CHARLESTON, W.Va. – The public opening of the Senator Jennings Randolph Collection will be held in the Archives and History Library at the Culture Center, State Capitol Complex in Charleston on Wednesday, June 20, 2018 at 1 p.m. The event will feature several prominent speakers, the unveiling of an online exhibit and a review of the collection finding aid. The event is free and open to the public.
Among the individuals who are expected to make remarks during the program are Chief Justice Margaret Workman, Secretary of State Mac Warner, Speaker of the House Tim Armstead, former Congressman Nick Rahall, Nicholas Hollis, Pat Griffith and Dr. Phyllis Freedman. Frank Randolph, younger son of Jennings Randolph, and Brian Randolph, the senator’s grandson, will both be in attendance. In addition to the online exhibit, a small exhibit of items will be available for viewing in the library and several dozen photographs will be on display in the Archives and History photo gallery, adjacent to the library.
Born in Salem, W. Va., in 1902, Randolph rose to the national stage when he was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives in 1932. Randolph served seven terms in the U.S. House of Representatives before being defeated in the 1946 election. In 1958, Randolph won a special election to the U.S. Senate to fill the unexpired term of Senator Matthew M. Neely. Over the next two and a half decades, he worked diligently to develop the interstate highway system in West Virginia, helped to create the Appalachian Regional Commission, sponsored legislation to aid handicapped persons and assistance for those affected by Black Lung and worked to improve the education of the state and nation’s youth. Randolph is best known for his efforts to secure passage of the 26th Amendment, which lowered the voting age from 21 years of age to 18. By the end of his political career in 1985, Randolph had cast over 10,750 votes on legislation.
The Randolph Collection consists of nearly 900 boxes of correspondence, photographs and other materials that document his long political career in the U.S. Senate. The collection also contains material from his years in the U.S. House of Representatives, activities between 1947 and 1958 and his post-Senate life. The online finding aid for the collection can be found at http://www.wvculture.org/history/collections/randolph/ms2017-016.html
For additional information, contact West Virginia Archives and History Library at (304) 558-0230.