June 1 – Statehood Anniversaries for Kentucky and Tennessee

Posted on June 1, 2016

Kentucky used to be a part of Virginia; it was Kentucky County, Virginia. In the 1780s and early 1790s, the residents petitioned to separate from Virginia and become their own state. 

Finally, on this date in 1792, that's exactly what happened.

Kentucky is the 15th state.

Parts of Tennessee were once in the state of North Carolina, but they broke off and formed the State of Franklin. However, the residents' attempts to join the U.S. as the State of Franklin were turned down, and the various break-away counties ended up rejoining North Carolina. However, North Carolina pretty much said, “We don't want you anymore!” because it ceded the area to the U.S. government. It was then set up as the Southwest Territory. On this date in 1796, Tennessee became the 16th state of the United States.

Here is some of what makes these two states special:

Kentucky is called the bluegrass state, because it has so many pastures covered with bluegrass. 

It's also known for horse racing and bluegrass music.

It has the world's longest cave system, Mammoth Cave National Park.

It is known for Kentucky Fried Chicken!

It has more miles of navigable water than any other state, other than Alaska. “Navigable” means that the water is deep, wide, and slow enough for a vessel (a ship or boat) to pass. Some rivers have rocky sections that are too shallow, too fast, too bumpy for even kayaks to safely pass, and most vessels cannot safely traverse most waterfalls.

It features the only place in the Western Hemisphere where a moon-ow can be regularly seen: Cumberland Falls.

It features a natural sandstone arch that looks a lot like a human-built bridge.

Tennessee is partially covered by the Appalachian Mountains and features portions of the Appalachian Trail and the Great Smoky Mountains National Park.

It is also known for “American music,” with Nashville and Memphis...Opryland and Dollywood...the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum, the Memphis Rock N' Soul Museum, and the Rockabilly Hall of Fame...Ryman Auditorium (formerly Grand Ole Opry House) and Elvis Presley's Graceland. Country music is huge in Nashville, and Memphis is considered to be the birthplace or at least early shaper of blues, rock and roll, and rockabilly.

It features the largest underground lake in the U.S.

It is the birthplace of Moon Pies and cotton candy machines.

Tennessee ties with Missouri in sharing its border with the most other states. They each touch eight other states. Can you name all eight that border Tennessee?

ANSWER: Tennessee shares a border with Kentucky, Virginia, North Carolina, Georgia, Alabama, Mississippi, Arkansas, and Missouri.

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