4-48 The State of West Virginia

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The great state of West Virginia became the 35th state in the Union on June 20, 1863.  Its capital is Charleston.

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 who opposed secession formed their own government, which was granted statehood in 1863.

In 1731, Morgan Morgan established the first permanent white settlement on Mill Creek in present-day Berkeley County. Coal, a mineral asset that would figure significantly in West Virginia's history, was discovered in 1742. Other important natural resources are oil, natural gas, and hardwood forests, which cover about 75% of the state's area.

The state's rapid industrial expansion began in the 1870s, drawing thousands of European immigrants and African Americans into the region. Miners' strikes between 1912 and 1921 required the intervention of state and federal troops to quell the violence.

Today, the state ranks second in total coal production, with about 15% of the U.S. total. It is also a leader in steel, glass, aluminum, and chemical manufactures. Major agricultural commodities are poultry and eggs, dairy products, and apples.

Tourism is increasingly popular in mountainous West Virginia. More than a million acres have been set aside in 37 state parks and recreation areas and in 9 state forests and 2 national forests.

Emblem/Symbol Name of Emblem/Symbol Adopted
Motto "Montani semper liberi" - (Mountaineers are always free)  
Nickname "Mountain State"  
State Seal 1863
State Bird Cardinal 1949
State Flower Big Laurel 1903
State Song "West Virginia, My Home Sweet Home" 1963
State Tree Sugar Maple 1949
State Flag 1929
State Insect Honeybee 2002
State Fish Brook Trout 1973
State Animal Black Bear 1973
State Gemstone Chalcedony 1990
State Fruit Apple 1972

Complete the questions below.

1.  West Virginia became the 35th state in the Union on June 20, .

2.  West Virginia was once a part of the state of .

3.  The state fish is the .

4.  Chalcedony is the state .

5.  Big Laurel is the state .

6.  "Montani semper liberi" means ().

7.  The state tree is the .

8.  The capital of West Virginia is .

9.  Its nickname is the "."

10.  The state animal is the .



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