Greetings from Terminus, Georgia! That, believe it or not, was the original name of Atlanta. The Georgia State Assembly decided in 1836 they needed a railroad to get goods from the Port of Savannah to Chattanooga for further transport to the Midwest and established The Western and Atlantic Railroad for the task. They needed to establish a point where the train from Chattanooga would meet the train from Savannah, and chose a point east of the Chattahoochee River for the terminus. They drove a milepost into the ground, and soon a settlement developed around it. The settlement was initially called Terminus, then Thrasherville (after the owner of the general store) and Marthasville (after the governor’s daughter) before the chief engineer of the railroad suggested the name “Atlantica-Pacifica.” They settled on a shortened form (thank heaven), “Atlanta,” and the rest was history.
History was not one of my better subjects, though, so I invite you to read up on it on Wikipedia.
Atlanta is home to the Braves (baseball), Falcons (football), and Hawks (basketball). We’ve tried hockey several times, with the IHL Knights and NHL Flames and Thrashers, all of which have either folded or relocated. It’s also the home to The Georgia Institue of Technology (better known as Georgia Tech), Georgia State University, Oglethorpe University, Emory University, and the Black colleges Clark Atlanta University, Morris Brown College, and Spelman College. It’s the home of So So Def Recordings, a major rap and hip-hop label, and a number of music acts, including the Atlanta Rhythm Section, Kriss Kross, and TLC. Joe South and Billy Joe Royal are from the nearby town of Marietta (coincidentally where we live), and Tony Joe White was living here when he wrote the Brook Benton classic, “A Rainy Night In Georgia.”
Atlanta Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport, named for two former mayors, William B. Hartsfield (who was mayor when it was built) and Maynard Jackson (who owned many of the concessions by the time the airport was renamed for him) is the busiest airport in the nation, with almost 51 million passengers enplaning in 2016. Three Interstate highways run through the city, I-75, I-85, and I-20, and are all connected by a circular bypass, I-285. Additionally, US Highway 41 runs through Atlanta on its trip from Miami through Chicago and Milwaukee all the way up to Copper Harbor in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. On Highway 41 and Georgia Highway 120 in Marietta sits “The Big Chicken,” a KFC restaurant built to look like a chicken, complete with beak that opens and closes and an eye that rolls around. Much navigation in the Atlanta area is relative to the Big Chicken. In fact, when word got out that PepsiCo, which owned KFC at the time, planned on getting rid of the Big Chicken, people were up in arms, worried that they wouldn’t be able to find anything. The company relented and actually repaired the beak and the eye, which had stopped moving for some reason…