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5 Fun Facts About August 13 In West Virginia History

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

1. The first major battle of the Civil War in West Virginia took place on August 13, 1861, at the Battle of Kessler's Cross Lanes. Union troops under Brig. Gen. Jacob Cox were forced to retreat by Confederate forces under Brig. Gen. John B. Floyd.

2. On August 13, 1913, West Virginia became the 36th state in the union to ratify the 17th Amendment to the US Constitution, which provided for the direct election of US Senators by popular vote.

3. The West Virginia State Police was established on August 13, 1919, by an act of the state legislature. The agency was initially created to combat moonshining and other illegal activity, but has since expanded its role to include a wide range of law enforcement duties.

4. The New River Gorge Bridge, one of the largest and highest steel arch bridges in the world, was opened to traffic on August 13, 1977. The bridge spans the New River Gorge in Fayette County and attracts thousands of visitors each year for bridge day festivities.

5. On August 13, 1985, a United Airlines DC-8 crashed during an emergency landing at the Charleston airport. The plane, which had been en route to Chicago from Miami, was carrying 181 passengers and crew members, and 10 people died in the crash.
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