Eighth grade students from Brooke, Hancock, Marshall, Ohio and Wetzel counties will join local and state government officials to celebrate Constitution Day on Friday, Sept. 16, at West Virginia Independence Hall in Wheeling. The day-long educational event is sponsored by the West Virginia Division of Culture and History and the West Virginia Department of Education.

“We are proud to bring students from the Northern Panhandle together to learn more about our country’s constitution and about what it means for each of us as citizens of the United States and West Virginia,” said Commissioner Randall Reid-Smith of the West Virginia Division of Culture and History. “Together with the West Virginia Department of Education we are encouraging our state’s students to discover how important it is for everyone to participate in our communities and to understand that getting involved in state and national issues is a right as well as a responsibility”

The program will begin at 9 a.m. on Friday, following student registration at West Virginia Independence Hall, 1528 Market Street, Wheeling, WV  26003.

Students will tour West Virginia Independence Hall, which is one of the state’s National Historic Landmarks and a designated site on the Civil War Discovery Trail.

Following the tours, the students will gather in the third-floor Court Room at 11 a.m. for a program that will include welcomes by Glenn Elliott, Mayor of Wheeling and Francis Pierpont, Governor of the Reorganized Government of Virginia (portrayed by Travis Henline), and Michael Chirico, district director for Congressman Evan Jenkins, will read a welcome.

West Virginia Secretary of State Natalie Tennant will present the keynote address. 

The students will receive certificates of participation before lunch.

For more information about the event, contact Deborah Jones, site manager at West Virginia Independence Hall, at 304-238-1300 or .

West Virginia Independence Hall has been on the National Register of Historic Places (NRHP) since 1970. It was originally built as a federal custom house in 1859, served as the home of the pro-Union state conventions of Virginia during the spring and summer of 1861 and as the capitol of loyal Virginia from June 1861 to June 1863. It also was the site of the first constitutional convention for West Virginia. Designated a National Historic Landmark in 1988, the museum is maintained and operated by the West Virginia Division of Culture and History, with the cooperation and assistance of the West Virginia Independence Hall Foundation. The museum is open daily from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Tuesday through Saturday, with the exception of major holidays. The museum is located on the corner of 16th and Market Streets in Wheeling.

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 The Division of Culture and History is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Employer.

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