While not a native Kentuckian, Daniel Boone achieved much of his fame as an American Pioneer and explorer in Kentucky. In his travels through Kentucky, Boone had many run-ins with the American Indian tribes that claimed the rich hunting ground. The most harrowing occurred in 1778 when a salt-making party that Boone was leading was ambushed at Blue Licks. Boone surrendered his men in order to spare their lives and delay an attack on the fort. Boone spent more than five months with the Shawnee and was adopted by Chief Blackfish and given the name Sheltowee, or Big Turtle. Boone escaped in June and returned to Boonesborough in time to warn them of an impending raid. Following a ten-day siege, the Indians finally withdrew and the hostilities lessened. During the Revolutionary War, Boone served as a captain in the local militia, and after the War, continued his exploration west.
Jefferson Davis was born in southwestern Kentucky. His family moved to Mississippi during his infancy but Davis returned to Kentucky for his education. He attended a Dominican School near present day Springfield and Transylvania College in Lexington for three years before securing an appointment to West Point. In 1835 he married the daughter of Zachary Taylor, but she died shortly thereafter. Davis became the only President of the Confederate States of America during the Civil War, but near the end of the War, with the South in ruins and Grant's Army near, he fled Richmond. After his capture in Georgia at the end of the war the former president spent two years in jail for treason but was released before trial. A private businessman and author after his release, Jefferson Davis died in 1889 at the age of 81.
Abraham Lincoln was born in a log cabin in Kentucky, and is one of a handful of US Presidents who was truly born of ordinary frontier people. He struggled to attain an education, and eventually spent 8 years as an Illinois state senator. In 1858, he ran against Stephen A. Douglas for US Senator. Although he did not win the election, his debates with Douglas brought him national prominence. In 1860, Lincoln was nominated for the Presidency by the Republican Party. As President, he confronted one of the most difficult times in our nation's history: the Civil War. When Southern states seceded from the Union, Lincoln believed that action to be illegal, and was prepared to use Federal troops to enforce that belief. On January 1, 1863, he issued the Emancipation Proclamation, freeing slaves being held in the Confederate States. Lincoln was re-elected in 1864 as the Civil War was ending, but was assassinated in April, 1865, by John Wilkes Booth, a Southern sympathizer.
Carrie Amelia Moore Nation
Six feet tall and weighing 180 pounds, Carry Amelia Moore Nation, (Carrie Nation, as she is better known), was intimidating. Carrying a hatchet and using it to destroy bars and saloons, she was downright frightful. Nation, born in Garrard County, Kentucky, who described herself as "a bulldog running along at the feet of Jesus, barking at what he doesn't like," felt God had called her to promote temperance. Between 1900 and 1910 she was arrested some 30 times after leading her followers in the destruction of one saloon after another with cries of "Smash, ladies, smash!"
Harland David "Colonel" Sanders
Harland Sanders, better known as "Colonel Sanders", the creator of Kentucky Fried Chicken, was 40 before he began to develop his recipe for chicken. He began cooking for hungry travelers who stopped at his service station in Corbin, Kentucky. He served his customers at his own dining table in the living quarters of his service station.
As word spread of Sanders' good food, business expanded rapidly and by 1937, his cafe could seat nearly 150 customers. Over the next nine years, he perfected his "secret blend of 11 herbs and spices" and experimented with faster ways to cook chicken.