CHARLESTON, W.Va. — A traveling exhibit honoring the late U.S. Senator Robert C. Byrd now sits in the lobby of the West Virginia Culture Center.
The “Robert C. Byrd: Senator, Statesman, West Virginian” exhibit opened Thursday night in Charleston after making stops in Jefferson, Mercer and Greenbrier counties. It was designed by the Robert C. Byrd Center for Congressional History and Education at Shepherd University.
The exhibit features Byrd’s origins in the coal fields, his service to the state and the nation and his legacy as the West Virginian of the 20th Century.
“It tells his whole story about him as a person, as a musician, as a historian, a family man and talks about his statesmanship,” said Caryn Gresham, deputy commissioner for the state Division of Culture and History.
Byrd, a Democrat, was the longest-serving Senator in United States history. He served as a U.S. Representative from 1953-1959 and then as a U.S. Senator from 1959 until his death in 2010.
Monday will mark what would’ve been Byrd’s 100th birthday.
Gresham said Byrd has been well-respected in the state for decades.
“He had a personality that was beyond just his congressional persona. I think people really respected his belief in the Constitution and how seriously he stood by that,” she said.
The exhibit was funded by the West Virginia Humanities Council and several other organizations. It will be on display at the Culture Center until the end of November. The exhibit will be moved to the state Capitol through the holidays and then travel back to the Culture Center in January.