The Rise and Fall of the Ku Klux Klan in New Jersey

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New Jersey is celebrated for its strong communities built across religious and ethnic lines as one of the nation’s most diverse states. The state, though, was not immune to the reemergence of the Ku Klux Klan in the first half of the twentieth century. Former vaudevillians Arthur H. Bell and his wife used the tactics of public theater to advertise and recruit for the organization. At a massive riot in Perth Amboy, thousands of immigrants besieged a few hundred Klansmen, tossed them out of building windows, burned their cars and ran them out of town. The allying of pro-Nazi German Bund groups and the Klan in the lead-up to World War II marked the end of the Klan’s foothold. Authors Joseph Bilby and Harry Ziegler chart the brief rise of the Ku Klux Klan and how New Jersey collectively stood up to bigotry.
ISBN: 9781467142625
Format: Paperback
Publisher: The History Press
State: New Jersey
Images: 93
Pages: 176
Dimensions: 6 (w) x 9 (h)
JOSEPH G. BILBY received his BA and MA degrees in history from Seton Hall University and served as a lieutenant in the First Infantry Division in Vietnam in 1966–67. He is assistant curator of the New Jersey National Guard and Militia Museum in Sea Girt, a columnist for the Civil War News and New Jersey Sportsmen News and a freelance writer, historian and historical consultant. He is the author, editor or coauthor of more than four hundred articles and twenty-two books on New Jersey, the Civil War and firearms history. Mr. Bilby has received the Jane Clayton Award for contributions to Monmouth County (NJ) history, an award of merit from the New Jersey Historical Commission for his contributions to the state’s military history and the New Jersey Meritorious Service Medal from the state’s Division of Military and Veterans Affairs. In 2018, he was awarded the Richard J. Hughes Prize by the New Jersey Historical Commission for his lifelong contributions to New Jersey history. HARRY ZIEGLER received his BA degree in English from Monmouth University and his MEd from Georgian Court University and worked for many years at the Asbury Park Press, New Jersey’s second-largest newspaper, rising from reporter to bureau chief, editor and managing editor of the paper. He is currently associate principal of Bishop George Ahr High School in Edison, New Jersey, and this is the eighth book he has coauthored on New Jersey history.