The news in Wise and its surroundings counties was delivered by several different newspapers. One of the most prominent ones was The Big Stone Gap Post, which was locally called The Post. Within its pages, there were numerous articles about various topics of interest from trifling information about who was marrying whom to information about the status of other cities and their legislation during the war. However, there were specific items that were mentioned again and again as people strove to distract themselves from events occurring during the Great War.

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One of the topics was baseball. Teams from various schools in the area played against each other and the editor was sure to print the current scores of the leading teams. The editor was also known to use colorful phrases such as, “The fastest player ever seen on that diamond” 1 or “In the rarest exhibition of good baseball ever seen [in Big Stone Gap] or in Wise County.”2 This excitement and daily coverage showed just how intensely people felt about the sport.

Ultimately, baseball was a pastime that the people of Big Stone Gap and Wise county supported in droves.

Aviation Shows

However, on the fourth of July, there was only one thing that people could talk about…the aviation shows.  During celebrations from the years 1914 to 1918, there were various flying shows that amazed the people of Big Stone Gap and Wise.

As the main attraction of the event, the pilot W.S. Lucky would come and fly his plane during the annual county fair celebrations. There are several articles in The Post that mention Lucky and one article states, “How Lucky even made a specific maneuver that could only be called the dip of death and [the maneuver] amazed millions.”3

The aviation shows were always crowd pleasers due to the aerial maneuver mentioned above and others. 4

In the long run, the aviation shows were one of the biggest distractions that brought joy and visiting people to the areas of Big Stone Gap and Wise.

The above topics manage to illustrate what people in Southwest Virginia were thinking about during the Great War period. They wanted distractions in a harmless and fun manner; they wanted a way to forget for a short time the pressures and problems that surrounded them due to the war.

Article Citations

Baseball Articles

“Baseball.” The Post, April 8, 1914, Volume XXII.

“Baseball”. The Post, June 10 1914, Volume XXII.

“Baseball”. The Post, July 15 1914, Volume XXII.

“Baseball”. The Post, April 14 1915, Volume XXIII.

“Baseball.” The Post, April 26 1916, Volume XXIV.

“Baseball.” The Post, May 24 1916, Volume XXIV.

“Baseball.” The Post, June 14 1916, Volume XXIV.

“Baseball.” The Post, May 16 1917, Volume XXV.

“Baseball.” The Post, June 18 1919, Volume XXVII.

“Baseball.” The Post, June 16 1920, Volume XXVIII.

Airplane Articles

“Sensational Flying War Maneuvers.” The Post, June 2, 1915, Volume XXIII.

“Made Successful Flight in Big Stone Gap.” The Post, June 23, 1915, Volume XXIII.

“Big Celebration.” The Post, July 7, 1915, Volume XXIII.

“Again W. S. Lucky visits Big Stone Gap.” The Post, July 14, 1915, Volume XXIII.

“Big Stone Gap August 14th.” The Post, July 21, 1915, Volume XXIII.

“Big Stone Gap August 14th.” The Post, July 7, 1920, Volume XXVIII.


1. “Baseball.” The Post, June 10 1914, Volume XXII.
2. “Baseball.” The Post, April 15 1915, Volume XXIII.
3. “Again W.S. Lucky.” The Post, July 14 1915, Volume XXIII.
4. “Record Breaking Crowd visits Big Stone Gap.” The Post,July 7 1920, Volume XXVIII.