10 Interesting West Virginia Facts
West Virginia facts became a state June 20, 1863, in the midst of the Civil War. West Virginia is the only state in the Union to have acquired its sovereignty by proclamation by the President of the United States. Statehood was proclaimed by President Abraham Lincoln. Here are the 10 interesting West Virginia facts.
1. West Virginia facts is the only state created by carving out territory from another state, without that state’s permission.
2. On October 24, 1861, in a public referendum, voters overwhelmingly supported the creation of the new state, to be called Kanawha. The following month, a convention at Wheeling changed the name to West Virginia. A hundred years later, a Beckley newspaper suggested the name of the state be changed to either Kanawha or Lincoln because so many people believed West Virginia was the western part of Virginia, and not a separate state.
3. West Virginia’s capital was originally Wheeling. This West Virginia facts was changed to Charleston in 1870, back to Wheeling in 1875, and back to Charleston in 1885.
4. Both candidates for Governor in the 1888 election—Nathan Goff Jr. and Aretas Fleming—claimed to have won, and both were sworn in as Governor on March 4, 1889. Goff appeared to have won the election by 130 votes, but Fleming disputed the vote count and asked the Legislature to declare him the winner. The President of the Senate, Robert S. Carr, also claimed the governorship.
5. The residents of Mullens in Wyoming County voted to retain the spelling of the name of their town, rather than switch to the spelling used by A. J. Mullins, for whom the town was named.
6. West Virginia facts, from 1849 until 1851, the 1010-foot Wheeling Bridge was the longest bridge in the world. It was blown down by high winds in 1854. The New River Gorge Bridge near Fayetteville, completed in 1977, was the longest steel-arch bridge in the world until 2003, when a longer bridge was completed in China.
7. In 1838 excavations began at the Grave Creek Mound, one of the largest conical mounds in the U. S. Among the relics recovered from two burial chambers is the famous Grave Creek Stone, on which are markings that scientists and students of ancient languages have never been able to explain. No other writing like it has ever been found. It has been suggested the stone may be a hoax.
8. West Virginia facts, the first state sales tax in the United States went into effect in West Virginia on July 1, 1921. The tax was levied against the gross income of banks, street railroads, telephones, telegraph, express, electric light and power retailers, timber, oil, coal, natural gas, and other minerals.
9. The first union soldier killed by enemy action in the Civil War was Bailey Thornberry Brown. On May 22, 1861, while engaged in obtaining recruits, he was fired upon by Confederate pickets at Fetterman, near Grafton. He was given a military funeral. The first significant land battle between Union and Confederate Armies was the Battle of Philippi, on June 3, 1861.
10. Memorial Tunnel was the first tunnel in the U. S. to be monitored by television. West Virginia facts, the tunnel opened November 8, 1954, and was closed in 1987.