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 – First Lieut. Harry A. Williams

First Lieut. Harry A. Williams. Photo courtesy Lynne Williams Miller.

FIRST LIEUT. HARRY A. WILLIAMS    

     Harry Williams was born on a farm in Cooks, Michigan, February 7, 1887 and was the son of Mr. and Mrs. Milton Williams. For six years prior to entering the service he was employed as a government clerk in Washington, D.C. In the fall of 1917, he entered an officers’ training camp near Chattanooga, TN., and was sent overseas in the spring of 1918.

     First Lieutenant Harry A. Williams, 7th Infantry, was posthumously issued a Silver Star Citation for action near Fossoy, France, on July 15, 1918. During an intense artillery preparation by the enemy, Lieutenant Williams voluntarily took command of a platoon of the company to which he was attached for the purpose of liaison. Through absolute disregard of personal danger and high qualities of leadership these men were safely conducted from their support position, through Fossoy, under terrific shell fire, arriving at the front line in time to assist in stopping the enemy’s advance. Read More...

Civilian Conservation Corp – Camp Steuben (1933-1937)

Interior view of Barracks No. 3 at Camp Steuben. The barracks measured 20’ by 112’. Photo courtesy Vivian Haight.

        President Franklin Roosevelt’s Civilian Conservation Corp (CCC) was inaugurated on April 17, 1933 with the opening of Camp Roosevelt in the George Washington National Forest in Virginia. The program was designed to employ over 250,000 young men out of work during the Great Depression.

          Camp Steuben in Schoolcraft County opened only 17 days later on May 4, 1933. The first recruits went through a two-week orientation at Camp Custer near Battle Creek, before heading north to the Upper Peninsula. One hundred and forty-one men from Custer were assigned to Camp Steuben and 212 others headed to Camp Kentucky in Alger County. Their journey was delayed five hours while waiting for a ferry to cross the Straits of Mackinac. Camp Steuben received additional recruits from Fort Sheridan in Illinois. Read More...