West Virginia's congressional delegation joins President Kennedy at the White House for a special celebration of the state's 100th birthday in 1963. Back Row (L to R) Congressmen John Slack, Ken Hechler, and Harley O. Staggers, Sr.; Front Row (L to R) Congressman Arch Moore II, Senators Jennings Randolph and Robert Byrd, President John F. Kennedy, and Governor William W. Barron.
While still in his first term in the United States Senate in 1963, Senator Byrd participated in the centennial anniversary of West Virginia's statehood. As celebrations took place across the state in the summer of 1963, the state's delegation members in the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives gathered at the White House for a special ceremony during which Governor William Barron presented a West Virginia flag to President John F. Kennedy. You can view a clip from the ceremony on the Spotlight West Virginia YouTube channel.
President Kennedy joined the state for its centennial celebration on June 20, 1963 when he addressed a large crowd from the Capitol in Charleston, recollecting his time campaigning in the state in 1960 and declaring that "this State was born to turmoil. It has known sunshine and rain in a hundred years, but I know of no State, and I know this State well, whose people feel more strongly, who have a greater sense of pride in themselves, in their State and in their country, than the people of West Virginia."
The annual celebration of West Virginia's statehood continues to be marked in events throughout the state and beyond. In 2013, the state marked its 150th birthday with a year-long schedule of programs and celebrations, including an online exhibition, a festival in Charleston with a fireworks display over the Capitol, and the opening of a new display in the Culture Center, featuring several items from Senator Byrd's collection.
Welcome to the Byrd Center Blog! We share content here including research from our archival collections, articles from our director, and information on upcoming events.
The Byrd Center advances representative democracy by promoting a better understanding of the United States Congress and the Constitution through programs and research that engage citizens.
Copyright © Robert C. Byrd Center for Congressional History and Education