Lisa Welch, of Shepherdstown WV, has been elected to the board of directors of the Congressional Education Foundation, which operates the Robert C. Byrd Center for Congressional History and Education on the campus of Shepherd University. Walter J. Stewart, chairman of the board, said that Ms. Welch was invited to join the board because of her outstanding commitments to public service and the betterment of Shepherd University and her work to sustain and expand the superb social and cultural environment to which the Byrd Center contributes.
Ms. Welch is a board member of the West Virginia Humanities Council, the Eastern West Virginia Community Foundation, and the Scarborough Society, which helps support the Shepherd University Library. She is also the co-founder and coordinator of the Shepherdstown Film Society. She and her husband Paul were recipients of the President’s Award in 2015 for their outstanding support of Shepherd University and the community.
April 1-7 is Congress Week, an annual observation of the history and importance of the Legislative Branch of our government. The Byrd Center joins with dozens of other repositories and research organizations across the United States in celebrating Congress Week. We hope that you will join us at the center for our special Congress Week programs!
By Ray Smock
This article first appeared on the History News Network on Sunday, March 5, 2017.
Fifty years ago, Congress passed the Public Broadcasting Act of 1967, establishing the Corporation for Public Broadcasting. The bill came as a result of a study conducted by the Carnegie Corporation of New York which urged the creation of public broadcasting to combat the growing influence of commercial broadcasters on America’s airwaves. At the urging of President Johnson, the Senate took up the motion in late spring and quickly moved it through the Senate Commerce Committee, sending it to the House in May of 1967. However, it was in the House of Representatives that the bill became embattled in protracted and contentious hearings.
By Ray Smock
Oxford University Press publishes an exciting series of books under the general heading of “A Very Short Introduction.” Top scholars in remarkably wide ranging fields of inquiry synthesize big topics with plenty of wallop per page. Three in the series are right in the wheelhouse of the Byrd Center’s mission and I am pleased to recommend them to you.
By Ray Smock
Inauguration Day in the United States of America is always a remarkable event, but it is even more so when the incoming president is of the opposite political party from the incumbent president. What makes the day so remarkable is that we make a celebratory occasion about the peaceful and orderly way we accept the will of the people in electing each new president. In so many countries in the world power changes hands in coups or with troops in the streets and clashing armies. It is not that our inaugurations have not been free of anxiety and high drama, or that there haven’t been protestors as part of the day’s events. Protest too is an essential part of democratic societies and the fact that we tolerate and even encourage dissent, sets us apart.
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