Martha SparksSociety Editor
April 10, 2013
WASHINGTON, D.C. – In honor of West Virginia’s 150th birthday, Senator Jay Rockefeller is asking state natives to vote for their favorite county on Facebook. The winner will be announced on West Virginia Day, June 20, which marks the state’s sesquicentennial celebration.
“West Virginians are so incredibly passionate about this wild and wonderful place we call home,” Rockefeller said. “In particular, our people love the counties and communities where they grew up, each of which has its own unique culture, history and sense of place. I have my own memories spending time among the rolling hills of Pocahontas County, having family dinners at my home in Kanawha County or visiting with friends at fairs and gatherings from Jefferson County over to Wayne County. I’d like to hear about your special memories.”
Beginning today, visitors to Senator Rockefeller’s Facebook page will see an album featuring photographs of each of West Virginia’s 55 counties. Rockefeller is asking people to vote for their favorite by “liking” its photograph, and sharing their special story or memory in the comments. The contest ends on West Virginia Day, June 20.
The winning county will be featured in photographs as Rockefeller’s cover photo throughout 2013, which is West Virginia’s 150th year.
“It has been my enormous honor to serve West Virginia for nearly a third of its 150 years,” Rockefeller said. “I hope folks everywhere will join me in celebrating all that West Virginia is and all that it does for our country. West Virginia truly is ‘Almost Heaven.’”
June 20 marks the date in 1863 when West Virginia formally became the 35th state of the Union, by proclamation of President Abraham Lincoln. Virginia’s secession from the Union at the outbreak of the Civil War, loyalists in western counties gathered in Wheeling and voted to oppose secession, creating the Restored Government of Virginia. That move ultimately led to Lincoln’s proclamation, effective June 20, 1863. West Virginia Day was created in 1927 by an act of the West Virginia Legislature.
June 20, 2013 is West Virginia’s 150th birthday, or sesquicentennial.