54 Interesting Facts About Kentucky

Last updated on August 21st, 2020

35. Louisville is constantly being pronounced in different ways around the world. The most common way locals say it is “looavull” or “luhvul.” Anything else is going to get weird looks.[30]

36. Years ago, Fleming County picked up the nickname “Covered Bridge Capital of Kentucky“. Although most have been demolished, a handful still remains in the lightly populated county.[20]

37. In 1877, the Nicholasville High Bridge officially opened as the highest railroad bridge over navigable water in North America. The High Bridge stands 275 feet high and is 1,125 feet long. The High Bridge was added to the list of National Civil Engineering Landmarks in 1985.

38. Man o’ War, one of the most recognized Kentucky-bred horses of all-time, never actually raced in the state of his birth.[22]

39. When Kentucky became the 15th state, it was the first in the western frontier.

40. Vanceburg is the only city south of the Ohio River with a monument dedicated to deceased Union soldiers. Despite being south of the Mason-Dixon line, the Union had a stronghold on Lewis County.

41. The radio is credited by some to Guglielmo Marconi, but Nathan Stubblefield of Murray actually invented it three years before the claim by the Italian.[23]

42. The oldest vice president in the history of the United States is Alben Barkley, who was 71 years old when he entered office in 1949. He was born in Lowes, Kentucky.[24,25]

43. The Louisville Slugger Museum in Louisville is considered to be one of the best baseball museums in the world outside of Cooperstown. The huge replica bat attached to the museum itself is 120 feet tall and weighs 68,000 pounds.[28]

Baseball and baseball bat.
Baseball and baseball bat.

44. Did you know that a pro baseball player will order some 120 bats a season?[35]

45. Cumberland Falls is the only place in the Western Hemisphere where a person can spot a moonbow. This unique rainbow is formed from light bouncing off the moon during the night time. Every full moon (and near full moon nights), the moonbow can be seen.[26]

46. The Mega Cavern is one of the more unique limestone mines in the United States. It has a number of support structures that actually qualify it as a building (largest in Kentucky). From tours to storage, the area has a number of uses throughout the year.[27]

47. Black Mountain is the highest point in Kentucky at 4,145 feet above sea level. People can climb to the summit near Paducah, as long as they sign a waiver beforehand.[33]

48. Daniel Boone, the legendary frontiersman, is buried in Frankfort. His grave is still a popular tourist destination.[32]

49. Louisville is a city with a lot of history, including a Victorian preservation district that is the largest in the United States. The facades of those homes are still standing to this day.[31]

50. On August 21, 1955 the Sutton family went to the Hopkinsville police station with a terrifying story of their encounter with alien beings. The eight adults and three children were clearly frightened as they described their encounter with small humanoid metallic beings. When news got out to the public, people began to descend on the little farm, curious to see where the aliens had visited.

51. The locals consider Owensboro to be the BBQ Capital of the World and when it comes to barbecue, mutton is often the preferred choice of meat. Owensboro also holds an annual International BBQ festival each May, but the famous BBQ this region is known for is available any day of the week.

52. Every year, Louisville holds their annual Idea Festival. This unique festival held every fall draws creative thinkers of all ages. The goal of this gathering is to encourage innovation that will impact the arts, education, technology, and business. They believe that anyone can create positive change through great ideas, regardless of their position in life.

53. The Covington Blue Sox was a short-lived professional baseball team, lasting only two months in 1913. They were part of the then Federal League of Baseball Clubs which became a third major league competing with the established National League and the American League. Federal Park was the home field for the Blue Sox and was built in just 24 days and was the nation’s smallest professional baseball stadium.

54. Fort Boonesborough, located in Richmond, was established by Daniel Boone and his men in 1775. This fort became the second settlement in the area that was to become the state of Kentucky. Boone was a pioneer, woodsman, and explorer who became a legendary folk hero in the United States.

Kentucky – quick facts and state symbols

State AbbreviationKY
State CapitalFrankfort
List Of 50 U.S. States And Their Capital
Largest CityLouisville
State SizeTotal (Land + Water): 40,409 sq miles; Land Only: 39,728 sq miles
Population
4,468,402
(Estimate July 1, 2018 from United States Census Bureau)
StatehoodJune 1, 1792
State rank by population26th
State rank by date of formation15th
State rank by area37th
Number of Counties120
Complete list of 50 states and number of counties in each
DemonymKentuckian
Bordering StatesIllinois, Indiana, Missouri, Ohio, Tennessee, Virginia, West Virginia
Official LanguageEnglish
Highest PointBlack Mountain[3][4]
4,145 ft (1263 m)
Lowest pointMississippi River at Kentucky Bend
257 ft (78 m)
Mean elevation750 feet above sea level
Length 379 miles (610 km)
Width170 miles (250 km)
GovernorAndy Beshear (D)
Lieutenant GovernorJacqueline Coleman (D)
Electoral Votes8
State MottoUnited we stand, divided we fall
State NicknameBluegrass State
% Water1.7
Noble prize winnersThomas H. Morgan (Physiology or Medicine, 1933)
Phillip A. Sharp (Physiology or Medicine, 1993)
Robert H. Grubbs (Chemistry, 2005)
Famous peopleDermontti Dawson (Pro Football player)
Jim Bunning (Baseball player)
Arnie Risen (Basketball player)
Johnny Depp (Actor)
Joan Osborne (Singer)
U.S. President Born in Kentucky1. Abraham Lincoln.
State HorseThoroughbred
State TreeTulip Poplar
State Wild animal game speciesEastern gray squirrel
State BirdCardinal
State ButterflyViceroy Butterfly
State fishSpotted bass
State fruitBlackberry
State FlowerGoldenrod
State FossilBrachiopod
State GemstoneFreshwater Pearl
InsectHoney bee
State mineralCoal
State RockKentucky Agate
Longitude81° 58′ W to 89° 34′ W
Latitude36° 30′ N to 39° 09′ N
Time ZoneEastern Time Zone, Central Time Zone
Websitekentucky.gov
Area Codes270, 364, 502, 606, 859
Table last updatedJune 8, 2020