Caroline MacGregor Published

Proposed Bill Would Honor Marshall University Plane Crash Victims

Marshall Plane Crash
A newly introduced bill proposes declaring Nov. 14 a special Memorial Day to honor victims of the Marshall University airplane crash.
Henry Griffin/AP

Lawmakers will consider House Bill 2412 to mark Nov. 14 as a state day of recognition in honor of the Marshall University plane crash.

Lead sponsor of the bill Sean Hornbuckle, D-Huntington, proposed a statewide “paid day off” to memorialize victims of one of the worst sports disasters in U.S. history.

But in the House Government Organization Committee that idea was changed to making Nov. 14 or “Marshall University Airplane Crash Day” an annual day of recognition.

Seventy-five people, most of them Marshall University’s football team, died when their chartered plane crashed on approach to Huntington Airport.

The DC-9 was returning from a game at East Carolina on Nov. 14, 1970 when it slammed into a hillside in rain and fog and burst into flames.

Everyone on board, including 36 football players, 39 coaches, boosters, community members, and the flight crew perished.

The bill has been forwarded to the full House for consideration.