Gene Valicenti over at Channel 10 in Providence becomes the first reporter to cover this issue (other than the Valley Breeze and this blog) by going door to door on Domin Avenue in Smithfield, named for and "Exalted Cyclops" in the 1920's RI KKK. Gene riles up the neighbors and gets them yelling at each other. That's good journalism.
I'm very interested in finding out where Gene Valicenti (an Italian John Domin would have hated and chased off his property) got the picture he was showing to the residents of Domin Ave.
Meanwhile, the Valley Breeze reported some new information in the wake of Smithfield's Town Council meeting Tuesday night. After the Town Council declared the idea of changing the name of Domin Ave. "moot" the Valley Breeze reports:
|Exalted Cyclops John Algernon Domin|
That changed when Susan Doyle, who disagrees with most residents of her street, told the council that perpetuating the memory of John Algernon Domin is "an embarrassment to Smithfield" and pledged to submit her own request for a change.
"This is not over," she declared.
Some new research on John Algernon Domin I retrieved from the RI Historical Society:
On April 6, 1928, Domin testified before the Rhode Island General Assembly about the KKK. The KKK was being investigated because so many of its members were also members of the First Light Infantry Regiment, a veterans society and from what I can tell, an active National Guard like group.
Domin identified himself as being the Exalted Cyclops of Rog. Wms. Klanton for the past 18 months, estimated that there were 2-3000 members of his Klanton, and predicted that Providence would open six new Klan subdivisions in the next six months.
It seems that Domin was not just a Klan member, but a man actively seeking to expand the Klan within Rhode Island. It's also quite possible that Domin, who worked as a motorman, used Klan money to buy the property in question. So the land these houses are on was not just owned by Domin, a member of the Klan, but the Klan itself. John Algernon Domin was a very bad man.