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5 Fun Facts About December 28 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 28, 1862, the Battle of Greenbrier River took place in Pocahontas County. Union forces under the command of Brigadier General William S. Rosecrans engaged Confederate troops led by Colonel Edward Johnson. While neither side achieved a significant victory, the battle helped secure Union control of western Virginia.

2. The New River Gorge Bridge, one of West Virginia's most iconic landmarks, was officially opened to traffic on December 28, 1977. The bridge spans the New River Gorge and is the third-highest bridge in the United States.

3. On December 28, 1896, the West Virginia State Board of Education was created. Prior to this, education in the state had been overseen by a series of unconnected local school boards. The creation of the state board helped standardize education and promote more equitable access for all West Virginia students.

4. In 1917, on December 28, the Farmington Mine disaster occurred in Marion County. An explosion at the mine claimed the lives of 78 men, making it one of the deadliest mining disasters in West Virginia history.

5. On December 28, 1925, the world-famous Rockette dancers first performed at Radio City Music Hall in New York City. Many of the Rockettes over the years have hailed from West Virginia, including former state senator Donna Boley and former Miss West Virginia Jean Coon.
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