UNDATED (AP) - State workers are taking the day off today and
communities across the state are celebrating West Virginia's 144th
The capital city of Charleston is hosting a West Virginia
Celebration from 6 to 9 p-m on the lawn of the Clay Center. The
event kicks off FestivALL and will include music, food and drinks
from West Virginia microbrewers.
Some of the other events planned for today include: a Civil War
heritage celebration at the Marion County Historical Society Museum
until 3 p-m, free music at the welcome center on Interstate 68 near
Hazelton until 4 p-m, and a discounted one-dollar park admission
and free birthday cake and lemonade at Pricketts Fort State Park.
West Virginia became the nation's 35th state on June 20th, 1863,
during the Civil War, several months after President Abraham
Lincoln signed papers approving its creation. West Virginia is the
only state to be designated by presidential proclamation.
Some interesting state facts:
1. The first organized golf club in America was started in 1884
at Oakhurst Links in White Sulphur Springs.
2. The first rural free mail delivery was in Charles Town on
Oct. 6, 1896, and was then spread throughout the U.S.
3. The first steamboat was launched by James Rumsey in the
Potomac River at New Mecklenburg (Shepherdstown) in 1787.
4. A variety of the yellow apple, the golden delicious,
originated in Clay County and the original grimes golden apple tree
was discovered in 1775 near Wellsburg.
5. Outdoor advertising originated in Wheeling about 1908 when
the Block Brothers Tobacco Co. painted bridges and barns with Mail
Pouch tobacco ads.
6. The first free school for blacks in the South opened in
Parkersburg in 1862.
7. The first brick street in the world was laid in Charleston,
on Oct. 23, 1879, on Summers Street between Kanawha and Virginia
8. West Virginia's first governor was Arthur I. Boreman, who
served from 1863-1869.
9. The state's first capital was in Wheeling.
10. On June 3, 1861, the first land battle of the Civil War was
fought in Philippi.
(Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)