Atlanta became the capital city of Georgia in 1868. It is also the largest city of Georgia. It is situated in the northwest part of the state at the base of the Blue Ridge Mountains near the Chattahoochee River.
The first European settler was Hardy Ivy. The town served as the end of the Georgia railroad line and later became incorporated as Marthasville in 1843 in honor of ex-governor Lumpkin's daughter Martha. It was renamed Atlanta in 1845. The name was suggested by the railroad's chief engineer, J. Edgar Thomson.
The city was burned and almost completely destroyed during the Civil War. It was rebuilt after the war. The city grew rapidly due to the expansion of the railroads in the southwest.
Presently, Atlanta is the major commercial and transportation hub of the southeast United States. The international airport of Atlanta is one of the busiest in the world. The city's economy is led by the service, communications, retail trade, manufacturing, finance, and insurance industries. The convention business is also important. Atlanta is home to several major corporations, including Coca-Cola,founded there in 1892.
Atlanta is a major center of education. Many prestigious universities and colleges, including Emory University (1836), Georgia Institute of Technology (1885), and Georgia State University (1913). Morehouse College (1867), Spelman College (1881), and Clark Atlanta University (1865; 1869) are located.
The tourist attractions include Martin Luther King, National Historic Site, Grant Park, and the Carter Presidential Center. Atlanta hosted the 1996 Summer Olympics.