V28-3 Teaser #37

Vol. XXVIII No. 3 - SUMMER 2017

In our previous issue we asked: What nationally known organization once held a major meeting at the Broadway Armory?

Answer: Incredible as it may seem to us today, the Ku Klux Klan once held a conclave at the Broadway Armory. It lasted two days, November 9 and 10, 1924. Over 3000 Klansmen attended, including the Klan’s top national official, the Imperial Wizard, and the Grand Dragons of the states of Michigan, Indiana, Iowa and Missouri. However, it was not a celebratory affair. It reflected dissension within the Illinois organization and was called to oust the Klan’s top official in Illinois, who was also a top aide to the Illinois Governor. The effort failed but dissension persisted.

Just a few days before, on October 31, the Klan held a circus at the armory and used horses of the State National Guard. Democrats denounced the use of state property for private use.

Ironically, Barack Obama, our country’s first African American president, held a rally in the same building, and not just once but twice. The first was on October 30, 2004, when he ran for U.S. Senator, and the second was on July 27, 2008, when he was campaigning to be the Democratic Party nominee for President. As far as we have been able to determine, Barack Obama was the only President to have visited Edgewater, as opposed to just passing through Edgewater on his way to somewhere else.

Sources: Chicago Tribune digital archives, flyer in Carol Ronan’s possession.

Teaser #38

The Teaser is taking a break.