Robert C. Byrd High School

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Robert C. Byrd High School
One Eagle Way
Clarksburg, Harrison County, West Virginia 26301
United States
Coordinates 39°15′32″N 80°21′6″W / 39.25889°N 80.35167°W / 39.25889; -80.35167Coordinates: 39°15′32″N 80°21′6″W / 39.25889°N 80.35167°W / 39.25889; -80.35167
School type Public, high school
Founded 1995
School district Harrison County Schools
Superintendent Dr. Mark Manchin
Principal Steve Gibson
Assistant Principals Scott Davis
Jamie Looker
Faculty 58
Grades 9-12
Enrollment 880 (2008-09)
School color(s)           Blue and green
Athletics conference Big Ten Conference
Mascot Eagle
Rival Bridgeport High School
Accreditation North Central Association of Secondary Schools and Colleges
Yearbook Aerie

Robert C. Byrd High School is a public school in Clarksburg, West Virginia.

The school, which serves grades 9-12, is a part of Harrison County Schools.

The school serves a vast majority of the city of Clarksburg, West Virginia, along with the towns of Nutter Fort, West Virginia and Stonewood, West Virginia. It is one of six public high schools in Harrison County. The school opened in 1995 as a consolidation of Washington Irving High School, which is now Washington Irving Middle School, and Roosevelt-Wilson High School. The student enrollment (as of 2008-09) is 880. The principal is Steve Gibson. The school's colors are blue and green, and their mascot is the eagle.

The school's namesake is U.S. Senator Robert Byrd, who served from 1959 to 2010. He also served in the Ku Klux Klan.

In the early 1940s, Byrd recruited 150 of his friends and associates to create a new chapter of the Ku Klux Klan in Sophia, West Virginia.[10][11]

According to Byrd, a Klan official told him, "You have a talent for leadership, Bob ... The country needs young men like you in the leadership of the nation." Byrd later recalled, "Suddenly lights flashed in my mind! Someone important had recognized my abilities! I was only 23 or 24 years old, and the thought of a political career had never really hit me. But strike me that night, it did."[17] Byrd became a recruiter and leader of his chapter.[11] When it came time to elect the top officer (Exalted Cyclops) in the local Klan unit, Byrd won unanimously.[11]

In December 1944, Byrd wrote to segregationist Mississippi Senator Theodore G. Bilbo:

   I shall never fight in the armed forces with a negro by my side ... Rather I should die a thousand times, and see Old Glory trampled in the dirt never to rise again, than to see this beloved land of ours become degraded by race mongrels, a throwback to the blackest specimen from the wilds.
   — Robert C. Byrd, in a letter to Sen. Theodore Bilbo (D-MS), 1944[11][18]

In 1946, Byrd wrote a letter to a Grand Wizard stating, "The Klan is needed today as never before, and I am anxious to see its rebirth here in West Virginia and in every state in the nation."[19]

Pianin, Eric (June 19, 2005). "A Senator's Shame: Byrd, in His New Book, Again Confronts Early Ties to KKK". The Washington Post. pp. A01. Retrieved October 3, 2006. Kiely, Kathy (June 23, 2003). "Senator takes on White House and wins fans". USA Today. Retrieved June 28, 2010. "Robert C. Byrd: A Lifelong Student". United States Congress. Retrieved November 3, 2008. Fischer, Karin (March 31, 2006). "Erma Byrd recalled for steadfast nature, Senator's wife to be buried beside grandson in Virginia tomorrow". Charleston Daily Mail. Retrieved March 10, 2009. "Erma Ora James Byrd". Robert C. Byrd: U.S. Senator from West Virginia; Tributes in the Congress of the United States. Washington, DC: U.S. Government Printing Office. 2006. p. 50. Byrd, Robert C. (2005). Robert C. Byrd: Child of the Appalachian Coalfields. Morgantown, WV: West Virginia University Press. p. 53. ISBN 978-1-933202-00-6. Katznelson, Ira (2005). When Affirmative Action Was White: An Untold History Of Racial Inequality In Twentieth-century America. Norton. p. 81. ISBN 0-393-05213-3. King, Colbert I.: Sen. Byrd: The view from Darrell's barbershop, The Washington Post, March 2, 2002 "What About Byrd?". Slate. December 18, 2002. Retrieved September 17, 2007. "The Democrats' Lott". The Wall Street Journal. December 12, 2008. Byrd, Robert C. (2005). Robert C. Byrd: Child of the Appalachian Coalfields. Morgantown: West Virginia University Press. ISBN 1-933202-00-9.