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5 Fun Facts About June 11 In West Virginia History

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

1. On June 11, 1861, West Virginia was admitted as the 35th state of the United States. It was formed during the Civil War and was the only state to be created by seceding from a Confederate state, Virginia.

2. In 1903, the first African American Catholic bishop in the United States, James Augustine Healy, died in Boston. Bishop Healy was born in Georgia to a slave mother and Irish immigrant father, and he spent time as a priest in West Virginia before becoming Bishop of Portland, Maine.

3. On June 11, 1934, famed musician and songwriter Kenny Baker was born in Jenkins, Kentucky. Baker was known for his virtuosic fiddling and was a member of legendary bluegrass bands such as Bill Monroe's Blue Grass Boys and the Osborne Brothers.

4. In 1963, American composer Roy Harris premiered his Symphony No. 11, subtitled "West Virginia", at the West Virginia University Creative Arts Center in Morgantown. The piece was commissioned by the university, which had become a hub for modern classical music under the leadership of Harrison Birtwistle.

5. On June 11, 2016, devastating flooding struck parts of West Virginia, killing at least 23 people and causing millions of dollars in damage. The flooding was caused by intense rain and was exacerbated by the state's mountainous terrain, which made flash floods more destructive. The affected areas received an outpouring of support and aid from across the country.
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