Chris Sarandon

This Week in West Virginia History: July 24-30

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.

July 24, 1919: Sam Taylor of Mercer County took the oath to become a member of the West Virginia State Police, the first person to do so. During his tenure with the State Police, Taylor tracked moonshiners and bootleggers, and helped to set up new state police detachments.

July 24, 1942: Actor Chris Sarandon was born in Beckley. A film, stage and television performer, some of his credits include The Nightmare Before Christmas, The Princess Bride and an Oscar nomination for Dog Day Afternoon.

July 24, 1983: Kansas City Royals player and Glen Dale native George Brett was involved in the “Pine-Tar Bat Incident.” After hitting a game-winning home run against the New York Yankees, the umpires ruled that there was too much pine tar on Brett’s bat and called him out. The ensuing melee at home plate is classic baseball lore.

July 25, 1864: A colony of eight Catholic nuns set out from Washington, D.C., and Frederick, Maryland, for Parkersburg. The sisters, who created a monastery there and named it DeSales Heights, ran a boarding school for young women for 75 years.

July 26, 1942: Camp Washington-Carver was dedicated and opened to the public. The camp, located at Clifftop, Fayette County, was the first 4-H camp for African-Americans in the country. The camp’s great chestnut lodge is the largest log structure in West Virginia.

July 27, 1909: Coach ‘‘Dyke’’ Raese was born in Davis. He directed West Virginia University to its first major sports national championship, winning the 1942 National Invitation Tournament in basketball.

July 28, 1915: Frankie Yankovic was born in Davis, Tucker County. Yankovic did more to popularize polka music than any other performer.

July 29, 1873: Malcolm Malachi “Mack” Day was born. As sheriff of McDowell County, he claimed that God had called him to enforce Prohibition, even arresting an uncle and his own son.

July 29-31, 1915: Camp Good Luck, believed to be the world’s first 4-H club encampment, was held at Elkwater in southern Randolph County.

July 29, 1918: Novelist Mary Lee Settle was born in Charleston. Her literary reputation rests on the “Beulah Quintet,” a sequence of five historical novels spanning four centuries.

July 30, 1973: The Frederick Hotel in downtown Huntington closed to transient trade. After it was built in 1905, it was touted as the most elegant hotel between Pittsburgh and Cincinnati.

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.

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