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Portal:Kentucky

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Introduction

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Kentucky (/kənˈtʌki/ (About this sound listen) kən-TUK-ee), officially the Commonwealth of Kentucky, is a state located in the east south-central region of the United States. Although styled as the "State of Kentucky" in the law creating it, 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 Kentucky became the 15th state to join the Union. Kentucky is the 37th most extensive and the 26th most populous of the 50 United States.

Kentucky is known as the "Bluegrass State," a nickname based on the bluegrass found in many of its pastures due to the fertile soil. One of the major regions in Kentucky is the Bluegrass Region in central Kentucky, which houses two of its major cities, Louisville and Lexington. 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 contiguous United States, and the two largest man-made lakes east of the Mississippi River.

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Bluegrass music is a form of American roots music. It has its own roots in Irish, Scottish and English traditional music. Bluegrass was inspired by the music of immigrants from the British Isles (particularly the Scots-Irish immigrants in Appalachia), as well as that of rural African-Americans, jazz, and blues. In bluegrass, as in jazz, each instrument takes a turn playing the melody and improvising around it, while the others revert to backing; this is in contrast to old-time music, in which all instruments play the melody together or one instrument carries the lead throughout while the others provide accompaniment. Bluegrass is distinctively acoustic, rarely using electrical instruments.

Since the late 1990s, several mainstream country musicians have recorded bluegrass albums. Ricky Skaggs, who began as a bluegrass musician and crossed over to mainstream country in the 1980s, returned to bluegrass in 1996, and since then has recorded several bluegrass albums and tours with his bluegrass band Kentucky Thunder. Skaggs went on to form a recording company called The Skaggs Family Records signing new bluegrass artists and bands such as Cadillac Sky to carry on the legacy of bluegrass music.

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Cumberland Falls 2005 05 20a.jpeg
Photo credit: Tom Allen
Cumberland Falls is known as the Niagara of the South.

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Covington is a city in Kenton County. As of the 2000 census, the city population was 43,370; it is the fifth-most-populous city in Kentucky. It is one of two county seats of Kenton County. Covington is located at the confluence of the Ohio and Licking Rivers. Covington is separated from Cincinnati, Ohio by the Ohio River and from Newport by the Licking River. Covington is located within the Upland South region; it is also acknowledged as a Midwestern city.

In 1814, John Gano, Richard Gano, and Thomas Carneal purchased 150 acres (0.6 km2) on the west side of the Licking River at its confluence with the Ohio River, referred to as "the Point," from Thomas Kennedy for $50,000. The men named their new riverfront enterprise the "Covington Company," in honor of their friend, General Leonard Covington, an American officer who once trained troops in the area and was killed in the War of 1812.

Fueled in part by the European revolutions of the mid-1800s, many Europeans, particularly Germans, immigrated to Covington. At this time, the primary commercial district and gathering place was on Main Street near Sixth Street, the area now known as "Mainstrasse." Sixth Street was laid out with a wide width that allowed the city, in 1861, to establish a public market in the center of the street with traffic lanes on either side. The nearby Mutter Gottes Kirche (Mother of God Church), built in 1871, was the center of another German-speaking neighborhood.

Did you know...

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Kentucky Official Symbols

On this day in Kentucky history...

Quotes

"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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Pleasant Hill is the site of a Shaker religious community that was active from 1805 to 1910. Following a preservationist effort that began in 1961, the site, now a National Historic Landmark, has become a popular tourist destination. Shaker Village of Pleasant Hill, or Shakertown, as it is known by residents of the area, is located 25 miles (40 km) southwest of Lexington, in Kentucky's Bluegrass region.

On January 1, 1805, with eleven Shaker communities already established in New York and New England, three Shaker missionaries set out to find new converts among the pioneers then pouring into the western lands by way of Cumberland Gap and the Ohio. By August, they had gathered a small group of new adherents to the doctrine of Mother Ann Lee, many of whom had earlier been influenced by the fervent Cane Ridge Revival. In December 1806, forty-four converts of legal age signed a covenant agreeing to mutual support and the common ownership of property.

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Tara Elizabeth Conner (born on 18 December 1985 in Dallas) is a beauty queen who is Miss USA 2006 and has also competed in the Miss Teen USA and Miss Universe pageants. Apart from her role as Miss USA, Conner has been employed as a model and waitress. She was a featured model on the HDNet series Bikini Destinations in 2004, posing for the cameras in Lake Tahoe. She has held the titles Miss Kentucky Teen USA 2002, Miss Kentucky USA 2006 and Miss USA 2006.

In late 2006, Conner became the center of a public scandal when news reports claim she had been drinking underage, tested positive for the use of cocaine, and kissed Miss Teen USA Katie Blair in public, among other things. She was allowed to retain her title and entered a drug rehabilitation program.

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