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State Museum to unveil Sesquicentennial Exhibit

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State Museum to unveil Sesquicentennial Exhibit

The West Virginia State Museum will commemorate the state's 150th birthday with a special sesquicentennial exhibit that opens Jan. 31 at the Culture Center in Charleston. The public is invited to view the exhibit during an opening reception at 6 p.m. that day.

"West Virginia 150" focuses on 150 people, places and events that helped to shape the lives of West Virginians over the past 150 years. It also features West Virginia's national and international accomplishments and achievements as they have unfolded since the state's birth on June 20, 1863.

The exhibit's artifacts tell stories about the state's steel, coal, glass, timber and railroad industries as well as such notable West Virginians as Nobel Prize-winning author Pearl S. Buck, pepperoni roll inventor Guiseppe Argiro, award-winning composer George Crumb and former Secretary of State Cyrus Vance. The Wheeling Jamboree, Mountain Stage, Mister Bee Potato Chips, Shoney's and the Marble King also are featured.

"West Virginia has such a rich and interesting history that it was really difficult to narrow the exhibit down to 150 items," Museum Director Charles Morris said in a news release. The final list contains suggestions from the public as well as from archivists, historians and other employees of the West Virginia Division of Culture and History.

Visitors to the exhibit can add their own suggestions to a book placed at the end of the exhibit. A special online exhibit featuring these recommendations will open later this year. The public also is encouraged to donate items to commemorate the state's birthday.

For more information, contact Morris at 304-558-0220.