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The riveting tale of the clash of two powerful institutions – Notre Dame and the Ku Klux Klan-that changed both institutions – and America – forever.
In 1924, students of the University of Notre Dame and members of the Ku Klux Klan faced off in a violent confrontation in South Bend, Indiana. This shocking and true hidden chapter in Catholic and American history is recounted in Notre Dame vs. The Klan, the story of two uniquely American institutions that rose to power amidst rampant anti-Catholicism and collided during a riotous weekend. In defeating the Klan, Notre Dame helped Catholics overcome widespread prejudice and take their place as accepted members of mainstream America.
Told from the perspectives of the then-president of Notre Dame, the former Grand Dragon of the KKK, and a Notre Dame student who participated in the riot, the book details the rise of Notre Dame from its humble roots in a small village in France to its reputation as an academic leader and football power – and the parallel trajectory of the KKK in Indiana. This fascinating story, pieced together from firsthand accounts and newspaper reports, is an important addition to the rich legacy of the storied institution of Notre Dame and the cultural history of American Catholics.
Todd Tucker received a bachelor's degree in history from the University of Notre Dame and served as an officer with the U.S. Navy's nuclear submarine force. His writing has appeared in national magazines, including TWA Ambassador, The Rotarian, and Inside Sports. He lives in Valparaiso, Indiana, with his family.