National West Virginia Day on March 22nd recognizes the last state to be created from one of the original thirteen colonies.
When Virginia voted to secede from the Union, Western Virginians held firmly to their Union loyalties, created their own constitution and approached Congress for statehood. West Virginia, the 35th state, was admitted to the Union in 1863. It was the only state formed from another state and one of two created during the Civil War.
The original thirteen colonies created a total of eighteen states. Vermont once was a part of New York. Kentucky was also once included in the colony of Virginia. Tennessee was formerly part of North Carolina. Maine and Massachusetts were joined at one time.
At Harpers Ferry, the North meets South. From John Brown’s rebellion to Stonewall Jackson’s Confederate victory, Harpers Ferry is ripe with abolition movements and Civil War History.
The Mountain State
Also known as The Mountain State, West Virginia is dominated by three magnificent mountain ridges. The Allegheny, Appalachian and the Blue Ridge Mountains also provide the state with seventy-eight percent forest over its total terrain. Within the rugged mountains, massive amounts of bituminous coal stores have made West Virginia the largest producer of coal east of the Mississippi River.
Not only do the West Virginia hills create spectacular views and jobs, but their natural landscape lends to small, isolated populations with deep roots. Their culture and heritage can be heard infused in the thrum of a banjo or the lyrics of a gospel chorus. It also influences the warm earthy flavors of their cooking and inspires artisans to masterpieces.
Life moves at a slower pace in West Virginia. Time doesn’t exactly stand still, but if you’ll sit a while and listen to some of the folk stories, you might hear about John Henry and Big Ben Mountain. Someone could take you mushroom hunting, or they might fry up a few and share with you what they found that morning. Not very many are willing to give up their favorite hunting spots.
You could get invited to the largest festival in West Virginia, Bridge Day. It takes place at New River Gorge Bridge on the third Saturday of October. The bridge was completed on October 22, 1977, and it’s the longest steel arch bridge in the western hemisphere.
HOW TO OBSERVE #NationalWestVirginiaDay
Use #NationalWestVirginiaDay to share on social media.
If you and the kids are staying home, let them help plan a road trip for a future date. They can explore each state, make it fun with letting them help make a regional food. Play music unique to the region. Study famous people or even write, design, and perform a play for you.
They may be home but they can learn so much from these activities. Not just history and pop culture, math, sciences, reading, writing… There is so much contained in these activities they may not even realize it’s school work while having this much fun.
Mothman Statue – Point Pleasant
Berkeley Springs Castle– Berkeley Springs
George Washington’s Bathtub
– Berkeley Springs
Green Bank Observatory
Green Bank Observatory
– Green Bank
World’s Largest Teapot – Chester
Birthplace of the Steamboat
Waitman Thomas Willey – Senator – (October 11, 1811 – May 2, 1900)
Devil Anse Hatfield – Family Patriarch – (September 9, 1839 – January 6, 1921)
Anna Jarvis – Mother – (May 1, 1864 – November 24, 1948)
Dwight Morrow – Businessman – (January 11, 1873 – October 5, 1931)
Florence Blanchfield – Military Officer – (April 1, 1884 – May 12, 1971)
Pearl S. Buck – Author – (June 26, 1892 – March 6, 1973)
Katherine Johnson – Mathematician – (August 26, 1918 -)
Chuck Yeager – Military Officer – (February 13, 1923 -)
Gray Barker – Author – (May 2, 1925 – December 6, 1984)
John F. Nash – Mathematician – (June 13, 1928 – May 23, 2015)
John C. Norman – Surgeon – (May 11, 1929 – August 23, 2014)
Jerry West – Basketball Player – (May 28, 1938 -)
Henry Louis Gates – Historian – (September 16, 1950 -)
Remember you can take steps to safeguard your family. To one and all please stay safe, healthy, and hopefully this will not last much longer.