The Kentucky Portal
The Commonwealth of Kentucky ( listen) is a state located in the East Central United States of America. As classified by the United States Census Bureau, Kentucky is a Southern state. Kentucky is one of four U.S. states constituted as a commonwealth (the others being Virginia, Pennsylvania, and Massachusetts). Originally a part of Virginia, in 1792 it became the 15th state to join the Union. Kentucky is the 37th largest state in terms of total area, the 36th largest in land area, and ranks 26th in population.
Kentucky is known as the "Bluegrass State", a nickname based on the fact that native bluegrass is present in many of the pastures throughout the state, based on the fertile soil. It made possible the breeding of high-quality livestock, especially thoroughbred racing horses. It is a land with diverse environments and abundant resources, including the world's longest cave system, Mammoth Cave National Park; the greatest length of navigable waterways and streams in the Lower 48 states; and the two largest man-made lakes east of the Mississippi River. It is also home to the highest per capita number of deer and turkey in the United States, the largest free-ranging elk herd east of Montana, and the nation's most productive coalfield. Kentucky is also known for thoroughbred horses, horse racing, bourbon distilleries, bluegrass music, automobile manufacturing, tobacco and college basketball.
Western Kentucky University
) is a public university in Bowling Green, Kentucky
. The roots of WKU go back to 1875 and the founding of the privately owned Glasgow Normal School
. This institution moved to Bowling Green in 1884 and became the Southern Normal School and Business College.
The student body and building were transferred to the Western Kentucky State Normal School, when it was created by an act of the Kentucky General Assembly in 1906. The owner of the Southern Normal School, Henry Hardin Cherry, became the first president of the new school. Classes began on January 22, 1907. The school moved to its present location in 1911. The property had been purchased in 1909 when the Pleasant J. Potter College closed. In 1922, the school was authorized by the state to grant four-year degrees and was renamed as Western Kentucky State Normal School and Teachers College. The first four-year degrees were awarded in 1924. In 1927, it merged with Odgen College, which occupied an adjacent campus.
WKU is also home to the largest American master's degree program in folklore; it is contained within the Department of Folk Studies and Anthropology.
Extended campuses are operated in Glasgow, Elizabethtown/Fort Knox and Owensboro.
is the fourth-most populous city
, after Louisville
, with an estimated population in 2006 of 53,112. It is the county seat
of Warren County
. Bowling Green was founded in 1798 after Robert
and George Moore
donated 30–40 acres (120,000–160,000 m2
) to the Warren County trustees
. The land surrounded the 2-acre (8,100 m2
) plot they had previously donated for the construction of public buildings. In 2003, Bowling Green and its surrounding communities were designated as a "metropolitan area
The third largest Kentucky public university, Western Kentucky University, is situated upon a hill in central Bowling Green, thus its athletes are called Hilltoppers.
The origin of the name Bowling Green has not been definitely pinned to a single source by historians. Some say at the first county commissioners meeting in early 1798, the pioneers decided that the new town would be "called and known" by the name of Bolin Green." This name was after the Bowling Green in New York City, where patriots had pulled down a statue of King George III and used the lead to make bullets during the American Revolution. Other say the Virginian settlers could have been honoring Bowling Green, Virginia. Still others say, Robert Moore kept a "ball alley game" on his residence which guests called bowling on the green. Early records indicate that the city name was also spelled Bowlingreen and Bolin Green.
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Kentucky Official Symbols
"I hope to have God on my side, but I must have Kentucky." -- Abraham Lincoln
"I was brought up to believe that Scotch whisky would need a tax preference to survive in competition with Kentucky bourbon." -- Hugo Black
"Tough girls come from New York. Sweet girls, they're from Georgia. But us Kentucky girls, we have fire and ice in our blood. We can ride horses, be a debutante, throw left hooks, and drink with the boys, all the while making sweet tea, darlin'. And if we have an opinion, you know you're gonna hear it." -- Ashley Judd
"Soon after, I returned home to my family, with a determination to bring them as soon as possible to live in Kentucky, which I esteemed a second paradise, at the risk of my life and fortune." -- Daniel Boone
is the name of the estate of the nineteenth-century Kentucky
statesman Henry Clay
, located in Lexington, Kentucky
in the Bluegrass region
of central Kentucky. It is a registered National Historic Landmark
Henry Clay came to Lexington from Virginia in 1797. He began buying land for his estate in 1804. The Ashland farm--which during Clay's lifetime was outside of the city limits--at its largest consisted of over 600 acres (2.4 km²). It is unclear whether Clay named the estate or retained a prior name, but he was referring to his estate as "Ashland" by 1809. The name derives from the ash forest that stood at the site. Clay and his family resided at Ashland from c. 1806 until his death in 1852 (his widow, Lucretia, moved out in 1854).
When granddaughter Anne Clay McDowell came to Ashland in 1883, she and her husband remodeled and modernized the house, updating it with gas lighting (later, electricity), indoor plumbing, and telephone service.
(October 22, 1734 – September 26, 1820) was an American pioneer
whose frontier exploits made him one of the first folk heroes of the United States
. Boone is most famous for his exploration and settlement of what is now the U.S. state of Kentucky
, which was then beyond the western borders of the Thirteen Colonies
. Despite resistance from American Indians
, for whom Kentucky was a traditional hunting ground, in 1775 Boone blazed the Wilderness Road
through the Cumberland Gap
and into Kentucky. There he founded Boonesborough
, one of the first English-speaking settlements beyond the Appalachian Mountains
. Before the end of the 18th century, more than 200,000 people entered Kentucky by following the route marked by Boone.
Boone was born on October 22, 1734. Because the Gregorian calendar was adopted during Boone's lifetime, his birth date is sometimes given as November 2, 1734 (the "New Style" date), although Boone always used the October date. He was the sixth of eleven children in a family of Quakers.
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