Atlanta Georgia is the largest city in Georgia, and has the distinction of being not only the capital city, but also of being one of the most progressive cities in the south.

Atlanta is the ninth largest metropolitan area in the United States.

As of July 2006, the city of Atlanta had a population of 486,411 and a metropolitan population of over 5 million making it the nation’s ninth-largest metro area.
Atlanta has in the past decade gone from a city of influence in its region to one which has international influence in many areas.

A view of Atlanta's skyline at night includes several skyscraper type buildings

Atlanta is often considered a poster child for cities worldwide experiencing rapid growth and urban sprawl.
During the Civil Rights Movement, in the sixties and seventies primarily, Atlanta stood apart from southern cities that supported segregation and has no desire to integrate their children and workings, calling itself “The City Too Busy to Hate.”

The city’s progressive civil rights record and existing population of blacks made it increasingly popular as a relocation destination for black Americans. Blacks soon became the dominant social and political force in the city, though today some measure of demographic diversification has taken place.

Along with St. Louis and Los Angeles, Atlanta is also one of three cities in the United States to have hosted the Summer Olympic Games.

It is a mecca for arts and cuisine, as well as for cultures, with a rich and diverse history in the Civil War, as well as black history, native american and many others.

During the American Civil War, Atlanta was an important railroad and military supply hub, and many famous and severe battles took place near here, including Stone Mountain.

While not strictly a statue, the carvings on Stone Mountain are indeed incredible in their skill

In 1864, the city itself became the target of a major invasion by the Northern Union. 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 Sherman and ordered all buildings and possible Confederate assets destroyed, particularly Public buildings, including libraries.

The next day, Mayor James Calhoun surrendered the city, and on September 7, Union General Sherman ordered the civilian population to evacuate. He then ordered Atlanta burned to the ground on November 11 in preparation for his punitive march south, although he ordered that they spared the city’s churches and hospitals, a thing which many of his counterparts in the Union army did not do.

The intent to rebuild the city is certainly evident in the city’s symbol, the phoenix, although her rebuilding was quite gradual, it was indeed, like the phoenix rising from the ashes.

From 1867 until 1888, U. S. Army soldiers occupied McPherson Barracks in southwest Atlanta to ensure 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 black colleges in Atlanta that were among the first in the nation.

Atlanta hosts a wide array of museums ranging from history to fine arts, natural history, and beverages. Prominent among them are sites honoring Atlanta’s participation in the civil rights movement, including the Martin Luther King, Jr. National Historic Site. 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 Wa.

The arts are presented by several theaters and museums, including the Fox Theatre. The Woodruff Arts Center is home to the Alliance Theatre, Atlanta Symphony, and High Museum of Art. The Atlanta Contemporary Art Center is the city’s home for challenging contemporary art and education geared toward working artists and collectors of art. Museums geared specifically towards children include the Fernbank Science Center and Imagine It! Atlanta’s Children’s Museum.

The Atlanta Opera, which was founded in 1979 by members of two struggling local companies, is now one of the fastest growing opera companies in the nation and draws in audiences around the world.

Atlanta has more than 30 institutions of higher education, including the Georgia Institute of Technology and Georgia State University. The city also hosts the Atlanta University Center, a consortium of prestigious, historically black colleges and universities.

Nearby areas to visit include historic Stone Mountain, Marietta as well as Peachtree City.

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