Thursday, June 1, 2017

Happy 225th Birthday, Kentucky - and Shame on 152 Years of Post-War Confederacy

The Bluegrass State is officially the 15th state of the union, but only because Congress wanted to balance slave states with non-slave states, so it gave the 14th spot to Vermont.

Like fellow border slave states Maryland, Missouri and Delaware, Kentucky never joined the Confederacy or voted to secede.  Unlike the other border states, Kentucky responded to being forced to give up its slaves by becoming the only state to join the Confederacy AFTER the Civil War ended.

Treason in Defense of Slavery is so popular in Kentucky still that you can meet many people - even educated ones - who will insist that Kentucky did, indeed, secede from the Union.

Note that Governor "Trump Is Great for Kentucky" never mentions any of that currently relevant history in this press release.

The Kentucky Department of Tourism, among others throughout the state, will celebrate Kentucky’s 225th anniversary of statehood on June 1. Additional events will honor the Commonwealth during the course of the year.
The Bluegrass State was admitted to the Union 225 years ago in June of 1792 and became the fifteenth state in the United States of America. Through the years, the innovation, creativity and steadfastness of generations of Kentuckians have developed our Commonwealth into the vibrant and prosperous place to live that it is today.
“Kentuckians take great pride in our state and we want to encourage them to celebrate not only on June 1, but throughout 2017,” Tourism Commissioner Kristen Branscum said. “We invite you to join us in a year-long celebration of our history, natural beauty and rich traditions that make us proud to call this state home.”
Earlier this year the Kentucky Department of Tourism launched, a website dedicated to the celebration of Kentucky’s 225 years of statehood in 2017 and includes an interactive map of bucket list ideas to experience across the state, as well as list of events.
Visit for a full listing of events. June 1 events include:
·         June 1, 10 AM - 3 PM, Constitution Square Historic Site 105 East Walnut St Danville, KY
A historic day of commemoration and celebration in the birthplace of the Commonwealth. For more information contact: 859-236-7794
·         June 1, 10 AM – 5 PM. Kentucky Statehood Day, Kentucky Historical Society at Thomas D. Clark Center for Kentucky History
Opening of new exhibit, “People of Kentucky”, Ribbon Cutting at Noon, Admission is Free. Free campus admission June 2-3 to continue the celebration. For more information visit:
·         June 1, 9 AM - 5 PM, KY 225 Day at Woodford Reserve Distillery
Special $2.25 pricing for History Tours, including a tasting of Rye, various $2.25 items available in the Cafe including Original Carmel corn from Taylor Hollow, Chocolate Bourbon Pecan Pie from Midway School Bakery, and KY Proud side salad. For more information visit:
·         June 1, 5 PM to 9 PM, Central Bank Thursday Night Live
A special CBTNL is planned with live music from Charlie Shuck & The Trendells.
Fifth Third Bank Pavilion at Cheapside Park (251 W. Main St)
Local food and beverage vendors, VisitLEX will host a table and provide KY 225 celebration-themed cupcakes and balloons. Visit
·         Current – September 23, 2017, 225: Artists Celebrate Kentucky's History, Berea Artisan Center
With a long and rich history behind it, Kentucky offers artists a multitude of historical subjects, ideas, traditions and connections. This exhibit includes 60 works by 51 Kentucky artists that record, capture, embrace and celebrate a facet or subject from Kentucky’s rich 225-year history. For more information visit:
The year-long celebration is an initiative of the Kentucky 225th Anniversary Commission, which includes state agencies, legislators, local partners and volunteers.
Travelers are encouraged to share their Kentucky 225 anniversary adventures by using #Ky225. For more information on travel in Kentucky, visit For additional information visit

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

"Like fellow border slave states Maryland, Missouri and Delaware, Kentucky never joined the Confederacy or voted to secede."

Ummmm...yes and no.

Both Missouri and Kentucky had Confederate "shadow governments" which were formally admitted to the CSA in 1861. Kentucky's met in Bowling Green, passed a secession ordinance and declared their sovereignty; under the aegis of this shadow government, the state sent representatives to both the Provisional Confederate Congress of 1861-62 and the Confederate States Congresses of 1862 through 1865.

Of course, control of Kentucky's territory ebbed and flowed between the Union and the Confederacy throughout the war. Frankfort was actually taken by CSA forces in September 1862 (the only Union capital occupied by the CSA, I believe), but they only held it for a month or so.

So, while the elected government of Kentucky remained staunchly Unionist and did not secede, I think we have to acknowledge the 'shadow' government that did secede (and nominally controlled a healthy chunk of the state's territory at one time or another), if only for the sake of historical accuracy.

In this regard, we really WERE a 'border state'...