Kentucky Timeline History

Daniel Boone Escorting Settlers through the Cumberland Gap (George Caleb Bingham, oil on canvas, 1851–52)

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arrow 1654: Colonel Abram Wood of Virginia arrives to survey the area

arrow 1720s: The French claimed almost all of the land, and established trading posts with the assistance of local American Indians

arrow 1750: Thomas Walker, a British representative, explores the area

arrow 1751: Christopher Gist explores the land fronting the Ohio River

arrow 1763: The French and Indian War ends, as the French were defeated by the British

arrow 1767: Frontiersman Daniel Boone, along with John Findley, travel into Kentucky across the Cumberland Gap

arrow 1774: The first permanent European settlement established at present-day Harrodsburg

arrow 1775: Daniel Boone and others build Fort Boonesborough in central Kentucky

arrow 1775-1802: The British arrowand local Indians: attacked local Kentucky settlements during, and after, the Revolutionary War

arrow 1792: Kentucky becomes the 15th U.S. State

arrow 1799: Mamouth Cave complex discovered

arrow 1811: A severe earthquake rattles far-western Kentucky

arrow 1811: The first steamboat to travel along the Ohio River arrives to great fanfare, and four years later, a steamboat journeys from New Orleans, Louisiana, all the way to Louisville, and the economic impact of that event changed the state's economy

arrow 1818: The western edges of the state are purchased from the Chicasaw Indians, and is referred to as the Jackson Purchase, in honor of Andrew Jackson

arrow 1833: Kentucky bans the importation of slaves into the state. It would later reverse itself, and slave traffic increased

arrow 1860: The state tried to be neutral during the Civil War, with Kentucky troops joining both the Union Army, and the Confederate gray. Sadly, both armies invaded the state, with costly results to local property, and significant loss of life on both sides of the battle

arrow 1875: Louisville is the site of the first Kentucky Derby

arrow 1900: Governor William Goebel assassinated by gunman

arrow 1905-09: Local farmers - during the Black Patch War - burn barns and fields belonging to big tobacco interests

arrow 1937: The U.S. Treasury opens their famous gold depository at Fort Knox. That same year, devastating floods damage Ohio River valleys

arrow 1959: Cumberland Gap National Park is dedicated

arrow 1969: The Tennessee Valley Authority builds its largest steam generating planet arrowever: near Paradise, in Muhlenberg County

arrow 1977: A nightclub fire in Southgate kills 164

arrow 1988: Kentucky establishes a statewide lottery

arrow 1998: University of Kentucky wins NCAA Basketball Championship, their 2nd national title in three years, and 7th overall

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