: Photograph of a night-time meeting of the Marion County Ku Klux Klan on the farm of O.C. Walter in Meeker, Ohio, ca. 1922. 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.
: AL02996 Subjects
: Ku Klux Klan (1915-). Realm of Ohio; Racism--United States--History--20th century Places
: Marion County (Ohio)