By Jody Brumage
As we continue to work through the digitization of Senator Byrd's extensive photograph collection, we are making all kinds of unique and interesting discoveries. Today, we want to share with you a set of photographs from Senator Byrd's tour of Washington D.C., a booklet produced by his office in the early 1960s to give out to constituents and visitors.
Senator Byrd's first trip to Washington D.C. occurred when he was around the age of 13. He traveled with his boy scout troop from Stotesbury on a flat-bed truck to see the nation's capital. Many years later as Senator Byrd was recounting this trip for his autobiography, Child of the Appalachian Coalfields, he explained that while in the city, he and a friend split the fare for an aerial tour of the city aboard a single-engine airplane. Fifteen years later in 1946, Byrd took a group of four adults and forty-four children from the Sunday School at Crab Orchard Baptist Church on a trip to Washington, D.C., visiting among many sites the U.S. Capitol and seeing the Senate in session.
In his first term in the U.S. Senate, Senator Byrd's office produced a small tour booklet of some of the city's main attractions, its government buildings and monuments. The booklet weaves together information regarding the architecture and art of the city's institutions while giving visitors a sense of the city's own unique history. Reading through the pages of the tour booklet, one can easily see Senator Byrd conveying to his constituents the fascination that he felt for the city during his first visits.
You can view the tour booklet below or click here to download a digital reproduction:
In addition to the booklet itself, we are also fortunate to have prints of the images Senator Byrd had taken for inclusion in the tour. This set of photographs provide an excellent presentation of Washington D.C.'s landmarks in the early-1960s. Click on any of the images below to view them enlarged.
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