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5 Fun Facts About March 22 In West Virginia History

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

1. On March 22, 1867, West Virginia became the first state in the United States to introduce a statewide initiative and referendum process for citizens to propose and enact laws. This process allowed citizens to petition for a law to be placed on the ballot and voted on directly by the electorate.

2. In 1943, the West Virginia State Police was established on March 22. The agency was created to provide statewide law enforcement services and was one of the first state police organizations in the country.

3. March 22, 1874, is the birthdate of Robert W. Ney, a former congressman from Ohio who represented part of West Virginia from 1995 to 2006. Ney was convicted in 2006 on charges of accepting bribes related to the Jack Abramoff lobbying scandal.

4. On March 22, 1968, the West Virginia University Mountaineers basketball team won the NCAA championship. They defeated the University of North Carolina Tar Heels 71-66 in the finals to win their only national championship.

5. In 2009, on March 22, West Virginia Governor Joe Manchin signed the Workplace Freedom Act, also known as the right-to-work law. This law made it illegal for employers to require employees to join a union as a condition of employment. The law was a controversial change to the state's labor laws and was challenged in court by labor unions.
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