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Yes, Virginia, There Is a West Virginia
May 11, 2013 - Joselyn King
It was more than 150 years ago that the western counties of what was then the state of Virginia rose up to break away from the state and chose to remain a member of the Union.
In West Virginia -- especially in the Northern Panhandle -- most are familiar with the Mountain State's move toward independence from the "Old Dominion." But how often do those from outside West Virginia still think the state is the western part of Virginia?
It's even questionable whether those living in Virginia know that chapter in their state's history.
In 2010, when U.S. Rep. Eric Cantor, R-Va., came to Wheeling to campaign for Rep. David B. McKinley, R-W.Va., McKinley took Cantor on a tour of West Virginia Independence Hall. After, Cantor remarked he learned much on the tour he had never been taught in Virginia history class.
Now as Wheeling makes its preparations to celebrate West Virginia's 150th birthday in the city, doesn't it seem appropriate to invite Virginia's leaders to partake? After 150 years, it's time to bury the hatchet.
I asked Mayor Andy McKenzie if anyone with the city had moved to invite Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell to West Virginia's birthday party, or any other Virginia leaders. He thought it was a good idea, and presumably an olive branch has been sent.
West Virginia is old enough now to have a coming out party, and the history behind its statehood should be impressed upon the nation this year.
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