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Turcheneske, John Anthony / The Ku Klux Klan in northwestern Wisconsin

Chapter 1: introduction ,   pp. 1-21 PDF (8.0 MB)

Page 11

A prime ingredient of Klan philosophy was the idea that the public school
was to be the bulwark of American democracy. However, the education of-fered
in the public schools was to conform to the Klan's vision of what education
should be. Were the schools not offering the "proper" education,
howls of protest and accusations would be made by the Kluxers against certain
school administrators. Chetek, in early 1926, was such an area in northwestern
Wisconsin where the Klan engaged in activities of this nature.," 
Though the Klan was working with a view toward gaining a foothold in St.
Croix County in the Fall of 1925, the height of Kluxer activity here was
during the Spring, Summer and Fall of 1926. There were two incidents of serious
dimensions here., The first was a direct outgrowth of Klan attacks on the
Catholic Church. In this instance, 
Patterns Of American NAativism 1860-1925 (New York: Atheneum, T967),t 180-.
21By no means was- Chetek an isolated instance. Pat Malone was the agitator
involved in the Chetek education incident. Just prior to one of his Chetek
lectures, Malone was addressing a rally at Fond du Lac, Wisconsin. "In
his a6ess Tuesday evening 1'r. Malone dealt principally with the text of
history books used in the public schools, claiming that they did not truthfully
represent facts, end that the text was influenced to the extent that emphasis
was placed on certain religious teachings. He scored the Protestant public
for their indifference in matters of this kind." (The Fond du Lac Daily
Commonwealth, February 24, 1926, p. 1, as enclosed in personale     of Albert
Nevins to John A. Turcheneske, Jr., January 27, 1971-hereafter cited as Nevins
Letter.) Shortly thereafter, Chetek's education controversy became public

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