2016 Student Research Conference:
29th Annual Student Research Conference

The Menace v. The Knights of Columbus: American Anti-Catholicism before WWI
Cole C. Haugen
Dr. David Robinson and Dr. Jeff Gall, Faculty Mentors

The Menace was the main organ for anti-Catholic sentiment in Missouri during the 1910s. The Aurora-based publication quickly increased its readership outside the state, and by 1914 had more than one million subscribers. The Menace called into question the loyalty of American Catholics, and believed their ties to Rome would subvert the American political structure. Coming to the defense of Catholics was the growing fraternal organization, The Knights of Columbus. The Knights attempted to influence authorities to suppress The Menace, accusing it of libel and other infractions. The battle between the two organizations climaxed at a 1916 trial in Joplin, Missouri. The eventual acquittal of The Menace was celebrated by many as a victory for freedom of press. However, those who still found it objectionable welcomed the waning of the publication during the World War in the last years of the decade.

Keywords: anti-Catholicism , freedom of press, Knights of Columbus , The Menace , Missouri history

Topic(s):History Senior Seminar

Presentation Type: Oral Paper

Session: -1
Location: MG 2090
Time: 8:00

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