Saturday, October 22, 2016

Louisburg Parade Threatened By KKK

As we all know, our country has a horrible history of racism. That history, which began with the introduction of the trans-Atlantic slave trade to the Americas, is still being written, today.

Louisburg, North Carolina, one of my ancestral home places, is located just 29 miles from Raleigh, the state capital. The area was a Confederate stronghold, and to this day boasts many a proud descendant of the Gray. Indeed, just north of the town center, there is erected a monument to the original Confederate Flag (not the battle flag), which stands in the midst of the road on what is part of Louisburg College's campus. And, being a southern city, it shouldn't be surprising to learn of the presence of one of our country's best-known, overtly racist organizations - the Ku Klux Klan - in Louisburg's story. That said, realizing the depth of activity that was taking place in the town, while I, as a toddler, was spending time there (with my grandmother), still gave me pause.
Confederate Monument - North Main Street, Louisburg, North Carolina
Erected May, 1914

I recently found the following newspaper clippings while cleaning out my family home in Louisburg. They are about threats that were made by the KKK to the 1964 Christmas Parade. They were located at the bottom of a box of other artifacts from the 50's and 60's, along with several family letters. I've decided to share them on my blog for a couple of reasons: my family members would have been affected by these events, and, as already stated, I was actually staying in Louisburg with my grandmother when these things took place.

I will let these articles speak for themselves, but I do want to mention one thing. There must be something about the date December 6th, and Louisburg. As I was preparing this post, I realized that the first article about the Christmas Parade, of which these articles speak, was published on that date - the same date as another fateful event in this town. Sadly, December 6th (2013) was the date of the removal and burning of historical documents from the Franklin County Courthouse (in Louisburg). If you aren't aware of that sad story, dear reader, click here.

Here follow the clippings I found. Click on each article to enlarge it.

Article 1:

Source: News and Observer, Raleigh, NC, December 6, 1964   

Article 2 (3 pieces - I believe this to be from The Franklin Times, Louisburg, NC)

 Article 3 (Appears to be an editorial: author and date unknown)

Sometimes, reading the ugly truth of our times (then and now) can be disturbing. That's why I'm so glad that my grandmother, or whoever clipped these, included this closing article. I agree with the sentiment of its writer, and reading it gave me a sense of hope and peace.

Source unknown

As always, comments are welcome. If you happen to have been a resident of Louisburg at this time, and you have personal memories of this event, I'd love to hear from you. :)


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