Charleston WV – 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. 9, 1916: A storm front from the northwest dumped nearly six inches of rain in less than five hours on the headwaters of Cabin Creek in eastern Kanawha County; 71 people died, and 900 homes were destroyed in the flood.
Aug. 9, 1954: Don Chafin died in Huntington. As sheriff of Logan County, Chafin was a bitter foe of union organizers and, with financial support from coal companies, used his many deputies to keep labor organizers out of the county.
Aug. 10, 1920: General Frank Kendall “Pete” Everest Jr. was born in Fairmont. Everest was a military aviator and a pioneer in U.S. rocket plane flying. In 1956, he flew the X-2 at Mach 3, exceeding 1,900 miles per hour and breaking the record of Chuck Yeager, his rival and close contemporary.
Aug. 11, 1844: Emanuel Willis Wilson was born at Harpers Ferry. He served as the seventh governor of West Virginia from 1885 to 1890.
Aug. 11, 1994: The Canaan Valley National Wildlife Refuge became the 500th refuge in the National Wildlife Refuge system. It is one of the largest and most diverse freshwater wetland areas in central and southern Appalachia.
Aug. 12, 1937: Author Walter Dean Myers was born in Martinsburg. In January 2012, Myers was named the National Ambassador for Young People’s Literature by the Library of Congress. He died in 2014.
Aug. 12, 1997: The Wheeling-Pittsburgh Steel strike ended when 79 percent of the workers approved a new contract. The 10-month walkout was the longest steel manufacturing strike on record when it concluded.
Aug. 13, 1900: Railroad mogul and founder of Huntington, Collis Potter Huntington, died. Raised in poverty, Huntington went west when gold was discovered in California. There he became rich, not from mining but by selling supplies to miners.
Aug. 13, 2018: The House of Delegates adopted articles of impeachment against all sitting justices of the Supreme Court of Appeals.
Aug. 14, 1894: Entertainer Ada Beatrice Queen Victoria Louise Virginia “Bricktop” Smith was born at Alderson. She performed in Paris in the 1920s and opened her own club, called the Music Box, in 1926.
Aug. 14, 1943: Astronaut Jon Andrew McBride was born in Charleston. McBride became an astronaut in 1979 and piloted the space shuttle Challenger on an eight-day mission in 1984.
Aug. 15, 1867: The cornerstone for the first building of the Fairmont Branch Normal School was laid at the corner of Adams and Quincy streets in the heart of town. The first class of students occupied the new building in April 1869. That school became Fairmont State University.
Aug. 15, 1906: The Niagara Movement began a five-day meeting at Storer College in Harpers Ferry. The organization was founded in 1905 by a group of Black intellectuals, including W. E. B. Du Bois.
Aug. 15, 1946: The first FM radio station in the state, WCFC of Beckley, began regular programming.