Presentation Explores William Allen White’s Resistance Against the KKK

Presentation Explores William Allen White’s Resistance Against the KKK

Parsons Public Library will host “William Allen White and the KKK in Kansas,” a presentation and discussion by Beverly Olson Buller on Monday, November 4, at 6:30 p.m. in the library multi-purpose room.

During his 1924 Kansas Gubernatorial campaign, William Allen White sought to drive the Ku Klux Klan out of Kansas. Because of the growing presence of the Klan after World War I and the influence they had on all the other gubernatorial candidates, White ran for the governor’s seat of Kansas. This presentation follows White’s two-month campaign where he traveled over 2,700 miles to deliver 104 speeches that were directed at expelling the KKK from Kansas.

Beverley Olson Buller is an author, educator, and the chair of the William Allen White Children’s Book Awards selection committee in Emporia. Her book, From Emporia: The Story of William Allen White, was named a 2008 notable Kansas Book.

“William Allen White wrote in 1922, ‘When anything is going to happen in this country, it happens first in Kansas.’ Accordingly, Kansas became the first state in the union to outlaw the Ku Klux Klan,” Buller said. “The story of White’s role in history is fascinating and one of which his fellow Kansans can be very proud.”

“William Allen White and the KKK in Kansas” is part of Humanities Kansas’s Movement of Ideas Speakers Bureau, featuring presentations and workshops designed to share stories that inspire, spark conversations that inform, and generate insights that strengthen civic engagement.

Humanities Kansas is an independent nonprofit spearheading a movement of ideas to empower the people of Kansas to strengthen their communities and our democracy. Since 1972, its pioneering programming, grants, and partnerships have documented and shared stories to spark conversations and generate insights. Together with partners and supporters, the group inspires all Kansans to draw on history, literature, ethics, and culture to enrich their lives and serve the communities and state we all proudly call home. Visit

Members of the community are invited to attend the free program, which will take place at the library, 311 South 17th St.  For more information, contact the library at 620-421-5920.

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