In 1925, the Chamber of Commerce launched Forward Atlanta, a campaign to attract business to the city. Over 750 companies moved to Atlanta, infusing $34 million in payroll into the city’s economy.
Atlanta became regional headquarters for numerous corporations and added tens of thousands of jobs before economic depression in 1929.
The Atlanta Spirit, the entrepreneurial and ambitious attitude that shaped the city’s historical identity, emerged again in the 1960s with the “Atlanta: A New Kind of City” promotional campaign, followed by the “World’s Next Great City” campaign. By 1995, over 1,000 companies from thirty-five countries were located in the metro area, as well as forty-two foreign consulates and twenty-seven trade and tourism offices.
The population of the metro area grew from 1 million in 1959 to 2 million in 1980 and doubled to over 4 million in 2000. The Atlanta Combined Statistical Area now includes thirty-nine counties with an estimated population of 6.1 million.
Cover Image: Atlanta Chamber of Commerce chair of the highway committee Frank T. Reynolds at one of the highway welcome signs placed by the chamber on roads leading to the city, 1930.
Credit: Kenan Research Center at the Atlanta History Center
I grew up in Ohio, but I cut out that ad and hung it on my dorm wall, determined I would move someday to Atlanta. I did, right after graduation from college.
WSB, the South’s first radio station, went on the air on March 15, 1922. Its call letters later provided for the popular slogan “Welcome South, Brother.”