CHARLESTON – The following events happened on these dates in West Virginia history. To read more, go to e-WV: The West Virginia Encyclopedia at www.wvencyclopedia.org.
May 12-14, 1921: Bullets peppered down on about a dozen mining towns in the Matewan-Williamson area, and nonunion miners fired back, in what became known as the Battle of the Tug. Three people were shot and killed.
May 13, 1962: Editorial cartoonist Henry Payne was born in Charleston. In 1989, Payne was the first editorial cartoonist in the country to make his work available via computer.
May 14, 1878: Photographer Rufus “Red” Ribble was born in Blacksburg, Virginia. For nearly 40 years he traveled the coalfields making panoramic photographs of miners, towns, family reunions, church congregations and school groups.
May 14, 1906: Social reformer Mary Behner was born in Xenia, Ohio. From 1928 until 1937, Behner worked in the coal camps along Scotts Run near Morgantown, fighting poverty and creating social and educational outlets for families.
May 14, 1943: Alan Mollohan was born in Fairmont. Mollohan served in the U.S. Congress from 1982 to 2010.
May 15, 1880: The state’s first telephone exchange was placed in service in Wheeling with about 25 subscribers.
May 15, 1886: Minnie Buckingham Harper was born in Winfield. She was the first African-American woman to serve as a member of a state legislative body in the United States. She was appointed by Governor Howard Gore on Jan. 10, 1928, to fill the unexpired term of her husband, E. Howard Harper.
May 15, 1893: Albert Sidney ‘‘Sid’’ Hatfield, controversial police chief of Matewan and martyred hero to union coal miners, was born near Matewan, on the Kentucky side of Tug Fork.
May 15, 1953: George Brett, the Hall of Fame third baseman for the Kansas City Royals, was born in Glen Dale in Marshall County. He is one of only four players in baseball history to accumulate 3,000 hits, 300 home runs and a career batting average of .300.
May 16, 1778: About 300 Wyandot and Mingo Indians attacked Fort Randolph at Point Pleasant. Unable to take the fort, the Indians proceeded up the Kanawha River toward other settlements.
May 17, 1854: A violent windstorm swept up the Ohio River and severely damaged the Wheeling Suspension Bridge.
May 17, 1862: The Battle of Pigeon Roost took place in Princeton during the Civil War. Union soldiers were noisily approaching Princeton from the southeast, unaware that the Confederates were lying in ambush. The attack left an estimated 18 federal troops killed and 38 wounded.
May 18, 2012: Ice Mountain in Hampshire County was named a National Natural Landmark by the U.S. Department of the Interior at a ceremony to mark the 50th anniversary of the program.
e-WV: The West Virginia Encyclopedia is a project of the West Virginia Humanities Council. For more information, contact the West Virginia Humanities Council, 1310 Kanawha Blvd. E., Charleston, WV 25301; 304-346-8500; or visit e-WV at www.wvencyclopedia.org.