I received the newest issue of Grand River Times, the newsletter of the Grand Rapids (Michigan) Historical Society. The main article is "Backlash to Reform: The Ku Klux Klan and the Rise of New Deal Michigan." I had no idea the Klan was big in Western Michigan. Apparently in the 1920s they had quite the following. Now I wonder how my 1920s Grand Rapids ancestors felt about the Klan. As far as I know, none were involved with it (hopefully!). Matthew Daley, teacher of Michigan and Urban History at Grand Valley State University will present a program on the above topic at the Gerald R. Ford Museum in Grand Rapids on Thursday, February 8, 2007 at 7 PM. The program is free and open to the public.
Although I am a former member of the GRHS, I still receive their newsletter. I have learned a lot about the history of the city of many of my ancestors through this publication. They also have a terrific website. Joining a historical society of your ancestral locale is a good way to learn about the history, photography, and biographies of the people of that area. It's not possible to join every historical society of every ancestral location, but many have terrific websites that offer much information. Use Google to find a historical society of interest.