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.
JUNE 29, 1845: George Wesley Atkinson was born in Charleston. In 1896, Atkinson was elected governor in an upset victory over Cornelius C. Watts of Charleston which ended 26 years of Democratic rule.
JUNE 29, 1952: Writer Breece D'J Pancake was born in South Charleston and grew up in Milton, Cabell County. Many of Pancake's stories are set in Milton, fictionalized as "Rock Camp."
JUNE 30, 1914: Statewide prohibition became law years before it became law for the whole nation.
JUNE 30, 1929: The Wheeling Symphony Orchestra gave its first concert at Oglebay Park.
JULY 1, 1861: Francis Pierpont, governor of the Reorganized Government of Virginia, called the legislature into session. The general assembly re-established governmental functions, provided for the raising of military units, and elected new U.S. senators and representatives.
JULY 1, 1937: Watoga State Park was opened to the public on July 1, 1937. The park in Pocahontas County is the largest of the state parks and among the oldest.
JULY 1, 1971: Southern West Virginia Community College was formed by joining the Marshall University branch campuses at Logan and Williamson. In 1995, the name changed to Southern West Virginia Community and Technical College.
JULY 3, 1863: At Gettysburg, Union troopers in the 1st West Virginia Cavalry took part in a fruitless cavalry charge against Confederate infantrymen during the waning moments of that great battle.
JULY 4, 1882: The steamboats Scioto and John Lomas collided on the Ohio River as they were returning from holiday excursions. The Scioto sank almost instantly, and 70 people drowned.
JULY 4, 1918: Poet Muriel Miller Dressler was born in Kanawha County. Her poem "Appalachia," published in 1970, was her signature piece.
JULY 4, 1928: West Virginia dedicated Droop Mountain Battlefield State Park. Droop Mountain was the site of one of the most important Civil War battles fought on West Virginia soil.
JULY 4, 1938: Musician Bill Withers Jr., was born into a miner's family of 13 children in Slab Fork, Raleigh County. In 1971, Withers released his first album, Just As I Am, including his first Grammy-winning song, "Ain't No Sunshine."
JULY 5, 1950: Army Private Kenneth Shadrick of Wyoming County was the first U.S. serviceman killed in action in the Korean War.
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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