Social Studies

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Layover in Atlanta: The Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport | Georgia Stories

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 Flying came into vogue at the turn of the century. Asa Candler built a speedway on 300 acres of cotton fields near the village of Hapeville where popular auto races and flying shows were staged. Cities need good transportation features to prosper and Atlanta was already a railroad hub in the South. Local pilots urged that an airport be built but aviation was thought to be a fad. It was not until 1927 when the city of Atlanta bought the speedway and the federal government made Atlanta an airmail stop that the airport really took off. Through the years new terminals were built and billions were pumped in the economy.

People and Businesses | Steamboats on the Red

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Learn how communities began to develop on the banks of the Red River along the steamboats’ route in this video from the Steamboats on the Red series. With new, cheaper means of transportation come people—first workers, then settlers, then merchants. 

Looking at the shallow twists and turns of the Red River, it’s hard to imagine that steam-powered paddlewheel boats were once the most important transportation link between St. Paul, Minnesota, and Winnipeg, Manitoba. From the first in 1859 to the last that sank in 1909, Red River steamboats hauled thousands of settlers and millions of tons of freight across the border between the United States and Canada. Although it lasted barely 50 years, the age of the steamboat forged a commercial network between the two countries that exists to this day in the Interstate-29 corridor.

Old Red Trail | Construction Changes

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Early road construction was time-consuming and expensive.  In 1959, road crews could lay out one mile of road a day at best. With today’s technology and equipment, paving and grading roads is much easier and faster.  Construction of bridges required specialists who could design the river-spanning lengths.  In the 1960s, road construction cost $400,000 per mile of four-lane highway, including the cost of land, equipment, workers’ pay, bridges, and materials.  Today, roads cost more than four times that for two lanes in one direction, but they last 50% longer