: This volume records the testimony of residents and visitors of Niles, Ohio, after a Ku Klux Klan rally in 1924 lead to a riot. Several depositions are included here. In the first three accounts, physicians report viewing some of the events that lead to the riot and later treating patients for gunshot wounds. In his testimony, Klansman R.G. Baker reports being attacked by anti-Klan factions. Finally, Rebecca Cook, a resident of Niles, tells of seeing the shooting on the street and gives her reaction. The complete volume is 394 pages and measures 13" x 8.5" (33.02 x 20.32 cm). The Ku Klux Klan, a white supremacist secret society, was especially active in Ohio and the United States in the 1920s. Despite the opposition of religious and minority organizations, Klan members were elected to political positions in several cities and often held parades, rallies, and social events. After a period of decline during the Jim Crow years, the Ku Klux Klan (KKK) emerged again during the 1910s. This reversal was partly due to the Great Migration, when hundreds of thousands of African Americans moved from the South to the North, seeking jobs in the North's industrialized cities, including many cities in Ohio.
In addition, many people in the U.S. became involved in reform movements during the first decades of the twentieth century. Some of these movements supported middle-class, Protestant values and believed that non-whites and foreigners were a danger to these beliefs. Because of these fears and concerns, the Ku Klux Klan was able to find new supporters.
The Ku Klux Klan was especially strong in Ohio during the 1910s and 1920s. In Summit County the Klan claimed to have fifty thousand members, making it the largest local chapter in the United States. Many of the county's officials were members, including the sheriff, the Akron mayor, several judges and county commissioners, and most members of Akron's school board. The Klan was also very popular in Licking County, where the group held its state konklave (convention) in 1923 and 1925. More than 70,000 people attended each event. The konklaves were held at Buckeye Lake, a popular tourist attraction in the early twentieth century.
By the mid 1920s, the Ku Klux Klan began to decline in popularity, but saw a revival once again during the Civil Rights Movement of the 1950s and 1960s. The Ku Klux Klan continues to exist in the twenty-first century. It is, however, at present quite small in both numbers and influence. View on Ohio Memory.
: Om1520_1168118_001 Subjects
: Civil Liberties; White supremacy movements; Ku Klux Klan (1915- ); Riots; Physicians Places
: Niles (Ohio); Trumbull County (Ohio)