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.
April 16, 1829: Jacob Beeson Jackson was born in Parkersburg. In 1881, he became West Virginia’s sixth governor.
April 16, 1894: Leonard Riggleman was born in a Randolph County cabin. As president of Morris Harvey College (now University of Charleston), he moved the school to Charleston in 1935 and led the college to accreditation in 1958.
April 16, 1923: Arch Moore was born at Moundsville. He was the first governor in 100 years to serve a second term, and he returned later for a third.
April 17, 1827: Outdoorsman William “Squirrelly Bill” Carpenter was born on the Elk River near the mouth of Laurel Creek. Carpenter guided prominent West Virginians, including Gov. MacCorkle, through the wonders of the Elk Valley.
April 17, 1871: West Virginians approved the Flick Amendment, which allowed former Confederates to vote. The amendment also applied to people who had been formerly enslaved, but they had been enfranchised already by the 15th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.
April 18, 1861: At the beginning of the Civil War, retreating U.S. troops set fire to the national armory and arsenal at Harpers Ferry to keep them out of Confederate hands. However, Virginia militia extinguished the flames and sent much of the weapon-making equipment south before destroying the site in June 1861.
April 18, 1912: The Paint Creek-Cabin Creek Strike of 1912–13 began when coal operators rejected the demands of their unionized workers for a wage increase. The strike that followed was one of the most dramatic and bloody conflicts in the early 20th century labor struggles in southern West Virginia known as the Mine Wars.
April 19, 1896: Writer Melville Davisson Post was born in Harrison County. His best-known works are the Randolph Mason series, published in three volumes, and the more successful collection, Uncle Abner: Master of Mysteries.
April 19, 1902: Author Jean Lee Latham was born in Buckhannon. She wrote a number of children’s books, including Carry On, Mr. Bowditch, which won the 1956 Newberry Award.
April 20, 1823: General Jesse Lee Reno was born in Wheeling. He graduated from West Point in 1846, with another cadet from western Virginia, Thomas J. Jackson, later known as “Stonewall.” Reno was the highest-ranking officer from present West Virginia killed in the Civil War.
April 20, 1863: President Lincoln issued a proclamation that in 60 days, West Virginia would become a state. This occasion was marked 100 years later during the state’s Centennial celebration with a special ceremonial session of the West Virginia legislature on April 20, 1963, in Wheeling.
April 20, 1909: Fiddler Melvin Wine was born near Burnsville. A favorite of old-time music enthusiasts nationally, he was chosen as a National Heritage Fellow in 1991 by the National Endowment for the Arts, the highest recognition given to a folk artist in the United States.
April 20, 1939: Poet Irene McKinney was born in Belington, Barbour County. Governor Gaston Caperton appointed her state poet laureate in 1993, and she served in that capacity until her death in 2012.
April 21, 1908: Traditional musician Phoeba Cottrell Parsons was born in Calhoun County. Parsons’s traditional clawhammer banjo style, unaccompanied ballad singing, riddles and storytelling have influenced countless numbers of younger musicians.
April 21, 1936: President Franklin Roosevelt established the Jefferson National Forest. The West Virginia portion of this forest includes 18,530 acres in Monroe County.
April 22, 1908: Marshall “Little Sleepy” Glenn was born in Elkins. Glenn coached basketball at West Virginia University from 1934 to 1938 and football from 1937 to 1940. He was inducted into the WVU Sports Hall of Fame in 1992.
April 22, 2003: Activist Judy Bonds, a Raleigh County native, received the Goldman Environmental Prize for her fight against mountaintop removal mining. Her efforts inspired thousands and turned a local issue in West Virginia into a national cause.