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1600s - 1700s
  • (1654) Virginian Colonel Abram Wood, surveyed area
  • (1720's) French claimed most of land, established trading posts with help of local Indian tribes
  • (1739) Capt. Charles de Longueuil of France discovered Big Bone Lick
  • (1750) British representative, Dr. Thomas Walker, explored area through Cumberland Gap
  • (1751) Christopher Gist explored Ohio River
  • (1754 - 1763) French and Indian War
  • (1767) Frontiersman Daniel Boone, John Findley traveled into Kentucky across Cumberland Gap
  • (1774) James Harrod constructed first permanent Kentucky settlement at Fort Harrod; Indians forced settlers to withdraw
  • (1775) Treaty of Sycamore Shoals signed by the Cherokee Nation and the Transylvania Land Company (Richard Henderson & Company) for the purchase of land between the Ohio and Cumberland Rivers
  • (1776) Virginia declared Transylvania Land Company illegal; formed Kentucky County
  • (1778) Shawnee Indians attacked Fort Boonesborough, seige lasted 13 days
  • (1780) Virginia divided Kentucky County into three separate counties: Fayette, Jefferson, Lincoln
  • (1782) Last battle of American Revolution fought at Blue Licks
  • (1783) First commercial distillery opened
  • (1792) Kentucky became 15th U. S. state
  • (1795) First barrel "Old Jake Beam Sour" introduced by Beam family
  • (1796) Wilderness Road opened for wagons
  • (1797) Mammoth Cave main section discovered by Robert Houchins
  • (1811) Severe earthquake occurred in far-western Kentucky; first steamboat on Ohio River stopped at Louisville
  • (1812) Eathquake occurred; tidal waves created on Mississippi River, river flowed backward, created Kentucky Bend, formed Reelfoot Lake area
  • (1818) Western portion of Kentucky purchased by President Andrew Jackson from the Chickasaw Indians (Jackson Purchase)
  • (1819) First commercial oil well opened on Cumberland River
  • (1821) First advertisement for bourbon printed in Western Citizen Newspaper in Paris, Kentucky
  • (1830) Louisville and Portland Canal opened
  • (1861) Kentucky declared neutrality in Civil War, issued proclamation asking both sides to stay off Kentucky soil; supplied about 86,000 troops to the north, 40,000 to the south; Fort Jefferson one of first Kentucky positions occuped by Union Troops; Kentucky became 13th Confederate state
  • (1862) First battle of Civil War on Kentucky soil fought near Prestonburg; Battle of Perryville was bloodiest Kentucky Civil War battle; Kentucky under control of Union Army for remainder of Civil War
  • (1867 - 1881) Ku Klux Klan active in Kentucky; many incidents of shooting, lynching, whipping of blacks
  • (1870) Shipment of jugs of bourbon from Ohio River ports began
  • (1875) First Kentucky Derby run at Churchill Downs
  • (1891) Present state constitution adopted
  • (1892) Kentuckian Nathan Stubblefield invented radio
  • (1900) Over 1,500 armed civilians took control of Capitol for two weeks; governor declared martial law, activated Kentucky militia; Governor William Goebel shot by assassin
  • (1905 - 1909) Black Patch War - farmers burned barns and fields belonging to large tobacco interests; ended tobacco-buying monopoly
  • (1921) Law passed allowing women to serve on juries
  • (1920 - 1933) Prohibition - 18th amendment passed prohibiting manufacture, sale of alcohol; hundreds of businesses closed; bourbon distilleries closed; government issued 10 licenses to produce whiskey for medicine
  • (1926) Mammoth Cave National Park established
  • (1933) Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) began building dams in Kentucky
  • (1936) Last legal public hanging in Kentucky occurred
  • (1937) U. S. Gold Depository established at Fort Knox; Ohio River floods caused devastating damages
  • (1944) Kentucky Dam completed
  • (1950) Atomic energy plant built near Paducah
  • (1958) School bus collided with wrecker truck, plunged into river, driver and 26 children drowned
  • (1959) Cumberland Gap National Park dedicated
  • (1966) Kentucky first southern state to pass comprehensive civil rights law
  • (1969) Steam-generating plant built in Paradise
  • (1977) Fire at Beverly Hills Supper Club in Southgate killed 165, injured over 200
  • (1988) Intoxicated driver hit bus carrying youth group; crash and fire killed 27; Voters approved state lottery
  • (1997) Student at Heath High School opened fire on fellow students, three killed, five wounded; study conducted by NORML found Kentucky produced 800,000 marijuana plants annually, value of over $1.3 billion
  • (1998) University of Kentucky won NCAA Basketball Championship
  • (2005) U.S. Supreme Court ruled against display of Ten Commandments inside two Kentucky courtrooms
  • (2006) Comair flight crashed near Lexington, 49 killed
  • (2010) Tea Party candidate, Rand Paul, won Republic Senate primary
  • (2010) Man killed five people, self in argument about breakfast
  • (2010) Five U.S. military members from Fort Campbell 101st Combat Aviation Brigade killed in helicopter crash in Afghanistan
  • (2010) Five U.S. military members from Fort Campbell 101st Combat Aviation Brigade killed in helicopter crash in Afghanistan
  • (2011) Australian man held in Louisville on charges of locking fake bomb around neck of Sydney teenager
  • (2012) Series of powerful storms and tornadoes killed 12

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