1-29-13 Historical program to examine slavery, statehood

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KEYSER — The Mineral County Historical Society’s February dinner meeting will feature a presentation on how West Virginia’s statemakers dealt with the issue of slavery when they formed the new state. The speaker will be Tom Rodd, a West Virginia attorney who has been researching West Virginia’s civil rights history for 30 years.

The event is open to the public and takes place Wednesday, Feb. 6, at Janes United Methodist Church in Keyser. Dinner will be served at 6 p.m., and the program begins at 7 p.m.

Dinner reservations must be made no later than Sunday, Feb. 3. Contact Society member Nancy Marshall at 304-788-5882 or by email at nancolmar@frontier.com. Reservations are not necessary for those who wish to attend only the program.

Tom Rodd is a co-director of the J.R. Clifford Project, named for West Virginia’s first African American lawyer, John Robert Clifford (1849-1933). Rodd will present a PowerPoint/slide show with rare documents and photographs. He will also offer a short dramatic reading from the Statehood era.

“Throughout 2013 the Mineral County Historical Society is offering programs that highlight the sesquicentennial of West Virginia statehood,” Society program chairman Ed McDonald said. “Mr. Rodd’s presentation is the first of those programs, and it is especially appropriate for Black History Month. We invite people who have never attended one of our programs before to take advantage of these opportunities to learn more about the creation and early history of our state,” McDonald added.

To learn more about the work of the Mineral County Historical Society, contact President Frank Roleff at 304-788-5129.

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