Kampus Klan:
The University of Nebraska-Lincoln and the Ku Klux Klan, in the Early 1920s

Project Editor:Ryan Treick, History 470: Digital History, Spring 2008

Table of Contents

National Klan
Nebraska Klan
University Klan


This digital history project is aimed to show the relationship between the reemergence of the Ku Klux Klan in the 1920s and the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. To fully grasp the significance of the University's role in regard to the KKK, it is important to understand the context of 1920s America and Nebraska, which is why this project is divided into three sections: "The National Klan," "The Nebraska Klan," and "The University Klan."

"The National Klan" takes a look at the nation as a whole, giving some specific examples of Klan activities on college campuses across the country. I argue that there was a definite resurgence of the Ku Klux Klan throughout the country, and not just in the South. I also cite evidence showing that the Klan was under much scrutiny as Congress was beginning to investigate its activities.

"The Nebraska Klan" looks at the development of the Ku Klux Klan in the state and its role as a cultural phenomenon. Much of my argument is based on the analysis of the Ku Klux Klan in Nebraska during the 1920s by historian Michael Schuyler. Coupled with his argument, I cite evidence showing that the Klan was unable to win support of prominent politicians of the state, making it difficult to sustain itself.

"The University Klan" examines the attempt at a University Ku Klux Klan on the UNL campus, and its reaction from the community. This section shows how there was much anxiety at the prospect of a Ku Klux Klan at the University of Nebraska. Provided are reactions from the local papers, Chancellor Avery, and even the local Ku Klux Klan in Lincoln.

By looking at each portion of this project, readers will be able to gain a good context of the Ku Klux Klan in 1920s America and Nebraska, which helps understand the importance in learning about the prospect of a University Ku Klux Klan at UNL.