Kennesaw, called "Big Shanty" during the Civil War, started out in the 1830s as a railroad shanty town during the construction of the Western and Atlantic Railroad. In many ways, Kennesaw is a typical small town in Northern Georgia--it was built along the railroad tracks, cotton was the first engine of economic growth, stagnation occurred from the 1920s to the 1950s, and then it blossomed in the latter part of the 20th century as a suburb of Atlanta--but in other ways, Kennesaw is unique. The Andrews Raid, immortalized by Walt Disney as The Great Locomotive Chase, occurred here in 1862.
In 1981, Kennesaw rocked the world when it passed its gun law requiring all households to own an operating firearm and ammunition. While still small, Kennesaw has had its time in the limelight.