Feb. 17, 2012
The months leading up to the Democratic National Convention in 1968 would prove to be one of the most tumultuous periods in United States history. Raamie Barker, senior advisor to Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin, will reflect on this time in American history and share his political experiences on Thursday, Feb. 23, at the Culture Center. His talk, “Bobby Kennedy and West Virginia’s 1968 Presidential Primary,” begins at 6 p.m. in the Archives and History Library.
In March 1968, President Lyndon Johnson was forced from the presidential field partly after a poor showing in the New Hampshire primary. In his place Vice President Hubert Humphrey, Senator Eugene McCarthy of Minnesota, and Senator Robert F. Kennedy of New York, the former U.S. attorney general and brother of President John F. Kennedy, vied for the Democratic nomination.
Riots erupted across the country in the months following Martin Luther King Jr.’s assassination in Memphis in April. In June, the country was rocked with Kennedy’s assassination in California. The turmoil culminated with massive riots at the Democratic National Convention in Chicago that August.
Barker served as Kennedy’s campaign manager in Logan County during the 1968 primary campaign. He introduced the senator at a large rally held there.
Barker is a graduate of Marshall University with degrees in education and journalism. He taught government classes at Chapmanville High School in Logan County and Gov. Tomblin was one of his students. He also was an adjunct instructor at the University of Charleston and Southern West Virginia Community and Technical College.
For four years, Barker served as deputy labor commissioner, labor commissioner and communications aide to former Gov. Arch A. Moore, Jr. He worked as editor of the Logan Banner and Williamson Daily News, publisher of the Coal Valley News in Madison, copy editor at the Beckley Register Herald, managing editor of the Enquirer-Journal in Monroe, N.C., and for six years he served as a correspondent for WCHS-TV and Radio.
The Feb. 23 lecture is free and the public is invited to attend.
For planning purposes, participants are encouraged to register for the workshop, but advance registration is not required to attend. To register in advance, contact Robert Taylor, archives library manager, at (304) 558-0230, ext. 163, or by e-mail at Bobby.L.Taylor@wv.gov. Participants interested in registering by e-mail should send their name, telephone number and the name and date of the session. For additional information about the workshop, contact the Archives and History Library at (304) 558-0230.The Archives and History Library is open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Monday through Wednesday, Friday and Saturday, and from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Thursday. The library is closed on Sunday.
The West Virginia Division of Culture and History is an agency within the West Virginia Department of Education and the Arts with Kay Goodwin, Cabinet Secretary. The Division, led by Commissioner Randall Reid-Smith, 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.-30-