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Arts briefs
Willmar Minnesota 2208 Trott Ave. SW / P.O. Box 839 56201

Ku Klux Klan presentation tonight

WILLMAR -- Nancy Vaillancourt will present a program on the "Ku Klux Klan in 1920s Minnesota" at 7 p.m. today at the Kandiyohi County Historical Society in Willmar.

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The Ku Klux Klan claimed that 100,000 Minnesotans were Klan members in the 1920s. Although the Klan was a secret organization, evidence can still be found of the group's activities throughout the state. In a recent Minnesota History article, Elizabeth Dorsey Hatle and Nancy Vaillancourt documented the rise and decline of the Klan throughout Minnesota. The presentation will give an overview of Klan tactics and activities in Minnesota, as well as specific information on events in local counties.

A native of Winona, Vaillancourt grew up hearing stories from her grandfather of discrimination against Germans and his eyewitness accounts of seeing burning Klan crosses. She is a graduate of Brigham Young University. She is a volunteer at the Steele County Historical Society, a past president, and currently serves on the board of directors.

Everyone is welcome; admission is free. This Historical Society is located along North Business 71 in Willmar.

Cinco de Mayo festival set May 8

WILLMAR -- The fourth annual Cinco de Mayo Family Festival will be from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. May 8 at the Willmar Middle School football field.

There will be music, dancers, a jalapeño eating contest, Willmar Idol contest, food and events for all ages. In the event of rain, the festival will be at Kennedy Elementary School.

Author in Raymond Saturday

RAYMOND -- Annette Atkins will discuss her book "Creating Minnesota: A History from the Inside Out" at 3 p.m. Saturday at the Raymond Public Library.

Through intimate accounts and significant moments of the past, this innovate history invites readers to experience the texture of people's lives through the decades. Each chapter focuses on a detail, incident or meaningful issue, using photo essays, a three-act play, walleye and more to illuminate larger events, social trends and politics in Minnesota.

Atkins is a professor of history at St. John's University and the author of several books.

There will be a book signing following the talk.

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