The Kentucky Portal
Kentucky (US: /kənˈtʌki/ (listen) kən-TUK-ee, UK: /kɛn-/ ken-), officially the Commonwealth of Kentucky, is a state in the Southeastern region of the United States and one of the states of the Upper South. Kentucky borders Illinois, Indiana, and Ohio to the north, West Virginia to the northeast, Virginia to the east, Tennessee to the south, and Missouri to the west. Its northern border is defined by the Ohio River. Its capital is Frankfort, and its largest city is Louisville. Its population was approximately 4.5 million in .
Kentucky was admitted into the Union as the 15th state on June 1, 1792, splitting from Virginia in the process. It is known as the "Bluegrass State", a nickname based on Kentucky bluegrass, a species of green grass introduced by European settlers for the purpose of grazing in pastures, which has supported the thoroughbred horse industry in the center of the state. Historically, it was known for excellent farming conditions for this reason and the development of large tobacco plantations akin to those in Virginia and North Carolina in the central and western parts of the state with the use of enslaved labor during the Antebellum South and Civil War period. Kentucky ranks 5th nationally in goat farming, 8th in beef cattle production, and 14th in corn production. Kentucky has also been a long-standing major center of the tobacco industry. Today, Kentucky's economy has expanded to importance in non-agricuIturaI sectors, including auto manufacturing, energy fuel production, and medical facilities. The state ranks 4th among US states in the number of automobiles and trucks assembled.
The state is home to the world's longest cave system in Mammoth Cave National Park, as well as the greatest length of navigable waterways and streams in the contiguous United States, and the two largest human-made lakes east of the Mississippi River. Kentucky is also known for its culture, which includes horse racing, bourbon, moonshine, coal, My Old Kentucky Home State Park, automobile manufacturing, tobacco, bluegrass music, college basketball, Louisville Slugger baseball bats, Kentucky Fried Chicken, and the Kentucky colonel. (Full article...)
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Wendell Hampton Ford (September 8, 1924 – January 22, 2015) was an American politician from Kentucky. He served for twenty-four years in the U.S. Senate and was the 53rd Governor of Kentucky. He was the first person to be successively elected lieutenant governor, governor and United States senator in Kentucky history. The Senate Democratic whip from 1991 to 1999, he was considered the leader of the state's Democratic Party from his election to governor in 1971 until he retired from the Senate in 1999. At the time of his retirement, he was the longest-serving senator in Kentucky's history, a mark which was then surpassed by Mitch McConnell in 2009. He is the most recent Democrat to have served as a Senator from the state of Kentucky.Born in Daviess County, Kentucky, Ford attended the University of Kentucky, but his studies were interrupted by his service in World War II. After the war, he graduated from the Maryland School of Insurance and returned to Kentucky to help his father with the family insurance business. He also continued his military service in the Kentucky Army National Guard. He worked on the gubernatorial campaign of Bert T. Combs in 1959 and became Combs' executive assistant when Combs was elected governor. Encouraged to run for the Kentucky Senate by Combs' ally and successor, Ned Breathitt, Ford won the seat and served one four-year term before running for lieutenant governor in 1967. He was elected on a split ticket with Republican Louie B. Nunn. Four years later, Ford defeated Combs in an upset in the Democratic primary en route to the governorship. (Full article...)
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National Register of Historic Places listings in Kentucky by county
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