What is the history if Louisville, Kentucky?

The history of Louisville, Kentucky spans a bit over two centuries since the latter part of the 18th century. Prior to the arrival of Europeans, the region was depopulated from the Beaver Wars of the 17th century, and no permanent Native American settlements existed in the area. It was used as hunting grounds by northern Shawnee and southern Cherokee. The area’s geography and location on the Ohio River attracted people from the earliest times. The city is located at the Falls of the Ohio River, then a part of Kentucky County, Virginia. The rapids created a barrier to river travel, and settlements grew up at this portage point. The earliest European settlements were during the latter stages of the American Revolutionary War by Virginian soldiers under George Rogers Clark, first at Corn Island in 1778, then Fort-on-Shore and Fort Nelson on the mainland. The town was chartered in 1780 and named Louisville in honor of King Louis XVI of France. That year it received an influx of 301 settlers. In 2003, the city of Louisville merged with Jefferson County to become Louisville-Jefferson Metro. As of the 2010 census, it is the largest city in the state of Kentucky, the second largest on the Ohio River, and the 29th largest city in the nation. Notable residents of the city have included inventor Thomas Edison, U.S. Supreme Court Justice Louis Brandeis, boxing legend Muhammad Ali, newscaster Diane Sawyer, actors Victor Mature, Ned Beatty and Tom Cruise, actresses Sean Young and Jennifer Lawrence, singer Nicole Scherzinger, R&B singer Bryson Tiller, rapper Jack Harlow, the Speed family (including U.S. Attorney General James Speed and Abraham Lincoln’s close friend Joshua Fry Speed), the Bingham family, industrialist/politician James Guthrie, U.S. Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, and contemporary writers Hunter S. Thompson and Sue Grafton. Notable events occurring in the city include the largest exhibition installation to date (in 1883) and first large space lit by Edison’s light bulb, and the first library in the South made accessible to African Americans. Medical advances included the 1999 first human hand transplant in the United States and the first self-contained artificial heart transplant in 2001. The history of Louisville, Kentucky spans hundreds of years, and has been influenced by the area’s unique geography and location.