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K is for Kentucky

John James Audubon sculpture in Henderson, Kentucky

The city of Evansville enjoys a close and longstanding relationship with its cross-river neighbor, Kentucky. With many Kentucky residents traveling over the Ohio River to work in Evansville and vice-versa, the city has developed a symbiotic relationship with the Bluegrass State, especially the city of Henderson. To celebrate Evansville’s long history with the Commonwealth, we gathered five fun facts about Kentucky and Henderson!

1. John James Audubon once lived in Henderson
Lush vegetation and wooded hills are the cornerstone to Henderson, Kentucky’s environment. This attracted famous American ornithologist and naturalist John James Audubon, whom a state park in the city is named after, to the Henderson area.

2. Henderson is actually older than Evansville
Laid out by surveyor Thomas Allin and General Samuel Hopkins, a Revolutionary officer acting as an agent for Colonel Richard Henderson, the city of Henderson was officially completed on April 6, 1797, 15 years before Evansville was founded.

3. Kentucky hosted Beethoven's first American performance
Thanks to prominent American composer Anthony Heinrich and Postlethwaite’s Tavern in Lexington, Kentucky, Beethoven was heard in a public venue for the first time in the U.S. in 1817.

4. The land of gold
The United States Bullion Depository in Fort Knox, Kentucky, holds more than 4,000 metric tons of gold reserves, representing more than half of all gold in the U.S. The amount of gold translates to about $290 billion.

5. No professional sports teams
Despite being a hotbed for college basketball and the horse racing capital of the world, Kentucky has no major professional sports teams in the big five sports (MLB, NFL, NBA, NHL, MLS).

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