Due to the city's superior rail transportation network, the state capital was moved from Milledgeville to Atlanta in Geography of Atlanta Atlanta encompasses On November 11, , Sherman prepared for the Union Army's March to the Sea by ordering the destruction of Atlanta's remaining military assets. Grady , the editor of the Atlanta Constitution newspaper, promoted Atlanta to potential investors as a city of the " New South " that would be based upon a modern economy and less reliant on agriculture. A year later, the area around the milepost had developed into a settlement, first known as "Terminus", and later as "Thrasherville" after a local merchant who built homes and a general store in the area. In three decades' time, Atlanta's population tripled as the city limits expanded to include nearby streetcar suburbs. Native American settlements[ edit ] Marietta Street, Prior to the arrival of European settlers in north Georgia, Creek Indians inhabited the area. The period was also marked by strife and tragedy. Located at the far northwestern edge of the city, much of the river's natural habitat is preserved, in part by the Chattahoochee River National Recreation Area. Following the announcement , the city government undertook several major construction projects to improve Atlanta's parks, sporting venues, and transportation infrastructure. The opening of the Georgia World Congress Center in heralded Atlanta's rise as a convention city. Selznick , and the film's stars Clark Gable , Vivien Leigh , and Olivia de Havilland , but Oscar winner Hattie McDaniel , an African American actress, was barred from the event due to racial segregation laws and policies. Beginning in the s, Henry W. Under Mayor Jackson's tenure, Atlanta's airport was modernized, solidifying the city's role as a transportation center. Increased racial tensions led to the Atlanta Race Riot of , which left at least 27 people dead and over 70 injured.