Atlanta sits in the foothills of the Appalachian Mountains and was inhabited by the Creek until the beginning of the 1800s. Present day Atlanta was founded at the meeting points of several railroads and got its name from the Western and Atlantic Railroad. The city was almost completely burned to the ground during the Civil War. With the founding of colleges, and a presence of street cars and automobiles, Atlanta saw new growth at the turn of the century. Atlanta was at the center of the civil rights movement, with leaders coming from the city’s colleges. The 1996 Olympic Games were held in Atlanta and for the first time, all the committees sent athletes to participate. The early 2000s saw the beginning of Atlanta’s conversion of its unused railroad loop. The Beltline project has seen the growth of city park space, and retail and residential development along the almost 300 miles of path.
After the Civil War, Atlanta became a major industrial center. Atlanta saw a huge growth in its economy during World War II, due in part to its many military bases and war-related manufacturing companies. In the late 1900s, the airport in Atlanta became the world’s busiest airport for passenger traffic. Delta Air Lines is one of the largest employers in Atlanta. Transportation is only part of Atlanta’s economy, with aerospace, healthcare, finance, media, and film making up most of the rest of the economy. Global headquarters for Chick-fil-A, UPS, The Home Depot, and The Coca-Cola Company are in Atlanta. Corporations are drawn to Atlanta in part because almost half of adults over 25, that live in Atlanta, have at least a four-year degree. In recent years, Atlanta has become a top city in the concentration of Information Technology jobs, in part because of this educated population. Recently, film production has become a major part of the Atlanta economy. All these many facets contribute to the diverse pool that is Atlanta’s economy.