By Patrick Gregory, a public history major at Shepherd University and student intern at the Byrd Center.
Since the end of WWII, members of the Senate and House of Representatives have often gone on trips abroad called congressional delegations, or CODELs. These delegations provide opportunities for members of Congress to gain firsthand knowledge of the nations that the United States has diplomatic relationships with, develop personal and professional relationships with foreign officials and dignitaries, and to negotiate important policy matters. Senator Byrd went on numerous CODELs across the world during his six decades in Congress, including two trips to the People’s Republic of China (PRC) following the opening of diplomatic relations in the 1970’s.
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