West Virginia Facts

Here's some facts you may or may not find interesting about my state. Just thought I would post them cause Im bored.

West Virginia is the only state in the Union to have acquired its sovereignty by proclamation of the President of the United States.

The dome on the state capital is the largest of all the state capitals and is actually higher than the US Capital building in Washington, DC.

West Virginia is considered the southern most northern state and the northern most southern state.

Mother’s Day was first observed at Andrews Church in Grafton on May 10, 1908.

West Virginia has the oldest population of any state. The median age is 40.

Jackson's Mill is the site of the first 4-H Camp in the United States.

The world's largest sycamore tree is located on the Back Fork of the Elk River in Webster Springs.

The first state sales tax in the United States went into effect in West Virginia on July 1, 1921.

A hanging in Ripley in 1896 turned into a spectacle that attracted nationwide attention. A New York Sun reporter likened the town's atmosphere that day to a festival. The event is described in a song by Tom T. Hall, The Last Public Hanging in Ripley, West Virginia.

The first federal prison exclusively for women in the United States was opened in 1926 in West Virginia.

The first major land battle fought between Union and Confederate soldiers in the Civil War was the Battle of Philippi on June 3, 1861.

One of the nation's oldest and largest Indian burial grounds is located in Moundsville. Its 69 feet high, 900 feet in circumference, and 50 feet high. An inscribed stone was removed from the vault and is on display at the Smithsonian Institute in Washington, D.C.

West Virginia's nickname is the Mountain State and its motto is "Mountaineers Are Always Free."

Some famous individuals from West Virginia include: Pearl Buck (author), Peter Marshall (television host), Chuck Yeager (test pilot /Air Force General), Don Knotts (actor), Mary Lou Retton (Olympic gold medallist for gymnastics), and Kathy Mattea (country music singer).

Nearly 75% of West Virginia is covered by forests.

15% of the nation's total coal production comes from West Virginia.

A variety of the yellow apple, the Golden Delicious, originated in Clay County. The original Grimes Golden Apple Tree was discovered in 1775 near Wellsburg.

The first spa open to the public was at Berkeley Springs, West Virginia, in 1756 (then, Bath, Virginia).

Chester Merriman of Romney was the youngest soldier of World War I, having enlisted at the age of 14.

Bailey Brown, the first Union solider killed in the Civil War, died on May 22, 1861, at Fetterman, Taylor County.

During World War II, 1700 persons from foreign countries, many of them diplomats, were imprisoned at the Greenbrier resort.

On May 31, 1992, with the Cold War apparently over, the Washington Post revealed a fact that a small number of West Virginians had largely kept secret for thirty years: Underneath the Greenbrier resort at White Sulphur Springs existed a huge, two-story bunker designed to house the entire United States Congress and support staff for forty days in the event of a nuclear attack on this country.

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