Blog post by Danielle Emerling, Assistant Curator, WVRHC
The West Virginia & Regional History Center announces the opening of a new digital collection, “From Our Family to Yours: A Collection of Rockefeller Family Holiday Cards.” The collection draws on materials in the Senator John D. (Jay) Rockefeller IV papers and includes holiday cards sent by the Rockefellers to family and friends throughout his many years in public service. The cards, which became a popular collectible among some supporters, span the years 1971-2014 and feature photographs of the family, illustrations of the West Virginia Governor’s Mansion and State Capitol, and the U.S. Capitol building.
An exhibition in the John D. Rockefeller IV Gallery in the Downtown Library accompanies the digital collection and will be open December 1, 2015-January 15, 2016.
1978 Rockefeller family holiday card, Senator John D. (Jay) Rockefeller IV papers, West Virginia & Regional History Center, West Virginia University Libraries, https://rockefeller.lib.wvu.edu/cards/catalog/wvulibraries:2599
Senator John D. (Jay) Rockefeller IV came to West Virginia in 1964 as a 27-year-old VISTA volunteer in the small community of Emmons, an experience that shaped his extensive career in public service. He entered politics in 1966 as a Kanawha County candidate for the West Virginia House of Delegates.
In April 1967, he married Sharon Lee Percy, daughter of U.S. Senator Charles Percy of Illinois. The Rockefellers had four children, John Davison “Jamie” V, Valerie, Charles, and Justin Aldrich, and later several grandchildren.
After his time in the West Virginia House of Delegates (1966-1968), Rockefeller served as Secretary of State of West Virginia (1968-1972); President of West Virginia Wesleyan College (1973-1976); and Governor of West Virginia (1977-1985).
In 1984 he was elected to the United States Senate and was reelected four times, in 1990, 1996, 2002, and 2008, before retiring in 2015. He was a leading champion for health care reform, an advocate for improving the lives of children and working families, and a supporter of the nation’s soldiers, veterans, and senior citizens.
In 2014, Rockefeller donated his papers documenting his 30-year career in the U.S. Senate to the WVU Libraries’ West Virginia & Regional History Center. To learn more about Senator Rockefeller and his Senate career, visit the Center’s “Jay Rockefeller” website at https://rockefeller.lib.wvu.edu.