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5 Fun Facts About May 24 In West Virginia History

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

1. West Virginia Statehood Day: May 24, 1863, marks the day that West Virginia officially became the 35th state in the United States of America. Prior to this, West Virginia was a part of Virginia until it seceded from the state during the Civil War.

2. Battle of Lewisburg: On May 24, 1862, Union and Confederate troops engaged in the Battle of Lewisburg during the Civil War. This battle is remembered as the largest Civil War battle to take place in southern West Virginia, with over 3,000 soldiers fighting.

3. Bridge Day: Every year on the third Saturday in October, West Virginia celebrates Bridge Day, an event that began on May 24, 1980. During this event, the New River Gorge Bridge is closed to traffic, and base jumpers and rappellers use the bridge as a platform to jump or rappel from.

4. Fayette County Courthouse Tragedy: On May 24, 1902, a coal miner by the name of Bill Blizzard led a group of striking miners to the Fayette County Courthouse. The group was protesting the arrest and trial of miners who were accused of murder during the previous year's Coal Wars. The demonstration turned violent, resulting in several deaths and injuries.

5. Sago Mine Disaster: On January 2, 2006, 13 coal miners became trapped in the Sago Mine in Tallmansville, West Virginia, following an explosion. On May 24, 2006, the sole survivor of the disaster, Randal McCloy Jr., was finally released from the hospital after spending several months in recovery.
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