FRANKFORT, Ky. (Jan. 24, 2013) The Kentucky Historical Society explores Kentucky’s slavery and emancipation history in a new smartphone application tour.


KHS began launching a series of “ExploreKYHistory” smartphone tours in summer 2012. Available tour themes now include Civil War, War of 1812, Abraham Lincoln, University of Kentucky and Danville.


Long before Kentucky became the 15th state in the Union, slavery was introduced to the region by its earliest settlers. From those early years until it was ultimately outlawed by the 13th Amendment, Kentuckians have helped, hindered, encouraged and fought for and against slavery.


The “Explore KY's Slavery and Emancipation History” tour highlights the significant people, places and events that have been recognized on Kentucky's historical markers. It compiles information about emancipationists, abolitionists, politicians, soldiers and enslaved people, whose lives were affected by slavery and then freedom. The tour includes many primary source images and documents illustrating Kentucky's slavery and emancipation story. The goal of this tour is to help the public learn about and better understand one of Kentucky’s most troubling, contentious and important periods of history.


Based on the Kentucky Historical Marker Program, the “ExploreKYHistory” smartphone app combines historical markers, related items in the KHS collections and community-submitted images and stories into mapped points of interest. Related historical markers across the Commonwealth are then grouped together into tours.


The Kentucky Historical Marker Program, administered by KHS in cooperation with the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet, tells Kentucky’s story through the people, places and events that have shaped local communities across the Commonwealth. These markers highlight the importance of place in Kentucky’s collective history, in order to build strong communities for the future. The markers are on-the-spot history lessons that make connections between history, place and historical evidence housed in the Commonwealth’s many historical organizations. Through the program, Kentucky’s history is made accessible to the public on markers along the state’s roadways.


The Explore Kentucky History smartphone application is available free of charge at iTunes, Google Play and http://explorekyhistory.ky.gov. Users who have already downloaded the app will have immediate access to the “Explore KY's Slavery and Emancipation History” tour and previously released Danville, Lincoln, Civil War, War of 1812 and University of Kentucky tours. More tours are set to be released soon. For more information about submitting a community tour, contact Stuart Sanders at 502-564-1792, ext. 4420 or stuart.sanders@ky.gov.



An agency of the Kentucky Tourism, Arts and Heritage Cabinet, the Kentucky Historical Society, established in 1836, is committed to helping people understand, cherish and share Kentucky's history by providing connections to the past, perspective on the present and inspiration for the future. The KHS history campus includes the Thomas D. Clark Center for Kentucky History, the Old State Capitol and the Kentucky Military History Museum at the State Arsenal. For more information about the Kentucky Historical Society and its programs, visit www.history.ky.gov.



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