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Frostburg Visited By KKK Members

KKK in Frostburg, June 1985. Click on the MEDIA ITEMS below for more information


Frostburg Visited By KKK Members

Ten robed members of the Invisible Empire, Knights of the Ku Klux Klan visited the downtown Frostburg area during the weekend to distribute literature and talk with anyone willing to listen.

Three young men wearing combat fatigues stood by as a security force, just "in case," according to one Klansman.

Scattered groups of curious on-lookers gathered on city streets as the KKK members solicited members.

"Personally, I don't want them here," a city official said.

"But we had to issue the permit, because the law requires us to approve any group so long as they don't interfere with traffic, disturb the peace, or break any laws." In previous years some cities denied permits to groups such as the American Nazi Party and the KKK, but courts ruled against the cities and required them to permit peaceful demonstrations, citing the First Amendment protection of freedom of speech.

Nick Ferrera, State Grand Knight Hawk (Security Head), said that the group plans to return to Frostburg regularly throughout the year. "Basically, we stand for law and order and a return to patriotism," Ferrara said, "but people think we are like the Klan in the 1920s when a lot of bad things happened. I don't approve of a lot of things that were done in the past. The Klan has changed over the years, but people don't know it."

Ferrera, a Westminster contractor, said that no one had harassed the Klansmen in Frostburg. A number of passing motorists and pedestrians accepted KKK literature and several stopped to question the Klansmen about the organization, but most seemed more interested in the variety of colors and emblems of the robes.

A number of passersby paused long enough to take photographs of the Klansmen. None of the Klansmen were masked and all were willing to be photographed.

A member of the Frostburg City Police Department said, "There's nothing we can do about it so long as they don't break any laws."

"I hope nobody judges Frostburg by the fact that these people are allowed to recruit on our streets," commented a Main Street businessman.

In charge of the Klansmen was Sam Royer, Grand Dragon of the KKK for the State of Maryland. Royer, of Rohersville, Md., said that the purpose of the visit was to recruit members and set about establishing a local Klavern (chapter) of the Klan. "We will be back and we will watch this area grow in membership This is Klan territory. It is ripe "

A number of residents challenged Royer's claim and an elderly man was hardly able to contain his outrage. "If I hadn't had open-heart surgery I would be over there kicking their butts!"

A local teacher said she was glad to see the Klan was visible "actually seeing them dressed up in their robes, standing on the main street of Frostburg makes it easier to convince people that this threat is real and that it is something we need to worry about locally. It's not just something that happens in the deep South."


Cumberland Evening Times


Collection Location:
Allegany County, Maryland

African Americans, History; Allegany County (Md.), History.

Allegany County (Md.), 1890-2008

Western Maryland Regional Library
100 South Potomac Street
Hagerstown, Maryland 21740

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