Flashback: What Happened on May 20, ....
• 1786 George Jackson was given permission to run a ferry across the Elk River, Harrison County, and to charge 4 pence for man and horse or 2 pence for man or horse.
• 1918 Coal mine fire at Villa on the Elk River, Kanawha County, ten miles above Charleston, killed 13. Mine owned by the Mill Creek Cannel Mining Company.
• 1921 A post office was established at Mozer, Pendleton County, with O. H. Harman as postmaster. It continued in operation until 1968. REF: Mills, Pendleton County West Virginia: Past and Present.
• 1931 The Fayette Tribune first published reports of poor working conditions at the Hawks Nest Tunnel at Alloy, Fayette County, but said it was impossible confirm due to a “gag rule” in effect. The firm of Rinehart and Dennis was in charge of the tunnel and dam construction for the New-Kanawha Power Company to produce power for the Electro Metallurgical Company, both subsidiaries of Union Carbide Corporation. At least 476 workers, most migrant African-Americans, died from silicosis, caused from inhalation of silica rock particles under inadequate safety conditions. Fifty years later, some studies placed the death toll as high as 764, making it the worst industrial disaster in United States history.
• 1978 West Virginia Black Lung Association Vice President and early crusader for black lung benefits Anise Floyd was murdered at her home in Charleston by an ex-miner who had been denied benefits.