America’s First War on Terror: the KKK and Reconstruction

CLICK TO LISTEN TO Ep. 11: “Ohio v. Terror”

In the penultimate episode of Season 6 Alex dives into the history of America’s First War on Terror against a new white supremacist group, the Ku Klux Klan in the 1870s. We study the Reconstruction Era (1865-1877) following the Civil War and the ultimate failure to reconcile the country and the races. The heartbreaking story of the birth of the KKK is told in Episode 11: “Ohio v. Terror.”

Charles Lane, author and Washington Post columnist and editorial board member, joins the show to talk about his great 2019 book Freedom’s Detective: The Secret Service, the Ku Klux Klan, and the Man Who Masterminded America’s First War on Terror. Lane’s protagonist is an Ohioan and a complicated anti-hero, Hiram C. Whitley. We follow Whitley’s winding career from an Ohio farm boy to the second Director of the Secret Service. Whitley finds himself on the frontlines of a war against domestic terrorists, the newly formed and shadowy organization the Ku Klux Klan. Chuck Lane takes us through Whitley and his agents covert efforts to combat the KKK. The Secret Service helps to arrest hundreds of members in the South during Reconstruction. Buy Freedom’s Detective here…

Alex is rejoined by Steven Walters and Erik Archilla the co-creators of the great history podcast, 1865. They sit down to discuss Season 2 of 1865, which focuses on the war with the KKK and the presidency of Ulysses S. Grant. Grant, an Ohio native, joins the fight against the Klan and its violent tactics with the full force of the federal government. We look at his response to the killings and terror in the South and how his administration ultimately falls short of their goal of equality between black and white Americans.

Go listen to 1865 Podcast from the fine folks at the Wondery podcast network. It’s one of our absolute favorite shows. Both Season 1 about the crazy days after the Lincoln assassination and the end of the Civil War. And check out Season 2 which follows the story of Reconstruction in the 1870s. Listen here and follow them on Facebook and Twitter.

Only one episode left in Season 6 of Ohio v. the World. Thanks to our friends at the Evergreen Podcast Network. All of our old episodes are available at Evergreen and check out their entire history network here

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