In many Americans’ imaginations, the Ku Klux Klan is synonymous with white supremacy. It’s still the go-to symbol of prejudice and bigotry, even as newer hate groups far surpass it in size and influence. But what we call the KKK is actually three different organizations that emerged at different points in U.S. history: two that rose and fell, and a third that persists today.

The second KKK emerged during World War I. In addition to its violent acts of terror against African Americans, the group harassed other groups it considered not to be “100% American”: immigrants, Jews and Catholics, to name a few.

William Trollinger, a historian at the University of Dayton, walks us through the KKK’s bombing of his Catholic campus, 100 years ago this week.

It’s a glimpse at a little-known moment in history. But it’s also a troubling reminder of how close, not far, similar issues feel today.

This week we also liked articles about the Boston Tea Party, TV producer Norman Lear’s “Good Times,” and an important chapter in history left out of Ridley Scott’s long new movie about Napoléon Bonaparte.

Molly Jackson

Religion and Ethics Editor

A KKK rally in Dayton, Ohio, on Sept. 21, 1923. Dayton Metro Library

100 years ago, the KKK planted bombs at a U.S. university – part of the terror group’s crusade against American Catholics

William Trollinger, University of Dayton

Most of the Klan’s victims were African American, but many other groups have been targeted during the hate group’s century and a half of history.

The 1802 Battle of Crête-à-Pierrot was part of Napoléon’s effort to retake Haiti − then known as Saint-Domingue − and reestablish slavery in the colony. Wikimedia Commons

The Napoléon that Ridley Scott and Hollywood won’t let you see

Marlene Daut, Yale University

Leaving out the history of Napoléon’s brutal subjugation of Haiti is akin to making a movie about Hitler without mentioning the Holocaust.

Esther Rolle, right, and John Amos starred in the pathbreaking 1970s Black sitcom. Moviepix via Getty Images

‘Good Times’: 50 years ago, Norman Lear changed TV with a show about a working-class Black family’s struggles and joys

Angela M. Nelson, Bowling Green State University

Norman Lear brought the first nuclear Black family to prime-time television in 1974.

The Conversation Quiz 🧠

  • Here’s the first question of this week’s edition:

    Which university president resigned on Dec. 9 after being criticized for her testimony to Congress about free speech and antisemitism on campus?

    1. A. Elizabeth Magill of UPenn
    2. B. Claudine Gay of Harvard
    3. C. Sally Kornbluth of MIT
    4. D. Elise Stefanik of SUNY

    Test your knowledge