1781 Aug 22, Col. William
Campbell (36), West Virginia Patriot militia leader, died of an
apparent heart attack during the siege of Yorktown. Campbell had led
his militia in the Patriot victory on October 7, 1780, at the Battle
of King's Mountain in South Carolina
(ON, 12/07, p.7)
1794 George Washington
established the first national armory at Springfield, Mass. He also
authorized the arsenal at Harper's Ferry, Md. (W. Va), where the
Shenandoah flows into the Potomac.
(WSJ, 9/12/97, p.A20)(SFEC, 4/25/99, p.T7)
c1800 Father Demetrius
Gallitzen (1770-1840), a Russian-born Catholic priest, was directed
by bishop John Carroll to investigate spirits in the home (Wizard's
Clip) of Adam Livingstone in the Shenandoah Valley.
(WSJ, 10/30/03, p.W17)
1859 Oct 16, On Sunday evening
radical abolitionist John Brown and a tiny army of five black and 13
white supporters seized the Federal arsenal at Harper's Ferry,
Virginia (now West Virginia). Convinced that local slaves would rise
up behind him, Brown planned to establish a new republic of
fugitives in the Appalachian Mountains. Brown's plans immediately
went awry when the expected slave rebellion did not happen and the
townspeople trapped Brown's men inside the engine house at the
Federal arsenal. Within 24 hours, Brown and his four surviving men
were captured by a force of 90 U.S. Marines under the command of Lt.
Col. Robert E. Lee, pictured here. Brown, quickly convicted of
criminal conspiracy and treason and sentenced to death, was hanged
on December 2, 1859. As he went to the gallows, Brown handed a note
to one of his guards: "I, John Brown, am now quite certain that the
crimes of this guilty land will never be purged away but with
blood." The incident is the backdrop for George MacDonald Fraser’s
novel "Flashman and the Angel of the Lord." Brown was convicted and
executed at Charlestown for treason against the state of Virginia.
In 2011 Tony Horwitz authored “John Brown and the Raid That Sparked
the Civil War."
(WSJ, 4/10/95, p. A-16)(AP, 10/16/97)(HNPD,
10/16/98)(HNQ, 2/3/00)(SSFC, 10/30/11, p.F4)
1861 Apr 17, The Virginia State
Convention voted to secede from the Union. Virginia became the
eighth state to secede from the Union and moved troops to take over
National Capital. Federal troops were rushed down the
Chesapeake-Delaware Canal and arrived in time to stop Confederate
troops from taking Washington D.C. The Wheeling Conventions declared
Virginia’s secession from the Union unconstitutional and named
Francis H. Pierpont governor of the Reorganized Government of
Virginia, which was quickly recognized by the federal government. At
the outbreak of the Civil War, representatives of Virginia’s western
counties had gathered in the city of Wheeling (as the temporary
capital) to form the Reorganized Government of Virginia. In 1862 a
state constitution was adopted by the convention and on June 20,
1863, West Virginia was admitted as the 35th state in the Union.
(AP, 4/17/97)(HN, 4/17/98)(NG, Sept. 1939,
1861 Apr 27, West Virginia
seceded from Virginia after Virginia seceded from the Union.
1861 May 23, Pro Union and pro
Confederate forces clashed in Clarksburg, West Virginia.
1861 Jun 11, Union forces under
General George B. McClellen repulsed a Confederate force at Rich
Mountain in Western Virginia.
1861 Jun 19, Loyal Virginians,
in what would soon be West Virginia, elected Francis Pierpoint as
their provisional governor.
1861 Jul 4, Union and
Confederate forces skirmished at Harpers Ferry, West Virginia.
1861 Sep 10, Confederates at
Carnifex Ferry, Virginia, fell back after being attacked by Union
troops. There were 170 casualties. The action was instrumental in
helping preserve western Virginia for the Union.
(HN, 9/10/98)(MC, 9/10/01)
1861 Oct 24, West Virginia
voters chose to secede from Virginia. A Constitutional Convention
began on November 26, 1861 and finished its work on February 18,
1862, and the instrument for secession was ratified on April 11,
1861 Dec 13, Battle of
Alleghany Summit, WV.
1861 Dec 17, The Stonewall
Brigade began to dismantle Dam No. 5 of the C&O Canal near
1861 Ardent Confederate
Isabelle (Belle) Boyd became one of the Civil War's most notorious
spies. When only 16, she fatally wounded a Union soldier who entered
her family's home in Martinsburg, Virginia (now West Virginia).
During the next year, she regularly provided intelligence to Rebel
commanders. She was arrested several times and twice served
sentences in Washington, D.C., prisons. When captured aboard a
Confederate blockade-runner in 1864, Belle was banished to Canada.
While traveling in England to further the Southern cause, she
created a sensation by marrying Sam Hardinge, a Union officer. A
widow with one child by war's end, Boyd published her memoirs,
returned to America and later earned a living by acting and
lecturing on her wartime experiences.
1862 Jan 10, Battle of Romney,
1862 May 15-17, Battle of
1862 Sep 12, The Battle of
Harper’s Ferry took place in West Virginia.
1862 Sep 14, A contingent of
Federal troops escaped from the beleaguered Harper's Ferry.
1862 Sep 15, Confederates
captured the Union weapon arsenal at Harpers Ferry, WV, securing the
rear of Robert E. Lee's forces in Maryland.
1862 Dec 10, U.S. House of
Representatives passed a bill creating the state of West Virginia.
1862 Dec 31, President Lincoln
signed an act admitting West Virginia to the Union.
1863 Mar 26, Voters in West
Virginia approved the gradual emancipation of slaves.
1863 Jun 20, West Virginia
became the 35th state.
1863 Aug 26, Battle of Rocky
Gap, WV, (White Sulphur Springs).
1863 Oct 18, Battle of
Charlestown in WV.
1863 Nov 6, A Union force
surrounded and scattered defending Confederates at the Battle of
Droop Mountain, in West Virginia.
1863 Dec 8, Averell’s cavalry
destroyed railroads in the southwestern part of West Virginia.
1864 May 21, Gen. David Hunter
took command of Dept. of West Virginia.
1864 Jul 3, At Harpers Ferry,
WV, Federals evacuated in face of Early's advance.
1864 Jul 11(Jun 11), Battle of
Laurel Hill, WV.
1864 Aug 7, Union Gen. Philip
Henry Sheridan took command of his 30,000-man army at Harper’s
Ferry, West Virginia. His orders from Gen. Grant were to march into
the Shenandoah Valley and destroy the army of Confederate Gen. Jubal
(ON, 10/20/11, p.11)
1864 Aug 7, Union troops
captured part of Confederate General Jubal Early’s army at
Moorefield, West Virginia.
1864 Sep 18, Battle of
1864 Oct 13, Battle of Harpers
Ferry, WV (Mosby's Raid).
1864 Nov 28, Battle of New
Creek, WV, (Rosser's Raid, Ft. Kelly).
1865 Jan 11, Battle of Beverly,
1877 Jul 14, The Great Railroad
Strike of 1877, sometimes referred to as the Great Upheaval, began
in Martinsburg, West Virginia, after the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad
(B&O) cut wages for the third time in a year. Some 45 days later
it was put down by local and state militias.
1877 Jul 17, Riots and violence
erupted in several major American cities stemming from strikes
against railroads in protest of wage cuts. Strikes started against
the Baltimore & Ohio, and quickly spread west, with riots
erupting in Baltimore, Pittsburgh, Chicago and St. Louis. Nine were
killed when Federal troops were sent into Martinsburg, West
1877 Jul 21, In West Virginia
26 railroad strikers were killed and the Union Depot and machine
shops were burned down.
1882 Aug 7, Hatfields of south
West Virginia and McCoys of eastern Kentucky re-engaged in a feud
that dated back to 1865. Some 100 were wounded or died. In 2007
medical evidence indicated that many of the descendants of the
McCoys suffered from an inherited disease that leads to hair-trigger
rage and violent outbursts.
(www.tugvalleychamberofcommerce.com/tour.html)(SFC, 4/6/07, p.A16)
1887 Warwick China Co. was
incorporated in Wheeling, West Virginia. The company closed
operations in 1951.
(SFC, 1/4/06, p.G2)
1892 The Central Glass Co. of
Wheeling, W. Va., made a pattern of glass called Coin based on real
US coins. After 8 months of production the US Treasury Dep. ruled
that using the coins was a form of counterfeiting money and the
pattern was discontinued.
(SFC, 3/28/07, p.G7)
1896 Oct. 1, The U.S. Post
Office established Rural Free Delivery, with the first routes in
1897 Sep 11, A strike by some
75,000 coal miners in Pennsylvania, Ohio and West Virginia
ended after 10 weeks. Concessions included an eight-hour work day,
semi-monthly pay, and the abolition of company stores (which were
famous for over charging workers). The day before, about 20 miners
were killed when sheriff's deputies opened fire on them in
(AP, 9/11/97)(MC, 9/11/01)
1905 The First National Bank of
Keystone was founded.
(SFC, 10/21/99, p.AA4)
1907 Sep 1, Walter Reuther,
labor leader, was born in Wheeling, W.Va. He merged the American
Federation of Labor with the Congress of International Organizations
(HN, 9/1/99)(AP, 9/1/07)
1907 Dec 6, The worst mining
disaster in U.S. history occurred as 362 men and boys died in a coal
mine explosion in Monongah, W.Va.
1908 May 10, The first Mother's
Day observance took place during church services in Grafton, W.Va.,
1908 Jul 5, In Fairmont, West
Virginia, a special day was organized by Mrs. Grace Golden Clayton,
who wanted to celebrate the lives of the 210 fathers who had been
lost in the Monongah Mining disaster several months earlier, on
December 6, 1907. A general Father’s Day was organized in Spokane,
Wa., on June 19, 1910.
1911 Sep 20, Frank DeVol
(d.1999), composer and actor, was born in Moundsville. He wrote
scores for over 50 films and the TV shows that included "My Three
Sons" and "The Brady Bunch."
(SFC, 10/30/99, p.C2)
1914 Apr 28, At Eccles,
WV, 181 died in coal mine collapse.
1915 Frankie Yankovic (d.1998)
was born in Davis, W. Va. He later became the Polka King from
(SFC, 10/15/98, p.C6)
1917 Mar 27, Cyrus Vance
(d.2002) was born in Clarksburg. In 1980 President Carter accepted
the resignation of Secretary of State Cyrus Vance, who had opposed
the failed rescue mission aimed at freeing American hostages in
(AP, 4/28/97)(SSFC, 1/13/02, p.A27)
1920 May 19, In Matewan, West
Virginia, a gunbattle between coal company-hired detectives and
local townspeople leaving 10 men dead, including mayor Cabell
Testerman, 2 miners and 7 detectives.
1920 Nov, In West Virginia
Democratic Gov. John Cornwell invoked martial law and called for
help from Washington to quell violence between mine owners and
striking coal miners.
(AH, 4/07, p.63)
1921 Jan 3, The state capitol
in Charleston, West Virginia, was destroyed by a fire. Ammunition,
bought by the West Virginia State Police two years before, was
stored on the top floor of the building. The ammunition had been
purchased for use in the coal field disputes which had threatened to
erupt into civil war.
1921 May 3, West Virginia
imposed the first state sales tax.
1921 Aug 1, Sid Hatfield,
police chief of Matewan, WV, and Ed Chambers were murdered on
the steps of the McDowell County Courthouse by Baldwin-Felts
detectives. Hatfield and 22 miners had been recently been acquitted
of the May 19, 1920 shootings in Matewan, WV, but he was indicted
for conspiracy for continuing mine violence. Hatfield had been a
long-time supporter of the United Mine Workers of America (UMWA).
This soon led to the Battle of Blair Mountain, a labor uprising also
know as the Red Neck War.
1921 Sep 2, At the Battle of
Blair Mountain in West Virginia an army of 10 to 15 thousand miners
and their families faced a private army of some 2,000 men and 2,100
state and federal troops. The fledgling US Air Force dropped a few
bombs as a demonstration meant to overawe the labor organizers and
in the event. The death toll for the battle was estimated from fewer
than 20 to more than 50. This was the largest confrontation between
workers and the state in US history.
5/26/07, p.32)(AH, 4/07, p.67)(Econ 7/1/17, SR p.6)
1921 The Eureka Art Glass Co.,
later renamed Blenko glass Co., opened in Milton, West Virginia
under William Blenko.
(SFC, 10/22/08, p.G3)
1924 Jul 21, Don Knotts
(d.2006), later film and TV star (The Andy Griffith Show, Matlock,
Three’s Company), was born in Morgantown, West Virginia.
(SSFC, 2/26/06, p.B7)
1924 Congressman Samuel
Brashear was killed by lightning.
(SFEC, 4/20/97, Z1 p.5)
1926 Sep 26, John Knowles
(d.2001), author of the 1959 novel “A Separate Peace," was born in
Fairmont, W. Va.
(SFC, 11/30/01, p.A27)
1928 Jun 13, John Forbes Nash,
Jr. American mathematician, was born in West Virginia. He shared the
1994 Bank of Sweden Prize in Economic Sciences (also called the
Nobel Prize in Economics) with two other game theorists, Reinhard
Selten and John Harsanyi.
1942 Robert C. Byrd of West
Virginia began winning elections when his local chapter of the Ku
Klux Klan picked him as its leader. He was elected a US Senator in
(Econ, 11/15/08, p.36)
1946 Robert Byrd (1917-2010)
was elected to the West Virginia state House of Delegates.
(Econ, 7/3/10, p.82)
1950 Feb 9, In a speech at the
Republican Women's Club in Wheeling, W. Va., Sen. Joseph McCarthy,
R-Wis., charged the State Department was riddled with Communists and
that he had a list of them. He asserted that Sec. of State Dean
Acheson knew this and refused to do anything about it. McCarthy said
there were 205 communists working in the US State Dept.
(AP, 2/9/99)(WSJ, 12/6/99, p.A32)(WSJ, 2/9/00,
p.A26)(WSJ, 5/12/98, p.A20)
1950 Jul 5, Private Kenneth
Shadrick of Skin Fork, West Virginia, became the first US serviceman
to die in the Korean War.
1956 Jan 28, Iva Toguri
D'Aquino (1916-2006), a Japanese-American suspected of being wartime
radio propagandist "Tokyo Rose," was released from prison at
Alderson, W. Virginia. In 1949 she had been tried in San Francisco
and convicted for having spoken “into a microphone concerning the
loss of ships." She was pardoned in 1977 by President Ford.
(SFC, 9/28/06, p.A18)(AH, 10/02, p.28)
1956 Cecil Underwood
(1922-2008), was elected governor of West Virginia becoming at age
34 the state’s youngest governor.
(SFC, 11/25/08, p.B4)
1956 West Virginia began
allowing women to serve on jury duty. The state had claimed that
courthouses lacked female toilets.
(Econ, 7/10/10, p.60)
1960 May 10, John F. Kennedy
won the primary in West Virginia.
1960 Astronomer Frank Drake
began pointing the Green Bank radio telescope in West Virginia at
stars Tau Ceti and Epsilon Eridani and scanning for signals. Thus
began the search for extraterrestrial intelligence (SETI).
(Econ, 7/25/15, p.65)
1964 Senator Jennings Randolph
(d.1998 at 96) of West Virginia helped create the Appalachian
Regional Commission. The commission funneled millions of federal
dollars into 13 Appalachian states for public works and economic
development. It was supposed to expire in 1979.
(SFC, 5/9/98, p.A21)
1967 Dec 15, In Point Pleasant,
West Virginia, it took less than 30 seconds for the Silver Bridge to
tumble into the Ohio River, killing 46 people and leaving towns on
either side stunned and bereft. The bridge had linked Point Pleasant
and Kanauga, Ohio, since 1928.
1968 Jan 24, Mary Lou Retton,
gymnast (Oly-gold/2 silver/2 bronze-84), was born in Fairmont, WV.
1968 Aug 10, In West Virginia
35 people were killed in the crash of a Piedmont Airlines Fairchild
FH-227 at Kanawha County Airport.
1970 Nov 14, The Marshall
Univ. football team of Huntington, West Virginia, was wiped out in
air crash of a Southern Airways DC-9 at Kenova, WV. All 75 people on
board were killed.
1972 Feb 26, In West Virginia a
coal sludge spill killed 125 people and swallowed 500 homes in
Buffalo Creek. Over 132 million gallons of sludge hit 17 little
towns along Buffalo Creek.
1972 In West Virginia the
Augusta Heritage Center of Davis & Elkins College was founded as
a unique program for the promotion of traditional music, arts, and
(SFEC, 6/7/98, p.T1)(http://tinyurl.com/5cpecu)
1974 Apr 3, A series of 148
deadly tornadoes struck wide parts of the South and Midwest before
jumping across the border into Canada; some 330 people were killed
in 13 states: Alabama, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky,
Michigan, Mississippi, North Carolina, Ohio, South Carolina,
Tennessee, Virginia, and West Virginia. Total property damage was
estimated at $600 million. In 2007 Mark Levine authored “F5:
Devastation, Survival, and the Most Violent Tornado Outbreak of the
(AP, 4/3/99)(WSJ, 9/13/01, p.B11)(SSFC, 9/4/05,
p.A7)(WSJ, 6/16/07, p.P10)
1976 Nov 2, In West Virginia’s
race for governor Democrat Jay Rockefeller (b.1937) defeated former
Gov. Cecil Underwood (1956-1960). Rockefeller was re-elected in
1976 Charles Gibson (d.2006),
an ordained minister, founded the Gibson Glass Co. in Milton, W. Va.
The company was in business for one year when Gibson returned to the
pulpit. He re-opened the business in 1983 and it became best known
(SFC, 12/12/07, p.G5)
1977 Oct 22, In West Virginia
the New River Gorge Bridge was opened to traffic.
1977 Patsy Paugh was crowned
Miss West Virginia. In 2006 Patsy Ramsey (b.1956), former Miss West
Virginia (1977) and mother of JonBenet Ramsey (1990-1996), died in
Roswell, Ga., following a long battle with ovarian cancer.
1978 Apr 27, In West Virginia
51 construction workers plunged to their deaths when a scaffold
inside a cooling tower at the nuclear Pleasants Power Station on
Willow Island fell 168 feet to the ground.
1980 Nov 8, In West Virginia
Bridge Day began when parachutists began jumping from the 876-foot
New River Gorge Bridge over the New River. It became annual and was
scheduled on the 3rd Saturday of October. The New River is second
oldest river in the world. Only the Nile is older. It is also one of
only two rivers in the world which flows south to north.
1987 Dec 23, Lynette "Squeaky"
Fromme, serving a life sentence for the attempted assassination of
President Ford in 1975, escaped from the Alderson Federal Prison for
Women in West Virginia. (She was recaptured two days later.)
1987 Dec 25, Authorities
recaptured Lynette "Squeaky" Fromme, who had escaped two days
earlier from the federal prison in Alderson, W.V., where she was
serving a life sentence for her attempt on the life of President
1990 Mar 21, Elkins, West
Virginia, reported a record national low of minus 16 degrees.
(SFC, 3/21/09, p.D10)
1990 In West Virginia
Republican former Gov. Arch Moore pleaded guilty to five
corruption-related charges, including one that alleged he spent
$100,000 in unreported campaign cash during his successful 1984
1990s Sen. Robert C. Byrd forced the FBI to locate
its fingerprint facility in Clarksburg. This led to a biometrics
program at West Virginia Univ.
(WSJ, 3/11/02, p.A20)
1991 Marlington, West Virginia,
held its first roadkill festival as a joke. The festival received a
boost in 1998 when the state passed a law making the gathering of
(Econ, 10/5/13, p.34)
1992 The Washington Post blew
the lid on a Congressional escape hatch, code-named Caspar, built
beneath the Greenbrier resort in White Sulphur Springs, West
Virginia. The site was soon closed and later became a tourist
(Econ, 2/11/17, p.71)
1996 Cecil Underwood
(1922-2008), was elected governor of West Virginia a 2nd time
becoming the state’s oldest governor.
(SFC, 11/25/08, p.B4)
1997 Aug 12, Steel workers in
West Virginia, Ohio and Pennsylvania ended a 10-month strike at
Wheeling-Pittsburgh Steel Corp. with a new contract. It was the
longest strike by a major steel company.
(SFC, 8/13/97, p.A3)
1997 Nov 21, A house fire in
Weston left 5 children dead. It was later discovered that the fire
had been intentionally set for an insurance claim. In 1998 parents
Janette Ables and Barbara and Ricky Brown were indicted on 15
(SFC,12/12/97, p.B10)(SFC, 9/18/98, p.A3)
1999 Aug 2, The Clinton
administration declared West Virginia and parts of 5 other eastern
states agricultural disaster areas due to heat and drought.
(SFC, 8/3/99, p.A3)
1999 Sep 1, In Keystone the
First National Bank of Keystone was taken over by federal examiners
after they found that $500 million worth of mortgages did not exist.
The bank's failure would cost the FDIC an estimated $750 million.
(SFC, 10/21/99, p.AA4)
1999 Oct 18, In Keystone Terry
Church, president of Keystone Mortgage Co., was arrested. Federal
agents had unearthed thousands of pages of mortgage documents
secretly buried on her ranch.
(SFC, 10/21/99, p.AA4)
2000 Jan 3, Pres. Clinton
opened peace talks between Syria and Israel in Shepherdstown, West
(SFC, 1/4/00, p.A1)
2000 Jul 7, In West Virginia 2
teenagers (17) in Grant Town confessed to killing Arthur Warren Jr.
(26), a gay man. They beat him to death and then drove over his body
several times to make it look like a hit-and-run.
(SFC, 7/8/00, p.A4)(SFC, 7/24/00, p.A3)
2000 Aug 25, The new $75
million Robert C. Boyd Green Bank Telescope, the world’s largest
fully steerable radio telescope, was dedicated following almost 10
years of construction.
(WSJ, 8/28/00, p.B11E)
2000 In West Virginia Democrat
Bob wise defeated Gov. Cecil Underwood (1922-2008).
(SFC, 11/25/08, p.B4)
2001 Jul 8, In West Virginia
Gov. Bob Wise declared a state of emergency due to flooding in 8
(SFC, 7/9/01, p.A4)
2001 Oct 9, Dagmar (Virginia
Ruth Egnor), who parlayed her dumb blonde act into television fame
in the early 1950s, died at age 79 in West Virginia.
2001 In West Virginia DuPont’s
Spelter smelter closed. During more than 90 years of operation, the
smelter produced more than 4 billion pounds of slab zinc and 400
million pounds of zinc dust for use in rustproofing products, paint
pigments and battery anodes. By 1971, a toxic waste pile stood 100
feet tall and covered nearly half of the 112-acre site. Dust often
blew from the site into homes in nearby communities. In 2007 10
plaintiffs won a class-action lawsuit against DuPont over long-term
exposure to toxins from the site.
2002 Mar 20, Heavy storms and
severe flooding extended to West Virginia. Kentucky Gov. Paul Patton
declared 12 counties emergencies.
(SFC, 3/21/02, p.A3)
2002 May 3, Flash flooding in
Appalachia killed 4 people. Virginia, W. Va. and Kentucky were hit
at their intersection.
(SFC, 5/4/02, p.A3)
2002 Jul 23, William Pierce
(d.2002), white supremacist author of the 1978 “Turner Diaries,"
died in Hillsboro, West Virginia.
(WSJ, 7/24/02, p.A1)
2002 Dec 25, Andrew Whittaker
of Hurricane, W. Va., won the Powerball lottery ticket for $314.9
(SFC, 12/30/02, p.A2)
2003 Jan 1, More than two dozen
surgeons stopped working in West Virginia to protest the high cost
of malpractice insurance.
2003 Aug 15, West Virginia
officials suspected that a single sniper had killed 3 people in
recent days near Charleston.
(SFC, 8/16/03, p.A4)
2003 West Virginia Gov. Wise
admitted to an extramarital affair and planned not to seek
(USAT, 2/4/04, p.9A)
2004 Mar 22, West Virginia Gov.
Bob Wise wrote to Michael Jeffries, head of Abercrombie & Fitch,
to stop selling shirts with the logo “It’s All Relative in West
Virginia." Jeffries refused.
(Econ, 4/3/04, p.33)
2004 May 11, In West Virginia
it was reported that some 2,000 bats and 200 birds were likely
killed by whirling blades at a Tucker County wind farm.
(USAT, 5/11/04, p.10A)
2004 Nov 2, Joe Manchin (D) was
elected governor of West Virginia.
(SFC, 11/4/04, p.A18)
2004 Federal investigators
revisited Logan County, West Virginia. The sheriff and a city police
chief resigned and pleaded guilty to exchanging money for votes.
Three other people were convicted on related charges.
2005 Jul 4, President Bush,
during an Independence Day visit to Morgantown, W.Va., urged resolve
in the war in Iraq and said that "the proper response is not
retreat. It is courage."
2005 US Rep. Alan Mollohan,
D-W.Va., partnered with the head of a small defense contractor to
purchase a 300-acre farm on the Cheat River in West Virginia. The
contractor had won a $2.1 million contract from funds that the
congressman had added to a 2005 spending bill.
(WSJ, 4/25/06, p.A1)
2006 Jan 2, In Tallmansville,
West Virginia, an explosion at the Sago coal mine trapped 13 miners
more than a mile underground. After 1½ days 12 miners were found
dead. Randal McCloy (27) was the lone survivor.
2006 Jan 19, In West Virginia
19 miners escaped after a conveyor belt caught fire inside Aracoma
Coal's Alma No. 1 mine. The bodies of 2 others, who failed to
escape, were recovered Jan 21 and Gov. Joe Manchin said he planned
to introduce legislation dealing with rapid responses in
emergencies. In September 2 miners with safety responsibilities at
the mine committed suicide.
(AP, 1/22/06)(WSJ, 9/27/06, p.A1)
2006 Jan 21, Rescuers in West
Virginia found the bodies of two miners who'd disappeared after a
conveyor belt caught fire deep inside a coal mine.
2006 Jan 23, West Virginia
lawmakers passed a bill requiring mines to use electronic devices to
track trapped miners and to stockpile oxygen to help keep them
(SFC, 1/24/06, p.A4)
2006 Jan 25, Konami Digital
Entertainment reported that West Virginia school officials had
struck a partnership to use Konami’s Dance Dance Revolution video
game in all of its 765 public schools to attack a youth obesity
(SFC, 1/25/06, p.C1)
2006 Feb 1, In West Virginia
the deaths of 2 mine workers prompted Gov. Joe Manchin to call for
all coal companies in the state to halt production and perform
(SFC, 2/2/06, p.A5)
2006 Apr 7, Republican leaders
called on Rep. Alan Mollohan, D-W.Va., to step down from his ranking
post on the House ethics committee because of allegations that he
provided legislative earmarks benefiting companies and individuals
who helped make him a millionaire.
(SFC, 4/8/06, p.A4)
2007 Jan 13, In Huntington,
W.Va, 9 people were killed in an apartment building fire.
2007 Jan 13, In McDowell
County, W.Va., 2 miners were killed when a roof collapsed inside the
Brooks Run Mining Company's Cucumber coal mine.
2007 Jan 30, A propane tank
explosion leveled the Little General Store in Ghent, W.Va., killing
2007 Feb 7, Blowing snow and
intense cold was blamed for two more deaths, a total of 13
nationwide since the cold settled in, and kept schools closed for a
second and in some cases a third day across much of Ohio and West
2007 Mar 29, West Virginia beat
Clemson, 78-73, for its first NIT title in 65 years.
2007 Sep 8, Deputies in Big
Creek, West Virginia, found Megan Williams (20), who was sexually
abused, beaten and stabbed while held captive for at least a week.
She was repeatedly called a racial slur during the attacks in Big
Creek, about 35 miles southwest of Charleston. Six people, all
white, including a mother and son and a mother and daughter, were
arrested in connection with the alleged abduction of the black
woman. The suspects pleaded guilty and were sent to prison. In 2009
Williams, while living in Ohio, said she had lied about the abuse in
2007 in order to get back at her boyfriend, who had beaten her.
(AP, 9/11/07)(SFC, 9/11/07, p.A9)(SFC, 10/22/09,
2007 Dec 1, Roger Lee Dillon
(22) and his girlfriend, Nicole N. Boyd (24), were arrested in West
Virginia for the disappearance of $7 million in cash and checks from
an Ohio armored car company. The disappearance of the money was
discovered Nov 26.
2008 Jan 17, The US EPA said
Massey Energy, the country’s 4th largest coal producer, had agreed
to pay a $20 million fine as part of a settlement over allegations
that it routinely polluted hundreds of streams and waterways in West
Virginia and Kentucky.
(SFC, 1/18/08, p.A7)
2008 May 13, Hillary Clinton
won with 67 percent of the vote in the West Virginia primary.
2008 Nov 24, Cecil Underwood
(b.1922), former 2-time governor of West Virginia, died. He won his
first term in 1956 to become the state’s youngest governor. In 1996
he was elected again and became the state’s oldest governor.
(SFC, 11/25/08, p.B4)
2009 Jan 30, In West Virginia a
small plane crashed in snowy weather killing all six on board.
(SSFC, 2/1/09, p.A8)
2009 Apr 19, The annual Goldman
Environmental Prize was awarded to 7 activists from 6 nations.
Rizwana Hasan (40) of Bangladesh was awarded for exposing
environmental damage and exploitative practices used in the
country’s ship dismantling industry; Marc Ona Essangui (45) of
Gabon, the founder of Brainforest, was awarded for exposing secret
agreements for a Chinese mine project that threatened Gabon’s rain
forests; Yuyun Ismawati of Indonesia was awarded for designing
environmentally safe waste management systems for poor Indonesia n
communities; Olga Speranskaya (46) of Eco-Accord in Russia was
awarded for her efforts to control and store chemicals in Russia and
former Soviet republics; Wanze Eduards (52) and Hugo Jabini (44) of
Suriname, leaders of the maroon community, were awarded for their
efforts that led to a landmark ruling ending tribal exploitation by
the government. Maria Gunnoe (40) of West Virginia was awarded for
her fight against the practice of removing of the tops of mountains
and filing valleys below with tailings.
(SSFC, 4/19/09, p.A18)
2009 May 23, It was reported
that millions of bats in at least 7 US states (Connecticut, New
York, Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, Vermont, Virginia and West
Virginia) have died from white-nose syndrome, a fungal diseases. In
2011 the fungus Geomyces destructans was identified as the cause.
The fungus responsible was later identified as Pseudogymnoascus
(Econ, 5/23/09, p.36)(SFC, 10/28/11, p.A18)(SSFC,
2009 Sep, Huntington, West
Virginia, ranked as America’s fattest town, welcomed Jamie Oliver,
Britain’s famous Naked Chef, into its school district. His food
education program was turned into a reality television series called
2009 Nov 7, Ryan Diviney (19)
and a friend got into an argument with a group of men outside a
convenience store in Morgantown, West Virginia. In 2019 the former
West Virginia University student died, a decade after he was beaten
into a vegetative state.
2010 Jan 7, US scientists
released a paper saying that mountaintop coal mining is so
destructive that the government should stop issuing permits to do
it. Earlier in the week the EPA issued a new permit for the Hobet 45
mine in West Virginia.
(SFC, 1/8/10, p.A11)
2010 Apr 5, In West Virginia a
huge underground explosion blamed on methane gas killed 25 coal
miners at Massey Energy Co.'s sprawling Upper Big Branch mine, about
30 miles south of Charleston. It was the worst US mining disaster
since 1984. Four missing miners were found dead on April 10. In 2009
the US Mine Safety and health Administration (MHSA) had cited the
mine 515 times, often for problems with its ventilation and escape
route plans. On Feb 22, 2012, mine superintendent Gary May (43) was
charged with conspiracy to defraud the federal government. May
became the 2nd employee of Massey to face prosecution in the case.
Massey CEO Don Blankenship was convicted of a misdemeanor in 2015
and one year in prison. In 2020 a documentary play, "Coal Country"
by Jessica Blank and Erik Jensen, opened in Manhattan.
(AP, 4/6/10)(AP, 4/10/10)(Econ, 4/10/10,
p.32)(SFC, 2/23/12, p.A9)(Econ., 3/7/20, p.76)
2010 Apr 6, The US Court of
Appeals in Washington, DC, ruled that the FDIC has no authority to
regulate how Internet service providers manage traffic to their
(Econ, 4/10/10, p.35)
2010 Jun 28, Robert C. Byrd
(b.1917), the longest serving member of the US Senate, died. The
fiery orator and hard-charging power broker had steered billions of
federal dollars to his beloved West Virginia.
2011 Feb 16, In Elkins, West
Virginia, a deputy US marshal was killed an 2 others wounded when
drug suspect Charles E. Smith opened fire on them with a shotgun.
Smith was shot dead.
(SFC, 2/17/11, p.A6)
2011 West Virginia began field
trails on a vaccine to stop the spread of rabies.
Marshmallow-flavored packets of ONRAB, designed to be eaten by
raccoons, skunks and other furry creatures, were dropped from
(Econ, 9/14/13, p.32)
2012 Feb 24, In West Virginia a
judge approved a settlement in a class-action suit by residents of
Nitro who said Monsanto had polluted their area by burning dioxin
wastes left over from the production of Agent Orange.
(SFC, 2/25/12, p.A5)
2012 Mar 24, In West Virginia a
fire at a home in Charleston left 8 people dead including 6
children. Another child died due to burns the next day.
(SFC, 3/26/12, p.A4)c
2012 Nov 15, In West Virginia
Patriot Coal agreed to stop large-scale mountain-top removal mining
in central Appalachia under an agreement with 3 environmental
(SFC, 11/16/12, p.A6)
2012 Dec 19, Norwegian energy
company Statoil ASA said it has bought 70,000 acres of land rich in
gas and liquid gas in West Virginia and Ohio.
2013 Apr 3, In West Virginia
Mingo County Sheriff Eugene Crum, known for cracking down on the
drug trade in the local coal fields, was shot and killed. Suspect
Tennis Melvin Maynard (37) was hospitalized for gunshot wounds.
(SFC, 4/4/13, p.A6)
2013 Apr 22, A West Virginia
teenager (14) returned to class wearing the same National Rifle
Association T-shirt that led to his suspension and arrest after he
refused a teacher's order last week to remove it.
2013 Oct 9, In West Virginia
Thomas J. Piccard (55), an ex-police officer, was shot dead after he
peppered a courthouse in Wheeling with gunfire.
(SFC, 10/11/13, p.A4)
2014 Jan 9, In West Virginia a
spill of 4-Methylcyclohexane Methanol (MCHM), a chemical used in the
coal industry, occurred on the Elk River in Charleston, West
Virginia's capital and largest city. It took Freedom Industries, a
maker of specialty chemicals, 12 days to disclose the additional
presence of polyglycol ethers (PPH). Over the next year six top
company officials pleaded guilty to charges relating to the spill.
(Reuters, 1/10/14)(AP, 1/23/14)(SFC, 8/20/15,
2014 Jan 10, President Barack
Obama issued an emergency declaration for the state of West
Virginia, ordering federal aid in the aftermath of a chemical spill
that has left up to 300,000 people without tap water, closed schools
and businesses. Governor Earl Ray Tomblin declared a state of
emergency for nine counties.
2014 Jan 14, West Virginia
officials lifted a ban on drinking tap water for 35,000 customers
who had been affected by a Jan 9 chemical spill that left the
state's water supply nearly unusable for hundreds of thousands.
2014 Jan 15, West Virginia
officials said they have lifted a ban on drinking tap water for
two-thirds of the customers affected by a chemical spill, but warned
pregnant women to avoid it until the chemical is completely flushed
from the pipes.
2014 Jan 17, In West Virginia
Freedom Industries, the company blamed for the Jan 9 chemical spill
that left 300,000 people in the state without safe drinking water,
field for bankruptcy.
(SFC, 1/18/14, p.A4)
2014 Mar 5, Alpha Natural
Resources Inc. filed a proposed settlement in a West Virginia court
to pay a $27.5 million fine and spend $200 million to reduce illegal
toxic discharges across five Appalachian states.
(SFC, 3/6/14, p.A7)
2014 Nov 4, West Virginia
voters elected Saira Blair (18) to the state legislature making her
the youngest state lawmaker in the US.
(TIME, 11/17/14, p.39)
2014 Nov 13, Massey Energy CEO
Don Blankenship was indicted for conspiring to violate health and
safety standards in relation to the April 5, 2010, West Virginia
mine explosion that left 29 people dead.
(SFC, 11/14/14, p.A8)
2014 Dec 1, In West Virginia
Jody Lee Hunt (39) of Westover was found dead of a self-inflicted
gunshot wound. He was suspected in four recent killings in three
(SFC, 12/2/14, p.A6)
2015 Jan 1, In West Virginia
Eric Campbell (21) and Edward Campbell (54) of Texas were arrested
following a shooting that left two officers wounded. The bodies of
Jerome Faulkner (63) and his wife Dora (62) of North Carolina,
killed earlier in the day, were found in the bed of a pickup truck
driven by Edward Campbell.
(SFC, 1/3/15, p.A4)
2015 Feb 16, In West Virginia a
CSX train carrying crude oil derailed east of Charleston. At least
12-15 cars derailed and at least one tank car fell into the Kanahwa
(SFC, 2/17/15, p.A5)
2015 Dec 3, In West Virginia
Massey Energy CEO Don Blankenship was convicted on a misdemeanor
conspiracy charge in connection with the April 5, 2010, mine
disaster that killed 29 men.
(SFC, 12/5/15, p.A6)
2015 The population of West
Virginia was about 1.9 million.
(SFC, 6/22/15, p.33)
2016 Jun 23, West Virginia Gov.
Earl Ray Tomblin issued a state of emergency for 44 counties in his
state. By the next day the deluge of rain destroyed or damaged more
than 100 homes and killed at least 23 people.
(SFC, 6/25/16, p.A5)
2016 Jun 25, President Barack
Obama declared a major disaster in West Virginia.
2016 Nov 21, West Virginia
prosecutors charged Bruce Lamar Griggs of Ohio (22) with
distributing carfentanil, an elephant sedative, and fentanyl, an
opioid, in connection with 27 overdoses in Huntington.
(SFC, 11/22/16, p.A6)
2016 Nov 21, In West Virginia
James Means (15), a black teenager, was shot and killed by William
Pulliam (62), a white man, after they bumped into each other in
Charleston. Pulliam reportedly showed no remorse saying: “that’s
another piece of trash off the street".
(SFC, 11/25/16, p.A6)
2017 Feb 13, DuPont and
Chemours Co said they had agreed to pay about $671 million in cash
to settle several lawsuits related to the leak of a toxic chemical
in Parkersburg, West Virginia. Perfluorooctanoic acid, also known as
PFOA or C-8, used to make Teflon, has been linked to cancer and
2017 May 5, In West Virginia a
small cargo plane went off the runway and over a steep hillside at
Yaeger Airport in Charleston killing the pilot and co-pilot.
(SFC, 5/6/17, p.A5)
2017 Oct 25, West Virginia
inmate Todd Boyes (43) escaped from the South Central Regional Jail
in Charleston. His escape was not discovered until Oct 27. Boyes was
captured on Oct. 29 as he tried to enter Mexico from Laredo, Texas.
(SFC, 10/28/17, p.A4)(SFC, 10/30/17, p.A5)
2018 Feb 26, In West Virginia a
teacher’s walkout kept public schools closed for a third day across
the state. Gov. Jim Justice has signed pay raises of 2% next year
and 1% the following two years. Teacher pay in the state ranks
48th in the nation and teachers said the raises were too stingy.
(SFC, 2/26/18, p.A4)
2018 Feb 27, West Virginia
teachers reached a deal with Gov. Jim Justice to end a four-day
strike. Under the agreement teachers will receive 5% raises over a
year. The state Senate soon cut the raise to 4% and the strike
(SFC, 2/28/18, p.A5)(SFC, 3/6/18, p.A6)
2018 Mar 6, West Virginia’s
lawmakers ceded teachers a 5% pay raise ending a 9-day classroom
walkout. The pay hikes were extended to all state workers.
(SFC, 3/7/18, p.A4)
2018 Mar 25, In West Virginia
two firefighters were killed then their fire truck hit a rock wall
while responding to another deadly accident that left three people
(SFC, 3/26/18, p.A5)
2018 Aug 13, The West Virginia
House of Delegates impeached all four justices of the state Supreme
Court on charges of extravagant spending and other misconduct.
Democrats have described the whole process as a partisan power grab.
(http://tinyurl.com/y9alekkd)(SFC, 8/15/18, p.A5)
2018 Oct 30, Boston gangster
James "whitey" Bulger (89) was found dead in his cell one day after
being transferred to the West Virginia federal prison. He was
apparently beaten to death by at least two fellow inmates.
(SFC, 10/31/18, p.A5)
2018 Nov 29, West Virginia's
Roman Catholic archdiocese released the names of priests or deacons
who it said have been credibly accused of child sexual abuse since
1950. Eleven of the 18 are now deceased.
(SFC, 11/30/18, p.A4)
2019 Apr 29, Nearly 30
hospitals in West Virginia and 10 affiliates in Kentucky signed on
to a suit against some of the country's largest opioid companies,
saying they flooded Appalachia with powerful painkillers and forced
medical centers to deal with the financial repercussions.
(SFC, 5/1/19, p.A6)
2019 Jul 23, Pope Francis named
Baltimore Auxiliary Bishop Mark Brennan (72) to lead West Virginia's
Catholics following a scandal over the former bishop's sexual
harassment of adults and lavish spending of church money. He
replaced Bishop Michael Bransfield, who resigned in September after
a preliminary investigation into allegations of sexual and financial
2019 Jul 26, A US appeals court
invalidated a permit that deals with threatened species for the
600-mile Atlantic Coast Pipeline, designed to carry natural gas from
West Virginia into Virginia and North Carolina.
(SSFC, 7/28/19, p.A6)
2019 Aug 27, The US the
Veterans Affairs department said authorities are investigating
suspicious deaths at a veterans hospital in West Virginia, and a US
senator said the probe may involve up to 11 deaths.
2019 Oct 18, It was reported
that a farming business owned by West Virginia's billionaire Gov.
Jim Justice has received $125,000 in soybean and corn subsidies.
(SFC, 10/18/19, p.A6)
2019 Oct 24, In West Virginia
Clinton Terry Powers (70) and Randy Lee Garcia (67) died when their
single-engine aircraft crashed in Summit Point, an unincorporated
community near the state's border with Virginia.
2019 Dec 30, West Virginia Gov.
Jim Justice announced that more than 30 trainees, seen in a
photograph of correction officer cadets giving Nazi salutes, were
being fired, along with their instructor.
2020 Mar 17, West Virginia
reported its first confirmed coronavirus infection. There are now
known coronavirus cases in all 50 US states.
(NY Times, 3/18/20)
2020 Mar 22, In West Virginia
an infection cluster of coronavirus began with a single case at the
Morgantown nursing home. Eight staffers and 21 residents soon tested
positive for the virus.
(SFC, 3/28/20, p.A5)
2020 Mar 23, Governors of
Michigan, Massachusetts, West Virginia and Wisconsin implemented
stay-at-home policies. Worldwide cases of coronavirus top 372,000
and 16,000 dead.
2020 Apr 1, US federal
prosecutors said West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice's coal companies
have agreed to pay more than $5 million for thousands of mine safety
violations. Justice is reportedly the richest man in West Virginia.
(SFC, 4/2/20, p.A4)
2020 Jun 4, Powerball lottery
officials said a ticket worth more than $136 million has been sold
at a Go Mart in Hinton, West Virginia.
(SFC, 6/5/20, p.A5)
2020 Jun 13, West Virginia
reported a significant number of coronavirus outbreaks linked to
houses of worship. A total of five churches have seen outbreaks.
Pres. Donald Trump insisted in late May that churches reopen,
threatening governors who continued to impose restrictions on houses
(Yahoo News, 6/15/20)
2020 Jun 29, Some 205 people in
West Virginia were being asked to quarantine themselves and watch
for symptoms after a Planet Fitness member in Morgantown tested
positive for COVID-19. People who were there between 9 a.m. and 3
p.m. local time on June 24 were asked to stay home for 14 days since
(Good Morning America, 6/29/20)
2020 Jul 5, Dominion Energy and
Duke Energy, developers of the Atlantic Coast Pipeline, announced
that they are cancelling the multi-state natural gas project citing
delays and increasing cost uncertainties. The $8 billion project was
designed to cross Virginia and West Virginia into North
(SFC, 7/6/20, p.A4)
2020 Jul 14, Reta Mays (46), a
former Veterans Affairs nursing assistant in West Virginia, pleaded
guilty in federal court to killing seven hospital patients in
2017-2018 by injecting them with unnecessary insulin, and assaulting
another patient with intent to murder. In October Tentative
settlements were reached in several civil lawsuits filed on behalf
of the families of veterans who died at a West Virginia hospital.
(ABC News, 7/14/20)(AP, 10/10/20)
2020 Jul 20, West Virginia Gov.
Jim Justice said several new COVID-19 outbreaks have been identified
at churches in West Virginia's Grant, Logan, and Wood counties.
(Good Morning America, 7/21/20)
2020 Jul 31, West Virginia
confirmed 182 coronavirus cases, its highest daily count since the
(SFC, 8/1/20, p.A6)
2020 Aug 12, West Virginia Gov.
Jim Justice halted visits to nursing homes and said that virus
outbreaks were currently at 28 nursing homes statewide.
(SFC, 8/13/20, p.A6)
2020 Nov 23, It was reported
that Wales-based DST Innovations plans to build a new facility in
West Virginia that is expected to create 1,000 new manufacturing and
2020 Dec 8, In West Virginia a
fire that tore through a house near Williamsburg. Officials later
determined that Oreanna Myers (25), the mother of three children and
stepmother to two others, had shot the children, set the fire
intentionally and killed herself.
(Charlotte Observer, 1/22/21)
2020 Dec 13, In West Virginia
four family members, including a 3-year-old and a 12-year-old, were
found dead in a home in the Elkview community near Charleston. A
juvenile was charged with murder in connection with the case.
(Charlotte Observer, 12/14/20)
2020 Dec 27, The $2.3 trillion
coronavirus relief and spending bill passed by the federal
government brought a new national park, the New River Gorge, in
southern West Virginia. The roughly 72,000 acre preserve creates the
63rd national park in the United States and completes a
multigenerational effort, started in the mid-twentieth century, to
transform a tired industrial area into a national landmark.
(NY Times, 2/16/21)
2021 Feb 20, West Virginia Gov.
Jim Justice ordered the loosening of pandemic restrictions on
businesses after a decline in coronavirus deaths and cases.
(SSFC, 2/21/21, p.A14)
2021 Mar 22 West Virginia Gov.
Jim Justice announced that the state will immediately open
coronavirus vaccine eligibility to all residents 16 and older.
(SFC, 3/23/21, p.A4)
2021 May 22, It was reported
that West Virginia lost a higher percentage of its residents than
any other state in the nation. From 2010 to 2020, the population
dropped 3.2%, or about 59,000 people. Because of that, West Virginia
was one of only seven states to lose a congressional seat following
the 2020 census.