West Virginia University will again pay tribute to the contributions of coal miners to the state with a Miner’s Day program to be held on Monday, Dec. 6 at 7 p.m. in the Mountainlair Gold Ballroom.

The program will feature Fred Powers, a retired miner and school teacher, who will share personal stories of the coalfields in a theatrical context. The program, titled “Under These Hills: A Coal Miner’s Story,” will take people miles underneath the world into the hidden realm of the coal miner.

For this program, Powers was selected as the recipient of the Coal Heritage Award for Excellence in the Arts, presented by the Coal Heritage Highway Authority and National Coal Heritage Area. The award honors local efforts to preserve and interpret coal history throughout the National Coal Heritage Area and along the Coal Heritage Trail.

The program will be hosted by Macy Miller, WVU’s 2010 Ms. Mountaineer. Amanda Hughart, WVU’s 2010 Mountaineer Idol, will entertain the audience with songs honoring past, present and future miners.

At the event, The Royce J. and Caroline B. Watts Museum will present a small traveling exhibit that focuses on the history of mine rescue in the United States and features a selection of equipment used to prevent and respond to mining disasters.

Housed in the College of Engineering and Mineral Resources at WVU, the museum is dedicated to preserving and promoting the social, cultural and technological history of the coal, oil and natural gas industries of the state through the collection, preservation, research and exhibition of objects relevant to these industries.

Each year, the museum presents several temporary exhibitions that examine West Virginia’s coal, oil and natural gas industries. The museum’s next exhibition, “HELMET MEN: Mine Rescuers of Appalachia’s Coalfields,” will be on display from Jan. 17 to Aug. 14. For additional information on the museum, contact Danielle M. Petrak, museum coordinator, at 304-293-4609 or danielle.petrak@mail.wvu.edu.

The event is planned by the WVU Division of Student Affairs in cooperation with the WVU Mining Engineering Department/SME Student Chapter. For questions, e-mail Sonja.Wilson@mail.wvu.edu or call the Mountainlair Administrative Offices at 304-293-2702.



CONTACT: Sonja Wilson, Mountainlair
304-293-2702, Sonja.Wilson@mail.wvu.edu

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