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.
June 21, 1920: Wheeling Steel Corp. was organized when La Belle Iron Works, Whitaker-Glessner Co. and Wheeling Steel & Iron Works combined. In the 1920s, Wheeling Steel employed more than 17,000 workers and ranked as the nation’s third-largest steelmaker.
June 21, 1959: Musician Kathy Mattea was born in South Charleston but grew up in nearby Cross Lanes. In junior high school she learned to play the guitar, and in high school she practiced her vocal skills singing classical music in choir class.
June 22, 1926: Earl Olgebay died in Cleveland. He was one of West Virginia’s most successful industrialists and a generous benefactor.
June 23, 1944: A tornado struck Shinnston and the surrounding area, killing 103 people and injuring hundreds more.
June 23, 2016: Eight inches of rain fell in a 12-hour period. The Meadow, Cherry and Elk rivers, as well as Howard Creek, flooded downtowns and The Greenbrier resort and killed 23 people.
June 24, 1842: Author Ambrose Bierce was born. Bierce found the setting for some of his famous short stories in the mountains of Civil War-era West Virginia.
June 25, 1811: Bridge builder Lemuel Chenoweth was born near Beverly, Randolph County. His many bridges also included the earliest covered bridge at Beverly and the famous Philippi covered bridge.
June 26, 1887: Sheriff Don Chafin was born in Logan County. Chafin was a bitter foe of union organizers and, with financial support from coal companies, used his many deputies to keep labor organizers out of Logan County.
June 26, 1892: Pearl Buck was born in Hillsboro in the home of her maternal grandparents. She received the Nobel Prize for Literature for “The Good Earth.”
June 26, 1936: Basketball star Harold Everett “Hal” Greer was born in Huntington. Greer was the first African American athlete to play at Marshall College (now University). During his three-year college career, Greer scored 1,377 points and averaged 19.4 points per game.
June 27, 1897: Musician Maceo Pinkard was born in Bluefield. Pinkard became one of the most successful songwriters of the 1920s jazz era.
June 27, 1961: “Honey in the Rock” was first performed at Grandview State Park near Beckley. The play by Kermit Hunter depicts the founding of the Mountain State in 1863.
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.