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What are some facts that are unique to the state of West Virginia?

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In addition to its distinction of being the only region in the United States to achieve statehood by presidential proclamation, West Virginia can boast of several other unique facts. The average elevation of the state nicknamed "the Mountain State" is 1,500 feet, which makes West Virginia the state with the highest average elevation east of the Mississippi River. The Western Hemisphere's longest steel arch bridge, the New River Gorge Bridge, which spans 1,700 feet, can be found in West Virginia.

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Situated in the Appalachian Mountain region, West Virginia is the only state that was formed by seceding from a Confederate state. It is also one of only two states formed during the American Civil War, and it was admitted to the Union in 1863 with the aid of an enabling act from President Abraham Lincoln.

Some of the first-time events that occurred in West Virginia include the first brick street laid worldwide, the first electric railroad and the first steamboat launch. The state's Memorial Tunnel was the first vehicular traffic tunnel to be monitored by closed-circuit television. The birth of outdoor advertising occurred in West Virginia when a tobacco company began painting its sales slogan on bridges and barns in Wheeling around 1908.

The only house in the world built completely from coal can be found in White Sulfur Springs, and the longest city block in the world is the 1500 block of Charleston's Virginia Street. The state can also claim that the largest shipment of matches made worldwide, which consisted of 210 million matches in 20 carloads, was shipped from Wheeling to Memphis, Tennessee in 1933.

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