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1. John Brown's Raid: On December 23, 1859, abolitionist John Brown was executed for his role in the raid on Harpers Ferry. Brown led a group of 21 men in an attempt to spark a slave rebellion in the South. The raid ultimately failed, and Brown was captured and sentenced to death.

2. State Holiday: December 23 is celebrated as a state holiday in West Virginia. The day is known as "West Virginia Day" and commemorates the state's admission to the Union on June 20, 1863. It is a day for residents to celebrate their state and its rich history.

3. Coal Mining Tragedy: On December 23, 1944, a coal mine explosion in Monongah, West Virginia, killed 111 miners. It was the worst mining disaster in U.S. history. The tragedy highlighted the need for improved safety regulations and helped spur the creation of the U.S. Bureau of Mines.

4. Civil War Skirmish: In 1861, a small skirmish took place in Marion County, West Virginia, on December 23. The Battle of Greenbrier River was a minor engagement between Union and Confederate forces. The Union troops were ultimately forced to withdraw.

5. Birth of a Governor: December 23, 1902, marked the birth of former West Virginia Governor William C. Marland. Marland served as the state's governor from 1953-1957. He is known for his progressive policies, including his support for public education and civil rights.

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