Kentucky was the first region west of the Allegheny Mountains to be settled by American pioneers. The first permanent settlement was established in 1774 by James Harrod - Harrodsburg. In 1775, Daniel Boone, after having explored the area in 1767, blazed the Wilderness Trail through the Cumberland Gap, founding Boonesboro.
Statehood for Kentucky was gained in1792. The Kentucky frontier was secured in 1794 at Fallen Timbers in Ohio, by General Anthony Wayne's victory. This marked the end of the Native American resistance in the area.
During the Civil War, Kentucky was caught in the middle - it was a slaveholding state, but with a considerable abolitionist population. Kentucky supplied both Union and Confederate forces with thousands of troops.
Kentucky has a fierce pride in her tobacco, horses and whiskey - each among the best of the best in the nation. Corn, soybeans, wheat, fruits, hogs, cattle and dairy products are a few of the agricultural items produced in Kentucky.
Just a few of the manufactured items produced within the state are - motor vehicles, furniture, aluminum wares, brooms, apparel, lumber products, machinery, textiles, iron and steel products. Also, Kentucky produces significant amounts of petroleum, natural gas, fluorspar, clay and stone. Coal accounts for about 85% of the total mineral income in the state.
Kentucky is plentiful in attractions. The Kentucky Derby is held annually in Louisville. Lexington is home to some of the world's finest race horses. Mammoth Cave, The Military Museum in Fort Knox, 5 state forests, 52 state parks, just to name a few of the varied and many attractions.
The origin of the name "Kentucky" is from an Iroquoian word "Ken-tah-ten" meaning "land of tomorrow". (A personal note here - this speaks volumes to my heart. Because before I knew what the name "Kentucky" means, after many trials and sorrows, I hear a whisper of hope - that there really is a tomorrow for me.)
Kentucky's nickname is "Bluegrass State". The state tree is Tulip Poplar, the state flower is the goldenrod, the state bird is the Kentucky cardinal, the state gemstone is the freshwater pearl, and the state song is "My Old Kentucky Home". Kentucky's motto is "United we stand, divided we fall."
Some of those who have called Kentucky "home" - Muhammad Ali, Kit Carson, George Clooney, Rosemary Clooney, Jefferson Davis, Johnny Depp, Crystal Gayle, Casey Jones, Ashley Judd, Abraham Lincoln, Loretta Lynn, Bill Monroe, Diane Sawyer.
Kentucky is bordered by 7 states - West Virginia, Virginia, Tennessee, Missouri, Illinois, Indiana, and Ohio.