A Look Back At Kentucky


  • The Kentucky Derby Museum opened.


  • Alysheba won the 113th running of the Kentucky Derby to earn a record $618,600.
  • Phil Simms from Springfield won his first Super Bowl when the NY Giants defeated Denver in Super Bowl XXI, 39-20.


  • Churchill Downs and the state of Kentucky held their first Breeders’ Cup World Championship.
  • Winning Colors won the 114th running of the Kentucky Derby, becoming the 3rd filly to win the event.
  • The introduction of small batch bourbon, produced through an artful process of mingling a few select barrels of whiskey to achieve a desired flavor profile. The term “small batch” was coined by Booker Noe, 6th generation and former Jim Beam Master Distiller, when he released Booker's Bourbon.


  • On October 4th, famed racehorse Secretariat, the 1973 Triple Crown winner, died at Claiborne Farm, Paris, KY, at age 19½.


  • Jennifer Lawrence was born (Aug 15) and raised in Louisville. This award-winning actress starred in blockbusters like The Hunger Games, Silver Linings Playbook and X-Men. She’s active in several charities, and organized an early screening of The Hunger Games: Catching Fire to benefit a special disabilities organization in Louisville.


  • Louisville International Airport opened the first of two new parallel runways. As part of a noise abatement program, a deal was reached with the residents of Minor Lane Heights whereby all the residents were offered homes in the new community of Heritage Creek 10 miles away.


  • The new Louisville Slugger Museum opened at 800 W. Main St. in Louisville, KY.
  • In Bardstown, Kentucky, a fire burned seven warehouses containing some 2% of the world's bourbon supply and sent a flaming river of alcohol across a road to destroy a distillery building.
  • The Kentucky Derby gets into the Internet craze early as the site www.kentuckyderby.com is launched.


  • On March 30th, The University of Kentucky Wildcats beat the Utah Utes 78-69 at the Alamo dome in San Antonio for the NCAA men’s basketball finals. It was Kentucky’s 7th national title.


  • On January 25th, Louisville doctors transplanted a left hand to Matthew Scott in a 14.5-hour operation.
  • The 79th annual Miss America Pageant was held in Atlantic City and saw Heather Renee French, a graduated design student from Maysville, KY, win and become Kentucky’s first (and still only) Miss America.
  • Bruce W. Midkiff from Owensboro, KY, set a catch and release world record for a 104 lbs blue catfish he caught in the Ohio River near Cannelton Dam Tailwaters.
  • The Kentucky Distillers’ Association launched the Kentucky Bourbon Trail® tour to give visitors a firsthand look at the art and science of crafting bourbon, and to educate them about the rich history and proud tradition of our signature spirit.


  • The World Peace Bell in Newport was scheduled to ring in the millennium.


  • Doctors in Louisville, KY, successfully transplanted the first self-contained artificial heart, known as ‘AbioCor’, at Jewish Hospital, into Robert L. Tools (59). Expected to only live 30 days, the device added 151 days to Mr. Tool’s life.


  • The 4th, 5th and 6th Liquor Barn stores were purchased from the Party Source.


  • A $4 million Peace Palace opened at the University of Kentucky, paid for by a local businessman. The Maharishi Mahesh Yogi pushed followers to build 200 similar palaces across the US and 3,000 worldwide.


  • Liquor Barn celebrated our first barrel selection: a barrel of Blanton’s.


  • On September 8th, a symposium at Western Kentucky University in Bowling Green, KY, brought together scholars from 17 states and three countries to discuss bluegrass music.
  • Giacomo, a 50-1 shot, defied the odds and won the $2.4 million Kentucky Derby in a gigantic upset, running down Afleet Alex in the final strides and generating a huge payoff.
  • On November 9th, Muhammad Ali was presented with the Presidential Medal of Freedom by President George W. Bush. On November 21st, The Muhammad Ali Center opened in Louisville, Kentucky.


  • Miss Kentucky USA was crowned Miss USA in the 55th annual pageant.


  • The United States Senate declared September to be recognized as National Bourbon Heritage Month. The designation celebrates "America's Native Spirit" and the significant historical, economical and industrial role the bourbon industry has played in the country's history.


  • The Urban Bourbon Trail features 33 establishments varying from historic hotels that once served the likes of Al Capone and F. Scott Fitzgerald, to cosmopolitan “scenes” where urban trend-setters are making cocktails like the Old-Fashioned and Manhattan. All stops offer special bourbon cocktails, and have at least 50 different bourbon labels on the bar with trained staff that can explain the nuances and tasting notes.


  • The Bashford Manor Liquor Barn was opened in 2010.
  • The first time the World Equestrian Games were held outside Europe at the Horse Country Kentucky Horse Park.


  • The Danville Liquor Barn store opened.
  • The United States Bullion Depository in Fort Knox contains the largest gold reserve in the world. In 2011, the holdings were worth more than $260 billion.


  • Liquor Barn wins the Whisky Magazine’s prestigious “Icons of Whisky” award.
  • The Bowling Green Liquor Barn store opened.
  • Kentucky Wildcats Basketball team won their 8th NCAA National Championship in New Orleans, LA, by defeating Kansas 67 – 59.
  • The Kentucky Bourbon Trail Craft Tour® takes you from the quaint country towns and bluegrass fields into big-city nightlife, bourbon-themed hotels and historic bed & breakfast accommodations. We suggest four to five days to complete the full Craft Tour Passport, but take your time and savor the authentic experience.


  • April 19th, Kentucky legalized hemp.
  • The Muhammad Ali Center in Ali's hometown, Louisville, Kentucky, honors him with the "Three Days of Greatness," a weekend of film premieres on Ali's life, such as "Muhammad Ali's Greatest Fight" and "The Trials of Muhammad Ali," and the presentation of the Muhammad Ali Humanitarian Awards.


  • The Middletown, Jefferson Mall, and Elizabethtown Liquor Barns opened.
  • America Pharaoh was the first Triple Crown Champion since 1978.
  • In the gubernatorial election, Jenean Hampton is elected Lieutenant Governor on the ticket of Matt Bevin, becoming the first African American ever elected to statewide office.


  • Liquor Barn wins Whisky Magazine’s prestigious “Icons of Whisky” award.
  • Two of the seven umpires for the 2016 World Series were Kentuckians. Larry Wayne Vanover from Owensboro and Samuel Woodford Holbrook from Morehead, who was behind the plate in the historic, extra innings, rain-delayed game seven.
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