Daniel Boone Day is observed on June 7, because on this day, in 1769, Daniel Boone was the first American to see the valleys and forests of Kentucky! He founded the village of Boonesborough, Kentucky, which was one of the first American settlements west of the Appalachian Mountains. Daniel Boone Day was founded by the Kentucky Historical Society more than 140 years ago and the day is still going strong.
History of Daniel Boone Day
In 1769, Daniel Boone arrived near the Cumberland Gap, a passage between the Appalachian Mountains that led straight into present-day Kentucky. By working with the Transylvania Company, he made a trail through the Cumberland Gap and named it the Wilderness Road.
The Wilderness Road became one of the main roads for people going west. Soon after its completion, Boone founded Boonesborough near the Kentucky River. Boone’s wife and daughters settled at Boonesborough, thus becoming the two first Anglo-American women who settled in Kentucky.
Boone faced a lot of opposition from the British soldiers and Native Americans in his new settlement. He was even captured by the Shawnee, a Native American tribe, in 1778 but he managed to escape and protect his settlement. By 1798, however, he had lost all of his land in Kentucky. He moved further west towards present-day Missouri with his son in 1799 where he lived peacefully until his death on September 26, 1820, at the age of 85. “I’m going now, my time has come,” were his last words.
Daniel Boone not only discovered but developed one of America’s most important gateways for early settlers to travel west of the Appalachian Mountains. Today, he is considered a symbol of the Western pioneering spirit.
Daniel Boone Day timeline
The book on Daniel Boone, “The Adventures of Colonel Daniel Boon,” written by John Filson, is published on Boone's 50th birthday.
The citizens of Boonesborough erect the first monument at the top of the South Mountain, located on part of the Appalachian Trail, honoring President George Washington.
Cheeseburgers are first served at Kaelin’s restaurant in Louisville, Kentucky.
Colonel Sanders finalizes his ‘original recipe’ of the now-famous Kentucky Fried Chicken (KFC) in his restaurant in Corbin, Kentucky.
Daniel Boone Day FAQs
Did Daniel Boone have an Indian wife?
Yes, according to some accounts, he may have had a Shawnee wife.
Did Daniel Boone own slaves?
Yes, Boone was a slave owner, who at one point in his life owned as many as seven slaves.
Did Daniel Boone and Davy Crockett ever meet?
No, Daniel Boone never met Davy Crockett.
How To Celebrate Daniel Boone Day
Read books on Daniel Boone
Read “The Adventures of Colonel Daniel Boon” to find out more about the life and times of Daniel Boone. You can also read other biographies about him such as “The First Settler of Kentucky.”
Visit the Kentucky Historical Society
Pay a visit to the Kentucky Historical Society to find out about Kentucky’s rich history and heritage. You also become a volunteer there if you want.
Travel the Wilderness Trail (Road)
Although the trail itself was abandoned long ago, modern highways follow almost the same route. So you can travel the Wilderness Trail, too.
5 Facts About Daniel Boone That Will Blow Your Mind
The English language travels westward
Fort Boonesborough, established by Daniel Boone, was one of the first English-speaking communities west of the Appalachian Mountains.
Daniel Boone’s daughter was taken
In July 1776, Boone traced and managed to find his daughter Jemima along with two other girls who were abducted by Shawnee and Cherokee Indians in just three days.
Boone’s gun ‘Tick-licker’
Daniel Boone’s gun was called ‘Tick-licker,’ as he claimed to be able to shoot a tick off the back of an animal without causing it any harm.
Daniel Boone on TV
NBC aired a TV show called “Daniel Boone” (based on his life) from 1964 to 1970, which made him even more popular.
Skilled from a young age
Daniel Boone learned to chop wood at the age of 5, was taking care of his father’s cows when he was 10, and got his rifle at the age of 12.
Why Daniel Boone Day is Important
It celebrates western expansion
Daniel Boone’s discovery of the forest and valleys west of the Appalachian was the first step in America’s western expansion. It would later become what we now know as present-day Kentucky.
It celebrates the state of Kentucky
Daniel Boone laid the foundations of present-day Kentucky. Today, Kentucky is home to the Kentucky Derby, Kentucky Fried Chicken, bourbon (Kentucky provides 95% of the world’s bourbon), the Mammoth Cave National Park, and the traditional Bluegrass Music.
Celebrates one of America’s first folk heroes
Daniel Boone’s efforts to colonize Kentucky throughout the American Revolution and establishing new settlements make him one of the first folk heroes of America. Daniel Boone Day celebrates his life, exploration, and achievements that contributed to the growth of America.
Daniel Boone Day dates