The following events happened on these dates in West Virginia history. To read more, go to e-WV: The West Virginia Encyclopedia at www.wvencyclopedia.org.
Nov. 20, 1894: Eight men were killed in a coal mine disaster near Colliers, Brooke County. They were using a dangerous method called ‘‘shooting from the solid,’’ meaning that they blasted the coal loose without first undercutting it.
Nov. 20, 1917: Robert C. Byrd was born in North Wilkesboro, North Carolina. He was elected to the U.S. Senate in 1958 and remained in office until his death in 2010.
Nov. 20, 1968: An explosion at Consolidation Coal Company’s No. 9 mine near Farmington killed 78 men. The disaster brought national attention to the issue of mine safety.
Nov. 21, 1810: Allen Taylor Caperton was born in Monroe County. Caperton served in the Confederate Senate during the Civil War and in the U.S. Senate from 1875 to 1876.
Nov. 22, 1910: Fire destroyed the academic building at Concord College. By the next morning, community leaders arranged for teaching the 300 students in rooms throughout the town.
Nov. 22, 1926: Selva Lewis ‘‘Lew’’ Burdette Jr. was born in Nitro. Burdette was an outstanding major league baseball player who spent most of his career with the Milwaukee Braves.
Nov. 23, 1962: Roman Catholic Bishop John Joseph Swint died. He was a great builder of religious institutions in the Diocese of Wheeling.
Nov. 24, 2008: Former Governor Cecil Underwood died in Charleston. Underwood, West Virginia’s 25th and 32nd governor, had the distinction of having served as the state’s youngest and oldest chief executive.
Nov. 24, 2015: For her accomplishments in the field of mathematics and science, Katherine Johnson received the Presidential Medal of Freedom from Barack Obama. Johnson worked for NASA calculating trajectories for manned space flights.
Nov. 25, 1896: Athlete Clinton Cyrus Thomas was born in Greenup, Kentucky. Thomas was a star in the Negro Leagues, during the days of racial segregation in major league baseball. Thomas settled in Charleston after his playing days and made a long career in West Virginia state government.
Nov. 26, 1952: A fire on the evening before Thanksgiving at the Huntington State Hospital killed 14 patients, with three more patients later dying from their injuries. Huntington State Hospital is known today as the Mildred Mitchell-Bateman Hospital.
Nov. 26, 1861: The Constitutional Convention of 1861–63 was convened in Wheeling. The convention provided the foundation for state government in preparation for statehood.
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