Glancing through the finding aid, you can appreciate the variety of speeches found in the series. You can see speeches made by Senator Byrd reflecting his devoted study of the U.S. Constitution, the legislative branch, and the institution of the U.S. Senate. One such document is a speech entitled "The Senate: The Forum of Freedom," written in 1963 during Senator Byrd's first term in the Senate. Nearly 25 years later, Senator Byrd delivered a speech entitled "The Constitution in Our Time" in Philadelphia's Congress Hall during the Bicentennial of the U.S. Constitution in 1987.
Many of the speeches convey Senator Byrd's stance on issues of national and international importance, such as his 2003 speech against the deployment of U.S. Armed Forces in Iraq. Five years later, Senator Byrd spoke on the need for the U.S. to lower its reliance upon foreign energy imports. Senator Byrd explicitly stated the need for continued use of coal while also expressing the need to diversify energy production through renewable sources. Senator Byrd also made significant efforts to support the coal miners, such as his early work to secure funding and training for enhancing health and safety in West Virginia's coal mines.
The Speeches Series also documents Senator Byrd's many visits to West Virginia. In 1976, Senator Byrd spoke at the dedication of the New River Gorge Bridge, celebrating the structure as "a monument to the technical and scientific skill of American industry and engineering." In recognition for his tireless efforts on the part of his home state, Senator Byrd was named the "West Virginian of the Twentieth Century" in 2001. In his remarks before the West Virginia State Legislature, Senator Byrd expressed his gratitude for the "opportunity to serve our state and our nation; to stand in the midst of history, among men and women who have changed the course of destiny, at the pinnacle of power in the greatest legislative body ever to grace the Earth."
Also to be found in the speeches series are the Senator's statements on historic occasions such as the 100th Anniversary of the Niagara Movement at Harpers Ferry's Storer College in 2006 and the 145th birthday of West Virginia Statehood in 2008.