Fun Facts:

  • Louisville is named to honor France’s King Louis XVI, in honor of France’s assistance during the American Revolution. Hence, the city’s symbol is the fleur-de-lis.
  • The original cheeseburger is said to have been created in Louisville at Kaelin’s Restaurant in 1934.
  • The first woman to row solo across the Atlantic Ocean, Tori Murden-McClure, is a Louisvillian.
  • Louisville is the home of the first electric trolley.
  • Louisville is the world’s center for Braille printing.
  • Thunder Over Louisville, the nation’s largest annual fireworks display, kicks off the celebration leading up to the Kentucky Derby
  • The world’s largest baseball bat, six stories high, and the largest fielder’s mitt, weighing 17 tons and carved from Kentucky limestone, are at Hillerich & Bradsby’s Louisville Slugger Museum in downtown Louisville.
  • Hillerich & Bradsby has been producing baseball bats for the World Series since 1903.
  • The author of the Kinsey Milhone mystery series, Sue Grafton, grew up in the Cherokee Triangle area of Louisville.
  • Naturalist John James Audubon and his wife, Lucy, settled in Louisville in 1807. Audubon kept a shop here.
  • Thomas Edison worked here as a telegraph operator. He was fired (so the story goes) for spilling acid on his boss’ desk.
  • A pair of Louisville sisters, Mildred and Patty Hill, wrote the world’s most performed song, “Happy Birthday to You.”
  • Louisville company Omega National Products produces 90 percent of the country’s disco balls
  • In Jeffersonville, Indiana, the world’s second-largest clock sits atop the Colgate-Palmolive plant, overlooking the Ohio River. The massive clock measures 40 feet in diameter, and has hands that are 16 and 20.5 feet in length.
  • The nearly 375 million-year-old, fossilized coral beds at the Falls of the Ohio create the only point in the 981-mile-long Ohio River that was unnavigable (before the river was dammed).
  • Recent music acts from Greater Louisville: Slint; Days of the New; Will Oldham (AKA Bonnie Prince Billy); the Shipping News; VHS or Beta; My Morning Jacket; Tantric; the VilleBillies.