With more than 1,800 entries, The Encyclopedia of Louisville is the ultimate reference for Kentucky's largest city. For more than 125 years, the world's attention has turned to Louisville for the annual running of the Kentucky Derby on the first Saturday in May. Louisville Slugger bats still reign supreme in major league baseball. The city was also the birthplace of the famed Hot Brown and Benedictine spread, and the cheeseburger made its debut at Kaelin's Restaurant on Newburg Road in 1934. The "Happy Birthday" had its origins in the Louisville kindergarten class of sisters Mildred Jane Hill and Patty Smith Hill. Named for King Louis XVI of France in appreciation for his assistance during the Revolutionary War, Louisville was founded by George Rogers Clark in 1778. The city has been home to a number of men and women who changed the face of American history. President Zachary Taylor was reared in surrounding Jefferson County, and two U.S. Supreme Court Justices were from the city proper. Second Lt. F. Scott Fitzgerald, stationed at Camp Zachary Taylor during World War I, frequented the bar in the famous Seelbach Hotel, immortalized in The Great Gatsby. Muhammad Ali was born in Louisville and won six Golden Gloves tournaments in Kentucky.
John E. Kleber, emeritus professor of history at Morehead State University, is the editor of The Kentucky Encyclopedia and The Encyclopedia of Louisville.
Named one of Library Journal's top reference books of 2000.