If your perception of the Ku Klux Klan in Colorado in the 1920s was largely a political movement for White Protestant men, think again. In this article you’ll learn about an artist and a suffragette who were also actively involved in the KKK.
How did the Klan grow so large in the 1920s in Colorado? Why did people that we otherwise might have thought of as fine Coloradans pull on the white robe and hood? How were some people convinced that fiery crosses were a symbol of family values? The answer is strategic marketing built on a foundation of fear.
The Ku Klux Klan was at the top of its game in Colorado as 1924 came to a close. The organization had swept the statewide elections, putting Klansmen into positions of power on the U. S. Senate, the Colorado House and Senate, as governor of the state, as mayor of the state’s capital, and in numerous other positions throughout Colorado. But they were soon to discover that gaining power and keeping power were two very different things.
Simmons “new and improved” version of the Klan got underway in 1915, but it didn’t gain traction until, in 1920, the organization hired a publicity company to help spread its gospel far and wide. What made the Knights of the Ku Klux Klan different than its Reconstruction-era predecessor? For one thing, it was organized.
The Ku Klux Klan has exerted its influence in the United States during three distinct periods of time since its inception in 1865: 1) following the Civil War in response to Reconstruction, 2) following World War II in response to immigration and poor enforcement of Prohibition, and 3) in response to the Civil Rights movement of the 1950s and 60s.
Q: Why did the scarecrow win an award?
A: Because he was outstanding in his field.
Bud Frick isn’t a scarecrow, but he is certainly outstanding in his field. As an architect, he has played a significant role in the shaping of Fort Collins today.
Doug Ernest has the mind of a librarian and the heart of a historian. He is a careful researcher — methodical, consistent, and thorough. He enjoys sinking deeply into the details and stories of history, collecting the data points and putting them together into a bigger picture that fits wider themes and patterns.
Knowing who we are and where we came from is an important way to help people find commonalities that enable us to then move forward together. It gives us a common history that builds connection and understanding.