Alexandria, Kentucky, is a small town located in Campbell County. Home to just over 10,000 residents, the town has a rich history that is deeply intertwined with the events that have taken place nearby. From devastating natural disasters to significant civil rights movements, here are seven historical events that have impacted the region around Alexandria, KY.
1. The 1937 Ohio River Flood
One of the most devastating natural disasters to ever strike the region was the 1937 Ohio River flood. This catastrophic event, which affected 10 states and cost hundreds of lives, devastated the areas around Alexandria and forced thousands of people to flee their homes. Many local businesses were destroyed, and the region took years to fully recover.
2. The Turnpike War
In the early 1800s, a group of businessmen and politicians proposed building a new turnpike near Alexandria. However, the plan was met with strong opposition from local farmers who did not want to pay tolls to use the road. This led to what is now known as the "Turnpike War," a series of violent clashes between the farmers and the turnpike supporters that lasted for several years.
3. The Civil Rights Movement
The civil rights movement of the 1960s had a significant impact on the Alexandria region. In nearby Cincinnati, tensions were high as African Americans fought for their rights amidst a backdrop of segregation and discrimination. The movement spurred a wave of protests and civil disobedience that reverberated throughout the entire region.
4. The Battle of Blue Licks
The Battle of Blue Licks, which took place in 1782, was one of the last battles of the American Revolutionary War. The battle was fought between a group of Kentucky militiamen and Native American forces led by Chief Joseph Brant. Ultimately, the Native Americans emerged victorious, and the battle is now remembered as one of the key events in the history of the American frontier.
5. The Creation of the Lewis and Clark Expedition
In 1803, President Thomas Jefferson commissioned Meriwether Lewis and William Clark to lead an expedition exploring the newly acquired Louisiana Territory. The two men set up a base camp near what is now known as Calvert City, not far from Alexandria. From there, they set out on a two-year journey that would take them across the uncharted territory of the American West.
6. The Underground Railroad
The Underground Railroad was a network of secret safehouses and routes that helped slaves escape to freedom in the years before the Civil War. Although there is no evidence that Alexandria itself played a role in the Underground Railroad, there were many people in nearby cities and towns who risked everything to help slaves make their way to freedom.
7. The Beginning of the Kentucky Derby
The Kentucky Derby is one of the most famous horse races in the world, and it has been held annually in Louisville, Kentucky, since 1875. However, the race actually began much earlier than that. In the years before the Civil War, horse racing was a major industry in the Alexandria region, and many of the horses that would go on to become champions in the Kentucky Derby got their start racing in nearby fields and tracks.
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