Portal:West Virginia

The West Virginia Portal

Panorama northwest, northeast and east from a ridge along West Virginia Route 42 between Elk Garden and Sulphur City in Mineral County, West Virginia (2016)
Panorama northwest, northeast and east from a ridge along West Virginia Route 42 between Elk Garden and Sulphur City in Mineral County, West Virginia (2016)

West Virginia is a state in the Appalachian, Mid-Atlantic and Southeastern regions of the United States. It is bordered by Pennsylvania to the north and east, Maryland to the east and northeast, Virginia to the southeast, Kentucky to the southwest, and Ohio to the northwest. West Virginia is the 10th-smallest state by area and ranks as the 12th-least populous state, with a population of 1,793,716 residents. The capital and largest city is Charleston.

West Virginia was admitted to the Union on June 20, 1863, and was a key border state during the war. It was the only state to form by separating from a Confederate state, the second to separate from a state after Maine separated from Massachusetts, and one of two states (along with Nevada) admitted to the Union during the Civil War. Some of its residents held slaves, but most were yeoman farmers, and the delegates provided for the gradual abolition of slavery in the new state constitution. The state legislature abolished slavery in the state, and at the same time ratified the 13th Amendment abolishing slavery nationally on February 3, 1865.

West Virginia's Northern Panhandle extends adjacent to Pennsylvania and Ohio to form a tristate area, with Wheeling and Weirton just across the border from the Pittsburgh metropolitan area. Huntington in the southwest is close to Ohio and Kentucky, while Martinsburg and Harpers Ferry in the Eastern Panhandle region are considered part of the Washington metropolitan area, between Maryland and Virginia. West Virginia is often included in several U.S. geographical regions, including the Mid-Atlantic, the Upland South, and the Southeastern United States. It is the only state entirely within the area served by the Appalachian Regional Commission; the area is commonly defined as "Appalachia". (Full article...)

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A bust shot of country music singer Kathy Mattea.
Kathy Mattea in 2000
Kathleen Alice Mattea (born June 21, 1959) is an American country music and bluegrass singer. Active since 1984 as a recording artist, she has charted more than 30 singles on the Billboard Hot Country Songs charts, including four that reached No. 1: "Goin' Gone", "Eighteen Wheels and a Dozen Roses", "Come from the Heart", and "Burnin' Old Memories", plus 12 more that charted within the top ten. She has released 14 studio albums, two Christmas albums, and one greatest hits album. Most of her material was recorded for Universal Music Group Nashville's Mercury Records Nashville division between 1984 and 2000, with later albums being issued on Narada Productions, her own Captain Potato label, and Sugar Hill Records. Among her albums, she has received five gold certifications and one platinum certification from the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA). She has collaborated with Dolly Parton, Michael McDonald, Tim O'Brien, and her husband, Jon Vezner. Mattea is also a two-time Grammy Award winner: in 1990 for "Where've You Been", and in 1993 for her Christmas album Good News. Her style is defined by traditional country, bluegrass, folk, and Celtic music influences. (Full article...)
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Pearl Buck, c. 1972

Pearl Sydenstricker Buck (June 26, 1892 – March 6, 1973), also known by her Chinese name Sai Zhenzhu (Chinese: ), was an American writer and novelist. She is best known for The Good Earth which was the best-selling novel in the United States in 1931 and 1932 and won the Pulitzer Prize in 1932. In 1938, Buck won the Nobel Prize in Literature "for her rich and truly epic descriptions of peasant life in China" and for her "masterpieces", two memoir-biographies of her missionary parents. She was the first American woman to win that prize.

Buck was born in West Virginia, but in October 1892, her parents took their 4-month-old baby to China. As the daughter of missionaries and later as a missionary herself, Buck spent most of her life before 1934 in Zhenjiang, with her parents, and in Nanjing, with her first husband. She and her parents spent their summers in a villa in Kuling, Mountain Lu, Jiujiang, and it was during this annual pilgrimage that the young girl decided to become a writer. She graduated from Randolph-Macon Woman's College in Lynchburg, Virginia, then returned to China. From 1914 to 1932, after marrying John Lossing Buck, she served as a Presbyterian missionary, but she came to doubt the need for foreign missions. Her views became controversial during the Fundamentalist–Modernist controversy, leading to her resignation. After returning to the United States in 1935, she married the publisher Richard J. Walsh and continued writing prolifically. She became an activist and prominent advocate of the rights of women and racial equality, and wrote widely on Chinese and Asian cultures, becoming particularly well known for her efforts on behalf of Asian and mixed-race adoption. (Full article...)
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      Sources

      1. ^ "Biggest US Cities By Population - West Virginia - 2018 Population". Biggest US Cities. March 4, 2020. Retrieved March 4, 2020.