Kentucky

Kentucky

Overview
The Commonwealth of Kentucky is a state
U.S. state
A U.S. state is any one of the 50 federated states of the United States of America that share sovereignty with the federal government. Because of this shared sovereignty, an American is a citizen both of the federal entity and of his or her state of domicile. Four states use the official title of...

 located in the East Central United States of America
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

. As classified by the United States Census Bureau
United States Census Bureau
The United States Census Bureau is the government agency that is responsible for the United States Census. It also gathers other national demographic and economic data...

, Kentucky is a Southern state
Southern United States
The Southern United States—commonly referred to as the American South, Dixie, or simply the South—constitutes a large distinctive area in the southeastern and south-central United States...

, more specifically in the East South Central region
East South Central States
The East South Central States constitute one of the nine Census Bureau Divisions of the United States.Four states make up the division: Alabama, Kentucky, Mississippi, and Tennessee...

. Kentucky is one of four U.S. states constituted as a commonwealth (the others being Virginia
Virginia
The Commonwealth of Virginia , is a U.S. state on the Atlantic Coast of the Southern United States. Virginia is nicknamed the "Old Dominion" and sometimes the "Mother of Presidents" after the eight U.S. presidents born there...

, Pennsylvania
Pennsylvania
The Commonwealth of Pennsylvania is a U.S. state that is located in the Northeastern and Mid-Atlantic regions of the United States. The state borders Delaware and Maryland to the south, West Virginia to the southwest, Ohio to the west, New York and Ontario, Canada, to the north, and New Jersey to...

, and Massachusetts
Massachusetts
The Commonwealth of Massachusetts is a state in the New England region of the northeastern United States of America. It is bordered by Rhode Island and Connecticut to the south, New York to the west, and Vermont and New Hampshire to the north; at its east lies the Atlantic Ocean. As of the 2010...

). Originally a part of Virginia
Virginia
The Commonwealth of Virginia , is a U.S. state on the Atlantic Coast of the Southern United States. Virginia is nicknamed the "Old Dominion" and sometimes the "Mother of Presidents" after the eight U.S. presidents born there...

, in 1792 Kentucky became the 15th state to join the Union. Kentucky is the 37th largest state in terms of total area, the 36th largest in land area, and ranks 26th in population.

Kentucky is known as the "Bluegrass State", a nickname based on the fact that bluegrass is present in many of the pastures throughout the state, based on the fertile soil.
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Timeline

1789   Whiskey distilled from maize is first produced by American clergyman the Rev Elijah Craig. It is named Bourbon because Rev Craig lived in Bourbon County, Kentucky.

1792   Kentucky is admitted as the 15th state of the United States.

1851   Kentucky marshals abduct abolitionist minister Calvin Fairbank from Jeffersonville, Indiana, and take him to Kentucky to stand trial for helping a slave escape.

1861   American Civil War: The state of Kentucky proclaims its neutrality, which will last until September 3 when Confederate forces enter the state.

1861   American Civil War: Confederate General Leonidas Polk invades neutral Kentucky, prompting the state legislature to ask for Union assistance.

1861   American Civil War: Secession ordinance is filed by Kentucky's Confederate government.

1861   American Civil War: the Confederate States of America accept a rival state government's pronouncement that declares Kentucky to be the 13th state of the Confederacy.

1862   American Civil War: General Ulysses S. Grant issues ''General Order No. 11'', expelling Jews from Tennessee, Mississippi, and Kentucky.

1865   American Civil War: In Kentucky, Union soldiers ambush and mortally wound Confederate raider William Quantrill, who lingers until his death on June 6.

1936   Rainey Bethea is hanged in Owensboro, Kentucky in the last public execution in the United States.

 
Encyclopedia
The Commonwealth of Kentucky is a state
U.S. state
A U.S. state is any one of the 50 federated states of the United States of America that share sovereignty with the federal government. Because of this shared sovereignty, an American is a citizen both of the federal entity and of his or her state of domicile. Four states use the official title of...

 located in the East Central United States of America
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

. As classified by the United States Census Bureau
United States Census Bureau
The United States Census Bureau is the government agency that is responsible for the United States Census. It also gathers other national demographic and economic data...

, Kentucky is a Southern state
Southern United States
The Southern United States—commonly referred to as the American South, Dixie, or simply the South—constitutes a large distinctive area in the southeastern and south-central United States...

, more specifically in the East South Central region
East South Central States
The East South Central States constitute one of the nine Census Bureau Divisions of the United States.Four states make up the division: Alabama, Kentucky, Mississippi, and Tennessee...

. Kentucky is one of four U.S. states constituted as a commonwealth (the others being Virginia
Virginia
The Commonwealth of Virginia , is a U.S. state on the Atlantic Coast of the Southern United States. Virginia is nicknamed the "Old Dominion" and sometimes the "Mother of Presidents" after the eight U.S. presidents born there...

, Pennsylvania
Pennsylvania
The Commonwealth of Pennsylvania is a U.S. state that is located in the Northeastern and Mid-Atlantic regions of the United States. The state borders Delaware and Maryland to the south, West Virginia to the southwest, Ohio to the west, New York and Ontario, Canada, to the north, and New Jersey to...

, and Massachusetts
Massachusetts
The Commonwealth of Massachusetts is a state in the New England region of the northeastern United States of America. It is bordered by Rhode Island and Connecticut to the south, New York to the west, and Vermont and New Hampshire to the north; at its east lies the Atlantic Ocean. As of the 2010...

). Originally a part of Virginia
Virginia
The Commonwealth of Virginia , is a U.S. state on the Atlantic Coast of the Southern United States. Virginia is nicknamed the "Old Dominion" and sometimes the "Mother of Presidents" after the eight U.S. presidents born there...

, in 1792 Kentucky became the 15th state to join the Union. Kentucky is the 37th largest state in terms of total area, the 36th largest in land area, and ranks 26th in population.

Kentucky is known as the "Bluegrass State", a nickname based on the fact that bluegrass is present in many of the pastures throughout the state, based on the fertile soil. It made possible the breeding of high-quality livestock, especially thoroughbred racing horses. It is a land with diverse environments and abundant resources, including the world's longest cave system, Mammoth Cave National Park
Mammoth Cave National Park
Mammoth Cave National Park is a U.S. National Park in central Kentucky, encompassing portions of Mammoth Cave, the longest cave system known in the world. The official name of the system is the Mammoth-Flint Ridge Cave System for the ridge under which the cave has formed. The park was established...

; the greatest length of navigable waterways and streams in the contiguous United States
Contiguous United States
The contiguous United States are the 48 U.S. states on the continent of North America that are south of Canada and north of Mexico, plus the District of Columbia....

; and the two largest man-made lakes east of the Mississippi River
Mississippi River
The Mississippi River is the largest river system in North America. Flowing entirely in the United States, this river rises in western Minnesota and meanders slowly southwards for to the Mississippi River Delta at the Gulf of Mexico. With its many tributaries, the Mississippi's watershed drains...

. It is also home to the highest per capita number of deer
White-tailed Deer
The white-tailed deer , also known as the Virginia deer or simply as the whitetail, is a medium-sized deer native to the United States , Canada, Mexico, Central America, and South America as far south as Peru...

 and turkey
Wild Turkey
The Wild Turkey is native to North America and is the heaviest member of the Galliformes. It is the same species as the domestic turkey, which derives from the South Mexican subspecies of wild turkey .Adult wild turkeys have long reddish-yellow to grayish-green...

 in the United States, the largest free-ranging elk
Elk
The Elk is the large deer, also called Cervus canadensis or wapiti, of North America and eastern Asia.Elk may also refer to:Other antlered mammals:...

 herd east of Montana, and the nation's most productive coalfield
Coalfield
A coalfield is an area of certain uniform characteristics where coal is mined. The criteria for determining the approximate boundary of a coalfield are geographical and cultural, in addition to geological...

. Kentucky is also known for horse racing
Horse racing
Horse racing is an equestrian sport that has a long history. Archaeological records indicate that horse racing occurred in ancient Babylon, Syria, and Egypt. Both chariot and mounted horse racing were events in the ancient Greek Olympics by 648 BC...

, bourbon
Bourbon whiskey
Bourbon is a type of American whiskey – a barrel-aged distilled spirit made primarily from corn. The name of the spirit derives from its historical association with an area known as Old Bourbon, around what is now Bourbon County, Kentucky . It has been produced since the 18th century...

 distilleries, bluegrass music
Bluegrass music
Bluegrass music is a form of American roots music, and a sub-genre of country music. It has mixed roots in Scottish, English, Welsh and Irish traditional music...

, automobile
Automobile
An automobile, autocar, motor car or car is a wheeled motor vehicle used for transporting passengers, which also carries its own engine or motor...

 manufacturing, tobacco
Tobacco
Tobacco is an agricultural product processed from the leaves of plants in the genus Nicotiana. It can be consumed, used as a pesticide and, in the form of nicotine tartrate, used in some medicines...

 and college basketball
College basketball
College basketball most often refers to the USA basketball competitive governance structure established by the National Collegiate Athletic Association . Basketball in the NCAA is divided into three divisions: Division I, Division II and Division III....

.

Origin of name



It is generally accepted that the historic Native American
Indigenous peoples of the Americas
The indigenous peoples of the Americas are the pre-Columbian inhabitants of North and South America, their descendants and other ethnic groups who are identified with those peoples. Indigenous peoples are known in Canada as Aboriginal peoples, and in the United States as Native Americans...

 tribes who hunted in what is now Kentucky referred to the region as Catawba, or some similar variant. There is also a tradition that some tribes referred to the area as "The Dark and Bloody Ground". Some have said that the land was described in this way to Daniel Boone by a native Chief. According to The Kentucky Blue Book, Dragging Canoe
Dragging Canoe
Tsiyu Gansini , "He is dragging his canoe", known to whites as Dragging Canoe, was a Cherokee war chief who led a band of Cherokee against colonists and United States settlers...

, a young Cherokee chief opposed to selling ancestral hunting grounds, warned the whites that they were purchasing a "dark and bloody ground." The origin of Kentucky's modern name (variously spelled Cane-tuck-ee, Cantucky, Kain-tuck-ee, and Kentuckee before its modern spelling was accepted) comes from an Iroquois
Iroquois
The Iroquois , also known as the Haudenosaunee or the "People of the Longhouse", are an association of several tribes of indigenous people of North America...

 word meaning "meadow lands", referring to the buffalo hunting grounds in Central Kentucky's savanna. Members of the Haudenosaunee, the Iroquois Confederacy, were historically based in New York and Pennsylvania. They penetrated to this area of the Ohio River
Ohio River
The Ohio River is the largest tributary, by volume, of the Mississippi River. At the confluence, the Ohio is even bigger than the Mississippi and, thus, is hydrologically the main stream of the whole river system, including the Allegheny River further upstream...

 Valley and drove other tribes out in order to control more hunting land. In addition to buffalo, they trapped beaver
Beaver
The beaver is a primarily nocturnal, large, semi-aquatic rodent. Castor includes two extant species, North American Beaver and Eurasian Beaver . Beavers are known for building dams, canals, and lodges . They are the second-largest rodent in the world...

 for the lucrative fur trade
Fur trade
The fur trade is a worldwide industry dealing in the acquisition and sale of animal fur. Since the establishment of world market for in the early modern period furs of boreal, polar and cold temperate mammalian animals have been the most valued...

 with the French and English, long before European-American settlement in this area.

Geography




Kentucky is considered to be situated in the Upland South
Upland South
The terms Upper South and Upland South refer to the northern part of the Southern United States, in contrast to the Lower South or Deep South.-Geography:There is a slight difference in usage between the two terms...

. It is infrequently included in the Midwest. A significant portion of eastern Kentucky is part of Appalachia
Appalachia
Appalachia is a term used to describe a cultural region in the eastern United States that stretches from the Southern Tier of New York state to northern Alabama, Mississippi, and Georgia. While the Appalachian Mountains stretch from Belle Isle in Canada to Cheaha Mountain in the U.S...

.

Kentucky borders seven states, from the Midwest
Midwestern United States
The Midwestern United States is one of the four U.S. geographic regions defined by the United States Census Bureau, providing an official definition of the American Midwest....

 and the Southeast
Southeastern United States
The Southeastern United States, colloquially referred to as the Southeast, is the eastern portion of the Southern United States. It is one of the most populous regions in the United States of America....

. West Virginia
West Virginia
West Virginia is a state in the Appalachian and Southeastern regions of the United States, bordered by Virginia to the southeast, Kentucky to the southwest, Ohio to the northwest, Pennsylvania to the northeast and Maryland to the east...

 lies to the east, Virginia
Virginia
The Commonwealth of Virginia , is a U.S. state on the Atlantic Coast of the Southern United States. Virginia is nicknamed the "Old Dominion" and sometimes the "Mother of Presidents" after the eight U.S. presidents born there...

 to the southeast, Tennessee
Tennessee
Tennessee is a U.S. state located in the Southeastern United States. It has a population of 6,346,105, making it the nation's 17th-largest state by population, and covers , making it the 36th-largest by total land area...

 to the south, Missouri
Missouri
Missouri is a US state located in the Midwestern United States, bordered by Iowa, Illinois, Kentucky, Tennessee, Arkansas, Oklahoma, Kansas and Nebraska. With a 2010 population of 5,988,927, Missouri is the 18th most populous state in the nation and the fifth most populous in the Midwest. It...

 to the west, Illinois
Illinois
Illinois is the fifth-most populous state of the United States of America, and is often noted for being a microcosm of the entire country. With Chicago in the northeast, small industrial cities and great agricultural productivity in central and northern Illinois, and natural resources like coal,...

 and Indiana
Indiana
Indiana is a US state, admitted to the United States as the 19th on December 11, 1816. It is located in the Midwestern United States and Great Lakes Region. With 6,483,802 residents, the state is ranked 15th in population and 16th in population density. Indiana is ranked 38th in land area and is...

 to the northwest, and Ohio
Ohio
Ohio is a Midwestern state in the United States. The 34th largest state by area in the U.S.,it is the 7th‑most populous with over 11.5 million residents, containing several major American cities and seven metropolitan areas with populations of 500,000 or more.The state's capital is Columbus...

 to the north and northeast. Only Missouri
Missouri
Missouri is a US state located in the Midwestern United States, bordered by Iowa, Illinois, Kentucky, Tennessee, Arkansas, Oklahoma, Kansas and Nebraska. With a 2010 population of 5,988,927, Missouri is the 18th most populous state in the nation and the fifth most populous in the Midwest. It...

 and Tennessee
Tennessee
Tennessee is a U.S. state located in the Southeastern United States. It has a population of 6,346,105, making it the nation's 17th-largest state by population, and covers , making it the 36th-largest by total land area...

, both of which border eight states, touch more states.

Kentucky's northern border is formed by the Ohio River
Ohio River
The Ohio River is the largest tributary, by volume, of the Mississippi River. At the confluence, the Ohio is even bigger than the Mississippi and, thus, is hydrologically the main stream of the whole river system, including the Allegheny River further upstream...

 and its western border by the Mississippi River
Mississippi River
The Mississippi River is the largest river system in North America. Flowing entirely in the United States, this river rises in western Minnesota and meanders slowly southwards for to the Mississippi River Delta at the Gulf of Mexico. With its many tributaries, the Mississippi's watershed drains...

. The official state borders are based on the courses of the rivers as they existed when Kentucky became a state in 1792. In several places, the rivers have changed courses away from the original borders. For instance, northbound travelers on US 41
U.S. Route 41
U.S. Route 41 is a north–south United States Highway that runs from Miami, Florida to the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. Until 1949, the part in southern Florida, from Naples to Miami, was U.S...

 from Henderson, after crossing the Ohio River, will be in Kentucky for about a half-mile (800 m) longer on the north side. Ellis Park, a thoroughbred racetrack, is located in this small piece of Kentucky. Waterworks Road is part of the only land border between Indiana and Kentucky.

Kentucky is the only U.S. state to have a non-contiguous part existing as an exclave surrounded by other states. Fulton County
Fulton County, Kentucky
Fulton County is the westernmost county of the U.S. state of Kentucky. It was formed in 1845 from Hickman County, Kentucky. As of 2000, the population was 7,752. Its county seat is Hickman. The county is named for American inventor Robert Fulton...

, in the far west corner of the state, includes Kentucky Bend
Kentucky Bend
The Kentucky Bend, variously called the New Madrid Bend, Madrid Bend, Bessie Bend, or Bubbleland, is an exclave of Fulton County, Kentucky, in the United States....

. This small part of Kentucky on the Mississippi River, bordered by Missouri and accessible via Tennessee, was created by the 1812 New Madrid Earthquake
New Madrid earthquake
The 1811-1812 New Madrid earthquakes were an intense intraplate earthquake series beginning with an initial pair of very large earthquakes on December 16, 1811. These earthquakes remain the most powerful earthquakes ever to hit the eastern United States in recorded history...

 changing the course of the river.

Regions



Kentucky can be divided into five primary regions: the Cumberland Plateau
Cumberland Plateau
The Cumberland Plateau is the southern part of the Appalachian Plateau. It includes much of eastern Kentucky and western West Virginia, part of Tennessee, and a small portion of northern Alabama and northwest Georgia . The terms "Allegheny Plateau" and the "Cumberland Plateau" both refer to the...

 in the east, the north-central Bluegrass region
Bluegrass region
The Bluegrass Region is a geographic region in the state of Kentucky, United States. It occupies the northern part of the state and since European settlement has contained a majority of the state's population and its largest cities....

, the south-central and western Pennyroyal Plateau
Pennyroyal Plateau
The Pennyroyal Plateau, or, as it is more commonly called in Kentucky, the Pennyrile, is a large area of the state that features rolling hills, caves, and karst topography in general. It is also called the "Mississippi Plateau"....

, the Western Coal Fields
Western Coal Fields
thumb|right|Regions of Kentucky, with the Western Coal Fields shown in brownThe Western Coal Fields of Kentucky compose an area in the west-central part of the state, bounded by the Dripping Springs Escarpment. This area is bordered on three sides by the Pennyroyal Plateau and to the north by the...

 and the far-west Jackson Purchase
Jackson Purchase
The Jackson Purchase is a region in the state of Kentucky bounded by the Mississippi River to the west, the Ohio River to the north, and Tennessee River to the east. Although technically part of Kentucky at its statehood in 1792, the land did not come under definitive U.S. control until 1818, when...

. The Bluegrass region is commonly divided into two regions, the Inner Bluegrass—the encircling 90 miles (145 km) around Lexington
Lexington, Kentucky
Lexington is the second-largest city in Kentucky and the 63rd largest in the US. Known as the "Thoroughbred City" and the "Horse Capital of the World", it is located in the heart of Kentucky's Bluegrass region...

—and the Outer Bluegrass—the region that contains most of the Northern portion of the state, above the Knobs
Knobs region
The Knobs Region is located in the US state of Kentucky. It is a narrow, horseshoe shaped region consisting of hundreds of isolated hills. The region wraps around the bluegrass region in the center of the state...

. Much of the outer Bluegrass is in the Eden Shale Hills
Eden Shale Hills
Eden Shale Hills of the Eden Shale soil type is a broad area of short, steep hills roughly separating the Inner Bluegrass region and Outer Bluegrass region of Kentucky. They occur generally from around Oldham County in the West to Fleming County in the East. The hills are 150 feet or less in height....

 area, made up of short, steep, and very narrow hills. This map is a rough depiction of the regions because it relies largely on county lines; as a result, the Inner Bluegrass appears larger than it is, and the Cumberland Plateau
Cumberland Plateau
The Cumberland Plateau is the southern part of the Appalachian Plateau. It includes much of eastern Kentucky and western West Virginia, part of Tennessee, and a small portion of northern Alabama and northwest Georgia . The terms "Allegheny Plateau" and the "Cumberland Plateau" both refer to the...

 appears slightly smaller. The latter region is more commonly known in Kentucky as the East Kentucky Coal Field
Eastern Mountain Coal Fields
The Eastern Mountain Coal Fields is part of the Central Appalachian bituminous coal field, covering all or parts of 30 Kentucky counties and adjoining areas in Ohio, West Virginia, Virginia and Tennessee. It covers an area from the Allegheny Mountains in the east across the Cumberland Plateau and...

. Note the singular; these regions are not the sites of coal "fields" but one continuous field with many overlapping seams; the West Kentucky Coal Field is part of the Illinois Basin.

Climate


Located within the southeastern interior portion of North America, Kentucky has a climate that can best be described as a humid subtropical climate
Humid subtropical climate
A humid subtropical climate is a climate zone characterized by hot, humid summers and mild to cool winters...

 (Koppen Cfa). Monthly average temperatures in Kentucky range from a summer daytime high of 87 °F (30.6 °C) to a winter low of 23 °F (-5 °C). The average precipitation is 46 inches (116.8 cm) a year. Kentucky experiences all four seasons, usually with striking variations in the severity of summer and winter from year to year. Kentucky's highest recorded temperature was 114 °F (45.6 °C) at Greensburg
Greensburg, Kentucky
Greensburg is a city in Green County, Kentucky, United States. The population was 2,396 at the 2000 census. It is the county seat of Green County...

 on July 28, 1930 while the lowest recorded temperature was -34 F at Cynthiana
Cynthiana, Kentucky
As of the census of 2000, there were 6,258 people, 2,692 households, and 1,639 families residing in the city. The population density was 1,873.6 people per square mile . There were 2,909 housing units at an average density of 870.9 per square mile...

 on January 28, 1963.

Major weather events that have affected Kentucky include:
Event Death Toll
Louisville Tornado of 1890  est. 76–120+
Ohio River flood of 1937
Ohio River flood of 1937
The Ohio River flood of 1937 took place in late January and February 1937. With damage stretching from Pittsburgh to Cairo, Illinois, one million persons were left homeless, with 385 dead and property losses reaching $500 million...

 
?
April 3, 1974 Tornado Outbreak
Super Outbreak
The Super Outbreak is the second largest tornado outbreak on record for a single 24-hour period, just behind the tornado outbreak of April 25–28, 2011...

 
72
April 7, 1977 Flooding (Cumberland River toppled Pineville floodwall) ?
March 1, 1997 Flooding 18
North American blizzard of 2003
North American blizzard of 2003
The Blizzard of 2003, also known as the Presidents' Day Storm II or simply PDII, was a historical and record-breaking snowstorm on the East Coast of the United States and Canada, which lasted from February 14 to February 19, 2003. It spread heavy snow across the major cities of the Northeastern US,...

 
?
2008 Super Tuesday tornado outbreak
2008 Super Tuesday tornado outbreak
The 2008 Super Tuesday tornado outbreak was a deadly tornado outbreak which affected the Southern United States and the lower Ohio Valley on February 5 and 6, 2008. The event began on Super Tuesday, while 24 U.S. states were holding primary elections and caucuses to select the presidential...

 
Weather.com reported 17 deaths
September 2008 Windstorm
Effects of Hurricane Ike in inland North America
The effects of Hurricane Ike in inland North America were unusually intense and included widespread damage across all or parts of eleven states - Arkansas, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Michigan, Missouri, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Tennessee and West Virginia, and into parts of Ontario as Ike,...

 
1
January 2009 ice storm
January 2009 Central Plains and Midwest ice storm
The January 2009 ice storm was a major ice storm that occurred over parts of Oklahoma, Arkansas, Missouri, Illinois, Indiana, West Virginia, and Kentucky. The storm produced widespread power outages for over 2 million people due to heavy ice accumulation...

 
24+

Monthly Average High and Low Temperatures For Various Kentucky Cities
City Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
Lexington 40/24 45/28 55/36 65/44 74/54 82/62 86/66 85/65 78/58 67/46 54/37 44/28
Louisville 41/25 47/28 57/37 67/46 75/56 83/65 87/70 86/68 79/61 68/48 56/39 45/30
Paducah 42/24 48/28 58/37 68/46 77/55 85/64 89/68 87/65 81/57 71/45 57/36 46/28
Pikeville 46/23 50/25 60/32 69/39 77/49 84/58 87/63 86/62 80/56 71/42 60/33 49/26
Ashland 42/19 47/21 57/29 68/37 77/47 84/56 88/61 87/59 80/52 69/40 57/31 46/23

Lakes and rivers


Kentucky's 90000 miles (144,840.6 km) of streams provides one of the most expansive and complex stream systems in the nation. Kentucky has both the largest artificial lake east of the Mississippi in water volume (Lake Cumberland
Lake Cumberland
Lake Cumberland is a reservoir in Clinton, Laurel, McCreary, Pulaski, Russell, and Wayne counties in Kentucky. The primary reasons for its construction were a means for flood control and the production of hydroelectric power. Its shoreline measures 1,255 miles and the lake is spread over at the...

) and surface area (Kentucky Lake
Kentucky Lake
Kentucky Lake is a major navigable reservoir along the Tennessee River in Kentucky and Tennessee. Created in 1944 by the Tennessee Valley Authority's impounding of the Tennessee River by Kentucky Dam, the lake is the largest artificial lake by surface area in the United States east of the...

). It is the only U.S. state
U.S. state
A U.S. state is any one of the 50 federated states of the United States of America that share sovereignty with the federal government. Because of this shared sovereignty, an American is a citizen both of the federal entity and of his or her state of domicile. Four states use the official title of...

 to be bordered on three sides by rivers—the Mississippi River
Mississippi River
The Mississippi River is the largest river system in North America. Flowing entirely in the United States, this river rises in western Minnesota and meanders slowly southwards for to the Mississippi River Delta at the Gulf of Mexico. With its many tributaries, the Mississippi's watershed drains...

 to the west, the Ohio River
Ohio River
The Ohio River is the largest tributary, by volume, of the Mississippi River. At the confluence, the Ohio is even bigger than the Mississippi and, thus, is hydrologically the main stream of the whole river system, including the Allegheny River further upstream...

 to the north, and the Big Sandy River
Big Sandy River (Ohio River)
The Big Sandy River is a tributary of the Ohio River, approximately long, in western West Virginia and northeastern Kentucky in the United States. The river forms part of the boundary between the two states along its entire course...

 and Tug Fork to the east. Its major internal rivers include the Kentucky River
Kentucky River
The Kentucky River is a tributary of the Ohio River, long, in the U.S. state of Kentucky. The river and its tributaries drain much of the central region of the state, with its upper course passing through the coal-mining regions of the Cumberland Mountains, and its lower course passing through the...

, Tennessee River
Tennessee River
The Tennessee River is the largest tributary of the Ohio River. It is approximately 652 miles long and is located in the southeastern United States in the Tennessee Valley. The river was once popularly known as the Cherokee River, among other names...

, Cumberland River
Cumberland River
The Cumberland River is a waterway in the Southern United States. It is long. It starts in Harlan County in far southeastern Kentucky between Pine and Cumberland mountains, flows through southern Kentucky, crosses into northern Tennessee, and then curves back up into western Kentucky before...

, Green River
Green River (Kentucky)
The Green River is a tributary of the Ohio River that rises in Lincoln County in south-central Kentucky. Tributaries of the Green River include the Barren River, the Nolin River, the Pond River and the Rough River...

 and Licking River
Licking River (Kentucky)
The Licking River is a tributary of the Ohio River in northeastern Kentucky in the United States. The river and its tributaries drain much of the region of northeastern Kentucky between the watersheds of the Kentucky River to the west and the Big Sandy River to the east.-Origin of name:The Native...

.

Though it has only three major natural lakes, the state is home to many artificial lakes. Kentucky also has more navigable miles of water than any other state in the union, other than Alaska.

Natural environment and conservation


Kentucky has an expansive park system which includes one national park, two National Recreation areas, two National Historic Parks, two national forests
United States National Forest
National Forest is a classification of federal lands in the United States.National Forests are largely forest and woodland areas owned by the federal government and managed by the United States Forest Service, part of the United States Department of Agriculture. Land management of these areas...

, two National Wildlife Refuges, 45 state park
State park
State parks are parks or other protected areas managed at the federated state level within those nations which use "state" as a political subdivision. State parks are typically established by a state to preserve a location on account of its natural beauty, historic interest, or recreational...

s, 37696 acres (153 km²) of state forest, and 82 Wildlife Management Areas.

Kentucky has been part of two of the most successful wildlife reintroduction projects in United States history. In the winter of 1997, the Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources began to re-stock elk
Elk
The Elk is the large deer, also called Cervus canadensis or wapiti, of North America and eastern Asia.Elk may also refer to:Other antlered mammals:...

 in the state's eastern counties, which had been extinct from the area for over 150 years. As of 2009, the herd had reached the project goal of 10,000 animals, making it the largest herd east of the Mississippi River
Mississippi River
The Mississippi River is the largest river system in North America. Flowing entirely in the United States, this river rises in western Minnesota and meanders slowly southwards for to the Mississippi River Delta at the Gulf of Mexico. With its many tributaries, the Mississippi's watershed drains...

.

The state also stocked wild turkey
Wild Turkey
The Wild Turkey is native to North America and is the heaviest member of the Galliformes. It is the same species as the domestic turkey, which derives from the South Mexican subspecies of wild turkey .Adult wild turkeys have long reddish-yellow to grayish-green...

s in the 1950s. Once extinct here, more wild turkeys thrive in Kentucky today than in any other eastern state. Hunters telechecked a record 29,006 birds taken during the 23-day season in Spring 2009. Only bearded turkeys were allowed to be hunted; the females are protected for breeding.

In March 2011, Kentucky was rated last place amongst the states in the American State Litter Scorecard, presented at the American Society for Public Administration
American Society for Public Administration
The American Society for Public Administration is a membership association in the United States sponsoring conferences and providing professional services primarily to those who study the implementation of government policy, public administration, and, to a lesser degree, programs of civil society...

 national conference.

Significant natural attractions


  • Cumberland Gap
    Cumberland Gap
    Cumberland Gap is a pass through the Cumberland Mountains region of the Appalachian Mountains, also known as the Cumberland Water Gap, at the juncture of the U.S. states of Tennessee, Kentucky, and Virginia...

    , chief passageway through the Appalachian Mountains
    Appalachian Mountains
    The Appalachian Mountains #Whether the stressed vowel is or ,#Whether the "ch" is pronounced as a fricative or an affricate , and#Whether the final vowel is the monophthong or the diphthong .), often called the Appalachians, are a system of mountains in eastern North America. The Appalachians...

     in early American history.
  • Cumberland Falls
    Cumberland Falls
    Cumberland Falls, sometimes called the Little Niagara, the Niagara of the South, or the Great Falls, is a large waterfall on the Cumberland River in southeastern Kentucky...

     State Park, the only place in the Western Hemisphere where a "moon-bow
    Moonbow
    A moonbow is a rainbow produced by light reflected off the surface of the moon rather than from direct sunlight. Moonbows are relatively faint, due to the smaller amount of light reflected from the surface of the moon...

    " may be regularly seen, due to the spray of the falls.
  • Mammoth Cave National Park
    Mammoth Cave National Park
    Mammoth Cave National Park is a U.S. National Park in central Kentucky, encompassing portions of Mammoth Cave, the longest cave system known in the world. The official name of the system is the Mammoth-Flint Ridge Cave System for the ridge under which the cave has formed. The park was established...

    , featuring the world's longest known cave system.
  • Red River Gorge
    Red River Gorge
    The Red River Gorge is a canyon system on the Red River in east-central Kentucky. Geologically, it is part of the Pottsville Escarpment.Much of the Gorge is located inside the Daniel Boone National Forest and has been subsequently reserved as the Red River Gorge Geological Area, an area of around...

     Geological Area, part of the Daniel Boone National Forest
    Daniel Boone National Forest
    Daniel Boone National Forest is the only national forest completely within the boundary of Kentucky. Established in 1937, it was originally named the Cumberland National Forest, after the core region called the Cumberland Purchase Unit...

    .
  • Land Between the Lakes, a National Recreation Area
    National Recreation Area
    National Recreation Area is a designation for a protected area in the United States, often centered on large reservoirs and emphasizing water-based recreation for a large number of people. The first National Recreation Area was the Boulder Dam Recreation Area...

     managed by the United States Forest Service
    United States Forest Service
    The United States Forest Service is an agency of the United States Department of Agriculture that administers the nation's 155 national forests and 20 national grasslands, which encompass...

    .
  • Big South Fork National River and Recreation Area
    Big South Fork National River and Recreation Area
    The Big South Fork National River and Recreation Area preserves the Big South Fork of the Cumberland River and its tributaries in northeastern Tennessee and southeastern Kentucky...

     near Whitley City
    Whitley City, Kentucky
    Whitley City is a census-designated place in McCreary County, Kentucky, United States. The population was 1,111 at the 2000 census. Despite its name, it is not an incorporated city; however, it is the county seat of McCreary County. Whitley City is one of two non-city county seats in Kentucky the...

    .
  • Black Mountain
    Black Mountain (Kentucky)
    Black Mountain is the highest natural point in the Commonwealth of Kentucky, USA, with a summit elevation of above mean sea level and a top to bottom height of over . The summit is located at in Harlan County, Kentucky near the Virginia border, just above the towns of Lynch, Kentucky and...

    , state's highest point. Runs along the border of Harlan
    Harlan County, Kentucky
    Harlan County is a county located in the U.S. state of Kentucky. It was formed in 1819. As of 2000, the population was 33,200. Its county seat is Harlan...

     and Letcher
    Letcher County, Kentucky
    Letcher County is a county located in the U.S. state of Kentucky. As of 2000, the population was 25,277. Its county seat is Whitesburg. The county is named for Robert P...

     counties.
  • Bad Branch Falls State Nature Preserve
    Bad Branch Falls State Nature Preserve
    Bad Branch Falls State Nature Preserve is a nature preserve in Letcher County, Kentucky. Originally dedicated by the Kentucky State Nature Preserves Commission on September 26, 1985, the preserve was and included Bad Branch Gorge, a forested gorge with a sixty foot waterfall tumbling over...

    , 2639 acres (11 km²) state nature preserve on southern slope of Pine Mountain in Letcher County
    Letcher County, Kentucky
    Letcher County is a county located in the U.S. state of Kentucky. As of 2000, the population was 25,277. Its county seat is Whitesburg. The county is named for Robert P...

    . Includes one of the largest concentrations of rare and endangered species in the state, as well as a 60 feet (18 m) waterfall and a Kentucky Wild River.
  • Jefferson Memorial Forest
    Jefferson Memorial Forest
    The Jefferson Memorial Forest is a forest located in southwest Louisville, Kentucky , in the knobs region of Kentucky. At , it is the largest municipal urban forest in the United States...

    , located in the southern fringes of Louisville
    Louisville, Kentucky
    Louisville is the largest city in the U.S. state of Kentucky, and the county seat of Jefferson County. Since 2003, the city's borders have been coterminous with those of the county because of a city-county merger. The city's population at the 2010 census was 741,096...

     in the Knobs region
    Knobs region
    The Knobs Region is located in the US state of Kentucky. It is a narrow, horseshoe shaped region consisting of hundreds of isolated hills. The region wraps around the bluegrass region in the center of the state...

    , the largest municipally run forest in the United States.
  • Lake Cumberland
    Lake Cumberland
    Lake Cumberland is a reservoir in Clinton, Laurel, McCreary, Pulaski, Russell, and Wayne counties in Kentucky. The primary reasons for its construction were a means for flood control and the production of hydroelectric power. Its shoreline measures 1,255 miles and the lake is spread over at the...

    , 1255 miles (2,020 km) of shoreline located in South Central Kentucky
    South Central Kentucky
    South Central Kentucky is a cultural region of 22 Kentucky counties located roughly between I-65 in the Bowling Green area and I-75 around the London area, but within three counties of the Tennessee border and south of the "Golden Triangle"...

    .
  • Natural Bridge, located in Slade, Kentucky
    Slade, Kentucky
    Slade is an unincorporated rural community in Powell County, Kentucky, United States.A nearby attraction is Natural Bridge State Park.-References:# -Geography:Slade is located at ....

     Powell County
    Powell County, Kentucky
    Powell County is a county located in the U.S. state of Kentucky. As of 2000, the population is 13,237. Its county seat is Stanton. The county was formed January 7, 1852, by Kentucky Governor Lazarus W. Powell...

  • Breaks Interstate Park
    Breaks Interstate Park
    Breaks Interstate Park, also referred as the "Grand Canyon of the South", is located in southeastern Kentucky and southwestern Virginia at the northeastern terminus of Pine Mountain...

    , located in southeastern Pike County, Kentucky
    Pike County, Kentucky
    Pike County is a county located in the U.S. state of Kentucky. As of 2010, the population was 65,024. Its county seat is Pikeville. Pike is Kentucky's largest county in terms of land area. Pike County is the 11th largest county in Kentucky in terms of population preceded by Bullitt County and...

     and Southwestern Virginia
    Virginia
    The Commonwealth of Virginia , is a U.S. state on the Atlantic Coast of the Southern United States. Virginia is nicknamed the "Old Dominion" and sometimes the "Mother of Presidents" after the eight U.S. presidents born there...

    . The Breaks is commonly known as the "Grand Canyon of the South."

History




Although inhabited by Native Americans
Native Americans in the United States
Native Americans in the United States are the indigenous peoples in North America within the boundaries of the present-day continental United States, parts of Alaska, and the island state of Hawaii. They are composed of numerous, distinct tribes, states, and ethnic groups, many of which survive as...

 from at least 1000 BC to about 1650 AD, when European and colonial explorers and settlers began entering Kentucky in greater number in the mid-18th century, there were no major Native American settlements in the region. The Shawnees from the north and Cherokees from the south sent parties into the area regularly for hunting. As more settlers entered the area, warfare broke out because the American Indians saw settlers' attempts to own land to be encroachment on their traditional hunting grounds. The Southern Cherokee Nation of Kentucky still lives in Kentucky today as a state Recognized Tribe.

According to a 1790 U.S. government report, 1,500 Kentucky settlers had been killed in Indian raids since the end of the Revolutionary War
American Revolutionary War
The American Revolutionary War , the American War of Independence, or simply the Revolutionary War, began as a war between the Kingdom of Great Britain and thirteen British colonies in North America, and ended in a global war between several European great powers.The war was the result of the...

. In an attempt to end these raids, Clark
George Rogers Clark
George Rogers Clark was a soldier from Virginia and the highest ranking American military officer on the northwestern frontier during the American Revolutionary War. He served as leader of the Kentucky militia throughout much of the war...

 led an expedition of 1,200 drafted men against Shawnee towns on the Wabash River
Wabash River
The Wabash River is a river in the Midwestern United States that flows southwest from northwest Ohio near Fort Recovery across northern Indiana to southern Illinois, where it forms the Illinois-Indiana border before draining into the Ohio River, of which it is the largest northern tributary...

 in 1786, one of the first actions of the Northwest Indian War
Northwest Indian War
The Northwest Indian War , also known as Little Turtle's War and by various other names, was a war fought between the United States and a confederation of numerous American Indian tribes for control of the Northwest Territory...

.

After the American Revolution
American Revolution
The American Revolution was the political upheaval during the last half of the 18th century in which thirteen colonies in North America joined together to break free from the British Empire, combining to become the United States of America...

, the counties of Virginia
Virginia
The Commonwealth of Virginia , is a U.S. state on the Atlantic Coast of the Southern United States. Virginia is nicknamed the "Old Dominion" and sometimes the "Mother of Presidents" after the eight U.S. presidents born there...

 beyond the Appalachian Mountains
Appalachian Mountains
The Appalachian Mountains #Whether the stressed vowel is or ,#Whether the "ch" is pronounced as a fricative or an affricate , and#Whether the final vowel is the monophthong or the diphthong .), often called the Appalachians, are a system of mountains in eastern North America. The Appalachians...

 became known as Kentucky County
Kentucky County, Virginia
Kentucky County was formed by the Commonwealth of Virginia by dividing Fincastle County into three new counties: Kentucky, Washington, and Montgomery, effective December 31, 1776. Four years later Kentucky County was abolished on June 30, 1780, when it was divided into Fayette, Jefferson, and...

. Eventually, the residents of Kentucky County petitioned for a separation from Virginia. Ten constitutional conventions were held in the Constitution Square Courthouse in Danville
Danville, Kentucky
Danville is a city in and the county seat of Boyle County, Kentucky, United States. The population was 16,218 at the 2010 census.Danville is the principal city of the Danville Micropolitan Statistical Area, which includes all of Boyle and Lincoln counties....

 between 1784 and 1792. In 1790, Kentucky's delegates accepted Virginia's terms of separation, and a state constitution was drafted at the final convention in April 1792. On June 1, 1792, Kentucky became the fifteenth state to be admitted to the union. Isaac Shelby
Isaac Shelby
Isaac Shelby was the first and fifth Governor of the U.S. state of Kentucky and served in the state legislatures of Virginia and North Carolina. He was also a soldier in Lord Dunmore's War, the Revolutionary War, and the War of 1812...

, a military veteran from Virginia, was elected the first Governor of the Commonwealth of Kentucky.

Kentucky was a border state during the American Civil War
American Civil War
The American Civil War was a civil war fought in the United States of America. In response to the election of Abraham Lincoln as President of the United States, 11 southern slave states declared their secession from the United States and formed the Confederate States of America ; the other 25...

. Although frequently described as never having seceded
Secession
Secession is the act of withdrawing from an organization, union, or especially a political entity. Threats of secession also can be a strategy for achieving more limited goals.-Secession theory:...

, representatives from several counties met at Russellville
Russellville, Kentucky
As of the census of 2000, there were 7,149 people, 3,064 households, and 1,973 families residing in the city. The population density was 672.1 people per square mile . There were 3,458 housing units at an average density of 325.1 per square mile...

 calling themselves the "Convention of the People of Kentucky" and passed an Ordinance of Secession
Ordinance of Secession
The Ordinance of Secession was the document drafted and ratified in 1860 and 1861 by the states officially seceding from the United States of America...

 on November 20, 1861. They established a Confederate government of Kentucky
Confederate government of Kentucky
The Confederate government of Kentucky was a shadow government established for the Commonwealth of Kentucky by a self-constituted group of Confederate sympathizers during the American Civil War. The shadow government never replaced the elected government in Frankfort, which had strong Union...

 with its capital in Bowling Green
Bowling Green, Kentucky
Bowling Green is the third-most populous city in the state of Kentucky after Louisville and Lexington, with a population of 58,067 as of the 2010 Census. It is the county seat of Warren County and the principal city of the Bowling Green, Kentucky Metropolitan Statistical Area with an estimated 2009...

. Though Kentucky was represented by the central star on the Confederate battle flag, the Russellville Convention did not represent the majority of residents. A year earlier, philosopher Karl Marx
Karl Marx
Karl Heinrich Marx was a German philosopher, economist, sociologist, historian, journalist, and revolutionary socialist. His ideas played a significant role in the development of social science and the socialist political movement...

 wrote to Friedrich Engels
Friedrich Engels
Friedrich Engels was a German industrialist, social scientist, author, political theorist, philosopher, and father of Marxist theory, alongside Karl Marx. In 1845 he published The Condition of the Working Class in England, based on personal observations and research...

 that the result of a vote deciding how Kentucky would be represented at a convention of the border states
Border states (Civil War)
In the context of the American Civil War, the border states were slave states that did not declare their secession from the United States before April 1861...

 was "100,000 for the Union ticket, only a few thousand for secession." Kentucky officially remained "neutral" throughout the war due to Union sympathies of many of the Commonwealth's citizens. Confederate Memorial Day
Confederate Memorial Day
Confederate Memorial Day, also known as Confederate Decoration Day and Confederate Heroes Day , is an official holiday and/or observance day in parts of the U.S. South as a day to honor those who died fighting for the Confederate States of America during the American Civil War...

 is observed by some in Kentucky on Confederate
Confederate States of America
The Confederate States of America was a government set up from 1861 to 1865 by 11 Southern slave states of the United States of America that had declared their secession from the U.S...

 President Jefferson Davis' birthday, June 3.
The Black Patch Tobacco Wars
Black Patch Tobacco Wars
The "Black Patch" or "dark fired" tobacco area included counties in southwestern Kentucky and adjoining districts in Tennessee. On September 24, 1904, American tobacco planters formed the protectionist Dark Tobacco District Planters' Protective Association of Kentucky and Tennessee to oppose the...

, a vigilante action, occurred in the area in the early 20th century. As result of the tobacco industry
Tobacco industry
The tobacco industry comprises those persons and companies engaged in the growth, preparation for sale, shipment, advertisement, and distribution of tobacco and tobacco-related products. It is a global industry; tobacco can grow in any warm, moist environment, which means it can be farmed on all...

 monopoly, tobacco farmers in the area were forced to sell their tobacco at low prices. Many local farmers and activists united to refuse to sell tobacco to the tobacco industry. A vigilante wing, the "Night Riders", terrorized farmers who sold their tobacco at the low prices demanded by the tobacco corporations. They burned several tobacco warehouses, notably in Hopkinsville
Hopkinsville, Kentucky
Hopkinsville is a city in Christian County, Kentucky, United States. The population was 31,577 at the 2010 census. It is the county seat of Christian County.- History :...

 and Princeton
Princeton, Kentucky
Princeton is a city in Caldwell County, Kentucky, United States. The population was 6,329 at the 2010 census. It is the county seat of Caldwell County.-History:...

. In the later period of their operation, they were known to physically assault farmers in the middle of the night who broke the boycott. The Governor declared martial law
Martial law
Martial law is the imposition of military rule by military authorities over designated regions on an emergency basis— only temporary—when the civilian government or civilian authorities fail to function effectively , when there are extensive riots and protests, or when the disobedience of the law...

 and deployed the Kentucky Militia to end the Black Patch Tobacco Wars
Black Patch Tobacco Wars
The "Black Patch" or "dark fired" tobacco area included counties in southwestern Kentucky and adjoining districts in Tennessee. On September 24, 1904, American tobacco planters formed the protectionist Dark Tobacco District Planters' Protective Association of Kentucky and Tennessee to oppose the...

.

On January 30, 1900, Governor William Goebel
William Goebel
William Justus Goebel was an American politician who served as the 34th Governor of Kentucky for a few days in 1900 after having been mortally wounded by an assassin the day before he was sworn in...

, flanked by two bodyguards and walking to the State Capitol in downtown Frankfort, was mortally wounded by an assassin
Assassination
To carry out an assassination is "to murder by a sudden and/or secret attack, often for political reasons." Alternatively, assassination may be defined as "the act of deliberately killing someone, especially a public figure, usually for hire or for political reasons."An assassination may be...

. Goebel was contesting the election of 1899
Kentucky gubernatorial election, 1899
The Kentucky gubernatorial election of 1899 was held on November 7, 1899, to choose the 33rd governor of Kentucky. The incumbent, Republican William O'Connell Bradley, was term-limited and unable to seek re-election....

, which William S. Taylor
William S. Taylor
William Sylvester Taylor was the 33rd Governor of Kentucky. He was initially declared the winner of the disputed gubernatorial election of 1899, but the Kentucky General Assembly reversed the election results, giving the victory to his opponent, William Goebel...

 was initially believed to have won. For several months, J. C. W. Beckham
J. C. W. Beckham
John Crepps Wickliffe Beckham was the 35th Governor of Kentucky and a United States Senator from Kentucky...

, Goebel's running mate, and Taylor fought over who was the legal governor, until the Supreme Court of the United States
Supreme Court of the United States
The Supreme Court of the United States is the highest court in the United States. It has ultimate appellate jurisdiction over all state and federal courts, and original jurisdiction over a small range of cases...

 ruled in May in favor of Beckham. After fleeing to Indiana
Indiana
Indiana is a US state, admitted to the United States as the 19th on December 11, 1816. It is located in the Midwestern United States and Great Lakes Region. With 6,483,802 residents, the state is ranked 15th in population and 16th in population density. Indiana is ranked 38th in land area and is...

, Taylor was indicted as a co-conspirator in Goebel's assassination
Assassination
To carry out an assassination is "to murder by a sudden and/or secret attack, often for political reasons." Alternatively, assassination may be defined as "the act of deliberately killing someone, especially a public figure, usually for hire or for political reasons."An assassination may be...

. Goebel is the only governor of a U.S. state to have been assassinated while in office.

Law and government


Kentucky is one of four U.S. state
U.S. state
A U.S. state is any one of the 50 federated states of the United States of America that share sovereignty with the federal government. Because of this shared sovereignty, an American is a citizen both of the federal entity and of his or her state of domicile. Four states use the official title of...

s to officially use the term commonwealth, which it inherited from Virginia. Kentucky is also one of only five states that elects its state officials in odd-numbered years (the others are Louisiana
Louisiana
Louisiana is a state located in the southern region of the United States of America. Its capital is Baton Rouge and largest city is New Orleans. Louisiana is the only state in the U.S. with political subdivisions termed parishes, which are local governments equivalent to counties...

, Mississippi
Mississippi
Mississippi is a U.S. state located in the Southern United States. Jackson is the state capital and largest city. The name of the state derives from the Mississippi River, which flows along its western boundary, whose name comes from the Ojibwe word misi-ziibi...

, New Jersey
New Jersey
New Jersey is a state in the Northeastern and Middle Atlantic regions of the United States. , its population was 8,791,894. It is bordered on the north and east by the state of New York, on the southeast and south by the Atlantic Ocean, on the west by Pennsylvania and on the southwest by Delaware...

, and Virginia
Virginia
The Commonwealth of Virginia , is a U.S. state on the Atlantic Coast of the Southern United States. Virginia is nicknamed the "Old Dominion" and sometimes the "Mother of Presidents" after the eight U.S. presidents born there...

). Kentucky holds elections for these offices every 4 years in the years preceding Presidential election years. Thus, the last year when Kentucky elected a Governor was 2011; the next gubernatorial election will occur in 2015, with future gubernatorial elections to take place in 2019, 2023, 2027, etc.

Executive branch


The executive branch is headed by the governor
Governor of Kentucky
The Governor of the Commonwealth of Kentucky is the head of the executive branch of government in the U.S. state of Kentucky. Fifty-six men and one woman have served as Governor of Kentucky. The governor's term is four years in length; since 1992, incumbents have been able to seek re-election once...

 who serves as both head of state
Head of State
A head of state is the individual that serves as the chief public representative of a monarchy, republic, federation, commonwealth or other kind of state. His or her role generally includes legitimizing the state and exercising the political powers, functions, and duties granted to the head of...

 and head of government
Head of government
Head of government is the chief officer of the executive branch of a government, often presiding over a cabinet. In a parliamentary system, the head of government is often styled prime minister, chief minister, premier, etc...

. The lieutenant governor
Lieutenant Governor of Kentucky
The office of lieutenant governor of Kentucky has existed under the last three of Kentucky's four constitutions, beginning in 1797. The lieutenant governor serves as governor of Kentucky under circumstances similar to the Vice President of the United States assuming the powers of the presidency...

 may or may not have executive authority depending on whether the person is a member of the Governor's cabinet
Cabinet (government)
A Cabinet is a body of high ranking government officials, typically representing the executive branch. It can also sometimes be referred to as the Council of Ministers, an Executive Council, or an Executive Committee.- Overview :...

. Under the current Kentucky Constitution
Kentucky Constitution
The Constitution of the Commonwealth of Kentucky is the document that governs the Commonwealth of Kentucky. It was first adopted in 1792 and has since been rewritten three times and amended many more...

, the lieutenant governor assumes the duties of the governor only if the governor is incapacitated. (Prior to 1992, the lieutenant governor assumed power any time the governor was out of the state.) The governor and lieutenant governor usually run on a single ticket (also per a 1992 constitutional amendment), and are elected to four-year terms. Currently, the governor and lieutenant governor are Democrats Steve Beshear
Steve Beshear
Steven Lynn "Steve" Beshear is an American politician who is the 61st Governor of the Commonwealth of Kentucky. A Democrat, Beshear previously served in the Kentucky House of Representatives from 1974 to 1979, was the state's Attorney General from 1980 to 1983, and was Lieutenant Governor from...

 and Daniel Mongiardo
Daniel Mongiardo
Frank Daniel Mongiardo is an American physician and politician from Kentucky. Mongiardo is a Democrat and has been Lieutenant Governor of Kentucky since 2007. He was a member of the Kentucky State Senate from 2001 to 2007. He also ran for the U.S...

.

Other elected constitutional offices include: the Secretary of State, Attorney General, Auditor of Public Accounts, State Treasurer and Commissioner of Agriculture. Currently, Democrat Elaine N. Walker serves as the Secretary of State. The commonwealth's chief prosecutor, law enforcement officer, and law officer is the attorney general. The current Kentucky attorney general is Democrat Jack Conway
Jack Conway (politician)
John William “Jack” Conway is an American politician from Kentucky. Conway is a Democrat and has served as the Attorney General of Kentucky since 2008. Prior to his election as attorney general, he was a candidate in the 2002 U.S. House of Representatives election for , narrowly losing to Anne...

. The Auditor of Public Accounts is held by Democrat Crit Luallen. Democrat Todd Hollenbach is the current Treasurer. Former University of Kentucky basketball
Kentucky Wildcats men's basketball
The Kentucky Wildcats men's basketball team, representing the University of Kentucky, is the winningest in the history of college basketball, both in all-time wins and all-time winning percentage. Kentucky's all-time record currently stands at 2058–647...

 player Richie Farmer, a Republican, serves as the current Commissioner of Agriculture.

Legislative branch


Kentucky's legislative branch consists of a bicameral
Bicameralism
In the government, bicameralism is the practice of having two legislative or parliamentary chambers. Thus, a bicameral parliament or bicameral legislature is a legislature which consists of two chambers or houses....

 body known as the Kentucky General Assembly
Kentucky General Assembly
The Kentucky General Assembly, also called the Kentucky Legislature, is the state legislature of the U.S. state of Kentucky.The General Assembly meets annually in the state capitol building in Frankfort, Kentucky, convening on the first Tuesday after the first Monday in January...

.

The Senate
Kentucky Senate
The Kentucky Senate is the upper house of the Kentucky General Assembly. The Kentucky Senate is composed of 38 members elected from single-member districts throughout the Commonwealth. There are no term limits for Kentucky Senators...

 is considered the upper house
Upper house
An upper house, often called a senate, is one of two chambers of a bicameral legislature, the other chamber being the lower house; a legislature composed of only one house is described as unicameral.- Possible specific characteristics :...

. It has 38 members, and is led by the President of the Senate
President of the Senate
The President of the Senate is a title often given to the presiding officer of a senate, and is the speaker of other assemblies.The senate president often ranks high in a jurisdiction's succession for its top executive office: for example, the President of the Senate of Nigeria is second in line...

, currently Republican
Republican Party (United States)
The Republican Party is one of the two major contemporary political parties in the United States, along with the Democratic Party. Founded by anti-slavery expansion activists in 1854, it is often called the GOP . The party's platform generally reflects American conservatism in the U.S...

 David L. Williams
David L. Williams
David Lewis Williams is a lawyer and politician from the U.S. state of Kentucky. A Republican, he has represented Kentucky's 16th district in the Kentucky Senate since 1987. When Republicans gained control of the state senate in 2000, Williams was chosen as President of the Senate, and he has held...

.

The House of Representatives
Kentucky House of Representatives
The Kentucky House of Representatives is the lower house of the Kentucky General Assembly. It is composed of 100 Representatives elected from single-member districts throughout the Commonwealth. Not more than two counties can be joined to form a House district, except when necessary to preserve...

 has 100 members, and is led by the Speaker of the House, currently Democrat
Democratic Party (United States)
The Democratic Party is one of two major contemporary political parties in the United States, along with the Republican Party. The party's socially liberal and progressive platform is largely considered center-left in the U.S. political spectrum. The party has the lengthiest record of continuous...

 Greg Stumbo
Greg Stumbo
Gregory D. "Greg" Stumbo is the Speaker of the Kentucky House of Representatives. Stumbo, a member of the Democratic Party, is a former Kentucky Attorney General from 2003 to 2007.-Early Career:...

.

Judicial branch


The judicial branch of Kentucky is called the Kentucky Court of Justice and comprises courts of limited jurisdiction
Limited jurisdiction
Limited jurisdiction, or special jurisdiction, is the courts' jurisdiction only on certain types of cases such as bankruptcy, family matters, etc....

 called District Courts; courts of general jurisdiction called Circuit Courts
Kentucky Circuit Courts
The Kentucky Circuit Courts are the state courts of general jurisdiction in the U.S. state of Kentucky.The Circuit Courts are trial courts with original jurisdiction in cases involving capital offenses, felonies, land disputes, contested probates of wills, and civil lawsuits in disputes with an...

; specialty courts such as Drug Court, Family Court; an intermediate appellate court, the Kentucky Court of Appeals
Kentucky Court of Appeals
The Kentucky Court of Appeals is the lower of Kentucky's two appellate courts, under the Kentucky Supreme Court. Prior to a 1975 amendment to the Kentucky Constitution the Kentucky Court of Appeals was the only appellate court in Kentucky....

; and a court of last resort, the Kentucky Supreme Court
Kentucky Supreme Court
The Kentucky Supreme Court was created by a 1975 constitutional amendment and is the state supreme court of the commonwealth of Kentucky. Prior to that the Kentucky Court of Appeals was the only appellate court in Kentucky...

.

The Kentucky Court of Justice is headed by the Chief Justice
Chief Justice
The Chief Justice in many countries is the name for the presiding member of a Supreme Court in Commonwealth or other countries with an Anglo-Saxon justice system based on English common law, such as the Supreme Court of Canada, the Constitutional Court of South Africa, the Court of Final Appeal of...

 of the Commonwealth.

Unlike federal judges, who are usually appointed, justices serving on Kentucky state courts are chosen by the state's populace in non-partisan elections.

Federal representation


Kentucky's two Senators
United States Senate
The United States Senate is the upper house of the bicameral legislature of the United States, and together with the United States House of Representatives comprises the United States Congress. The composition and powers of the Senate are established in Article One of the U.S. Constitution. Each...

 are Senate Minority Leader
Party leaders of the United States Senate
The Senate Majority and Minority Leaders are two United States Senators who are elected by the party conferences that hold the majority and the minority respectively. These leaders serve as the chief Senate spokespeople for their parties and manage and schedule the legislative and executive...

 Mitch McConnell
Mitch McConnell
Addison Mitchell "Mitch" McConnell, Jr. is the senior United States Senator from Kentucky and the Republican Minority Leader.- Early life, education, and military service :...

 and Rand Paul
Rand Paul
Randal Howard "Rand" Paul is the junior United States Senator for Kentucky. He is a member of the Republican Party. A member of the Tea Party movement, he describes himself as a "constitutional conservative" and a libertarian...

, both Republicans
Republican Party (United States)
The Republican Party is one of the two major contemporary political parties in the United States, along with the Democratic Party. Founded by anti-slavery expansion activists in 1854, it is often called the GOP . The party's platform generally reflects American conservatism in the U.S...

. The state is divided into six Congressional Districts
Kentucky Congressional Districts
-Current apportionment:Kentucky is currently divided into six Congressional districts.-Obsolete districts:The following are former districts of Kentucky:, obsolete since 1993, obsolete since 1963, obsolete since 1953, obsolete since 1933, obsolete since 1933, obsolete since 1843, obsolete since...

, represented by Republicans
Republican Party (United States)
The Republican Party is one of the two major contemporary political parties in the United States, along with the Democratic Party. Founded by anti-slavery expansion activists in 1854, it is often called the GOP . The party's platform generally reflects American conservatism in the U.S...

 Ed Whitfield
Ed Whitfield
Wayne Edward "Ed" Whitfield is the U.S. Representative of , serving since 1995. He is a member of the Republican Party.The district covers much of the western part of the state, including Hopkinsville, Paducah, Henderson and Kentucky's share of Fort Campbell.-Early life, education and...

 (1st
Kentucky's 1st congressional district
Kentucky's 1st congressional district is a congressional district in the U.S. state of Kentucky. Located in Western Kentucky, the district takes in Henderson, Hopkinsville, Madisonville, Paducah, and the college town of Murray....

), Brett Guthrie
Brett Guthrie
Steven Brett Guthrie is the U.S. Representative for , a Bowling Green-based district, since 2009. He is a member of the Republican Party. He previously served in the Kentucky Senate.-Early life, education, and career:...

 (2nd
Kentucky's 2nd congressional district
Kentucky's 2nd congressional district is a congressional district in the U.S. state of Kentucky. Located in west central Kentucky, the district includes Bowling Green, Owensboro, and Elizabethtown. The district has not seen an incumbent defeated since 1884....

), Geoff Davis
Geoff Davis
Geoffrey C. "Geoff" Davis is the U.S. Representative for , serving since 2005. He is a member of the Republican Party....

 (4th
Kentucky's 4th congressional district
Kentucky's 4th congressional district is a congressional district in the U.S. state of Kentucky. Located in Northern Kentucky, it is a long district that follows the Ohio River...

), and Hal Rogers
Hal Rogers
Harold Dallas "Hal" Rogers is the U.S. Representative for , serving since 1981. He is a member of the Republican Party.-Early life, education, and early career:...

 (5th
Kentucky's 5th congressional district
Kentucky's 5th congressional district is a congressional district in the U.S. state of Kentucky. Located in the heart of Appalachia in Southeastern Kentucky, the rural district is one of the most impoverished districts in the nation and, as of the 2010 U.S. Census, it has the largest percentage of...

), and Democrats
Democratic Party (United States)
The Democratic Party is one of two major contemporary political parties in the United States, along with the Republican Party. The party's socially liberal and progressive platform is largely considered center-left in the U.S. political spectrum. The party has the lengthiest record of continuous...

 John Yarmuth
John Yarmuth
John Yarmuth is the U.S. Representative for , serving since 2007. He is a member of the Democratic Party.- Early life, education and career :...

 (3rd
Kentucky's 3rd congressional district
Kentucky's 3rd congressional district is a congressional district in the U.S. state of Kentucky encompassing nearly the whole city of Louisville, which, since the merger of 2003, is contiguous with Jefferson County...

) and Ben Chandler
Ben Chandler
Albert Benjamin "Ben" Chandler III is the U.S. Representative for , serving since a special election in 2004. He is a member of the Democratic Party.-Early life, education and career:...

 (6th
Kentucky's 6th congressional district
Kentucky's 6th congressional district is a congressional district in the U.S. state of Kentucky. Based in Central Kentucky, the district contains the cities of Lexington , Richmond, and Frankfort, the state capital....

).

Judicially, Kentucky is split into two Federal court districts: the Kentucky Eastern District
United States District Court for the Eastern District of Kentucky
The United States District Court for the Eastern District of Kentucky is the Federal district court whose jurisdiction comprises approximately the Eastern half of the state of Kentucky....

 and the Kentucky Western District
United States District Court for the Western District of Kentucky
The United States District Court for the Western District of Kentucky is the federal district court for the western part of the state of Kentucky....

. Appeals are heard in the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals
United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit
The United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit is a federal court with appellate jurisdiction over the district courts in the following districts:* Eastern District of Kentucky* Western District of Kentucky...

 based in Cincinnati, Ohio.

Law


Kentucky's body of laws, known as the Kentucky Revised Statutes
Kentucky Revised Statutes
Kentucky Revised Statutes is the name given to the body of laws which govern the Commonwealth of Kentucky, United States. They are created pursuant to the Kentucky Constitution and must conform to the limitations set out in the Constitutions of Kentucky and the United States...

 (KRS), were enacted in 1942 to better organize and clarify the whole of Kentucky law. The statutes are enforced by local police
Police
The police is a personification of the state designated to put in practice the enforced law, protect property and reduce civil disorder in civilian matters. Their powers include the legitimized use of force...

, sheriffs
Sheriffs in the United States
In the United States, a sheriff is a county official and is typically the top law enforcement officer of a county. Historically, the sheriff was also commander of the militia in that county. Distinctive to law enforcement in the United States, sheriffs are usually elected. The political election of...

 and deputy sheriffs, and constable
Constable
A constable is a person holding a particular office, most commonly in law enforcement. The office of constable can vary significantly in different jurisdictions.-Etymology:...

s and deputy constables. Unless they have completed a police academy
Police academy
A police academy is a training school for new police recruits, also known as a law enforcement academy.-Australia:Larger police departments usually run their own academies. States often run a centralised academy for training of personnel of law enforcement agencies within the state.Police...

 elsewhere, these officers are required to complete training at the Kentucky Department of Criminal Justice Training Center on the campus of Eastern Kentucky University
Eastern Kentucky University
Eastern Kentucky University, commonly referred to as Eastern or by the acronym EKU by local residents, is an undergraduate and graduate teaching and research institution located in Richmond, Kentucky, U.S.A.. EKU is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools...

. Additionally, in 1948, the Kentucky General Assembly
Kentucky General Assembly
The Kentucky General Assembly, also called the Kentucky Legislature, is the state legislature of the U.S. state of Kentucky.The General Assembly meets annually in the state capitol building in Frankfort, Kentucky, convening on the first Tuesday after the first Monday in January...

 established the Kentucky State Police
Kentucky State Police
The Kentucky State Police is a department of the Kentucky Justice and Public Safety Cabinet. The department was founded in 1948 and replaced the Kentucky Highway Patrol...

, making it the 38th state to create a force whose jurisdiction extends throughout the given state.

Kentucky is one of 36 states in the United States that sanctions the death penalty
Capital punishment
Capital punishment, the death penalty, or execution is the sentence of death upon a person by the state as a punishment for an offence. Crimes that can result in a death penalty are known as capital crimes or capital offences. The term capital originates from the Latin capitalis, literally...

 for certain crimes. Those convicted of capital crimes after March 31, 1998 are always executed by lethal injection
Lethal injection
Lethal injection is the practice of injecting a person with a fatal dose of drugs for the express purpose of causing the immediate death of the subject. The main application for this procedure is capital punishment, but the term may also be applied in a broad sense to euthanasia and suicide...

; those convicted before this date may opt for the electric chair
Electric chair
Execution by electrocution, usually performed using an electric chair, is an execution method originating in the United States in which the condemned person is strapped to a specially built wooden chair and electrocuted through electrodes placed on the body...

. Only three people have been executed in Kentucky since the U.S. Supreme Court
Supreme Court of the United States
The Supreme Court of the United States is the highest court in the United States. It has ultimate appellate jurisdiction over all state and federal courts, and original jurisdiction over a small range of cases...

 re-instituted the practice in 1976. The most notable execution in Kentucky, however, was that of Rainey Bethea
Rainey Bethea
Rainey Bethea was the last person to be publicly executed in the United States. Bethea, who was a black man, confessed to the rape and murder of a 70-year-old white woman named Lischia Edwards, and after being convicted of her rape, he was publicly hanged in Owensboro, Kentucky...

 on August 14, 1936. Bethea was publicly hanged in Owensboro
Owensboro, Kentucky
Owensboro is the fourth largest city by population in the U.S. state of Kentucky. It is the county seat of Daviess County. It is located on U.S. Route 60 about southeast of Evansville, Indiana, and is the principal city of the Owensboro, Kentucky, Metropolitan Statistical Area. The city's...

 for the rape
Rape
Rape is a type of sexual assault usually involving sexual intercourse, which is initiated by one or more persons against another person without that person's consent. The act may be carried out by physical force, coercion, abuse of authority or with a person who is incapable of valid consent. The...

 and murder
Murder
Murder is the unlawful killing, with malice aforethought, of another human being, and generally this state of mind distinguishes murder from other forms of unlawful homicide...

 of Lischia Edwards. Irregularities with the execution led to this becoming the last public execution in the United States.

Kentucky has been on the front lines of the debate over displaying the Ten Commandments
Ten Commandments
The Ten Commandments, also known as the Decalogue , are a set of biblical principles relating to ethics and worship, which play a fundamental role in Judaism and most forms of Christianity. They include instructions to worship only God and to keep the Sabbath, and prohibitions against idolatry,...

 on public property. In the 2005 case of McCreary County v. ACLU of Kentucky
McCreary County v. ACLU of Kentucky
McCreary County v. ACLU of Kentucky, , is a case which was argued before the Supreme Court of the United States on March 2, 2005. At issue is whether government-sponsored displays of the Ten Commandments in county courthouses violate the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment.In a suit...

, the U.S. Supreme Court
Supreme Court of the United States
The Supreme Court of the United States is the highest court in the United States. It has ultimate appellate jurisdiction over all state and federal courts, and original jurisdiction over a small range of cases...

 upheld the decision of the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals
United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit
The United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit is a federal court with appellate jurisdiction over the district courts in the following districts:* Eastern District of Kentucky* Western District of Kentucky...

 that a display of the Ten Commandments
Ten Commandments
The Ten Commandments, also known as the Decalogue , are a set of biblical principles relating to ethics and worship, which play a fundamental role in Judaism and most forms of Christianity. They include instructions to worship only God and to keep the Sabbath, and prohibitions against idolatry,...

 in the Whitley City
Whitley City, Kentucky
Whitley City is a census-designated place in McCreary County, Kentucky, United States. The population was 1,111 at the 2000 census. Despite its name, it is not an incorporated city; however, it is the county seat of McCreary County. Whitley City is one of two non-city county seats in Kentucky the...

 courthouse of McCreary County
McCreary County, Kentucky
McCreary County is a county located in the U.S. state of Kentucky. As of 2000, the population was 17,080. Its county seat is Whitley City. The county is named for James B. McCreary, a Confederate war hero and Governor of Kentucky from 1875 to 1879. It is the only Kentucky county to not have a...

 was unconstitutional. Later that year, Judge Richard Fred Suhrheinrich
Richard Fred Suhrheinrich
Richard Fred Suhrheinrich is a judge of the United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit serving in Lansing, Michigan.Born in Lincoln City, Indiana, Suhrheinrich earned his Bachelor of Science in 1960 from Wayne State University, his Juris Doctor with honors in 1963 from the Detroit...

, writing for the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals
United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit
The United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit is a federal court with appellate jurisdiction over the district courts in the following districts:* Eastern District of Kentucky* Western District of Kentucky...

 in the case of ACLU
American Civil Liberties Union
The American Civil Liberties Union is a U.S. non-profit organization whose stated mission is "to defend and preserve the individual rights and liberties guaranteed to every person in this country by the Constitution and laws of the United States." It works through litigation, legislation, and...

 of Kentucky v. Mercer County
Mercer County, Kentucky
Mercer County is a county located in the U.S. state of Kentucky. As of 2000, the population was 20,817. Its county seat is Harrodsburg. The county is named for General Hugh Mercer...

, wrote that a display including the Mayflower Compact
Mayflower Compact
The Mayflower Compact was the first governing document of Plymouth Colony. It was written by the colonists, later together known to history as the Pilgrims, who crossed the Atlantic aboard the Mayflower...

, the Declaration of Independence
United States Declaration of Independence
The Declaration of Independence was a statement adopted by the Continental Congress on July 4, 1776, which announced that the thirteen American colonies then at war with Great Britain regarded themselves as independent states, and no longer a part of the British Empire. John Adams put forth a...

, the Ten Commandments
Ten Commandments
The Ten Commandments, also known as the Decalogue , are a set of biblical principles relating to ethics and worship, which play a fundamental role in Judaism and most forms of Christianity. They include instructions to worship only God and to keep the Sabbath, and prohibitions against idolatry,...

, the Magna Carta
Magna Carta
Magna Carta is an English charter, originally issued in the year 1215 and reissued later in the 13th century in modified versions, which included the most direct challenges to the monarch's authority to date. The charter first passed into law in 1225...

, The Star-Spangled Banner
The Star-Spangled Banner
"The Star-Spangled Banner" is the national anthem of the United States of America. The lyrics come from "Defence of Fort McHenry", a poem written in 1814 by the 35-year-old lawyer and amateur poet, Francis Scott Key, after witnessing the bombardment of Fort McHenry by the British Royal Navy ships...

, and the national motto
In God We Trust
"In God We Trust" was adopted as the official motto of the United States in 1956. It is also the motto of the U.S. state of Florida. The Legality of this motto has been questioned because of the United States Constitution forbidding the government to make any law respecting the establishment of a...

 could be erected in the Mercer County
Mercer County, Kentucky
Mercer County is a county located in the U.S. state of Kentucky. As of 2000, the population was 20,817. Its county seat is Harrodsburg. The county is named for General Hugh Mercer...

 courthouse.

Kentucky has also been known to have unusually high political candidacy age laws, especially compared to surrounding states. The origin of this is unknown, but it has been suggested it has to do with the commonwealth tradition.

Politics


Presidential elections results
Year Republicans
Republican Party (United States)
The Republican Party is one of the two major contemporary political parties in the United States, along with the Democratic Party. Founded by anti-slavery expansion activists in 1854, it is often called the GOP . The party's platform generally reflects American conservatism in the U.S...

Democrats
Democratic Party (United States)
The Democratic Party is one of two major contemporary political parties in the United States, along with the Republican Party. The party's socially liberal and progressive platform is largely considered center-left in the U.S. political spectrum. The party has the lengthiest record of continuous...

2008
United States presidential election, 2008
The United States presidential election of 2008 was the 56th quadrennial presidential election. It was held on November 4, 2008. Democrat Barack Obama, then the junior United States Senator from Illinois, defeated Republican John McCain, the senior U.S. Senator from Arizona. Obama received 365...

57.37% 1,048,462 41.15% 751,985
2004
United States presidential election, 2004
The United States presidential election of 2004 was the United States' 55th quadrennial presidential election. It was held on Tuesday, November 2, 2004. Republican Party candidate and incumbent President George W. Bush defeated Democratic Party candidate John Kerry, the then-junior U.S. Senator...

59.55% 1,069,439 39.69% 712,733
2000
United States presidential election, 2000
The United States presidential election of 2000 was a contest between Republican candidate George W. Bush, then-governor of Texas and son of former president George H. W. Bush , and Democratic candidate Al Gore, then-Vice President....

56.50% 872,492 41.37% 638,898
1996
United States presidential election, 1996
The United States presidential election of 1996 was a contest between the Democratic national ticket of President Bill Clinton of Arkansas and Vice President Al Gore of Tennessee and the Republican national ticket of former Senator Bob Dole of Kansas for President and former Housing Secretary Jack...

44.88% 623,283 45.84% 636,614
1992
United States presidential election, 1992
The United States presidential election of 1992 had three major candidates: Incumbent Republican President George Bush; Democratic Arkansas Governor Bill Clinton, and independent Texas businessman Ross Perot....

41.34% 617,178 44.55% 665,104
1988
United States presidential election, 1988
The United States presidential election of 1988 featured no incumbent president, as President Ronald Reagan was unable to seek re-election after serving the maximum two terms allowed by the Twenty-second Amendment. Reagan's Vice President, George H. W. Bush, won the Republican nomination, while the...

55.52% 734,281 43.88% 580,368
1984
United States presidential election, 1984
The United States presidential election of 1984 was a contest between the incumbent President Ronald Reagan, the Republican candidate, and former Vice President Walter Mondale, the Democratic candidate. Reagan was helped by a strong economic recovery from the deep recession of 1981–1982...

60.04% 822,782 39.37% 539,589
1980
United States presidential election, 1980
The United States presidential election of 1980 featured a contest between incumbent Democrat Jimmy Carter and his Republican opponent, Ronald Reagan, as well as Republican Congressman John B. Anderson, who ran as an independent...

49.07% 635,274 47.61% 616,417
1976
United States presidential election, 1976
The United States presidential election of 1976 followed the resignation of President Richard Nixon in the wake of the Watergate scandal. It pitted incumbent President Gerald Ford, the Republican candidate, against the relatively unknown former governor of Georgia, Jimmy Carter, the Democratic...

45.57% 531,852 52.75% 615,717
1972
United States presidential election, 1972
The United States presidential election of 1972 was the 47th quadrennial United States presidential election. It was held on November 7, 1972. The Democratic Party's nomination was eventually won by Senator George McGovern, who ran an anti-war campaign against incumbent Republican President Richard...

63.37% 676,446 34.77% 371,159
1968
United States presidential election, 1968
The United States presidential election of 1968 was the 46th quadrennial United States presidential election. Coming four years after Democrat Lyndon B. Johnson won in a historic landslide, it saw Johnson forced out of the race and Republican Richard Nixon elected...

43.79% 462,411 37.65% 397,541
1964
United States presidential election, 1964
The United States presidential election of 1964 was held on November 3, 1964. Incumbent President Lyndon B. Johnson had come to office less than a year earlier following the assassination of his predecessor, John F. Kennedy. Johnson, who had successfully associated himself with Kennedy's...

35.65% 372,977 64.01% 669,659
1960
United States presidential election, 1960
The United States presidential election of 1960 was the 44th American presidential election, held on November 8, 1960, for the term beginning January 20, 1961, and ending January 20, 1965. The incumbent president, Republican Dwight D. Eisenhower, was not eligible to run again. The Republican Party...

53.59% 602,607 46.41% 521,855


Where politics are concerned, Kentucky historically has been very hard fought and leaned slightly toward the Democratic Party
Democratic Party (United States)
The Democratic Party is one of two major contemporary political parties in the United States, along with the Republican Party. The party's socially liberal and progressive platform is largely considered center-left in the U.S. political spectrum. The party has the lengthiest record of continuous...

, although it was never included among the "Solid South
Solid South
Solid South is the electoral support of the Southern United States for the Democratic Party candidates for nearly a century from 1877, the end of Reconstruction, to 1964, during the middle of the Civil Rights era....

". In 2006, 57.05% of the state's voters were officially registered as Democrats, 36.55% registered Republican
Republican Party (United States)
The Republican Party is one of the two major contemporary political parties in the United States, along with the Democratic Party. Founded by anti-slavery expansion activists in 1854, it is often called the GOP . The party's platform generally reflects American conservatism in the U.S...

, and 6.39% registered with some other political party
Political party
A political party is a political organization that typically seeks to influence government policy, usually by nominating their own candidates and trying to seat them in political office. Parties participate in electoral campaigns, educational outreach or protest actions...

. Despite this, the state often supports Republican
Republican Party (United States)
The Republican Party is one of the two major contemporary political parties in the United States, along with the Democratic Party. Founded by anti-slavery expansion activists in 1854, it is often called the GOP . The party's platform generally reflects American conservatism in the U.S...

 candidates for federal offices.

From 1964 through 2004, Kentucky voted for the eventual winner of the election for President of the United States. In the 2008 election
United States presidential election, 2008
The United States presidential election of 2008 was the 56th quadrennial presidential election. It was held on November 4, 2008. Democrat Barack Obama, then the junior United States Senator from Illinois, defeated Republican John McCain, the senior U.S. Senator from Arizona. Obama received 365...

, however, the state lost its bellwether
Bellwether
A bellwether is any entity in a given arena that serves to create or influence trends or to presage future happenings.The term is derived from the Middle English bellewether and refers to the practice of placing a bell around the neck of a castrated ram leading his flock of sheep.The movements of...

 status when John McCain
John McCain
John Sidney McCain III is the senior United States Senator from Arizona. He was the Republican nominee for president in the 2008 United States election....

, who won Kentucky, lost the national popular and electoral vote to Barack Obama
Barack Obama
Barack Hussein Obama II is the 44th and current President of the United States. He is the first African American to hold the office. Obama previously served as a United States Senator from Illinois, from January 2005 until he resigned following his victory in the 2008 presidential election.Born in...

 (McCain carried Kentucky 57 to 41%). The Commonwealth supported the previous three Democratic candidates elected to the White House, all elected from Southern states: Lyndon B. Johnson
Lyndon B. Johnson
Lyndon Baines Johnson , often referred to as LBJ, was the 36th President of the United States after his service as the 37th Vice President of the United States...

 (Texas
Texas
Texas is the second largest U.S. state by both area and population, and the largest state by area in the contiguous United States.The name, based on the Caddo word "Tejas" meaning "friends" or "allies", was applied by the Spanish to the Caddo themselves and to the region of their settlement in...

) in 1964, Jimmy Carter
Jimmy Carter
James Earl "Jimmy" Carter, Jr. is an American politician who served as the 39th President of the United States and was the recipient of the 2002 Nobel Peace Prize, the only U.S. President to have received the Prize after leaving office...

 (Georgia
Georgia (U.S. state)
Georgia is a state located in the southeastern United States. It was established in 1732, the last of the original Thirteen Colonies. The state is named after King George II of Great Britain. Georgia was the fourth state to ratify the United States Constitution, on January 2, 1788...

) in 1976, and Bill Clinton
Bill Clinton
William Jefferson "Bill" Clinton is an American politician who served as the 42nd President of the United States from 1993 to 2001. Inaugurated at age 46, he was the third-youngest president. He took office at the end of the Cold War, and was the first president of the baby boomer generation...

 (Arkansas
Arkansas
Arkansas is a state located in the southern region of the United States. Its name is an Algonquian name of the Quapaw Indians. Arkansas shares borders with six states , and its eastern border is largely defined by the Mississippi River...

) in 1992 and 1996. In presidential elections, the state has become a Republican stronghold, supporting that party's presidential candidates by double-digit margins in 2000, 2004 and 2008. At the state level and in most local areas, the Democratic Party is the dominant party.
Voter Registration and Party Enrollment as of June 26, 2010
Party Number of Voters Percentage
Democratic
Democratic Party (United States)
The Democratic Party is one of two major contemporary political parties in the United States, along with the Republican Party. The party's socially liberal and progressive platform is largely considered center-left in the U.S. political spectrum. The party has the lengthiest record of continuous...

1,619,391 56.59%
Republican
Republican Party (United States)
The Republican Party is one of the two major contemporary political parties in the United States, along with the Democratic Party. Founded by anti-slavery expansion activists in 1854, it is often called the GOP . The party's platform generally reflects American conservatism in the U.S...

1,052,902 36.79%
Other 189,499 6.62%
Total 2,861,792 100%

Demographics




As of July 1, 2006, Kentucky has an estimated population of 4,206,074, which is an increase of 33,466, or 0.8%, from the prior year and an increase of 164,586, or 4.1%, since the year 2000. This includes a natural increase
Population growth
Population growth is the change in a population over time, and can be quantified as the change in the number of individuals of any species in a population using "per unit time" for measurement....

 since the last census of 77,156 people (that is 287,222 births minus 210,066 deaths) and an increase due to net migration of 59,604 people into the state. Immigration
Immigration to the United States
Immigration to the United States has been a major source of population growth and cultural change throughout much of the history of the United States. The economic, social, and political aspects of immigration have caused controversy regarding ethnicity, economic benefits, jobs for non-immigrants,...

 from outside the United States resulted in a net increase of 27,435 people, and migration within the country produced a net increase of 32,169 people. As of 2004, Kentucky's population included about 95,000 foreign-born persons (2.3%). The population density of the state is 101.7 people per square mile.

Kentucky's total population has grown during every decade since records began. However, during most decades of the 20th century there was also net out-migration from Kentucky. Since 1900, rural Kentucky counties have experienced a net loss of over 1 million people from migration, while urban areas have experienced a slight net gain.

The center of population
Center of population
In demographics, the center of population of a region is a geographical point that describes a centerpoint of the region's population...

 of Kentucky is located in Washington County
Washington County, Kentucky
Washington County is a county located in the U.S. state of Kentucky. As of 2000, the population was 10,916. Its county seat is Springfield. The county is named for George Washington. Washington County was the first county formed in the Commonwealth of Kentucky when it reached statehood...

, in the city of Willisburg
Willisburg, Kentucky
Willisburg is a city in Washington County, Kentucky, United States. The population was 304 at the 2000 census. The center of population of Kentucky is located in Willisburg .-Geography:Willisburg is located at ....

.

Race and ancestry


The largest ancestries in the commonwealth are: English
English American
English Americans are citizens or residents of the United States whose ancestry originates wholly or partly in England....

 (30.6%), German
German American
German Americans are citizens of the United States of German ancestry and comprise about 51 million people, or 17% of the U.S. population, the country's largest self-reported ancestral group...

 (12.7%), Irish
Irish American
Irish Americans are citizens of the United States who can trace their ancestry to Ireland. A total of 36,278,332 Americans—estimated at 11.9% of the total population—reported Irish ancestry in the 2008 American Community Survey conducted by the U.S. Census Bureau...

 (10.5%), and African American
African American
African Americans are citizens or residents of the United States who have at least partial ancestry from any of the native populations of Sub-Saharan Africa and are the direct descendants of enslaved Africans within the boundaries of the present United States...

 (7.8%). In the state's most urban counties of Jefferson
Jefferson County, Kentucky
As of the census of 2000, there were 693,604 people, 287,012 households, and 183,113 families residing in the county. The population density was . There were 305,835 housing units at an average density of...

, Oldham
Oldham County, Kentucky
As of the census of 2000, there were 46,178 people, 14,856 households, and 12,196 families residing in the county. The population density was . There were 15,541 housing units at an average density of...

, Fayette
Lexington, Kentucky
Lexington is the second-largest city in Kentucky and the 63rd largest in the US. Known as the "Thoroughbred City" and the "Horse Capital of the World", it is located in the heart of Kentucky's Bluegrass region...

, Boone
Boone County, Kentucky
Boone County is a county located in the U.S. state of Kentucky. It was formed in 1798. The population was 118,811 in the 2010 Census. Its county seat is Burlington. The county is named for frontiersman Daniel Boone...

, Kenton
Kenton County, Kentucky
Kenton County is a county located in the Commonwealth of Kentucky, United States. It was formed in 1840. In 2010, the population was 159,720. It is the third most populous county in Kentucky behind Jefferson County and Fayette County. Its county seats are Covington and Independence...

, and Campbell
Campbell County, Kentucky
Campbell County is a county located in the U.S. state of Kentucky. It was formed on December 17, 1794, from sections of Scott, Harrison and Mason counties. As of 2010, the population was 90,336. Its county seats are Alexandria and Newport...

, German is the largest reported ancestry. Americans of Scots-Irish
Scots-Irish American
Scotch-Irish Americans are an estimated 250,000 Presbyterian and other Protestant dissenters from the Irish province of Ulster who immigrated to North America primarily during the colonial era and their descendants. Some scholars also include the 150,000 Ulster Protestants who immigrated to...

 and English
English American
English Americans are citizens or residents of the United States whose ancestry originates wholly or partly in England....

 stock are present throughout the entire state, and many claim Irish ancestry because of the term "Scots-Irish", but most of the time in Kentucky this term is used for those with Scottish roots, rather than Irish. Southeastern Kentucky was populated by a large group of Native Americans of mixed heritage, also known as Melungeons, in the early 19th century. Groups like the Ridgetop Shawnee were organizing the descendants of those early Native American settlers.

African Americans, who made up one-fourth of Kentucky's population prior to the Civil War
American Civil War
The American Civil War was a civil war fought in the United States of America. In response to the election of Abraham Lincoln as President of the United States, 11 southern slave states declared their secession from the United States and formed the Confederate States of America ; the other 25...

, declined in number as many moved to the industrial North in the Great Migration
Great Migration (African American)
The Great Migration was the movement of 6 million blacks out of the Southern United States to the Northeast, Midwest, and West from 1910 to 1970. Some historians differentiate between a Great Migration , numbering about 1.6 million migrants, and a Second Great Migration , in which 5 million or more...

. Today, the African American population of Jefferson County is 20%; 44.2% of Kentucky's African American population is in Jefferson County and 52% are in the Louisville Metro Area. Other areas with high concentrations, besides Christian and Fulton Counties, are the city of Paducah
Paducah, Kentucky
Paducah is the largest city in Kentucky's Jackson Purchase Region and the county seat of McCracken County, Kentucky, United States. It is located at the confluence of the Tennessee River and the Ohio River, halfway between the metropolitan areas of St. Louis, Missouri, to the west and Nashville,...

, the Bluegrass, and the city of Lexington
Lexington, Kentucky
Lexington is the second-largest city in Kentucky and the 63rd largest in the US. Known as the "Thoroughbred City" and the "Horse Capital of the World", it is located in the heart of Kentucky's Bluegrass region...

. Many mining communities in far Southeastern Kentucky also have populations between five and 10 percent African American.

Religion



In 2000, The Association of Religion Data Archives reported that of Kentucky's 4,041,769 residents:
  • 47% were not affiliated with any church
  • 34% were members of Evangelical Protestant
    Evangelicalism
    Evangelicalism is a Protestant Christian movement which began in Great Britain in the 1730s and gained popularity in the United States during the series of Great Awakenings of the 18th and 19th century.Its key commitments are:...

     churches
    • Southern Baptist Convention
      Southern Baptist Convention
      The Southern Baptist Convention is a United States-based Christian denomination. It is the world's largest Baptist denomination and the largest Protestant body in the United States, with over 16 million members...

       (979,994 members, 24%)
    • Christian churches and churches of Christ (106,638 members, 3%)
    • Churches of Christ (58,602 members, 1%)
  • 10% were Roman Catholics
    Roman Catholic Church
    The Catholic Church, also known as the Roman Catholic Church, is the world's largest Christian church, with over a billion members. Led by the Pope, it defines its mission as spreading the gospel of Jesus Christ, administering the sacraments and exercising charity...

  • 9% belonged to mainline Protestant churches
    • United Methodist Church
      United Methodist Church
      The United Methodist Church is a Methodist Christian denomination which is both mainline Protestant and evangelical. Founded in 1968 by the union of The Methodist Church and the Evangelical United Brethren Church, the UMC traces its roots back to the revival movement of John and Charles Wesley...

       (208,720 members, 5%)
    • Christian Church (Disciples of Christ)
      Christian Church (Disciples of Christ)
      The Christian Church is a Mainline Protestant denomination in North America. It is often referred to as The Christian Church, The Disciples of Christ, or more simply as The Disciples...

       (67,611 members, 2%)
  • 0.05% were Orthodox Christians
  • 1% were affiliated with other theologies.


Today Kentucky is home to several seminaries. Southern Baptist Theological Seminary
Southern Baptist Theological Seminary
The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary , located in Louisville, Kentucky, is the oldest of the six seminaries affiliated with the Southern Baptist Convention . The seminary was founded in 1859, at Greenville, South Carolina. After being closed during the Civil War, it moved in 1877 to Louisville...

 in Louisville
Louisville, Kentucky
Louisville is the largest city in the U.S. state of Kentucky, and the county seat of Jefferson County. Since 2003, the city's borders have been coterminous with those of the county because of a city-county merger. The city's population at the 2010 census was 741,096...

 is the principal seminary for the Southern Baptist Convention
Southern Baptist Convention
The Southern Baptist Convention is a United States-based Christian denomination. It is the world's largest Baptist denomination and the largest Protestant body in the United States, with over 16 million members...

. Louisville is also the home of the Louisville Presbyterian Theological Seminary
Louisville Presbyterian Theological Seminary
Louisville Presbyterian Theological Seminary is a seminary affiliated with the Presbyterian Church , located in Louisville, Kentucky. It is one of ten official PC seminaries....

. Lexington has two seminaries, Lexington Theological Seminary
Lexington Theological Seminary
Lexington Theological Seminary is an accredited graduate theological institution located in Lexington, Kentucky. Although the seminary is related to the Christian Church , it is intentionally ecumenical with almost 50 percent of its enrollment coming from other denominations...

, and the Baptist Seminary of Kentucky. Asbury Theological Seminary
Asbury Theological Seminary
Asbury Theological Seminary is a multi-denominational, graduate institution that offers a variety of master degree and postgraduate degree programs through the schools of Biblical Interpretation and Proclamation, Theology and Formation, Practical Theology, World Missions and Evangelism, and...

 is located in nearby Wilmore
Wilmore, Kentucky
Wilmore is a city in Jessamine County, Kentucky, United States. The population was 6,134 at the 2010 census. It is part of the Lexington–Fayette Metropolitan Statistical Area...

. In addition to seminaries, there are several colleges affiliated with denominations. Transylvania
Transylvania University
Transylvania University is a private, undergraduate liberal arts college in Lexington, Kentucky, United States, affiliated with the Christian Church . The school was founded in 1780. It offers 38 majors, and pre-professional degrees in engineering and accounting...

 in Lexington
Lexington, Kentucky
Lexington is the second-largest city in Kentucky and the 63rd largest in the US. Known as the "Thoroughbred City" and the "Horse Capital of the World", it is located in the heart of Kentucky's Bluegrass region...

 is affiliated with the Disciples of Christ
Christian Church (Disciples of Christ)
The Christian Church is a Mainline Protestant denomination in North America. It is often referred to as The Christian Church, The Disciples of Christ, or more simply as The Disciples...

. The University of Pikeville in Pikeville, Kentucky is affiliated with the Presbyterian Church. In Louisville, Bellarmine
Bellarmine University
Bellarmine University is an independent, private, Catholic university in Louisville, Kentucky. The liberal arts institution opened on October 3, 1950, as Bellarmine College, established by Archbishop John A. Floersh of the Archdiocese of Louisville and named after the Cardinal Saint Robert...

 and Spalding
Spalding University
Spalding University is a private, co-educational university affiliated with the Sisters of Charity of Nazareth and located in Louisville, Kentucky.-History:...

 are affiliated with the Roman Catholic Church
Roman Catholic Church
The Catholic Church, also known as the Roman Catholic Church, is the world's largest Christian church, with over a billion members. Led by the Pope, it defines its mission as spreading the gospel of Jesus Christ, administering the sacraments and exercising charity...

. In Owensboro, Kentucky
Owensboro, Kentucky
Owensboro is the fourth largest city by population in the U.S. state of Kentucky. It is the county seat of Daviess County. It is located on U.S. Route 60 about southeast of Evansville, Indiana, and is the principal city of the Owensboro, Kentucky, Metropolitan Statistical Area. The city's...

, Kentucky Wesleyan College
Kentucky Wesleyan College
Kentucky Wesleyan College is a private Methodist college in Owensboro, Kentucky, a city on the Ohio River. KWC is just 40 minutes east of Evansville, Indiana, 2 hours north of Nashville, Tennessee, 2 hours west of Louisville, Kentucky, and 4 hours east of St. Louis, Missouri...

 is associated with the Methodist Church and Brescia University
Brescia University
Brescia University is a coeducational Catholic university located in Owensboro, Kentucky, in the United States. It was founded in 1950 by the Ursuline Sisters of Mount Saint Joseph as Brescia College. It attained university status in 1998 with the addition of Master's degree programs in...

 is associated with the Roman Catholic Church. Wilmore is home to Asbury University (a separate institution from the seminary), which is associated with the Christian College Consortium
Christian College Consortium
The Christian College Consortium is an affiliation of Christian colleges and universities.-Member schools:Founded in 1971, the Consortium currently includes 13 member institutions located throughout the United States:*Asbury University*Bethel University...

. The University of the Cumberlands
University of the Cumberlands
University of the Cumberlands is a private, liberal arts college located in Williamsburg, Kentucky, with an enrollment of approximately 3,200 students...

, located in Williamsburg
Williamsburg, Kentucky
As of the census of 2000, there were 5,143 people, 1,928 households, and 1,127 families residing in the city. The population density was 1,102.5 people per square mile . There were 2,118 housing units at an average density of 454.0 per square mile...

, Campbellsville University
Campbellsville University
Campbellsville University, also known as CU, is a private university in Campbellsville, Kentucky, the seat of Taylor County. Founded as Russell Creek Academy, a Baptist institution, the university currently enrolls more than 3,000 students and is open to students of all denominations...

 in Campbellsville
Campbellsville, Kentucky
Campbellsville is a city in Taylor County, Kentucky, United States. The population within city limits was 10,498 at the 2000 census. It is the county seat of Taylor County, and the home of Campbellsville University...

, Georgetown College in Georgetown
Georgetown, Kentucky
Georgetown is a city in Scott County, Kentucky, United States. The population was 29,098 at the 2010 census. The original settlement of Lebanon, founded by Rev. Elijah Craig, was renamed in 1790 in honor of President George Washington. It is the home of Georgetown College, a private liberal arts...

 and Mid-Continent University
Mid-Continent University
Mid-Continent University is a four-year, liberal arts Christian institution located near Mayfield, Kentucky.- History :The university opened in January 1949 in Clinton, Kentucky. The University is now located four miles north of Mayfield....

 in Mayfield
Mayfield, Kentucky
As of the census of 2000, there were 10,349 people, 4,358 households, and 2,667 families residing in the city. The population density was 1,549.8 people per square mile . There were 4,907 housing units at an average density of 734.8 per square mile...

 all have connections with the Southern Baptist Convention. Louisville is also home to the headquarters of the Presbyterian Church (USA)
Presbyterian Church (USA)
The Presbyterian Church , or PC, is a mainline Protestant Christian denomination in the United States. Part of the Reformed tradition, it is the largest Presbyterian denomination in the U.S...

 and their printing press. Louisville is also home to a sizable Muslim
Muslim
A Muslim, also spelled Moslem, is an adherent of Islam, a monotheistic, Abrahamic religion based on the Quran, which Muslims consider the verbatim word of God as revealed to prophet Muhammad. "Muslim" is the Arabic term for "submitter" .Muslims believe that God is one and incomparable...

 and Jewish population.

Economy




Early in its history Kentucky gained recognition for its excellent farming conditions. It was the site of the first commercial winery in the United States
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

 (started in present day Jessamine County in 1799) and due to the high calcium content of the soil in the Bluegrass region quickly became a major horse breeding (and later racing) area. Today Kentucky ranks 5th nationally in goat farming, 8th in beef cattle
Beef cattle
Beef cattle are cattle raised for meat production . The meat of cattle is known as beef. When raised in a feedlot cattle are known as feeder cattle. Many such feeder cattle are born in cow-calf operations specifically designed to produce beef calves...

 production, and 14th in corn production.

Today Kentucky's economy has expanded to importance in non agricultural terms as well, especially in auto manufacturing, energy fuel production, and medical facilities.As of 2010 24% of electricity produced in the USA depended on either enriched uranium rods coming from the Paducah Gaseous Diffusion Plant
Paducah Gaseous Diffusion Plant
The Paducah Gaseous Diffusion Plant is a facility located in McCracken County, Kentucky, near Paducah, Kentucky, that produces enriched uranium, for nuclear power plants. The plant is now operated by United States Enrichment Corporation, a subsidiary of USEC Incorporated, a publicly traded...

 (the only domestic site of low grade uranium enrichment), or from the 107,336 tons of coal extracted from the state's two coal fields (which combined produce 4% percent of the electricity in the United States). Kentucky ranks 4th among U.S. states in the number of automobiles and trucks assembled. The Chevrolet Corvette
Chevrolet Corvette
The Chevrolet Corvette is a sports car by the Chevrolet division of General Motors that has been produced in six generations. The first model, a convertible, was designed by Harley Earl and introduced at the GM Motorama in 1953 as a concept show car. Myron Scott is credited for naming the car after...

, Cadillac XLR
Cadillac XLR
The XLR was a retractable hardtop convertible marketed by the Cadillac division of General Motors, assembled in Bowling Green, Kentucky. Intended to be Cadillac's flagship sports car, the XLR was based on the Chevrolet Corvette's Y platform...

 (2004–2009), Ford Explorer
Ford Explorer
The Ford Explorer is a sport-utility vehicle sold in North America and built by the Ford Motor Company since 1990, as a replacement for the smaller but related Ford Bronco II. It is manufactured in Chicago, Illinois...

, Ford Super Duty
Ford Super Duty
For the 1999 model year, Ford shifted the F-250 and F-350 truck lines to a design mechanically and cosmetically distinct from that of the F-150. The F-350 was not available for 1998, while the F-250 was available that year with the F-150's body...

 trucks, Ford Excursion
Ford Excursion
The Ford Excursion is a full-size sport utility vehicle that was produced by the Ford Motor Company between model years 2000 and 2005 . Based on the Super Duty pickup truck platform, it served as Ford's largest SUV in its lineup during the tenure of its production and mainly competed against the...

 (2000–2005), Toyota Camry
Toyota Camry
The Toyota Camry is a series of mid-size automobiles manufactured by Toyota since 1982, and sold in the majority of automotive markets throughout the world...

, Toyota Avalon
Toyota Avalon
The Toyota Avalon is a full-size car produced by Toyota in the United States, and is the flagship sedan of Toyota in the United States, Canada, Puerto Rico and the Middle East. It was also produced in Australia from 2000 until July 2005 when it was replaced in November 2006 by the Toyota Aurion...

, Toyota Solara
Toyota Camry Solara
This page is about the automobile manufactured by Toyota. For other uses, see Solara The Toyota Camry Solara, also more commonly known as the Toyota Solara, is a mid-size coupe/convertible designed and engineered by Toyota...

, and Toyota Venza
Toyota Venza
The Toyota Venza is a mid-size crossover SUV produced by Japanese automaker Toyota and unveiled at the 2008 North American International Auto Show in Detroit...

 are assembled in Kentucky.

The total gross state product for 2010 was $163.3 billion, 28th in the nation. Its per-capita personal income was US$28,513, 43rd in the nation.

As of October 2010, the state's unemployment rate is 10%.

Taxation


There are six income tax
Income tax
An income tax is a tax levied on the income of individuals or businesses . Various income tax systems exist, with varying degrees of tax incidence. Income taxation can be progressive, proportional, or regressive. When the tax is levied on the income of companies, it is often called a corporate...

 brackets, ranging from 2% to 6% of personal income. The sales tax rate in Kentucky is 6%. Kentucky has a broadly based classified property tax
Property tax
A property tax is an ad valorem levy on the value of property that the owner is required to pay. The tax is levied by the governing authority of the jurisdiction in which the property is located; it may be paid to a national government, a federated state or a municipality...

 system. All classes of property, unless exempted by the Constitution, are taxed by the state, although at widely varying rates. Many of these classes are exempted from taxation by local government. Of the classes that are subject to local taxation, three have special rates set by the General Assembly
Kentucky General Assembly
The Kentucky General Assembly, also called the Kentucky Legislature, is the state legislature of the U.S. state of Kentucky.The General Assembly meets annually in the state capitol building in Frankfort, Kentucky, convening on the first Tuesday after the first Monday in January...

, one by the Kentucky Supreme Court
Kentucky Supreme Court
The Kentucky Supreme Court was created by a 1975 constitutional amendment and is the state supreme court of the commonwealth of Kentucky. Prior to that the Kentucky Court of Appeals was the only appellate court in Kentucky...

 and the remaining classes are subject to the full local rate, which includes the tax rate set by the local taxing bodies plus all voted levies. Real property is assessed on 100% of the fair market value and property taxes are due by December 31. Once the primary source of state and local government revenue, property taxes now account for only about 6% of the Kentucky's annual General Fund revenues.

Until January 1, 2006, Kentucky imposed a tax on intangible personal property held by a taxpayer on January 1 of each year. The Kentucky intangible tax was repealed under House Bill 272. Intangible property consisted of any property or investment which represents evidence of value or the right to value. Some types of intangible property included: bonds, notes, retail repurchase agreement
Repurchase agreement
A repurchase agreement, also known as a repo, RP, or sale and repurchase agreement, is the sale of securities together with an agreement for the seller to buy back the securities at a later date. The repurchase price should be greater than the original sale price, the difference effectively...

s, accounts receivable, trusts, enforceable contracts sale of real estate (land contracts), money in hand, money in safe deposit box
Safe deposit box
A safe deposit box or wrongly referred to as a safety deposit box is an individually-secured container, usually held within a larger safe or bank vault. Safe deposit boxes are generally located in banks, post offices or other institutions...

es, annuities, interests in estates, loans to stockholders, and commercial paper.

"Unbridled Spirit"


To boost Kentucky's image, give it a consistent reach, and help Kentucky "stand out from the crowd", former Governor Ernie Fletcher
Ernie Fletcher
Ernest Lee "Ernie" Fletcher is a Republican politician from the U.S. state of Kentucky. In 1999, he was elected to the first of three consecutive terms in the United States House of Representatives; he resigned in 2003 after being elected the 60th governor of Kentucky and served in that office...

 launched a comprehensive brand
Brand
The American Marketing Association defines a brand as a "Name, term, design, symbol, or any other feature that identifies one seller's good or service as distinct from those of other sellers."...

ing campaign with the hope of making its $12 – $14 million advertising budget more effective. The "Unbridled Spirit" brand was the result of a $500,000 contract with New West, a Kentucky-based public relations advertising and marketing firm to develop a viable brand and tag line. The Fletcher administration aggressively marketed the brand in both the public and private sectors. The "Welcome to Kentucky" signs at border areas have Unbridled Spirit's symbol on them.

The previous campaign was neither a failure nor a success. Kentucky's "It's that friendly" slogan hoped to draw more people into the state based on the idea of southern hospitality
Southern hospitality
Southern hospitality is a phrase used in American English to describe the stereotype of residents of the Southern United States as particularly warm and welcoming to visitors to their homes, or to the South in general.__FORCETOC__...

. Though it was meant to embrace southern values, most Kentuckians rejected it as cheesy and ineffective. It was quickly seen that it was also not an image that encouraged tourism as much as initially hoped for. Therefore it was necessary to reconfigure a slogan to embrace Kentucky as a whole while also encouraging more people to visit the Bluegrass.

Roads





Kentucky is served by five major interstate highways
Interstate Highway System
The Dwight D. Eisenhower National System of Interstate and Defense Highways, , is a network of limited-access roads including freeways, highways, and expressways forming part of the National Highway System of the United States of America...

 (I-75
Interstate 75
Interstate 75 is a major north–south Interstate Highway in the Great Lakes and Southeastern regions of the United States. It travels from State Road 826 and State Road 924 in Hialeah, Florida to Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan, at the Ontario, Canada, border...

, I-71
Interstate 71
Interstate 71 is an Interstate Highway in the Great Lakes/Midwestern and Southeastern region of the United States. Its southern terminus is at an interchange with Interstate 64 and Interstate 65 in Louisville, Kentucky. Its northern terminus is at an interchange with Interstate 90 in Cleveland,...

, I-64
Interstate 64
Interstate 64 is an Interstate Highway in the Midwestern and Southeastern United States. Its western terminus is at I-70, U.S. 40, and U.S. 61 in Wentzville, Missouri. Its eastern terminus is at an interchange with I-264 and I-664 at Bowers Hill in Chesapeake, Virginia. As I-64 is concurrent with...

, I-65
Interstate 65
Interstate 65 is a major Interstate Highway in the United States. The southern terminus is located at an intersection with Interstate 10 in Mobile, Alabama, and its northern terminus is at an interchange with Interstate 90 , U.S. Route 12, and U.S...

, I-24
Interstate 24
Interstate 24 is an Interstate Highway in the Midwestern and Southeastern United States. It runs diagonally from Interstate 57 to Chattanooga, Tennessee, at Interstate 75....

), nine parkways, and three bypasses and spurs. The parkways were originally toll road
Toll road
A toll road is a privately or publicly built road for which a driver pays a toll for use. Structures for which tolls are charged include toll bridges and toll tunnels. Non-toll roads are financed using other sources of revenue, most typically fuel tax or general tax funds...

s, but on November 22, 2006, Governor Ernie Fletcher
Ernie Fletcher
Ernest Lee "Ernie" Fletcher is a Republican politician from the U.S. state of Kentucky. In 1999, he was elected to the first of three consecutive terms in the United States House of Representatives; he resigned in 2003 after being elected the 60th governor of Kentucky and served in that office...

 ended the toll charges on the William H. Natcher Parkway
William H. Natcher Parkway
The Wiliam H. Natcher Green River Parkway is a limited-access freeway from Bowling Green, Kentucky to Owensboro, Kentucky. The Natcher is one of nine highways that are part of Kentucky's parkway system. Conceived as the "Owensboro-Bowling Green Parkway," it was instead named the Green River...

 and the Audubon Parkway
Audubon Parkway
The Audubon Parkway is a four-lane controlled-access freeway connecting the cities of Henderson and Owensboro, Kentucky....

, the last two parkways in Kentucky to charge tolls for access. The related toll booth
Toll house
A tollhouse or toll house is a building with accommodation for a toll collector, beside a tollgate on a toll road or canal. Many tollhouses were built by turnpike trusts in England, Wales and Scotland during the 18th and early 19th centuries...

s have been demolished.

Ending the tolls some seven months ahead of schedule was generally agreed to have been a positive economic development for transportation in Kentucky. In June 2007, a law went into effect raising the speed limit on rural portions of Kentucky Interstates from 65 to 70 mph (29.1 to 31.3 ).

Greyhound
Greyhound Lines
Greyhound Lines, Inc., based in Dallas, Texas, is an intercity common carrier of passengers by bus serving over 3,700 destinations in the United States, Canada and Mexico, operating under the well-known logo of a leaping greyhound. It was founded in Hibbing, Minnesota, USA, in 1914 and...

 provides bus service to most major towns in the state.

Rails



Amtrak
Amtrak
The National Railroad Passenger Corporation, doing business as Amtrak , is a government-owned corporation that was organized on May 1, 1971, to provide intercity passenger train service in the United States. "Amtrak" is a portmanteau of the words "America" and "track". It is headquartered at Union...

, the national passenger rail system, provides service to Ashland
Ashland, Kentucky
Ashland, formerly known as Poage Settlement, is a city in Boyd County, Kentucky, United States, nestled along the banks of the Ohio River. The population was 21,981 at the 2000 census. Ashland is a part of the Huntington-Ashland, WV-KY-OH, Metropolitan Statistical Area . As of the 2000 census, the...

, South Portsmouth
South Shore, Kentucky
As of the census of 2000, there were 1,226 people, 539 households, and 335 families residing in the city. The population density was 1,916.9 people per square mile . There were 605 housing units at an average density of 945.9 per square mile...

, Maysville
Maysville, Kentucky
Maysville is a city in and the county seat of Mason County, Kentucky, United States. The population was 8,993 at the 2000 census, making it the fiftieth largest city in Kentucky by population. Maysville is on the Ohio River, northeast of Lexington. It is the principal city of the Maysville...

 and Fulton
Fulton, Kentucky
Fulton is a city in Fulton County, Kentucky, United States. The population was 2,775 at the 2000 census. It was once known as the "Banana Capital of the World" because 70% of imported bananas to the U.S. used to be shipped there . U.S...

. The Cardinal (trains 50 and 51) is the line that offers Amtrak service to Ashland, South Shore, Maysville and South Portsmouth. The City of New Orleans
City of New Orleans
The City of New Orleans is a nightly passenger train operated by Amtrak which travels between Chicago, Illinois and New Orleans, Louisiana. Before Amtrak's formation in 1971, the train was operated by the Illinois Central Railroad along the same route . The train currently operates on a 19½ hour...

(trains 58 and 59) serve Fulton. The Northern Kentucky
Northern Kentucky
Northern Kentucky is the name often given to the northernmost counties in Kentucky...

 area is served by the Cardinal at the Cincinnati Museum Center at Union Terminal
Cincinnati Museum Center at Union Terminal
The Cincinnati Museum Center at Union Terminal, originally Cincinnati Union Terminal, is a passenger railroad station in the Queensgate neighborhood of Cincinnati, Ohio, United States...

. The Museum Center is just across the Ohio River
Ohio River
The Ohio River is the largest tributary, by volume, of the Mississippi River. At the confluence, the Ohio is even bigger than the Mississippi and, thus, is hydrologically the main stream of the whole river system, including the Allegheny River further upstream...

 in Cincinnati.

As of 2004, there were approximately 2640 miles (4,248.7 km) of railways in Kentucky, with about 65% of those being operated by CSX Transportation
CSX Transportation
CSX Transportation operates a Class I railroad in the United States known as the CSX Railroad. It is the main subsidiary of the CSX Corporation. The company is headquartered in Jacksonville, Florida, and owns approximately 21,000 route miles...

. Coal
Bituminous coal
Bituminous coal or black coal is a relatively soft coal containing a tarlike substance called bitumen. It is of higher quality than lignite coal but of poorer quality than Anthracite...

 was by far the most common cargo, accounting for 76% of cargo loaded and 61% of cargo delivered.

Bardstown
Bardstown, Kentucky
As of the census of 2010, there were 11,700 people, 4,712 households, and 2,949 families residing in the city. The population density was . There were 5,113 housing units at an average density of...

 features a tourist attraction
Tourist attraction
A tourist attraction is a place of interest where tourists visit, typically for its inherent or exhibited cultural value, historical significance, natural or built beauty, or amusement opportunities....

 known as My Old Kentucky Dinner Train. Run along a 20 miles (32.2 km) stretch of rail purchased from CSX
CSX Transportation
CSX Transportation operates a Class I railroad in the United States known as the CSX Railroad. It is the main subsidiary of the CSX Corporation. The company is headquartered in Jacksonville, Florida, and owns approximately 21,000 route miles...

 in 1987, guests are served a four-course meal as they make a two-and-a-half hour round-trip between Bardstown and Limestone Springs. The Kentucky Railway Museum
Kentucky Railway Museum
The Kentucky Railway Museum, located in New Haven, Kentucky, United States, is a non-profit railroad museum dedicated to educating the public regarding the history and heritage of Kentucky's railroads and the people who built them. Originally created in 1954 in Louisville, Kentucky, the museum is...

 is located in nearby New Haven
New Haven, Kentucky
New Haven is a city in Nelson County, Kentucky, United States. The population was 849 at the 2000 census.New Haven was founded as Pottinger's Landing in 1781 and later named New Haven by Samuel Pottinger after the Connecticut town...

.

Other areas in Kentucky are reclaiming old railways in rail trail
Rail trail
A rail trail is the conversion of a disused railway easement into a multi-use path, typically for walking, cycling and sometimes horse riding. The characteristics of former tracks—flat, long, frequently running through historical areas—are appealing for various development. The term sometimes also...

 projects. One such project is Louisville's Big Four Bridge
Big Four Bridge (Louisville)
The Big Four Bridge is an abandoned six-span railroad truss bridge that crosses the Ohio River, connecting Louisville, Kentucky, and Jeffersonville, Indiana, United States. It was completed in 1895, and updated in 1929. It has its largest span at , for in total. It gets its name from the defunct...

. If completed, the Big Four Bridge rail trail
Rail trail
A rail trail is the conversion of a disused railway easement into a multi-use path, typically for walking, cycling and sometimes horse riding. The characteristics of former tracks—flat, long, frequently running through historical areas—are appealing for various development. The term sometimes also...

 will contain the second longest pedestrian-only bridge in the world. The longest pedestrian-only bridge is also found in Kentucky—the Newport Southbank Bridge
Newport Southbank Bridge
The Newport Southbank Bridge stretches 2,670 feet over the Ohio River, connecting Newport, Kentucky to downtown Cincinnati, Ohio.- History :...

, popularly known as the "Purple People Bridge", connecting Newport
Newport, Kentucky
Newport is a city in Campbell County, Kentucky, United States, at the confluence of the Ohio and Licking rivers. The population was 15,273 at the 2010 census. Historically, it was one of four county seats of Campbell County. Newport is part of the Greater Cincinnati, Ohio Metro Area which...

 to Cincinnati, Ohio.

Air



Kentucky's primary airports include Louisville International Airport
Louisville International Airport
Louisville International Airport is a joint civil-military public airport centrally located in the city of Louisville in Jefferson County, Kentucky, USA. The airport covers 1,200 acres and has three runways. Its IATA airport code SDF is based on the airport's former name, Standiford Field...

 (Standiford Field), Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport
Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport
Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport , sometimes called the Greater Cincinnati Airport is located in Hebron, unincorporated Boone County, Kentucky, United States and serves the Greater Cincinnati metropolitan area. Despite being located in Boone County, the airport operations are...

 (CVG), and Blue Grass Airport
Blue Grass Airport
Blue Grass Airport is a public airport located in Fayette County, Kentucky, United States, 4 miles west of the central business district of the city of Lexington. The main terminal building was opened in 1977. The airport covers an area of and has two runways. It is also home to the Aviation...

 in Lexington. Louisville International Airport is home to UPS
United Parcel Service
United Parcel Service, Inc. , typically referred to by the acronym UPS, is a package delivery company. Headquartered in Sandy Springs, Georgia, United States, UPS delivers more than 15 million packages a day to 6.1 million customers in more than 220 countries and territories around the...

's Worldport
Worldport (UPS air hub)
Worldport is the worldwide air hub for UPS located at the Louisville International Airport in Louisville, Kentucky. Although UPS has had a hub at Louisville since 1980, the term was not used officially by the company until 2002, after a $1 billion, five-year expansion...

, its international air-sorting hub. There are also a number of regional airports scattered across the state.

On August 27, 2006, Kentucky's Blue Grass Airport
Blue Grass Airport
Blue Grass Airport is a public airport located in Fayette County, Kentucky, United States, 4 miles west of the central business district of the city of Lexington. The main terminal building was opened in 1977. The airport covers an area of and has two runways. It is also home to the Aviation...

 in Lexington
Lexington, Kentucky
Lexington is the second-largest city in Kentucky and the 63rd largest in the US. Known as the "Thoroughbred City" and the "Horse Capital of the World", it is located in the heart of Kentucky's Bluegrass region...

 was the site of a crash that killed 47 passengers and 2 crew members aboard a Bombardier Canadair Regional Jet
Bombardier Canadair Regional Jet
The Bombardier CRJ is a family of regional airliners manufactured by Bombardier:* CRJ100 - 50 seats* CRJ200 - 50 seats* CRJ700 - 70 seats* CRJ705 - 75 seats* CRJ900 - 90 seats* CRJ1000 - 100 seats...

 designated Comair Flight 191, or Delta Air Lines Flight 5191, sometimes mistakenly identified by the press as Comair Flight 5191. The lone survivor was the flight's first officer, James Polehinke, who doctors determined to be brain damaged and unable to recall the crash at all.

Water



Being bounded by two of the largest rivers in North America, water transportation has historically played a major role in Kentucky's economy. Most barge traffic on Kentucky waterways consists of coal that is shipped from both the Eastern and Western Coalfields, about half of which is used locally to power many power plants located directly off the Ohio River
Ohio River
The Ohio River is the largest tributary, by volume, of the Mississippi River. At the confluence, the Ohio is even bigger than the Mississippi and, thus, is hydrologically the main stream of the whole river system, including the Allegheny River further upstream...

, with the rest being exported to other countries, most notably Japan.

Many of the largest ports in the United States are located in or adjacent to Kentucky, including:
  • Huntington/Tri-State (includes Ashland, KY), largest inland port
    Inland port
    The term inland port is used in two different but related ways to mean either a port on an inland waterway or an inland site carrying out some functions of a seaport.- As a port on an inland waterway :...

     and 7th largest overall
  • Cincinnati-Northern Kentucky, 5th largest inland port and 43rd overall
  • Louisville-Southern Indiana, 7th largest inland port and 55th overall


As a state, Kentucky ranks 10th overall in port tonnage.

The only natural obstacle along the entire length of the Ohio River was the Falls of the Ohio, located just west of Downtown Louisville
Downtown Louisville
Downtown Louisville is the largest central business district in the Commonwealth of Kentucky and the urban hub of the Louisville, Kentucky Metropolitan Area. Its boundaries are the Ohio River to the north, Hancock Street to the east, York and Jacob Streets to the south, and 9th Street to the west...

.

Counties


Kentucky is subdivided into 120 counties
County (United States)
In the United States, a county is a geographic subdivision of a state , usually assigned some governmental authority. The term "county" is used in 48 of the 50 states; Louisiana is divided into parishes and Alaska into boroughs. Parishes and boroughs are called "county-equivalents" by the U.S...

, the largest being Pike County
Pike County, Kentucky
Pike County is a county located in the U.S. state of Kentucky. As of 2010, the population was 65,024. Its county seat is Pikeville. Pike is Kentucky's largest county in terms of land area. Pike County is the 11th largest county in Kentucky in terms of population preceded by Bullitt County and...

 at 787.6 square miles (2,039.9 km²), and the most populous being Jefferson County
Jefferson County, Kentucky
As of the census of 2000, there were 693,604 people, 287,012 households, and 183,113 families residing in the county. The population density was . There were 305,835 housing units at an average density of...

 (which coincides with the Louisville Metro
Louisville, Kentucky
Louisville is the largest city in the U.S. state of Kentucky, and the county seat of Jefferson County. Since 2003, the city's borders have been coterminous with those of the county because of a city-county merger. The city's population at the 2010 census was 741,096...

 governmental area
Louisville Metro Council
The Louisville Metro Council is the city legislature of Louisville, Kentucky . It was formally established in January 2003 upon the merger of the former City of Louisville with Jefferson County and replaced the city's Board of Aldermen and the county's Fiscal Court .The Metro Council consists of...

) with 741,096 residents as of 2010.

County government, under the Kentucky Constitution
Kentucky Constitution
The Constitution of the Commonwealth of Kentucky is the document that governs the Commonwealth of Kentucky. It was first adopted in 1792 and has since been rewritten three times and amended many more...

 of 1891, is vested in the County Judge/Executive
County Judge/Executive
A County Judge/Executive is an elected official in the U.S. state of Kentucky who is the head of the executive branch of a government in a county. The Judge/Executive is an ex officio member of the Fiscal Court, the county's legislature...

, (formerly called the County Judge) who serves as the executive
Executive (government)
Executive branch of Government is the part of government that has sole authority and responsibility for the daily administration of the state bureaucracy. The division of power into separate branches of government is central to the idea of the separation of powers.In many countries, the term...

 head of the county, and a legislature
Legislature
A legislature is a kind of deliberative assembly with the power to pass, amend, and repeal laws. The law created by a legislature is called legislation or statutory law. In addition to enacting laws, legislatures usually have exclusive authority to raise or lower taxes and adopt the budget and...

 called a Fiscal Court
Fiscal Court
The Fiscal Court, under the Kentucky Constitution of 1891, is the name given to the county legislature and governing body of each of the counties in Kentucky. Despite the name, it no longer has any responsibility for judicial proceedings....

. Despite the unusual name, the Fiscal Court no longer has judicial
Judiciary
The judiciary is the system of courts that interprets and applies the law in the name of the state. The judiciary also provides a mechanism for the resolution of disputes...

 functions.

Consolidated city-county governments


Kentucky's two most populous counties, Jefferson and Fayette, have their governments consolidated with the governments of their largest cities
Consolidated city-county
In United States local government, a consolidated city–county is a city and county that have been merged into one unified jurisdiction. As such it is simultaneously a city, which is a municipal corporation, and a county, which is an administrative division of a state...

. Louisville-Jefferson County Government (Louisville Metro
Louisville, Kentucky
Louisville is the largest city in the U.S. state of Kentucky, and the county seat of Jefferson County. Since 2003, the city's borders have been coterminous with those of the county because of a city-county merger. The city's population at the 2010 census was 741,096...

) and Lexington-Fayette Urban County Government (Lexington Metro
Lexington, Kentucky
Lexington is the second-largest city in Kentucky and the 63rd largest in the US. Known as the "Thoroughbred City" and the "Horse Capital of the World", it is located in the heart of Kentucky's Bluegrass region...

) are unique in that their city councils and county Fiscal Court structures have been merged into a single entity with a single chief executive
Mayor
In many countries, a Mayor is the highest ranking officer in the municipal government of a town or a large urban city....

, the Metro Mayor and Urban County Mayor, respectively. Although the counties still exist as subdivisions of the state, in reference the names Louisville and Lexington are used to refer to the entire area coextensive with the former cities and counties. Somewhat incongruously, when entering Lexington-Fayette the highway signs read "Fayette County" while most signs leading into Louisville-Jefferson simply read "Welcome to Louisville Metro."

Cities and towns



Rank City 2010 Pop 2000 Pop Δ Current Pop
1 Louisville
Louisville, Kentucky
Louisville is the largest city in the U.S. state of Kentucky, and the county seat of Jefferson County. Since 2003, the city's borders have been coterminous with those of the county because of a city-county merger. The city's population at the 2010 census was 741,096...

566,503 551,299 15,204
2 Lexington
Lexington, Kentucky
Lexington is the second-largest city in Kentucky and the 63rd largest in the US. Known as the "Thoroughbred City" and the "Horse Capital of the World", it is located in the heart of Kentucky's Bluegrass region...

295,803 260,512 35,291
3 Bowling Green
Bowling Green, Kentucky
Bowling Green is the third-most populous city in the state of Kentucky after Louisville and Lexington, with a population of 58,067 as of the 2010 Census. It is the county seat of Warren County and the principal city of the Bowling Green, Kentucky Metropolitan Statistical Area with an estimated 2009...

58,067 49,296 8,771
4 Owensboro
Owensboro, Kentucky
Owensboro is the fourth largest city by population in the U.S. state of Kentucky. It is the county seat of Daviess County. It is located on U.S. Route 60 about southeast of Evansville, Indiana, and is the principal city of the Owensboro, Kentucky, Metropolitan Statistical Area. The city's...

57,265 54,067 3,198
5 Covington
Covington, Kentucky
-Demographics:As of the census of 2000, there were 43,370 people, 18,257 households, and 10,132 families residing in the city. The population density was 3,301.3 people per square mile . There were 20,448 housing units at an average density of 1,556.5 per square mile...

40,640 43,370 -2,730
6 Hopkinsville
Hopkinsville, Kentucky
Hopkinsville is a city in Christian County, Kentucky, United States. The population was 31,577 at the 2010 census. It is the county seat of Christian County.- History :...

31,577 30,089 1,488
7 Richmond
Richmond, Kentucky
There were 10,795 households out of which 24.4% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 35.2% were married couples living together, 12.8% had a female householder with no husband present, and 48.6% were non-families. Of all households, 34.7% were made up of individuals and 8.8% had...

31,364 27,152 4,212
8 Florence
Florence, Kentucky
Florence is a city in Boone County, Kentucky, United States. The population was 29,951 at the 2010 census.-History:The Florence area was originally known as Crossroads, because of the convergence of several roads from Burlington and Union at Ridge Road...

29,951 23,551 6,400
9 Georgetown
Georgetown, Kentucky
Georgetown is a city in Scott County, Kentucky, United States. The population was 29,098 at the 2010 census. The original settlement of Lebanon, founded by Rev. Elijah Craig, was renamed in 1790 in honor of President George Washington. It is the home of Georgetown College, a private liberal arts...

29,098 18,080 11,018
10 Henderson
Henderson, Kentucky
Henderson is a city in Henderson County, Kentucky, United States, along the Ohio River in the western part of the state. The population was 27,952 at the 2010 census. It is part of the Evansville Metropolitan Area often referred to as "Kentuckiana", although "Tri-State Area" or "Tri-State" are more...

28,757 27,373 1,384
11 Elizabethtown
Elizabethtown, Kentucky
Elizabethtown is a city in and the county seat of Hardin County, Kentucky, United States. The population was 28,531 at the 2010 census, making it the eleventh-largest city in the state...

28,531 22,542 5,989
12 Nicholasville
Nicholasville, Kentucky
Nicholasville is the 11th largest city in state of Kentucky and the county seat of Jessamine County, Kentucky, United States. The population was 19,680 at the 2000 census...

28,015 19,680 8,335
13 Jeffersontown
Jeffersontown, Kentucky
Jeffersontown is a city in Jefferson County, Kentucky, United States. Before Louisville and Jefferson County were consolidated in 2003, it was the county's largest city outside of Louisville. The population was 26,633 at the 2000 census.- History :...

26,595 26,442 153
14 Frankfort
Frankfort, Kentucky
Frankfort is a city in Kentucky that serves as the state capital and the county seat of Franklin County. The population was 27,741 at the 2000 census; by population it is the 5th smallest state capital in the United States...

25,527 27,741 -2,214
15 Paducah
Paducah, Kentucky
Paducah is the largest city in Kentucky's Jackson Purchase Region and the county seat of McCracken County, Kentucky, United States. It is located at the confluence of the Tennessee River and the Ohio River, halfway between the metropolitan areas of St. Louis, Missouri, to the west and Nashville,...

25,024 26,442 -1,418


The Louisville Metro
Louisville, Kentucky
Louisville is the largest city in the U.S. state of Kentucky, and the county seat of Jefferson County. Since 2003, the city's borders have been coterminous with those of the county because of a city-county merger. The city's population at the 2010 census was 741,096...

 government area has a 2010 population of 741,096. Under United States Census Bureau
United States Census Bureau
The United States Census Bureau is the government agency that is responsible for the United States Census. It also gathers other national demographic and economic data...

 methodology, the population of Louisville was 566,503. The latter figure is the population of the so-called "balance"—the parts of Jefferson County that were either unincorporated or within the City of Louisville before the formation of the merged government in 2003. In 2010, the Louisville Combined Statistical Area
Louisville metropolitan area
The Louisville-Jefferson County, KY-IN Metropolitan Statistical Area, commonly called the Louisville metropolitan area or Kentuckiana, is the 42nd largest Metropolitan Statistical Area in the United States...

 (CSA) has a population of 1,451,564; including 1,061,031 in Kentucky, which is nearly one-fourth of the state's population. Since 2000, over one-third of the state's population growth has occurred in the Louisville CSA. In addition, the top 28 wealthiest places in Kentucky are in Jefferson County and seven of the 15 wealthiest counties in the state are located in the Louisville CSA.

The second largest city is Lexington with a 2010 census population of 295,803 and its CSA, which includes the Frankfort
Frankfort, Kentucky micropolitan area
The Frankfort Micropolitan Statistical Area, as defined by the United States Census Bureau, is an area consisting of two counties in central Kentucky, anchored by the city of Frankfort...

 and Richmond statistical areas, having a population of 687,173. The Northern Kentucky
Northern Kentucky
Northern Kentucky is the name often given to the northernmost counties in Kentucky...

 area (the seven Kentucky counties in the Cincinnati MSA) had a population of 425,483 in 2010. The metropolitan areas of Louisville, Lexington, and Northern Kentucky have a combined population of 2,173,687 as of 2010, which is 50.1% of the state's total population.

The two other fast growing urban areas in Kentucky are the Bowling Green
Bowling Green, Kentucky
Bowling Green is the third-most populous city in the state of Kentucky after Louisville and Lexington, with a population of 58,067 as of the 2010 Census. It is the county seat of Warren County and the principal city of the Bowling Green, Kentucky Metropolitan Statistical Area with an estimated 2009...

 area and the "Tri Cities Region" of southeastern Kentucky, comprising Somerset
Somerset, Kentucky
The major demographic differences between the city and the micropolitan area relate to income, housing composition and age. The micropolitan area, as compared to the incorporated city, is more suburban in flavor and has a significantly younger housing stock, a higher income, and contains most of...

, London
London, Kentucky
-Education:All of the following schools are administered by the Laurel County School District.-Primary schools:* * * * * * * * * * * * -High schools:* * -Colleges:* Laurel Technical College* * -Notable natives:...

 and Corbin
Corbin, Kentucky
- Economy :Originally formed by L&N Railroad, rail transport was the backbone of the local economy in the first half of the twentieth century. While the railroad continues to play an important role, the decline of the rail industry in the latter half of the twentieth century, as well as the loss...

.

Although only one town in the "Tri Cities", namely Somerset, currently has more than 10,000 people, the area has been experiencing heightened population and job growth since the 1990s. Growth has been especially rapid in Laurel County, which outgrew areas such as Scott and Jessamine counties around Lexington or Shelby and Nelson Counties around Louisville. London significantly grew in population in the 2000s, from 5,692 in 2000 to 7,993 in 2010. London also landed a Wal-Mart distribution center in 1997, bringing thousands of jobs to the community.

In northeast Kentucky, the greater Ashland
Ashland, Kentucky
Ashland, formerly known as Poage Settlement, is a city in Boyd County, Kentucky, United States, nestled along the banks of the Ohio River. The population was 21,981 at the 2000 census. Ashland is a part of the Huntington-Ashland, WV-KY-OH, Metropolitan Statistical Area . As of the 2000 census, the...

 area is an important transportation, manufacturing, and medical center. Iron and petroleum
Petroleum
Petroleum or crude oil is a naturally occurring, flammable liquid consisting of a complex mixture of hydrocarbons of various molecular weights and other liquid organic compounds, that are found in geologic formations beneath the Earth's surface. Petroleum is recovered mostly through oil drilling...

 production, as well as the transport of coal by rail and barge
Barge
A barge is a flat-bottomed boat, built mainly for river and canal transport of heavy goods. Some barges are not self-propelled and need to be towed by tugboats or pushed by towboats...

, have been historical pillars of the region's economy. Due to a decline in the area's industrial base, Ashland has seen a sizable reduction in its population since 1990. The population of the area has since stabilized, however, with the medical service industry taking a greater role in the local economy. The Ashland area, including the counties of Boyd
Boyd County, Kentucky
Boyd County is a county located in the U.S. state of Kentucky. It was formed in 1860. Its are found at the northeastern edge of the state the near the Ohio River and Big Sandy River, nestled in the verdant rolling hills of Appalachia. The county seat is Catlettsburg. Its largest municipality is...

 and Greenup
Greenup County, Kentucky
Greenup County is a county located in the U.S. state of Kentucky. It was formed in 1804. As of 2000, the population was 36,891. Its county seat is Greenup. The county is named in honor of Christopher Greenup....

, are part of the Huntington-Ashland, WV-KY-OH, Metropolitan Statistical Area
Huntington-Ashland, WV-KY-OH, Metropolitan Statistical Area
The Huntington-Ashland-Ironton metropolitan area is a United States metropolitan area that includes five counties in West Virginia, Kentucky and Ohio. As of the 2000 census, the MSA had a population of 288,649. A July 1, 2009 estimate placed the population at 285,624. The MSA is nestled along the...

 (MSA). As of the 2000 census, the MSA had a population of 288,649. More than 21,000 of those people (as of 2010) reside within the city limits of Ashland.

The largest county in Kentucky by area is Pike
Pike County, Kentucky
Pike County is a county located in the U.S. state of Kentucky. As of 2010, the population was 65,024. Its county seat is Pikeville. Pike is Kentucky's largest county in terms of land area. Pike County is the 11th largest county in Kentucky in terms of population preceded by Bullitt County and...

, which contains Pikeville
Pikeville, Kentucky
Pikeville is a city in Pike County, Kentucky. The population was 6,903 at the 2010 census. It is the county seat of Pike County.-History:On March 25, 1822, the county's government officials decided to build a new county seat named Liberty, one and one-half mile below the mouth of the Russell Fork...

 and suburb Coal Run Village
Coal Run Village, Kentucky
Coal Run Village is a city in Pike County, Kentucky, United States. The city serves as a suburb to Pikeville, Kentucky and is virtually surrounded by it to the north, south, and east. The population was 577 at the 2000 census...

 . The county and surrounding area is the most populated region in the state that is not part of a Micropolitan Statistical Area or a Metropolitan Statistical Area containing nearly 200,000 people in five counties: Floyd County
Floyd County, Kentucky
Floyd County is a county located in the U.S. state of Kentucky. It was formed in 1800. As of 2000, the population was 42,441. Its county seat is Prestonsburg. The county is named for Colonel John Floyd .-History:...

, Martin County
Martin County, Kentucky
Martin County is a county located in the U.S. state of Kentucky. As of 2010, the population was 12,929. Its county seat is Inez. The county is named for Congressman John Preston Martin...

, Letcher County
Letcher County, Kentucky
Letcher County is a county located in the U.S. state of Kentucky. As of 2000, the population was 25,277. Its county seat is Whitesburg. The county is named for Robert P...

, and neighboring Mingo County, West Virginia
Mingo County, West Virginia
As of the census of 2000, there were 28,253 people, 11,303 households, and 8,217 families residing in the county. The population density was 67 people per square mile . There were 12,898 housing units at an average density of 30 per square mile...

. Pike County contains slightly over 68,000 people.

Only three U.S. states have capitals with smaller populations than Kentucky's Frankfort
Frankfort, Kentucky
Frankfort is a city in Kentucky that serves as the state capital and the county seat of Franklin County. The population was 27,741 at the 2000 census; by population it is the 5th smallest state capital in the United States...

 (pop. 25,527), those being Augusta, Maine
Augusta, Maine
Augusta is the capital of the US state of Maine, county seat of Kennebec County, and center of population for Maine. The city's population was 19,136 at the 2010 census, making it the third-smallest state capital after Montpelier, Vermont and Pierre, South Dakota...

 (pop. 18,560), Pierre, South Dakota
Pierre, South Dakota
Pierre is the capital of the U.S. state of South Dakota and the county seat of Hughes County. The population was 13,646 at the 2010 census, making it the second least populous state capital after Montpelier, Vermont...

 (pop. 13,876), and Montpelier, Vermont
Montpelier, Vermont
Montpelier is a city in the U.S. state of Vermont that serves as the state capital and the shire town of Washington County. As the capital of Vermont, Montpelier is the site of the Vermont State House, seat of the legislative branch of Vermont government. The population was 7,855 at the 2010...

 (pop. 8,035).

Education



Kentucky maintains eight public four-year universities. There are two general tiers: major research institutions (the University of Kentucky
University of Kentucky
The University of Kentucky, also known as UK, is a public co-educational university and is one of the state's two land-grant universities, located in Lexington, Kentucky...

 and the University of Louisville
University of Louisville
The University of Louisville is a public university in Louisville, Kentucky. When founded in 1798, it was the first city-owned public university in the United States and one of the first universities chartered west of the Allegheny Mountains. The university is mandated by the Kentucky General...

) and regional universities, which encompasses the remaining 6 schools. The regional schools have specific target counties that many of their programs are targeted towards (such as Forestry at Eastern Kentucky University or Cave Management at Western Kentucky University), however most of their curriculum varies little from any other public university. "UK" and "U of L" have the highest academic rankings and admissions standards although the regional schools aren't without their national recognized departments - examples being Western Kentucky University's nationally ranked Journalism Department or Morehead State offering one of the nation's only Space Science degrees. "UK" is the flagship and land grant of the system and has agriculture extension services in every county. The two research schools split duties related to the medical field, "UK" handles all medical outreach programs in the eastern half of the state while "U of L" does all medical outreach in the state's western half.

The state's sixteen public two-year colleges have been governed by the Kentucky Community and Technical College System
Kentucky Community and Technical College System
Headquartered in Versailles, Kentucky, the Kentucky Community and Technical College System comprises 16 colleges with over 68 campuses. Programs offered include associate degrees, pre-baccalaureate education to transfer to a public 4-year institution; adult education, continuing and developmental...

 since the passage of the Postsecondary Education Improvement Act of 1997, commonly referred to as House Bill 1. Prior to the passage of House Bill 1, most of these colleges were under the control of the University of Kentucky
University of Kentucky
The University of Kentucky, also known as UK, is a public co-educational university and is one of the state's two land-grant universities, located in Lexington, Kentucky...

.

Transylvania University
Transylvania University
Transylvania University is a private, undergraduate liberal arts college in Lexington, Kentucky, United States, affiliated with the Christian Church . The school was founded in 1780. It offers 38 majors, and pre-professional degrees in engineering and accounting...

, located in Lexington, is the oldest university west of the Allegheny Mountains
Allegheny Mountains
The Allegheny Mountain Range , also spelled Alleghany, Allegany and, informally, the Alleghenies, is part of the vast Appalachian Mountain Range of the eastern United States and Canada...

, founded in 1780. Transylvania is a liberal arts university, consistently ranked in the top tier in the country.

Berea College
Berea College
Berea College is a liberal arts work college in Berea, Kentucky , founded in 1855. Current full-time enrollment is 1,514 students...

, located at the extreme southern edge of the Bluegrass below the Cumberland Plateau, was the first coeducational college in the South
Southern United States
The Southern United States—commonly referred to as the American South, Dixie, or simply the South—constitutes a large distinctive area in the southeastern and south-central United States...

 to admit both black and white students, doing so from its very establishment in 1855. This policy was successfully challenged in the United States Supreme Court
Supreme Court of the United States
The Supreme Court of the United States is the highest court in the United States. It has ultimate appellate jurisdiction over all state and federal courts, and original jurisdiction over a small range of cases...

 in the case of Berea College v. Kentucky
Berea College v. Kentucky
Berea College v. Kentucky , was a significant case argued before the United States Supreme Court that upheld the rights of states to prohibit private educational institutions chartered as corporations from admitting both black and white students. Like the related Plessy v. Ferguson case, it was...

in 1908. This decision effectively segregated Berea until the landmark Brown v. Board of Education
Brown v. Board of Education
Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka, 347 U.S. 483 , was a landmark decision of the United States Supreme Court that declared state laws establishing separate public schools for black and white students unconstitutional. The decision overturned the Plessy v. Ferguson decision of 1896 which...

in 1954.

Kentucky has been the site of much educational reform over the past two decades. In 1989, the Kentucky Supreme Court
Kentucky Supreme Court
The Kentucky Supreme Court was created by a 1975 constitutional amendment and is the state supreme court of the commonwealth of Kentucky. Prior to that the Kentucky Court of Appeals was the only appellate court in Kentucky...

 ruled that the state's education system was unconstitutional. The response of the General Assembly
Kentucky General Assembly
The Kentucky General Assembly, also called the Kentucky Legislature, is the state legislature of the U.S. state of Kentucky.The General Assembly meets annually in the state capitol building in Frankfort, Kentucky, convening on the first Tuesday after the first Monday in January...

 was passage of the Kentucky Education Reform Act (KERA) the following year. Years later, Kentucky has shown progress, but most agree that further reform is needed.

Culture



Although Kentucky's culture
Culture
Culture is a term that has many different inter-related meanings. For example, in 1952, Alfred Kroeber and Clyde Kluckhohn compiled a list of 164 definitions of "culture" in Culture: A Critical Review of Concepts and Definitions...

 is generally considered to be Southern, it is unique in that it is also influenced by the Midwest
Midwestern United States
The Midwestern United States is one of the four U.S. geographic regions defined by the United States Census Bureau, providing an official definition of the American Midwest....

 and Southern Appalachia
Appalachia
Appalachia is a term used to describe a cultural region in the eastern United States that stretches from the Southern Tier of New York state to northern Alabama, Mississippi, and Georgia. While the Appalachian Mountains stretch from Belle Isle in Canada to Cheaha Mountain in the U.S...

 in certain areas of the state. The state is known for bourbon
Bourbon whiskey
Bourbon is a type of American whiskey – a barrel-aged distilled spirit made primarily from corn. The name of the spirit derives from its historical association with an area known as Old Bourbon, around what is now Bourbon County, Kentucky . It has been produced since the 18th century...

 and whiskey distilling, tobacco
Tobacco
Tobacco is an agricultural product processed from the leaves of plants in the genus Nicotiana. It can be consumed, used as a pesticide and, in the form of nicotine tartrate, used in some medicines...

, horse racing
Horse racing
Horse racing is an equestrian sport that has a long history. Archaeological records indicate that horse racing occurred in ancient Babylon, Syria, and Egypt. Both chariot and mounted horse racing were events in the ancient Greek Olympics by 648 BC...

, and college basketball
College basketball
College basketball most often refers to the USA basketball competitive governance structure established by the National Collegiate Athletic Association . Basketball in the NCAA is divided into three divisions: Division I, Division II and Division III....

. Kentucky is more similar to the Upland South
Upland South
The terms Upper South and Upland South refer to the northern part of the Southern United States, in contrast to the Lower South or Deep South.-Geography:There is a slight difference in usage between the two terms...

 in terms of ancestry which is predominantly American. Nevertheless, during the 19th century, Kentucky did receive a substantial number of German immigrants, who settled mostly in the Midwest, along the Ohio River primarily in Louisville, Covington and Newport. Only Maryland, Delaware and West Virginia have higher German ancestry percentages than Kentucky among Census-defined Southern states, although Kentucky's percentage is closer to Arkansas and Virginia's than the previously named state's percentages. Scottish American
Scottish American
Scottish Americans or Scots Americans are citizens of the United States whose ancestry originates wholly or partly in Scotland. Scottish Americans are closely related to Scots-Irish Americans, descendants of Ulster Scots, and communities emphasize and celebrate a common heritage...

s, English American
English American
English Americans are citizens or residents of the United States whose ancestry originates wholly or partly in England....

s and Scotch-Irish Americans have heavily influenced Kentucky culture, and are present in every part of the state. Kentucky was a slave state
Slave state
In the United States of America prior to the American Civil War, a slave state was a U.S. state in which slavery was legal, whereas a free state was one in which slavery was either prohibited from its entry into the Union or eliminated over time...

, and blacks once comprised over one-quarter of its population. However, it lacked the cotton plantation system and never had the same high percentage of African Americans as most other slave states. With less than 8% of its current population being black, Kentucky is rarely included in modern-day definitions of the Black Belt
Black Belt (U.S. region)
The Black Belt is a region of the Southern United States. Although the term originally described the prairies and dark soil of central Alabama and northeast Mississippi, it has long been used to describe a broad agricultural region in the American South characterized by a history of plantation...

, despite a relatively significant rural African American population in the Central and Western areas of the state.
Kentucky adopted the Jim Crow
Jim Crow laws
The Jim Crow laws were state and local laws in the United States enacted between 1876 and 1965. They mandated de jure racial segregation in all public facilities, with a supposedly "separate but equal" status for black Americans...

 system of racial segregation
Racial segregation
Racial segregation is the separation of humans into racial groups in daily life. It may apply to activities such as eating in a restaurant, drinking from a water fountain, using a public toilet, attending school, going to the movies, or in the rental or purchase of a home...

 in most public spheres after the Civil War, but the state never disenfranchised African American citizens to the level of the Deep South
Deep South
The Deep South is a descriptive category of the cultural and geographic subregions in the American South. Historically, it is differentiated from the "Upper South" as being the states which were most dependent on plantation type agriculture during the pre-Civil War period...

 states, and it peacefully integrated its schools after the 1954 Brown v. Board of Education verdict, later adopting the first state civil rights act in the South in 1966.

The biggest day in horse racing, the Kentucky Derby
Kentucky Derby
The Kentucky Derby is a Grade I stakes race for three-year-old Thoroughbred horses, held annually in Louisville, Kentucky, United States on the first Saturday in May, capping the two-week-long Kentucky Derby Festival. The race is one and a quarter mile at Churchill Downs. Colts and geldings carry...

, is preceded by the two-week Derby Festival
Kentucky Derby Festival
The Kentucky Derby Festival is an annual festival held in Louisville, Kentucky during the two weeks preceding the first Saturday in May, the day of the Kentucky Derby...

 in Louisville. Louisville also plays host to the Kentucky State Fair
Kentucky State Fair
The Kentucky State Fair is the official state fair of Kentucky which takes place at the Kentucky Exposition Center in Louisville. More than 600,000 fairgoers fill the of indoor and outdoor exhibits, eat a smorgasbord of food and ride hair-raising, adrenaline-pumping coasters during the 11-day event...

, the Kentucky Shakespeare Festival
Kentucky Shakespeare Festival
'Kentucky Shakespeare', commonly called Shakespeare in the Park, is a cultural event which features free Shakespeare performances every summer in Central Park in Old Louisville . Begun as the Carriage House Players in 1949, it is the oldest free professional and independently-operating Shakespeare...

, and Southern gospel
Southern Gospel
Southern Gospel music—at one time also known as "quartet music"—is music whose lyrics are written to express either personal or a communal faith regarding biblical teachings and Christian life, as well as to give a Christian alternative to mainstream secular music...

's annual highlight, the National Quartet Convention
National Quartet Convention
The National Quartet Convention is an annual gathering of Southern Gospel quartets and musicians. It is currently held at Freedom Hall on the grounds of the Kentucky Exposition Center in Louisville, Kentucky.-History:...

. Bowling Green
Bowling Green, Kentucky
Bowling Green is the third-most populous city in the state of Kentucky after Louisville and Lexington, with a population of 58,067 as of the 2010 Census. It is the county seat of Warren County and the principal city of the Bowling Green, Kentucky Metropolitan Statistical Area with an estimated 2009...

, the state's third-largest city and home to the only assembly plant in the world
Bowling Green Assembly Plant
The Bowling Green Assembly Plant is a General Motors automobile factory in Bowling Green, Kentucky. It is a specialized plant assembling GM's Y-body sports cars, the Chevrolet Corvette and formerly the Cadillac XLR....

 that manufactures the Chevrolet Corvette
Chevrolet Corvette
The Chevrolet Corvette is a sports car by the Chevrolet division of General Motors that has been produced in six generations. The first model, a convertible, was designed by Harley Earl and introduced at the GM Motorama in 1953 as a concept show car. Myron Scott is credited for naming the car after...

, opened the National Corvette Museum
National Corvette Museum
The National Corvette Museum showcases the Chevrolet Corvette, an American sports car that has been in production since 1953. It is located in Bowling Green, Kentucky, off Interstate 65's Exit 28...

 in 1994. The fourth-largest city, Owensboro
Owensboro, Kentucky
Owensboro is the fourth largest city by population in the U.S. state of Kentucky. It is the county seat of Daviess County. It is located on U.S. Route 60 about southeast of Evansville, Indiana, and is the principal city of the Owensboro, Kentucky, Metropolitan Statistical Area. The city's...

, gives credence to its nickname of "Barbecue Capital of the World" by hosting the annual International Bar-B-Q Festival
International Bar-B-Q Festival
The International Bar-B-Q Festival is an event held in Owensboro, Kentucky, every second weekend in May since 1979. The festival provides an opportunity for sampling many varieties of barbecued meats, including chicken, mutton, and burgoo. Cooking teams compete for the Governor's Cup, awarded to...

.

Old Louisville
Old Louisville
Old Louisville is a historic district and neighborhood in central Louisville, Kentucky, USA. It is the third largest such district in the United States, and the largest preservation district featuring almost entirely Victorian architecture...

, the largest historic preservation
Historic preservation
Historic preservation is an endeavor that seeks to preserve, conserve and protect buildings, objects, landscapes or other artifacts of historical significance...

 district in the United States featuring Victorian architecture
Victorian architecture
The term Victorian architecture refers collectively to several architectural styles employed predominantly during the middle and late 19th century. The period that it indicates may slightly overlap the actual reign, 20 June 1837 – 22 January 1901, of Queen Victoria. This represents the British and...

 and the third largest overall, hosts the St. James Court Art Show
St. James Court Art Show
The St. James Court Art Show, colloquially called the St. James Art Fair, or just St. James, is a popular free public outdoor annual arts and crafts show held since 1957 in the Old Louisville neighborhood of Louisville, Kentucky, in the St. James-Belgravia Historic District...

, the largest outdoor art show in the United States. The neighborhood was also home to the Southern Exposition
Southern Exposition
The Southern Exposition was a five-year series of World's Fairs held in the city of Louisville, Kentucky from 1883 to 1887 in what is now Louisville's Old Louisville neighborhood. The exposition, held for 100 days each year on immediately south of Central Park, which is now the St....

 (1883–1887), which featured the first public display of Thomas Edison
Thomas Edison
Thomas Alva Edison was an American inventor and businessman. He developed many devices that greatly influenced life around the world, including the phonograph, the motion picture camera, and a long-lasting, practical electric light bulb. In addition, he created the world’s first industrial...

's light bulb, and was the setting of Alice Hegan Rice
Alice Hegan Rice
Alice Hegan Rice, also known as Alice Caldwell Hegan, was an American novelist.Born in Shelbyville, Kentucky, she wrote over two dozen books, the most famous of which is Mrs. Wiggs of the Cabbage Patch. The book was a best seller in 1902 and is set in Louisville, Kentucky where she then lived...

's novel, Mrs. Wiggs of the Cabbage Patch
Mrs. Wiggs of the Cabbage Patch
Mrs. Wiggs of the Cabbage Patch is a 1934 comedy-genre film, directed by Norman Taurog, and based on the 1901 novel by Alice Hegan Rice. It also appeared as a radio series between 1936 and 1938. It is one of two movies that feature a rare film performance by famed Broadway stage actress Pauline...

and Fontaine Fox
Fontaine Fox
Fontaine Talbot Fox Jr. was an American cartoonist and illustrator born near Louisville, Kentucky.Fox is best known for writing and illustrating his Toonerville Folks comic panel. It ran from 1913 to 1955 in 250 to 300 newspapers across North America.The cartoons are set in the small town of...

's comic strip, the "Toonerville Trolley.

The more rural communities are not without traditions of their own, however. Hodgenville
Hodgenville, Kentucky
Hodgenville is a city in and the county seat of LaRue County, Kentucky, United States. It sits along the North Fork of the Nolin River. The population was 2,874 at the 2000 census...

, the birthplace of Abraham Lincoln
Abraham Lincoln
Abraham Lincoln was the 16th President of the United States, serving from March 1861 until his assassination in April 1865. He successfully led his country through a great constitutional, military and moral crisis – the American Civil War – preserving the Union, while ending slavery, and...

, hosts the annual Lincoln Days Celebration, and will also host the kick-off for the National Abraham Lincoln Bicentennial Celebration in February 2008. Bardstown
Bardstown, Kentucky
As of the census of 2010, there were 11,700 people, 4,712 households, and 2,949 families residing in the city. The population density was . There were 5,113 housing units at an average density of...

 celebrates its heritage as a major bourbon-producing region with the Kentucky Bourbon Festival
Kentucky Bourbon Festival
The Kentucky Bourbon Festival is a weeklong event consisting of more than thirty events in Bardstown, Kentucky, United States, dedicated to celebrating the history and art of distilling bourbon whiskey...

. (Legend holds that Baptist
Baptist
Baptists comprise a group of Christian denominations and churches that subscribe to a doctrine that baptism should be performed only for professing believers , and that it must be done by immersion...

 minister Elijah Craig
Elijah Craig
Rev. Elijah Craig was a Baptist preacher in Virginia, who became an educator and capitalist entrepreneur in the area of Virginia that later became the state of Kentucky...

 invented bourbon with his black slave in Georgetown
Georgetown, Kentucky
Georgetown is a city in Scott County, Kentucky, United States. The population was 29,098 at the 2010 census. The original settlement of Lebanon, founded by Rev. Elijah Craig, was renamed in 1790 in honor of President George Washington. It is the home of Georgetown College, a private liberal arts...

, but some dispute this claim.) Glasgow
Glasgow, Kentucky
Glasgow is a city in and the county seat of Barren County, Kentucky, United States. The population was 14,200 at the 2000 census. The city is well-known for its annual Scottish Highland Games. In 2007, Barren County was named the number one rural place to live by Progressive Farmer magazine...

 mimics Glasgow
Glasgow
Glasgow is the largest city in Scotland and third most populous in the United Kingdom. The city is situated on the River Clyde in the country's west central lowlands...

, Scotland by hosting the Glasgow Highland Games
Glasgow Highland Games
The Glasgow Highland Games are a regional highland games and Scottish heritage celebration held annually in and near Glasgow, Kentucky. The main festival grounds are located at Barren River Lake State Resort Park, about from Glasgow, while most other events are held in the city proper.Glasgow is...

, its own version of the Highland Games
Highland games
Highland games are events held throughout the &Highland games are events held throughout the &Highland games are events held throughout the &(-è_çà in Scotland and other countries as a way of celebrating Scottish and Celtic culture and heritage, especially that of the Scottish Highlands. Certain...

, and Sturgis
Sturgis, Kentucky
Sturgis is a city in Union County, Kentucky, United States. The population was 2,030 at the 2000 census. The city was founded in 1886 and named for Samuel Sturgis, who owned the land now occupied by the city.-Geography:...

 hosts "Little Sturgis", a mini version of Sturgis, South Dakota
Sturgis, South Dakota
Sturgis is a city in Meade County, South Dakota, United States. The population was 6,627 as of the 2010 census. It is the county seat of Meade County. Sturgis is famous for being the location of one of the largest annual motorcycle events in the world, which is held annually on the first full week...

's annual Sturgis Motorcycle Rally
Sturgis Motorcycle Rally
The Sturgis Motorcycle Rally is an American motorcycle rally held annually in Sturgis, South Dakota, usually the first full week of August.-History:...

. The residents of tiny Benton
Benton, Kentucky
Benton is a city in Marshall County, Kentucky, United States. The population was 4,197 at the 2000 census. It is the county seat of Marshall County....

 even pay tribute to their favorite tuber, the sweet potato
Sweet potato
The sweet potato is a dicotyledonous plant that belongs to the family Convolvulaceae. Its large, starchy, sweet-tasting, tuberous roots are an important root vegetable. The young leaves and shoots are sometimes eaten as greens. Of the approximately 50 genera and more than 1,000 species of...

, by hosting Tater Day
Tater Day
Tater Day is a large festival in Benton, Kentucky.It was started in 1843 as a celebration of spring, and a time when all of the townsfolk would get together and trade in sweet potato slips, used to grow the plants. It is also the oldest continuous trade day in the United States, in which goods such...

. Residents of Clarkson
Clarkson, Kentucky
Clarkson is a city in Grayson County, Kentucky, United States. The population was 794 at the 2000 census. Once called Grayson Springs after a nearby resort, the name was changed in 1882 to honor the resort's owner, Manoah Clarkson. It is known for its Honeyfest and is home to the The Walter T...

 in Grayson County
Grayson County, Kentucky
Grayson County is a county located in the U.S. state of Kentucky. It was formed in 1810. As of 2000, the population was 24,053. Its county seat is Leitchfield. The county is named for William Grayson , a Revolutionary War colonel and a prominent Virginia political figure...

 celebrate their city's ties to the honey industry by celebrating the Clarkson Honeyfest. The Clarkson Honeyfest is held the last Thursday, Friday and Saturday in September, and is the "Official State Honey Festival of Kentucky."

Music


The breadth of music in Kentucky is indeed wide, stretching from the Purchase to the eastern mountains.

Renfro Valley, Kentucky
Renfro Valley, Kentucky
Renfro Valley is a neighborhood located just off Interstate 75 in Mount Vernon, a city in Rockcastle County, Kentucky, United States. The community of Renfro Valley includes the Since being founded by local area native John Lair and others in 1939, Renfro Valley Entertainment Center has hosted...

 is home to Renfro Valley Entertainment Center and the Kentucky Music Hall of Fame and is known as "Kentucky's Country Music Capital," a designation given it by the Kentucky State Legislature in the late 1980s. The Renfro Valley Barn Dance was where Renfro Valley's musical heritage began, in 1939, and influential country music luminaries like Red Foley
Red Foley
Clyde Julian Foley , better known as Red Foley, was an American singer, musician, and radio and TV personality who made a major contribution to the growth of country music after World War II....

, Homer & Jethro, Lily May Ledford
Lily May Ledford
Lily May Ledford was an American clawhammer banjo and fiddle player. After gaining regional radio fame in the 1940s and 1950s as head of the Coon Creek Girls— one of the first all-female string bands to appear on radio— Ledford went on to gain national renown as a solo artist during...

 & the Original Coon Creek Girls
Coon Creek Girls
The Coon Creek Girls were a popular all-girl "string band" in the Appalachian style of folk music which began in the mid-1930s...

, Martha Carson, and many others have performed as regular members of the shows there over the years. The Renfro Valley Gatherin'
Renfro Valley Gatherin'
Renfro Valley Gatherin' is a United States radio program based in Renfro Valley, Kentucky...

 is today America's second oldest continually broadcast radio program of any kind. It is broadcast on local radio station WRVK
WRVK
WRVK is a radio station broadcasting a full service format centered around Classic Country. Licensed to Mount Vernon, Kentucky, USA, it serves the South Central Kentucky area.-History:...

 and a syndicated network of nearly 200 other stations across the United States and Canada every week.

Contemporary Christian music
Contemporary Christian music
Contemporary Christian music is a genre of modern popular music which is lyrically focused on matters concerned with the Christian faith...

 star Steven Curtis Chapman
Steven Curtis Chapman
Steven Curtis Chapman is an American musician, songwriter, record producer, actor, author, and social activist.After starting his career in the late 1980s as a singer/songwriter of contemporary Christian music, Chapman has since been recognized as one of the most prolific singers in the genre,...

 is a Paducah
Paducah, Kentucky
Paducah is the largest city in Kentucky's Jackson Purchase Region and the county seat of McCracken County, Kentucky, United States. It is located at the confluence of the Tennessee River and the Ohio River, halfway between the metropolitan areas of St. Louis, Missouri, to the west and Nashville,...

 native, and Rock and Roll Hall of Fame
Rock and Roll Hall of Fame
The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum is a museum located on the shore of Lake Erie in downtown Cleveland, Ohio, United States. It is dedicated to archiving the history of some of the best-known and most influential artists, producers, engineers and others who have, in some major way,...

rs The Everly Brothers
The Everly Brothers
The Everly Brothers are country-influenced rock and roll performers, known for steel-string guitar playing and close harmony singing...

 are closely connected with Muhlenberg County
Muhlenberg County, Kentucky
Muhlenberg County is a county located in the U.S. state of Kentucky. As of the 2010 Census, the population was 31,499. The county is named for Peter Muhlenberg. Its county seat is Greenville....

, where older brother Don was born. Kentucky was also home to Mildred and Patty Hill
Patty Hill
Patty Smith Hill is perhaps best known for co-writing the tune which became popular as Happy Birthday to You. She was an American nursery school, kindergarten teacher, and key founder of the National Association Nursery Education which now exists as the National Association For the Education of...

, the Louisville
Louisville, Kentucky
Louisville is the largest city in the U.S. state of Kentucky, and the county seat of Jefferson County. Since 2003, the city's borders have been coterminous with those of the county because of a city-county merger. The city's population at the 2010 census was 741,096...

 sisters credited with composing the tune to the ditty Happy Birthday to You
Happy Birthday to You
"Happy Birthday to You", also known more simply as "Happy Birthday", is a song that is traditionally sung to celebrate the anniversary of a person's birth...

 in 1893; Loretta Lynn
Loretta Lynn
Loretta Lynn is an American country music singer-songwriter, author and philanthropist. Born in Butcher Hollow, Kentucky to a coal miner father, Lynn married at 13 years old, was a mother soon after, and moved to Washington with her husband, Oliver Lynn. Their marriage was sometimes tumultuous; he...

 (Johnson County
Johnson County, Kentucky
Johnson County is a county located in the U.S. state of Kentucky. It was formed in 1843. As of 2000, the population was 23,445. Its county seat is Paintsville...

), and Billy Ray Cyrus
Billy Ray Cyrus
William "Billy" Ray Cyrus is an American country music singer, songwriter, actor and philanthropist, who helped make country music a worldwide phenomenon...

 (Flatwoods
Flatwoods, Kentucky
As of the census of 2000, there were 7,605 people, 3,114 households, and 2,282 families residing in the city. The population density was 1,691.9 people per square mile . There were 3,338 housing units at an average density of 742.6 per square mile...

). However, its depth lies in its signature sound—Bluegrass music
Bluegrass music
Bluegrass music is a form of American roots music, and a sub-genre of country music. It has mixed roots in Scottish, English, Welsh and Irish traditional music...

. Bill Monroe
Bill Monroe
William Smith Monroe was an American musician who created the style of music known as bluegrass, which takes its name from his band, the "Blue Grass Boys," named for Monroe's home state of Kentucky. Monroe's performing career spanned 60 years as a singer, instrumentalist, composer and bandleader...

, "The Father of Bluegrass", was born in the small Ohio County
Ohio County, Kentucky
Ohio County is a county located in the U.S. state of Kentucky. As of 2000, the population was 22,916. Its county seat is Hartford. The county is named for the Ohio River, which originally formed its northern boundary. It is a dry county, which means that the sale of alcohol is restricted or...

 town of Rosine
Rosine, Kentucky
Rosine is an unincorporated town in Ohio County, Kentucky, United States. Bill Monroe, The Father of Bluegrass, is not only buried in the town but also memorialized with a bronze cast disk affixed to the barn where his music remains alive. The community was named for the pen name of Jenny Taylor...

, while Ricky Skaggs
Ricky Skaggs
Rickie Lee "Ricky" Skaggs is a country and bluegrass singer, musician, producer, and composer. He primarily plays mandolin; however, he also plays fiddle, guitar, and banjo.-Early career:...

, Brian Littrell
Brian Littrell
Brian Thomas Littrell is an American singer-songwriter, best known as a member of the Backstreet Boys. He is also a contemporary Christian recording artist and released a solo album, Welcome Home, in 2006...

 and Kevin Richardson
Kevin Richardson
Kevin Richardson is the name of:* Kevin Richardson , American football player* Kevin Richardson , American baseball player* Kevin Richardson , English footballer...

 of the Backstreet Boys
Backstreet Boys
The Backstreet Boys are an American vocal group, formed in Orlando, Florida in 1993. The band originally consisted of A. J. McLean, Howie Dorough, Brian Littrell, Nick Carter and Kevin Richardson. They rose to fame with their debut international album, Backstreet Boys...

, Keith Whitley
Keith Whitley
Jackie Keith Whitley , known professionally as Keith Whitley, was an American country music singer. Whitley's brief career in mainstream country music lasted from 1984 until his death in 1989, but he continues to influence an entire generation of singers and songwriters...

, David "Stringbean" Akeman, Louis Marshall "Grandpa" Jones
Grandpa Jones
Louis Marshall Jones , known professionally as Grandpa Jones, was an American banjo player and "old time" country and gospel music singer...

, Sonny and Bobby Osborne
Bobby Osborne
Bobby Osborne is a bluegrass musician known for his mandolin playing and high lead vocals.Born December 7, 1931 in Leslie County, Kentucky, Bobby Osborne is known primarily for his collaborations with his brother Sonny Osborne in their band, the Osborne Brothers. He was a pioneer in conceiving the...

, and Sam Bush
Sam Bush
Sam Bush is an American bluegrass mandolin player considered an originator of the Newgrass style.- History :...

 (who has been compared to Monroe) all hail from Kentucky. The International Bluegrass Music Museum
International Bluegrass Music Museum
The International Bluegrass Music Museum ) is a bluegrass music museum in RiverPark Center near downtown Owensboro, Kentucky, United States. The museum has inter-active exhibits, posters, costumes, live instrument demonstrations, and the International Bluegrass Music Hall of Fame. The museum has...

 is located in Owensboro
Owensboro, Kentucky
Owensboro is the fourth largest city by population in the U.S. state of Kentucky. It is the county seat of Daviess County. It is located on U.S. Route 60 about southeast of Evansville, Indiana, and is the principal city of the Owensboro, Kentucky, Metropolitan Statistical Area. The city's...

, while the annual Festival of the Bluegrass
Festival of the Bluegrass
The Festival of the Bluegrass, located in Lexington, Kentucky, is the oldest bluegrass music festival in the bluegrass region of Kentucky. The festival takes place the first full weekend of June each year...

 is held in Lexington
Lexington, Kentucky
Lexington is the second-largest city in Kentucky and the 63rd largest in the US. Known as the "Thoroughbred City" and the "Horse Capital of the World", it is located in the heart of Kentucky's Bluegrass region...

.

Kentucky is also home to famed jazz
Jazz
Jazz is a musical style that originated at the beginning of the 20th century in African American communities in the Southern United States. It was born out of a mix of African and European music traditions. From its early development until the present, jazz has incorporated music from 19th and 20th...

 musician and pioneer, Lionel Hampton
Lionel Hampton
Lionel Leo Hampton was an American jazz vibraphonist, pianist, percussionist, bandleader and actor. Like Red Norvo, he was one of the first jazz vibraphone players. Hampton ranks among the great names in jazz history, having worked with a who's who of jazz musicians, from Benny Goodman and Buddy...

 (although this has been disputed in recent years). Blues
Blues
Blues is the name given to both a musical form and a music genre that originated in African-American communities of primarily the "Deep South" of the United States at the end of the 19th century from spirituals, work songs, field hollers, shouts and chants, and rhymed simple narrative ballads...

 legend W.C. Handy and R&B
Rhythm and blues
Rhythm and blues, often abbreviated to R&B, is a genre of popular African American music that originated in the 1940s. The term was originally used by record companies to describe recordings marketed predominantly to urban African Americans, at a time when "urbane, rocking, jazz based music with a...

 singer Wilson Pickett
Wilson Pickett
Wilson Pickett was an American R&B/Soul singer and songwriter.A major figure in the development of American soul music, Pickett recorded over 50 songs which made the US R&B charts, and frequently crossed over to the US Billboard Hot 100...

 also spent considerable time in Kentucky. The R&B group Midnight Star
Midnight Star
Midnight Star is an R&B and electro-funk group that had a string of R&B hits in the 1980s.-Band history:The group was formed in 1976 at Kentucky State University by trumpeter Reggie Calloway, vocalist Belinda Lipscomb, guitarist/vocalist Melvin Gentry, bassist Kenneth Gant, multi-instrumentalist...

 and Hip-Hop group Nappy Roots
Nappy Roots
Nappy Roots is an American alternative Southern rap quintet that originated in Bowling Green, Kentucky in 1995 and is best known for its hit single "Awnaw."...

 were both formed in Kentucky, as were country acts The Kentucky Headhunters
The Kentucky Headhunters
The Kentucky Headhunters are an American country rock band. They were founded in 1968 as Itchy Brother, which comprised brothers Richard Young and Fred Young along with Greg Martin and Anthony Kenney...

, Montgomery Gentry
Montgomery Gentry
Montgomery Gentry is an American country music duo composed of vocalists Eddie Montgomery and Troy Gentry. The two began performing in the 1990s as part of a band which also included Eddie Montgomery's brother John Michael Montgomery, and founded the existing duo in 1999.Signed to Columbia Records,...

 and Halfway to Hazard
Halfway to Hazard
Halfway to Hazard is an American country music duo composed of singer-songwriters David Tolliver and Chad Warrix. Though Tolliver and Warrix grew up in different towns in southeastern Kentucky, their band's origins are in Hazard, Kentucky, which was halfway between their hometowns.Their debut...

, The Judds
The Judds
The Judds were an American country music duo composed of Naomi Judd and her daughter, Wynonna Judd. Signed to RCA Records in 1983, the duo released six studio albums between then and 1991. One of the most successful acts in country music history, The Judds won five Grammy Awards for Best Country...

, as well as Dove Award
GMA Music Awards
The Gospel Music Association Dove Awards are presented annually by the Gospel Music Association for outstanding achievements in the Christian music industry. The awards are usually presented during a ceremony in Nashville, Tennessee, that features performances by a number of the industry's newest...

-winning Christian groups Audio Adrenaline
Audio Adrenaline
Audio Adrenaline was a Christian rock band that formed in the late 1980s at Kentucky Christian University in Grayson, Kentucky. During the band's 17-year existence, they were awarded two Grammy awards, multiple Dove Awards and they released 17 number one singles. They were regular performers at the...

 (rock) and Bride
Bride (band)
Bride is a Christian heavy metal/hard rock band formed in the 80s, by brothers Dale and Troy Thompson. During the band's peak years it was known for covering a wide range of musical styles and remains popular in places like Brazil...

 (metal). Heavy Rock band Black Stone Cherry
Black Stone Cherry
Black Stone Cherry is an American rock band formed in 2001 in Edmonton, Kentucky. They are signed to Roadrunner Records. The band consists of Chris Robertson , Ben Wells , Jon Lawhon , and John Fred Young...

 hails from rural Edmonton, Indie rock band My Morning Jacket
My Morning Jacket
My Morning Jacket is an American rock band from Louisville, Kentucky.The band consists of Jim James , Tom 'Two-Tone Tommy' Blankenship , Patrick Hallahan , Carl Broemel , and Bo Koster .-History:My Morning Jacket was...

 with lead singer and guitarist Jim James
Jim James
James Edward Olliges Jr. , professionally known as Jim James or Yim Yames, is the lead vocalist, guitarist, and primary songwriter of Louisville, Kentucky-based rock band My Morning Jacket. James grew up in the Hikes Point neighborhood of Louisville, attended St. Martha grade school and graduated...

 also originated out of Louisville, on the local independent music Scene. Rock band Cage the Elephant
Cage the Elephant
Cage the Elephant is an American rock band from Bowling Green, Kentucky, that formed in mid-2006. Since their formation, the band has gained a large following in the US as well as the UK and Canada for their sound and their high-energy live performances. The band released their self-titled debut...

 is also from Bowling Green. The bluegrass groups Driftwood and Kentucky Rain, along with Nick Lachey
Nick Lachey
Nicholas Scott "Nick" Lachey is an American singer, songwriter, actor, producer and television personality. Lachey rose to fame as a member of the boy band 98 Degrees. He later starred in the reality television series Newlyweds: Nick and Jessica with his then-wife, Jessica Simpson. He has released...

 of the pop band 98 Degrees
98 Degrees
98 Degrees is an American adult contemporary boy band consisting of four vocalists: brothers Nick and Drew Lachey, Justin Jeffre, and Jeff Timmons. The group was formed by Timmons in Los Angeles, California....

 are also from Kentucky.

In eastern Kentucky, old-time music
Old-time music
Old-time music is a genre of North American folk music, with roots in the folk music of many countries, including England, Scotland, Ireland and countries in Africa. It developed along with various North American folk dances, such as square dance, buck dance, and clogging. The genre also...

 carries on the tradition of ancient ballads and reels developed in historical Appalachia.

Cuisine



Kentucky's cuisine is generally similar to traditional southern cooking, although in some areas of the state it can blend elements of both the South and Midwest. One original Kentucky dish is called the Hot Brown
Hot Brown
A Hot Brown Sandwich is a hot sandwich originally created at the Brown Hotel in Louisville, Kentucky, by Fred K. Schmidt in 1926. It is a variation of traditional Welsh rarebit and was one of two signature sandwiches created by chefs at the Brown Hotel shortly after its founding in 1923...

, a dish normally layered in this order: toasted bread, turkey, bacon, tomatoes and topped with mornay sauce
Mornay sauce
A Mornay sauce is a Béchamel sauce with shredded or grated cheese added. Usually, it consists of half Gruyère and half Parmesan cheese, though some variations use different combinations of Gruyère, Emmental cheese, or white Cheddar....

. It was developed at the Brown Hotel in Louisville
Louisville, Kentucky
Louisville is the largest city in the U.S. state of Kentucky, and the county seat of Jefferson County. Since 2003, the city's borders have been coterminous with those of the county because of a city-county merger. The city's population at the 2010 census was 741,096...

. The Pendennis Club
Pendennis Club
The Pendennis Club is a private club in Louisville, Kentucky. It was established in 1881 and modeled in part on English gentleman's clubs. It took its name from William Makepeace Thackeray's novel Pendennis . The first clubhouse, acquired in 1883, was a former Belknap family mansion. Soon after...

 in Louisville is the birthplace of the Old Fashioned
Old Fashioned
The Old Fashioned is a type of cocktail made by muddling dissolved sugar with bitters then adding alcohol, such as jenever, whiskey, or brandy, and a twist of citrus rind. The name references the combination's age: it is possibly the first drink to be called a cocktail...

cocktail. Also, western Kentucky is known for its own regional style of barbecue.

Harland Sanders
Colonel Sanders
Harland David "Colonel" Sanders was an American fast food businessman who founded the Kentucky Fried Chicken restaurant chain, now re-branded as KFC...

 originated Kentucky Fried Chicken at his service station in North Corbin
North Corbin, Kentucky
North Corbin is a census-designated place in Knox and Laurel counties in the U.S. state of Kentucky. The population was 1,662 at the 2000 census....

, though the first franchised KFC
KFC
KFC, founded and also known as Kentucky Fried Chicken, is a chain of fast food restaurants based in Louisville, Kentucky, in the United States. KFC has been a brand and operating segment, termed a concept of Yum! Brands since 1997 when that company was spun off from PepsiCo as Tricon Global...

 was located in South Salt Lake, Utah
South Salt Lake, Utah
South Salt Lake is a city in Salt Lake County, Utah, United States, part of the Salt Lake City, Utah Metropolitan Statistical Area. The population was 23,617 at the 2010 census.-History:...

.

Sports


Kentucky is the home of several sports teams such as Minor League Baseball
Minor league baseball
Minor league baseball is a hierarchy of professional baseball leagues in the Americas that compete at levels below Major League Baseball and provide opportunities for player development. All of the minor leagues are operated as independent businesses...

's Class A Lexington Legends
Lexington Legends
The Lexington Legends are a minor league baseball team of the South Atlantic League , and the Class A affiliate of the Houston Astros. They are located in Lexington, Kentucky, and play their home games at Whitaker Bank Ballpark, located in an industrial area on the northeast side of the city just...

 and AAA Louisville Bats
Louisville Bats
The Louisville Bats, which play in Louisville, Kentucky, are the AAA minor league baseball affiliate of the Cincinnati Reds. The team, formerly known as the Louisville RiverBats, plays in the International League...

. They are also home to the Frontier League
Frontier League
The Frontier League, based in Sauget, Illinois, is a professional, independent baseball organization located in the Midwestern United States, Western Pennsylvania, and Southern Ontario. It operates mostly in cities not served by Major or Minor League Baseball teams and is not affiliated with either...

s Florence Freedom
Florence Freedom
The Florence Freedom are a professional baseball team based in the Northern Kentucky city of Florence, located near the city of Cincinnati. The Freedom are a member of the West Division of the Frontier League, an independent baseball league...

 and several teams in the MCFL. The Lexington Horsemen
Lexington Horsemen
The Kentucky Horsemen were an indoor football team based in Lexington, Kentucky. The team played its home games at Rupp Arena. The organization began as a 2003 expansion member of the National Indoor Football League, where they were successful...

 and Louisville Fire
Louisville Fire
The Louisville Fire was an arena football team that played its home games at the Brown-Forman Field in Freedom Hall in Louisville, Kentucky. They were a 2001 expansion team of the af2. Their owner/operator was former Pro Bowl lineman and Louisville native Will Wolford. The team was somewhat...

 of the af2
Af2
AF2 was the name of the Arena Football League's developmental league; it was founded in 1999 and played its first season in 2000. Like parent AFL, the AF2 played using the same arena football rules and style of play. League seasons ran from April through July with the postseason and ArenaCup...

 appear to be interested in making a move up to the "major league" Arena Football League. The northern part of the state
Northern Kentucky
Northern Kentucky is the name often given to the northernmost counties in Kentucky...

 lies across the Ohio River
Ohio River
The Ohio River is the largest tributary, by volume, of the Mississippi River. At the confluence, the Ohio is even bigger than the Mississippi and, thus, is hydrologically the main stream of the whole river system, including the Allegheny River further upstream...

 from Cincinnati, which is home to a National Football League
National Football League
The National Football League is the highest level of professional American football in the United States, and is considered the top professional American football league in the world. It was formed by eleven teams in 1920 as the American Professional Football Association, with the league changing...

 team, the Bengals
Cincinnati Bengals
The Cincinnati Bengals are a professional football team based in Cincinnati, Ohio. They are members of the AFC's North Division in the National Football League . The Bengals began play in 1968 as an expansion team in the American Football League , and joined the NFL in 1970 in the AFL-NFL...

, and a Major League Baseball
Major League Baseball
Major League Baseball is the highest level of professional baseball in the United States and Canada, consisting of teams that play in the National League and the American League...

 team, the Reds
Cincinnati Reds
The Cincinnati Reds are a Major League Baseball team based in Cincinnati, Ohio. They are members of the National League Central Division. The club was established in 1882 as a charter member of the American Association and joined the National League in 1890....

. It is not uncommon for fans to park in the city of Newport
Newport, Kentucky
Newport is a city in Campbell County, Kentucky, United States, at the confluence of the Ohio and Licking rivers. The population was 15,273 at the 2010 census. Historically, it was one of four county seats of Campbell County. Newport is part of the Greater Cincinnati, Ohio Metro Area which...

 and use the Newport Southbank Pedestrian Bridge
Newport Southbank Bridge
The Newport Southbank Bridge stretches 2,670 feet over the Ohio River, connecting Newport, Kentucky to downtown Cincinnati, Ohio.- History :...

, locally known as the "Purple People Bridge," to walk to these games in Cincinnati. Also, Georgetown College in Georgetown
Georgetown, Kentucky
Georgetown is a city in Scott County, Kentucky, United States. The population was 29,098 at the 2010 census. The original settlement of Lebanon, founded by Rev. Elijah Craig, was renamed in 1790 in honor of President George Washington. It is the home of Georgetown College, a private liberal arts...

 is the location for the Bengals' summer training camp.

As in many states, especially those without major league professional sport teams, college athletics are very important. This is especially true of the state's three Division I Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS) programs, including the Kentucky Wildcats
Kentucky Wildcats
The Kentucky Wildcats are the men's and women's intercollegiate athletic squads of the University of Kentucky , a founding member of the Southeastern Conference...

, the Western Kentucky University
Western Kentucky University
Western Kentucky University is a public university in Bowling Green, Kentucky, USA. It was formally founded by the Commonwealth of Kentucky in 1906, though its roots reach back a quarter-century earlier....

 Hilltoppers, and the Louisville Cardinals
Louisville Cardinals
The Louisville Cardinals are the athletic teams representing the University of Louisville. A member of the Big East Conference since 2005, they are known nationally as traditional powers in men's basketball, women's volleyball, and dance team...

. The Wildcats, Hilltoppers, and Cardinals are among the most tradition-rich college basketball teams in the United States, combining for nine championships and 22 NCAA Final Fours; and all three are on the lists of total all-time wins, wins per season, and average wins per season. The Kentucky Wildcats are particularly notable, leading all Division I programs in all time wins, win percentage, NCAA tournament appearances, and being second only to UCLA in NCAA championships. Louisville has also stepped onto the football scene in recent years, with eight straight bowl games, including the 2007 Orange Bowl. Western Kentucky, the 2002 national champion in Division I-AA football (now Football Championship Subdivision (FCS), completed its transition to Division I FBS football in 2009.

Ohio Valley Wrestling
Ohio Valley Wrestling
Ohio Valley Wrestling is an American independent professional wrestling promotion based in Louisville, Kentucky. OVW is run by owner Danny Davis and was a member of the National Wrestling Alliance from 1997 until 2000...

 in Louisville was the primary location for training and rehab for WWE professional wrestlers from 2000 until February 2008, when WWE ended its relationship with OVW and moved all of its contracted talent to Florida Championship Wrestling
Florida Championship Wrestling
Championship Wrestling from Florida was the corporate and brand name of the Tampa, Florida wrestling office existing from 1961, when Eddie Graham first bought into the promotion, until 1987, when it closed down. It is also referred to as Florida Championship Wrestling...

.

The NASCAR
NASCAR
The National Association for Stock Car Auto Racing is a family-owned and -operated business venture that sanctions and governs multiple auto racing sports events. It was founded by Bill France Sr. in 1947–48. As of 2009, the CEO for the company is Brian France, grandson of the late Bill France Sr...

 Sprint Cup Series will also have a race at the Kentucky Speedway
Kentucky Speedway
Kentucky Speedway is a tri-oval speedway in Sparta, Kentucky, which has hosted ARCA, NASCAR and Indy Racing League racing annually since it opened in 2000. The track is currently owned and operated by Speedway Motorsports, Inc. and Jerry Carroll, who, along with four other investors, owned...

 in Sparta, Kentucky
Sparta, Kentucky
Sparta is a city in Gallatin and Owen Counties in the U.S. state of Kentucky. The population was 230 at the 2000 census.Sparta is home to Kentucky Speedway.-Geography:Sparta is located at ....

, an hour away from Louisville
Louisville, Kentucky
Louisville is the largest city in the U.S. state of Kentucky, and the county seat of Jefferson County. Since 2003, the city's borders have been coterminous with those of the county because of a city-county merger. The city's population at the 2010 census was 741,096...

. The race will be called the Quaker State 400
Quaker State 400
The Quaker State 400 is a NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race held at Kentucky Speedway in Sparta, Kentucky, United States over 400.5 miles . The inaugural event was held in 2011.-History:...

. The NASCAR Nationwide Series and the Camping World Truck Series also race there.

State symbols


Insignia Symbol Binomial nomenclature
Binomial nomenclature
Binomial nomenclature is a formal system of naming species of living things by giving each a name composed of two parts, both of which use Latin grammatical forms, although they can be based on words from other languages...

Year Adopted
Official State Bird Cardinal
Northern Cardinal
The Northern Cardinal or Redbird or Common Cardinal is a North American bird in the genus Cardinalis. It can be found in southern Canada, through the eastern United States from Maine to Texas and south through Mexico...

Cardinalis cardinalis 1926
Official State Butterfly Viceroy Butterfly
Viceroy butterfly
The Viceroy Butterfly is a North American butterfly with a range from the Northwest Territories along the eastern edges of the Cascade Range and Sierra Nevada mountains, southwards into central Mexico....

Limenitis archippus 1990
Official State Dance Clogging
Clogging
Clogging is a type of folk dance with roots in traditional European dancing, early African-American dance, and traditional Cherokee dance in which the dancer's footwear is used musically by striking the heel, the toe, or both in unison against a floor or each other to create audible percussive...

2001
Official State Beverage Milk
Milk
Milk is a white liquid produced by the mammary glands of mammals. It is the primary source of nutrition for young mammals before they are able to digest other types of food. Early-lactation milk contains colostrum, which carries the mother's antibodies to the baby and can reduce the risk of many...

2005
Official State Fish Kentucky Spotted Bass
Spotted bass
The Spotted Bass , also called "Spotty", "Leeman", or "Spots" in various fishing communities, is a species of freshwater fish sunfish family of order Perciformes. One of the black basses, it is native to the Mississippi River basin and across theGulf States, from central Texas through the Florida...

Micropterus punctulatus 2005
Official State Fossil Brachiopod
Brachiopod
Brachiopods are a phylum of marine animals that have hard "valves" on the upper and lower surfaces, unlike the left and right arrangement in bivalve molluscs. Brachiopod valves are hinged at the rear end, while the front can be opened for feeding or closed for protection...

undetermined 1986
Official State Flower Goldenrod
Goldenrod
Solidago, commonly called goldenrods, is a genus of about 100 species of flowering plants in the family Asteraceae. Most are herbaceous perennial species found in the meadows and pastures, along roads, ditches and waste areas in North America. There are also a few species native to Mexico, South...

Soldiago gigantea 1926
Official State Fruit Blackberry
Blackberry
The blackberry is an edible fruit produced by any of several species in the Rubus genus of the Rosaceae family. The fruit is not a true berry; botanically it is termed an aggregate fruit, composed of small drupelets. The plants typically have biennial canes and perennial roots. Blackberries and...

Rubus allegheniensis 2004
Official State Gemstone Freshwater Pearl
Pearl
A pearl is a hard object produced within the soft tissue of a living shelled mollusk. Just like the shell of a mollusk, a pearl is made up of calcium carbonate in minute crystalline form, which has been deposited in concentric layers. The ideal pearl is perfectly round and smooth, but many other...

1986
State Grass Kentucky Bluegrass
Smooth Meadow-grass
Poa pratensis, commonly known as Kentucky Bluegrass, Smooth Meadow-grass, or Common Meadow-grass, is a perennial species of grass native to Europe, Asia, and northern Africa.-General description:...

Poa pratensis Traditional
Official State Motto "United we stand, divided we fall" 1942
Official State Latin Motto "Deo gratiam habeamus" ("Let us be grateful to God") 2002
Official State Horse Thoroughbred
Thoroughbred
The Thoroughbred is a horse breed best known for its use in horse racing. Although the word thoroughbred is sometimes used to refer to any breed of purebred horse, it technically refers only to the Thoroughbred breed...

Equus caballus 1996
Official State Mineral Coal
Coal
Coal is a combustible black or brownish-black sedimentary rock usually occurring in rock strata in layers or veins called coal beds or coal seams. The harder forms, such as anthracite coal, can be regarded as metamorphic rock because of later exposure to elevated temperature and pressure...

1998
Official State Outdoor Musical "The Stephen Foster
Stephen Foster
Stephen Collins Foster , known as the "father of American music", was the pre-eminent songwriter in the United States of the 19th century...

 Story" (now called "Stephen Foster - The Musical")
2002
Official State Instrument
Musical instrument
A musical instrument is a device created or adapted for the purpose of making musical sounds. In principle, any object that produces sound can serve as a musical instrument—it is through purpose that the object becomes a musical instrument. The history of musical instruments dates back to the...

Appalachian Dulcimer
Appalachian dulcimer
The Appalachian dulcimer is a fretted string instrument of the zither family, typically with three or four strings. It is native to the Appalachian region of the United States...

2001
State Nickname "The Bluegrass State" Traditional
Official State Rock Kentucky Agate
Agate
Agate is a microcrystalline variety of silica, chiefly chalcedony, characterised by its fineness of grain and brightness of color. Although agates may be found in various kinds of rock, they are classically associated with volcanic rocks and can be common in certain metamorphic rocks.-Etymology...

2000
Official State Slogan "Kentucky: Unbridled Spirit" 2004
Official State Soil
Soil
Soil is a natural body consisting of layers of mineral constituents of variable thicknesses, which differ from the parent materials in their morphological, physical, chemical, and mineralogical characteristics...

Crider Soil Series 1990
Official State Tree Tulip Poplar Liriodendron tulipifera 1994
Official Wild Animal Game Species Gray Squirrel
Eastern Gray Squirrel
The eastern gray squirrel is a tree squirrel in the genus Sciurus native to the eastern and midwestern United States, and to the southerly portions of the eastern provinces of Canada...

Sciurus carolinensis 1968
Official State Song "My Old Kentucky Home
My Old Kentucky Home
"My Old Kentucky Home" is a minstrel song by Stephen Foster , probably composed in 1852. It was published as "My Old Kentucky Home, Good Night" in January 1853 by Firth, Pond, & Co. of New York...

"
(revised version)
1986
Official State Silverware Pattern Old Kentucky Blue Grass: The Georgetown Pattern 1996
Official State Music Bluegrass music
Bluegrass music
Bluegrass music is a form of American roots music, and a sub-genre of country music. It has mixed roots in Scottish, English, Welsh and Irish traditional music...

2007
Official State Automobile Chevrolet Corvette
Chevrolet Corvette
The Chevrolet Corvette is a sports car by the Chevrolet division of General Motors that has been produced in six generations. The first model, a convertible, was designed by Harley Earl and introduced at the GM Motorama in 1953 as a concept show car. Myron Scott is credited for naming the car after...

2010

Official state places and events


  • State arboretum: Bernheim Arboretum and Research Forest
    Bernheim Arboretum and Research Forest
    Bernheim Arboretum and Research Forest is a 14,000 acre arboretum, forest, and nature preserve located in Clermont, Kentucky ....

  • State botanical garden: The Arboretum: State Botanical Garden of Kentucky
    University of Kentucky Arboretum
    The University of Kentucky Arboretum , 40 hectares or , is located at the University of Kentucky in Lexington, Kentucky, USA...

  • State Science Center: Louisville Science Center
    Louisville Science Center
    The Louisville Science Center, previously known as the Louisville Museum of Natural History & Science, is Kentucky's largest hands-on science museum. Located in Louisville, Kentucky's "Museum Row" in the West Main District of downtown, the museum operates as a non-profit organization...

  • State center for celebration of African American heritage: Kentucky Center for African American Heritage
  • State honey festival: Clarkson
    Clarkson, Kentucky
    Clarkson is a city in Grayson County, Kentucky, United States. The population was 794 at the 2000 census. Once called Grayson Springs after a nearby resort, the name was changed in 1882 to honor the resort's owner, Manoah Clarkson. It is known for its Honeyfest and is home to the The Walter T...

     Honeyfest
  • State amphitheater
    Amphitheatre
    An amphitheatre is an open-air venue used for entertainment and performances.There are two similar, but distinct, types of structure for which the word "amphitheatre" is used: Ancient Roman amphitheatres were large central performance spaces surrounded by ascending seating, and were commonly used...

    : Iroquois
    Iroquois Park
    Iroquois Park is a 739 acre municipal park in Louisville, Kentucky, United States. It was designed by Frederick Law Olmsted, who also designed Louisville's Cherokee Park and Shawnee Park, at what were then the edges of the city. Located south of downtown, Iroquois Park was promoted as...

     Amphitheater (Louisville
    Louisville, Kentucky
    Louisville is the largest city in the U.S. state of Kentucky, and the county seat of Jefferson County. Since 2003, the city's borders have been coterminous with those of the county because of a city-county merger. The city's population at the 2010 census was 741,096...

    )


  • State tug-o-war
    Tug of war
    Tug of war, also known as tug o' war, tug war, rope war or rope pulling, is a sport that directly pits two teams against each other in a test of strength. The term may also be used as a metaphor to describe a demonstration of brute strength by two opposing groups, such as a rivalry between two...

     championship: The Fordsville
    Fordsville, Kentucky
    Fordsville is a city in Ohio County, Kentucky, United States. The population was 531 at the 2000 census. The town is named for early merchant Elisha Ford.-Geography:Fordsville is located at ....

     Tug-of-War Championship
  • Covered Bridge
    Covered bridge
    A covered bridge is a bridge with enclosed sides and a roof, often accommodating only a single lane of traffic. Most covered bridges are wooden; some newer ones are concrete or metal with glass sides...

     Capital of Kentucky: Fleming County
    Fleming County, Kentucky
    Fleming County is a county located in the U.S. state of Kentucky. It was formed in 1798. As of 2000, the population was 13,792. Its county seat is Flemingsburg. The county is named for Colonel John Fleming. It's a prohibition or dry county...

  • Official Covered Bridge
    Covered bridge
    A covered bridge is a bridge with enclosed sides and a roof, often accommodating only a single lane of traffic. Most covered bridges are wooden; some newer ones are concrete or metal with glass sides...

     of Kentucky: Switzer Covered Bridge (Franklin County
    Franklin County, Kentucky
    As of the census of 2000, there were 47,687 people, 19,907 households, and 12,840 families residing in the county. The population density was . There were 21,409 housing units at an average density of...

    )
  • Official steam locomotive
    Steam locomotive
    A steam locomotive is a railway locomotive that produces its power through a steam engine. These locomotives are fueled by burning some combustible material, usually coal, wood or oil, to produce steam in a boiler, which drives the steam engine...

     of Kentucky: "Old 152"
    L & N Steam Locomotive No. 152
    The L & N Steam Locomotive No. 152 is a historic 4-6-2 Pacific Class locomotive on the National Register of Historic Places, currently at the Kentucky Railway Museum at New Haven, Kentucky, in southernmost Nelson County, Kentucky. It is the oldest known remaining 4-6-2 Pacific to exist...

     (located in the Kentucky Railway Museum
    Kentucky Railway Museum
    The Kentucky Railway Museum, located in New Haven, Kentucky, United States, is a non-profit railroad museum dedicated to educating the public regarding the history and heritage of Kentucky's railroads and the people who built them. Originally created in 1954 in Louisville, Kentucky, the museum is...

     in New Haven
    New Haven, Kentucky
    New Haven is a city in Nelson County, Kentucky, United States. The population was 849 at the 2000 census.New Haven was founded as Pottinger's Landing in 1781 and later named New Haven by Samuel Pottinger after the Connecticut town...

    )
  • Official pipe band
    Pipe band
    A pipe band is a musical ensemble consisting of pipers and drummers. The term used by military pipe bands, pipes and drums, is also common....

    : Louisville Pipe Band
  • State bourbon
    Bourbon whiskey
    Bourbon is a type of American whiskey – a barrel-aged distilled spirit made primarily from corn. The name of the spirit derives from its historical association with an area known as Old Bourbon, around what is now Bourbon County, Kentucky . It has been produced since the 18th century...

     festival: Kentucky Bourbon Festival, Inc.
    Kentucky Bourbon Festival
    The Kentucky Bourbon Festival is a weeklong event consisting of more than thirty events in Bardstown, Kentucky, United States, dedicated to celebrating the history and art of distilling bourbon whiskey...

    , in Bardstown, Kentucky
    Bardstown, Kentucky
    As of the census of 2010, there were 11,700 people, 4,712 households, and 2,949 families residing in the city. The population density was . There were 5,113 housing units at an average density of...


Unless otherwise specified, all state symbol information is taken from Kentucky State Symbols.

See also



  • Southern Cherokee Nation of Kentucky
    Southern Cherokee Nation of Kentucky
    The Southern Cherokee Nation of Kentucky claim descent from the Cherokee forcibly removed to Indian Territory in 1838, and to have first emerged as a distinct political faction known as the Treaty Party before the Trail of Tears, circa 1835. They report having fled Indian territory, after the...

  • U.S. state
    U.S. state
    A U.S. state is any one of the 50 federated states of the United States of America that share sovereignty with the federal government. Because of this shared sovereignty, an American is a citizen both of the federal entity and of his or her state of domicile. Four states use the official title of...



Politics


Surveys and reference

  • Bodley, Temple and Samuel M. Wilson. History of Kentucky 4 vols. (1928).
  • Caudill, Harry M.
    Harry M. Caudill
    Harry M. Caudill was an American author, historian, lawyer, legislator, and environmentalist from Letcher County, in the coalfields of southeastern Kentucky.-Biography:...

    , Night Comes to the Cumberlands (1963). ISBN 0-316-13212-8
  • Channing, Steven. Kentucky: A Bicentennial History (1977).
  • Clark, Thomas Dionysius. A History of Kentucky (many editions, 1937–1992).
  • Collins, Lewis. History of Kentucky (1880).
  • Harrison, Lowell H. and James C. Klotter. A New History of Kentucky (1997).
  • Kleber, John E. et al. The Kentucky Encyclopedia (1992), standard reference history.
  • Klotter, James C. Our Kentucky: A Study of the Bluegrass State (2000), high school text
  • Lucas, Marion Brunson and Wright, George C. A History of Blacks in Kentucky 2 vols. (1992).
  • Notable Kentucky African Americans http://www.uky.edu/Subject/aakyall.html
  • Share, Allen J. Cities in the Commonwealth: Two Centuries of Urban Life in Kentucky (1982).
  • Wallis, Frederick A. and Hambleton Tapp. A Sesqui-Centennial History of Kentucky 4 vols. (1945).
  • Ward, William S., A Literary History of Kentucky (1988) (ISBN 0-87049-578-X).
  • WPA, Kentucky: A Guide to the Bluegrass State (1939), classic guide.

Specialized scholarly studies


External links