Kentucky, The Bluegrass State

Kentucky, The Bluegrass State

by Sandra Merville Hart

Kentucky is known as The Bluegrass State. Bluegrass grows in pastures and lawns. Bluish-purple buds sprouting in the spring throughout the state appear a rich blue color in large fields.

The early history of Kentucky

After the French and Indian War ended in 1763, the land east of the Mississippi River belonged to Great Britain.

Daniel Boone, one of the frontiersmen who explored Kentucky, founded a settlement on the Kentucky River called Boonesborough. He blazed the Wilderness Road through Cumberland Gap that many immigrants used.

Kentucky becomes a state

Kentucky became a state on June 1, 1792. The capital is Frankfort.

Kentucky in the Civil War

Kentuckians had divided loyalties during the Civil War. Some citizens owned slaves though many opposed slavery. At first the state decided not to join the fight. That didn’t work because both sides wanted Kentucky’s support. Major battles happened there.

As a state, Kentuckians decided to support the Union. Citizens fought on both sides.

birthday-669971_960_720Happy Birthday

In 1893, Mildred and Patty Hill, sisters, wrote the melody for “Happy Birthday to You.” The sisters worked at Louisville Experimental Kindergarten School in 1893. Their original song, “Good Morning to All,” was written for teachers to sing to students.

Robert Coleman used the tune with his lyrics for “Happy Birthday to You” in 1924.

Mammoth Cave

Mammoth Cave in Mammoth Cave National Park became a tourist attraction in 1816. Over 400 miles of this cave have been explored, making it the world’s longest explored cave system.

Kentucky Derby

The most famous horse race in the United States is the Kentucky Derby. The race has been an annual event since 1875. It takes place at Churchill Downs in Louisville the first Saturday in May.

Thunder Over Louisville, the largest fireworks display on earth, opens a two-week Kentucky Derby Festival.

cheeseburger-525047_960_720Other fun facts about Kentucky

President Abraham Lincoln was born in a log cabin near Hodgenville.

Visitors to Cumberland Falls State Park waterfall often see a “moonbow,” which resembles a rainbow.

Those who love cheeseburgers will be happy that a cook at Louisville’s Kaolin’s restaurant decided to serve them for the first time anywhere in 1934.

Every year, residents of Pikeville drink more Pepsi per person than anywhere else in the United States.

The state dance is clogging.



Gutman, Bill. The Look-It-Up Book of the 50 States, Random House, 2002.

“Kentucky,”, 2016/07/13

“Kentucky,” State Symbols USA, 2016/07/13

“Kentucky Facts and Trivia,” 50, 2016/07/13

“Mammoth Cave,” National Park Service, 2016/07/13


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