My presentation will focus on an area of relevant historical study that has been neglected until quite recently, namely, the Ku Klux Klan’s focus on educational reform in the 1920s. Specifically, by utilizing local primary source documents, graduate theses, secondary source surveys and journal articles, my presentation will compare and contrast the significant yet neglected case study of the Klan’s brief yet ultimately ineffective takeover of the Akron Public Schoolboard in the 1920s with case studies of other Klan chapters throughout the United States. In doing so, I will illustrate why this organization that boasted over six million members nationwide, including hundreds of large chapters such as that of Akron, Ohio failed to achieve any lasting reforms, even though the organizations stated philosophy and goals seemed to conform with much of mainstream political discourse.
Randall Slonaker is an Akron native and a senior history major attending the Kent Campus. He plans to pursue graduate level studies in American history, and aspires to write, publish and teach in the field of history.