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, 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 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 Confederate government of Kentucky
was a shadow government
established for the Commonwealth
by a self-constituted group of Southern sympathizers during the American Civil War
. The shadow government never replaced the elected government in Frankfort
, which had strong Union sympathies. Neither did it gain the support of Kentucky's citizens; its jurisdiction extended only as far as Confederate battle lines in the Commonwealth. Nevertheless, the provisional government was recognized by the Confederate States of America
, and Kentucky was admitted to the Confederacy on December 10, 1861.
Bowling Green was designated the Confederate capital of Kentucky, but due to the military situation in the state, the provisional government was exiled and traveled with the Army of Tennessee for most of its existence. For a short time in the autumn of 1862, the Confederate Army controlled Frankfort, the only time a Union capital was captured by Confederate forces. During this occupation, General Braxton Bragg attempted to install the provisional government as the permanent authority in the Commonwealth. However, Union General Don Carlos Buell ambushed the inauguration ceremony and drove the provisional government from the state for the final time. From that point forward, the government existed primarily on paper, and was dissolved at the end of the war.
's largest city
. It is ranked as either the 17th or 27th largest city in the United States
depending on how the population is calculated. The settlement
that became the City of Louisville was founded in 1778 by George Rogers Clark
and is named after King Louis XVI
. Louisville is famous as the home of "The Most Exciting Two Minutes in Sports": the Kentucky Derby
, the widely watched first race
of the Triple Crown of Thoroughbred Racing
Louisville is situated in north-central Kentucky on the Kentucky-Indiana border at the only natural obstacle in the Ohio River, the Falls of the Ohio. Louisville is the county seat of Jefferson County, and since 2003, the city's borders are coterminous with those of the county due to merger. Because it includes counties in Southern Indiana, the Louisville metropolitan area is regularly referred to as Kentuckiana. A resident of Louisville is referred to as a Louisvillian. Although situated in a Southern state, Louisville is influenced by both Midwestern and Southern culture, and is commonly referred to as either the northernmost Southern city or the southernmost Northern city in the United States.
Louisville has been the site of many important innovations through history. Notable residents have included inventor Thomas Edison, the first Jewish Supreme Court Justice Louis Brandeis, boxing legend Muhammad Ali, newscaster Diane Sawyer, writer Hunter S. Thompson, and actor Tom Cruise. Notable events occurring in the city include the first public viewing place of Edison's light bulb, the first library in the U.S. open to African Americans, and medical advances including the first human hand transplant, the first self-contained artificial heart transplant, and the development site of the first cervical cancer vaccine.
Did you know...
Kentucky Official Symbols
"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
The Creation Museum
is a 60,000 square foot museum
in the United States
designed to promote young Earth creationism
The museum presents an account of the origins of the universe, life, mankind, and man's early history according to a literal reading of the Book of Genesis. Its exhibits reject evolution and assert that the earth and all of its life forms were created in 6 days just 6000 years ago and that man and dinosaurs once coexisted.
According to the founder of Answers in Genesis, Ken Ham, "One of the main reasons we moved there was because we are within one hour's flight of 69 per cent of America's population. Ham also explains how the idea of the museum originated: "Australia's not really the place to build such a facility if you're going to reach the world. Really, America is." Previously Ham worked for the Institute for Creation Research, which runs a creationist museum in Santee, California with free admission
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