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Cleveland Mayor Would Shield Klan

February 28, 1923
See Original Daily Bulletin From This Date

Mayor Kohler’s rush to the defense of the Ku Klux Klan at a meeting of the City Council here has aroused great excitement and resentment. The controversy was precipitated by the offering of a resolution in Council calling upon the Mayor to put into execution an old ordinance prohibiting the activities of organizations fostering race and religious prejudices. Councilman Herman Finkle asked that the ordinance be invoked against the Ku Klux Klan. The Cleveland Mayor replied that he would not permit the police to disturb the Klan meetings.

“Are you a member of the Klan”? Councilman Finkle shot back at the mayor.

“I know as much about the Klan as I do about your Jewish organizations”, Kohler hotly retorted.

Heated discussion followed, Council Fleming remarking “we are surprised to have the Mayor defending the Ku Klux Klan and permitting its activities in this city”.

Despite the Mayor’s opposition, the resolution demanding that steps be taken against the Klan was passed with only one Councilman opposing.

Commencing with the close of the present municipal administration, Cleveland will change to the City Manager form of Government. While no officiab announcement has been forth-coming, it is generally thought that Mayor Kohler, who at one time was chief of Police of Cleveland, will offer himself for the position. The Klan is also understood to be of considerable dimensions in Cleveland and to wield no small power.

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