Atlanta,  GeorgiaOn December 21, 1836 the Georgia General Assembly voted to start the Western and Atlantic Railroad for a trade route to the Midwest. The area around the eastern part to the line became settled first. By 1842, the area had six buildings and a population of 30 and was renamed "Marthasville". After a few renames, the Chief Engineer of the Georgia Railroad, J. Edgar Thomson, made a suggestion that the town be renamed "Atlantica-Pacifica", which was then shortened to "Atlanta". The citizens approved, and the town was incorporated as "Atlanta" on December 29, 1847.

Today, Atlanta is the capital and the most populated city in the state of Georgia, as well as the central city of the ninth most populated metropolitan area in the United States. In July 2006, the city had a population of 486,411 and a metropolitan population of 5,138,223.

Atlanta,  GeorgiaAtlanta has in recent years changed from a city of regional business to an international city. Between 2000 and 2006, the Atlanta metropolitan area grew by 20.5%, naming it the most rapidly growing metropolitan area in the country. Ten to fifteen years ago, Atlanta was sometimes considered an example for cities worldwide that experience fast growth and problems with urban sprawl. Recently, however, Atlanta has been praised by organizations like the Enviornmental Protection Agency for the way the city is balancing its growth, with eco-friendly policies.

Atlanta has many museums on subjects from history to fine arts, natural history, and beverages. The Martin Luther King, Jr. National Historic Site commorates Atlanta's part in the civil rights movement. Other history museums and attractions include the Atlanta History Center, the Atlanta Cyclorama and Civil War Museum , the Carter Center and Presidential Library, historic house museum Rhodes Hall and the Margaret Mitchell House and Museum.

The arts are represented by several theaters and museums, including the Fox Theatre. The Woodruff Arts Center houses the Tony Award winning Alliance Theatre, Atlanta Symphony, and High Museum of Art. The Atlanta Contemporary Art Center has contemporary art and education for working artists and art collectors. Museums geared especially for children include the Fernbank Science Center and Imagine It! Atlanta's Children's Museum. The Atlanta Opera, founded in 1979 has become one of the fastest growing opera companies in the country and attracts notice from audiences around the world.

Atlanta also has the world's largest aquarium, the Georgia Aquarium, which opened to the public on November 23, 2005. The new World of Coca-Cola, opened adjacent to the Aquarium in May 2007, features the history of the world famous soft drink brand. Underground Atlanta, a historic shopping and entertainment center is under the streets of downtown Atlanta. Atlantic Station, a huge new urban renewal project on the northwestern edge of Midtown Atlanta, officially opened in October 2005. The Varsity in Midtown Atlanta boasts the title of "the world's largest drive-in restaurant".

Piedmont Park is home to many of Atlanta's festivals and cultural events. Atlanta Botanical Garden is right next to the park. Zoo Atlanta, in Grant Park, has a panda exhibit. Just east of the city is Stone Mountain, the largest piece of exposed granite in the world. Six Flags Over Georgia Theme Park is a few miles west of Atlanta on I-20.


Atlanta has humid subtropical weather, with hot, humid summers and mild to chilly winters. July temperatures are in the high 80's or above, and lows average in the 60's. Sometimes, temperatures can go higher than 100 °F (38 °C). January is the coldest month, with an average high of 50 °F (10 °C), and low of 29 °F (-2 °C). Warm fronts can bring springlike weather in the 60s and 70s in winter, and Arctic air currents can drop temperatures into the teens. Frequent ice storms can be more of a problem than snowfall.


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