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5 Fun Facts About January 15 In West Virginia History

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

1. On January 15, 1861, the people of present-day West Virginia voted overwhelmingly in favor of forming a separate state from Virginia. This vote was a crucial step in the eventual creation of the state of West Virginia.

2. In 1912, the town of Welch, West Virginia was the site of a deadly clash between striking coal miners and company guards. The conflict, known as the Paint Creek-Cabin Creek strike, lasted for months and resulted in dozens of deaths on both sides.

3. On January 15, 1937, a flood swept through the town of Widen, West Virginia, killing over 30 people and leaving many more homeless. The flood was caused by heavy rains and the failure of a nearby dam.

4. In 1954, West Virginia became the first state to offer the polio vaccine to all its schoolchildren. This landmark public health initiative helped to eradicate the disease in the United States.

5. On January 15, 1978, coal mine owner Buck Harless was kidnapped and held for ransom by a group of armed men. Harless was eventually released unharmed, and the kidnappers were later apprehended and convicted. The incident highlighted the dangers faced by those involved in the coal industry in West Virginia.
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