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Kentucky History: 8 Events That Shaped the State

Image: Kentucky History: 8 Events That Shaped the State
Daniel Boone (1734-1820) on engraving from 1835. American pioneer, explorer, and frontiersman. Engraved by J.B.Longacre and published in''National Portrait Gallery of Distinguished Americans Volume II'',USA,1835. (Georgios Kollidas/Dreamstime.com)

By    |   Monday, 23 Feb 2015 11:32 PM

Kentucky's history goes back around 15,000 years. Archeologists believe this is how long humans have been living on the land that became what we now know as the Commonwealth of Kentucky. A more modern take on the history of Kentucky shows the role it played in the formation of our nation.

Here are eight people, places and events that have shaped the state of Kentucky:

1. First White Settlers: The first exploration of the area of Kentucky by non-native people was in the 1750s and 1760s. Kentucky was a part of Virginia until it became a state in 1792. It was the 15th state to join the Union.

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2. Daniel Boone: First visiting Kentucky in 1767, Daniel Boone became known as the classic American frontiersman for his exploration of the state. Boone founded Boonesborough which was one of the first American settlements west of the Appalachian Mountains.

3. Battle of Blue Licks: During the English colonial period and the decades after the revolution, Native Americans in Kentucky fought to keep white settlers out of their land. The Battle of Blue Licks in 1782 was one of the big battles of this time period. It is considered a battle of the Revolutionary War and was won by the Native Americans and British loyalists.

4. Civil War: Kentucky was the birthplace of both U.S. President Abraham Lincoln and Confederate President Jefferson Davis. The state was split during the Civil War where citizens fought on both sides of the conflict.

5. Fort Knox: The U.S. Treasury Gold Vault took its place in Kentucky history and the history of the nation in the late 1930s at Fort Knox. The United States Bullion Depository was built to store the official gold reserves of the United States, as well as other precious items.

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6. The Louisville Slugger developed: America's favorite pass-time is closely associated with the Kentucky-produced baseball bat, the Louisville Slugger. The bat was first produced in the 1880s, but the name wasn't registered until 1894 when Bug Hillerich took over his father's woodworking shop and devoted it to the creation of the bats. Louisville Slugger has sold over 100 million bats.

7. The Kentucky Derby: The Kentucky Derby horse race has been running annually since 1875. The race was a hit from the beginning with 10,000 people attending the inaugural event. It has become a part of Kentucky history, securing the state's reputation as the home of premiere horse racing.

8. Ohio River Flood of 1937: In January and February of 1937, the Ohio River flooded leaving 1 million people homeless along the northern border of Kentucky. In Paducah, the flood reached over 60 feet.

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Kentucky's history goes back around 15,000 years. Archeologists believe this is how long humans have been living on the land that became what we now know as the Commonwealth of Kentucky.
Kentucky History, Fort Knox, The Kentucky Derby
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2015-32-23
Monday, 23 Feb 2015 11:32 PM
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