When Atlanta’s newly elected mayor, Maynard Jackson, entered his office for the first time in January 1974, he found a city that few would have recognized just a few decades earlier. Building on an excellent railroad and highway network, Atlanta in the previous decades had evolved into the major center of economic and political activity of the southeastern region. Military operations in and around the city during World War II had strengthened that primacy, and at the end of the conflict, an important portion of this war-related activity settled in and remained. Strong economic activities followed, responding not only to the wartime growth but also to pent-up consumer demands that had gone unsatisfied during the 16 long years of depression and war. The region’s population exploded, and by 1950 almost a million people were residing in the Atlanta area, with one-third of them living within the city.