LOUDONVILLE — The Cleo Redd Fisher Museum in Loudonville continues their Spring Speaker Series on Monday, March 16, with a look at the second rise of the Ku Klux Klan.

William Trollinger, professor of history at the University of Dayton, joins the museum to discuss how the Klan managed to expand and recruit new members in the north by targeting new victims.

Having virtually disappeared in the late 19th century, the Ku Klux Klan exploded onto the national stage in the early 1920s, with perhaps five million members at its peak.

While the original Klan concentrated its animus against the newly freed slaves, this "second" KKK had an expanded list of social scapegoats that included immigrants, Jews and Catholics.

While the original Klan was based primarily in the South, the second Klan had its greatest numerical strength in the West and Midwest. In fact, Ohio may have had more KKK members than any other state in the Union, with an estimated 400,000 Klansmen and Klanswomen.

Trollinger explores why the Klan was so strong in Ohio, what activities the Ohio Klan engaged in, and in what ways the folks targeted by the Klan fought back.

Trollinger’s research has focused on 20th and 21st-century American Protestantism, particularly fundamentalism, creationism and Protestant print culture. His publications include God’s Empire: William Bell Riley and Midwestern Fundamentalism (University of Wisconsin Press, 1990) and Righting America at the Creation Museum (Johns Hopkins University Press, 2016), the latter he co-authored with his wife, Susan Trollinger.

He has also done a good deal of research on the Ku Klux Klan in Ohio in the 1920s; one result of this work is Hearing the Silence: The University of Dayton, the Ku Klux Klan, and Catholic Universities and Colleges (American Catholic Studies, Spring 2013), for which he won the 2014 Catholic Press Award for Best Essay in a Scholarly Magazine. He is also director of UD’s Core Integrated Studies Program, which features an innovative, five-semester interdisciplinary curriculum. He earned his B.A. in English and History from Bethel College (Minnesota) and his M.A. and Ph.D. in History from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

This program, "Terrorizing Immigrants & Catholics: The Ohio Ku Klux Klan in the 1920s," will be presented at 7 p.m. in the meeting hall of the CRF Museum at 203 E. Main St. in Loudonville. This event is free and open to the public. It is made possible in part by the Ohio Humanities Council, a state affiliate of the National Endowment for the Humanities. Anyone with questions regarding the program can contact the museum at www.crfmuseum.com or by calling (419) 994-4050.