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.
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Mary Carson Breckinridge (February 17, 1881 – May 16, 1965) was an American nurse midwife and the founder of the Frontier Nursing Service (FNS), which provided comprehensive family medical care to the mountain people of rural Kentucky. FNS served remote and impoverished areas off the road and rail system but accessible by horseback. She modeled her services on European practices and sought to professionalize American nurse-midwives to practice autonomously in homes and decentralized clinics. Although Breckinridge's work demonstrated efficacy by dramatically reducing infant and maternal mortality in Appalachia, at a comparatively low cost, her model of nurse-midwifery never took root in the United States. (Full article...)
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