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Life IS history in the making. Every word we say, everything we do becomes history the moment it is said or done. Life void of memories leaves nothing but emptiness. For those who might consider history boring, think again: It is who we are, what we do and why we are here. We are certainly individuals in our thoughts and deeds but we all germinated from seeds planted long, long ago.

Friday, June 20, 2014

West Virginia: The Mountains are Callin'

This Day in History: June 20, 1863

Autumn Grist Mill West Virginia Waterfalls

West Virginia's karst topography contributes to its cool trout waters, diverse landscapes, whitewater rapids, historic caves and lost world caverns. The state motto of West Virginia Montani Semper Liberi or "Mountaineers Always Free" was adopted in 1863 reflecting the character and beliefs of the citizens of the state at the time of its adoption. Being known as the land of rugged mountains (the scenic Allegheny Mountains cross the state), it is most appropriate for West Virginia to be nicknamed The Mountain State.

On the brink of the American Civil War, the slave-holding plantation owners in the eastern part of Virginia dominated the state's economy and politics. Feeling ignored, the self-sufficient farmers in the rugged western counties, where slavery was far less prevalent, began the process of separation. Virginia joined the Confederacy in April 1861, except for 48 counties of western Virginia that broke away and formed the Union-loyal state of West Virginia. On June 20, 1863, in the midst of the Civil War, West Virginia became the 35th state to join the union. West Virginia is the only state in the Union to have acquired its sovereignty by proclamation by the President of the United States. Statehood was proclaimed by President Abraham Lincoln.

 West Virginia is a U.S. state located in the
Appalachian region of the Southern United States.
West Virginia is considered the southern most northern state 
and the northern most southern state.

West Virginia adopted its present state flag by Senate Joint Resolution Number 18, approved by the Legislature on March 7, 1929. The proportions of the state flag are the same as those of the United States flag. The background, or field, of the flag is pure white bordered by a strip of blue on all four sides. The coat-of-arms of the State of West Virginia is the center focal point of the flag.
The West Virginia state seal was adopted in 1863. The state motto Montani Semper Liberi appears on the lower border of the seal symbolizing Mountaineers Always Free.
West Virginia has a State Reptile!

West Virginia State Reptile: Timber Rattlesnake

"Rattlesnakes are only too plentiful everywhere; along the river bottoms, in the broken, hilly ground, and on the prairies and the great desert wastes alike...If it can it will get out of the way, and only coils up in its attitude of defence when it believes that it is actually menaced."
-Theodore Roosevelt

West Virginia State Animal: Black Bear

"Bears keep me humble. They help me to keep the world in perspective and to understand where I fit on the spectrum of life. We need to preserve the wilderness and its monarchs for ourselves, and for the dreams of children. We should fight for these things as if our life depended upon it, because it does."

 West Virginia State Bird: Northern Cardinal
Image Source: FactZoo.com

West Virginia State Flower: Rhododendron

Golden delicious apple - photo courtesy of New York Apple Association; © New York Apple Association.
West Virginia designated the apple as the official state fruit in 1972 and then ammended the resolution in 1995 to specify the golden delicious apple.
Click for recipe: West Virginia State Apple Pie


For all State Symbols of West Virginia click HERE!

West Virginia Hills
The Mountains are Callin'


From Allegheny to Blue Ridge
Mountain echoes are callin'
Mystical, chilling, thrilling
Before, during, after leaves fallin'


Trails along the rain shadow
Follow shale barrens deep within
Endemic species cling to life
White-haired leatherflowers begin

Seneca Rocks in autumnal splendor
 Stand majestic in the distance
Towering over trees and shrubs
Reaffirming past existence

From arid plateaus to thundering falls
Panoramic scenes, a bird's eye view
Stretch upward and outward
Beneath a sky of cerulean blue

The shy, secretive black bear
Denning in large, hollow trees
Roams free in the wild

Savoring the mountain breeze

The mountains are callin'
Callin' me, callin' me home
To their glorious wonders
Beneath a whispering dome

©2014 Awakenings

  West Virginia Facts and Trivia

Next state by month: #9 New Hampshire, June 21, 1788