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In 1895, Atlanta hosted the Cotton States and International Exposition, which attracted nearly 800,000 attendees and successfully promoted the New South's development to the world.During the first decades of the 20th century, Atlanta experienced a period of unprecedented growth.Atlanta was founded as a transportation hub at the intersection of two railroad lines in 1837.After being mostly burned to the ground during the American Civil War, the city rose from its ashes to become a national center of commerce and the unofficial capital of the "New South".The initial route was to run southward from Chattanooga to a terminus east of the Chattahoochee River, which would then be linked to Savannah.After engineers surveyed various possible locations for the terminus, the "zero milepost" was driven into the ground in what is now Five Points.
During the modern era, Atlanta has attained international prominence as a major air transportation hub, with Hartsfield–Jackson Atlanta International Airport being by far the world's busiest airport since 1998.
In 1915, Leo Frank, a Jewish-American factory superintendent, convicted of murder, was hanged in Marietta by a lynch mob, drawing attention to antisemitism in the United States.
On December 15, 1939, Atlanta hosted the premiere of Gone with the Wind, the epic film based on the best-selling novel by Atlanta's Margaret Mitchell.
During the American Civil War, the nexus of multiple railroads in Atlanta made the city a hub for the distribution of military supplies.
In 1864, the Union Army moved southward following the capture of Chattanooga and began its invasion of north Georgia.
By 1970, African Americans were a majority of the city's population and exercised new-found political influence by electing Atlanta's first black mayor, Maynard Jackson, in 1973.