THIS WEEK IN W.VA. HISTORY
The following events happened on these dates in West Virginia history. To read more, go to e-WV: The West Virginia Encyclopedia at www.wvencyclopedia.org.
APRIL 20, 1823: General Jesse Lee Reno was born in Wheeling. He graduated from the U.S. Military Academy at West Point in 1846, eighth in a class that included another cadet from western Virginia, Thomas J. Jackson, later known as Stonewall.
APRIL 20, 1863: President Abraham Lincoln issued a proclamation that in 60 days West Virginia would become a state. This occasion was marked 100 years later during the state's centennial celebration with a special ceremonial session of the West Virginia legislature on April 20, 1963, in Wheeling.
APRIL 20, 1939: Poet Irene McKinney was born in Belington, Barbour County. Gov. Gaston Caperton appointed her state poet laureate in 1993.
APRIL 21, 1936: President Franklin Roosevelt established the Jefferson National Forest. The West Virginia portion of this forest includes 18,530 acres in Monroe County.
APRIL 22, 1908: Marshall "Little Sleepy" Glenn was born in Elkins. Glenn coached basketball at West Virginia University from 1934 to 1938 and football from 1937 to 1940. He was inducted into the WVU Sports Hall of Fame in 1992.
APRIL 23, 1857: Andrew Summers Rowan was born in Gap Mills, Monroe County. Rowan, a military officer, was chosen as the messenger when President William McKinley wanted to send a message to Cuban General Calixto Garcia. The 1899 pamphlet, A Message to Garcia, made the incident famous.
APRIL 24, 1865: The McNeill's Rangers surrendered to Union troops at New Creek (now Keyser). The Confederate guerrilla force probably never numbered more than 100 men at any time, but they managed to do damage to Union operations.
APRIL 25, 1863: About 1,500 Confederate soldiers under Gen. William "Grumble" Jones, advanced through Greenland Gap, a deep pass through New Creek Mountain in Grant County. The Confederates encountered 87 Union soldiers who held off several assaults before finally surrendering.
APRIL 25, 1923: Union leader Arnold Ray Miller was born at Leewood on Cabin Creek in Kanawha County. In December 1972, he defeated Tony Boyle to become president of the United Mine Workers.
APRIL 26, 1816: General Alexander Welch Reynolds was born in Lewisburg. He served in the armies of the United States and the Confederacy. After the war, Reynolds accepted a commission as a colonel in the forces of the ruler of Egypt, and served in various posts there until his death in 1876.
e-WV: The West Virginia Encyclopedia is a project of the West Virginia Humanities Council. For more information, contact the West Virginia Humanities Council, 1310 Kanawha Blvd. E., Charleston, WV 25301; 304-346-8500; or visit e-WV at www.wvencyclopedia.org.
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