Ku Klux Klan procession, Portland, ca. 1923Item 1265 info
Maine Historical Society
The same change in demographics that inspired Clara Soule to start the Americanization program also provoked other responses.
For example, the Ku Klux Klan was quite active in Portland and other northern cities, expressing opposition to immigrants and Roman Catholics as well as to African-Americans.
In Portland, the Klan supported a successful 1923 referendum that eliminated the popularly elected mayor and reduced the size of the City Council, concentrating power in the hands of the city's established Protestant elite.
The Jewish and Catholic members of the City Council were not re-elected.