This week in history |
CHARLESTON – The following events occurred on these dates in West Virginia history. For more information, visit e-WV: The West Virginia Encyclopedia at www.wvencyclopedia.org.
July 4, 1882: Steamboats Scioto and John Lomas collide on the Ohio River on their way back from vacation excursions. The Scioto sank almost instantly and 70 people drowned.
July 4, 1918: Poet Muriel Miller Dressler was born in Kanawha County. His poem “Appalachia”, published in 1970, was his centerpiece.
July 4, 1928: West Virginia inaugurates Droop Mountain Battlefield State Park. Droop Mountain was the site of one of the most important Civil War battles on West Virginia soil.
July 4, 1938: Musician Bill Withers Jr. was born to an underage family of 13 children in Slab Fork, County Raleigh. In 1971, Withers released her debut album, Just As I Am, featuring her first Grammy-winning song, “Ain’t No Sunshine”. In 2015, he was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
July 5, 1896: designer Kendall Vintroux was born in Fraziers Bottom. He started his career with the Charleston Gazette when he submitted a cartoon on the first paved road in the town of Poca. Many of his drawings are now in the collection of the University of Charleston.
July 5, 1950: Private Kenneth Shadrick of Wyoming County is the first American serviceman killed in action during the Korean War.
July 6, 1806: Statesman Charles James Faulkner was born in Martinsburg. Faulkner served in the West Virginia Legislature, the United States Congress (1851-1859), and as United States Minister in France.
July 6, 1848: Historian Virgil A. Lewis was born in Mason County. In 1905 Governor Dawson appointed Lewis as the first director of the Bureau of Archives and History.
July 6, 1883: Judge ” RD ” Bailey was born in Baileysville, Wyoming County. Bailey rose to prominence as a trial judge in the Matewan massacre in 1921.
July 7, 1928: The Madonna of the Trail monument is inaugurated in Wheeling. It is one of 12 such statues erected along the national highway to honor American pioneer women.
July 8, 1894: birth of Walter Aegerter in Helvétie. An amateur photographer, Aegerter built both a studio and a darkroom on his farm and photographed portraits, families, celebrations and scenes from everyday life in the Swiss German colony. The glass plate negatives remain today in several archived collections.
July 8, 1924: Rock ‘n’ roll pioneer Johnnie Johnson was born in Fairmont. Johnson has collaborated with Chuck Berry on songs such as ” Roll Over, Beethoven ”. Berry’s hit ‘Johnny B. Goode’ was written as a tribute to Johnson.
July 8, 1961: The Sutton Dam is inaugurated by Governor Wally Barron. The Army Corps of Engineers operates the dam for the purposes of flood control, increasing low flows, and recreation.
July 9, 1942: An explosion at the Pursglove No. 2 mine at Scotts Run near Morgantown kills 20 men. This is one of three fatal mining accidents in an eight-month period.
July 9, 1989: Treasurer A. James Manchin resigns after being dismissed. With the stock markets falling in 1987, Manchin bore much of the blame when the state lost nearly $ 300 million in investments for which he was responsible.
July 10, 1769: birth of the doctor Jesse Bennet. He performed the first successful Caesarean section in America in 1794, on his own wife and without proper equipment and antiseptics. He then established a large practice in Mason County and served as an army surgeon during the War of 1812.
July 10, 1936: The temperature in Martinsburg reached 112 degrees. It equaled the record for the hottest temperature on record, which had been set on August 4, 1930 at Moorefield.
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.