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Cumberland Ladies of the Ku Klux Klan

Click on the MEDIA ITEMS below for more information


Cumberland Ladies of the Ku Klux Klan

As with much of the nation, Allegany County was caught up in the Ku Klux Klan fervor which swept America in the early 1920s. Over 1000 Klansman from the Cumberland area went by a special train to Washington D.C. in 1925 for a national Klan rally and march. Hundreds more from this area went by automobile and bus.

A "branch office" of the Klan was officially established in Cumberland during the summer of 1921. Three hundred to 500 men participated in one of the first Klan initiations in Cumberland. The local KKK chapter was officially titled, "Fort Cumberland Klan No. 37, Ku Klux Klan." Their headquarters was on South Mechanic Street.

The total number of the Fort Cumberland Klan was 3200 members, 1800 of which were from the City of Cumberland. They held a big parade in downtown Cumberland on May 17, 1924, but were given permission to march only if no masks or hoods were worn. According to newspaper accounts, the parade was attended and viewed by thousands of people and Klansmen who arrived by train and automobile. There were several cross burnings, but no violence was reported.

Locally, it appears that the Klan paraded a lot, burned crosses in isolated areas, sponsored some festivals and donated money to such groups as the Salvation Army. They did however believe in "100% Americanism", which meant that they spoke hate against anyone who was not like them.

The KKK also had a women's contingent. Depicted above are two local items that characterize this involvement. First is a photograph of the Liberty Aluminun Band, which was comprised of the "Cumberland Ladies of the KKK". They participated in this Ku Klux Klan parade in Cumberland, circa 1925. This group was part of the "State of Maryland's Women of the Ku Klux Klan".

The second item is a poster advertising a Ku Klux Klan Field Day that was held on May 23, 1925 and sponsored by the local "Women of the Ku Klux Klan". The text reads as follows:

Western Maryland Field Day Saturday, May 23, 1925 WOMEN OF THE KU KLUX KLAN Cumberland, Md.
The Biggest Event in the History of Klancraft.
Patriotic Americans Everywhere are Planning to Come.
We Have Perfected an Amazing Programme, Which Will Last Throughout the Day.
Aerial Stunt Flying, Day and Night, Aerial Fire Works, Night and Day, Ground Fire Works Speakers of National Renown in Ku Klux Circles Will Lecture at Intervals throughout the Afternoon.

Also Many Added Attractions you Can't Afford to Miss.
Music Will be Furnished by an Orchestra
Spend an American Patriotic Day in the Heart of the Allegany Mountains, Surrounded by Historic Interest, and Scenic Beauty.
Come Men Boys Women Girls
Patriots, Don't Miss the Biggest Day of the Year in the Klan Jubilees.
The Largest Naturalization Ever Staged in Western Maryland. WOMEN AND GIRLS.
Special Trains to Grounds Throughout Day, by B. & O. Railroad


Text - Albert Feldstein

The Liberty Aluminun Band photograph , circa 1925, is from the collection of Bonnie Wolfe and courtesy of the Allegany County Museum. The KKK Field Day poster or flyer, dated 1925, is from the collection of Albert and Angela Feldstein

Collection Location:
Allegany County

Allegany County (Md.)--Biography; Allegany County (Md.)--Women.

Allegany County, (Md.)

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

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