Interesting Facts About Kentucky

The Commonwealth of Kentucky is a state located in the East Central United States of America. Kentucky is normally included in the group of Southern states (in particular the Upland South), but it is sometimes included, geographically and culturally, in the Midwest. Kentucky is one of four U.S. states to be officially known as a commonwealth. Originally a part of Virginia, in 1792 it became the 15th state to join the Union. Kentucky is the 37th largest state in terms of land area, and ranks 26th in population.

  • The radio was invented by a Kentuckian named Nathan B. Stubblefield of Murray in 1892.
  • Chevrolet Corvettes are manufactured in Bowling Green.
  • 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.
  • The world’s largest free-swinging bell known as the World Peace Bell is on permanent display in Newport.
  • Shelby County is recognized as the Saddlebred Capital of Kentucky.
  • The town of Corbin was the birthplace of old time movie star Arthur Lake whose real surname was Silverlake: He played the role of Dagwood in the “Blondie” films of the 1930s and ‘40s. Lake’s parents were trapeze artists billed as The Flying Silverlakes.
  • The song “Happy Birthday to You” was the creation of two Louisville sisters in 1893.
  • Cheeseburgers were first served in 1934 at Kaolin’s restaurant in Louisville.
  • The great Man o’ War won all of his horse races except one which he lost to a horse named Upset.
  • The first town in the United States to be named for the first president was Washington. It was named in 1780.
  • Pikeville annually leads the nation in per capita consumption of Pepsi-Cola.
  • Post-It Notes are manufactured exclusively in Cynthiana. The exact number made annually of these popular notes is a trade secret.
  • Kentucky was the 15th state to join the Union and the first on the western frontier.
  • 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.
  • The first American performance of a Beethoven symphony was in Lexington in 1817.
  • Chevrolet Corvettes are manufactured in Bowling Green.
  • 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 located just southwest of Corbin.
  • 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 enamel bathtub was made in Louisville in 1856.
  • In the War of 1812 more than half of all Americans killed in action were Kentuckians.
  • Middlesboro is the only city in the United States built within a meteor crater.
  • Begun in 1819 the first commercial oil well was on the Cumberland River in McCreary County.
  • The first Miss America from Kentucky is Heather Renee French. She was crowned September 18, 1999.
  • 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.
  • Cheeseburgers were first served in 1934 at Kaelin’s restaurant in Louisville.
  • The first commercial oil well was on the Cumberland River in McCreary County Kentucky in 1819
  • The first Kentucky Fried Chicken restaurant owned and operated by Colonel Sanders is located in Corbin.
  • Christian County is wet while Bourbon County is dry. Barren County has the most fertile land in the state.
  • 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.
  • In 1888, “Honest Dick” Tate the state treasurer embezzled $247,000 and fled the state.
  • Teacher Mary S. Wilson held the first observance of Mother’s Day in Henderson in 1887. It was made a national holiday in 1916.
  • 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 only monument south of the Ohio River dedicated to Union Soldiers who died in the Civil War is located in Vanceburg.
  • 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 to the invention.