West Virginia Day

The statehood of West Virginia

by Liz Olson

West Virginia Day celebrates West Virginia’s admission to the United States of America on June 20, 1863. Although observed unofficially since 1863, the anniversary of statehood became an official state holiday in 1927. If June 20 falls on a Sunday, West Virginia Day is observed on Monday June 21.

West Virginia's early history from 1609 until 1863 is largely shared with Virginia, of which it was a part until Virginia seceded from the Union in 1861. The delegates of the 40 western counties opposed secession and formed their own government, which was granted statehood in 1863 as West Virginia.

Celebrations in honor of the holiday include games, barbecues, concerts, art festivals, historic displays, exhibitions, guided tours, and reenactments of Civil War battles. Most state offices, schools, and libraries are closed for the holiday.

West Virginia

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Did you know?
In Feb. 1918, over the course of just 12 hours, the temperature in Granville, N.D., rose 83 degrees, from -33°F to 50°F.

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