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 Battle of Perryville
, also known as the Battle of Chaplin Hills
, was fought on October 8, 1862, in the Chaplin Hills west of Perryville, Kentucky
, as the culmination of the Confederate Heartland Offensive
(Kentucky Campaign) during the American Civil War
. Confederate Gen. Braxton Bragg
's Army of Mississippi
won a tactical victory against primarily a single corps of Maj. Gen. Don Carlos Buell
's Union Army of the Ohio
. The battle is considered a strategic Union victory, sometimes called the Battle for Kentucky
, because Bragg withdrew to Tennessee
soon thereafter, leaving the critical border state
in Union hands for the remainder of the war. Following the Battle of Perryville, the Union maintained control of Kentucky for the rest of the war. Historian James M. McPherson
considers Perryville to be part of a great turning point
of the war, "when battles at Antietam
and Perryville threw back Confederate invasions, forestalled European mediation and recognition of the Confederacy, perhaps prevented a Democratic victory in the northern elections of 1862 that might have inhibited the government's ability to carry on the war, and set the stage for the Emancipation Proclamation
which enlarged the scope and purpose of the conflict."
Considering the casualties for the engaged strengths of the armies, the Battle of Perryville was one of the bloodiest battles of the Civil War, and the largest battle fought in the state of Kentucky.
Paducah is the county seat of McCracken County, located at the confluence of the Tennessee River and the Ohio River. The population was 26,307 at the 2000 census. Paducah is the largest city in the Jackson Purchase Region of Western Kentucky. It is one of two cities named Paducah located in the United States. The other Paducah is in the state of Texas, near the panhandle, and was named after Paducah, Kentucky. Originally called Pekin, it began around 1815 as a mixed community of Native Americans and white settlers who were attracted by its location at the confluence of many waterways.
According to legend, Chief Paduke, most likely a Chickasaw, welcomed the people traveling down the Ohio and Tennessee on flatboats. His wigwam, located on a low bluff at the mouth of Island Creek, served as the counsel lodge for his village. The settlers, appreciative of his hospitality, and respectful of his ways, settled across the creek. The two communities lived in harmony trading goods and services enjoying the novelty of each other's culture. The settlers had brought horses and mules which they used to pull the flatboats upstream to farms, logging camps, trading posts and other settlements along the waterways, establishing a primitive, but thriving economy.
Did you know...
- ... that a riot at Paducah, Kentucky's Woolfolk Home led to Ulysses S. Grant's promotion above his superior officer, Brigadier General Charles Ferguson Smith?
- ... that memorials to the Confederacy in Mayfield, Kentucky include a fountain and a series of cemetery gates?
- ... that the Union Station in Owensboro, Kentucky was once turned into a discothèque and a pizza parlor?
- ... that in November 1864, Camp Nelson's Union soldiers forced 400 ex-slaves outside its shelter, resulting in 102 exposure deaths?
- ... that, due to his support of Kentucky's efforts to secede from the Union, Henry Cornelius Burnett is one of only five members in history to be expelled from the United States Congress?
- ... that the post office in Coxs Creek, Kentucky, had to be moved because it created many accidents along U.S. 31E?
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
Kentucky Horse Park
is a working horse farm and an educational theme park opened in 1978 in Lexington, Kentucky
. The equestrian
facility is a 1,200-acre (4.9 km2
) park dedicated to "man's relationship with the horse." Open to the public, the Park has a twice daily Parade of Breeds, showcasing both common and rare horses from across the globe. The horses are ridden in authentic costume. Each year the Park is host to a number of special events and horse shows.
Every year from one week after Thanksgiving to New Year's Day, the Kentucky Horse Park features a three-mile (5 km) drive-through Christmas lights display.
Although the park is owned by the state government, it is administered separately from the state park system.
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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