Helcher Mine Safety Talk Hosted By Concord's Beckley Center

For Immediate Release: 
Apr 01 2012

CONTACT: Sarah Dalton
Concord University
Office of Advancement
PO Box 1000, Athens, WV 24712
(304) 384-6312,


BECKLEY, W.Va. – Former Congressman Ken Hechler will present a lecture about health and safety issues in coal mines tonight (Monday, April 2) at the Erma Byrd Higher Education Center. Concord University’s Beckley Center and the Coal Heritage Highway Authority are hosting the event. The lecture will held at 7 p.m. in room E10. The Erma Byrd Center is located at 300 University Drive in Beaver, W.Va.

Hechler represented West Virginia in the U.S. House of Representatives for many years and more recently served as West Virginia Secretary of State. While he was a congressman, he played a major role in writing and enacting the Coal Mine Health and Safety Act of 1969 that addresses safe working conditions and the issue of black lung.

Hechler’s book titled “The Fight for Coal Mine Health and Safety: A Documented History” talks about the political struggle to pass the 1969 legislation. He has also written several other books including “Working with Truman,” “The Bridge at Remagen,” and “Soldier of the Union.” These will all be available for purchase at the lecture.

In 2010, West Virginia University presented Hechler with the Martin Luther King Jr. Award for his lifetime of working for civil and human rights.

All students and the public are welcome to attend the lecture and there is no charge for admission. The Erma Byrd Higher Education Center is the home of Concord University’s Beckley campus, which averages an enrollment of about 600 students. The Center was established by the late Senator Robert C. Byrd and named in honor of his wife.



Kayla Osborne, a student in Concord University’s Public Relations Workshop, wrote this press release. She is from Ronceverte, W.Va.