I was born in Kentucky, have lived my entire life in Kentucky (except for two years spent in Indiana), and I am a proud Kentuckian. We have a beautiful state, a rich history, and a proud heritage. Here are some interesting facts about my home state:
The Kentucky Derby is the oldest continuously held horse race in the country. It is held at Churchill Downs in Louisville on the first Saturday in May.
The Bluegrass Country around Lexington is home to some of the finest racehorses in the world.
In 1774 Harrodstown (now Harrodsburg) was established as the first permanent settlement in the Kentucky region. It was named after James Harrod who led a team of area surveyors.
The old official state tree was the Kentucky coffee tree (Gymnocladus dioicus.) The tulip tree (Liriodendron tulipifera) is the current official state tree. The change was made in 1976.
Cheeseburgers were first served in 1934 at Kaolin’s restaurant in Louisville.
Chevrolet Corvettes are manufactured in Bowling Green. Toyotas are manufactured in Georgetown.
Mammoth Cave is the world’s longest cave and was first promoted in 1816, making it the second oldest tourist attraction in the United States. Niagara Falls, New York is first.
The first Miss America from Kentucky is Heather Renee French. She was crowned September 18, 1999.
The first Kentucky Fried Chicken restaurant owned and operated by Colonel Sanders is located in Corbin.
Kentucky is the state where both Abraham Lincoln, President of the Union, and Jefferson Davis, President of the Confederacy, were born. They were born less than one hundred miles and one year apart.
Cumberland is the only waterfall in the world to regularly display a Moonbow. It is near Corbin.
Thunder Over Louisville is the opening ceremony for the Kentucky Derby Festival and is the world’s largest fireworks display.
More than 100 native Kentuckians have been elected governors of other states.
The song “Happy Birthday to You” was the creation of two Louisville sisters in 1893.
Teacher Mary S. Wilson held the first observance of Mother’s Day in Henderson in 1887. It was made a national holiday in 1916.
The great Man of War won all of his horse races except one which he lost to a horse named Upset.
The first American performance of a Beethoven symphony was in Lexington in 1817.
Post-It Notes are manufactured exclusively in Cynthiana. The exact number made annually of these popular notes is a trade secret.
Bluegrass is not really blue–its green–but in the spring bluegrass produces bluish purple buds that when seen in large fields give a blue cast to the grass. Today Kentucky is known as the Bluegrass State.
There is a legend that the inspiration for Stephen Foster’s hymn like song
“My Old Kentucky Home” was written in 1852 after an unverified trip to visit relatives in Kentucky.
Daniel Boone and his wife Rebecca are buried in the Frankfort Cemetery. Their son Isaac is buried at Blue Licks Battlefield near Carlisle, where he was killed in the last battle of the Revolutionary War fought in Kentucky.
The public saw an electric light for the first time in Louisville. Thomas Edison introduced his incandescent light bulb to crowds at the Southern Exposition in 1883.
The radio was invented by a Kentuckian named Nathan B. Stubblefield of Murray in 1892. It was three years before Marconi made his claim in 1895.
Carrie Nation the spokesperson against rum, tobacco, pornography, and corsets was born near Lancaster in Garrard County.
Kentucky-born Alben W. Barkley was the oldest United States Vice President when he assumed office in 1949. He was 71 years old.
More than $6 billion worth of gold is held in the underground vaults of Fort Knox. This is the largest amount of gold stored anywhere in the world.
The Cathedral Basilica of the Assumption in Covington has 82 stained-glass windows including the world’s largest hand-blown one. The window measures 24 feet wide by 67 feet high and depicts the Council of Ephesus.
Pike County the world’s largest producer of coal is famous for the Hatfield-McCoy feud, an Appalachian vendetta that lasted from the Civil War to the 1890s.
Thanks to: Kentucky Department of Travel, John D. Dowd, Mandy Paige, DeLores Wiggins, Wayne Shelton, David Grossman, Cleamon Inman, Jody Odonnell for this information.
Yes, we have a lot to be proud of, not to mention that Kentucky is also the birthplace of Rosemary Clooney, George Clooney, Johnny Depp, and Loretta Lynn, just to name a few.
In spite of all of these attributes, Kentucky can sure get some bad press. Sure, we have our fair share of neer-do-well’s, uneducated, toothless, red-necks, living in poverty and filth, but can you name a state who doesn’t have their fair share, also?
Sometimes, we do bring the spotlight on us in a bad bad way, though, I have to admit. Like a couple of weeks ago when two guys got in a fight, first over a woman, then over a lawnmower, when one guy grabbed the other, cut off his beard, and made him eat it.
Yeah, it really happened. It made the national news first, then earned a spot on Saturday Night Live. I am just waiting to see where the latest thing I heard on the local news ends up. I’ve checked on YouTube, and so far, it’s not there (at least, not yet).
It seems a guy was involved in a high-speed chase with police when he finally crashed his car. Upon being interviewed, he was upset and did not agree with some of the charges. His exact words were, “They charged me with a DUI and driving on a SUSPENDED license! I’ve never HAD a drivers license in my whole life!”
When asked if he had it to do over, would he do anything different, he responded, “Yeah, I’d go FASTER! I’m afraid of police, I need psychological help!”
You know, you can’t make this stuff up, but I’m still proud to be a Kentuckian! Later, friends.