Ten Bluegrass State Facts to Celebrate National Kentucky Day

Pop Culture
National Kentucky Day is the perfect occasion to celebrate the state.
National Kentucky Day is the perfect occasion to celebrate the state. (Wikimedia Commons- Stevebidman/Eclipse Sportswire/Wikimedia Commons- Lauraparkes102)

Happy National Kentucky Day! We’re celebrating by listing 10 of our favorite facts, destinations, and events around the Bluegrass State.

1. Kentucky is known as the horse capital of the world.

If you’ve ever wanted to get up close and personal with horses, then you need to go to Kentucky. The place is known as the horse capital of the world, and there are lots of ways you can visit. Our favorite is Horse Country, which puts you right on some of the storied Thoroughbred farms around Lexington.

2. The song “Happy Birthday to You” was penned by two Louisville sisters.

Everybody loves the birthday song, and you can thank Patty and Mildred Hill of Louisville, Ky., for the eponymous tune.

3. Post-its were invented there.

But unlike Romy, Post-its really were invented by Dr. Spencer Silver, a scientist at 3M. The iconic office supplies are still solely manufactured at 3M’s plant in Cynthiana, Ky.

4. The very first American public performance of a Beethoven symphony was in Kentucky.

In 1817, Beethoven was heard in a public venue for the first time in the United States thanks to Anthony Heinrich and Postlethwaite’s Tavern in Lexington, Ky.

5. A total of 8,396 Thoroughbred foals were born in Kentucky in 2016 alone.

If you love baby animals (and this is the Internet, so it’s pretty safe to assume you do!) you’ll want to put a trip to Kentucky on your bucket list. That’s because, as of 2016, 37.3 percent of all Thoroughbreds born in North America were in Kentucky. That’s a lot of adorable foals!

6. There are more bourbon barrels than people in Kentucky.

In fact, according to the Kentucky Distillers’ Association, there are nearly two bourbon barrels for every Kentucky resident. Cheers! 

7. There’s straight-up $180.1 billion in gold bullion in one Kentucky city alone.

You’ve heard of Fort Knox, yes? Well, right now, nearly quarter-trillion dollars’ worth of gold is inside the stronghold, which is the majority of the U.S. gold reserves.

8. This year, both the Kentucky Derby and horse racing’s World Championships, the Breeders’ Cup, are in the Bluegrass State.

As you may have guessed from the name, the Kentucky Derby never moves from the Commonwealth, but the Breeders’ Cup is a roving event; and for the first time since 2011, the world championship event is being held in Louisville. If you don’t have your tickets yet, there’s still time – the Breeders’ Cup is on Nov. 2-3!

9. Speaking of lots of money, almost $150,000,000 was wagered on the Kentucky Derby alone this year.

Want to talk big money? The Kentucky Derby is not only the fastest two minutes in sports, but it may also be the most profitable. On the first Saturday in May of 2018, $149.9 million dollars were bet on the Kentucky Derby.

10. Sorry, Illinois, but Kentucky is the original Land of Lincoln.

No. 16 himself, Abraham Lincoln, was born on Feb. 12, 1809, in Hodgenville, Ky., and although Lincoln and his family moved from the Commonwealth in 1816, Kentucky still claims him as their own.

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