|Atlanta was originally founded as Terminus in 1836, the name reflecting its function as a railway terminus, and renamed Atlanta in 1847. Atlanta remains a key junction point of the US rail system, with several lines connecting in a complex of junctions within the downtown area. |
During the American Civil War, the city became the target of a major Union invasion in the American Civil War as part of Union General William T. Sherman's March to the Sea. Union forces entered Atlanta on September 2nd, 1864 and Sherman ordered Atlanta burned to the ground on November 11 in preparation for his march south. As a consequence almost all of buildings in Atlanta date from after 1864.
In the late 20th century, Atlanta has grown to be a major commercial center and is the home of several major enterprises, including Delta Airlines, Coca-Cola, UPS and CNN. At the same time, Atlanta became one of the major centers of the American civil rights movement. Martin Luther King was born in the city, and his boyhood home on Auburn Avenue in the Sweet Auburn district is preserved by the National Park Service as a National Historic Site; his final resting place is in the tomb at the center of the reflecting pool at The King Center.
In 1996, Atlanta hosted the 26th Olympic Summer Games of the modern era. Sadly the games were marred by a terrorist attack on the Centennial Olympic Park, which killed 2 and wounded many more. Subsequently the games were also criticized for poor transport facilities and consequent traffic congestion, and are regarded by many (usually those far outside Atlanta) as the least successful games of recent times. However they have left a legacy of civic improvements and sporting facilities which benefit the visitor.