Toms River’s Dark History and the 1920’s Ku Klux Klan Parades


Toms River, NJ – Today, Toms River is known for its annual Halloween parade, but back in the 1920’s it was also known for its popular Ku Klux Klan parade.

On August, 21, 1923, the largest ever Sunday parade of the Klan, which had large numbers in the community marched around the town. The contingent of Klansmen included 260 men, 150 “ladies of the invisible empire” and twenty “royal riders of the red robe”.

The congregation later met at a local church to hold a Sunday service and over 800 people crammed inside the church with over 2,000 standing outside as A.N. Bell of the Grand Titan of New Jersey spoke to his fellow Klansman.

Later, Bell went outside to speak to those who could not get in the church and the day ended with a Ku Klux Klan parade through the streets.

Toms River had a population of 22,155 in 1923, according to the U.S. Census.

Source: Courrier News, Bridgewater, August 21, 1923

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