The Night the KKK met it's match in Maxton, NC Indians Rout the Klan
On January 18, 1958, members of the Knights of the Ku Klux Klan ere all set to hold a rally in a field they had leased near Maxton, NC. The KKK had personally advertised for several weeks in advance of the event that they were setting this up this rally with their eyes focused on the Natives Americans living in the Maxton, NC area
Since the KKK rally had been announced for several weeks in advance, everyone else in Robeson County also knew about. Maxton Mayor Bob Fisher, who at that time was Chief of Police in Maxton, had sent out letters to other Law Enforcement agencies, including the State Police and Federal Bureau of Investigation, asking for their help in preventing what he perceived as to be inevitable violence. Chief Fisher had clear in his letters that he was highly opposed the K.K.K. but the rally was apparently going to happen anyway despite his many efforts to stop it.
The recent cross-burnings on the lawns of 2 Lumbee families, in nearby Pembroke had made it clear that the Klan meant business. But this time the Klan had gone too far as they made it clear they had their eyes set on the Natives. Native members of the Maxeton, NC and surrounding area made it clear they were not at all scared of the KKK. Rather, they were all full of excitement and prepared to meet them in a show of Native force. Many of their women pleaded with their husbands, brothers, and fathers to stay at home and out of harm's way of the Klan. Despite the pleas from the women, they showed up anyway.
Reportedly several hundred Native men (by some accounts 1,000 Native men), many of them armed, decided to put a stop to the Klan's activities in this area once and for all. It also reported that a group of Black men had met and spoke with a group of Native men traveling in wagons with their mules on their way to the rally in Maxedon. This group of Black men graciously offered their support of the Natives if it was needed. Apparently it was not needed. As they neared the Pembroke area, they again were met with Law Enforcement who spoke with them and pleaded with them "You cannot do that." But on their mules and in their wagons, armed with rifles, pistols and shotguns, the Law allowed them to ride on through Pembroke and on into Maxton to meet the Klan as the Natives meant business, too.
Just as soon as the KKK rally began , the Native men immediately confronted the Klansmen, and after some heated words were exchanged, shots were shots were fired and the only light bulb was knocked out, leaving the field in complete darkness. The Klansmen quickly disappeared into the night, abandoning their fallen flag, their fallen cross, and other items in the field seeking shelter in the nearby woods. Some of the Klansman, including the Grand Dragon himself dispersed so quickly, they fogot their own wives. None of the wives were harmed in any way and were able to leave totally unscaved.
Title: Spoils Of Victory
Caption: 20th January 1958: Lumbee Indians Charlie Warriax and Simeon Oxendine display a captured Ku Klux Klan banner which they confiscated after a raid on a Klan rally in Lumberton, North Carolina. (Photo by MPI/Getty Images)
The Native and Black community members along with some of the progressive white community members and Law Enforcement celebrated together of the Klan's defeat and immediate departure from their community!!!
This event quickly made national headlines. LIFE magazine carried two separate articles on the subject. Letters poured in to the area from all over the country, most of them in support of the Natives. Although the Klan did not actually die that night, Knights of the Ku Klux Klan the did learn to stay out of Indian Country!!!!