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Kentucky Facts for Kids

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Kentucky for Kids: The Bluegrass State

Have fun learning lots of interesting facts about Kentucky! The nickname "bluegrass" comes from Kentucky's bluish-green blades of grass which feed their famous horses. The slightly blue tint comes from it's bluish-purple buds. Bluegrass is also a type of local country music.

It became the 15th state in 1792. It is the oldest state west of the Appalachian Mountains.

Kentucky is the 37th biggest state in America with 39,486.34 square miles (2010 census) and has the 26th most people- 4,369,356 (2011 census estimate).

It's name comes from an Iroquoi native word "Ken-tah-ten" which means "land of tomorrow".

Map of Kentucky

Kentucky State Flag

Motto: "United we stand, divided we fall"

The state seal, adopted in 1792, shows two men shaking hands in agreement. The flag was adopted in 1918 and finalized in 2002. Goldenrod, the state flower, appears around the bottom of the seal.

Kentucky Coloring Pages

Stephen Foster

Stephen Foster

My Old Kentucky Home Lyrics (~1852)

Words and Music by Stephen C. Foster (1826-1864)

The sun shines bright in the old Kentucky home

'Tis summer, the people are gay;

The corn top's ripe and the meadow's in the bloom,

While the birds make music all the day;

The young folks roll on the little cabin floor,

All merry, all happy, and bright,

By'n by hard times comes a-knocking at the door,

Then my old Kentucky home, good night!

Chorus

Scroll to Continue

Weep no more, my lady,

Oh weep no more today!

We will sing one song for the old Kentucky home,

For the old Kentucky home far away.

They hunt no more for the 'possum and the coon,

On meadow, the hill and the shore,

They sing no more by the glimmer of the moon,

On the bench by that old cabin door;

The day goes by like a shadow o'er the heart,

With sorrow where all was delight;

The time has come when the people have to part,

Then my old Kentucky home, good night!

Chorus

The head must bow and the back will have to bend,

Wherever the people may go;

A few more days and the trouble all will end

In the field where sugar-canes may grow;

A few more days for to tote the weary load,

No matter, 'twill never be light,

A few more days till we totter on the road,

Then my old Kentucky home, good night!

Chorus

Kentucky State Quarter

The coin shows a thoroughbred racehorse, the state horse, at the historic Federal Hill mansion in Bardstown, KY.

The coin shows a thoroughbred racehorse, the state horse, at the historic Federal Hill mansion in Bardstown, KY.

StalaCtite: Hangs on tight to Ceiling.

StalaGmite: Grows up from the Ground.

Mammoth Cave Bats

Mammoth Cave Bats

Mammoth Cave History

The cave was mined for nitrates from bat guano, for use in gunpowder, especially during the War of 1812. Vats were filled with dirt from the tunnels then flooded with water. When the water had absorbed the nitrates, they boiled until saltpeter crystals formed. The crystals were then shipped to gunpowder manufacturers in the East.

Mammoth Cave's roof is sandstone which makes it strong. But much of the cave is limestone. It easily dissolves in water because water is a weak acid. The water flowed through a few cracks in the limestone, and made cave passageways. The underground Green River cut a new path down through the rocks and started draining water away from the caves, filling them with air. When groundwater seeps into a cave, the water cannot hold all of the dissolved limestone, and it drips into stalactites, stalagmites, and other cave formations.

William Augustus, Duke of Cumberland

William Augustus, Duke of Cumberland

Why is everything named Cumberland?!

Who is Cumberland?

Prince William Augustus, Duke of Cumberland (1721-1765), became a Duke at only 4 years old. After entering military service, he was wounded in the leg by a musket ball and declared a British war hero. He was appointed Commander of the Scottish forces. After he won the Battle of Culloden in 1746, the explorer Thomas Walker named the Cumberland River in his honor, in 1750. Many places in the American colonies were named after him, including the Cumberland Gap, the Cumberland Plateau, and the Cumberland Mountains, in addition to several counties and towns also named "Cumberland" in the mid-18th century. Prince William County, Virginia is also named after him. The Daniel Boone National Forest was originally named Cumberland National Forest in1937. But in 1966, the name was officially changed to the Daniel Boone National Forest.

Red River Gorge - Daniel Boone National Forest, KY

Natural rock bridge at Red River Gorge

Natural rock bridge at Red River Gorge

Breaks of the Sandy - "The Grand Canyon of the South" near Breaks Interstate Park

View of Breaks of the Sandy

View of Breaks of the Sandy

A 1600 feet deep gorge carved by the Big Sandy River. The five-mile long canyon of rapids on Russell Fork, a tributary of Big Sandy River, has some of the most challenging whitewater rafting in the east.

Land between the Lakes

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My Old Kentucky Home State Park - Bardstown, Kentucky

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Federal Hill Mansion: A former plantation built by Judge John Rowan in 1795.

Barkley Dam

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Constitution Square

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Elizabethtown

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Kentucky is a beautiful state with so much to see! - What do YOU want to visit in KY?

Timothy Arends from Chicago Region on October 18, 2014:

Great hub with a lot of great pictures. Another thing I believe to be a fact is that the Abraham Lincoln Memorial has one step for each year of his life.

StrongMay on August 07, 2013:

@Jo-Jackson: Me, too!

Jo-Jackson on November 23, 2012:

I'd love to see the Kentucky Derby!

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