This week in WV History: April 28 – May 4

Digital Desk

Throughout West Viginia History, we explore the important events that helped shape our state and what makes West Virginia wild and wonderful.

On the evening of April 30, 1774, white settlers in present-day Hancock County murdered a group of Native Americans, including several relatives of Chief Logan, in what was known as the Yellow Creek Massacre.

While Chief Logan was away, his family members crossed to the western Virginia side of the river at Baker’s Tavern and met up with a group of settlers, led by Daniel Greathouse.  Later that evening, Greathouse and his friends killed nine of the Indians. 

Logan, who had previously been considered a friend of the frontier pioneers, vowed to kill 10 white settlers for every murdered member of his family.

Today, Logan County, the city of Logan, and Chief Logan State Park are all named in his honor.

On May 3, 1960, after two years of protests by the Congress of Racial Equality, the Diamond Department Store in Charleston opened its dining facilities to African Americans.

African American organizations seeking racial equality boycotted the store for more than two years because of its refusal to serve food to members of the race. The store became the last business to lift the color barrier.

On May 5th, 1953,  A 12-day strike at Perfection Garment Company plants in Martinsburg and Ranson ended.

The International Ladies Garment Workers Union succeeded in organizing Martinsburg’s Perfection Garment Company in the early 1950s after two decades of resistance from the company’s founders. 

Twenty-eight people were arrested in the first three days of the 12-day strike. There was sporadic violence, but no one was seriously injured. 

The strike ended after a settlement was announced on May 5. Perfection’s workers got the end result they wanted, they won the right to bargain collectively. 

Information courtesy of West Virginia Department of Arts, Culture and History: http://www.wvculture.org/index.aspx.

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