FRENCH PEOPLE WERE TARGETED BY THE KLAN - (A Little History That I NEVER Knew!)
The first State Convention of the Klan was held in the forest outside Waterville later in 1923, and attracted 15,000. Burning crosses were in abundance. Daylight parades by hooded Klansman did take place in Portland, Sanford, Gardiner, Brewer, Milo, Dexter, East Hodgdon, Kittery and Brownville Junction among other places.
In 1924, French-Canadians turned back a Klan march in Greenville, fought the Klan with rocks and clubs in Fairfield (before tearing down a burning cross). When the Saco chapter of the KKK organized a Labor Day march in 1924, it was prevented from entering Biddeford by members of the city’s police force and fire department. They stood their ground and defended the bridge from Saco entering Biddeford.
There was some resistance. In Lewiston, for example, the KKK was denied use of the city hall for their meetings. But that didn’t stop them from detonating a bomb in Lewiston in 1924! But just across the Androscoggin River in Auburn, the Klan met at city hall, to audiences that included members of the police force, and which included sermons by local protestant clergy. Differences between the two adjacent communities could not be starker.
Needless to say, the Dubé family was impacted as were so many other French Canadian immigrants, my own Lachance family included. By the end of WWII, my own father refused to speak French (his native language).