.
Kentucky Facts

Kentucky 

Kentucky is located in the southeastern United States and was the 15th state to officially join the Union. The scenic state is covered by forests, hills, meadows, rivers, lakes, and swampland.

Kentucky is famous for horse racing, fried chicken, bluegrass music, and college basketball.

seal-of-kentucky

Quick Facts

  • Capital: Frankfort
  • Population: 4.5 million
  • Nickname: Bluegrass State
  • Key Cities: Louisville, Lexington, Bowling Green, Frankfort
  • Postal Abbreviation: KY
  • Major Industries: Agriculture, manufacturing, mining, service industry

History

  • How did Kentucky get its name: Kentucky’s name originates from a Native American language, but there are several different ideas about its exact meaning. One of the most popular theories is that it comes from the Iroquois word “ken-tah-ten,” which means “land of tomorrow.”
  • Date admitted to the Union: Friday, June 1, 1792

Geography

  • Size: 40,409 sq. miles
  • Lowest point: Mississippi River at 257 feet
  • Highest point: Black Mountain at 4,145 feet
  • Counties: 120
  • Famous locations: Cumberland Gap National Historical Park, Kentucky Derby Museum, Daniel Boone National Forest, Mammoth Cave, World Peace Bell

Famous Kentuckians

  • Muhammad Ali- boxer
  • Johnny Depp- actor
  • Rajon Rondo- basketball player
  • Abraham Lincoln- president
  • George Clooney- actor
  • Diane Sawyer- television journalist

Fun Facts

  • The Kentucky Derby is the longest-running horse race in the United States. Derby horses have had names beginning with every letter of the alphabet except “X.” The opening ceremony of the Kentucky Derby is called Thunder Over Louisville, and it features the world’s largest fireworks show!
  • Kentucky legend says that the very first cheeseburger was served at Kaolin’s restaurant in Louisville, Kentucky in 1934. (But a restaurant in Denver patented it a year later.) And Kentucky Fried Chicken really does come from Kentucky too! The first KFC, owned and operated by the real Colonel Sanders, is still running in Corbin, Kentucky.

first-kfc-corbin

  • Kentucky is a great state for celebrations: The classic song “Happy Birthday to You” was created by two sisters from Louisville in 1893. In 1887, a teacher named Mary S. Wilson held the first Mother’s Day celebration. Mother’s Day became a national holiday in 1916.
  • The largest amount of gold stored anywhere in the world is in Fort Knox, Kentucky, where more than $6 billion worth of gold is held in underground vaults.
  • Mammoth Cave in Kentucky is the world’s longest cave system, with more than 400 miles explored. It’s also the second-oldest tourist attraction in the United States (right behind Niagara Falls).
  • Thomas Edison introduced the electric lightbulb to the public for the first time at the 1893 Southern Exposition in Louisville, Kentucky.

More US states.