West Virginia in History

Historical Events

  • 1861-04-27 West Virginia secedes from Virginia after Virginia secedes from Union (US Civil War)
  • 1861-06-19 Francis Pierpont is elected provisional governor of West Virginia
  • 1861-09-10 -15] Battle at Cheat Mountain, Elkwater West Virginia
  • 1861-10-24 West Virginia seceded from Virginia
  • 1861-11-26 West Virginia created as a result of dispute over slavery with Virginia
  • 1862-01-10 Romney expedition, West Virginia starts (US Civil War)
  • 1862-09-14 Federal troops escape from beleaguered Harpers Ferry, West Virginia
  • 1862-12-31 President Lincoln signs act admitting West Virginia to the Union
  • 1863-03-26 Voters in West Virginia approve gradual emancipation of slaves
  • 1863-06-20 West Virginia admitted as 35th US state of the Union
  • 1863-11-01 -8] Averell's Raid (on)to Lewisburg, West Virginia
  • 1864-05-21 Gen David Hunter takes command of Department of West Virginia

BattleBattle of Interest

1864-10-13 Battle of Harpers Ferry, West Virginia (Mosby's Raid)

The Gray Ghost John Singleton Mosby
The Gray Ghost
John Singleton Mosby
  • 1865-01-11 Battle of Beverly, West Virginia, Confederate forces attack Union post
  • 1897-01-23 Elva Zona Heaster is found dead in Greenbrier County, West Virginia. The resulting murder trial of her husband is perhaps the only case in United States history where the alleged testimony of a ghost helped secure a conviction.
  • 1897-03-11 A meteorite enters the earth's atmosphere and explodes over New Martinsville, West Virginia. The debris causes damage but no human injuries are reported.
  • 1914-04-28 181 die in coal mine collapse at Eccles, West Virginia
  • 1921-05-03 West Virginia imposes 1st state sales tax
  • 1921-08-25 The first skirmishes of the Battle of Blair Mountain, a civil uprising in Logan County, West Virginia
  • 1924-04-28 119 die in coal mine disaster at Benwood, West Virginia
  • 1925-08-12 The first cast of Alpha Psi Omega, drawn from The Masquers of Fairmont College, West Virginia, is initiated.
  • 1936-07-10 112°F (44°C) at Martinsburg, West Virginia (state record)

Event of interestEvent of Interest

1960-05-10 John F. Kennedy wins primary in West Virginia

35th US President John F. Kennedy
35th US President
John F. Kennedy
  • 1970-11-14 DC-9 crashes in West Virginia, 75 killed
  • 1972-02-26 Slag heap dam collapses above Buffalo Creek West Virginia, kills 125
  • 1989-01-02 Notre Dame beats West Virginia for college football championship
  • 1989-07-18 48 cm rainfall at Rockport, West Virginia (state record)
  • 2016-06-23 Storms and widespread flooding in West Virginia leave at least 24 dead

Famous Birthdays

  • 1864-01-15 Frances Benjamin Johnston, Grafton West Virginia, early female photographer

Person of interestPerson of Interest

1876-07-06 Harry Ford Sinclair, founder of Sinclair Oil (Teapot Dome Scandal), born in Benwood, West Virginia

Founder of Sinclair Oil Harry Ford Sinclair
Founder of Sinclair Oil
Harry Ford Sinclair
  • 1900-07-29 Don Redman, American jazz musician and orchestra leader (Sugar Hill Times), born in Piedmont, West Virginia (d. 1964)
  • 1917-03-27 Cyrus Vance, US Secretary of State (1977-80), born in Clarksburg, West Virginia (d. 2002)
  • 1920-02-03 George A. Miller, Charleston, West Virginia, cognitive psychologist (the magical number seven), (d. 2012)
  • 1920-12-19 [Little] Jimmy Dickens, American country singer (Grand Ole Opry), born in Bolt, West Virginia
  • 1921-12-03 Phyllis Curtin, American soprano (NYC Opera), born in Clarksburg, West Virginia (d. 2016)
  • 1921-12-22 Hawkshaw Hawkins, country singer (Ozark Jubilee), born in Huntington, West Virginia
  • 1926-11-29 Dagmar, Huntington, West Virginia, American actress (Broadway's Open House)
  • 1927-03-30 Peter Marshall, TV game show host (Hollywood Squares), born in Huntington, West Virginia

Person of interestPerson of Interest

1928-06-13 John Nash, American mathematician (subject of movie "A Beautiful Mind") and Nobel laureate, born in Bluefield, West Virginia

Mathematician and Economist John Nash
Mathematician and Economist
John Nash
  • 1930-08-25 Page Johnson, actress (Passages from Finnegan's Wake), born in Welch, West Virginia
  • 1933-01-24 Zeke Carey, US R&B singer (Flamingos-I Only Have Eyes For You), born in Bluefield, West Virginia (d. 1999)
  • 1933-11-16 Garrett "Garnet" Mimms, Ashland West Virginia, singer (Enchanters-Cry Baby)
  • 1937-08-12 Walter Dean Myers, African-American author, born in Martinsburg, West Virginia, (d. 2014)

Person of interestPerson of Interest

1938-05-28 Jerry West, NBA superstar (LA Lakers, Olympic Gold 1960), born in Chelyan, West Virginia

NBA Guard Jerry West
NBA Guard
Jerry West
  • 1941-10-18 William "Billy" Cox, Guitarist (performed with Jimi Hendrix), born in Wheeling, West Virginia
  • 1951-10-27 Nancy Jacobs, American politician (R), Senator Maryland (1999-2015), born in Charleston, West Virginia

Person of interestPerson of Interest

1953-05-15 George Brett, American baseball third baseman (KC Royals, 1980 AL MVP), born in Glen Dale, West Virginia

MLB Third Baseman George Brett
MLB Third Baseman
George Brett
  • 1962-05-09 John Corbett, actor/singer (Northern Exposure, Sex and the City), born in Wheeling, West Virginia
  • 1962-09-19 Tonja Walker, actress (Alex-One Life to Live), born in Huntington, West Virginia
  • 1963-11-26 Allyson Rice-Taylor, actress (As the World Turns), born in Huntington, West Virginia
  • 1974-11-23 Regina Fisher, Miss West Virginia USA (1996)
  • 1977-03-05 Natalie Bevins, Miss USA-West Virginia (1997)
  • 1977-11-14 Heather Gray, Miss West Virginia Teen USA (1996)
  • 1980-01-25 Amanda Michelle Burns, Miss West Virginia Teen USA (1997)

Famous Weddings


HeartWedding of Interest

1794-09-15 4th US President James Madison (43) weds Dolley Madison (26) in Jefferson County, West Virginia

4th US President James Madison
4th US President
James Madison
  • 1891-03-21 A Hatfield marries a McCoy, ends long feud in West Virginia it started with an accusation of pig-stealing & lasted 20 years

HeartWedding of Interest

1960-04-10 NBA guard Jerry West (21) weds his college sweetheart Martha Kane in Morgantown, West Virginia

NBA Guard Jerry West
NBA Guard
Jerry West

Famous Deaths

  • 1930-09-24 William A. MacCorkle, Governor of West Virginia (b. 1857)
  • 1940-10-21 William G. Conley, Governor of West Virginia (b. 1866)
  • 1995-10-21 Linda Goodman, Morgantown, West Virginia, American astrologer and poet, dies from complications of diabetes at 70
  • 2008-11-24 Cecil H. Underwood, Governor of West Virginia (b. 1922)