Westover, PA may be a small town, but it has seen its fair share of historical events. Here are seven of the most significant moments in history that have taken place in and around Westover.
1. Johnstown Flood of 1889
One of the most devastating events in Pennsylvania history, the Johnstown Flood occurred on May 31, 1889, when a dam broke above the city of Johnstown, sending a wall of water thundering down the valley. The flood destroyed several towns, including South Fork, located just a few miles east of Westover. Over 2,200 people lost their lives in the disaster.
2. The Coal Strike of 1922
In the early 1900s, coal mining was a major industry in Pennsylvania. In 1922, miners went on strike for better working conditions and higher wages. The strike lasted for nearly six months and affected the entire region, including the coal mines located near Westover.
3. The Flight 93 Memorial
Less than an hour's drive from Westover lies the Flight 93 National Memorial, which commemorates the events of September 11, 2001. United Airlines Flight 93 crashed in Shanksville, PA, after passengers attempted to overpower the hijackers. All 40 passengers and crew were killed in the crash.
4. The Battle of Gettysburg
Considered the turning point of the Civil War, the Battle of Gettysburg was fought from July 1-3, 1863, just a few hours' drive from Westover. Over 50,000 soldiers were killed, wounded, or missing during the battle, which resulted in a Union victory.
5. John Murtha's Political Career
Johnstown native John Murtha served as the U.S. Representative for Pennsylvania's 12th congressional district from 1974 until his death in 2010. He was known for his advocacy for veterans and his work on defense and foreign policy issues.
6. The Saint Francis Dam Disaster
In 1928, the Saint Francis Dam collapsed, causing a devastating flood that killed over 400 people. Many of the victims were buried in a mass grave in the nearby town of Johnstown. The disaster led to major reforms in dam construction and safety regulations.
7. The Whiskey Rebellion
In 1791, Congress passed a tax on distilled spirits in order to help pay off the national debt. Western Pennsylvania farmers, who relied on whiskey as a major source of income, were outraged and refused to pay the tax. This led to a rebellion that was put down by President George Washington, who sent troops to the area.
In conclusion, Westover, PA may be a small town, but it has witnessed several significant events in Pennsylvania's history. From devastating floods to political careers, the town has been impacted by events both large and small. As a result, Westover and its surrounding areas continue to be a part of the rich tapestry of Pennsylvania's history.
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