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North Pinellas History | A look back

Dec. 10, 1923: Great throng witnesses KKK parade in Clearwater

The Knights of the Ku Klux Klan furnished entertainment for the county seat Sunday afternoon.

Announcement that the KKK would parade and that an address would be delivered at the courthouse setting forth the principles of the klan brought out one of the largest crowds which ever assembled in Clearwater.

Early in the afternoon, the parking of cars in the vicinity of Court Square began, and by 3 o'clock in the afternoon every available parking space from Turner Street to Cleveland on Fort Harrison Avenue had been taken.

The front steps of the courthouse were thronged with spectators and people crowded every window in the county building on each floor.

The lawn was also crowded with people when a speaker who said he was from Klan 13 of Marion, Ind., mounted the granite steps. He began a speech highly laudatory to "the invisible empire."

He said the klan stood for "100 percent Americanism" and shouted that those foreigners who came to this country to criticize and make trouble "had better go back where they came from."

These sentiments were greeted with applause.

The speaker continued that rum smugglers should look out for the chariot of the klan or they might get run over.

At this stage of the proceedings, a dozen horses bearing men in white flowing robes and wearing helmets of the same material came down Fort Harrison Avenue. They were followed by a number of marchers robed in the same manner.

Numerous banners were carried by the marchers. Inscriptions in red on these banners proclaimed: "We are here now and forever," "Law and Order," "Wife Beaters Beware," "Freedom of Speech and Press," "Lounge Lizards Must Go to Work" and "Protection of Pure Womanhood."

Dec. 3, 1926

'Human fly' to scale Fort Harrison Hotel

CLEARWATER — Announcement of the opening of the Fort Harrison Hotel has attracted the attention of a "human fly," who will attempt to scale the side of the 11-story structure.

Henry "Dare Devil" Roland, who thrilled Lakeland by scaling the Lakeland Terrace Hotel a day or so ago, will start at 7:30 tonight to ascend the building at Fort Harrison Avenue and Pierce Street. After going through this experience, Roland states that Saturday night, at the same hour, he will make the climb blindfolded and will crawl from window to window.

Roland will be the first man to attempt such spectacular stunts since the Coachman building was climbed by a "human fly" five or six years ago.

Dec. 3, 1926

Bus fare to be cut from 15 cents to 10

CLEARWATER — Because of a persistent demand, fare on Inter-City Rapid Transit buses running between Clearwater and Dunedin is to be reduced from 15 cents to 10 cents. This action has been decided by the board of directors who took action at a recent meeting.

At the same time the fare is reduced, there will be two additions to the schedule, manager G.D. Bolton announced.

A bus will operate on its regular schedule between Clearwater and the municipal golf course, and another bus will be put on the route between Dunedin and Dunedin Isles. A new passenger carrier will be purchased for the latter run, it is stated.

Dec. 18, 1960

Sheriff: Young man may have amnesia

The Sheriff's Office is seeking to identify a young man who told deputies Friday night that he does not know who he is.

The young man, who appears to be about 22 years old, is probably an amnesia victim, Sheriff Don Genung said. When questioned by deputies, the young man said he was lost. He was picked up at 8 Friday night by deputies at a service station on Belleair Road and U.S. 19 near Clearwater.

He repeated several times, "I thought he was going to shoot me. He pointed it right at me."

The youth is about 6 feet tall and weighs about 155 pounds. He has dark brown hair and brown eyes, and he was wearing a cream-colored long-sleeve sport shirt, dark brown trousers, black and gray socks and black shoes.

Genung said the youth had two $1 bills and about 60 cents in change, a penknife and nail clip in his pockets. He was wearing a gold wedding band with no inscription, and wore a yellow and gold Bulova wristwatch. In his pocket was a Timex watch with a leather strap.

>>Looking back

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A look back at the events, people and places that made North Pinellas the unique place that it is. The information is compiled from past editions of the St. Petersburg Times.

Dec. 10, 1923: Great throng witnesses KKK parade in Clearwater 12/02/09 [Last modified: Wednesday, December 2, 2009 5:06pm]
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