Charleston – The following events happened on these dates in West Virginia history. To read more about West Virginia’s people, places, history, arts, science and culture, go to e-WV: The West Virginia Encyclopedia at www.wvencyclopedia.org.
May 23, 1862: In what became known as the Battle of Lewisburg, Union troops repelled a Confederate advance, killing 38 and wounding 66, while losing only 13 men.
May 23, 1941: Rod Thorn was born in Princeton. Thorn attended West Virginia University, where he was an All-American guard. Thorn has had an extended and distinguished career in the National Basketball Association.
May 24, 1896: Confederate General John Echols died in Staunton, Virginia. Echols He served in the Kanawha Valley in 1862 and commanded Confederate forces at their defeat at the Battle of Droop Mountain in November 1863.
May 26, 1895; Athlete ‘‘Rat’’ Rodgers was born in Bethany. He was among the greatest Mountaineer football players, lettering in 1915–17 and 1919.
May 27, 1912: Legendary golfer Sammy Snead was born at Ashwood, Virginia. When The Greenbrier reopened as a resort after World War II, Snead returned as the golf pro.
May 27, 1922: Labor leader Bill Blizzard was acquitted of treason charges. He had been charged following the Battle of Blair Mountain in 1921.
May 28, 1863: Arthur Boreman was elected as the first governor of the new state of West Virginia.
May 28, 1938: Basketball player Jerry West was born on Cabin Creek, Kanawha County. West led East Bank High School to the state basketball championship in 1956 and then rewrote the record book at West Virginia University.
May 28, 1982: The Kelly Axe works closed after 80 years. The Kelly Axe and Tool Company in Charleston was once the largest ax manufacturer in the world.
May 28, 1998: The Robert C. Byrd United States Courthouse in downtown Charleston was dedicated. The 440,000-square-foot building incorporated Neoclassic, Egyptian, and Art Deco designs.
May 29, 1778: Dick Pointer, a black slave, helped save about 60 settlers who were attacked by Indians at Fort Donnally near Lewisburg.
May 29, 1961: Elderson Muncie of Bradshaw, McDowell County, an unemployed miner and father of 15 children, received the first food stamps in the nation.
e-WV: The West Virginia Encyclopedia, developed by the West Virginia Humanities Council, is an interactive reference site showcasing West Virginia’s history, culture, and people. e-WV is free of charge and available to anyone with access to a computer and Internet connection. 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.