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Facts About Kentucky History: 7 Things You Might Not Know

By    |   Wednesday, 08 Apr 2015 05:47 AM

If asked to rattle off facts about Kentucky, perhaps you could share that the state is known as the Bluegrass State, is home to the Kentucky Derby, and its capital is Frankfort. But the Commonwealth of Kentucky, its official moniker, boasts plenty of other historical gems such as these, below.

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Kentucky is home to about 85,000 farms that average 164 acres apiece. Horses remain the top source of income for farmers in part to the massive popularity and economic impact of the Kentucky Derby, which ranks as one of the highest-attended sporting events in the United States.

Kentucky was the first state west of the Appalachians to become a state in the United States of America, in 1792.

Both Abraham Lincoln and Confederate President Jefferson Davis were born in Kentucky in log cabins that were located only 100 miles from each other. They were born within the same year.

Cheeseburgers reportedly got their start in Louisville, Kentucky in 1934 at a restaurant (now gone) named Kaelin’s. “It’s very possible that someone else had already put cheese on a hamburger. It’s just that we started talking about it,” the restaurant’s former owner, Irma Kaelin Raque, said in a media interview last year.

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The second-oldest American tourist attraction (after Niagara Falls, N.Y.) still operates in Kentucky: the world’s longest cave, Mammoth Cave.

Daniel Boon and his Transylvania Company was the first to establish a permanent settlement within the state’s borders.

Actor and activist George Clooney was born in Lexington in 1961. Growing up in Kentucky, Clooney told Variety magazine that he wasn’t able to go to the movies very much. “The closest theater was a drive-in about a half-hour away,” he said, and recalled seeing Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid and The Sting on the big screen.

Fort Knox, Kentucky is home to the U.S. Bullion Depository, where an active U.S. Army fort protects the largest gold bullion storage in America, stored in underground vaults. Visitors are not permitted to see the gold, worth billions of dollars. In the past, the Depository has stored the Declaration of Independence, the U.S. Constitution, the Articles of Confederation, Lincoln's Gettysburg address, three volumes of the Gutenberg Bible, and Lincoln's second inaugural address, according to the U.S. Mint.

One of American’s favorite hot cars, Chevrolet Corvettes, are built in one factory: the General Motors production facility located in Bowling Green, Kentucky. Over the past few years, General Motors has invested $131 million in the plant to support the production of the next-generation Corvette. Almost 400 people work at the plant.

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At the Southern Exposition in Louisville in 1883, the public saw electric light for the first time thanks to Thomas Edison displaying his incandescent light bulb.

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If asked to rattle off facts about Kentucky, perhaps you could share that the state is known as the Bluegrass State, is home to the Kentucky Derby, and its capital is Frankfort. But the Commonwealth of Kentucky, its official moniker, boasts plenty of other historical gems.
facts, kentucky, history
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2015-47-08
Wednesday, 08 Apr 2015 05:47 AM
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