National West Virginia Day is on June 20 every year. This day celebrates West Virginia as the last state created from one of the thirteen original colonies under the British Empire. West Virginia has vast beautiful landscapes with three popular mountain ridges namely, Allegheny, Appalachian, and the Blue Ridge Mountains. West Virginia is the largest producer of coal east of the Mississippi River. The state has deep cultural roots and heritage from its native ancestors.
History of National West Virginia Day
Before the arrival of European settlers, West Virginia used to be a favorite hunting ground for numerous Native Americans. It has old earthen mounds constructed by different mound builder cultures. Once the Europeans arrived and settled here, the locals were pushed to the outskirts.
The earliest civilization in the region was in 10,500 B.C. when the Paleo-Indian culture appeared along the major river valleys and water sources. Subsequently, the Adena culture was the dominant influence in West Virginia in the year 500 B.C. The Adena Indians would use ceremonial pipes almost like works of art. They were also called the Woodland Indians. They lived in round wicker-sided and bark sheet roofed houses — wigwams and grew sunflowers, gourds, and squash. Their community had farmers and cultivators. They also reared dogs as pets.
In 1829, the Virginia Constitutional Convention met in Richmond to discuss reforms to Virginia’s outdated constitution. Philip Doddridge wanted western Virginians to get a more democratic system of government but these desires were rejected by leaders from east of the Alleghenies.
The state of Virginia voted to break away from the United States during the time of the Civil War in 1861. This was unsuccessful, leading to the formation of the state called West Virginia which would be in support of the Union. It was granted statehood by Congress on June 20, 1863.
National West Virginia Day timeline
The Earliest Civilization in West Virginia
The Paleo-Indian tribe appears along the major river valleys and water sources in the region.
Influence of the Adena Indians
Also called the Woodland Indians, they make contributions to arts and culture in West Virginia.
The First Constitutional Convention is Organized
The Virginia Constitutional Convention meets in Richmond to discuss its outdated constitution.
West Virginia is Granted Statehood
Congress grants statehood to West Virginia on June 20, 1863.
National West Virginia Day FAQs
What is closed on National West Virginia Day?
It’s a state holiday in West Virginia. For this reason, many government offices, libraries, and schools remain closed on this day.
Is West Virginia a Red State?
West Virginia is a Republican state currently. Republicans John McCain won the state in 2008, followed by Mitt Romney in 2012, and Donald Trump in 2016 and 2020.
What is the most common job in West Virginia?
The most common jobs held by residents of West Virginia are cashiers and sales workers. Truck drivers and registered nurses are also some of the common professions.
How To Celebrate National West Virginia Day
Plan a trip
What’s a better way to celebrate this day than to plan a vacay to West Virginia! It’s a gorgeous state with lots to see and do.
Make a travel vlog
If you are good with a camera and like to record memories, try vlogging your trip to West Virginia. With its beautiful mountainous landscape, the video will generate enough FOMO feels in the audience to last a lifetime.
Visit their local museums
If you are visiting the state, make sure to drop by the local museums there. It will give you a lot of insight into the state’s history and culture.
5 Interesting Facts About West Virginia
It was supposed to be named ‘Kanawha’
The state was to be named after a Native American tribe, but officials went with West Virginia.
West Virginia is called the Mountain State
It has the Appalachian Mountain range, thus its nickname.
A large discovery
North America’s largest alluvial diamond, the Punch Jones Diamond, was discovered in Peterstown.
The first rural free delivery mail service
In 1896 in Charles Town, the Post Office Department’s pilot program launched this mail service to try out the practicality for a country-wide rural delivery system.
The oldest dime store is found here
America’s oldest dime store, Berdine’s Five and Dime, is in Harrisville in West Virginia.
Why We Love National West Virginia Day
It is a beautiful state
This day makes us look closely at the many natural landscapes that this state has to offer. There are so many things to see and appreciate here.
To remember the history
National West Virginia Day also tells us about how West Virginia achieved statehood and the many political discussions and debates that preceded that. We must always remember the contributions of everyone who made this a reality.
To boost tourism
The increase in tourism can always help local communities in the state. It will also boost the overall economy of West Virginia if more tourists come to visit.
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