Oct. 27, 2017
CHARLESTON, W.Va. - David Corbin will present “The Myths and Realities of Senator Robert C. Byrd” in the Archives and History Library in the Culture Center, State Capitol Complex in Charleston on Thursday, Nov. 2, 2017. The program will begin at 6 p.m. and is free and open to the public.
After working for Robert C. Byrd for 16 years, and writing a book about him, Corbin learned that despite his incredibly successful political career, including three terms as the leader of the U.S. Senate, and his accomplishments, which were considerable, Byrd’s image and legacy have been tainted by misconceptions, misunderstanding and misinformation. He will discuss Byrd’s contributions, but his talk will focus on the myths and reality of Senator Robert C. Byrd to correct the “fake history” of the man and the U.S. Senator, especially in regards to his record on race and civil rights.
Corbin worked in the U.S. Senate for 26 years; six years on the leadership staff of Senate Majority Leader Robert C. Byrd and 10 years on the leadership staffs of Senate Majority Leaders George Mitchell and Tom Daschle. He also served as Senator Byrd’s speechwriter for the last 10 years of Byrd’s career. Corbin is the author of a book on Senator Byrd, The Last Great Senator: Robert C. Byrd’s Encounters with Eleven U.S. Presidents (2015), and the article “Senator Robert C. Byrd, The ‘Unsung Hero’ of Watergate,” West Virginia Law Review, Spring 2006.
With a Ph.D. in labor history, Corbin has taught for the University of Maryland in Europe and at College Park, Md. He is the author of two books on West Virginia coal miners, Life, Work, and Rebellion in the Coal Fields: The Southern West Virginia Miners, 1880-1922 (1981) and Gun Thugs, Rednecks, and Radicals: A Documentary History of the West Virginia Mine Wars (2011). His most recent scholarly publication is “John F. Kennedy Plays the ‘Religious Card’: Another Look at the 1960 West Virginia Primary,” West Virginia History, Fall 2015.
For additional information, contact the Archives and History Library at (304) 558-0230.
Patrons may park behind the Culture Center after 5 p.m. on Nov. 2 and enter the building at the back loading dock area. The bus turnaround is open, and handicapped spots are available there. Visitors parking there should enter at the front of the building.
The West Virginia Division of Culture and History is proud to be able to present its programs at no charge to the public but without a solution to the state’s budget situation, this could be the last year that programs of this type could be offered. The division, led by Commissioner Randall Reid-Smith, is an agency within the Office of Secretary of Education and the Arts with Gayle Manchin, cabinet secretary. It brings together the past, present and future through programs and services focusing on archives and history, arts, historic preservation and museums. For more information about the division’s programs, events and sites, visit www.wvculture.org. The Division of Culture and History is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Employer.