Atlanta was founded in 1837 as the end of the Western & Atlantic railroad line (it was first named Marthasville in honor of the then-governor's daughter, nicknamed Terminus for its rail location, and then changed soon after to Atlanta, the feminine of Atlantic -- as in the railroad.) Atlanta was named as the State capital on April 20, 1868. For more than four decades Atlanta has been linked to the civil rights movement. In the early 1960's, Civil Rights leaders were the visionaries who saw a new south, a new Atlanta. They believed in peace. And because of them Atlanta became a fast-pace modern city which opened its doors to the 1996 Olympics Today the fast-growing city remains a transportation hub, not just for the country but also for the world: Hartsfield Atlanta International Airport is one of the world's busiest airport. The city has emerged as a banking center and is the world headquarters for 13 Fortune 500 companies. In the past two decades Atlanta has experienced unprecedented growth -- the official city population remains steady, at about 420,000, but the metro population has grown in the past decade by nearly 40%, from 2.9 million to 5.1 million people. A good measure of this growth is the ever-changing downtown skyline, along with skyscrapers constructed in the Midtown, Buckhead, and outer perimeter (fringing I-285) business districts Atlanta is the cultural center for the state with a vast array of arts available to the public, including the High Museum of Art, the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra and the Atlanta Ballet. Atlanta also offers many sports on both the professional and collegiate levels.
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