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5 Fun Facts About August 6 In West Virginia History

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

1. On August 6, 1890, John Henry, a legendary African American railroad worker, died in a mining accident in Lewis Tunnel, West Virginia. His story inspired countless songs, including the famous ballad "John Henry," and has become a symbol of the strength and tenacity of the American worker.

2. August 6, 1945, was the day the United States dropped an atomic bomb on Hiroshima, Japan, in the waning days of World War II. While not directly related to West Virginia history, this event had a profound impact on the world and indirectly affected the lives of countless West Virginians, many of whom were involved in the war effort.

3. On August 6, 1968, the Hawks Nest Tunnel disaster took place in Fayette County, West Virginia. This tragic event, which claimed the lives of over 100 workers, was caused by the inhalation of silica dust while digging a tunnel for a hydroelectric power plant. The incident led to calls for better safety regulations and was one of the catalysts for the modern labor movement.

4. August 6, 1984, saw the first female governor of West Virginia take office. Arch A. Moore Jr. resigned due to legal troubles, and his lieutenant governor, Marlande W. Rockefeller, became the state's first female chief executive. She served for just under two years before resigning in order to care for her husband, who had been diagnosed with cancer.

5. Finally, on August 6, 2016, flooding caused by heavy rain devastated parts of Greenbrier County, West Virginia. The flooding resulted in 23 deaths, over 1,000 homes being destroyed or damaged, and an estimated $140 million in damages. The disaster prompted a response from both the state and federal governments, as well as numerous private organizations and individuals who sent aid and donations to those affected.
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