Sunday Gazette-Mail from Charleston, West Virginia on June 20, 1976 · Page 75
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June 20, 1976

Sunday Gazette-Mail from Charleston, West Virginia · Page 75

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Charleston, West Virginia
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Sunday, June 20, 1976
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Page 75
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2G --June20,1976 Sundavfaixette-MaU | 1 Charleston, West Virginia mmmmmmmtm^^^mmmmfmmmmmmmmtmm WE'VE EARNED OUR RIGHTS CENTENNIAL State Was Young When Nation Marked First Hundred Years By Ann Johnston Haas ' le nation's Centennial year received a \ 'arm welcome in young West Virginia as imperatives in Wheeling, the state's ma- ir city, soared into the 60s that Jan. 1, 76.. "Uncle Tom's Cabin" was playing at the Opera House. Congress was discussing the post-Civil War question of amnesty, and the Pittsburgh Leader was causing a stir by publishing on Sunday. While the 100-year-old country had earned its maturity, aging quickly during bitter North-South fighting, West Virginia was an adolescent in 1876. It even lacked a permanent capital. As the seat of government chugged back and forth between Charleston and Wheel, ing by steamer, West Virginia's "floating capital" became a joke to outsiders. The best and the worst events of the state's young life probably occurred in 1876. It's first major political scandal--impeachment of the state treasurer--and an impressive display at the U. S. Centennial 'West Virginia 1876: An Adolescent State' The story of West Virginia at the nation's Centennial is one of a young state with growing pains. The events, conditions and atmosphere of West Virginia's 13th year are chronicled in a series written by Ann Johnston Haas of the Daily Mail staff. The first articles appear in this Bicentennial edition. Exhibit in Philadelphia were events of the state's 13th year. Although legislation providing for a new state called Kanawha originated in 1861, it was June 20, 1863 when West Virginia became the 35th state of the union. The vote was 20,622 for and 440 against statehood. The state's name was the result of a Facts, Firsts About State in History Most people have heard that Kanawha County is West Virginia's most populous county and Huntington is its most populous city. But, do they know these other West Virginia facts and firsts: -The last battle of the Revolution was fought at Fort Henry, Wheeling, Sept. 11, 1782. ^-Delegates from western Virginia (now West Virginia) provided the margin of votes for Virginia to ratify the U.S. Constitution on June 25, 1788. ··Bailey Brown, the first Union soldier to die in the Civil War, was killed on May 22, 1861 at Fetterman, Taylor County. »-The first land battle of the Civil War was fought at Phillippi on June 3, 1861. -The first oil well in the state was completed at Burning Springs, Wirt County, in 1859. · »-The first telephone in West Virginia was installed on May 15, 1880. »-Rehobeth church near Union, erected in July 1786, is the oldest Methodist church west of the Alleghenies. *-The state legislature adopted the rhododendron as the state flower in January 1903. »-The first newspaper published in West Virginia was the Potomac-Guardian and Berkeley Advertiser, established in Shepherdstown in 1883. *The world's largest prehistoric manmade burial ground is located at Moundsville. It is 70 feet high and 900 feet in circumference at the base. It was opened in March 1838. ·-Col. Charles E. Yeager of Hamlin made the first faster-than-sound airplane flight in the Bell X-l in October 1947. ··"The West Virginia Hills," the accepted state song, was written by Mrs. E. A. King and published in 1885. ·-West Virginia's state Capitol was completed in 1932 at a cost of $10 million. The architect was Cass Gilbert of New York. vote pitting "Kanawha" against West Virginia, Western Virginia, Allegheny and Augusta. A change was sought because some thought Kanawha too difficult to spell and, besides, they argued, the area already had a county and a river by that name. Although West Virginia was born during Civil War turmoil, the new state's residents continued to display a preponderance of southern attitudes. The first governor, Arthur Boreman, cited Marion and Harrison counties among the "worst Confederate sympathizers." A sarcastic resolution was introduced in the West Virginia Legislature to change the names of Grant and Lincoln counties to Davis and Lee, respectively. Hostilities were not shallow. The situation led to officers of state and local gov- ernments being required to take an oath of allegiance to the government of the United States and West Virginia. Later the oath was extended to include attorneys, teachers and school trustees. However, all such oaths were repealed in 1872. At its admission into the Union, West Virginia's population was 351,000 persons, including 13,000 Negro slaves. By the mid- 18705 the population was approximately 450,000. Less than 20,000 were foreign- born--mostly German, Swiss and Irish-and less than 20,000 were "persons of color." as histories referred to freed black slaves. Industry was not a major part of the state's economy in 1876 but the importance of coal, gas and salt resources were starting to be recognized. During its first 13 years, West Virginia opened a penitentiary at Moundsville (1867), and an institution for deaf, blind and dumb children at Romney. By 1876, nearly 100 children were at the school, opened in 1870. West Virginia took over from Virginia a hospital for the insane at Weston and enlarged it. By the state's 13th year 40 patients were there. Adolescent West Virginia was trying to establish a complete public school program as well as professional training colleges in the 1870s. Railroads were opening the state's interior, giving central counties and towns more prominence. Centennial exhibits, public scandal, inroads into the state's interior--all part of an important year for an adolescent state: West Virginia 1876. From taxation without representation . . . to a nation governed by its people. We have come a long way since the historical night of the Boston Tea Party. Today we cast a secret ballot at election time . . .and vote for or against issues that are important to us as American citizens. West Virginia State College has come a long way, too. since its inception in 1891. A school building, barn, and black smith shop, were the humble beginnings of what is now the largest educational complex in the Kanawha Valley. Today West Virginia State College serves nearly 4,000 students with a high quality--low cost education and has the distinction of having the longest continuing accreditation in the North Central Association of all State Col- · leges and universities in West Virginia. West Virginia State College INSTITUTE, W. VA. 25112 PHONE (304) 766-3too OFFICE OF ADMISSIONS 766-3221 CONTINUING EDUCATION 766-3251 Use Want Ads. Dial 348-4848 r ve, u0u,jaa/t£,. ' . Ulijl tram IK» K HO.OOO Dunbor Shopping Center Dunbor Betkley Logon e New Mortinsville firft Miillll Proclaim Liberty Throughout The Land" , These words etched on the Liberty Bell spoke of freedom 200 years ago. This freedom ive must remember to honor and cherish always, especially during our 200th Anniversary of this great nation! west Virginia BUILDING* LOAN association f/atUi -Srccount Save either w a y . . . "Savings Account" or "Notice Account" and watch your money grow! PUT YOUR MONEY TO WORK FOR YOU West Virginia BUILDING £ LOAN association ati 450 QUARRIER STREET CHARLESTON, W.VA. 25301

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