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.
June 20, 1861: Francis Pierpont was unanimously elected as governor of the unionist Reorganized State of Virginia, which sat at Wheeling until West Virginia entered the Union two years later.
June 20, 1863: West Virginia became the 35th state. Arthur Boreman was the state’s first governor.
June 20, 1932: The West Virginia capitol was officially dedicated. Construction had begun in 1924.
June 23, 1944: A tornado struck Shinnston and the surrounding area, killing 103 people and injuring hundreds more.
June 25, 1811: Bridge builder Lemuel Chenoweth was born near Beverly, Randolph County. His many bridges also included the earliest covered bridge at Beverly and the famous Philippi covered bridge.
June 26, 1887: Sheriff Don Chafin was born in Logan County. Chafin was a bitter foe of union organizers and, with financial support from coal companies, used his many deputies to keep labor organizers out of Logan County.
June 26, 1892: Pearl Buck was born in Hillsboro in the home of her maternal grandparents. She received the Nobel Prize for Literature for “The Good Earth.”
June 26, 1936: Athlete Harold Everett ‘‘Hal’’ Greer was born in Huntington. Greer was the first African-American athlete to play at Marshall College (now University). During his three-year college career, Greer scored 1,377 points and averaged 19.4 points per game.
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.