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Discover the City of Louisville
Louisville was named after King Louis XVI of France, Louisville was founded in 1778 by George Rogers Clark, making it one of the oldest cities west of the Appalachians. With nearby Falls of the Ohio as the only major obstruction to river traffic between the upper Ohio River and the Gulf of Mexico, the settlement first grew as a portage site.
It was the founding city of the Louisville and Nashville Railroad, which grew into a 6,000-mile (9,700 km) system across 13 states.
Today, the city is known as the home of boxer Muhammad Ali, the Kentucky Derby, Kentucky Fried Chicken, the University of Louisville and its Cardinals, Louisville Slugger baseball bats, and three of Kentucky’s six Fortune 500 companies: Humana, Kindred Healthcare, and Yum! Brands. Muhammad Ali International Airport, Louisville’s main commercial airport, hosts UPS’s worldwide hub.
The Louisville-Jefferson County, KY-IN Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA) includes Louisville-Jefferson County and 12 surrounding counties, seven in Kentucky and five in Southern Indiana
- The first Kentucky Derby was held on May 17, 1875, at the Louisville Jockey Club track (later renamed Churchill Downs).
- The Muhammad Ali Center opened November 2005 in “Museum Row” and features Louisville native Muhammad Ali’s boxing memorabilia.
- KFC was founded by Colonel Harland Sanders (1890–1980), an entrepreneur who began selling fried chicken from his roadside restaurant in Corbin, Kentucky, during the Great Depression.
- Although historians remain divided on exactly when bourbon was invented and where the name even derives from, we do know that Evan Williams opened the first commercial whiskey distillery in Louisville in 1783 — even before Kentucky was an official state — and that the 1800s were a booming time for the offbeat brown spirit emerging from Kentucky.
- Muhammad Ali Nicknamed “The Greatest” (American professional boxer) (January 17, 1942 – June 3, 2016) was born and raised in Louisville, Kentucky.
- Abraham Lincoln (February 12, 1809 – April 15, 1865) served as the 16th president of the United States from 1861 until his assassination in 1865, was born into poverty in a log cabin in Kentucky.
But Louisvillian pronounce it “Luh-vul”