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.
During an unsuccessful senatorial bid in 1914, Stanley assumed an anti-prohibition stance. This issue would dominate his political career for more than a decade and put him at odds with J. C. W. Beckham, the leader of the pro-temperance faction of the state's Democratic Party. In 1915, Stanley ran for governor, defeating his close friend Edwin P. Morrow by just over 400 votes in the closest gubernatorial race in the state's history. Historian Lowell H. Harrison called Stanley's administration the apex of the Progressive Era in Kentucky. Among the reforms adopted during his tenure were a state antitrust law, a campaign finance reform law, and a workman's compensation law. In 1918, Stanley was chosen as the Democratic nominee to succeed the recently deceased senator Ollie M. James. Stanley was elected, but did not resign as governor to take the seat until May 1919 and accomplished little in his single term. He lost his re-election bid to Frederic M. Sackett in the 1924 Republican landslide and never again held elected office. He died in Washington, D.C., on August 12, 1958. (Full article...)
Lake Cumberland is a reservoir in Clinton, Pulaski, Russell, Wayne, and Laurel, counties in Kentucky. The primary reasons for its construction were a means for flood control and the production of hydroelectric power. Its shoreline measures 1,255 miles (2,020 km) and the lake covers 65,530 acres (265 km2) at the maximum power pool elevation. The reservoir ranks 9th in the U.S. in size, with a capacity of 6,100,000 acre-feet (7.5 km3) of water, enough to cover the entire Commonwealth of Kentucky with 3 inches (76 mm) of water. The main lake is 101 miles (163 km) long and over one mile (1.6 km) across at its widest point.
The lake has become a major source of tourism and an economic engine for south-central Kentucky. As of September 2011 Lake Cumberland was approximately 43 feet (13 m) below its normal level due to leakage in the earthen part of the dam, but repairs were completed in 2013 and officials estimated that lake levels would be back to normal by 2014–2015. As of April 18, 2015, the lake is back to full summer pool. (Full article...)
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