May 19, 1924 - The KKK vs. ND Students


Notre Dame vs. The KlanThe day after students ran the Klan out of town was quiet with the Sunday papers running the story and a Klan meeting in Indianapolis. Monday would be a different story.

The police were tipped off that the the weekly Klan meeting would be ending at 9:00pm and the police would get a chance to redeem themselves against the unruly students. As the meeting ended, the Klan members put their red-lit cross back into the window. Roughly 500 students charging downtown and as soon as the first potato was flung at the window the police appeared from around the corner. A melee broke out as the students were surrounded by police and Klansmen, both groups putting a beating on the students.

When the scene quickly grew out of control with rocks and bottles flying and a student supposedly shot by a Klansmen, the police chief ran back to the station looking for support. Mishawaka could only send nine officers in support, so the police chief called Father Walsh for his help. Father Walsh and Father O'Donnell met a group of students that had fled to the courthouse and Father Walsh compared to the scene of bloodied students to some he had seen in World War I. Father Walsh climbed on top of a cannon with the word Gettysburg carved into the monument underneath, similar to Father Corby at the Battle of Gettysburg. In his speech poised atop the cannon, Father Walsh urged the students to return to campus and let the authorities keep the order of the law.

To learn more about the interactions between Notre Dame and the KKK, read Todd Tucker's book Notre Dame vs. The Klan: How the Fighting Irish Defeated the Ku Klux Klan.




Keywords: ku klux klan, father walsh, father odonnell, world war i, gettysburg, civil war, father corby

Posted On: 2012-05-19 00:15:01 by IrishTrpt07

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