Wheeling

Wheeling radio station WWVA went on the air on December 13, 1926. The 50-watt station broadcast from the basement of John Stroebel, a physics teacher and wireless pioneer. By November of the next year, WWVA had established studios in a Wheeling office building and boosted its power to 500 watts, which, on some nights, could transmit its signal halfway around the world. Early programming on the station included contemporary recorded music, informal announcements, music by local amateurs, and children’s shows.

Capitol of West Virginia, 1875-85
West Virginia State Archives

On December 4, 1876, West Virginia’s third capitol building was dedicated in Wheeling. The stone building was four stories tall with two wings and topped by a cupola.

Many western Virginia residents had few options because the U.S. Constitution forbids any state to be carved from another state without the original state’s approval.
e-wv, The West Virginia Encyclopedia online. / 1872, Western Virgnia, Reorganized Government of Virginia

On October 24, 1861, voters formally approved the formation of West Virginia. Many western Virginia residents had been frustrated with the Virginia state government for years. But, they had few options at their disposal because the U.S. Constitution forbids any state to be carved from another state without the original state’s approval.

The Virginia state government in Richmond would not have willingly given away one-third of its territory. But, when Virginia left the Union at the beginning of the Civil War, western Virginia politicians seized their window of opportunity.

Dave Mistich / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

Before a September 12th Parkersburg City Council meeting, LGBTQ rights advocates held a rally to let members of the council know that, despite the failure of a non discrimination ordinance, they’ll continue to fight for equal rights in their hometown.

In early August, the Parkersburg City Council shot down an ordinance that would have protected residents from employment and housing discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity.

August 28, 1894: Publisher, Diplomat William Cooper Howells Dies at 87

Aug 28, 2017
e-wv, The West Virginia Encyclopedia

Publisher and diplomat William Cooper Howells died on August 28, 1894, at age 87.

The native of Wales emigrated as a child with his family to Wheeling.

At 21, Howells began working as an apprentice typesetter at the Virginia Statesman, a Wheeling newspaper. Before starting two Wheeling newspapers of his own, he worked at the print shop of Alexander Campbell, founder of Bethany College and the Disciples of Christ religious denomination.

Huntington Police Department

Members of the West Virginia NAACP have requested the creation of a citizens' police review board for one of the state's largest cities.

News outlets report West Virginia NAACP President Owens Brown and the Wheeling NAACP proposed the creation of an independent board to analyze the Wheeling Police Department at Tuesday's city council meeting. The board would be made up of local citizens from different religious and fraternal organizations.

e-wv, The West Virginia Encyclopedia

In a referendum on August 7, 1877, West Virginia voters chose Charleston to be the permanent state capital. The capital’s location had become a running joke, as government records had been moved from Wheeling to Charleston and then back to Wheeling again, all in 14 years.The capital was on the move so much on West Virginia riverboats, it earned the nickname of “the floating capital.”

e-wv, The West Virginia Encyclopedia

The Wheeling Suspension Bridge over the Ohio River reopened to the public on July 28, 1860. The bridge had originally opened to much fanfare in 1849. At the time, it was the longest clear span in the world and helped usher in an era of great American bridge building.

Most significantly for the northern panhandle, the bridge boosted Wheeling’s economic fortunes. Three major transportation routes converged in Wheeling. In addition to the heavily traveled Ohio River and Baltimore and Ohio Railroad, the bridge now extended the National Road westward into Ohio.

On July 18, 1877, Governor Henry Mathews arrived in Martinsburg—on the scene of the first nationwide strike in U.S. history. Baltimore and Ohio Railroad workers had walked off the job in response to a pay cut. The strike soon spread along the rails from Baltimore to Chicago.

  

William "Big Bill" Lias Arrested, September 26, 1952
collections of the Ohio County Public Library Archives.

Gangster “Big Bill” Lias was born on July 14, 1900 in either Greece or Wheeling. The uncertainty over his birthplace would later derail the government’s efforts to deport him.

needle exchange sign
Mary Meehan / Ohio Valley ReSource

Health officials say more than 8,300 new syringes have been distributed in the nearly two years that a needle exchange program has been operated in a West Virginia city.

Ohio County
David Benbennick / wikimedia Commons

West Virginia Business College will remain open as a judge's last-minute reprieve has allowed it while the school appeals state officials' order to close.

Courtesy of the artist

"[West Virginia] affects everything about how I do my job and the way I live my life."

Ohio County
David Benbennick / wikimedia Commons

A West Virginia city has filed a federal lawsuit seeking a $20 million insurance claim to cover damages at its hydroelectric plant.

The Intelligencer reports that the lawsuit was filed this month in U.S. District Court in Wheeling.

June 22, 1926: Earl Olgebay Dies at 77

Jun 22, 2017
e-wv, The West Virginia Encyclopedia

Earl Oglebay died on June 22, 1926, at age 77. The son of a wealthy Wheeling businessman, he became head of his father’s bank at age 28, making him the nation’s youngest bank president. In the late 1800s, Oglebay partnered with John D. Rockefeller in a Cleveland iron business. He amassed a small fortune in 1901, when he sold his iron interests to U.S. Steel.

Sarah Taylor

"We need to work to retain young musicians so we can continue to grow the scene from within."

June 19, 1786: Indian Ambush Changes Lewis Wetzel's Life

Jun 19, 2017
e-wv, The West Virginia Encyclopedia

On June 19, 1786, a tragic hunting trip changed pioneer Lewis Wetzel’s life forever. Wetzel, his father, and two brothers ventured out from their home near Wheeling and were ambushed by Indians. The attackers killed his father and one brother and badly wounded the other brother.

This Week in West Virginia History.
e-wv, The West Virginia Encyclopedia online.

On June 13, 1861, a committee led by John Carlile of Clarksburg presented a Declaration of Rights of the People of Virginia to the Second Wheeling Convention.

The convention was the first major step toward West Virginia statehood, and the declaration is perhaps the most significant document in our state’s history.

Civil War cannon at Harpers Ferry
Cecelia Mason / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

A plan to relocate a Civil War monument from Wheeling Park to a grassy area at West Virginia Independence Hall has been postponed.

The Intelligencer/Wheeling News-Register reports a monument committee met last week to discuss the relocation, which was announced last year.

E-WV / West Virginia Humanities Council

Labor leader Walter Reuther was killed in a plane crash on May 9, 1970. He was 62.

Reuther was born in Wheeling in 1907. His father, Valentine, was president of the Wheeling brewers union and led the city’s Socialist Party.

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