Atlanta’s Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport was not always so grand. From humble beginnings as a dirt race track south of Atlanta, the airport grew quickly after Delta Airlines selected Atlanta as its corporate headquarters. As this video shows, Delta itself began as a crop-dusting company in Louisiana but soon carried mail and passengers.
Eastern Airlines and other airlines soon joined Delta at the airport, and people began to joke that “no matter where you’re going you’ll have to go through Atlanta first.” City leaders rebuilt Atlanta’s terminal twice and enlarged the airfield itself to include multiple runways. Today Hartsfield-Jackson, named for two of Atlanta’s mayors, William B. Hartsfield and Maynard Jackson, consistently rates among the busiest airports in the world.
To see interesting old photographs of the airport, check out the airport section on the Atlanta Time Machine web site.