CHARLESTON, WV – 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 20, 1949: Nick Joe Rahall II was born in Beckley. When Rahall entered Congress in 1977, he was its youngest member.
May 21, 1853: William M.O. Dawson was born in Bloomington, Maryland, just across the Potomac River from what is now the Eastern Panhandle of West Virginia. He became the 12th governor of West Virginia.
May 22, 1947: Supreme Court Justice Margaret ‘‘Peggy’’ Workman was born in Charleston. In the election of November 1988, she became the first woman on the West Virginia Supreme Court of Appeals and the first woman to be elected to statewide office in West Virginia.
May 23, 1862: In what became known as the Battle of Lewisburg, Union troops repelled a Confederate advance, killing 38 and wounding 66, while losing only 13 men.
May 23, 1941: Rod Thorn was born in Princeton. Thorn attended West Virginia University, where he was an All-American guard. Thorn has had an extended and distinguished career in the National Basketball Association.
May 24, 1896: Confederate General John Echols died in Staunton, Virginia. Echols served in the Kanawha Valley in 1862 and commanded Confederate forces at their defeat at the Battle of Droop Mountain in November 1863.
May 25, 1903: Industrialist and philanthropist Bernard Patrick McDonough Jr. was born in Texas, to an Irish railroading family. Starting with a Parkersburg construction business in the 1930s, McDonough built a Fortune 500 company with operations in hand tools, building materials and barge building. The Bernard P. McDonough Foundation remains one of the largest private foundations in West Virginia
May 25, 1937: William H. “Teepi” Kendrick died in Morgantown. Kendrick was a pioneer in West Virginia’s 4-H program. He broadened the program to emphasize more than just agriculture, and he was primarily responsible for establishing the state 4-H camp at Jackson’s Mill.
May 26, 1895; Athlete Ira Errett ‘‘Rat’’ Rodgers was born in Bethany. He was among the greatest Mountaineer football players, lettering in 1915–17 and 1919.
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.