The first European encampment was in the vicinity of modern-day Louisville when the rapids at the Falls of Ohio created a barrier for the river, which resulted in settlements growing at its stopping points. Louisville has always been known for its horse racing. The Kentucky Derby, since 1875 and has become the leading producer for alcoholic drinks like gin, tobacco, and whiskey. The first city-owned school in the United States, University of Louisville, was founded in 1798 and its first public library system in the country, the Louisville Free Public Library. The city has a humid subtropical climate that has four distinct seasons. With its seasonal extremes, in both the precipitation and its temperature, tornado outbreaks and severe weather in the region is no longer uncommon.
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