54 Interesting Facts About Kentucky

Last updated on September 19th, 2022

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.
Kentucky facts: 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.

Now that we have read Kentucky facts, let us also explore about its flag. 

About the Flag of Kentucky

Flag of Kentucky. Kentucky fact file
The state flag of Kentucky. Image in public domain.

Although Kentucky was granted statehood on June 1st, 1792, the Kentucky state flag as we know it today would not be adopted until March 26, 1918.

This was not because Kentucky had a different historical flag, but that it chose to unofficially adopt the United States flag as its state flag following statehood and would continue to do so until 1918.

The only exception was during the Civil War years, when both the Union and Confederate flags flew, as Kentucky remained a neutral border state during this conflict.

When one looks into the history about the flag of Kentucky, they may be surprised to learn that the flag was not designed by a statesman or politician, but by an art teacher.

This teacher, Jesse Cox Burgess, lived in the state capital of Frankfort and was commissioned by the Kentucky Historical Society to complete the design.

The finished design is featured on a dark blue background and also includes white, gold, and green prominently.

The popular American phrase “United we stand, divided we fall” encircles the design.

The center-point of the design is two men shaking hands and embracing, a frontiersman and a statesman in appearance and dress. This is important due to Kentucky’s history as America’s first frontier and role in America’s growth and early government.

Though the two men are intended to represent the roles rather than specific people, many citizens claim that the two men are Daniel Boone and Henry Clay. Boone blazed the Wilderness Trail to settle Kentucky and Clay was an influential Speaker of the House and Secretary of State from the Bluegrass country.

Above the two men, the flag is emblazoned “Commonwealth of Kentucky”. They stand on a circle of white encircled in gold. Underneath them, the flag features the Kentucky state flower, the Goldenrod. This image is also present in the state seal of Kentucky.

Though the design for the Kentucky state flag was approved by the Kentucky General Assembly in 1918, the flag would not physically be made until the year 1920.

The first Kentucky state flag was made for a special event at Camp Zachary Taylor in Louisville. This item was made hastily and not with the attention one would expect for such as a memorable milestone. The first flag is in the possession of the Kentucky Historical Society.

In 1961, the Kentucky Legislature passed a bill, KRS 2.030, that dictated specifications for the state flag’s manufacture, including design and color. Illustrations are included in the bill, and to date it is the only bill in Kentucky history to include illustrations in it. An artist named Harold Collins was responsible for this historical art.

The Kentucky state flag has a unique history regardless of the fact that its design has remained largely unchanged since its onset.

It is curious to consider that Kentucky is one of the oldest states in the Union, but has one of the newest flags! 

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
4,467,673
(Estimate July 1, 2019 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 KentuckyAbraham 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 updatedDecember 20, 2021