“The Roanoke Valley in the 1940’s” To Be Featured at Salem Book Talk


On Tuesday, March 17 at 7 pm, noted local historian Nelson Harris will share fascinating stories from our region’s history as he talks about his new book, The Roanoke Valley in the 1940s. Six years in the making, Harris’ book meticulously documents the history of the Roanoke Valley from 1940-1949. The talk will be held at the Salem Museum, and is free and open to the public.

The 1940s were a monumental decade nationally and locally. By searching every edition of The Roanoke Times between January 1, 1940, and January 1, 1950, Nelson Harris gleaned all things noteworthy for the decade—in sports, business, religion, entertainment, civil rights, politics, municipal projects, disasters, crime, and medicine—plus an assortment of the odd and unusual.

The 650-page book is  indexed and enhanced with 300 archival photographs from the collections of local museums, colleges, municipalities, organizations, and individuals. Proceeds from the sale of the $75 book benefit the Roanoke Public Library Foundation which provided the underwriting for Harris’ research.

Nelson Harris is a native and former mayor of Roanoke. He has been the pastor of Heights Community Church since 1999 and is an adjunct faculty member at Virginia Western Community College. He holds degrees from Radford University and Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary. He is a past president of the Historical Society of Western Virginia and is the author of twelve books, including Downtown Roanoke, Roanoke Valley: Then and Now, A History of Back Creek, Aviation in Roanoke, and Hidden History of Roanoke.