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5 Fun Facts About January 8 In Kentucky History

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1. In 1815, Kentucky Governor Isaac Shelby issued a proclamation designating January 8 as a day of Thanksgiving for the end of the War of 1812. This was in response to the Treaty of Ghent being signed on December 24, 1814, officially ending the war between the United States and Great Britain.

2. On January 8, 1820, the first performance of Stephen Foster's song "Oh! Susanna" was reportedly given at a social event in Bardstown, Kentucky. The song would go on to become one of the most popular American folk songs of all time.

3. In 1861, the Kentucky General Assembly voted to remain neutral in the American Civil War. However, on January 8, 1862, Confederate General Felix Zollicoffer was killed in the Battle of Mill Springs, which took place in Kentucky. This victory for the Union marked the beginning of the end for Kentucky's neutrality.

4. On January 8, 1923, the Louisville & Nashville Railroad officially opened the Cumberland River Bridge. The bridge, which connects Madisonville and Nortonville, Kentucky, was a major engineering feat at the time and is still in use today.

5. In 1943, Louisville native Muhammad Ali was born as Cassius Clay. Ali would go on to become one of the greatest boxers of all time, winning numerous titles throughout his career and becoming an icon not just in the sports world, but in society as a whole. January 8 is celebrated as "Muhammad Ali Day" in Louisville in his honor.
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