kentucky

Kentucky, The Blue Grass State

Wedged between the Ohio River and the Appalachian Mountains, Kentucky holds a special place in American history: the first western State, it represented the beginning of the thrust westward that was ultimately to transform the collection of coastal States into a continental nation. This has given epic significance to the journey of that first group of settlers which Daniel Boone led through the Cumberland Cap into the Wilderness beyond the mountains. Soon after, others came to the area-either through the Cap or down the Ohio River.

Sheltered in crude log cabins, the first settlers grew hemp and tobacco, and raised hogs and cattle and horses. Pioneers from Virginia, Maryland and the Carolinas brought Thoroughbred horses to the blue-grass pastures around present Lexington-now the nation’s leading Thoroughbred breeding region.

Kentucky played a difficult role in the Civil War: both Lincoln and Jefferson Davis, President of the Confederacy, were born in Kentucky, and the State had divided interests and allegiances, but it remained with the Union.

Through the years Kentucky has become most famous for bourbon whiskey, Thoroughbred horses, the great store of U. S. Government gold at Fort Knox, and Mammoth Cave-one of the Seven Natural Wonders of the modern world. And, at Churchill Downs, near Louisville, each year the finest horses in the World compete in the Kentucky Derby.

On Kentucky’s farms, tobacco remains an important crop; cigarette making, meat packing, leather tanning, and the manufacture of farm machinery and electrical equipment are prominent industries. Minerals include coal, oil and cement. The mountains and the Ohio River, which shaped Kentucky’s early history, have in the twentieth century become more valuable for recreation, but history has left its mark in the paths of the pioneers through the mountains and in the river cities of Covington, Paducah and Louisville.

kentucky

kentucky

kentucky

kentucky