The following events happened on these dates in West Virginia history. To read more, go toe-WV: The West Virginia Encyclopedia at www.wvencyclopedia.org.
May 17, 1854: A violent windstorm swept up the Ohio River and severely damaged the Wheeling Suspension Bridge.
May 17, 1862: The Battle of Pigeon Roost took place in Princeton during the Civil War. Union soldiers were noisily approaching Princeton from the southeast, unaware that the Confederates were lying in ambush. The attack left an estimated 18 federal troops killed and 38 wounded.
May 18, 2012: Ice Mountain in Hampshire County was named a National Natural Landmark by the U.S. Department of the Interior at a ceremony to mark the 50th anniversary of the program.
May 19, 1920: Ten people were killed in a shootout sometimes referred to as the Matewan Massacre. Baldwin-Felts detectives came to Matewan to evict striking miners and their families, but Police Chief Sid Hatfield tried to stop the evictions as being unauthorized by law.
May 20, 1949: Nick Joe Rahall II was born in Beckley. When Rahall first entered Congress in 1977, he was its youngest member.
May 21, 1853: William M. O. Dawson was born in Bloomington, Maryland, just across the Potomac River from what is now the Eastern Panhandle of West Virginia. In 1905, he became the 12th governor of West Virginia.
May 22, 1947: Supreme Court Justice Margaret “Peggy” Workman was born in Charleston. In the election of November 1988, she became the first woman on the West Virginia Supreme Court of Appeals and the first woman to be elected to statewide office in West Virginia.
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. Declared by the legislature a state “natural resource,” Thorn attended West Virginia University, where he was an All-American guard. Thorn had a distinguished NBA career as a player and executive, which included drafting Michael Jordan.
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