Atlanta, Georgia 2020

Once a humble stop along the Western, Georgia and Atlantic railroads, Atlanta has become one of the fastest growing cities in the world – with a metropolitan area expanding faster than any other in America. It is noted for being the first of the first American cities to be set up in a location chosen with consideration for the growth of the transportation industry rather than convenient access to a water source which was the standard prerequisite. . The city has held the title of Georgia’s capital since 1868 and serves as the county seat of Fulton County. Atlanta played a crucial role in the civil rights movement of the 1960s, with students from the city’s collection of black colleges rallying behind famous historical figures like Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and earned the city a reputation for constant social progress.

Atlanta Geography

View of Atlanta, Georgia.

Atlanta is located north/northeast of the Georgian cities of Augusta, Macon, Albany, and Valdosta. The metropolitan periphery of Atlanta comprises 20 counties, including Cherokee, Clayton, Cobb, DeKalb, Douglas, Fayette, Forsyth, Fulton, Gwinnett, Henry, and Rockdale counties. The city has a higher elevation than any other east of Denver, sitting on a ridge at the base of the Blue Ridge Mountains and slightly southeast of the Chattahoochee River. The Eastern Continental Divide—a natural hydrographic boundary separating runoff from the Gulf of Mexico to the north or the Atlantic Ocean to the south—runs through Atlanta. As it is a ridge of land with constant elevation levels, this continental divide was the ideal location for the placement of the railroads responsible for the settlement of Atlanta in the 19th century.

Climate

According to tourist reviews, the best time of year to visit Atlanta is between early May and mid-June, or between late August and mid-October. Atlanta’s summers are known to be hot and humid, for about four months of the year – from late May to mid-September. The average daily high during this time of year is over 81°F, and in July – the hottest month – temperatures push the daily average to 88°F. Precipitation levels are quite high in Georgia and Atlanta experience an average of 4.7 inches of precipitation in March and July (the wettest months of the year). Atlanta’s climate is characterized as humid subtropical, and as such the winters are wet but relatively mild. The cold season is said to last about three months, from late November to late February. There is a wide variation in temperature throughout these months, with an average high of 53°F, an average low of 35°F, and in January – the coldest month – an average daily temperature of 45°F . The sudden drops in temperature experienced by Atlanta are the result of cold air blowing into the region from Canada.

Atlanta Demographics and Economy

Children play at Centennial Olympic Park
Children play at Centennial Olympic Park in Atlanta.

The most recent population count for the city of Atlanta was 490,642 people. Atlanta is one of only 7 US cities with a higher population of residents who identify as black than those who fall into the racial categories of white, Asian, Native American or “other”. Detroit, Memphis, Baltimore, Washington and Philadelphia complete this shortlist. The racial makeup of Atlanta is approximately 50% Black or African American, 40% White (non-Hispanic), 5% Asian (non-Hispanic), 3% White (Hispanic), and 2% Métis (non-Hispanic). The median household income in Atlanta is $66,657. Atlanta’s population and economy have grown significantly in recent years. Atlanta’s wage distribution is also increasingly even, and levels of income inequality are below the nation’s national average, with men earning 1.36 times more than women in full-time positions.

Atlanta History

Georgia State Capitol
The Georgia State Capitol building in Atlanta.

Northwest Georgia is recognized as having been occupied by the native Creek and Cherokee tribes prior to the arrival of European settlers. The forced displacement of these peoples by the federal government facilitated settlement, while the discovery of gold in the area and the ease of access offered by the many transportation routes to and from the city further attracted American settlers. The first name used for the community of people who would one day evolve into bustling Atlanta was Terminus, meaning “end of the line”, and it was located exactly where the Western & Atlantic Railroad was to meet the Georgian Railway. Railroad that ran steadily westward in 1837. The city’s name was changed to Marthasville in 1843 and again in 1845 when it was officially named Atlanta.

When the Civil War broke out in 1861, Atlanta had a population of 8,000. After the war, the Freedman’s Bureau, an organization intended to help African Americans transition from slavery to life as free citizens, was established and operated until 1870, successfully orchestrating the establishment of the University of Atlanta in 1865 and Clark College in 1869. These institutions helped cultivate the racial diversity for which Atlanta is known today.

Attractions in Atlanta

Hot Air Balloon Festival in Piedmont Park, Alaska
Hot Air Balloon Festival in Piedmont Park, Atlanta.

More than 200 acres of land in Atlanta are dedicated to Piedmont Park, which includes playgrounds, tennis courts, dog parks, picnic facilities, a public swimming pool, walking and biking trails, and a market. farmer every Saturday. Annual celebrations like the Atlanta Ice Cream Festival, Atlanta Dogwood Festival, Atlanta Jazz Festival, and Atlanta Pride are all held here. Piedmont Park is located right next to the impressive Atlanta Botanical Garden, making it the perfect destination for an afternoon of leisure activities.

More than a museum, the Atlanta History Center is 13 hectares of immersive exhibits and historic homes. In the middle of this historic center is the Atlanta History Museum, dedicated to telling the story of the area’s first native inhabitants through the Antebellum era. Not far from the museum is Smith Farm, Atlanta’s oldest farm, now used to educate people by recreating the conditions and experiences of enslaved Africans on the plantations of South America. The farm is made up of multiple historical outbuildings, decorated with sheep, goats, chickens, and an authentic slave vegetable garden.

Georgia’s capital has grown steadily since its founding, and recent years are no exception. Creativity is bubbling in Atlanta, and many city streets are decorated with art exhibits by local artists. It has been dubbed the “city in a forest” because about 48% of the city is covered in trees thanks to the 100,000 trees planted by the non-profit organization “Trees Atlanta”. Atlanta’s emblem of a phoenix rising from the ashes is a commemoration of the city’s burning, orchestrated as an act of war in 1864 and leaving only 400 buildings standing, but it could also be interpreted as a metaphor : from the dark history of a southern state rose a prolific, diverse and passionate city.

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