Keywords: Ku Klux Klan
In Maine, like many other states, a newly formed Ku Klux Klan organization began recruiting members in the years just before the United States entered World War I. A message of patriotism and cautions about immigrants and non-Protestants drew many thousands of members into the secret organization in the early 1920s. By the end of the decade, the group was largely gone from Maine.
The Black Guards were African American Army soldiers, members of the segregated Second Battalion of the 366th Infantry sent to guard the railways of Maine during World War II, from 1941 to 1945. The purpose of the Black Guards' deployment to Maine was to prevent terrorist attacks along the railways, and to keep Maine citizens safe during the war.
Concern about immigrants and their loyalty in the post World War I era led to programs to "Americanize" them -- an effort to help them learn English and otherwise adjust to life in the United States. Clara Soule ran one such program for the Portland Public Schools, hoping it would help the immigrants be accepted.
One of the most famous legends of Biddeford is when the Klan paraded through Saco and tried to come to Biddeford--the story goes that the Irish…
Crime & Disaster Crime & Disaster A selection of photographs relating to crime & disaster in the Portland Press Herald Glass Plate Negative…