51 Fun Facts about Kentucky (that most people don’t know!)

Whether you want some Kentucky fun facts to use for a project or you want to impress people with your knowledge of the Bluegrass State, we’ve put together some facts about Kentucky that cover everything from weird laws to natural wonder to strange history.

Kentucky has plenty of history, natural views, and beautiful towns, and these interesting facts about Kentucky are a real tribute to all of the fun Kentucky facts to be found (we could have kept going, but kept it to the 51 best ones!).

Keep reading for weird facts about Kentucky amazing facts about Kentucky, cool facts about Kentucky, and plenty of fun Kentucky facts to keep you guessing (or help you put together an awesome Kentucky trivia quiz!).

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Kentucky Fun Facts

1. Kentucky has thousands of miles of running water going through the state, including the Ohio River and the Kentucky River.

2. President Abraham Lincoln was born in Hodgenville, Kentucky in 1809.

3. Kentucky is located in the southeastern United States and was the 15th state to officially join the Union.

4. Kentucky is famous for horse racing, fried chicken, bluegrass music, and college basketball.


5. Kentucky got its nickname since it’s covered with a type of grass called, bluegrass.

6. The Tulip tree is the state tree of Kentucky

7. The fast-food giant KFC originated in Kentucky

8. Forest land occupies 48% of Kentucky, and Kentucky is the 3rd largest provider of hardwoods in the country.

Kentucky derby hats

9. Kentucky Cardinal also known as the red bird is the state bird of Kentucky.

10. Kentucky’s name originates from a Native American language

Interesting Facts about Kentucky

11. The first Louisville Slugger bat was manufactured in 1884 and you can take a museum and factory tour of the building.

12. Fort Knox is an Army base that was named in honor of Henry Knox. It contains an estimated 260 billion dollars of gold on the 109,000-acre property


13. The oldest held horse race in the country is at Churchill Downs on the first Saturday of May every year in Louisville, Kentucky.

14. Most of the Americans killed during the War of 1812 were from Kentucky.

15. The opening ceremony of the Kentucky Derby is called Thunder Over Louisville, and it features the world’s largest fireworks show!

16. 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.

Kentucky winter

17. Middlesboro is the only city in the United States built within a meteor crater.

18. Kentucky is known as the Bluegrass State, the nickname refers to the blooming blue-purplish buds that grow on the grass in the spring.

19. One of the only places in the world where you can see a moonbow is in Kentucky.

20. 95% of the world’s Bourbon is produced in Kentucky.

Weird Facts about Kentucky

21. 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 wildflowers

22. In Kentucky, throwing eggs at a public speaker may result in one year in prison.

23. Mammoth Cave, a national park in central Kentucky, is the longest cave system in the world.

24. Other unofficial nicknames are “Corn Cracker State”, “Hemp State”, and “Tobacco State”.

25. The state drink is milk, which is the same as 21 other US states.


26. The official state dance is clogging, in which dancers use the bottoms of their shoes to play a beat on the ground.

27. The capital Frankfort got its name because it was the spot where Stephen Frank had been killed, and people later forded the river (Frank + ford).

28. There are over 10 million barrels of bourbon currently aging in Kentucky, more than two for every person in the state.

29. Kentucky has its own version of Stonehenge, created by a resident of Munfordville, after he searched the land for large stones.

Kentucky farmland

30. Kentucky is also home to a giant fork (called “Fork in the Road” in Franklin).

Random Facts about Kentucky

31. Mother’s Day was invented in Kentucky

32. Derby horses have had names beginning with every letter of the alphabet except “X.”

33. Kentucky legend says that the very first cheeseburger was served at Kaolin’s restaurant in Louisville, Kentucky in 1934.

Kentucky flag

34. The first KFC, owned and operated by the real Colonel Sanders, is still running in Corbin, Kentucky.

35. Kentucky is a great state for celebrations: The classic song “Happy Birthday to You” was created by two sisters from Louisville in 1893.

36. 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.

37. Kentucky is the horse capital of the world.

Kentucky horses

38. The oldest Mississippi style steamboat in operation in the U.S.

39. “My Old Kentucky Home” is the state song.

40. The state motto is: “United we stand, divided we fall.”

Amazing Facts about Kentucky

41. Thomas Edison introduced the electric lightbulb to the public for the first time at the 1893 Southern Exposition in Louisville, Kentucky.

Kentucky church

42. Kentucky is one of the four states comprising the Commonwealth with Pennsylvania, Virginia, and Massachusetts being the others.

43. In 1780, Washington, Kentucky became the first town to be named after the president (George Washington).

44. Barren County is the most fertile land in Kentucky while Christian County is wet and Bourbon County is dry.

45. The world’s largest coal producer is Pike County.

Kentucky farm

46. Some of the most famous Kentuckians are Abraham Lincoln (U.S President), Jefferson Davis (Confederate President), Alben Barkley (U.S Vice President) and Carrie Nation (Social Reformer).

47. Kentucky’s state gemstone is the freshwater pearl, which is found in the Tennessee and Mississippi River Valleys in the state.

48. There are several ways to pronounce Louisville, but locals usually say it like “Loo-a-ville” (not “Loo-ey-ville” or “Louis-ville”).

49. Kentucky also has 45 state parks, the largest of which is Lake Barkley State Resort Park.

KFC building

50. Black Mountain is the highest point in Kentucky, at 4139 ft (1262 m). The Mississippi River is the lowest point, at 257 ft (78 m).

51. Toyota Motor Manufacturing in Georgetown, Kentucky is the largest Toyota factory in the US, capable of producing a million cars every two years.

Hey! Want more fun facts about the states? Check these out!

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