The Invisible Empire Re-Emerges: The Ku Klux Klan and the 1920s

Nov 7, 2023, 6:30 PM

Despite—and in large measure because of—the sweeping and seismic cultural shifts that mark the 1920s, the era had a decidedly dark side. The Ku Klux Klan, moribund since the 1870s, gained new life and momentum in the 1920s, appealing to vast swaths of Americans and claiming over 3 million members by the middle of the decade, with chapters in many northern areas, including Montana. This presentation focuses on the 1920s rise—and fall—of the Klan and why “the invisible empire” as it fashioned itself, became a potent symbol of backlash against the forces of change that marked the decade. Presented by Dr. Keith Edgerton, professor emeritus at Montana State University Billings.

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