Arthur Gustave Sorlie is remembered today as the namesake for the Sorlie Memorial Bridge spanning the Red River here. But allegations that Sorlie was a member or sympathizer of the anti-Catholic, anti-Semitic, anti-immigrant Ku Klux Klan during the 1920s have largely faded from memory, and seldom if ever were noted in standard histories of the state’s politics.
Neila Mae Johnson knew the amiable family friend as “Uncle Rudy.”
Rudolph Bener was an immigrant from Croatia and spoke with a thick Slavic accent. After he died, in 1964, it fell to the Johnson family to clean out his house on Lake Melissa near Detroit Lakes, Minn. What they found shocked them: Uncle Rudy had been a member of the Ku Klux Klan.
Three mischievous fans of the Roughriders’ hockey team flouted a taboo when they recently wore hooded Ku Klux Klan robes to taunt the opposing squad.
But the Red River High School hockey spectators might not have known just how prevalent the Ku Klux Klan once was in the Red River Valley.
Grand Forks Red River High School administrators said Saturday that action has been taken against students who dressed in Ku Klux Klan garb Friday night during the Roughriders’ state tournament hockey game against Fargo Davies.
The alleged leader of a Ku Klux Klan group was indicted on a second-degree murder charge Wednesday in the shooting death of an Oklahoma woman who police said was killed during an initiation in south Louisiana.
February 18, 2009
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