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5 Fun Facts About April 23 In West Virginia History

---Learn Every Day: WV Today In History Facts Texted Each Day - Text: history wv To: 618-270-4005---

1. On April 23, 1861, Virginia voted to secede from the Union, leading to the creation of the separate state of West Virginia. The decision to secede was controversial among Virginians, and those living in the western region of the state, which would become West Virginia, were especially opposed to secession and in favor of remaining in the Union.

2. On April 23, 1931, West Virginia became the first state in the nation to establish a sales tax. The tax, which was initially set at 2 percent and applied to most goods and services, was intended to help the state raise more revenue during the Great Depression.

3. On April 23, 1976, the National Park Service established the Gauley River National Recreation Area in West Virginia. The area, which encompasses more than 11,000 acres along the Gauley River, is known for its rugged, scenic beauty and is popular for whitewater rafting and other outdoor activities.

4. On April 23, 1999, 12 jurors in Charleston, WV convicted former Huntington Mayor, businessman, and oil industry figure, C. Donald Robertson, on 29 counts of mail and wire fraud. The case, which involved the misuse of city funds to benefit Robertson's business interests, garnered national attention and was seen as a significant victory in the fight against political corruption.

5. On April 23, 2007, a large gas explosion at a mine in Montcoal, West Virginia, killed 29 miners and injured several others. The disaster was one of the worst mining accidents in U.S. history and led to calls for increased safety regulations and stricter enforcement of mine safety laws.
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