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On This Day
in West Virginia History...

October


October 1
On October 1, 1952, violence broke out in Widen, the scene of a bitter 15-month coal strike.

October 2
Storer College in Harpers Ferry, the first African-American college in West Virginia, admitted its first students on October 2, 1867.

October 3
On October 3, 1931, a bank run at The Citizens Bank of Weston led to its closing a short time later.

October 4
On October 4, 1934, two men confessed to planning the kidnapping of Bloch Brothers heiress Betty Bloch of Wheeling.
On October 4, 1933, the federal government purchased the Arthur farm in Preston County to establish the first subsistence homestead, Arthurdale.

October 5
The second Virginia constitutional convention opened in Richmond on October 5, 1829.

October 6
Former United States senator Chapman Revercomb died on October 6, 1979.

October 7
On October 7, 1763, King George III of England issued the Proclamation of 1763, which forbade settlement west of the Allegheny Mountains.

October 8
On October 8, 1924, the Cincinnati Reds played the second of two games at Welch against the McDowell County All-Stars.

October 9
The West Virginia Division of Confederate veterans held their annual reunion in Moorefield on October 9, 1912.

October 10
The Battle of Point Pleasant was fought on October 10, 1774.

October 11
On October 11, 1946, Roy Lee Harmon of Raleigh County was appointed West Virginia's poet laureate for the second time.

October 12
A flag-raising ceremony signaling the start of production at the West Virginia Ordnance Works near Point Pleasant was held on October 12, 1942.

October 13
On October 13, 1863, Union troops under Captain William H. Mattingly defeated a Confederate force led by Colonel William L. Jackson at the Battle of Bulltown.

October 14
Lincoln County native Chuck Yeager broke the sound barrier on October 14, 1947.

October 15
A new bridge near Wayne, built to replace the structure known as the Brinkley Bridge, was dedicated on October 15, 1971.

October 16
Prominent civil rights leader Dr. Leon Sullivan was born in Charleston on October 16, 1922.

October 17
Elias and Troy Hatfield, sons of "Devil Anse" Hatfield, were killed in a shootout at Harewood in Fayette County on October 17, 1911.

October 18
On the morning of October 18, 1859, United States Marines commanded by Lieutenant Colonel Robert E. Lee stormed the armory engine-house at Harpers Ferry, capturing John Brown and members of his raiding party who had barricaded themselves in the building.

October 19
Noted educator Byrd Prillerman, one of the founders of West Virginia Colored Institute, was born on October 19, 1859.

October 20
On October 20, 1812, the Northwestern Brigade of Virginia militia departed from Point Pleasant and began their march through Ohio to reinforce the army of General William Henry Harrison.

October 21
William Gustavus Conley, who served as governor of West Virginia from 1929 to 1933, died on October 21, 1940.

October 22
The New River Gorge Bridge was dedicated on October 22, 1977.

October 23
On October 23, 1890, a C&O vestibule train crashed into a boulder near Hinton, resulting in the death of engineer George Alley.

October 24
The Arisan Maru, a Japanese cargo ship carrying prisoners of war, was sunk by an American submarine on October 24, 1944, resulting in the deaths of more than 1,700 American soldiers, including a number of West Virginians.

October 25
The first governor of West Virginia, Arthur I. Boreman, was re-elected to office on October 25, 1866.

October 26
On October 26, 1923, an explosion at the Pure Oil Company plant at Cabin Creek caused damage estimated at more than $100,000.

October 27
Livia Nye Simpson Poffenbarger, a newspaper editor whose efforts resulted in congressional recognition of the Battle of Point Pleasant as being the first battle of the Revolutionary War, died on October 27, 1937.

October 28
On October 28, 1958, an explosion at the Oglebay Norton's Burton coal mine in Nicholas County resulted in the deaths of fourteen miners.

October 29
On October 29, 1984, President Ronald Reagan made a campaign stop in Parkersburg.

October 30
The first Mountain State Forest Festival began on October 30, 1930.

October 31
The Marshall University chapter of Students for a Democratic Society (SDS) was formed on October 31, 1968.


On This Day in West Virginia History