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Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Happy Birthday West Virginia

Today, June 20th is the birthday of the state of West Virginia. June 20th 1863 is the date that West Virginia officially became a state. It was officially the 35th state allowed in the Union. 
West Virginia. It's where the Appalachian, Blue Ridge, and Allegheny Mountains converge, and where a fiercely independent spirit, forged during the Civil War, still lives today. From a legendary resort that hid a top-secret bunker to a futuristic facility exploring the mysteries of the universe, to thrill-seekers riding the Class-5 rapids and climbing its famous bluffs, this flight across the state's towering peaks reveals why John Denver called it "almost heaven."
The civil war drew differences in the stat of West Virginia. The state would split in two during the civil war over the same dispute that was pulling the United States apart. Slave holding plantation owners in the eastern part of Virginia held power in the state's economy and politics and the self sufficient farmers who lived in the rugged western counties where slavery was not as much present. This left many in the west part of the state feeling ignored. The state of Virginia would join the confederacy in April 1861 but the western part would keep their loyalty to the Union and state would begin to separate.

Did you know that the state of West Virginia was nearly named Kanawha?? This was the name of an honored Native American tribe and a major state river. In 1862 the constitution of West Virginia was finalized in 1862 and included the states name as West Virginia The original capital of West Virginia was Wheeling. In 1870 the capital was moved to Charleston however, would be placed back in Wheeling in 1875. The residents of the state would finally vote the capital of the state to be Charleston in 1885

Did you know that the final straw that split the state of Virginia may have been the civil war. Tension had been building in the state for many years stemming back to the American Revolution. The residents had asked the Continental Congress to form a 14th colony known as Westsylvania. The request was denied then and again in 1783 when permission for a 14th state was requested. 
Rural mail was first provided in West Virginia. Farm families before that time would have to travel to distant post offices to retrieve mail or hire private companies to deliver. The RFD service began in 1896. The first five RFD carriers began service on October 1, 1896. 
There was once a top-secret bunker for Congress in West Virginia to protect congress in case of nuclear war. The height of the cold war in 1958 would be the energy to construct a bunker under ground. The bunker would open in 1961 and be used as a nuclear fallout shelter. The Washington Post would share the secret in 1992 and the bunker would be decommissioned and is now open to the public.

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