CHARLESTON, W.Va. – Dr. C. Damien Arthur will present “West Virginia’s Billion Dollar Man: Senator Robert C. Byrd” in the Archives and History Library at the Culture Center, State Capitol Complex in Charleston on Tuesday, Sept. 4, 2018. The program will begin at 6 p.m. and is free and open to the public.

In 1988, Senator Byrd, the majority leader, faced a difficult decision about his future political life. No one in the history of the modern Senate had voluntarily given up the opportunity to be majority leader. In fact, political journalists discussed what an odd decision it would be to step away from the majority leader position because it would remove Byrd from the level of national politics that so many chose to pursue. Without hesitation, however, that is exactly what Byrd chose.

Byrd’s goal since 1959 had been to chair the Appropriations Committee. He knew this position would empower him to direct substantial amounts of federal money back to West Virginia. In taking the chairmanship, Byrd immediately made a promise to the people of West Virginia that he would send $1 billion in appropriated funds back to the Mountain State in his first term as chairman. He surpassed that goal within a year.

Arthur earned a B.A. degree in theological studies from Gordon College in Wenham, Mass.; an M.T.S. from Boston University, magna cum laude; an M.A. in American public policy; and a Ph.D. in political science and public policy from West Virginia University. Since February 2018, he has been the Distinguished Scholar and director of the Marshall University Center for Consumer Law and Rights joint project with the WVU College of Law. Currently, he is an assistant professor of public administration and policy at Marshall University.

Participants may park behind the Culture Center after 5 p.m. on September 4 and enter the building at the back loading dock area. There also is limited handicapped parking available in the new bus turnaround.

For additional information, contact the Archives and History Library at (304) 558-0230.