Historical society to host annual meeting

Staff report

WAPAKONETA — The Auglaize County Historical Society will host its annual meeting on Thursday, Nov. 2, at 7 p.m. in the St. Joseph Parish Life Center, Wapakoneta. Following a brief business meeting, Dr. William Trollinger will present “Terrorizing Immigrants and Catholics: The Ohio Ku Klux Klan in the 1920s.” The event is free and open to the public; attendees should use the Blackhoof Street parking lot to access the parish life center.

Having virtually disappeared in the late 19th century, the Ku Klux Klan exploded onto the national 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. The program 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.

Trollinger is professor of history in the History and Religious Studies Departments at the University of Dayton. He is also director of UD’s Core Integrated Studies Program, which features an innovative, five-semester interdisciplinary curriculum. He earned his B.A. in English and History from Bethel College (Minnesota) and his M.A. and Ph.D. in History from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. His research has focused on 20th/21st-century American Protestantism, particularly fundamentalism, creationism, and Protestant print culture. His publications include Righting America at the Creation Museum (Johns Hopkins University Press, 2016), which he co-authored with his wife, Susan Trollinger. He has also done a good deal of research on the Ku Klux Klan in Ohio in the 1920s; one result of this work is “Hearing the Silence: The University of Dayton, the Ku Klux Klan, and Catholic Universities and Colleges,” for which he won the 2014 Catholic Press Award for Best Essay in a Scholarly Magazine.

Founded in 1963, the Auglaize County Historical Society collects, preserves, interprets, and shares the history of Auglaize County and its people through exhibits, programs, and publications.

For more information about this event or the Auglaize County Historical Society, please contact auglaizecountyhistory@bright.net or 419-738-9328. The Auglaize County Historical Society is also on Facebook.

Staff report