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Keith Erekson
Indiana Magazine of History

Elisabeth Andrews
IU Media Relations

Last modified: Thursday, December 21, 2006

Memories of the Klan in Indiana history journal

Dec. 21, 2006

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- During the summer of 1924, Klansmen, women and children ignited a fiery cross, marched in a public parade, bombed the Catholic parsonage and vandalized the Catholic church in Starke County's North Judson. In the December issue of the Indiana Magazine of History, 95-year-old William Clayton Wilkinson Jr. describes his experience as a target of these Klan terror acts. Wilkinson challenges recent scholarship that casts the Ku Klux Klan as a non-violent, populist, political organization. He writes, "In North Judson there was violence, vicious and frightening, and as a 10-year-old boy I knew then, just as I know now, that it was directed at me and at all of the Catholics in my community."

Also in this issue:

  • Indianapolis's "Evangelist of the Air," E. Howard Cadle. During the Great Depression, Cadle broadcast a daily devotional radio program to listeners throughout the Midwest. His Indianapolis tabernacle, complete with a thousand-member choir, was a major tourist attraction. Theo Anderson describes Cadle's path from his youth in Fredericksburg -- featuring drinking, gambling and womanizing -- to the religious conversion that led to his success in business and evangelism. Anderson observes that Cadle's success in the 1930s challenges the traditional view that evangelical influence in mainstream culture lessened after the 1925 Scopes "Monkey" Trial in Dayton, Tenn.
  • Hoosier writer-cum-diplomat Meredith Nicholson. Historian Ralph D. Gray examines the political career of popular author Meredith Nicholson, one of Indiana's "Big Four" writers. Hard times in the Great Depression turned Nicholson to politics: President Franklin Roosevelt appointed him the U.S. ambassador to Paraguay, Venezuela and Nicaragua, where Nicholson made friends, won confidence and implemented the administration's "Good Neighbor" policy. Gray, who is preparing a biography of Nicholson, concludes that "Nicholson's reputation remained primarily that of an Indiana author, not of a late-blooming diplomat. Nevertheless, he proved successful in both endeavors."
  • Reviews of the latest scholarship on the history of Indiana and the Midwest. Books reviewed in this issue feature Abraham Lincoln, the Underground Railroad and Gary, Ind.

The Indiana Magazine of History is published quarterly by the Department of History at Indiana University Bloomington in cooperation with the Indiana Historical Society, which offers the journal as a benefit of membership. For information on these articles, contact the editorial office at 812-855-4139. The magazine's Web site is located at