Ku Klux Klan

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The Ku Klux Klan (KKK) is infamously known as a hate group, which is spread throughout the United States and has similar appearances throughout the world. The group's main focus was to resist societal change and supporting white supremacy.

In 1923, several Klan members were elected into city offices throughout Ohio. In Newark, the position of Mayor and municipal judge were filled by known supporters of the KKK. The local newspaper, the Newark Advocate, fought to prevent this from happening, proclaiming that the paper believed that a member of a secret organization should not be allowed to be involved in municipal affairs.[1]

In 1993, the ‘’Granville Booster’’ published an article titled "The Ku Klux Klan Plays a Big Role in County's Early Twentieth Century History," which stated that, due to the fact that several of the largest rallies in the country were held in Buckeye Lake, throughout that decade, several members of the KKK served in city and county government positions.[2] Due to the nature of the article, the Newark Advocate refused to run the article citing that it was "too controversial" and would give Newark a "negative image." However, the writer, Kevin Bennett, wrote the piece because he thought it was an interesting piece of Newark's history and used old newspapers as his references. [3]

In 1994, controversy was sparked again when the KKK announced their plan to hold a rally on the Courthouse steps. The date for the rally was set for July 9th, 1994. Aside from the subject matter, the main point of the controversy surrounded the cost of police protection for the rally. Police protection would cost taxpayers $100,000, and the location of the rally could cause a large turnout, which could easily get out of hand and was believed to have the capability to cause riots and other bad deeds. Government officials met to discuss a possibility of refusing to allow the rally, but the KKK members stated that they would sue for a violation of their first amendment rights of assembly and free speech. A plan was made to restrict the length of the rally and to persuade businesses around the courthouse, to close during that time, thus limiting the amount of people to attend.[4]



  1. "Newark Elects Klan," The Newark Advocate, November 7, 1923.
  2. Kevin Bennett, "The Ku Klux Klan Plays a Big Role in County's Early Twentieth Century History," The Granville Booster, April 12, 1993, 15.
  3. Kevin Bennett, Letter to Robert (Bob) Simon
  4. Larry Fugate, "Security costly for KKK rally," The Advocate, May 1994.