CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- A West Virginia labor historian is set to present a discussion on the Socialist Party in the state.
The West Virginia Division of Culture and History says Fred Barkey is scheduled to hold the free program at 6 p.m. on Jan. 8 at the Culture Center in Charleston.
Officials say the first local branch of the West Virginia Socialist Party was established in Wheeling in 1901. By 1914 several thousand West Virginians were dues-paying members of local branches. Local members began electing candidates to office by 1910 and more than 15,000 state voters cast their ballots for Socialist presidential candidate Eugene Debs in 1912.
Barkey examined the rise of the party in West Virginia at the end of the 19th century through its decline before and during World War I.