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Portal:Kentucky

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The Commonwealth of Kentucky /kɪnˈtʌki/ (About this sound 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.

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The John A. Roebling Suspension Bridge spans the Ohio River between Cincinnati, Ohio and Covington, Kentucky. When the first pedestrians crossed on December 1, 1866, it was the longest suspension bridge in the world at 1,057 feet (322 m), a status it maintained until 1883. Today, many pedestrians use the bridge to get between the arenas in Cincinnati (Paul Brown Stadium, Great American Ball Park, and U.S. Bank Arena) and the hotels and parking lots in Northern Kentucky.

The bridge was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1975 and designated a National Historic Civil Engineering Landmark in 1983. It remains the busiest of Cincinnati's four non-expressway automobile or pedestrian bridges. Initially called the "Covington-Cincinnati Suspension Bridge," it was renamed in honor of its designer and builder on June 27, 1983.

The state of Kentucky closed the bridge on November 13, 2006 to make extensive repairs to the structure. It was scheduled to reopen April 22, 2007, but reopened about a month ahead of schedule in late March. However, it will close again for much of 2008 for repainting.

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The Creation Museum questions the validity of the theory of evolution.

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Frankfort serves as the state capital of the commonwealth of Kentucky, and is the county seat of Franklin County. The population was 27,741 at the 2000 census; by population, it is the 4th smallest state capital in the United States. James Wilkinson purchased in 1786 the 260-acre tract of land on the north side of the Kentucky River, which is now downtown Frankfort. Called by some the father of Frankfort, Wilkinson was an early promoter to make Frankfort the state capital.

The town of Frankfort probably received its name from an event that took place in 1780's when Indians attacked a group of pioneers from Bryan's Station who were making salt at a ford in the Kentucky River. One of the pioneers, Stephen Frank, was killed and the crossing became known as "Frank's Ford." Later this name was shortened to Frankfort.

After Kentucky became a state, five commissioners were appointed on June 20, 1792, to choose a location for the state capital. They were John Allen and John Edwards (both from Bourbon County), Henry Lee (Mason County), Thomas Kennedy (Madison County), and Robert Todd (Fayette County). A number of communities competed for this honor, but Frankfort won by perseverance and, according to early histories, the offer of Andrew Holmes' log house as capitol for seven years, a number of town lots, £50 worth of locks and hinges, 10 boxes of glass, 1500 pounds of nails, and $3000 in gold.

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Kentucky Official Symbols

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"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

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Land Between the Lakes National Recreation Area is a United States National Recreation Area located in Kentucky and Tennessee between Lake Barkley and Kentucky Lake. The area was designated a national recreation area by President John F. Kennedy in 1963. The recreation area was originally managed by the Tennessee Valley Authority but jurisdiction has since been transferred to the United States Forest Service.

The Tennessee and Cumberland Rivers flow very close to each other in the northwestern corner of Middle Tennessee and Western Kentucky, separated by a rather narrow and mostly low ridge. This area where they are only a few miles apart had been known as "Between the Rivers" since at least the 1830s or 1840s. After the Cumberland River was impounded in the 1960s and a canal was constructed between the two lakes, Land Between The Lakes became the largest inland peninsula in the United States. Downstream from this area, the courses of the rivers then diverge again, with the result being that the mouth of the Cumberland into the Ohio River is approximately 40 mi (64 km) from that of the Tennessee.

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John Hunt Morgan (June 1, 1825 – September 4, 1864) was a Confederate general and cavalry officer in the American Civil War. He led 2,460 troops in a daring raid, called Morgan's Raid, racing past Union lines into Kentucky, Indiana, and Ohio in July 1863. This was the farthest north any uniformed Confederate troops penetrated during the war.

Morgan and his cavalrymen fought at the Battle of Shiloh and he soon became a symbol to secessionists in their hopes for obtaining Kentucky for the Confederacy. A Louisiana writer, Robert D. Patrick, compared Morgan to Francis Marion and wrote that "a few thousands of such men as his would regain us Kentucky and Tennessee."

He unnerved Kentucky's Union military government and President Lincoln received so many frantic appeals for help that he complained that "they are having a stampede in Kentucky."

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