Kentucky ( (listen) kən-TUK-ee), officially the Commonwealth of Kentucky, is a state located in the east south-central region of the United States. Although styled as the "State of Kentucky" in the law creating it, (because in Kentucky's first constitution, the name state was used) Kentucky is one of four U.S. states constituted as a commonwealth (the others being Virginia, Pennsylvania, and Massachusetts). Originally a part of Virginia, in 1792 Kentucky split from it and became the 15th state to join the Union. Kentucky is the 37th most extensive and the 26th most populous of the 50 United States.
Kentucky is known as the "Bluegrass State", a nickname based on the bluegrass found in many of its pastures due to the fertile soil. One of the major regions in Kentucky is the Bluegrass Region in central Kentucky, which houses two of its major cities, Louisville and Lexington. It is a land with diverse environments and abundant resources, including the world's longest cave system, Mammoth Cave National Park, the greatest length of navigable waterways and streams in the contiguous United States, and the two largest man-made lakes east of the Mississippi River.
The John A. Roebling Suspension Bridge
spans the Ohio River
between Cincinnati, Ohio
and Covington, Kentucky
. When the first pedestrians crossed on December 1, 1866, it was the longest suspension bridge
in the world at 1,057 feet (322 m), a status it maintained until 1883. Today, many pedestrians use the bridge to get between the arenas in Cincinnati (Paul Brown Stadium
, Great American Ball Park
, and U.S. Bank Arena
) and the hotels and parking lots
in Northern Kentucky
The bridge was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1975 and designated a National Historic Civil Engineering Landmark in 1983. It remains the busiest of Cincinnati's four non-expressway automobile or pedestrian bridges. Initially called the "Covington-Cincinnati Suspension Bridge," it was renamed in honor of its designer and builder on June 27, 1983.
The state of Kentucky closed the bridge on November 13, 2006 to make extensive repairs to the structure. It was scheduled to reopen April 22, 2007, but reopened about a month ahead of schedule in late March. However, it will close again for much of 2008 for repainting.
Newport is a city in Campbell County, Kentucky, United States, at the confluence of the Ohio and Licking Rivers. Settled about 1791, Newport was incorporated as a town in 1795 and in 1850 received a city charter. In 1900, 28,301 people lived in Newport, Kentucky; in 1910, 30,309; in 1920, 29,317; and in 1940, 30,631. The population was 17,048 at the 2000 census. It is one of two county seats of Campbell County. Newport is part of the Greater Cincinnati, Ohio Metro Area which comprises over 2 million inhabitants. Today, Newport is becoming the entertainment community of the fast-growing Northern Kentucky area while its neighboring cities--Bellevue and Covington--become the business centers.
Newport is located within a transition zone and is proximal to the extreme northern limit of the humid subtropical climate of the Southeastern United States.
Did you know...
- ... that Hodgenville, Kentucky's Abraham Lincoln Statue (Kentucky) (pictured) was built to celebrate the centennial of Lincoln's birth a few miles away?
- ...that in 1824, the Kentucky General Assembly responded to a disfavorable ruling by the Kentucky Court of Appeals by abolishing the court and replacing it with a new one?
- ...that only 10% of the monuments to the American Civil War in Kentucky were dedicated to Union forces, even through the state produced 90,000 Union troops compared to 35,000 for the Confederacy?
- ...that the Rowan County War resulted in 20 deaths, talk of dissolving Rowan County, Kentucky, and the founding of what would become Morehead State University?
- ...that one of the largest slave escape attempts in American history occurred in Kentucky in August 1848?
- ...that the Commonwealth of Kentucky had a Confederate shadow government during the U.S. Civil War, although it never officially seceded from the Union?
- ...that the oldest black church in Kentucky is the Second Christian Church in Midway, Kentucky's historic district?
Kentucky Official Symbols
On this day in Kentucky history...
"I hope to have God on my side, but I must have Kentucky." -- Abraham Lincoln
"I was brought up to believe that Scotch whisky would need a tax preference to survive in competition with Kentucky bourbon." -- Hugo Black
"Tough girls come from New York. Sweet girls, they're from Georgia. But us Kentucky girls, we have fire and ice in our blood. We can ride horses, be a debutante, throw left hooks, and drink with the boys, all the while making sweet tea, darlin'. And if we have an opinion, you know you're gonna hear it." -- Ashley Judd
"Soon after, I returned home to my family, with a determination to bring them as soon as possible to live in Kentucky, which I esteemed a second paradise, at the risk of my life and fortune." -- Daniel Boone
My Old Kentucky Home State Park
is a state park
. It is located in Bardstown
. The state park consists of Federal Hill
, a former plantation owned by the Rowan family. A visit to the site in 1852 is said to have inspired Stephen Foster
to write his famous song, My Old Kentucky Home
. On June 1
, 1992, a 29-cent stamp was issued honoring the park.
The park features an amphitheater that is home to the long-running outdoor musical, Stephen Foster — The Musical, which was usually staged each night except Monday during the summer. It is the longest running outdoor drama in the state of Kentucky, having started in 1959.
Alben W. Barkley
(November 24, 1877 – April 30, 1956) was a Democrat
member of the U.S. House of Representatives
and the United States Senate
from Paducah, Kentucky
, and the thirty-fifth Vice President of the United States
. Barkley was born Willie Alben Barkley in a log cabin near Lowes, Graves County, Kentucky
Barkley was elected Vice President on the Democratic ticket with President Harry S. Truman in 1948 and was inaugurated January 20, 1949. His "prop-stops" by airplane initiated a new phase in presidential campaigning. He was 71 years old at the time of his election and inauguration, the oldest vice president to date. In his first year Vice President, Barkley became the only vice president to marry while in office. At the age of 71, he married Jane Hadley, a widow from St. Louis, capturing national attention.
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