The following events happened on these dates in West Virginia history.
Nov. 14, 1970: A chartered plane slammed into a hillside just short of Huntington’s Tri-State Airport near Ceredo, killing all 75 of the passengers and crew. The victims included nearly the entire Marshall University football team, all but one of the team’s coaches, and several fans.
Nov. 16, 1734: Samuel Washington was born at Pope’s Creek, Virginia. Samuel, a younger brother of George Washington, was the first of several members of the Washington family to live in what is now the Eastern Panhandle of West Virginia.
Nov. 16, 1823: Politician and industrialist Henry Gassaway Davis, known in the early 20th century as West Virginia’s ‘‘Grand Old Man,’’ was born in Baltimore, Md. Equestrian statues of Davis stand in downtown Charleston and at the college gates in Elkins.
Nov. 19, 1900: William Page Pitt was born in New York City. In 1926, Pitt joined the faculty of what was then Marshall College. In his 45-year career at Marshall, he built its journalism program into one with dozens of classes and hundreds of students. Today, Marshall University’s W. Page Pitt School of Journalism and Mass Communications is named in his honor.
Nov. 19, 1921: The USS West Virginia was christened. It was one of the six battleships at Pearl Harbor on the morning of Dec. 7, 1941, suffering massive damage from torpedoes and bombs in the surprise attack.
Nov. 20, 1894: Eight men were killed in a coal mine disaster near Colliers, Brooke County. They were using a dangerous method called ‘‘shooting from the solid,’’ meaning that they blasted the coal loose without first undercutting it.
Nov. 20, 1917: Robert C. Byrd was born in North Wilkesboro, N.C. He was elected to the U.S. Senate in 1958 and remained in office until his death in 2010.
Nov. 20, 1968: An explosion at Consolidation Coal Company’s No. 9 mine near Farmington killed 78 men. The disaster brought national attention to the issue of mine safety.
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.