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Chapter Seven
"Majestic Splendor"
1969-1997




1932 capitol

West Virginia Capitol, 1932-present.
Postcard Collection

moore

Governor Arch A. Moore Jr.

A cold but sunny day provided the backdrop for the inauguration of Arch Alfred Moore Jr. on January 13, 1969, before an estimated 4,000 to 5,000 people. The ceremonies were held on the south side of the capitol, facing the Kanawha River. Like his predecessor, Moore took the oath of office after the other elected officials, followed by a 19-gun salute and the new governor's inaugural address. Music was provided by the John Marshall High School Band from Moore's native Marshall County.

“Gov. and Mrs. Moore and their son and two daughters made their first appearance about three minutes after noon as they emerged from between two hugh columns on the south portico.

"Moore waved to the crowd as he descended with his family on a red runner carpet to the inaugural stand." Charleston Gazette, January 14, 1969

program

Excerpts from Moore's 1969 inaugural program.
Si Galperin Collection

inaugural invitation

Inaugural invitation.
Si Galperin Collection

After the formal ceremonies concluded, the governor and other dignitaries crossed the boulevard to a platform on the river side, from which they could watch the inaugural parade. The parade lasted two hours and included 56 high school bands from 34 counties, the Fife and Drum Corps from the Army Third Infantry, the Elkins Highlanders, and several Shrine bands. The West Virginia University marching band led the parade, while the Charleston High School served as the "host band." When WVU's band reached the reviewing stand, it played "Arch's March," a new composition written by band director Budd Udell and dedicated to Arch Moore on his inauguration.
inaugural speech

Inaugural speech.

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Inaugural footage.

A reception was scheduled in the capitol rotunda immediately after the parade, but a telephone bomb threat delayed its start until after 4:00 p.m. In the evening, inaugural ball guests were received in the governor's reception room, and the ball was held on the upper floor of the rotunda. The Richmond Houston string Quartet provided music for the reception, while Don Boyd's Orchestra from Beckley played for the ball.
inaugural invitation

Inaugural party invitation
and ball ticket.
Si Galperin Collection

inaugural invitation

Inaugural ball invitation.
Si Galperin Collection

succession amendment

With passage of the Governor's Succession Amendment in 1970, in 1973, Arch Moore became the first governor in a century to serve two consecutive terms and, from all indications, the first to have an inaugural ceremony for a second term. Moore's inaugural was a two-day affair that began on Sunday, January 14, with a free afternoon concert by Lionel Hampton at the Charleson Civic Center, followed by a $100-a-plate inaugural gala.

On a rainy January 15, 1973, formal ceremonies started at the traditional noon hour with the invocation, "Star Spangled Banner," and administration of the oath of office to other elected officials. Since Moore was beginning a second term, it was not possible to follow the tradition of having the outgoing governor introduce the incoming governor. It was decided that it would be appropriate to have Senate President William T. Brotherton Jr., next in line should the governor be unable to fulfill his duties, present Arch Moore. The governor took the oath of office using the same Bible that had been used in six other inaugurations, including that of Henry Mason Mathews, and gave his inaugural address.

inaugural ticket

Inaugural tickets

program

Excerpts from Moore's 1973 inaugural program.
Si Galperin Collection

inaugural invitation

Inaugural Events Program.
Si Galperin Collection

inaugural ticket

Inaugural stand

inaugural ticket

Crowd at Moore's inauguration

inaugural ticket

Arch Moore taking the oath of office

inaugural ticket

Moore giving his inaugural address

inaugural ticket

Moore giving his inaugural address

All five photos from the Moore Collection

As in 1969, Governor Moore and guests moved across the boulevard at the end of the ceremonies to watch the inaugural parade. West Virginia University again led the 2-hour-plus parade along the boulevard, during which National Guardsmen handed out bologna and salami sandwiches and hot coffee. Governor and Mrs. Moore received well-wishers in the rotunda after the parade. In the evening, the inaugural ball was held once again in the capitol. Duke Ellington was scheduled to perform but was unable to come due to illness, and Lionel Hampton provided music instead. Added to the activities was the governor's youth inaugural ball, held at the Civic Center.
inaugural footage

Inaugural footage

reception

Governor and Mrs. Moore at the reception.
Moore Collection

inaugural ball ticket

Ticket to inaugural ball.
Si Galperin Collection

rockefeller

Governor Jay Rockefeller

Four years later, in 1977, another multi-day inaugural was held when John Davison "Jay" Rockefeller IV became governor. Events started on Saturday, January 15, with an evening concert by Billy Edd Wheeler at the new Science and Culture Center on the Capitol Complex. Activities at the Science and Culture Center continued on Sunday with a series of afternoon and evening performances by various individuals or groups. In addition, artisan and craftsmen exhibits were on display.
Culture Center

Science and Culture Center.
Robert Shreve Collection

Culture Center events

Ad for events at Science and Culture Center.
Charleston Daily Mail, January 14, 1977

program

Excerpts from Rockefeller's 1977 inaugural program

inaugural footage

Inaugural footage

On a bitterly cold January 17, the coldest inauguration in West Virginia history was held. Among those in attendance were Vice President Nelson Rockefeller, the new governor's uncle, and Mrs. Rockefeller; Sen. Charles Percy, Sharon Rockefeller's father; Cyrus Vance, incoming president Jimmy Carter's choice for secretary of state; President Lyndon Johnson's daughter Lynda and her husband Charles Robb; and Carter's son Jack and his wife Judy; the Phillipine ambassador to the United Nations; and approximatey six dozen members of the Rockefeller and Percy families. Security was tighter than usual.

Before the ceremonies began, inaugural participants were guests at a brunch at the governor's mansion. The brunch was to be followed by a concert on the north portico of the capitol by the Marshall University and West Virginia University bands, but the subzero temperature led to its cancellation. Nevertheless, the two bands had a role in the official ceremony, which was held outside on the north portico in spite of the weather. Jane Hobson of Huntington sang the national anthem, and Billy Edd Wheeler recited a poem he had written for Rockefeller's inauguration. After the new governor gave his inaugural address, the choir from West Virginia Wesleyan College, of which Rockefeller had been president, sang "My Home Among the Hills." By the conclusion of the ceremony, many of those who attended had retreated to the capitol interior, where a public reception was held in the first floor rotunda. Apple cider and West Virginia-shaped cookies were served.

The governor held a private reception for around 200 people between 7:00 and 9:00 p.m. in the governor's mansion, with Bob Thompson providing music. From 9:00 p.m. to 1:00 a.m., three inaugural balls were held on the Capitol Complex. The Peter Duchin Orchestra played for the ball in the rotunda, the Lester Lanin Orchestra for the ball in the Science and Culture Center, and the Charlie Daniels Band for the one at the Motor Vehicles Building.
map

Map for inaugural events at the capitol.
Charleston Gazette-Mail, January 16, 1977

program

Excerpts from Rockefeller's 1981 inaugural program

inaugural invition

Inaugural invitation.
Sc2003-0136

Rockefeller won re-election in 1980, and his second inauguration was held January 19, 1981. Ceremonies moved to the south portico of the capitol, although the same heated outdoor stand that first had been used for Arch Moore's inauguration was used again. With warmer weather, the pre-inaugural concert was held. Senate President Warren McGraw introduced Gov. Rockefeller, who gave his second inaugural address after the now traditional 19-gun salute. Following the singing of "My Home Among the Hills" by the Grafton High School Choir and the benediction and recessional, a public reception was held in the capitol at which apple cider and state-shaped cookies again were served.

Rockefeller family

Rockefeller family.
Slide, Rockefeller Collection

inauguration

Rockefeller's 1981 inauguration.
Slide, Rockefeller Collection

inaugural invition

Inaugural invitation.
Sc2003-0136

Two ball locations, both at the Civic Center, were available to those who bought tickets. The Atlanta Rhythm Section played in the coliseum, decorated with a futuristic theme. In the arena, decorated with a traditional West Virginia setting theme, Count Basie provided the music. West Virginia native Mike Hotopp, a Broadway set designer who was responsible for the look of the 1977 balls, created the decor.
inaugural ball invition

Inaugural ball invitation.
Sc2003-0136

moore

Governor Arch A. Moore Jr.

In 1984, Arch Moore became the first person elected to a third 4-year term as governor. As he had done twelve years earlier in 1973, Moore held a a $100-a-plate inaugural gala at the Charleston Civic Center on the day before the inauguration.
moore

Inaugural Gala program

“The 2,180 paying guests Sunday night didn't get much in the way of tangible benefits for their $100. The lines at the bar were long; the meal was mediocre and the audience was so large that the program was delayed nearly an hour while additional dinners were sent in.

"But the guests weren't there for anything tangible. They were there to celebrate the return to prominence of Arch Moore, whose position in West Virginia politics was surely in doubt over the last eight years." Charleston Gazette, January 14, 1985

On January 14, 1985, the Rockefellers hosted a brunch at the governor's mansion for the Moores and other guests before the formal activites began. Unlike his previous two inaugurations, Moore's 1985 inauguration included no parade, a precaution in case the weather was bad. It was a sunny day with temperatures above freezing, however. The ceremony took place on the south side of the capitol on a new inaugural platform. In a change from tradition, although other officials taking the oath on the occasion were sworn in by Chief Justice Richard Neely of the West Virginia Supreme Court of Appeals, Arch Moore was not sworn in by a judge. Instead, he was administered the oath by George Seibert Jr., former House minority leader. Moore gave his inaugural address, the rest of the program took place, and activities then moved to the capitol interior, where the Moores had a receiving line in the rotunda.

At the Cultural Center, several music programs were scheduled throughout the afternoon for the theater: Up With People, The Hillsmen, West Virginia University Percussion Ensemble, Mountain Stae Stompers, and the Grafton High School Choir. Craft demonstrations were conducted in the balcony and traditional music was available in the museum. A public reception was held in the Great Hall.

The inaugural ball was held three locations at the Civic Center, with The Spinners performing in the coliseum and the Jimmy Dorsey Orchestra and the Lucky Jazz Band in two other rooms. Moore's inauguration was thought to be the most expensive among the year's gubernatorial inauguration.

moore

Inaugural program

inaugural footage

Inaugural footage

caperton

Governor Gaston Caperton III

On January 16, 1989, Arch Moore was succeeded by Gaston Caperton. As with other recent inaugurations, activities began the day before the official ceremony with an inaugural gala fundraiser at the Marriott Hotel, where those who paid $1,000 per couple ate crepe suzette, sauteed shrimp and scallops, beef tenderloin, shrimp in Chinese pea pods, pâté, and puff pastry, and drank wine.

Caperton's inauguration was the first in West Virginia since Martin Luther King Jr. Day had become a federal holiday. On the morning of January 16, Caperton and his wife Dee attended a tribute to Dr. King at the Cultural Center before attending a brunch at the governor's mansion. The official ceremony began at noon on the south side of the capitol. Former Supreme Court Justice Oliver Kessel, Caperton's father-in-law, administered the oath of office to the incoming governor. After Caperton gave his inaugural address, the Shepherd College Choir sang "My Home Among the Hills," followed by the benediction and recessional.

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Inaugural footage.

inaugural

Inaugural speech.

choir

Performance of
"My Home Among the Hills"

A 3-hour public reception on the first floor of the capitol followed the ceremony, during which the Shepherd College Choir and high school choirs from Grafton, Brooke, Buckhannon-Upshur, and Wayne performed. Refreshments were available in the Culture Center, where jazz ensembles from Marshall University and West Virginia Tech provided entertainment and inaugural souvenirs were sold.

inaugural

Portion of panoramic of Caperton's 1989 inauguration.
Ph89-63

program

Excerpts from Caperton's 1989 inaugural program

“By noon, thousands of West Virginians packed the south lawn of the Capitol to watch the inauguration of the state's 31st governor. On a crisp, nearly cloudless day that seems to typify his campaign promises, Gaston Caperton took the oath of office. . . .

Across the boulevard, concessionaires did a brisk business in coffee and hot chocolate and inaugural souvenirs. . . .

At the souvenir table, glass paperweights--at $10 each, the most costly item--were the big sellers, according to Phyllis Holmes of Elkview.

Demand for T-shirts imprinted with the "A Partnership Celebration" insignia was not as brisk, she said, noting, "I think if they were sweat shirts, they'd move fairly well." Charleston Gazette, January 17, 1989

Inaugural activities ended with the inaugural ball in four areas of the Civic Center that was attended by at least 10,000 people. The Production Company, Van Dells, and Four Tops performed in the coliseum. The Grand Hall featured Tuxedo Junction and the Count Basie Orchestra. The Cross Country Band performed in the second floor foyer, while Bob Thompson and Still Portrait were in the West virginia Room.

program

Caperton's 1993 inaugural program

inaugural

Page from Caperton's 1993 inaugural speech

On January 18, 1993, Gaston Caperton's second inauguration as governor took place. Instead of a Sunday inaugural gala, a free inaugural concert was held at the Civic Center with the Wheeling Symphony Orchestra, conducted by the governor's wife Rachael Worby. Michael Martin Murphey was scheduled to perform with the orchestra but illness kept him from performing, and Gary Morris sang instead. A celebration of Martin Luther King Jr. was held on Monday morning at the Cultural Center.

Details on the inauguration are sketchy because the program does contain the usual schedule of activities. It was held on the south side of the capitol, where Caperton was joined by 800 teachers, students, and parents representing schools around West Virginia. As usual, five members of the Board of Public Works were administered the oath, as was one Supreme Court justice. After the ceremonies, which included Caperton's second inaugural address, concluded, a reception was held in the rotunda.

The event was marred by interruptions from a group of state employee union members on Kanawha Boulevard, who several times chanted "What do we want? Collective bargaining! When do we want it? Now! We are--union!"

“I think it was something that was very disturbing to the crowd," Caperton said of the protest.

"People had come here for a ceremony that has a lot to do with love and respect for our state, and I thought it was very unfortunate," he said late Monday afternoon. Charleston Gazette, January 19, 1993

The inaugural ball at the Civic Center drew around 6,000 people. The Bob Thompson Trio, Lester Lanin and his Orchestra, the Commodores, and the Production Company provided music in the various areas.

underwood

Governor Cecil H. Underwood

Cecil Harland Underwood, who had served as governor from 1957 to 1961, again assumed the governorship on January 13, 1997. Although there were some elements of his inauguration that had been part of the 1957 event, there were many differences. For one, activities began on the previous afternoon with an Inaugural Service of Prayer and Celebration at the Municipal Auditorium to which several hundred clergy had been invited. Underwood was the featured speaker, and a 50-voice African American choir, the West Virginia Wesleyan Concert Chorale, and a children's choir from Christ Church United Methodist performed. Following that event, a reception was held for inaugural sponsors at the Cultural Center. In the evening, the West Virginia symphony gave a pops concert with guest artist Peabo Bryson at the Civic Center.

“Forty years ago, I became the 25th governor in vastly different times. When I complete this term in 2001, our lives will be dramatically different as the Industrial Age gives way to the Information Age. . . .

I will give to the people of West Virginia the best that I have. With their help and support, West Virginia will be ready to take its place in the 21st century. Inaugural address, January 13, 1997

Following a brunch at the governor's mansion on a cold, 19-degree January 13, official ceremonies were held on the north side of the capitol, on the steps rather than on a platform over the fountain as had been the case in 1957. A slight mix-up led to Underwood taking the oath of office before Supreme Court justices Larry Starcher and Spike Maynard, which caused a delay in his inaugural speech while the two justices were administered the oath. The Kiwanis Club had a booth on the grounds at which members sold hot dogs.
program

Excerpts from Underwood's 1997 inaugural program

inaugural

Inaugural footage.

inaugural

249th Army Band,
West Virginia National Guard

inaugural

Margaret Workman administering the oath
of office to Cecil Underwood

inaugural

Inaugural scene during
Underwood's address

inaugural

View of the crowd
at Underwood's inauguration

All four photos from Ph97-44acc

The governor and first lady greeted visitors in the rotunda for two hours following the ceremonies, while coffee, soft drinks, and snacks were served in the Cultural Center. Volunteers sold inaugural memorabilia outside.

A reception by invitation was held at the Marriott from 7:30 to 9:00 p.m. followed by the inaugural ball at the Civic Center. Two ballrooms and the mezzanine were used for the ball, which offered the nearly 10,000 attendees music by the Tommy Dorsey Orchestra, the Bo Thorpe Band, Santa Cruz, The Temptations, the Bob Thompson Quartet, and Souvenir.

reception

Reception at the Cultural Center

inaugural
inaugural

Inaugural ball. Gov. and Mrs. Underwood at left.

All photos from Ph97-44acc


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Taking the Oath

West Virginia Archives and History