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5 Fun Facts About October 17 In West Virginia History

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

1. On October 17, 1861, Union General William Rosecrans led his troops to victory over Confederate forces in the Battle of Dranesville. While the battle was relatively small, it marked an important early victory for the Union in the Civil War and helped secure control of northern Virginia.

2. On October 17, 1914, the city of Clarksburg, West Virginia dedicated a new statue of General Thomas "Stonewall" Jackson in the city's downtown area. The statue, which still stands today, was created by renowned sculptor Moses Ezekiel, who himself had been a Confederate soldier during the Civil War.

3. On October 17, 1927, the state's deadliest mine disaster occurred when an explosion and subsequent fires killed 92 miners at the Moffat Coal Company's No. 3 mine in Eccles. The tragedy led to increased calls for better safety regulations in West Virginia's coal mines.

4. On October 17, 1967, West Virginia Governor Hulett Smith signed the Hunter Safety and Education Act into law, making West Virginia the first state to establish mandatory hunter education courses for all hunters. The law was designed to reduce accidents and improve safety in the state's forests and fields.

5. On October 17, 2018, West Virginia native and NASA astronaut Serena Auñón-Chancellor blasted off from Kazakhstan aboard a Russian Soyuz spacecraft, beginning a six-month mission aboard the International Space Station. Auñón-Chancellor, a physician and engineer, became the third West Virginian to travel into space.
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