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Kentuckiana Curiosity | Exploring the history, science and influence of our region

We're letting Kentucky and Indiana be our classrooms, and local experts will be our teachers as we learn a little more about our home.

LOUISVILLE, Ky. — The Kentuckiana region is full of rich history and interesting facts. While many of us may have learned a lot about our area in school, there is always more to explore.

How did the Ohio Valley as we know it now come to be? How did Kentucky play a part in the Underground Railroad? How many celebrities and brands got their start in our home states?

Instead of going to the library or searching online, we went to the people who know these topics best to find the answers.

(Before you begin, test your knowledge with this 11-question quiz!)

Henry Bibb and the Underground Railroad

The Underground Railroad is a piece of history that most people learn about in school, but some may not know the story of Henry Bibb – an enslaved man who escaped to become part of a large legacy of Kentuckians fighting for freedom in the 1800s.

Bibb was born in Shelby County in 1815 and knew he wanted to escape from slavery at a young age. He eventually found his freedom when he connected with the Underground Railroad and made it to Canada.

He could have stayed in Canada and lived out the rest of his days in peace, but he didn't. He had a mission to accomplish.

Read more about Henry Bibb and how his actions helped hundreds of slaves here.

Fossils have a (long) story to tell

One of the things Kentuckiana is known for is its beautiful scenery. Those scenic features – and our diverse variety of wildlife – can be attributed to the area’s geological history.

About 400 million years ago, the Bluegrass region was covered with water and filled with marine life. Evidence of those animals are reflected in the expansive fossil record found at the Falls of the Ohio.

The Falls has one of the largest exposed fossil beds in the world and more than 300 species of fossils have been discovered there.

There's a plant that only grows in one place in the entire world - and it's right here in Kentuckiana. Learn more about it here.

Kentucky's influence on sports, music and more

While Kentucky may be known for bourbon, horse racing and fried chicken, there is so much more to the state than that.

Many of your favorite athletes, celebrities and brands got their start in the Bluegrass state. From athletes like Paul Hornung to inventions like the post-it note, Kentucky's influence is apparent in practically all aspects of life and pop culture.

Read more about the people who helped make Kentucky "cool" here.

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