Did you ever wonder, “Hey, did any Klansman live in the house I now occupy?”
Names. Home and business addresses. Phone numbers. Dues payments. The neatly typed ledger entries march across row after row, page after page, their ordinariness belying their significance.
Almost a century ago, the Ku Klux Klan held sway in Denver, preaching racism, sectarianism and other forms of bigotry. At the KKK’s peak in Colorado, its tens of thousands of members included a governor, a mayor, legislators, judges, business leaders and ministers.
And while Klan members in the 1920s paraded through Denver wearing the familiar pointy hoods that obscured their faces, the Klan’s membership lists of names and addresses are evidence that those who pledged loyalty to the movement’s vision of white supremacy felt no need to hide their identity.
Those names are on display in an extraordinary set of documents — more than 1,300 ledger pages — that History Colorado has made available online in a searchable PDF format.
Have at it Denverite!