One of the most successful cities in the United States is Louisville, Kentucky. In the past year it was chosen as one of ten all-American cities. It is said to be one of the best examples of a city with civic participation, joint problem solving, and consensus-based decision making. It is said to have a high quality of life and a l ow cost of doing business. The city has a program that reimburses companies 50% of start up costs. The key to Louisville's success seems to be balance. It is appealing because of the region's mild weather, range of recreational offerings, low living costs, and diverse economic opportunities. Louisville is located on the border of the Mason-Dixon line. It allows the city to absorb the influences of two regions. Louisville gains commerce from the north and the relaxed charm of the south. In 1778 Louisville was founded by George Rogers Clark on his travels of the Ohio River. Clark built a fort as a base of operations against the British and Indians. In 1798 the University of Louisville, the oldest municipal university in the nation, was founded. A canal bypassing the falls was built in 1830 which opened new opportunities. Also the Louisville and Nashville railroad was built in the 1880's extending to Florida, this developed Louisville into a major transportation center. The military used Louisville as a supply depot for union forces during the Civil War. The city has always been successful because of the major river port. It serves as leading industrial, commercial, and shipping centers. Some items shipped on the river from Louisv ille are whiskey, tobacco, and appliances. The first real sign of success for the community was in 1916 when the Ford Motor Company opened its doors. This occurrence prompted growth in the region. It was one of the first cities to draw in large crowds of people. The city progressed very rapidly over the next couple decades until 1937 when the banks of the Ohio River overflowed. The "Great Flood," as it was labeled destroyed the city and wiped out all of the cities successes. How ever, it wasn't long until the city rebuilt itself. By 1945 the region began to grow toward its previous self. Once again the river drew people to the city, it was back to being a booming successful center of the area. In 1948 the first television stat ion began telecasting there, its name was Wave T.V. The nation started becoming more and more technologically advanced. As the nation changed so did Louisville. In 1962 the city purchased the river boat "The Belle of Louisville." This event focused th e eyes of the citizens on that which started it all, the river. In 1968 the revitalization of the city took place. The river is now the hub of the region. Louisville's central location is a large reason as to why it is so successful. Today there are many chemical plants which produce paint, cleaners, and substances for plastics. Louisville produces nearly all th e state's and bordering states chemicals. Other industry in Louisville produce farm and garden tractors, air-conditioning equipment, air pollution equipment, and conveyors. Also large cigarette factories are based in Louisville. It is one of the nation s leading centers of truck production, and a major wholesale distributer of dairy products. All of these industries depend greatly on the river for shipping. It is a vital part of their success. Without the river none of these companies could be so pow erful. With all these companies along the river many people are attracted to Louisville. A 1990 census said that 296,063 people make their home in Louisville.
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