March 22, 2012
CHARLESTON, W.Va. – “Presidential Whistle Stops in West Virginia” will be the topic of discussion for a lecture at 6 p.m., Tuesday, April 3, in the Archives and History Library at the Culture Center, State Capitol Complex in Charleston. Retired newspaperman Bob Withers of Huntington will deliver the free talk and the public is invited to participate in the presentation.
In 1996, Withers was aboard the train that President Bill Clinton rode from Huntington, W.Va., to Indiana during the president’s whistle-stop trip to the Democratic National Convention in Chicago. As a young boy, Withers watched as presidential candidate Dwight Eisenhower passed through Huntington by train in 1952. These are just two of the many memories Withers will relate.
Withers retired from the Huntington Herald-Dispatch in 2007 after a 38-year career as a reporter and copy editor. He has written and edited several books, dozens of freelance magazine articles, and hundreds of newspaper articles about railroads, steamboats, and historical subjects. His first book, The President Travels by Train, was published in 1996 and he has kept it up to date with a supplement that can be inserted into the book.
A charter member of the Collis P. Huntington Railroad Historical Society, Withers has served as recording secretary, president and chapter chaplain. He was active with the restoration of the passenger car “Emerald Waters” and regularly volunteers at the chapter’s outdoor museum in Huntington. Withers also co-chaired the chapter’s 50th anniversary celebration in 2009 and compiled its 50-year history. In 2011, Withers was the recipient of a History Hero award from the West Virginia Division of Culture and History.
On April 3, the library will close at 5 p.m. and reopen at 5:45 p.m. for participants only. 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, library manager, by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org or at (304) 558-0230, ext. 163. Participants interested in registering by e-mail should send their name, telephone number and the name and date of the session. For additional information, contact the Archives and History Library at (304) 558-0230.
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.