State Facts

Statehood: June 1, 1792


Nickname: The Bluegrass State

Bird -Cardinal

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Flower -Goldenrod

Song - "My Old Kentucky Home" click here to view lyrics

Tree -Tulip Poplar

Motto ( a phrase to describe the purpose or goals of s group) -United We Stand, Divided We                                                                   Fall


Kentucky is not one of the largest states, but its geography is diverse. It is composed of five geographic regions that attest to this diversity; the Bluegrass Region, the Cumberland Plateau, the Western Coal Field, the Pennyroyal Region, and the Jackson Purchase Region.

Bluegrass Region: In the northern central area of Kentucky lies the Bluegrass Region. This area extends into Ohio but is bordered in Kentucky on the north and west by the Ohio River. This area of Kentucky is characterized by rolling meadows in the central portion and by sandstone "knobs" on the eastern, southern, and western edges. These areas are referred to as the Knobs Region.

Cumberland Plateau: The Appalachian Plateau which extends from New York to Alabama is referred to as the Cumberland Plateau in Kentucky. This area, in the eastern portion of the state, consists of mountains, plateaus, and valleys. The Cumberland and Pine mountain ranges are found in this region of Kentucky as well as Black Mountain, the highest point in the state.

Western Coal Field: Northwestern Kentucky is a land of hills bordered by the Ohio River on the north, and the Pennyroyal region on the east, west, and south. It's called the Western Coal Field because of its large coal deposits. Farmland borders the Ohio River in the Western Coal Field.

Pennyroyal Region: The Pennyroyal Region (also called Pennyrile) stretches along the southern border of Kentucky from the Appalachian Plateau west all the way to Kentucky Lake. The southern portion of the Pennyroyal Region consists of flat lands with some rolling hills. In the center of the region lies a treeless area called The Barrens. The northern section consists of rocky ridges. Under this rocky area are underground caves and tunnels. Mammoth Cave is located in the Pennyroyal region.

Jackson Purchase Region: In the far western tip of Kentucky is the Jackson Purchase Region, part of greater Gulf Plains Region that starts at the Gulf of Mexico and extends north to Illinois. This area is bordered on the east by Kentucky Lake. To the north is the Ohio River; to the west, the Mississippi River. This area is characterized by flood plains with low hills. The Mississippi River crosses the Madrid Fault zone here. Earthquakes in 1811 and 1812 caused the Mississippi River to flow backwards! Reelfoot Lake, near the Tennessee border was created when this happened.


Mountainous in east; rounded hills of the Knobs in the north; Bluegrassregion in the heart of the state; wooded rocky hillsides of the Pennroyal; western coal fields; the fertile farm land in the southwest.


National Park


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Land Area: 39,728. square miles - ranked 37th in total area

Number of counties:120



After its admission to the Union as the fifteenth state, Kentucky prospered and agriculture became the economic mainstay for the Commonwealth. Tobacco had become Kentucky's primary cash crop by 1787. Kentucky was also a leading producer of the world's hemp supply, used for making rope and fiber products until jute became popular in the early 1900's. Corn, also produced in Kentucky, was difficult to transport in dried form, and was transported more easily when distilled into whiskey.

After the Civil War ended, slavery was illegal. As a result, Kentucky’s economy suffered a depression that hit most of the South. Hemp production was the most affected as cotton production declined and traffic along the Mississippi and Ohio Rivers decreased. Kentucky continued to lead the nation in growing tobacco. An interest in horse racing led many to raise thoroughbred horses. Several new mines opened as railroad expansion increased the need for coal and oil.

Large-scale coal mining in eastern Kentucky's mountains began in the early 1900's as the railroads penetrated the previously isolated area. After periods of major labor conflicts during the 1930's and fluctuation in the demand for coal, the industry has achieved an important place in the Kentucky economy, and Kentucky has become one of the nation's leading coal-producing states.

In 1933, the federal government created jobs through the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) program. Dams were built along the Tennessee and Cumberland Rivers and throughout the state. Many worked on state highways and others conserving natural resources.

World War II (1939-1945) also created jobs with the U.S. military and supplying weapons and food to U.S. soldiers. During the 1960s, the coal industry grew rising to second place nationally. The TVA began building recreational areas in western Kentucky and a steam-generating plant in Paradise.

During the late 1950's, Kentucky emerged as an industrial state. Today, manufacturing is Kentucky's largest industry group. Kentucky's largest industry groups are manufacturing; services; finance, insurance, and real estate; retail trade; transportation and public utilities; government; wholesale trade; construction; mining; farming; and agricultural services, forestry, and fisheries.

With six national areas, 49 state parks, and hundreds of recreational, natural, historic, and cultural attractions, Kentucky abounds in travel opportunities. Tourism and travel is Kentucky's third largest revenue-producing industry, contributing $8.8 billion to the state's economy in 2005. Tourism and travel is also the second largest private employer, providing 168,500 jobs.







Population/Cities/State Capital


Population: 4,173,405 people

3 Largest Cities: Louisville, 556,429 people
Click on city name to learn more         Lexington, 268,080 people
                                       Owensboro, 55,459 people

Capital City:

Frankfort is Kentucky's state capital and is located in the heart of the bluegrass country. Franfort is the trade and shipping center for an area yielding tobacco, livestock, and limestone.

Among its manufacturers are wire, wood, and plastic products; automotive parts; apparel; liquor; asphalt; and thermostats.

Thoroughbred horses are also raised there.

Daniel Boone reached the site in 1770. The city was organized in 1786 by the Virginia legislature and was selected as the state capital in 1792.



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Mrs. Hays
South Newton Elementary School
13188 S.   50 E.
Kentland, IN   47951