West Virginia

May 27, 1922: Labor Leader Bill Blizzard Acquitted of Treason Charges

May 27, 2016
e-WV Encyclopedia

On May 27, 1922, a jury acquitted labor leader Bill Blizzard of committing treason against West Virginia. The charges were related to the recent Battle of Blair Mountain. Blizzard was one of several more radical leaders who’d risen to power in the United Mine Workers of America during the 1910s. After the battle, prosecutors brought Blizzard to trial first, believing they had the best case against him.

May 26, 1960: Author Phyllis Reynolds Connection to West Virginia Begins

May 26, 2016
e-WV Encyclopedia

Author Phyllis Reynolds’s connection to West Virginia began on May 26, 1960, when she married Rex Naylor and visited places where he had family ties, such as Grafton, Buckhannon, and Preston County.

May 25, 1903: Philanthropist Bernard McDonough Jr. Born in Texas

May 25, 2016
Marietta College

Industrialist and philanthropist Bernard McDonough Jr. was born in Texas on May 25, 1903. His Irish immigrant grandfather had previously settled the family in Clarksburg and later in Belpre, Ohio, near Parkersburg. Young Bernard and his sisters returned to their grandmother in Belpre after the death of their mother.

May 20, 1922: Artist Della Brown Taylor Hardman Born in Charleston

May 20, 2016
Dr. Della Brown Taylor Hardman
e-WV Encyclopedia

Artist Della Brown Taylor Hardman was born in Charleston on May 20, 1922. After graduating from Charleston’s segregated Garnet High School, she attended West Virginia State College (now University) at Institute and Boston University. For 30 years, she was an art professor at West Virginia State.

May 18, 2012: Harshman Named West Virginia's Poet Laureate

May 18, 2016
e-WV Encyclopedia / Cheryl Harshman

On May 18, 2012, Governor Earl Ray Tomblin named Marc Harshman of Wheeling the state poet laureate. He succeeded the late Irene McKinney, who’d served in the post since 1994. Harshman is the ninth person to serve as poet laureate since the position was established in 1927.

e-WV Encyclopedia / WV State Archives (WVSA), Marion County Historical Society Collection.

On May 17, 1954, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in the case of Brown v. Board of Education that segregated schools are unconstitutional, leading eventually to the integration of all schools across the country.

May 10, 1960: Kennedy Wins the West Virginia Primary

May 10, 2016
e-WV Encyclopedia / Charleston Newspapers (CN)

On May 10, 1960, John F. Kennedy defeated Hubert Humphrey in the most important presidential primary ever held in West Virginia. Kennedy, a Catholic, had won the Wisconsin Democratic primary a month earlier. However, some attributed his success to Wisconsin’s relatively large percentage of Catholics.

www.wvuniversityhealthcare.com

Jefferson Medical Center in Ranson has been designated one of the top 100 critical access hospitals in the country according to a new study.

The study compared factors such as outcomes, quality and cost in rural and critical access hospitals across the country. Just one West Virginia hospital came out as a top performer nationwide. Meanwhile 12 West Virginia Hospitals are doing so poorly that they are vulnerable for closure.

Oil wells near Parkersburg around 1910
e-WV Encyclopedia

On May 9, 1863, Confederate raiders set fire to the prosperous oil works at Burning Springs in Wirt County. Just two years before the Civil War, Burning Springs had become the birthplace of Western Virginia’s oil industry. When the war began, it was one of only two oil-producing fields in the world.

e-WV Encyclopedia

Activist and physician Martin Delany was born a free African-American at Charles Town in Jefferson County on May 6, 1812. When Delany was 10, his family had to flee Charles Town for violating a Virginia law that forbid educating blacks. They settled in Chambersburg, Pennsylvania, and Delany eventually moved on to Pittsburgh, where he became a medical assistant.

Illustration of the Diamond Department Store at the corner of Capitol and Washington Streets in Charleston
e-WV Encyclopedia

On May 3, 1960, Charleston’s Diamond Department Store integrated its lunch counters. The Diamond was the largest department store of its kind in Charleston and one of the leading stores in the state. For years, it barred African-Americans from eating at its popular lunch counter.

American Legion
e-WV Encyclopedia

On May 2, 1919, the West Virginia department of the American Legion first convened at a meeting in Charleston. At the time, the Legion was only about six weeks old, having been founded in Paris by members of the American Expeditionary Force after World War I.

April 28, 1913: Peace Back to West Virginia Coalfields

Apr 28, 2016
e-WV Encyclopedia / WV State Archives (WVSA)

On April 28, 1913, coal operators and United Mine Workers of America accepted a new contract ending the yearlong Paint Creek-Cabin Creek Strike in Kanawha County. It was the bloodiest strike of the West Virginia Mine Wars. The settlement was known as the “Hatfield Contract” because it was practically dictated to both sides by new governor Henry Hatfield.

April 21, 1936: President Roosevelt Establishes Jefferson National Forest

Apr 21, 2016
Wikimedia Commons / Brian M. Powell

On April 21, 1936, President Franklin D. Roosevelt established the Jefferson National Forest, located primarily in southwest Virginia and southeast West Virginia. It covers more than 18,000 acres in Monroe County, is part of the New River Valley and New Castle Ranger Districts, and is accessible from State Routes 15, 17, and 20. Oak-pine forests cover the forest lands, which range in elevation from 2,000 to 3,600 feet.

http://wvconnectingcommunities.com/ / WV Connecting Communities

Despite the emphasis in West Virginia on the state's natural beauty and abundant opportunities to take in the outdoors, West Virginia is not considered a bike friendly state, according to the League of American Bicyclists. 

stonewallresort.com

A public-private funding venture has resulted in the first of what could be 20 new luxury cottages in a wooded lakeshore development at Stonewall Resort State Park.

The four-bedroom luxury homes are equipped with amenities such as Wi-Fi, washers and dryers, and gas fireplaces.

The Charleston Gazette-Mail reports the cottages will be financed by private investors who will own the units, but agree to make them available for public rental.

April 15, 1861: President Lincoln Calls for Volunteer Troops

Apr 15, 2016
BotMultichillT / wikimedia Commons

On April 15, 1861, three days after the Confederate attack on Fort Sumter in South Carolina, President Abraham Lincoln called for 75,000 volunteer troops. At the time, the U.S. Army had only about 16,000 soldiers. While most historians point to Fort Sumter as the beginning of the war, some suggest the war didn’t really begin until Lincoln’s call for troops. His action spurred four of the “holdout” states—Virginia, North Carolina, Tennessee, and Arkansas—to secede from the Union and join the Confederacy.

WV Division of Tourism (WVDT) / Steve Shaluta

On April 14, 1928, the West Virginia Fish and Game Commission purchased Droop Mountain Battlefield in Pocahontas County. Three months later, Droop Mountain was dedicated as West Virginia’s first state park. In November 1863, one of the most important Civil War battles in West Virginia occurred at Droop Mountain, when Union forces repulsed one of the last major Confederate advances into West Virginia.

WCHS-TV

A judge says he wants more information before he'll approve a class-action settlement stemming from a 2014 chemical spill in West Virginia that contaminated drinking water supplies.

The case involves Kanawha Valley residents and businesses and two former top officials from Freedom Industries.

Glynis Board / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

A new report indicates that West Virginia is in an economic recession.

The Register-Herald reports that the Mountain State Business Index has found that West Virginia has seen deterioration in economic activities since the spring of 2015.

The economic recession has been largely a result of the decline in the coal industry. The index found that in March there was a 3.1 percent month-to-month decline in coal production. It also found that there were month-to-month gains registered for natural gas production.

Gas, natural gas, pipeline, energy, valve
Dollar Photo Club

Mountaineer Gas Co. has filed an application with West Virginia regulators for a major natural gas distribution line expansion in Berkeley, Jefferson and Morgan counties.

The company's senior vice president, Moses Skaff, tells The Journal of Martinsburg that the proposed project would run a 27-mile distribution line from a Columbia Gas transmission line in Pennsylvania to Berkeley Springs and then onto the north end of Martinsburg.

April 1, 1788: The Clendenins Start Their Journey to Kanawha Valley

Apr 1, 2016
e-WV Encyclopedia / The National Society of The Colonial Dames of America

On April 1, 1788, George Clendenin, along with family members and about 30 Greenbrier County Rangers, departed from present Lewisburg to make a new home for themselves in the Kanawha Valley. The previous year, Clendenin had purchased about 1000 acres of unsettled land, which would eventually become the heart of Charleston.

e-WV Encyclopedia / Library of Congress

West Virginia Attorney General Armistead Abraham Lilly was born at Jumping Branch in Summers County on March 25, 1878. He had a meteoric rise in politics, becoming a state legislator at age 22, Raleigh County prosecuting attorney at 26, and state attorney general when he was 34.

March 24, 1890: Confederate General William Lowther Jackson Dies at 65

Mar 24, 2016
Mudwall Jackson
e-WV Encyclopedia

On March 24, 1890, former Confederate General William Lowther Jackson died at age 65. Prior to the Civil War, the Clarksburg native had served as a Ritchie County judge, Virginia’s lieutenant governor, and president of the Virginia state senate.

Telling West Virginia's Syrian Story: Part Two, Zain

Mar 22, 2016
Ikram Benaicha

About 2 million Syrian children have been relocated due to the Civil War. Many of these children are still on the run with their families looking for security, either in neighboring countries or in Europe. But there are some Syrian kids living right here in West Virginia. 11 year-old Zain is one of them. Still, he is not a refugee, he is the youngest of a Syrian immigrant family.

March 17, 1912: Athlete Joe Stydahar Born in Pennsylvania

Mar 17, 2016
e-WV Encyclopedia

Athlete Joe Stydahar was born in Pennsylvania on March 17, 1912. He and his family moved to Harrison County, West Virginia, where he graduated from Shinnston High School. He went on to become a basketball and football star at West Virginia University.

March 11, 1939: W.Va. Becomes First State to Pass Law on Surface Mining

Mar 11, 2016
Bureau of Land Management

  On March 11, 1939, the West Virginia Legislature passed the state’s first law regulating surface mining. Once referred to as strip mining, surface mining strips away earth, rock, and vegetation—known as overburden—to expose coal deposits.

March 4, 1924: Blues Musician Nat Reese Born in Virginia

Mar 4, 2016
Bluesman Nat Reese (1924-2012)
e-WV Encyclopedia / Michael Keller

Blues musician Nat Reese was born in Salem, Virginia, on March 4, 1924. When he was young, his family moved to Wyoming County and then to Princeton in Mercer County. He grew up listening to a variety of music, including jazz, blues, and country. And he learned to play the guitar, piano, organ, bass, and string harp.

March 3, 1866: Greenwood Cemetery Incorporated in Wheeling

Mar 3, 2016
Wikimedia Commons

Wheeling’s Greenwood Cemetery was incorporated on March 3, 1866, by a group of prominent citizens. The first burial occurred the following July, though prior to that, several bodies had been relocated to Greenwood from other cemeteries. Civil engineer James Gilchrist laid out Greenwood as a park-like setting—a common cemetery design in the mid-1800s. It’s adorned with shrubbery, flowers, trees, and picket fences.

March 2, 1927: West Virginia’s Pasteboard Capitol Burns to the Ground

Mar 2, 2016
West Virginia's Victorian-era capitol
e-WV Encyclopedia / WV State Archives (WVSA)

On March 2, 1927, West Virginia’s so-called pasteboard capitol burned to the ground. It was the second time in six years that a West Virginia capitol had been destroyed by fire.

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