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  1. #1
    Missouri Star

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    Apr 2016
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    Default Tuesday Trivia: West Virginia 🇺🇸

    Some Interesting Facts about West Virginia:

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

    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.

    Jackson's Mill is the site of the first 4-H Camp in the United States. The property was the boyhood home of Confederate General Thomas “Stonewall” Jackson from 1831 to 1842.

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    The world's largest sycamore tree is located on the Back Fork of the Elk River in Webster Springs. It was set fire by arsonists in 2007. It was over 500 years old.

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    A photograph of the Webster Sycamore (1955) with four men standing at the base of its trunk, demonstrating the scale of the large tree.

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

    The New River Gorge Bridge near Fayetteville is the second highest steel arch bridge in the United States. The bridge is also the longest steel arch bridge (1,700 feet) in the world. Every October on Bridge Day, the road is closed and individuals parachute and bungee cord jump 876 feet off the bridge. Its West Virginia's largest single day event and attracts about 100,000 people each year.

    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, cone-shaped Indian burial grounds is located in Moundsville. Its 69 feet high, 900 feet in circumference at the base; and was opened on March 19, 1838. An inscribed stone was removed from the vault and is on display at the Smithsonian Institute in Washington, D.C.

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    West Virginia's Memorial Tunnel was the first in the nation to be monitored by television. It opened November 8, 1954.

    The first rural free mail delivery was started in Charles Town on October 6, 1896, and then spread throughout the United States.

    West Virginia was the first state to have a sales tax. It became effective July 1, 1921.

    The first steamboat was launched by James Rumsey in the Potomac River at New Mecklensburg (Shepherdstown) on December 3, 1787.

    A naval battle was fought in West Virginia waters during the Civil War. United States Navy armored steamers were actively engaged in the Battle of Buffington Island near Ravenswood on July 19, 1863.

    On February 14, 1824, at Harpers Ferry, John S. Gallaher published the "Ladies Garland," one of the first papers in the nation devoted mainly to the interests of women.

    Organ Cave, near Ronceverte, is the third largest cave in the United States and the largest in the state.

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    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 iron furnace west of the Alleghenies was built by Peter Tarr on Kings Creek in 1794.

    One of the first suspension bridges in the world was completed in Wheeling in November 1849.

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    Outdoor advertising had its origin in Wheeling about 1908 when the Block Brothers Tobacco Company painted bridges and barns with the wording: "Treat Yourself to the Best, Chew Mail Pouch."

    The first electric railroad in the world, built as a commercial enterprise, was constructed between Huntington and Guyandotte.

    On September 10, 1938, the Mingo Oak, largest and oldest white oak tree in the United States, was declared dead and felled with ceremony.

    Coal House, the only residence in the world built entirely of coal, is located in White Sulphur Springs. The house was occupied on June 1, 1961.

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    The world's largest shipment of matches (20 carloads or 210,000,000 matches) was shipped from Wheeling to Memphis, Tennessee, on August 26, 1933.

    Daniel Boone made his last survey of Charleston on September 8, 1798. He left the state in 1799.

    William Tompkins used natural gas to evaporate salt brine in 1841, thus becoming the first person in the United States to use natural gas for industrial purposes.

    The last public hanging in West Virginia was held in Jackson County in December 1897.

    The first glass plant in West Virginia was at Wellsburg in 1815. The first pottery plant was in Morgantown in 1785.

    Stone that was quarried near Hinton was contributed by West Virginia for the Washington Monument and arrived in Washington in February 1885.

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

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    On May 31, 1910, the Supreme Court held that the Maryland-West Virginia boundary was the low-water mark of the south bank of the Potomac River.

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

    Mrs. Minnie Buckingham Harper, a member of the House of Delegates by appointment in 1928, was the first African American woman to become a member of a legislative body in the United States.

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

    The first brick street in the world was laid in Charleston, West Virginia, on October 23, 1870, on Summers Street, between Kanawha and Virginia Streets.

    Anyone looking at a map of West Virginia might wonder about the sliver of land rising north like a radio antenna. How’d that get there, anyway? Chalk it up to Virginia’s overly eager settlers, who in the late 1700s claimed land north along the Ohio River, ignoring Pennsylvania’s borders. In 1779, the two states agreed to a border five degrees west of where the Mason Dixon line ended, and north to the Ohio River. After Virginia ceded its territory west of the river to the U.S. government in 1784, that left just a thin northern panhandle.

    In 1796, soldiers in Greenbrier County came across animal bones believed to belong to a very large lion. They sent the fossils to Thomas Jefferson, an amateur paleontologist and soon-to-be vice president, who concluded the remains were that of a giant sloth, which he called “Great claw, or Megalonyx.” He presented a paper to the American Philosophical Society and, believing the animal could still be in existence, told Lewis and Clark to keep an eye out along their journey westward. Scientists would eventually credit Jefferson with discovering the giant sloth (9.8 feet, weighing 2,200 pounds), and even named the species after him: Megalonyx jeffersonii. In 2008, the skeleton became the official fossil of West Virginia.

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    In 1928, the Jones family of Peterstown discovered a 34-carat diamond on their property while playing horseshoes. Initially thinking it a large quartz rock, William “Punch” Jones kept the diamond in a cigar box for fourteen years before taking it to a geologist at Virginia Polytechnic Institute. The Jones Diamond, which was on display at the Smithsonian Institute before the family sold it in 1984, is the largest alluvial diamond ever discovered in North America.

    Built in 1778, the historic Greenbrier Hotel has hosted more than half of all U.S. Presidents. For more than thirty years, it was also the location of a secret bunker where Congress could operate in the event of a nuclear strike. In 1992, The Washington Post exposed the facility, and today it’s used as a meeting room.*

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    Built in the late 19th century, the Weston State Hospital building is the largest hand-cut stone masonry building in America, and second only to the Kremlin on a global scale. It operated as a mental institution until 1994, when it closed down. It’s now run by a company offering haunted tours and known as the Trans-Allegheny Lunatic Asylum—a name that mental health advocates are none too thrilled with.

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    Some Strange Laws in West Virginia:

    - A tax of 1 cent is levied for every 16 and 9 ounces of coke sold in a store.
    - It is illegal to snooze on a train.
    - A person may not hold public office if he or she has ever participated in a duel.
    - For each act of public swearing a person shall be fined one dollar.
    - Roadkill may be taken home for supper.
    - When a railroad passes within 1 mile of a community of 100 or more people in it, they must build a station and stop there regularly to pick up and drop off passengers.
    - Whistling underwater is prohibited.

  2. Thanks Granny Fran, SuzanneOrleansOntario thanked for this post
  3. #2
    Missouri Star

    Join Date
    Aug 2015
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    Default Re: Tuesday Trivia: West Virginia 🇺🇸

    Thanks Anita for my morning read. Fascinating facts and stories.

    Enjoy life and do what makes you happy. Everything else will follow.

    Every day I try to do one thing that challenges my comfort zone.

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  5. #3
    Missouri Star

    Join Date
    Jul 2013
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    Default Re: Tuesday Trivia: West Virginia 🇺🇸

    That was very interesting. Thanks for taking the time to share with us.

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  7. #4
    The Guild President

    Join Date
    Aug 2015
    Dewey, Arizona (transplanted Hoosier from Hobart, Indiana)
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    Default Re: Tuesday Trivia: West Virginia 🇺🇸

    An enjoyable and informative read ... thanks!

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  9. #5
    Missouri Star

    Join Date
    Jan 2015
    Hoschton, Georgia
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    Default Re: Tuesday Trivia: West Virginia 🇺🇸

    It is always so interesting to read all the facts about our country. One more fact, Barnwood Builders is located in W. Virginia. Love that show.


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