Firsts in Kentucky


Submitted by Sherri Hall Kentucky State Gen Web Coordinator

 * The bloodiest civil war battle was fought in Perryville, Kentucky.

 *The first town in the United States to be named for the first president
was Washington, Ky. It was named in 1780.

 *1792 - Kentucky was the first state on the western frontier to join the

 *In the War of 1812 more than half of all Americans killed in action were

 *1816 - (first promoted) Mammoth Cave, with 336+ miles of mapped passages,
is the world's longest cave. It is 379 feet deep and contains at least 5
levels of passages. It's second only to Niagara Falls as the most popular
tourist attraction in the US. It became a National Park on July 1, 1941.

 *The first American performance of a Beethoven symphony was in Lexington in

 *Begun in 1819 the first commercial oil well was on the Cumberland River in
McCreary County.

 *Kentucky is the state where both Abraham Lincoln, President of the Union,
and Jefferson Davis, President of the Confederacy, were born. They were born
less than one hundred miles and one year apart.

 *1856 - The first enamel bathtub was made in Louisville.

 *In 1873, Louisville druggist John Colgan invented something that you can
find in any just about every grocery store in the world, chewing gum.

 *1883 - The first electric light bulb was shown in Louisville. Thomas Alva
Edison introduced his invention to crowds at the Southern Exposition.

 *1887 - Mother's Day was first observed in Henderson by teacher Mary S.
Wilson. It became a national holiday in 1916.

 *The radio was invented by a Kentuckian named Nathan B. Stubblefield of
Murray in 1892. It was three years before Marconi made his claim to the

 *Pike County the world's largest producer of coal is famous for the
Hatfield-McCoy feud, an Appalachian vendetta that lasted from the Civil War
to the 1890s.

 *1893 - 'Happy Birthday to You', probably the most sung song in the world,
was written by two Louisville sisters - Mildred and Patricia Hill.

 *Late 19th century - Bibb lettuce was first cultivated by Jack Bibb in
Frankfort, Kentucky

 *1896 - The first (known) set of all male quintuplets was born in Paducah..

 *Carrie Nation the spokesperson against rum, tobacco, pornography, and
corsets was born near Lancaster in Garrard County.

 *1926 - A Hot Brown is a hot sandwich originally created at the Brown Hotel
in Louisville, Kentucky, by Fred K. Schmidt.

 *1934 - Cheeseburgers were first tasted at Kaelin's Restaurant in

 *1937 - The first Wigwam Village Motel, with units in the shape of a
'teepee', was built by Frank A. Redford in Cave City .

 *The "Old Fashion" drink was created in Louisville KY

 *The world's largest baseball bat, a full one hundred twenty (120) feet
tall and weighing 68,000 pounds, can be seen at the Louisville Slugger
Museum in Louisville (Jefferson Co.).

 *Chevrolet Corvettes are manufactured only in Bowling Green.

 *Covington (St. Mary's Cathedral-Basilica of the Assumption) is home to the
world's largest hand blown stained glass window in existence. It measures an
astounding 24 feet by 67 feet and contains 117 different figures.

 *The world's largest crucifix, standing at sixty feet tall, is in Bardstown
(Nelson Co.).

 *Fort Knox holds more than $6 billion worth of gold - the largest amount
stored anywhere in the world.

 *The JIF plant in Lexington is the world's largest peanut butter producing

 *Kentucky has more resort parks than any other state in the nation.

 *Middlesboro is the only United States city built inside a meteor crater.

 *Newport is home to The World Peace Bell, the world's largest free-swinging

 *Pikeville annually leads the nation (per capita) in consumption of

 *Post-It Notes are made exclusively in Cynthiana, Ky.

 *Shaker Village (Pleasant Hill) is the largest historic community of its
kind in the U.S.

 *Christian County is 'wet', while Bourbon County is 'dry'. ('wet 'sells
liquor; 'dry' does not)

 *Barren County has the most fertile land in the state.

 *Lake Cumberland has more miles of shoreline than the state of Florida.

 *Kentucky is best known for its beautiful blue grass.

 *Cumberland is the only waterfall in the world to regularly display a
Moonbow. It is located just southwest of Corbin.

 *Thunder Over Louisville is the opening ceremony for the Kentucky Derby
Festival and is the world's largest fireworks display.

 *The only monument south of the Ohio River dedicated to Union Soldiers who
died in the Civil War is located in Vanceburg.

 *High Bridge located near Nicholasville is the highest railroad bridge over
navigable water in the United States.

 *The Cathedral Basilica of the Assumption in Covington has 82 stained-glass
windows including the world's largest hand-blown one. The window measures 24
feet wide by 67 feet high and depicts the Council of Ephesus with 134
life-sized figures.

 *The Lost River Cave and Valley Bowling Green includes a cave with the
shortest and deepest underground river in the world. It contains the largest
cave opening east of the Mississippi.

 *The Kentucky Derby is the oldest continuously held horse race in the
country. It is held at Churchill Downs in Louisville on the first Saturday
in May.

 *Kentucky is the horse capitol of the world.

 *Mohammed Ali, The Greatest and most recognized face in the world was born
in Louisville, KY.

 *There are only three things that matter in the state of Kentucky -
Bourbon, Basketball, and Horseracing.


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