Rahall’s Legacy Will Be Remembered Through His Congressional Archives.

Beckley, WV – (WWNR) – Joined by family, friends and former colleagues, Nick Rahall cut the ribbon on his congressional archives, located on the campus of WVU Tech in Beckley.

Hundreds of people turned out Wednesday for the event that honored West Virginia’s longest serving congressman, who served in the U.S. House of Representatives from 1977 to 2015.

The archives display hundreds of photos, documents and mementos showcasing Rahall’s contributions to mining, transportation and the outdoors.

“This is a history of West Virginia,” said Rahall. “It’s not all about my legacy, which I feel is an important part of West Virginia, but it’s about the history and legacy of West Virginia in the times through which our great state has been.”

“History is a tremendous element in our lives. But we must not only put history as part of our past, we must learn from it. What worked, what didn’t work. And that’s what I hope these archives demonstrate.”

Among those attending Wednesday’s ceremony were West Virginia University President Gordon Gee, former governor Bob Wise, current governor Jim Justice and U.S. Senator Joe Manchin.

“When I was governor, there was not a better congressperson that helped the state of West Virginia every time I called him,” said Manchin. “I’ve known him since 1966. He was a sophmore in high school when I first knew of Nick Joe Rahall. He has done so much, but he has never forgotten his roots, where he came from or his purpose.

The praise Rahall received from both Democrats and Republicans Wednesday highlighted his willingness to work with politicians on both sides of the aisle. He hopes the archives will encourage young people to enter politics and avoid today’s partisan wrangling.

“I want them to come in here and see this and I want them to know that there is still Democrats and Republicans that talk to each other in a decent and honorable way. Not agree with each other a hundred percent. You know, communication does not mean capitulaiton. And because you communicate with your enemies doesn’t mean you capitulate to their every viewpoint. You continue to disagree, but you disagree in an honorable way.”

“I hope they see the history of a young boy, the youngest ever to be elected, in 1977,” said Manchin. “He was born in 1949, so he was just barely old enough to serve. And coming in here, but under the mentorship of Robert C. Byrd, who really took him under his wing. Looking back at his archives is going to be able to help people understand how you become a better country and a better society.”