Atlanta, Georgia

Atlanta, Georgia downtown skyline at sunrise.

How well do you know Georgia? 

Here are a few informative, fun and interesting facts about the Peach State.

  • Population: 10.62 million (2019) making it the 8th most populous in the country
  • Motto: "Wisdom, Justice, Moderation"
  • State song: "Georgia on My Mind"
  • Atlanta is known as the birthplace of the Civil Rights movement due largely to it being the literal birthplace of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. in 1929.
  • Wesleyan was the first college in the world chartered to grant degrees to women in 1836.
  • The Okefenokee is the largest swamp in North America at 400,000 acres
  • Stone Mountain is the largest single piece of exposed granite in the world and hosts the largest bas-relief sculpture (over 1.5 acres) in the world. The sculpture and the mountain's history itself have become symbols of white supremacy and glorification of the Confederacy with its depiction of Jefferson Davis, Robert E. Lee and Stonewall Jackson.
  • Georgia has the second most counties of any state in the country with 159 (Texas has 254).
  • It is not the largest producer of peaches in the U.S. but it is the largest producer of pecans, peanuts and Vidalia onions.
  • The first state to lower the voting age from 21 to 18 in 1945.
  • Atlanta is one of the fastest-growing metropolises in the United States and hosts the headquarters for many brands and products including Coca-Cola, Delta, UPS, The Home Depot and Georgia-Pacific.
  • The Georgia Aquarium is the largest in the Western Hemisphere.
  • Coca-Cola was invented in Atlanta in 1866 by Dr. John S. Pemberton.
  • A tree in Athens, Georgia, owns itself.
  • The traffic in Atlanta is some of the worst in the U.S. with drivers spending about 82 hours a year in their car. 
  • Cabbage Patch Kids are "born" in Babyland General Hospital in Cleveland, Georgia.
  • Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport is the busiest airport in the world and the hub of Delta Airlines. 
  • Georgia encompasses the ancestral lands of the many indigenous peoples including Apalachee, Cherokee, Muscogee Creek, Hitchiti, Miccosukee, Timucua, Yamasee and Guale with the Shawnee and Yuchi tribes driven to the area after Europeans began to colonize America.
  • Spanish conquistador Hernando de Soto was the first recorded European to explore what would become Georgia in 1540.
  • Georgia was chartered for adoption as the last of the 13 original colonies by the efforts of James Oglethorpe in 1733, a British Member of Parliament who sought to create a place of refuge for the debtor who crowded London's prisons. Though no prisoners ever made it to Georgia in the end, the colony had started out strictly prohibiting slavery with the ideal of creating a classless society. As time wore on these ideals were relaxed and eventually faded away.
  • Union General William Tecumseh Sherman raized Atlanta in 1864 and a 50-mile wide swath of land between it and Savannah as part of his famous March to the Sea campaign during the Civil War.

Reporter: 541-383-0304, mwhittle@bendbulletin.com

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