This Week in West Virginia 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.
Aug. 24, 1918: Louis Bennett Jr. died of injuries sustained when his plane was shot down by German anti-aircraft fire. Bennett, with 12 combat kills, was West Virginia's only World War I fighter ace.
August 25, 1903: Soprano Susanne Fisher was born in Sutton. Fisher was the first West Virginian to sing at the Metropolitan Opera.
Aug. 25, 1921: Miners began to arrive at Blair Mountain near the border of Logan and Boone counties. Sheriff Don Chafin, a hated symbol of anti-unionism in southern West Virginia, met them with a combined force of deputies, mine guards, civilian volunteers, and others.
Aug. 25, 2000: The Robert C. Byrd Green Bank Telescope was dedicated. It is the world's largest fully steerable radio telescope.
Aug. 26, 1863: Union and Confederate forces collided in what became known as the Battle of White Sulphur Springs. The next morning, with ammunition nearly depleted, Union Gen. William Averell decided to retreat to his base without accomplishing any of his objectives.
Aug. 27, 1902: Mary McClain was born Mary Smith in Huntington. McClain was a blues legend who performed at Carnegie Hall, the White House, the Apollo Theatre, and the Cotton Club.
Aug. 28, 1900: Harrison H. Ferrell Jr. was born in Chicago. Ferrell served West Virginia State College (now University) as professor and chairman of German from 1928-66, and as dean and in other capacities from 1930 until 1970. He was known as simply "the Dean" to generations of college students.
Aug. 29, 1952: A groundbreaking ceremony was held in Mercer County to mark the beginning of construction of the West Virginia Turnpike. Initially, most of the turnpike was just two lanes because officials believed revenues would be too low to finance four lanes.
Aug. 30, 1862: Confederate raiders under the command of General Albert Jenkins attacked and occupied Buckhannon, where they captured 20 prisoners and 5,000 stands of small arms.
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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