Notre Dame vs. The Klan

How the Fighting Irish Defeated the Ku Klux Klan

by Todd Tucker ’90 (Loyola Press)


During two days of riots in May 1924, Notre Dame students took on the Indiana Ku Klux Klan. The KKK wasn’t reacting to the students’ race but to their religion—Catholicism. “Look around: they are already taking over the schools, flaunting our laws, changing the very nature of the United States, a Protestant country at its birth,” a KKK leader asserted at a state rally in the early 1920s.

Here the author details how and why the two institutions came to loggerheads at the height of anti-Catholicism in America. The book continues through the aftermath of the three-day confrontation in downtown South Bend, including the football team’s winning Rose Bowl appearance and the Indiana KKK’s eventual implosion.

(November 2004)