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5 Fun Facts About May 6 In West Virginia History

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

1. In 1935, the Rural Electrification Administration (REA) was established by President Franklin D. Roosevelt, which greatly impacted rural West Virginia. Prior to the REA, only 11% of rural West Virginia had access to electricity. By 1950, that number had increased to 85%.

2. On May 6, 1937, the Hindenburg disaster occurred in Lakehurst, New Jersey, but it also had an impact on West Virginia. The state had several radio stations that covered the disaster, including WSAZ in Huntington. The station's coverage was so extensive that it won the first-ever Peabody Award for radio broadcasting.

3. In 1947, the West Virginia Legislature passed a law making it illegal to wear masks or hoods in public, aimed at curbing the Ku Klux Klan's activities in the state. This law was one of the earliest anti-mask laws in the nation.

4. After years of tense negotiations with coal operators, on May 6, 1950, the United Mine Workers of America (UMWA) signed a new contract with the mining companies. The agreement was significant because it had been almost a decade since the union had a contract with the industry.

5. In 2014, West Virginia became the 24th state to legalize medical cannabis when Governor Earl Ray Tomblin signed the Compassionate Use Act into law. The law allowed patients with qualifying medical conditions to use cannabis under the care of a doctor. The first dispensaries opened in the state in 2021.
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