Bob Powell

Radio Operations Director

Bob is West Virginia Public Radio's Morning Edition host and the Radio Operations director. He first worked for WV Public Radio in 1986 as a part-time announcer, and later returned to host jazz music programs and manage on-air operations in the 1990's.  A graduate of Alderson-Broaddus and Marshall Universities; he taught Speech, Broadcasting, and Rhetoric at Alderson-Broaddus University, West Virginia State University, and WV Institute of Technology of WVU. Bob served 21 years in the Army National Guard, and served oversea in Bosnia and Iraq.

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e-wv, The West Virginia Encyclopedia

  Civil rights leader Leon Sullivan died on April 24, 2001, at age 78. The Charleston native graduated from Garnet High School and West Virginia State College before being trained in the ministry at Union Theological Seminary and Columbia University. In 1950, he became minister of Philadelphia’s Zion Baptist Church. During his 38 years at Zion Baptist, the church grew into one of the nation’s largest congregations.

e-wv, The West Virginia Encyclopedia / Library of Congress

  Andrew Rowan, made famous as the subject of a patriotic essay, was born in Monroe County on April 23, 1857. In 1898, the United States was on the verge of war with Spain over the island of Cuba. President William McKinley needed military intelligence from Cuban General Calixto Garcia. The Army chose Lieutenant Andrew Rowan to deliver the message.

e-wv, The West Virginia Encyclopedia / Library of Congress

  On April 22, 1861, some 1,200 protesters gathered at the Harrison County Courthouse in Clarksburg to vent their anger about Virginia seceding from the Union. Five days earlier, Virginia delegates had adopted an Ordinance of Secession, just days after the start of the Civil War.

e-wv, The West Virginia Encyclopedia / West Virginia Division of Culture and History

  Traditional musician Phoeba Cottrell Parsons was born in Calhoun County on April 21, 1908. When she was 10, she picked up her brother Noah’s banjo. She later recalled of that moment, ‘‘He didn’t want me to play because he was afraid I’d beat him.’’ She soon became accomplished not only at the banjo but also at singing ballads, telling stories and riddles, flatfoot dancing, and playing the fiddle sticks.

West Virginia Public Broadcasting

  Poet Irene McKinney was born in Belington in Barbour County on April 20, 1939. She earned degrees from West Virginia Wesleyan College and West Virginia University and, in 1976, published her first book of poems, The Girl with the Stone in Her Lap. She served as director of creative writing at West Virginia Wesleyan and, in 1984, published another poetry collection entitled The Wasps and the Blue Hexagon.  The next year, she won a poetry fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts and other prestigious honors.

Frank Leslie / wikimedia Commons / user: Btphelps

On April 17, 1861, Virginia politicians voted to secede from the Union. The move came just days after the Civil War had erupted at Fort Sumter and after President Abraham Lincoln had called for 75,000 volunteers. For months, Virginia and other states in the Upper South had refused to join the new Confederate States of America. But, Lincoln’s call for volunteers tipped the balance.

U.S. Government Printing Office / wikimedia Commons

  Arch Moore was born in Moundsville on April 16, 1923. During World War II, he was severely wounded in the face and had to learn to talk again during his long hospital recovery. The Republican was elected to the state legislature in 1952 and to Congress four years later.

U.S. National Archives and Records Administration

  State founder Peter G. Van Winkle died in Parkersburg on April 15, 1872, at age 63. The native of New York City had moved to Parkersburg in 1835 to practice law. Through his wife’s family, he became a key player in the region’s oil industry. He also helped organize and serve as president of the Northwestern Virginia Railroad.

e-wv, The West Virginia Encyclopedia / via West Virginia & Regional History Collection

  On April 14, 1875, Hallie Davis married Stephen Elkins, bringing together two powerful political families. Hallie Davis was the eldest child of Henry Gassaway Davis, a U.S. senator and one of West Virginia’s richest men. She grew up primarily in the Mineral County town of Piedmont and in Frederick, Maryland. When she met Stephen Elkins, he was serving as a delegate to Congress from the New Mexico Territory. They later lived in Washington and New York.

e-wv, The West Virginia Encyclopedia

  Attorney and presidential candidate John W. Davis was born in Clarksburg on April 13, 1873. The Democrat launched his political career in the West Virginia House of Delegates in 1899, and was elected to Congress in 1911. He resigned shortly into his second term to become U.S. solicitor general and later served as President Woodrow Wilson’s ambassador to England.

e-wv, The West Virginia Encyclopedia

  On April 10, 1932, striptease artist Blaze Starr was born in Wayne County as Fanny Belle Fleming. At age 14, she left home for Logan, where she worked at a drive-in. After catching a bus to Washington, her life soon changed in unexpected ways.

e-wv, The West Virginia Encyclopedia

  The 1872 West Virginia Constitutional Convention adjourned on April 9, 1872. The day was chosen specifically because it was the seventh anniversary of Robert E. Lee’s surrender at Appomattox. The convention had selected former Confederates to all offices, including the convention president, who had been the lieutenant governor of secessionist Virginia.

e-wv, The West Virginia Encyclopedia

  Writer Breece D’J Pancake died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound on April 8, 1979. The South Charleston native grew up in Milton, which became the fictionalized setting for many of his short stories.

A graduate of West Virginia Wesleyan and Marshall, Pancake taught at two military schools in Virginia before entering the University of Virginia’s Creative Writing Program, where he was influenced by authors James Alan McPherson, Peter Taylor, and Mary Lee Settle. He began writing human interest stories for a Milton newspaper and working on a series of short stories. His big breakthrough came in 1977, when the Atlantic Monthly published his story “Trilobites.”

e-wv, The West Virginia Encyclopedia

  A. James Manchin was born in Farmington on April 7, 1927. He’d become perhaps the most colorful politician in West Virginia history.

During his one term in the House of Delegates in the late ’40s, he fought for civil rights issues, which possibly led to his re-election defeat. After stepping away from government for a decade, he returned as state director of the Farm Home Administration in the ’60s.

e-wv, The West Virginia Encyclopedia

  Attorney and politician William T. Brotherton Jr. died on April 6, 1997, at age 70. During his long career, he’d risen to the top position in two of West Virginia’s three branches of government.

e-wv, The West Virginia Encyclopedia / Courtesy of Ohio Historical Society

  Simon Kenton was born in Fauquier County, Virginia, on April 3, 1755. He left home at age 16, after he mistakenly thought he’d killed a neighbor. Kenton first traveled north through present West Virginia to Pittsburgh. Then, during the 1770s, he spent several winters trapping game along the Ohio River between the Big Sandy and Kanawha rivers.

e-wv, The West Virginia Encyclopedia

Jennings Boyd died on April 2, 2002, at age 68. He was one of the legendary coaches in West Virginia history.

  In 1966, two significant events happened in Northfork. First, racial segregation ended in that part of McDowell County, as Northfork merged with the historically black Elkhorn High. Second, Jennings Boyd was hired as head basketball coach. Boyd’s teams would become known for their up-tempo styles, fast breaks, and transition offense.

e-wv, The West Virginia Encyclopedia / Courtesy of E. I du Pont de Nemours & Company, Belle

  On April 1, 1926, the DuPont plant at Belle produced North America’s first ammonia made from a high-pressure process. A few years before, chemical giant E. I. DuPont had decided to build an ammonia plant, using technology developed by Germany during World War I. The technology consisted of giant mechanical compressors, called ‘‘hypers,’’ which generated up to 15,000 pounds of pressure per square inch. In 1925, DuPont started construction of its new hyper-pressure plant in the eastern Kanawha County town of Belle.

e-wv, The West Virginia Encyclopedia

  Bishop Francis Asbury died on March 31, 1816, at age 70. Born in England in 1745, he volunteered to come to America in 1771 on behalf of the rapidly growing Methodist church. During pioneer days, Asbury was one of many Methodist circuit riders who spread the gospel from community to community. His travels often brought him into what is now West Virginia. And his diary provides some of the best early accounts of western Virginia life.

e-wv, The West Virginia Encyclopedia / West Virginia Division of Tourism / David Fattaleh

  On March 30, 1838, Marshall Academy was incorporated in what is now Huntington. The school had been established the previous year as a private school to educate the children of farmers in the region. The first classes were held in a small log church on the knoll where Marshall’s Old Main building now stands. In 1858, the Virginia Assembly granted college status to Marshall. However, the school closed its doors a little more than two years later when the Civil War began.

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