West Virginia in History

Historical Events

  • 1861-04-27 West Virginia secedes from Virginia after Virginia secedes from Union (US Civil War)
  • 1861-06-03 1st Civil War land battle-Union defeats Confederacy at Philippi, West Virginia
  • 1861-06-19 Francis Pierpont is elected provisional governor of West Virginia
  • 1861-07-04 Skirmish at Harper's Ferry, West Virginia
  • 1861-09-10 -15] Battle at Cheat Mountain, Elkwater, West Virginia
  • 1861-10-24 West Virginia secedes from Virginia
  • 1861-11-26 West Virginia created as a result of dispute over slavery with Virginia
  • 1861-12-13 Battle of Alleghany Summit, West Virginia
  • 1862-01-10 Romney expedition, Confederate Army military expedition begins in Romney, West Virginia (US Civil War)
  • 1862-05-15 -May 17] Battle of Princeton West Virginia
  • 1862-05-17 Battle of Princeton West Virginia, ends with about 128 casualities
  • 1862-09-14 Federal troops escape from beleaguered Harpers Ferry, West Virginia

Event of interestEvent of Interest

1862-12-31 President Abraham Lincoln signs act admitting West Virginia to the Union

US President Abraham Lincoln
US President
Abraham Lincoln
  • 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
  • 1864-06-11 Battle of Laurel Hill, West Virginia
  • 1864-07-03 Harpers Ferry, West Virginia - Federals evacuate in face of Early's advance
  • 1864-08-07 Battle of Moorefield, 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
  • 1882-08-07 Hatfields of south West Virginia and McCoys of east Kentucky feud, 100 wounded or die
  • 1897-01-23 Elva Zona Heaster is found dead in Greenbrier County, West Virginia. Resulting murder trial of her husband perhaps only case in US 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.
  • 1907-12-06 Coal mine explosions in Monongah, West Virginia kills 361
  • 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)
  • 1955-07-31 WHIS (now WVVA) TV channel 6 in Bluefield, West Virginia (NBC) 1st broadcast

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 Marshall U football team wiped out in DC-9 air crash at Kenova, West Virginia, killing 75
  • 1972-02-26 Slag heap dam collapses above Buffalo Creek, West Virginia, kills 125
  • 1978-04-27 Cooling tower collaspes at a coal-fired power plant at Willow Island, West Virginia, kills 51
  • 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
  • 2017-11-25 Actress Naya Rivera arrested on a domestic battery charge in West Virginia

Famous Birthdays

  • 1817-06-17 Thomas Maley Harris, American Brevet Major General (Union Army), born in Wood County, West Virginia (d. 1906)
  • 1823-06-20 Jesse Lee Reno, American Major General (Union Army), born in Wheeling, West Virginia (d. 1862)
  • 1824-09-01 Isaac Hardin Duval, American businessman and Brevet Major General (Union Army), born in Wellsburg, West Virginia (d. 1902)
  • 1857-05-07 William A. MacCorkle, American politician, 90th Governor of West Virginia, born in Lexington, Virginia (d. 1930)
  • 1864-01-15 Frances Benjamin Johnston, Grafton West Virginia, early female photographer

Person of interestHarry Ford Sinclair

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
  • 1892-06-26 Pearl S. Buck, American author (Good Earth-Nobel 1938), born in Hillsboro, West Virginia (d. 1973)
  • 1894-10-26 John S Knight, American journalist and publisher (Knight Newspapers), born in Bluefield, West Virginia (d. 1981)
  • 1897-10-11 George Preston Marshall, American businessman and NFL team owner (Washington Redskins), born in Grafton, West Virginia (d.
  • 1897-11-17 Eddie Baker, American actor (A Man About Town, Collars and Cuffs), born in Davis, West Virginia (d. 1968)
  • 1900-07-29 Don Redman, American jazz musician and orchestra leader (Sugar Hill Times), born in Piedmont, West Virginia (d. 1964)
  • 1901-05-09 John Forest "Fuzzy" Knight, American actor (Oklahoma Annie, Cowby & the Lady), born in Fairmont, West Virginia (d. 1976)
  • 1902-03-08 Jennings Randolph, American politician, Senator from West Virginia (1958-85), born in Salem, West Virginia (d. 1998)
  • 1903-02-11 Rex Lease, American actor (Fast Bullets, Sunny Skies, Custer's Last Stand), born in Central City, West Virginia (d. 1966)
  • 1907-09-01 Walter P. Reuther, American labor leader and President of the UAW & CIO, born in Wheeling, West Virginia (d. 1970)
  • 1909-08-29 Roy Reuther, American Labor Leader, born in Wheeling, West Virginia (d. 1968)
  • 1911-09-20 Frank De Vol, American composer (theme songs to Family Affair, The Brady Bunch), born in Moundsville, West Virginia (d. 1999)
  • 1912-01-01 Victor Reuther, American labor leader, born in Wheeling, West Virginia
  • 1917-03-27 Cyrus Vance, US Secretary of State (1977-80), born in Clarksburg, West Virginia (d. 2002)
  • 1917-07-07 Woodrow Wilson "Red" Sovine, American country music singer, born in Charleston, West Virginia (d. 1980)
  • 1920-02-03 George A. Miller, Charleston, West Virginia, cognitive psychologist (the magical number seven), (d. 2012)
  • 1920-11-20 Douglas Dick, American actor and psychologist (Rope, Waterfront), born in Charleston, West Virginia (d. 2015)
  • 1920-12-19 [Little] Jimmy Dickens, American country singer (Grand Ole Opry), born in Bolt, West Virginia
  • 1921-11-29 Dagmar [Virginia Ruth Egnor], American actress, model, and television personality (Broadway's Open House), born in Yawkey, West Virginia (d. 2001)
  • 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
  • 1922-01-31 Joanne Dru [LaCock], American actress (Red River, All the King's Men), born in Logan, West Virginia (d. 1996)
  • 1922-08-04 Charley Harper, American modernist artist, born in Frenchton, West Virginia (d. 2007)
  • 1923-02-13 Chuck Yeager, American test pilot who was the 1st man to break the sound barrier, born in Myra, West Virginia
  • 1923-07-05 John McKay, American football coach (USC, Tampa Bay, 5X Rose Bowl champ), born in Everettville, West Virginia (d. 2001)
  • 1924-07-21 Don Knotts, American actor (Andy Griffth Show, 3's Company), born in Morgantown, West Virginia (d. 2006)
  • 1927-03-30 Peter Marshall, TV game show host (Hollywood Squares), born in Huntington, West Virginia
  • 1928-02-22 Paul Dooley, American actor, writer and comedian(16 Candles, Strange Brew, Wedding), born in Parkersburg, West Virginia

Person of interestJohn Nash

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
  • 1930-02-22 Allison Hayes, American model and actress (Attack of the 50 Foot Woman), born in Charleston, West Virginia (d. 1977)
  • 1933-01-24 Zeke Carey, American R&B singer (Go, Johnny, Go!, Rock Rock Rock!), born in Bluefield, West Virginia (d. 1999)
  • 1933-04-11 Tony Brown, American journalist (Tony Brown's Journal), born in Charleston, West Virginia
  • 1933-11-16 Garrett "Garnet" Mimms, Ashland West Virginia, singer (Enchanters-Cry Baby)
  • 1934-09-12 Glenn Davis, American athlete (Olympic gold 1956,60), born in Wellsburg, West Virginia (d. 2009)
  • 1936-09-05 Bill Mazeroski, American MLB 2nd baseman (won 1960 World Series for Pitts), born in Wheeling, West Virginia
  • 1937-08-12 Walter Dean Myers, African-American author, born in Martinsburg, West Virginia, (d. 2014)

Person of interestJerry West

1938-05-28 Jerry West, American Basketball Hall of Fame guard, executive (LA Lakers, 14-time NBA All Star), born in Chelyan, West Virginia

NBA Guard Jerry West
NBA Guard
Jerry West
  • 1938-07-04 Bill Withers, American rhythm & blues singer (Lean on Me), born in Slab Fork, West Virginia
  • 1939-06-08 Bernie Casey, American actor (Boxcar Bertha, Rent-a-Cop), born in Wyco, West Virginia (d. 2017)
  • 1941-03-28 Charles Ray "Charlie" McCoy, American Grammy-winning session musician and harmonica player (Hee Haw), born in Oak Hill, West Virginia
  • 1941-06-08 Clarence "Fuzzy" Haskins, American pop singer (Funkadelic-Knee Deep), born in Elkins, West Virginia
  • 1941-10-18 William "Billy" Cox, Guitarist (performed with Jimi Hendrix), born in Wheeling, West Virginia
  • 1943-03-28 Conchata Ferrell, American actress (Deadly Hero, Susan-LA Law), born in Loudendale, West Virginia
  • 1951-10-27 Nancy Jacobs, American politician (R), Senator Maryland (1999-2015), born in Charleston, West Virginia
  • 1951-10-31 Nick Saban, American college football coach, born in Fairmont, West Virginia

Person of interestGeorge Brett

1953-05-15 George Brett, American Baseball Hall of Fame 3rd baseman (13-time All Star), 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, American 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
  • 1967-10-04 Vicky Bullett, American professional basketball player and coach (Olympic gold 1988/Charlotte Sting), born in Martinsburg, West Virginia
  • 1968-01-24 Mary Lou Retton, American gymnast (Olympic gold all-round 1984), born in Fairmont, West Virginia
  • 1968-04-24 Tracy Gravely, CFL linebacker (Montreal Alouettes), born in West Virginia
  • 1970-11-06 Rich Braham, American NFL center (Cincinnati Bengals), born in Morgantown, West Virginia
  • 1970-12-28 Elizabeth McIntyre, Miss West Virginia (1996), born in Dunbar, West Virginia
  • 1970-12-28 James Jett, US Olympic sprinter and NFL wide receiver (Oakland Raiders), born in Charles Town, West Virginia
  • 1973-03-29 Brad Bridgewater, American 200m backstroke (Olympic gold 1996), born in Charleston, West Virginia
  • 1977-02-13 Randy Moss, NFL player, born in Rand, West Virginia
  • 1977-03-05 Natalie Bevins, Miss USA-West Virginia (1997)
  • 1977-04-20 Lisa Ervin, American figure skater (US Nationals-4th-1992), born in Charleston, West Virginia
  • 1984-06-26 Deron Williams, American basketball player, born in Parkersburg, West Virginia

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, American politician, 90th Governor of West Virginia, dies at 73
  • 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)