This Week in West Virginia History: June 4-10

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

June 4, 1975: Clark Kessinger died in St. Albans, Kanawha County. Kessinger was among the most prolific and influential fiddlers of the 20th century, and one of West Virginia’s most important traditional musicians.

June 5, 1859: A great frost killed crops in the Preston County fields. The fields were replanted with hardy buckwheat, which was successful and became a staple crop, celebrated in the annual Buckwheat Festival in Kingwood.

June 6, 1919: Historian Otis Rice was born in Hugheston, Kanawha County. Rice was named West Virginia’s first Historian Laureate in 2003.

June 6, 1989: During the Pittston strike, about  60 miners embarked on a four-day march from Logan County to Charleston, retracing the path of the 1921 Armed March on Logan.

June 7, 1899: Congresswoman Elizabeth Kee was born in Radford, Virginia. She became West Virginia’s first female member of Congress in 1951.

June 7, 1926: An explosion at a sand mining operation in Morgan County killed six men. Their deaths were the inspiration for the ballad “The Miner’s Doom.”

June 8, 1893: Entrepreneur Donald F. Duncan was born in Ohio but grew up in Huntington. Duncan founded the Duncan Yo-Yo Company and the Duncan Parking Meter Corporation. 

June 9, 1927: Karl Dewey Myers was named the state’s first poet laureate by Governor Howard Mason Gore. Myers held the post for 10 years.

June 9, 1957: T. D. Jakes was born in South Charleston. As a boy, he preached to imaginary congregations and carried a Bible to school, which earned him the nickname “Bible Boy.” He is the senior pastor at the Potter’s House, a nondenominational church in Dallas, Texas.

June 10, 1775: The Berkeley County Riflemen were organized by Capt. Hugh Stephenson of Shepherdstown, in response to a call for Revolutionary War soldiers by Gen. George Washington.

June 10, 1921: Labor leader Daniel Vincent Maroney was born on Cabin Creek, Kanawha County. Maroney served as international president of the Amalgamated Transit Union from 1973 to 1981.

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