attractive. By 1910 neighborhoods were becoming class and race conscious, and the people who had rented houses on their property to working-class whites and blacks were moving to segregated, middle-class suburbs.
1906 Race Riot
The segregation did not prevent racial violence, most notably the Atlanta Race Riot of 1906. Racial tensions were intensified by a long and bitter campaign for governor in which both white candidates, Hoke Smith and Clark Howell, called for the complete exclusion of blacks from the political process. Following a series of wild rumors of wanton black attacks on white women, a race riot erupted in the city in which whites attacked blacks on the street. Spurred on by lurid newspaper accounts of black rapists and rumors of black insurrection, roving gangs of white males attacked African Americans wherever they could find them in the downtown area and in nearby black neighborhoods. There were at least 25 dead (mostly black men), hundreds injured, and thousands of dollars in property damage. After the riot geographical segregation intensified.
One major long-term result was that black and white elites forged an interracial alliance dedicated to the preservation of law and order. The new "Atlanta Plan" did maintain the peace and allowed the city to flourish commercially, but required black elites to reduce their ties to working-class blacks, renounce militancy, and accept the leadership of moderate white businessmen who endeavored to protect blacks from white demagogues. The violence ended as boosters boasted that Atlanta was "a city too busy to hate." This allowed for the emergence of a powerful black middle class, represented in the 1930s by Rev. Martin Luther King, Senior. It worked closely with the white elite. His famous son Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr. rejected the compromise in the 1950s and sought confrontations with segregationists in Alabama.
The leading black entrepreneur was Heman Edward Perry, who developed major black business enterprises in segregated Atlanta during the first quarter of the 20th century. Perry arrived in Atlanta in 1908 after learning the insurance business in New York. He perceived that there were great possibilities for insurance sales in the black community. Perry quickly began an effort to raise funds to finance his Standard Life Insurance Company, which was state-chartered in 1913. This company proved profitable and Perry began to expand into other commercial enterprises, which included banking, printing, and construction. Through these enterprises, Perry initiated a substantial part of the business foundation of the modern black community in Atlanta. Even his subsequent failures did not diminish his major impact in broadening black enterprise and pride in Atlanta.
By the 1920s, Auburn Avenue was already home to a wide range of black-owned and black-operated businesses, such as insurance companies, banks, a newspaper, barber and beauty shops, restaurants, grocery stores, photo studios, and funeral homes that provided African Americans the services denied them in the larger urban community. Freed from competition with white businessmen and assured the patronage of Atlanta's black community, many black entrepreneurs and their businesses prospered under Jim Crow.
Chamber of Commerce
The Chamber of Commerce is a local private organization that supports civic activism and economic growth in the community. Its members are local businesses and not-for profit organizations (such as hospitals and universities). It represents "Main Street" (that is, locally owned businesses, but also includes branches of national chains.
The Atlanta Chamber of Commerce was deeply interested in the urbanization and industrialization of both Atlanta and Georgia. Henry Grady (1851–89) was their model, 'the spirit of Atlanta,' whom all southern businessmen sought to emulate in elevating the South. In an effort to attract northern capital and further industrialization, the Atlanta Chamber of Commerce boosted and published information about the labor force, particularly its skill, cleanliness, and docility, observing that the Blacks accepted segregation and were good workers. They also became interested in agricultural growth, improvement in productivity, in the cultural and economic value of the state education system, and the talent of its businessmen.
As a commercial city with a small industrial base, Atlanta suffered less during the Great Depression than most northern cities. Nevertheless, unemployment was high and times were hard.
The city was a stronghold of the New Deal, and blacks now switched from loyalty to the Republican party to the Democratic party, even though they could not yet vote.
Women suffered from poverty and unemployment. A caste system based on a woman's race, age, and (sometimes) marital status determined the type of job she was likely to have. Statistics indicate that, generally, black women had greater difficulty in the job market and were employed as domestics, while white women held clerical positions.
The spectacular premier in Atlanta of David O. Selznick's film version of Margaret Mitchell's novel Gone with the Wind in December 1939 was an unprecedented and unconventional success, marking both a new stage in film promotion and a milestone in Atlanta's efforts to remake itself as the capital of the New South. It was a segregated event that attracted several hundred thousand spectators. The best-selling novel and the top-selling film ever gave Atlanta a heroic image worldwide.
Prosperity returned in World War Two, as Atlanta became a major war center and was the location of major aircraft factories.
1945 to present
William Hartsfield (1890-1971) came from a working-class background and never attended college; instead he educated himself at the Atlanta Public Library. He became a lawyer and was elected to the city council in 1923, where he promoted Atlanta as the logical hub of aviation in the South. He negotiated the purchase of land for a municipal airport and won federal designation of Atlanta as a terminal and transfer point on the first New York-Miami and Chicago-Jacksonville air routes. He was elected mayor in 1936, serving, with one brief interruption, until 1961.
Hartsfield's goal was to make Atlanta the dominant southern city. With support from top business leaders he initiated a vast program of infrastructure improvements while showing a budget surplus every year. By 1959, Atlanta's metropolitan population had surpassed one million, and Hartsfield had tripled the territorial limits of the city from 35 to 118 square miles through a controversial annexation enacted by the state legislature over the opposition of suburban homeowners who objected to paying city taxes.
High priority went to the airport, through improvements in runways, lighting, and approaches. By 1950 Atlanta had emerged as the hub of air transportation in the Southeast, a crucial factor in the city's simultaneous dominance of the commerce and finance of the region. As chairman of the airport committee of the American Municipal Association, Hartsfield won support from the Eisenhower administration for a major federal program of assistance to airports.
Hartsfield and the business leaders wanted no racial troubles, so they approved of steady advances in black rights. Atlanta escaped the turmoil that characterized the civil rights era elsewhere. When the U.S. Supreme Court declared in 1944 that black voters could no longer be excluded from Democratic primaries, Hartsfield began to court the black leadership of his city. African Americans voters became an important element of his coalition, along with upscale whites and business leaders. He appointed Atlanta's first black police officers in 1948, ended segregation on buses and trolleys in 1957, and presided over the integration of city schools in 1961. Shortly after his death in 1971 his beloved Atlanta Municipal Airport, now one of the busiest in the world, was renamed the William Berry Hartsfield International Airport; it is now called the Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport.
Atlanta became a staging point for black civil rights activists in the late 1950s and early 1960s, as they moved across the South arousing support and confronting segregation. There was little conflict in Atlanta itself, however.
Progressives on race relations, such as Atlanta Constitution editor Ralph E. McGill (1898-1969), Governor Ellis Arnall, and Assistant Attorney General Daniel Duke, struggled in the period immediately following World War II to make Atlanta and Georgia a place of greater racial tolerance. White supremacist groups fought back, initially suffering some legal defeats. But racism reasserted itself with the election of Eugene Talmadge and, upon his death, the legislative manipulation of his son, Herman E. Talmadge. The overt racism of restaurant owner Lester Maddox (1915-2003) during the mayoral elections of 1957 and 1961 evoked the "contextual liberalism" of his opponents. Neither Hartsfield (mayor 1937-62) nor Ivan Allen Jr. (1911-2003; mayor 1963-72) believed that progress should move too rapidly, and each was only as liberal as necessary to get the black vote. Given the alternatives, blacks voted unanimously for the racially more liberal candidates, Hartsfield and Allen. Black votes, together with the votes of conservative businessmen and professionals offset Atlanta's poor white voters who wanted no racial accommodation. Thus, blacks were responsible for Atlanta's national recognition as an oasis of tolerance.
Atlanta adjusted smoothly to the end of segregation in 1964 with one major exception. Maddox worked tirelessly to galvanize Atlanta's white-supremacist population against integration. Even though the city ultimately rejected segregation to foster rapid economic growth, Maddox gained statewide support and was elected governor of Georgia in 1966.
Atlanta elected its first black mayor in 1973. Maynard Jackson (1938- ), unlike his main opponent Mayor Sam Massell, Jackson avoided racial overtones in his campaign and concentrated instead on issues such as crime, housing, and unemployment. Jackson served two terms and worked to break down discriminatory barriers in the city's hiring policies and in securing city contracts. He created Atlanta's first minority business program, opening opportunities for minorities and women in major city contracts and in administrative posts in the city government. He maintained links to the city's traditional white business elite, but also opened the lines of communication between his office and Atlanta's inner city neighborhoods, creating a monthly "People's Day," in which he visited neighborhoods to listen to residents' concerns and complaints.
Atlanta's public schools desegregated very slowly in the years following the 1954 Supreme Court decision Brown v. Board of Education. Not until 1961 was any formal plan implemented in Atlanta. Beginning with only a few grades, community leaders hoped that calm would prevail. Governor S. Ernest Vandiver, who had promised during his campaign to preserve segregation forever, attempted to block complete compliance by introducing a "save our schools" package in the legislature. The governor planned to withhold funds from the public schools and provide money to private, segregated institutions. The governor's plans were resisted by the business community, black groups, and, subsequently, the Georgia legislature. Nonetheless, pupil placement procedures and obstacles to school transfers continued to perpetuate racial separation in Atlanta's schools. New federal court orders in the early 1970s led to white flight from the city and little positive response from the Atlanta Board of Education. Ultimately, black leaders conceded the futility of total desegregation (since there were not enough whites "to go around"). In the compromise plan of 1973 African Americans obtained administrative control of the now largely black school system.
Perceiving the federal government's sponsorship of the civil rights movement as a fundamental threat to their rights as homeowners, taxpayers, businesspeople, and citizens, a growing number of white Atlantans began to subscribe to an explicit ideology of individualism, privatization, freedom of association, and distrust of the federal government and of affirmative action as a cover for special privileges for blacks. They denounced the federal courts, in particular, as undemocratic. These conservatives reacted against Democrat Lyndon Johnson and his Great Society in the 1960s, voting for Republican Richard Nixon in 1968 and 1972, but also voting for Democrats for state and local offices. In the late 1970s they responded favorably, at first, to fellow Georgian Jimmy Carter. He let them down and they moved to Ronald Reagan in 1980, then started voting Republican for the first time in state and local elections. Most of them now lived in the suburbs; their chief spokesman by the 1980s was Congressman Newt Gingrich, who represented the west suburbs of Atlanta.
Emory University made the transition from a regional Methodist college to a major national research university after 1980 thanks to a combination of external trends and circumstances and internal decisions and strategies. The growth of Atlanta's population and wealth helped end a legacy of poverty and lack of research scientists that had hindered the development of research and graduate programs in Southern universities. The Atlanta-based Coca-Cola Corporation and its owners provided endowments throughout the 20th century that provided significant financial support to the university, although a $105 million bequest from Coca-Cola heir Robert W. Woodruff in 1979 got the most attention. In addition to the advantage of a key benefactor, Emory had a succession of university presidents committed to making it one of the nation's leading research facilities. Finally, a policy of moderate expansion and careful fiscal management sustained it through an uneven course from the 1950s through the 1990s - although it did not achieve national research status until the late 1980s and 1990s.
Gentrification transformed inner city neighborhoods after 1980 as upscale white and Asian families became attracted to the locational advantages of in-town living. Neighborhoods such as Inman Park, Virginia Highlands, East Lake, and Oakhurst witnessed dramatic increases in property values in a short period of time.
Techwood Homes was a federally funded public housing project in Atlanta, originally conceived as a slum clearance project by private developers in 1932. It became a New Deal PWA (Public Works Administration) project that replaced impoverished slum dwellers with white working-class residents. In the 1980s the rehabilitation of the buildings became a political issue, accelerating in controversy as Atlanta was named the site for the 1996 Olympics. The Atlanta Housing Authority and private developers successfully circumvented Housing and Urban Development rules to displace Techwood residents. Despite the integrity of the building structures and estimates that they would last for another sixty years, the buildings were demolished in 1995. Techwood was replaced by upscale housing, and two thirds of the former residents were given replacement public housing.
Air transportHartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport was a model for other cities such as Dallas and Denver because of the active roles of its major airline, Delta, and the close ties between airline, city, and airport authorities. Delta and therefore Atlanta came to dominate air travel in the entire Southeast. Delta's pioneering hub-and-spoke system formed a blueprint for other airlines in the United States following deregulation in 1978, while the contribution Atlanta's airport made to the local economy aroused the interest of other growth oriented cities.
Charismatic black leader Rev. Andrew Young (1932- ) was mayor of Atlanta from 1982 to 1990. Young's pro-business posture, fiscal policies, and civil rights reputation attracted billions in new investments from top corporations, as well as the 1996 Olympics. However the city's escalating violent crime, police brutality, and drug problems led to criticism of the city administration by both the black and white communities. Young admitted the failure of his administration to address Atlanta's need for improved and expanded public housing and was frustrated by problems in improving the city's mass transit system. Nonetheless, Young was able to promote economic investment in the city and, despite the city's social problems, to enhance Atlanta's domestic and international image.
Sports in Atlanta1996 Summer Olympic Games. The Olympics stimulated the local economy in the years leading up to the games; they also were quite successful in promoting tourism and attracting business to the region. The city acquired a new stadium and other sports facilities. The games also were an incentive to make a number of improvements in urban design and infrastructure. However, inner-city neighborhoods were never redeveloped as originally anticipated. Reliance on private funding and a fragmented organizational structure were key factors that limited Atlanta's ability to use the Olympics as a vehicle for redevelopment.
- Atlanta Falcons (NFL Football)
- Atlanta Braves (MLB Baseball)
- Atlanta Hawks (NBA Basketball)
- Atlanta Thrashers (NHL Hockey)
- Larry McDonald Democratic Congressman from Georgia, only sitting congressman reportedly killed by the Russians during the Cold War
- New Georgia Encyclopedia (2007), a solid, scholarly online reference book
- Abbott, Carl. The New Urban America: Growth and Politics in Sunbelt Cities (1987), compares Atlanta with San Antonio, Texas
- Allen, Frederick. Atlanta Rising: The Invention of an International City, 1946-1996. (1996). 290 pp.
- Ambrose, Andy. Atlanta: An Illustrated History. (2003) 224pp ISBN 1-58818-086-7.)
- Barnard, Susan Kessler. Buckhead: A Place For All Time. Marietta, Ga.: Bemis, 1996. 270 pp.
- Bauerlein, Mark. Negrophobia: A Race Riot in Atlanta, 1906. (2001). 337 pp. online edition
- Bayor, Ronald H. Race and the Shaping of Twentieth-Century Atlanta. (1996). 334 pp. by a leading scholar
- Braden, Betsy and Hagan, Paul. A Dream Takes Flight: Hartsfield Atlanta International Airport and Aviation in Atlanta. (1989). 252 pp.
- Bullard, Robert, et al. Sprawl City: Race, Politics, and Planning in Atlanta (2000)
- Daniel, Wayne W. Pickin' on Peachtree: A History of Country Music in Atlanta, Georgia. (1990). 295 pp.
- Davis, Harold E. Henry Grady's New South: Atlanta, a Brave and Beautiful City. (1990). 254 pp.
- Doyle, Don H. New Men, New Cities, New South: Atlanta, Nashville, Charleston, Mobile, 1860-1910. (1990). 369 pp. by a leading scholar online edition
- Ferguson, Karen. Black Politics in New Deal Atlanta. (2002). 336 pp. online edition
- Garrison, Webb. Atlanta and the Civil War. Nashville: Rutledge Hill, 1995. 283 pp.
- Goodson, Steve. Highbrows, Hillbillies, and Hellfire: Public Entertainment in Atlanta, 1880-1930 (2002) 270pp
- Greenhouse, Carol J. Praying for Justice: Faith, Order, and Community in an American Town. (1986). 222 pp. on Southern Baptists
- Hornsby, Alton, Jr. "Andrew Jackson Young: Mayor of Atlanta, 1982-1990." Journal of Negro History 1992 77(3): 159-182. in JSTOR
- Hornsby, Alton, Jr. Black Power in Dixie: A Political History of African Americans in Atlanta (2009), focus on mayors Jackson and Young
- Hunter, Floyd. Community Power Structure (1953).
- Hunter, Floyd. Community Power Succession: Atlanta's Policy-Makers Revisited. (1980). 198 pp. political scientist examines the power elite
- Jackson, Roswell F., and Rosalyn M. Patterson. "A Brief History of Selected Black Churches in Atlanta, Georgia," Journal of Negro History, Vol. 74, No. 1/4 (Winter - Autumn, 1989), pp. 31–52 in JSTOR details their establishment, educational and community programs, and notable religious leaders.
- Keating, Larry. Atlanta: Race, Class, and Urban Expansion. (2000). 232 pp.
- Kruse, Kevin M. White Flight: Atlanta and the Making of Modern Conservatism. (2005).
- Martin, Harold H. Atlanta and Environs: A Chronicle of Its People and Events. Vol. 3: Years of Change and Challenge, 1940-1970. (1987). 620 pp.
- Martin, Harold H. William Berry Hartsfield: Mayor of Atlanta. (1978). 230 pp.
- Mason, Herman, Jr. Going against the Wind: A Pictorial History of African Americans in Atlanta. Atlanta: Longstreet, 1992. 254 pp.
- Newman, Harvey K. Southern Hospitality: Tourism and the Growth of Atlanta. (1999). 374 pp.
- Peterson, Paul E. The Politics of School Reform, 1870-1940 (1985), compares Atlanta, Chicago, and San Francisco
- Plank, David N., and Marcia Turner. "Changing Patterns in Black School Politics: Atlanta, 1872-1973," American Journal of Education, Vol. 95, No. 4 (Aug., 1987), pp. 584–608 in JSTOR
- Preston, Howard L. Automobile Age Atlanta: The Making of a Southern Metropolis, 1900-1935. (1979). 203 pp.
- Rabinowitz, Howard N. Race Relations in the Urban South, 1865-1890. (1980).
- Roth, Darlene R. and Ambrose, Andy. Metropolitan Frontiers: A Short History of Atlanta. Atlanta: Longstreet, 1996. 226 pp.
- Russell, James Michael. Atlanta, 1847-1890: City Building in the Old South and the New. (1988). 314 pp.
- Rutheiser, Charles. Imagineering Atlanta: The Politics of Place in the City of Dreams. (1996). 324 pp.
- Shelley, Thomas J. Paul J. Hallinan: First Archbishop of Atlanta. (1989). 371 pp. Catholics
- Sjoquist, David L., ed. The Atlanta Paradox. (2000). 300 pp., current politics
- Smith, Douglas L. The New Deal in the Urban South. (1988). 287 pp. covers Atlanta, Memphis, New Orleans and Birmingham
- Stone, Clarence N. Regime Politics: Governing Atlanta, 1946-1988. (1989). 314 pp.
- Watts, Eugene J. The Social Bases of City Politics: Atlanta, 1865-1903. (1978). 188 pp. quantitative history
- Kuhn, Clifford M.; Joye, Harlon E.; and West, E. Bernard, eds. Living Atlanta: An Oral History of the City, 1914-1948. (1990). 406 pp.
- see Census Press release March 19, 2009
-  Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport - About us
- Stephen Davis, "'A Very Barbarous Mode of Carrying on War': Sherman's Artillery Bombardment of Atlanta, July 20-August 24, 1864." Georgia Historical Quarterly 1995 79(1): 57-90. 0016-8297
- Harvey K. Newman, "Atlanta's Hospitality Businesses in the New South Era, 1880-1900." Georgia Historical Quarterly 1996 80(1): 53-76. 0016-8297
- Steve Goodson, Highbrows, Hillbillies, and Hellfire: Public Entertainment in Atlanta, 1880-1930 (2002)
- Nancy A. Hardesty, "'The Best Temperance Organization in the Land': Southern Methodists and the W.C.T.U." Methodist History 1990 28(3): 187-194. 0026-1238
- James Harvey Young, "Three Atlanta Pharmacists," Pharmacy in History 1989 31(1): 16-22. 0031-7047
- Noell Wannamaker, "'Mr. Anonymous, Jr.': Philip Weltner and Uplift from Progressivism to the Great Society." Journal of the Georgia Association of Historians 1995 16: 16-51. 0275-3867
- Charles Garofalo, "The Atlanta Spirit: A Study in Urban Ideology," South Atlantic Quarterly 1975 74(1): 34-44. 0038-2876
- Georgina Hickey, "Waging War on 'Loose Living Hotels' and 'Cheap Soda Water Joints': The Criminalization of Working-Class Women in Atlanta's Public Space." Georgia Historical Quarterly 1998 82(4): 775-800. 0016-8297
- Nancy MacLean, "The Leo Frank Case Reconsidered: Gender and Sexual Politics in the Making of Reactionary Populism," Journal of American History, Vol. 78, No. 3 (Dec., 1991), pp. 917-948 in JSTOR
- Wayne W. Daniel, "J. M. Henson, Gospel Music Entrepreneur." Tennessee Folklore Society Bulletin 1996 57(4): 147-153. 0040-3253
- Leeann Bishop Lands, "Speculators Attention!" Workers and Rental Housing Development in Atlanta, 1880 To 1910" Journal of Urban History 2002 28(5): 546-572. 0096-1442
- See Mark Bauerlein, Negrophobia: A Race Riot in Atlanta, 1906. (2001) online; Gregory Mixon, The Atlanta Riot: Race, Class, and Violence in A New South City (2005); Charles Crowe, "Racial Massacre in Atlanta September 22, 1906," Journal of Negro History, Vol. 54, No. 2 (Apr., 1969), pp. 150-173 in JSTOR
- David Fort Godshalk, Veiled Visions: The 1906 Atlanta Race Riot and the Reshaping of American Race Relations (2005)
- Alexa Benson Henderson, "Heman E. Perry and Black Enterprise in Atlanta, 1908-1925." Business History Review 1987 61(2): 216-242. 0007-6805
- Charles Paul Garofalo, "The Sons of Henry Grady: Atlanta Boosters in the 1920s," Journal of Southern History 1976 42(2): 187-204, in JSTOR
- Julia Kirk Blackwelder, "Quiet Suffering: Atlanta Women in the 1930s," Georgia Historical Quarterly 1977 61(2): 112-124. 0016-8297
- Matthew Bernstein, "Selznick's March: The Atlanta Premiere of Gone With The Wind." Atlanta History 1999 43(2): 7-33. 0896-3975
- See New Georgia Encyclopedia (2007)
- See Harold H. Martin, William Berry Hartsfield: Mayor of Atlanta (1978)
- See New Georgia Encyclopedia (2007)
- John Egerton, "Days of Hope and Horror: Atlanta After World War II," Georgia Historical Quarterly 1994 78(2): 281-305. 0016-8297; Egerton, Speak Now against the Day: The Generation before the Civil Rights Movement in the South (1994).
- See New Georgia Encyclopedia (2007)
- Bradley R. Rice, "Lester Maddox and the 'Liberal' Mayors," Proceedings and Papers of the Georgia Association Of Historians 1983: 78-87; on Maddox see New Georgia Encyclopedia (2007)
- Justin Nystrom, "Segregation's Last Stand: Lester Maddox and the Transformation of Atlanta" Atlanta History 2001 45(2): 34-51. 0896-3975; see also New Georgia Encyclopedia (2007)
- Alton Hornsby, Jr., "Black Public Education in Atlanta, Georgia, 1954-1973: From Segregation to Segregation." Journal of Negro History 1991 76(1-4): 21-47. 0022-2992 in JSTOR
- See Kevin M. Kruse, White Flight: Atlanta and the Making of Modern Conservatism (2005), who exaggerates the role of race in forming a conservative ideology that flourished just as strongly where blacks were few.
- Nancy Diamond, "Catching Up: The Advance of Emory University since World War II." History of Higher Education Annual (1999) 19: 149-183. 0737-2698
- Dona J. Stewart, "Hot 'Lanta's Urban Expansion and Cultural Landscape Change." Geographical Review 1999 89(1): 132-140. 0016-7428
- Keating, Larry and Carol A. Flores, "Sixty and out: Techwood Homes Transformed by Enemies and Friends" Journal of Urban History 2000 26(3): 275-311. 0096-1442; see also New Georgia Encyclopedia (2007)
- Drew Whitelegg, "Keeping Their Eyes on the Skies: Jet Aviation, Delta Air Lines and the Growth of Atlanta." Journal of Transport History 2000 21(1): 73-91. 0022-5266
- See New Georgia Encyclopedia (2007)
- Alton Hornsby, Jr. "Andrew Jackson Young: Mayor of Atlanta, 1982-1990." Journal of Negro History 1992 77(3): 159-182. in JSTOR
- Gregory D. Andranovich et al. Olympic Dreams: The Impact of Mega-Events on Local Politics (2001), Chap. 5 "Atlanta and the 1996 Summer Games"; online
- Steven P. French, and Mike E. Disher, "Atlanta and the Olympics: A One-Year Retrospective." Journal of the American Planning Association 1997 63(3): 379-392. 0194-4363