"Terrorizing Immigrants and Catholics: The Ohio Ku Klux Klan in the 1920s" at Allen County Museum

  • October 28, 2018 - October 28, 2018
  • Location: Allen County Museum
  • Address: 620 W. Market Street, Lima, OH 45801
  • Times: 2 - 4 PM
  • Admission: Free
  • (419) 222-9426
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  In the aftermath of World War I, the U.S. underwent significant change. In 1920, the eighteenth and nineteenth amendments prohibited the manufacture and sale of alcohol, and gave women the right to vote. The diffusion of newer technologies, including the automobile and radio, allowed people and information to move faster. While some embraced change, others felt threatened and were unable to give up their wartime feelings of “hyper- nationalism” and mistrust.

     Having virtually disappeared in the late nineteenth century, the Ku Klux Klan exploded onto the national scene in the early 1920s, with perhaps five million members at its peak. While the original Klan concentrated its animus against the newly freed slaves, this “second” KKK had an expanded list of social scapegoats that included immigrants, Jews, and Catholics. While the original Klan was based primarily in the South, the second Klan had its greatest numerical strength in the West and Midwest. In fact, Ohio may have had more KKK members than any other state in the Union, with an estimated 400,000 Klansmen and Klanswomen. In this presentation we will explore why the Klan was so strong in Ohio, what activities the Ohio Klan engaged in, and in what ways the folks targeted by the Klan fought back.


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