Indiana has an unfortunate history with the Ku Klux Klan. A hundred years ago it was a real force in this state. While its dominance ended many decades ago, I’m sure Klan or Klan-like groups can still be found in my state’s dark corners.
Actor Adam Driver, who grew up in Mishawaka and stars in the new movie, “BlaKkKlansman,” claims to have been aware of Klan rallies during his childhood here. That would have been during the 1990s. His claim is a surprise to Hoosiers everywhere.
As a lifelong Hoosier, I’m not aware of any overt Klan activity like rallies and cross-burnings. That kind of thing tends to make news.
The Indianapolis Star published a story about Driver’s claim this week and included a brief history of the Klan in Indiana. It’s a good, short read — see it here.
If you’d like to read more, see especially the sordid story of D.C. Stephenson, one-time Grand Dragon who went to prison on rape and murder charges. The Wikipedia article (here) is a good start, but the best account I’ve read of him is in Indiana: An Interpretation, a book by John Bartlow Martin, which you can pick up used on Amazon for pennies (here).
I recommend the Bartlow book also for a compelling telling of the life of Terre Haute socialist Eugene V. Debs, who ran for President and was jailed for his politics. During my Terre Haute days I lived several blocks up the street from his onetime home there. I drove past it every day on my way to work.
Last updated on 4 March 2020 by Jim Grey