Kentucky is a state in the southern region of the United states. Kentucky is known for its horse racing, manufacturing, agriculture, mining, transportation, and, of course, University of Kentucky basketball.
Kentucky is also know for its music. Native Kentuckian Bill Monroe is often called “The Father of Bluegrass Music.” But Bluegrass isn’t the only music that has come out of Kentucky.
Long before Bill Monroe ever picked up his first mandolin or started singing in a high voice, two Louisville sisters, Patty and Mildred Hill, came up with a little song that you’re probably very familiar with. That song is “Happy Birthday to You.” So the next time people are singing your name, and you’re about to blow out those birthday candles, you can give a nod to two teachers from the Bluegrass State.
First Came the Native Americans; Then Came the Europeans
Native American people lived in the area we now know as Kentucky for thousands of years before Europeans arrived on the scene. In 1774 James Harrod founded the first permanent European settlement in Kentucky at the site of present-day Harrodsburg. As more settlers entered the area, fights broke out between the Native Americans and the Europeans. But despite those conflicts, European settlers continued to arrive in the place we now know as Kentucky.
Originally, Kentucky was part of the Virginia colony, but in 1789, the Virginians gave their consent for Kentucky to become its own state, and Kentucky officially became the fifteenth state in the Union in 1792.
Notable Cities in Kentucky
- Frankfurt is the capital of Kentucky.
- The largest city in Kentucky is Louisville.
- Lexington is known for horse farms and thoroughbred racetracks like Keeneland. the University of Kentucky is located in Lexington.
- Bowling Green is the home of Western Kentucky University. Bowling Green is also home to the factory where all Chevrolet Corvettes are built.
Fact #1: For official purposes, Kentucky is called a “commonwealth.” Commonwealth, by the way, is a term that means “for the common good of all.” So, the official title of the state is “The Commonwealth of Kentucky.”
Fact #2: The Kentucky Derby, which takes place in Louisville, Kentucky, is the oldest continuously held horse race in the United States. It’s held at Churchill Downs racetrack each year on the first Saturday in May.
Fact #3: Mammoth Cave, which is in Kentucky, is the largest known cave system in the world. It’s estimated that it has over 4,000 miles of passageways!
Fact #4: The first Kentucky Fried Chicken restaurant, which was owned and operated by Colonel Sanders is located in Corbin, Kentucky. We have a podcast about Colonel Sanders and his fried chicken franchises, so be sure and check it out.
Fact #5: Muhammad Ali (was a former heavyweight champion boxer and one of the greatest sporting figures of the 20th century) was born and raised in Louisville, Kentucky. The city now has a museum dedicated to the memory of his life and his accomplishments.
Just for fun, see if you can answer these questions.
What is the capital of Kentucky? Is it Louisville, Bowling Green, Frankfort, or Lexington?
Frankfort is the capital of Kentucky.
What's the name of the huge cave that's located in Kentucky?
Where does the Kentucky take place? Is it Louisville or Lexington?
What is Kentucky's nickname?
The Bluegrass State.
If you have time, you can write a story of your own.
Here are a couple of story ideas you can choose from.
Idea #1: You can write a brief story about some of the cool things you learned about Kentucky.
Idea #2: Imagine you had a horse running in the Kentucky Derby. What would you name your horse, and how would it feel if your horse won the race?
To help you write a great story, we have some helpful hints and timely tips.
Check out “10 Tips for Writing Better Essays.”
Here's a riddle for you:
Why couldn't the pony sing?
Because it was a little horse.