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Norman Family

The Norman Family exhibit, which looked at the prominent family of John Clavon Norman Sr., his wife Ruth Stephenson Norman, and their son Dr. John Clavon "Jack" Norman Jr., was on display in the Archives and History Photo Gallery between February and June 2016.


Photograph, Ruth Stephenson, front row, fourth from left, with her fellow graduates at Garnet High School, Charleston, 1915. Left to right: Theodore Scott, Ella Holmes, Robert Edwards, Ruth Stephenson, Jervis Woodley, Nina Spurlock, Elvin Anderson, Robert Green Edwards. Second row, Viney, Susie Price, Harry Williams, Anna Winston, Mable Brown, Estella Allen. Norman Family Collection, West Virginia State Archives
Document, License to practice architecture in West Virginia granted to John Norman, making him the second African-American architect in the state, February 1922. Ten years later he was awarded a professional engineer license, thus becoming the first black architect-structural engineer in West Virginia’s history. Norman Family Collection, West Virginia State Archives
Document, Congratulatory telegram sent by Arthur Jackson, long-serving law librarian for the state of West Virginia, to Ruth Norman on the occasion of the birth of her only child, John Clavon “Jack” Norman Jr, May 1929. Norman Family Collection, West Virginia State Archives
Drawing, Architectural design drawing produced by John C. Norman showing plans, elevations and details of a “bungalow” at 1118 Second Avenue, Charleston, 1920s. The structure served as the Norman family home for more than sixty years. John C. Norman Sr. Collection, West Virginia State Archives
Photograph, The Norman residence on Second Avenue in Charleston, 1984. Photographer: Ruth Norman. Norman Family Collection, West Virginia State Archives
Photograph, Jack Norman in the arms of his father John C. Norman, 1929. Norman Family Collection, West Virginia State Archives
Photograph, Jack Norman (left) with his cousin Julia Powell in their backyard fort, early 1930s. Norman Family Collection, West Virginia State Archives
Photograph, Cousins Julia Powell and Jack Norman in front of the Norman home, late 1930s. Norman Family Collection, West Virginia State Archives
Photograph, Jack Norman poses with his father and the family’s automobile, late 1930s. Norman Family Collection, West Virginia State Archives
Drawing, Detail of one of twelve sheets depicting John Norman’s design for ten different faculty homes on campus at West Virginia State College, Institute, 1933. This drawing shows the site plan. John C. Norman Sr. Collection, West Virginia State Archives
Drawing, Detail of the sheet devoted to faculty home H at West Virginia State College, 1933. John C. Norman Sr. Collection, West Virginia State Archives
Photograph, Faculty home H at West Virginia State University, 2016. Photographer: Joe Geiger
Document, Missive from the Garnet High School PTA to the Kanawha County Board of Education endorsing John Norman as the architect for some of the proposed new school buildings in the county, October 1937. In 1939 he received a commission to design Washington High School in London. Norman Family Collection, West Virginia State Archives
Drawing, Detail of an architectural drawing (one of three) for the residence of West Virginia’s State Supervisor of Negro Education I. J. K. Wells at 1032 Bridge Road, Charleston, June 22, 1938. John C. Norman Sr. Collection, West Virginia State Archives
Photograph, John Norman’s structure at 1032 Bridge Road, Charleston, now a realty office, 2016. Photographer: Ed Hicks
Photograph, Jack Norman (center) and an unidentified friend on Capitol Street in Charleston, circa 1940. Norman Family Collection, West Virginia State Archives
Drawing, Detail of one of the eighteen sheets laying out John Norman’s design for the Sixteenth Street Baptist Church in Huntington. John C. Norman Sr. Collection, West Virginia State Archives
Photograph, Façade of the Sixteenth Street Baptist Church, Huntington, 2016. Photographer: Joe Geiger
Photograph, Ruth Norman with students at Garnet High School, circa 1950. Norman Family Collection, West Virginia State Archives
Document, Master of Arts degree conferred on Ruth Norman by Columbia University, New York City, December, 1938. Norman Family Collection, West Virginia State Archives
Photograph, Ruth Norman at the microphone at WSAZ radio where she was the director and host of a weekly program called Church Women’s News from 1952 until 1984. Norman Family Collection, West Virginia State Archives
Document, Angry note written by Jack Norman to his Garnet classmate Althed, circa 1940. Norman Family Collection, West Virginia State Archives
Document, During his senior year Jack Norman was editor-in-chief of Garnet High School’s newspaper The Eye. In this issue is published his interview with the highly regarded vocalist Marion Anderson, 14 November 1945. Norman Family Collection, West Virginia State Archives
Document, Noted bandleader Count Basie was the subject of a Jack Norman interview found in The Eye, 28 February 1946. A few months later young Norman graduated from Garnet High as the class valedictorian. Norman Family Collection, West Virginia State Archives
Photograph, Ruth Norman being interviewed by Mary Margaret McBride, the “First Lady of Radio” on NBC, late 1940s. Norman Family Collection, West Virginia State Archives
Photograph, A life-long basketball fan, Jack Norman played on his Alpha Phi Alpha fraternity team during his time at Howard University, Washington D.C., 1946. Norman Family Collection, West Virginia State Archives
Photograph, Jack Norman (holding sign, left) marching with fraternity pledges at Howard University, Washington D.C., 1946. Norman Family Collection, West Virginia State Archives
Photograph, Jazz singer Sarah Vaughn joins members of the Alpha Phi Alpha fraternity, including Jack Norman, at left, at Howard University, Washington D.C., 1947. Norman Family Collection, West Virginia State Archives
Photograph, Jack Norman and Doris Sewell Norman, 1952. Norman Family Collection, West Virginia State Archives
Photograph, Jack Norman and some classmates on graduation day at Harvard University, Cambridge, Massachusetts, 1950. Norman Family Collection, West Virginia State Archives
Drawing, Detail of one of the two sheets showing John Norman’s design of a residence for the Arvel Layne family at 533 Burlew Drive, Charleston, not dated. John C. Norman Sr. Collection, West Virginia State Archives
Photograph, Front elevation of the house on Burlew Drive designed by John C. Norman, 2016. Photographer: Ed Hicks
Document, Letter received by John C. Norman from John W. Davis, president of West Virginia State College, praising the former’s building for the West Virginia Schools for Colored Deaf and Blind in Institute, October 1951. Norman Family Collection, West Virginia State Archives
Photograph, Jack Norman, Doris Sewell Norman, Ruth Norman, and John C. Norman on the campus at Harvard the day Jack graduated from the medical school, 1954. Norman Family Collection, West Virginia State Archives
Document, Epistle from attorney T. Gillis Nutter, a Howard University law school graduate (1899), to Ruth Norman congratulating her for having received an award from the Howard University Alumni Association, July 1955. In it he mentions efforts to integrate schools. Norman Family Collection, West Virginia State Archives
Photograph, Lieutenant Jack Norman stands with a shipmate on the flight deck of the USS Saratoga in front of a line of McDonnell F3H-2N Demon fighter aircraft, 1957. Norman Family Collection, West Virginia State Archives
Document, Leon Sullivan’s letter declining an invitation to attend a ceremony honoring three Charleston area educators, June 1964. He singles out Ruth Norman for special praise. Sullivan, born and raised in Charleston, served as pastor at Zion Baptist Church in Philadelphia from1950 to 1988, joined the board of directors of General Motors in 1971, and was involved in numerous programs to expand human rights and economic development. In 1991 he was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom and in 2000 the city of Charleston changed the name of Broad Street to Leon Sullivan Way. Norman Family Collection, West Virginia State Archives
Document, Poster enumerating the topics and speakers, Dr. John C. Norman among them, at a Boston Surgical Society forum, March 1965. Norman Family Collection, West Virginia State Archives
Photograph, Ruth Norman sharing refreshments with Dr. Denton Cooley in his office at the Texas Heart Institute, June 1973. Dr. Cooley was the first to perform implantation of an artificial heart and was given the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 1984. Norman Family Collection, West Virginia State Archives
Photograph, Ruth Norman meeting the harlequin Dane, Yonnie, a research animal at Texas Heart Institute, later adopted by Dr. John C. Norman, June 1973. Norman Family Collection, West Virginia State Archives
Photograph, Dr. John C. Norman with his team in an operating room performing a cardiovascular procedure, 1970s. Norman Family Collection, West Virginia State Archives
Document, Dust jacket of a text edited by Dr. John Norman, 1972. Norman Family Collection, West Virginia State Archives
Document, Front cover of Modern Medicine magazine featuring Dr. John Norman, 17 May 1971. Norman Family Collection, West Virginia State Archives
Document, Advertising broadside promoting one of Dr. John C. Norman’s many cardiopulmonary device inventions, for the totality of which he received the 1985 Congressional High Technology Award. Norman Family Collection, West Virginia State Archives
Document, Telegram from the Texas State Department of Health to Dr. John C. Norman authorizing the implantation of plutonium-powered pacemakers in human patients, May 1973. Norman Family Collection, West Virginia State Archives
Document, Love letter from Tony Brown, producer and host of Educational Broadcasting Corporation’s Black Journal, to his favorite teacher, Ruth Norman, September 1976. Brown graduated from Garnet High School in 1951. Norman Family Collection, West Virginia State Archives
Document, Press release promoting the Ruth Norman episode of Tony Brown’s Journal. Norman Family Collection, West Virginia State Archives
Document, Press release promoting the Ruth Norman episode of Tony Brown’s Journal. Norman Family Collection, West Virginia State Archives
Document, Letter from West Virginia University president E. Gordon Gee informing Dr. John Norman that he has been chosen to receive an honorary Doctor of Science degree, March 1984. Norman Family Collection, West Virginia State Archives
Photograph, Washington-Carver Award presented to Ruth Norman by the Department of Culture and History, 1987. Ruth Stephenson Norman Collection, West Virginia State Archives
Photograph, Ruth Norman visiting Sharon Percy Rockefeller at the Governor’s Mansion, circa 1980. Norman Family Collection, West Virginia State Archives
Photograph, Ruth Norman at her eighty-fifth birthday party at First Baptist Church, flanked by her granddaughter Jill Norman and son Dr. John C. Norman, 6 August 1983. Norman Family Collection, West Virginia State Archives


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West Virginia Archives and History