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5 Fun Facts About December 22 In West Virginia History

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

1. On December 22, 1985, the New River Gorge Bridge was officially opened to traffic after four years of construction. This 3,030-foot-long steel arch bridge is the longest of its kind in the Western Hemisphere and is a popular tourist destination for visitors to the area.

2. Marion County native, Katherine Johnson, was born on December 22, 1918. Johnson was a mathematician and contributed to the early space program in the United States, including calculations for the first human spaceflight by astronaut Alan Shepard in 1961.

3. The Battle of Lewisburg, which took place on December 22, 1863, was one of the last significant battles fought in West Virginia during the Civil War. Union forces, led by General William W. Averell, defeated Confederate troops under the command of General John Echols.

4. The Greenbrier resort opened its doors on December 22, 1913. The luxurious resort, located in White Sulphur Springs, has been hosting guests for over a century and has played host to numerous presidents, celebrities, and political figures throughout its history.

5. On December 22, 1862, the West Virginia Legislature passed a bill abolishing slavery in the state. West Virginia was the only state to be admitted to the Union during the Civil War and was formed in part because of its opposition to slavery.
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