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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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  • Luna Park On May 5, 1923, a fire started by welders destroyed most of this Charleston amusement park. Read More »

  • Opening night The Keith-Albee in Huntington showed its first movie on May 7, 1928, but it was the lavish theater itself that was the star of the show. Read More »

  • First Mother's Day The first official Mother's Day observance was held May 10, 1908, at Andrews Methodist Episcopal Church in Grafton and simultaneously in Philadelphia. Read More »

  • Hominy Falls On May 16, 1968, the final six miners were rescued after being trapped for ten days. Laws regulating preservation of mine maps were passed following this disaster. Read More »

  • Matewan Massacre May 19, 1920, police chief Sid Hatfield and angry miners confronted Baldwin-Felts agents on the streets of Matewan. A shootout left ten people dead. Read More »

  • Moonshine The West Virginia State Police rooted out illegal stills that were used to make moonshine. The making of Illegal whiskey has a long history in the Mountain State. Read More »

This Date in History

May 24, 1987: Phoeba Parsons received the Vandalia Award


Traditional musician Phoeba Cottrell Parsons (April 21, 1908-July 4, 2001) was a banjo player, ballad singer, storyteller, teller of riddles, and flatfoot dancer. She was born in Calhoun County and picked up her brother’s homemade banjo at age ten, even though ‘‘he didn’t want me to play because he was afraid I’d beat him.’’ This brother, Noah Cottrell, was also a respected banjo picker, fiddler, and storyteller. He died in 1991.

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