coinfodder's Blog

17 Jan 2021

The Fifty States of Coinage- Part 17- Kentucky

| coinfodder

My old sweet country home. The land of Bluegrass (Stumpy, don't say it) and were mega-rich people blow money on horses, watching them run a small circular track in just over a minute. The home of Mammoth Cave. Welcome to Kentucky everyone. And, as the last post showed, we were pitched in a tornado from Kansas. Say goodbye to Tallgrass, say hello to Bluegrass...

Kentucky was first settled by humans by Native Americans in 10,000 BCE. At the end of the last Ice Age, more people moved in, hunting cool species such as mammoths, giant beavers. and the giant ground sloth (So how did he defy natural selection for so long?). In 900 AD, maize became productive and the Mississippian culture began in Kentucky. As a theme, La Salle claimed the land of the Mississippi River Valley, which included Kentucky. in 1774, James Harrod became the first European settler in the state. Settlers, under Daniel Boone, soon followed. In 1791, Kentucky became the 15th state. In 1809, the two men that would define the middle 1800's, Jefferson Finis Davis and Abraham Lincoln would be born. During the Civil War, Kentucky served as a border state, considering itself neutral. In 1900. Governor William Goebel was murdered while in the state capital of Frankfort. The tobacco industry soon kickstarted in Kentucky soon after. The state wasn't known for big military facilities (other than you-know-where, which we will cover later) but on October 15, 1959, a B-52 collided with a tanker near Hardinsburg.

Today, Kentucky is known for the many miles of bluegrass, the scenic Eastern border with Virginia and Tennessee, and the Kentucky Derby at Churchill Downs every May. Famous citizens include Abraham Lincoln, Jefferson Davis, Daniel Boone, Jim Bowie. Tom Cruise, and Henry Clay.

Like always, the first coin to many people's mind is the 50 state and ATB quarters. On the 50 State quarter. is a horse, symbolic of the horse industry, a cabin, and the word's "My Old Kentucky Home". And on the ATB quarter is Cumberland Gap, represented by a period pioneer, with the words "First Gateway to the West". Cumberland Gap was the gap many settlers past as they crossed into the Mississippi River Valley.

In the classic commemoratives department, is the Daniel Boone Bicentennial Half Dollar, issued to celebrate the famed pioneer's 200th birthday. On the obverse is the bust of Daniel Boone. On the back is him again, speaking to an Indian tribe member. With most other multi-year commemorative disasters, a small date was placed on the coin after the actual bicentennial year. causing a little frenzy for the coins. This coin was designed by Augustus Lukeman (not Lukewarm).

Now to the big elephant in the room- Fort Knox.

Recall back to the movie Goldfinger.Mr. Goldfinger wanted to blow up a certain US Fort to make his gold value higher. If you guessed that was Fort Knox, you win a cookie.
Formally known as the United States Bullion Depository, Fort Knox is the location of over 67% of the nation's gold, including a host of other valuable items that have been cleared to solve the issue with the national debt. Behind an armed guard, electric barbed wire, and a granite building lies this treasure trove of AU. Gold was first shipped there in 1936. During WWII, after the Battle of Britain scared the Living Daylights (ha! Another Bond pun!), the US got scared at moved the Library of Congress's most important documents, including the Constitution and Declaration of Independence, to be stored at the Fort. These included both signed originals, the signed original of the Gettysburg Address, an original Gutenberg Bible, and a copy of the Magna Carta. Also stored was the crown of the Hungarian Crown, who feared the Soviets would take the loot as they entered Budapest right after the ending of Operation Bagration.
Inside the vault are ten of the 12 1933 double eagles, a 1974 aluminum penny, and 20 gold 2000-P dollars that were on the space shuttle.
Thanks, and see you later on our journey of the US!


I like seeing my home state be advertised. We are one of many, but we are many of one. My family has inhabited Eastern Kentucky since the revolution or even farther back because of my creek indian heritage. I like that we are being shown on a national level other than horses.


Level 5

I love kentucky! We buried my grandfather there, and I have a special connection with that state.

Long Beard

Level 5

My favorite of the fifty by far. I'm hoping to retire in Lexington.


Level 3

It's funny to think that amongst the cornfields lies a fort that holds a lot of gold, rare coins, and cold hard cash. Thanks for the great and informative blog! Sincerely, CoinsInHK


Level 6

Nice blog! My Grandparents lived in Kentucky... the old tobacco farm! It was very rural... ; ) Enjoyed the Mammoth caves too!


Level 6

Nice job. Thanks.


Level 4

A blog about Kentucky that doesn't mention bourbon? Lots of fun info in this blog. Thanks for posting.


Level 5

Thank you for writing a blog on the state I am living right now.


Level 5

My first of many trips to KY was when I was about six, my Father later joked with me because I was constantly asking "do you think Daniel Boone was here"? I of course asked that question at every location we stopped at or drove by. Wonderful memories, thanks for your blog!


Level 7

Thanks for the the blog. It was interesting.Some say Fort Knox is empty.

I've only been through kentucky, but never got to stay for a while.


Level 3

Thanks for a great post! I fell in love with Kentucky while doing my Basic & AIT (OSUT) @ Ft. Knox, and as with all other trainees, performed guard duty at the Depository. It was cool to be so close to the famed building, however, we were not allowed to tour. On a weekend off, I met up with a HS buddy who was studying at Bowling Green, and got to see some of the wonderful scenery of the Bluegrass State.

I. R. Bama

Level 5

Thanks for an interesting blog


Level 5

I went to Kentucky last year. Beautiful state, lots to see. I saw the Abraham Lincoln Birthplace when I went there. Not, about that cookie. You need a mailing address? JK thanks for the great blog!

It's Mokie

Level 6

Very entertaining blog, I kind of want to visit now.


Level 5

Were not in Kansas anymore ? I have never been to Kentucky. Fort Know look's like it would be a great place to visit and tour, just to see how they store the stuff ! Very interesting history. Who doesn't like Daniel Boone and all the history with him. Thanks for another great post.

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