1926 September 1

Virginia KKK Kidnap Catholic Priest for Teaching African-American Children


Ku Klux Klan members in Virginia kidnapped a Catholic priest on this day, because he had been teaching African-American children in Princess Anne County. Throughout the 1920s, the KKK was one of the leading anti-Catholic forces in American society.

On November 7, 1922, for example, the Klan sponsored a law in Oregon that would have shut down Catholic parochial schools in the state. The Supreme Court declared the amendment an unconstitutional violation of the right of parents to control their children’s education, in Pierce v. Society of Sisters (June 1, 1925). And in a brazen display of the Klan’s strength, 35,000 Klan members paraded down Constitution Avenue in Washington, D.C., on August 8, 1925. The Klan was also one of the most vocal opponents of Al Smith, Democratic Party candidate for president in 1928, because of his Catholicism (see September 18, 1928).

Read about the incident and the history of the Virginia Ku Klux Klan: http://www.encyclopediavirginia.org/Ku_Klux_Klan_in_Virginia#its6

Learn more about the history of the KKK: David Chalmers, Hooded Americanism: The History of the Ku Klux Klan (1987)

Watch the Klan in the 1920s: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UR9jrTwHCl0

Learn more about the Klan today: http://www.splcenter.org/get-informed/intelligence-files/ideology/ku-klux-klan

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