225 Years of Kentucky

225 Years of Kentucky

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Kentucky celebrates its 225th birthday in June 2017! Some important events in Kentucky’s history are listed below:


June 1, 1792: As the 15th state and 1st state west of the Appalachian Mountains, Kentucky is admitted to the union.

1792: Isaac Shelby becomes the first (and fifth) Governor of Kentucky.

1811-1812: The Mississippi River is rerouted by the New Madrid earthquake-this creates the Kentucky Bend, a small portion of Western Kentucky not connected to the rest of the state.

1817: First commercial steamboat route from Louisville to New Orleans opens.

1830: The third state capitol building opens in Frankfort.

1850: The Louisville & Nashville Railroad receives charter from the Commonwealth of Kentucky.

1861: Kentucky declares full allegiance to the U.S.

1875: The first Kentucky Derby is run at Churchill Downs.

1884: Maker of Louisville Slugger bats, Hillerich & Bradsby, is founded in Louisville.

1891: The present Kentucky Constitution is adopted.

1893: The melody to the song “Good Morning All”, which later becomes “Happy Birthday”, is written by Mildred & Patty Hill of Louisville.

1896: First woman to hold state office in Kentucky is elected – Emma Guy Cromwell.

1909: The present Kentucky State Capitol opens in Frankfort.

1926: Mammoth Cave National Park is established.

1937: The first gold shipments are accepted at the U.S. Bullion Depository at Fort Knox.

1946: Kentuckian, Frederick M. Vinson, is sworn in as Chief Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court.

1960: Muhammad Ali (Cassius M. Clay Jr.) wins a gold medal at Olympic Games in Rome.

1966: Kentucky passes first statewide comprehensive Civil Rights Act in the South.

1983: Martha Layne Collins is elected governor of Kentucky. The first woman to hold the position.

2010: Kentucky Horse Park hosts the World Equestrian Games; the first time the games have taken place outside of Europe.

2013: Kentucky legalizes the growing of hemp, once an important cash crop for Kentucky.


Join in a year-long celebration of history and traditions in Kentucky. Go out and discover your next adventure at one of the many unique destinations found only in Kentucky. Don’t forget to share your adventure with us using #KYTravel!


*Above dates from Kentucky Historical Society.


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