When Yancey Bros. Co. moved to its new Austell location, machines were driven from Northside Drive in parade fashion.

On March 16, 1965, Atlanta Mayor Ivan Allen Jr. stood by the now iconic ATLANTA’S POPULATION NOW sign in front of the Darlington Apartments on Peachtree Street. The announced population that day was 1,174,575. As this book goes to press in April 2014, the sign reads: 6,168,308.

Adding a million people to the population every ten years for five decades required a firm foundation, especially in transportation. Atlanta’s highway system, including the Downtown Connector and early construction of the Interstate 285 perimeter highway, occurred in the 1960s. Of the expressway system, the mayor said, “From every business, financial, and commercial aspect, its opening signifies a new and expanding economic era for our city—more money, more jobs, more opportunity, and more enjoyment for more people.”

At the Atlanta Municipal Airport, the city greeted the Jet Age with the opening of a new terminal in 1961, the largest single terminal in the country, with the ability to accommodate 6 million travelers per year. In the first year 9.5 million people passed through the terminal, and almost immediately plans began for a new midfield terminal.

Atlanta became a major league city, building Atlanta-Fulton County Stadium in less than a year (1964-65) for $18 million. In 1966 the stadium would become home for the baseball Braves, who relocated from Milwaukee, and the new National Football League franchise Falcons.

Downtown the first four towers of Peachtree Center opened, including the Hyatt Regency Hotel with its twenty-two-story atrium and revolving Polaris restaurant. Thirteen more high-rise buildings forever changed the Atlanta skyline.

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