Interesting Kentucky Facts
Interesting Kentucky Facts

21 Interesting Kentucky Facts

Karin Lehnardt
By Karin Lehnardt, Senior Writer
Published December 23, 2021
  • Louisville, Kentucky, hosts the most popular horse race in the United States, the Kentucky Derby. It is America's oldest continuously held sporting event.[3]
  • In 1973, Secretariat set a long-lasting Kentucky Derby record when he won the race in just 1 minute and 59 seconds.[3]
  • Kentucky has the greatest length of navigable streams and waterways in the lower 48.[3]
  • Kentucky Random Facts
    Over 400 miles of Mammoth Cave have been explored, and the park estimates that the cave could hold another 600 miles in its system
  • Stretching for 400 miles underneath central Kentucky, Mammoth Cave is the longest cave system in the world.[3]
  • The meaning of the word "Kentucky" is not certain, but it is most likely based on the Iroquoian word meaning "on the prairie."[3]
  • Vent Haven Museum in Kentucky boasts the world's largest collection of ventriloquist dummies.[5]
  • At the Kentucky Vietnam Veterans Memorial, a sundial's shadow touches the name of each veteran on the date of the person's death.[5]
  • Both Abraham Lincoln and Jefferson Davis were born in Kentucky.[3]
  • Kentucky was originally part of Virginia, but on June 1, 1792, Virginia gave Kentucky permission to break off and become the 15th state of the United States.[3]
  • If these United States can be called a body, then Kentucky can be called its heart.

    - Jesse Stuart

  • Every Corvette since 1981 has been manufactured in Kentucky.[2]
  • Nearly 64% of those killed in the War of 1812 were Kentuckians.[4]
  • Colonel Harland Sanders began to sell fried chicken from his roadside restaurant in Kentucky during the Great Depression. He opened his first "Kentucky Fried Chicken" franchise in Salt Lake City, Utah, in 1952.[3]
  • On January 30, 1900, Kentucky's governor, William Goebel, was assassinated. He is the only state governor in the United States to be assassinated while in office.[3]
  • Scientists note that most of Kentucky and its region have warmed in the last 20 years. They warn that in the coming decades, the changing temperature will reduce crop production and threaten some aquatic ecosystems.[6]
  • Cumberland Falls in southeast Kentucky is also called the "Niagara of the South." It's famous for producing moonbows.[3]
  • Cumberland Falls Fact
    Cumberland Falls is often ranked as one of the top 10 waterfalls in the United States

  • Climate change has created a higher frequency of tornadoes in Kentucky and other nearby states.[1]
  • Kentucky is the only U.S. state to have a continuous border of water running along three of its sides: the Mississippi River, the Ohio River, and the Big Sandy and Tug Fork Rivers.[3]
  • Kentucky isn't technically a state. Like Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, and Virginia, it is a commonwealth.[3]
  • Kentucky is known for a special type of grass, bluegrass, that is famous as feed for livestock.[3]
  • Kentucky Bluegrass Fact
    Kentucky bluegrass isn't really blue; the name derives from its blue-tinted flower heads

  • Two sisters, Kentuckians Mildred and Patty Hill, wrote the popular song "Happy Birthday."[3]
  • Although Kentucky is known for its bourbon, its state beverage is milk.[3]
  • Amazing Kentucky Facts INFOGRAPHIC
    Fun Kentucky Infographic

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