Did You Know? More Fun Facts about Atlanta
If you are planning to attend the AACTE 72nd Annual Meeting in Atlanta, Georgia, you already know there are great educational sessions being offered, fantastic restaurants to eat at while you are in the city, and fun attractions to see and do, but did you know …
- The city got its current name from railroad engineer J. Edgar Thompson. It is thought to be a shortened version of “Atlantica-Pacifica.” Before being named Atlanta, the city was originally named Terminus and Marthasville (the latter for Governor Wilson Lumpkin’s daughter).
- Atlanta is one of two cities in the world to have housed two Nobel Peace Prize winners: Jimmy Carter and Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. President Carter received his Nobel in 2002. Dr. King received his in 1964 and when he. won, Atlanta threw him a dinner party that was almost cancelled due to opposition. Coca-Cola’s CEO at that time threatened to move the company out of the city because he thought it was an embarrassment that the city’s people wouldn’t honor their Nobel Prize winner.
- The city’s symbol is the mythological creature “phoenix.” During the Civil War, General William Sherman burned the city on his infamous “March to the Sea.” Following the city’s surrender to Sherman in 1864, only 400 structures remained standing. However, like the mythological phoenix, Atlanta rose from the ashes stronger and more beautiful, a scene depicted in Gone with the Wind. Atlanta resident Margaret Mitchell wrote Gone with the Wind because an ankle injury kept her from walking and she was really, really bored.
- The Varsity is the largest drive-in fast food restaurant in the world and serves more Coca-Cola by volume than anywhere else in the world. Housed on more than two acres in Downtown Atlanta, the Varsity has been an Atlanta institution for more than 75 years. The restaurant makes two miles of hot dogs, 2,500 pounds of potatoes, 5,000 fried pies and 300 gallons of chili from scratch each day. Be sure to stop by while you’re in town.