Fourth and fifth grade honor students from the Matilda Harris Elementary School pose for a photograph on deck with gold crew members of the nuclear-powered strategic missile submarine West Virginia (SSBN-736), 18 Sep 1991. The students are being treated to an hour-long tour of the vessel.
Fourth and fifth grade honor students from the Matilda Harris Elementary School pose for a photograph on deck with gold crew members of the nuclear-powered strategic missile submarine West Virginia (SSBN-736), 18 Sep 1991. The students are being treated to an hour-long tour of the vessel.

Charleston, W.Va. – 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.

Oct. 20, 1990: The current USS West Virginia was commissioned. The USS West Virginia is an Ohio Class Trident ballistic missile submarine that is 560 feet long, 42 feet wide, and displaces 18,750 tons when submerged.

Oct. 21, 1865: Bishop Matthew Wesley Clair Sr. was born in Union. He was one of the first African-Americans elected as a bishop in the predominantly white Methodist Episcopal Church.

Oct. 21, 1918: Hulett Smith was born in Beckley. In the 1964 gubernatorial primary Smith carried 53 of the state’s 55 counties, receiving more votes than his three opponents combined.

Oct. 22, 1693: Lord Thomas Fairfax was born in Kent, England. He inherited five million acres in Virginia, land that included much of the present Eastern Panhandle of West Virginia.

Oct. 22, 1734: Frontiersman Daniel Boone was born in Pennsylvania. In 1788, Boone and his family settled near the mouth of the Kanawha River. He represented Kanawha County in the Virginia General Assembly in 1791.

Oct. 22, 1821: Collis P. Huntington was born in Harwinton, Connecticut. In 1869,  Huntington purchased the Chesapeake & Ohio Railway and set about extending its tracks from Richmond across southern West Virginia to the Ohio River. There, in 1871, he established a new city bearing his name.

Oct. 22, 1977: Construction of the New River Gorge Bridge was completed after three years of work. The New River Gorge Bridge in Fayette County is one of West Virginia’s best-known landmarks. It is the third-highest bridge in the United States.

Oct. 23, 1943: German prisoners arrived at Camp Ashford in White Sulphur Springs. Built by the U.S. War Department, Camp Ashford was one of two camps in West Virginia that housed prisoners of war during World War II.

Oct. 24, 1929: Composer George Crumb was born in Charleston. In 1968, Crumb was awarded the Pulitzer Prize for “Echoes of Time and the River: Four Processionals for Orchestra.”

Oct. 25, 1918: Athlete Marshall ‘‘Biggie’’ Goldberg was born in Elkins. He led the Chicago Cardinals to the NFL championship in 1947, and was elected to the NFL Hall of Fame in 1958.

Oct. 25, 1951: Writer Denise Giardina was born in Bluefield and raised in neighboring McDowell County. She is best known as a novelist and also has a long history of community activism, including a run for governor.

Oct. 26, 1801: Jefferson County was established from a portion of Berkeley County by the Virginia General Assembly and named for Thomas Jefferson.

Oct. 26, 1934: Athlete Rodney Clark ‘‘Hot Rod’’ Hundley was born in Charleston. Hundley earned first team All-American recognition his senior year at West Virginia University. He averaged 24.5 points per game and scored 2,180 points over his college career, ranking second in WVU history.

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.