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5 Fun Facts About February 26 In West Virginia History

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1. Birth of Pearl Buck: On February 26, 1892, Pearl Buck, the Pulitzer Prize-winning author of "The Good Earth," was born in Hillsboro, West Virginia. Buck's work explored the complexities of Chinese culture and society and helped bridge understanding between East and West.

2. West Virginia joins the Union: On February 26, 1863, West Virginia officially became a state, joining the Union during the Civil War. Its formation was a result of the state's decision to stay loyal to the Union while the rest of Virginia seceded and joined the Confederacy.

3. Shepherdstown 1862: During the Civil War, the Battle of Shepherdstown was fought on September 19–20, 1862, in Jefferson County, West Virginia. This was one of the last battles of the Maryland Campaign and Confederate General Robert E. Lee's Army of Northern Virginia attempted to ambush General George B. McClellan's Army of the Potomac, which had invaded Virginia following the Confederate setback at the Battle of Antietam.

4. Birth of John Shott: On February 26, 1838, John Shott, who served as a member of the United States House of Representatives from West Virginia during the 1880s, was born in Parkersburg, West Virginia.

5. Kanawha River disaster: On February 26, 1972, the coal slurry dam of the Buffalo Creek Mining Company collapsed, causing 132 million gallons of slurry to flood Buffalo Creek, a tributary of the Kanawha River in Logan County, West Virginia. The disaster killed 125 people, injured over 1,000, and left over 4,000 people homeless.
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