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Traveling exhibit on the life, career of U.S. Sen. Robert C. Byrd coming to Ripley

June 29 reception, remarks by former U.S. Sen. Carte Goodwin kick off Fourth of July celebration


RIPLEY.Va. – Mayor Carolyn Rader and the Robert C. Byrd Center for Congressional History and Education welcome the community to the opening of a traveling exhibit celebrating the life and career of Senator Robert C. Byrd at 4 p.m. Thursday, June 29, at the Interstate-77 Auto Group Chevrolet Showroom.

Honoring the 100th Anniversary of the birth of Senator Robert C. Byrd, the Robert C. Byrd Center for Congressional History and Education has created a major traveling exhibit, “Robert C. Byrd: Senator, Statesman, West Virginian” which debuted at Shepherd University in April 2016.

The exhibit is touring the state of West Virginia to culminate with a celebration of Senator Byrd’s 100th birthday in November at the state capitol.

Former U.S. Senator Carte Goodwin, who grew up in Ripley, will offer remarks about succeeding the late Senator Byrd after being appointed to the post by then-Gov. Joe Manchin III. Goodwin practices law at Charleston-based Frost Brown Todd law firm. Mayor Rader will greet guests and be joined in comments by Dr. Jay Wyatt, director of programs and research at the Robert C. Byrd Center for Congressional History and Education.

“Senator Byrd was an icon not only in West Virginia, but across America,” Rader said. “Ripley is honored to have the story of his life documented on an amazing exhibit here especially as we prepare to host the state’s largest Independence Day celebration.”

The exhibit is based on documents and photographs from Senator Byrd’s extensive archive of 60 years of public service and includes images as widely varied as Senator Byrd’s childhood drawings to photographs of him meeting with presidents, said Jay Wyatt, director of programs and research at the Byrd Center.

“For any West Virginian who remembers Senator Byrd, the exhibit will bring back memories of what he has done for this state and the nation,” Wyatt said. “Everywhere we have taken the exhibit thus far we have heard personal and heartfelt stories from those who had encounters with Senator Byrd or who remember how he impacted their lives.

“One of the most popular features of the exhibit is a large map of West Virginia showing all the federal projects Senator Byrd helped to bring to the state. We are still adding up the amount of such funding but so far it exceeds 10 billion dollars for roads, highways, schools, flood control projects, coal miner benefits and federal agencies located in West Virginia.”

The public is encouraged to attend the June 29 reception, remarks and exhibit opening. The exhibit will be on display at the I-77 Chevrolet Showroom through July 10. Area schools are also invited to tour the facility and view the display. More information about the traveling exhibit is available at

The next stop for the Byrd traveling exhibit is Aug. 3-5 at the West Virginia Press Association’s annual conference at Canaan Valley.


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About the Robert C. Byrd Center for Congressional History and Education: The mission of the Robert C. Byrd Center is to advance representative democracy by promoting a better understanding of the United States Congress and the Constitution through programs and research that engage citizens in the history of Congress. The Center is the home of the Robert C. Byrd Archive containing the papers and records of the Senator’s long career. More can be found at



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