The following events happened on these dates in West Virginia history.
Feb. 20, 1875: The legislature approved a bill to move the state capital back to Wheeling.
Feb. 20, 1995: The legislature voted to make the Golden Delicious apple the official state fruit.
Feb. 21, 1940: Former Governor Gaston Caperton was born in Charleston. Caperton defeated Arch Moore to become the state’s 31st governor.
Feb. 22, 1927: Longtime Agriculture Commissioner Gus R. Douglass was born in Mason County. Douglass, a Democrat, was first elected commissioner of agriculture in 1964.
Feb. 23, 1867: Lincoln County was formed from Boone, Cabell, Kanawha, and Putnam counties. The county was named for Abraham Lincoln.
Feb. 23, 1905: The first USS West Virginia was commissioned. The armored cruiser was renamed the USS Huntington in 1916 to allow the transfer of the original name to a newly authorized battleship.
Feb. 23, 1945: Fairmont native “Woody” Williams distinguished himself during the Battle of Iwo Jima by neutralizing seven concrete pillboxes. This act of heroism earned Williams the Medal of Honor.
Feb. 24, 1918: Judge Kenneth Keller ‘‘K.K.’’ Hall was born at Greenview, Boone County. Hall spent 47 years on the state and federal benches.
Feb. 25, 1911: Newspaperman Jim Comstock was born in Richwood. In 1957, he founded the “West Virginia Hillbilly,” a weekly newspaper that circulated both inside and outside the state.
Feb. 26, 1869: The legislature approved a bill moving the state capital to Charleston.
Feb. 26, 1972: One of the country’s worst mining-related disasters occurred on this date on Buffalo Creek in Logan County. A coal waste dam collapsed, sending 132 million gallons of water, coal refuse and silt into the valley. In the end, 125 people were killed, and 1,000 people were injured.
To read more about West Virginia’s people, places, history, arts, science and culture, go to “e-WV: The West Virginia Encyclopedia” at www.wvencyclopedia.org. Developed by the West Virginia Humanities Council, it is an interactive reference site showcasing West Virginia’s history, culture, and people. e-WV is free of charge and available to anyone with access to a computer and Internet connection.
For more information contact the West Virginia Humanities Council, 1310 Kanawha Blvd. E., Charleston, WV 25301, or at 304-346-8500.