Most of my nearly 59 years have been spent here in the Tri-State area of Ohio-Kentucky-West Virginia. Linda and I were both born in the Mountain State, but have, at one time or another, lived in each of the three above mentioned states. However, for the past 29+ years, we have made our home in the Commonwealth of Kentucky. We moved here on April Fool's Day, 1980. Our sons were raised here. Two of our four grandsons were born here. It has become our adopted home. Even though we reside along the northeastern edge of the Commonwealth, we love Kentucky, from the mountains to the Mississippi. We are proud to be citizens of the Bluegrass State.
Recently my good friend and former coworker, Dick Dowdy, sent me an email with the following facts about Kentucky. I already knew a number of them, but some were surprising. Just thought I would pass them on to you today. Here's today's history lesson on "My Old Kentucky (adopted) Home"-
*The bloodiest civil war battle was fought in Perryville, Kentucky .
*The first town in the United States to be named for the first president was Washington , Ky. It was named in 1780.
*1792 - Kentucky was the first state on the western frontier to join the Union
*In the War of 1812 more than half of all Americans killed in action were Kentuckians.
*1816 - (first promoted) Mammoth Cave, with 336+ miles of mapped passages, is the world's longest cave. It is 379 feet deep and contains at least 5 levels of passages. It's second only to Niagara Falls as the most popular tourist attraction in the US . It became a National Park on July 1, 1941.
*The first American performance of a Beethoven symphony was in Lexington in 1817.
*Begun in 1819 the first commercial oil well was on the Cumberland River in McCreary County .
* 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.
*1856 - The first enamel bathtub was made in Louisville
*In 1873, Louisville druggist John Colgan invented something that you can find in any just about every grocery store in the world, chewing gum.
*1883 - The first electric light bulb was shown in Louisville . Thomas Alva Edison introduced his invention to crowds at the Southern Exposition. *1887 - Mother's Day was first observed in Henderson by teacher Mary S. Wilson. It became a national holiday in 1916.
*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.
* Pike County the world's largest producer of coal is famous for the Hatfield-McCoy feud, an Appalachian vendetta that lasted from the Civil War to the 1890s.
*1893 - 'Happy Birthday to You', probably the most sung song in the world, was written by two Louisville sisters - Mildred and Patricia Hill.
*Late 19th century - Bibb lettuce was first cultivated by Jack Bibb in Frankfort , Kentucky
*1896 - The first (known) set of all male quintuplets was born in Paducah .. *Carrie Nation the spokesperson against rum, tobacco, pornography, and corsets was born near Lancaster in Garrard County .
*1926 - A Hot Brown is a hot sandwich originally created at the Brown Hotel in Louisville , Kentucky , by Fred K. Schmidt.
*1934 - Cheeseburgers were first tasted at Kaelin's Restaurant in Louisville .
*1937 - The first Wigwam Village Motel, with units in the shape of a 'teepee', was built by Frank A. Redford in Cave City .
*The "Old Fashion" drink was created in Louisville KY *The world's largest baseball bat, a full one hundred twenty (120) feet tall and weighing 68,000 pounds, can be seen at the Louisville Slugger Museum in Louisville (Jefferson Co.).
*Chevrolet Corvettes are manufactured only in Bowling Green .
*The world's largest crucifix, standing at sixty feet tall, is in Bardstown (Nelson Co.).
* Fort Knox holds more than $6 billion worth of gold - the largest amount stored anywhere in the world.
*The JIF plant in Lexington is the world's largest peanut butter producing facility.
* Kentucky has more resort parks than any other state in the nation...
*Middlesboro is the only United States city built inside a meteor crater..
* Newport is home to The World Peace Bell, the world's largest free-swinging bell.
*Pikeville annually leads the nation (per capita) in consumption of Pepsi-Cola.
*Post-It Notes are made exclusively in Cynthiana , Ky.
* Shaker Village ( Pleasant Hill ) is the largest historic community of its kind in the U.S..
* Christian County is 'wet', while Bourbon County is 'dry'. ('wet 'sells liquor; 'dry' does not)
* Barren County has the most fertile land in the state.
* Lake Cumberland has more miles of shoreline than the state of Florida .
* Kentucky is best known for its beautiful blue grass.
* Cumberland is the only waterfall in the world to regularly display a Moonbow. It is located just southwest of Corbin.
*Thunder Over Louisville is the opening ceremony for the Kentucky Derby Festival and is the world's largest fireworks display.
*The only monument south of the Ohio River dedicated to Union Soldiers who died in the Civil War is located in Vanceburg.
* High Bridge located near Nicholasville is the highest railroad bridge over navigable water in the United States .
*The Cathedral Basilica of the Assumption in Covington has 82 stained-glass windows including the world's largest hand-blown one. The window measures 24 feet wide by 67 feet high and depicts the Council of Ephesus with 134 life-sized figures.
*The Lost River Cave and Valley - Bowling Green includes a cave with the shortest and deepest underground river in the world. It contains the largest cave opening east of the Mississippi ....
*The Kentucky Derby is the oldest continuously held horse race in the country. It is held at Churchill Downs in Louisville on the first Saturday in May. * Kentucky is the horse capitol of the world.
*Mohammed Ali, “The Greatest” and most recognized face in the world was born in Louisville , KY.
*Three of Kentucky’s biggest industries are - Bourbon, Basketball, and Horseracing.