CHARLESTON, W.VA. — The West Virginia Department of Education (WVDE) recognized 226 eighth-grade students as 2023 Knights of the Golden Horseshoe today at the West Virginia Culture Center in Charleston. Three ceremonies were held to honor students achieving this milestone.
The WVDE inducted the students as part of the 307th anniversary of the Golden Horseshoe legacy, recognizing them for their knowledge of West Virginia history. The exam focuses on Mountain State topics including civics, government, geography, culture and numerous other categories.
The program’s legacy dates back to 1716 when Governor of the Virginia Colony Alexander Spotswood organized and recognized a delegation of men who explored the land west of the Allegheny Mountains (most of which is now West Virginia). He presented each of them with a small golden horseshoe to commemorate their bravery in crossing the mountain. It remains the longest-running program of its kind in the country with annual state recognitions dating back to 1931.