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Cumston Public Library presents ?Maine Burning: The Ku Klux Klan Invasion?.
Join us via Zoom on Wednesday, Jan 26 at 7 pm for local author Mark
Leslie?s talk on the KKK in Maine.
Click this link to register for the program:
You will be sent the Zoom link via e-mail.
Julie Sawtelle, Director
Cumston Public Library
P. O. Box 239
Monmouth, ME 04259
When some 15,000 Ku Klux Klan members from around Maine gathered
outside Waterville in September 1923 for their first annual gathering
and lit the forest ?ablaze with burning crosses? the event shook the
country. The notion that the secret society could not only exist but
thrive in ?lily-white? Maine seemed ludicrous to many, but its power
reached such heights that it helped elect a governor, several mayors,
and numerous other politicians.
Absent from history books for nearly 100 years, this astonishing time
in Maine will be explored by author Mark Alan Leslie in this
Portland-Westbrook, Lewiston-Auburn and Bangor-Brewer were particular
hotbeds of KKK activity in the 1920s, and the Washington Post reported
that an estimated 19 percent of Maine?s population supported the Klan
in 1923. ?While few African-Americans lived here at that time, the
KKK?s targets were French-Canadian, Irish and Polish immigrants ?
largely because they were Roman Catholics ? as well as Jews,? Leslie
Leslie will tell the tale of the extraordinary rise and fall of this
organization which, now and again, still makes headlines in Maine 99
years after that frightening gathering in Waterville.