Fulton County, located in the north-central part of Georgia, is best known as the home of Atlanta, the state’s capital and most populous city. But beyond the hustle and bustle of its urban centers, Fulton County has a rich history and a plethora of lesser-known facts. Here are some intriguing tidbits you might not know about this dynamic county.
Fulton County Wasn’t Always This Large
Fulton County, as we know it today, is a product of multiple mergers and divisions. Originally, it was much smaller. In the late 19th and early 20th centuries, it absorbed two neighboring counties: Milton and Campbell. The Great Depression played a role in this merger, as both Milton and Campbell faced financial hardships and were unable to sustain themselves independently. By merging with Fulton, they hoped to benefit from the economic stability of the more prosperous county.
The merger, which took place in 1932, made Fulton the state’s largest county in terms of geographical area. This consolidation was a rare occurrence in Georgia’s history and has contributed to the county’s diverse cultural and economic landscape.
Home to a Nobel Peace Prize Winner
Atlanta, the crown jewel of Fulton County, was the birthplace of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., the iconic civil rights leader. King was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1964 for his nonviolent struggle against racial segregation. The Martin Luther King Jr. National Historic Site in Atlanta includes his childhood home, the church where he and his father preached, and his final resting place.
This site serves as a poignant reminder of Dr. King’s profound impact on American history and the ongoing struggle for civil rights. It’s a place of reflection, education, and inspiration for visitors from around the world.
The County’s Namesake Was an Advocate for the Railroad
Fulton County was named after Robert Fulton, the inventor of the steamboat. While Fulton wasn’t directly related to Georgia, his invention played a significant role in the development of transportation and trade in the state. Fulton’s steamboat made it easier to navigate Georgia’s rivers, opening up new avenues for commerce.
In addition to his work with steamboats, Fulton had a vision for the development of railroads. Although he passed away before the railroad boom in the United States, his advocacy for improved transportation methods left a lasting impact. Naming the county after him was a nod to the importance of transportation in the region’s growth.
It’s a Filmmaker’s Paradise
Thanks to Georgia’s film tax credits, Fulton County has become a hotspot for filmmakers. The county, especially Atlanta, has been the backdrop for numerous movies and TV shows. From blockbusters like “The Hunger Games” and “Baby Driver” to TV hits like “The Walking Dead” and “Stranger Things”, Fulton County’s diverse landscapes and urban settings offer filmmakers a variety of settings.
The influx of film productions has not only boosted the local economy but has also given rise to a burgeoning local film industry. Schools, workshops, and festivals dedicated to film and television have sprouted up, making Fulton County a significant player in the entertainment world.
A Pioneering Aviation Hub
Fulton County is home to Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport, the world’s busiest airport by passenger numbers and takeoffs and landings. This airport serves as a major hub for domestic and international flights, connecting Atlanta to numerous destinations worldwide. Its significance in the aviation industry cannot be overstated, as it plays a crucial role in the U.S. economy and global transportation network.
The airport’s history dates back to the early 20th century, and it has witnessed the evolution of aviation from propeller-driven aircraft to modern jumbo jets. Its growth and development have been instrumental in making Atlanta a major metropolitan area and business center.
Fulton County is more than just Atlanta’s skyline and busy streets. Its rich history, cultural significance, and unique stories make it a fascinating region in the heart of Georgia. Whether you’re a resident or a visitor, there’s always something new to discover about Fulton County.