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Kentucky history has new home

The Kentucky History Center, a new museum and research facility devoted to the Bluegrass State, has opened in the capital city of Frankfort.

Designed for tourists and scholars alike, the 167,000-square-foot center has exhibition galleries, a research library, conservation facilities and a gift shop.

The center's permanent exhibit, "A Kentucky Journey," traces the history of the state through 14 interactive displays and more than 3,000 artifacts, including an 18th-century Brown Bess musket and a white silk boxing robe donated by Muhammad Ali, who was born in Louisville.

A number of artifacts date from just after 1775, the year in which Daniel Boone blazed the Wilderness Trail through the Cumberland Gap and Kentucky became the first gateway for westward expansion.

Through Sept. 19, the center will present "Warm Memories: Quilts From Kentucky Collections." Included are the modern Celebration Quilt, sewn by Kentuckians from each of the state's 120 counties, and Elizabeth Roseberry Mitchell's 1839 Graveyard Quilt, featuring coffin-shaped pieces of fabric labeled with relatives' names.

The Kentucky History Center, 100 W Broadway, Frankfort, (877) 444-7867, is closed Sunday and Monday. Admission is free.