March 9, 2011
History enthusiasts gathered on Thursday, Feb. 24, in the Norman L. Fagan West Virginia State Theater of the Culture Center for the awards ceremony that kicked off a successful day of celebrating West Virginia history. Commissioner Randall Reid-Smith of the West Virginia Division of Culture and History was assisted by Dr. Robert S. Conte, chairman, and Dr. Charles Ledbetter, vice chairman, of the West Virginia Archives and History Commission, in presenting History Hero awards. Forty-four individuals from around the state were recognized for their grassroots-level contributions to the preservation, promotion and perpetuation of the state’s rich history. City, county and state historical, preservation and genealogical groups and museums provided nominations for the awards. A complete list of this year’s recipients, with a brief explanation of their contributions and a link to high resolution photographs, is available at http://www.wvculture.org/history/hisher2011.html. If there is not a link to a recipient’s name for the photograph, that person was unable to attend and did not have someone accepting on their behalf.
Throughout the day, the State Capitol Rotunda was filled with exhibitors and re-enactors eager to share their enthusiasm for the history of the state. The 15th History Day was a joint effort of the Friends of West Virginia Culture and History, Mining Your History Foundation, Preservation Alliance of West Virginia, Inc., West Virginia Archives and History Commission, West Virginia Association of Museums, West Virginia Division of Culture and History, West Virginia Historical Society and West Virginia Humanities Council.
Next year’s event is scheduled for Thursday, Feb. 23, 2012. For more information about History Day or the History Hero awards, contact Joseph N. Geiger Jr., director of archives and history for the Division, at (304) 558-0230, ext. 165.
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.