Actual Factual Georgia

Q: At the closing ceremony of the 1996 Atlanta Olympics on Aug. 4, a group of Atlanta Children sang “The Power of the Dream.” The solo was by then 10-year-old Rachel McMullin. I was wondering what ever happened to her.

-- Bob Parker, Atlanta

A: Rachel McMullin followed her power to dream to New York City, where she continues to perform and teach dance. She attended Gwinnett County's Craig Elementary, Five Forks Middle School and Brookwood High School before transferring and graduating from St. Pius X. She was accepted to New York University, where she earned her degree in acting. McMullin is 25 now, lives in Queens, and works at a financial company in Manhattan during the day. She teaches at nights and on weekends and sings in a choir. Her solo at the closing ceremonies of the Atlanta Games was witnessed by millions of people, a fact that had little impact on her at the time. A YouTube video of her performance also has been viewed more than 250,000 times. "I was 10 and didn't have a lot of perspective. I didn't think it was too crazy," she said recently. "Funny thing is, people still contact me now, mostly on Facebook. They send me messages from all over the place saying they watched the video and saying hi. I guess it was a big deal, but I didn't realize it then." McMullin now gets her kicks from swing dancing and can be seen demonstrating a few moves at http://play.lifegoesstrong.com/video/learn-swing-dance, a website affiliated with NBC.

Q: When was Coca-Cola invented and who came up with it?

A: An Atlanta pharmacist by the name of John Stith Pemberton came up with the syrup now known as Coca-Cola on May 8, 1886. He took a jug of his invention to Jacobs Pharmacy in the Five Points area of downtown Atlanta, where folks first had a Coke and a smile. The pharmacy mixed the syrup with carbonated water and soon began selling the concoction "as a soda fountain drink" for 5 cents a glass, according to the Coca-Cola's website. Frank M. Robinson, Pemberton's partner and bookkeeper, came up with the idea of naming the drink Coca-Cola, thinking that "the two Cs would look well in advertising." Pemberton didn't know he had invented the real thing and had sold his interest in Coca-Cola by the time of his death in 1888.

What do you want to know?

If you're new in town or just have questions about this special place we call home, ask us! E-mail Andy Johnston at q&a@ajc.com.