State Abbreviation KY
State Capital Frankfort
State Size Total (Land + Water): 40,409 sq miles; Land Only: 39,728 sq miles
Number of Counties 120
Time Zone Eastern Time Zone, Central Time Zone
Bordering States Illinois, Indiana, Missouri, Ohio, Tennessee, Virginia, West Virginia
Highest Point Black Mountain, 4,145 feet
National Parks Mammoth Cave National Park
State Population (2015) 4,425,092
State Population Density 111.4 people / square mile
Area Codes 270, 364, 502, 606, 859
Top 5 Cities (2010 population) Louisville (597,337)
Bowling Green (58,067)
State Bird Cardinal
State Butterfly Viceroy butterfly
State Dance Clogging
State Drink Milk
State Fish Kentucky spotted bass
State Flower Goldenrod
State Fossil Brachiopod
State Fruit Blackberry
State Gemstone Freshwater pearl
State Horse Thoroughbred horse
State Mineral Coal
State Motto United we stand, divided we fall
State Music Bluegrass music
State Musical Instrument Appalachian dulcimer
State Nickname Bluegrass State
State Rock Kentucky agate
State Silverware Pattern Old Kentucky Blue Grass, The Georgetown Pattern
State Soil Crider soil series
State Tree Tulip tree
State Wild Animal Game Species Gray squirrel
•The name "Kentucky" has an Indian origin. There are several sources:
- The Wyandots called it "Kah-ten-tah-teh," meaning "Fair Land of Tomorrow."
- The Shawnee name is "Kain-tuck-ee," meaning "At the Head Of The River."
- The Mohawks called it "Kentucke," meaning "Among the Meadows."
- The Delawares also called it "Kentucke," which means "Place of the Meadows."
- The Catawbas called it "Kentucke" as well, meaning, "The Prairie, or Barrens."
•Held every year since 1875, the Kentucky Derby is the oldest continuously held horse race in the country.
•In 1774, Ford Harrod (now Harrodsburg) was established as the first permanent settlement in the Kentucky region. It was named after James Harrod, who led the construction efforts.
•Cumberland Falls in Kentucky is only place in Western Hemisphere to spot a moonbow on a regular basis (a moonbow is a rainbow made from light reflected off of the moon at night).
•Kentucky’s officeholders and judges must swear an oath before taking office that they have neither fought a duel with deadly weapons nor aided or assisted any person fighting one.
•Kentucky is the only U.S. state to have a continuous border of rivers running along three of its sides—the Mississippi River to the west, the Ohio River to the north, and the Big Sandy River and Tug Fork to the east.
•On January 30, 1900, Kentucky Governor William Goebel was assassinated in downtown Frankfort. Goebel is the only governor of a U.S. state to have been assassinated while in office.
•The song "Happy Birthday to You" was the creation of two Louisville sisters, Patty Hill and Mildred J. Hill, in 1893.
•Middlesboro is the only city in the United States built within a meteor crater.
•In Kentucky, throwing eggs at a public speaker may result in one year in prison.
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