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Bringing West Virginia to your fingertips!

e-WV: The West Virginia Encyclopedia is the comprehensive reference resource for the Mountain State of West Virginia. Based on the best-selling West Virginia Encyclopedia, e-WV offers thousands of articles on West Virginia’s people and places, history, arts, science and culture.

e-WV is a project of the West Virginia Humanities Council.

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  • Hatfield’s death On August 1, 1921, Sid Hatfield and his friend, Ed Chambers, were killed by Baldwin-Felts detectives on the steps of the McDowell County Courthouse. Their deaths sparked outrage among miners and led to the Miners’ March on Logan. Read More »

  • Capital Cities Aug. 7, 1877: West Virginia voters chose Charleston as the state capital over Clarksburg and Martinsburg Read More »

  • Back to school The schools have changed, but the routine has not. Children all over West Virginia are returning to the classroom after summer break. Read More »

  • Wildlife Refuge August 11, 1994, Canaan Valley National Wildlife Refuge became the 500th refuge in the National Wildlife Refuge system Read More »

  • Niagara Movement August 15, 1906: The Niagara Movement began a five-day meeting at Storer College in Harpers Ferry Read More »

  • Marshall Expedition In 1812, Chief Justice John Marshall led a surveying expedition down the Greenbrier and New rivers in Western Virginia. That six-week journey helped open up the west. Read More »

  • Astronomy August 25, 2000: The Robert C. Byrd Green Bank Telescope, the world’s largest fully steerable radio telescope, was dedicated. Read More »

  • NASA "computer" NASA mathematician Katherine Johnson was born August 26, 1918. Her work was crucial to the Mercury and Apollo space programs, and she received the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2015. Read More »

This Date in History

August 25, 1903: Patrick Ward Gainer was born in Parkersburg

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Folklorist Patrick Ward Gainer (August 25, 1903-February 22, 1981) was a musician, educator, major collector of West Virginia folklore, long-time president of the West Virginia Folklore Society, and founder of the West Virginia State Folk Festival at Glenville.

Starting in 1924, Gainer searched the hills and hollows of West Virginia, recording the

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