CHARLESTON, W.Va. – Those with an interest in history, genealogy and preservation will gather for the 22nd West Virginia History Day to celebrate the state’s rich history, from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Thursday, Feb. 22, 2018, at the State Capitol Complex in Charleston during the regular session of the West Virginia Legislature. All activities are free and open to the public.

            Dozens of state and local historical groups will provide displays in the upper rotunda and foyers of the State Capitol, between the House and Senate chambers, in the morning and early afternoon. Exhibits of photographs, historical documents and artifacts, and publications will showcase the work of historians, genealogists, educators, preservationists, librarians and others from around the state to preserve and share the history of West Virginia.

            At 9:30 a.m., the annual “History Hero” awards ceremony will be held in the Norman L. Fagan West Virginia State Theater in the Culture Center. This year, awards will be presented to 38 people who have made significant contributions to the preservation of local or regional history or have provided years of dedicated service to these organizations. Historical, genealogical, preservation, museum, patriotic and other similar groups nominated those receiving awards.

            “History Heroes are individuals who go beyond the call of duty to ensure the success of local history, genealogy, preservation, and museum organizations,” said West Virginia Archives and History Director Joe Geiger.

             West Virginia History Day at the Legislature was begun by the West Virginia Archives and History Commission in 1997 and is officially designated by the commission as a special day to recognize the history of the Mountain State. The West Virginia Division of Culture and History joins the Archives and History Commission, West Virginia Historical Society, West Virginia Humanities Council, Mining Your History Foundation, Preservation Alliance of West Virginia, Inc. and West Virginia Association of Museums as sponsors of the event.

            For more information about West Virginia History Day, contact Joe Geiger, director of archives and history for the division, at (304) 558-0230.

            The West Virginia Division of Culture and History is an agency within the Office of Secretary of Education and the Arts with Gayle Manchin, 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 The Division of Culture and History is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Employer.