A presentation of "The 35th Star: West Virginia Statehood" will take place March 3 at the Frank and Jane Gabor West Virginia Folklife Center in Fairmont.
Joe Geiger, director of the Archives and History Section of the West Virginia Division of Culture and History, will make the presentation, a program of the Sesquicentennial Speakers Bureau of the West Virginia Humanities Council.
The presentation is part of the Folk Cultural Series of the Folklife Center.
"The Frank and Jane Gabor West Virginia Folklife Center is honored to host this dynamic event, which is one way we can salute our state's rich history and sesquicentennial," said Folklife Center Director Judy P. Byers.
After the presentation, participants will have the opportunity to meet Geiger and to enjoy a reception featuring light refreshments and "old-time music" by the Kennedy Barn String Band.
Visitors will be invited to tour the Folklife Center and to view a traveling exhibit, "John Henry: The Steel Drivin' Man," which will be on display at the center through April, courtesy of the West Virginia Humanities Council. The exhibit tells the legend of the strong African-American worker who won a contest against a steam-powered drill during the railroad-building era of the late 19th century.
Geiger has worked for West Virginia Archives and History since 1998, serving as historian, webmaster, assistant director and acting director before being named director in January 2009.
As director, Geiger serves as West Virginia's State Archivist and State Historian, and is responsible for preserving West Virginia's history. For the past 15 years, he also has served as an adjunct professor in the history department at Marshall University.
Geiger received his bachelor's degree in business administration with a major in marketing and a master's degree in history from Marshall University, where he was the Blake Scholar for two years. He has published numerous scholarly articles and two books, "Civil War in Cabell County, West Virginia, 1861-1865," and "Holding the Line: The Battle of Allegheny Mountain and the Confederate Defense of the Staunton-Parkersburg Turnpike, 1861-62" published in 2012.
The Folklife Center is on the shared main campus of Fairmont State University and Pierpont Community and Technical College.
The presentation will take place at 2 p.m. on Sunday, March 3. Admission is free and open to the public.