The 1920’s KKK – A Legacy of Intolerance

The film “The Birth of a Nation” led to a resurgence of the KKK in 1920’s America. Photo courtesy Wikimedia Commons.

     The racist organization known as the Knights of the Ku Klux Klan mounted a resurgence in the 1920’s following the Hollywood release of D. W. Griffiths classic silent film, “The Birth of a Nation.” The widely popular movie reinforced negative racial stereotypes concerning blacks and portrayed Klan members as heroic. The film’s unparalleled success reflected the prejudices then held by a large portion of the American population.

     The Klan first arrived in Detroit in 1921, but the organization quickly spread to Michigan’s northern rural counties. Ku Klux Klan organizers came to Manistique during the early summer of 1923. Four men posing as researchers from the “Sebring Research Bureau” circulated among the population. It soon became known that the group was attempting to organize a branch of the Ku Klux Klan in Manistique. Read More...

WWI Remembrance – The Home Front

     With America’s entry into World War I in April of 1917, life changed dramatically for citizens across the country, including those living in Schoolcraft County. A series of sweeping war regulations were established by the administration of Woodrow Wilson regarding food, fuel, the financing of the war effort, the treatment of “enemy aliens” and the stifling of dissent.

     The United States Food Administration sought to conserve foods such as beef, pork and wheat through voluntary action. Staples like sugar and flour were rationed. George Nicholson, of the White Marble Lime Company, was appointed as local food administrator. Monday, Wednesday and one meal daily were designated as wheatless. Tuesday and one meal daily was to be meatless. Saturday was porkless. The edicts from the Food Administration were published weekly in the Pioneer Tribune, with compliance being achieved through social pressure. Every family was expected to prominently display the Food Administration emblem in their home. Read More...

WWI Remembrance – Henry Davis

Certificate in Memory of Henry Davis signed by General John Pershing

Henry Davis was born in Manistique on January 8, 1900. He attended school here and was always very fond of history. Prior to his enlistment, he was employed with the Soo Line Railroad in the baggage department. He joined the army in April of 1917 at age 17, having received special consent from his parents. Davis was one of the volunteers who left Manistique on May 6, 1917, having joined the 33rd Michigan Infantry, a National Guard unit. This unit was later federalized and become part of the 125th Infantry. Davis arrived overseas in February of 1918 and was initially placed with the Railway Transportation Office. When he last wrote to his parents, he stated that the 125th would “soon be going into the thick of the fighting” and that maybe some of the boys would be hurt but they would “put the Germans of the run.” Henry Davis was killed in action in France on July 31, 1918. Read More...