It’s a story that many of us have heard for all of our lives – at one time, Binghamton was the New York State Headquarters for the Ku Klux Klan. Sadly, the stories passed down through the generations were true.

Get our free mobile app

The Ku Klux Klan often called the KKK, is a white supremacy hate group made up of individuals who through the years have targeted African Americans, Jews, Latinos, Asian Americans, Catholics, Native Americans, immigrants, leftists, homosexuals, Muslims, and atheists.

Due to extremely fierce opposition to their views and practices, the Ku Klux Klan found themselves forced out of New York City in the 1920s and so they moved their operation north to Binghamton where they set up state headquarters in 1923.

The Klan experienced a surge of popularity in the 1920s and at the height of it, there were an estimated three to six million members. In New York State, the number was estimated to be 80,000 and in Binghamton, membership was estimated to be about 2,500.

Jay Rubin, a 1973 graduate of Binghamton University wrote a book called “The Forgotten Kapital: The Ku Klux Klan in Binghamton, 1923-1928” and in the book explained that thankfully, by 1928, the Klan was no longer relevant in Binghamton and packed up operations here.

In a beautifully ironic twist, while headquartered in Binghamton, the Ku Klux Klan was set up in a building at the corner of Wall Street and Henry Street. Today, that very same spot is a parking lot which is located directly across from the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Promenade.

LOOK: 50 essential civil rights speeches

Many of the speakers had a lifetime commitment to human rights, but one tried to silence an activist lobbying for voting rights, before later signing off on major civil rights legislation. Several fought for freedom for more than one oppressed group.

Keep reading to discover 50 essential civil rights speeches.

Five Photos That Show Binghamton's Rich History

LOOK: Things from the year you were born that don't exist anymore

The iconic (and at times silly) toys, technologies, and electronics have been usurped since their grand entrance, either by advances in technology or breakthroughs in common sense. See how many things on this list trigger childhood memories—and which ones were here and gone so fast you missed them entirely.

More From 98.1 The Hawk