Brooklyn Center to Give Earle Brown Days a New Name, Cites Festival Namesake’s Alleged KKK Past
Brooklyn Center’s annual city festival is getting a new name. Since 1982, it has been called Earle Brown Days. Last week, the city council decided to temporarily change the name to Brooklyn Center Days.
Earle Brown is a prominent name in Brooklyn Center. Brown helped found the city in 1911, which back then was a village. Brown was Hennepin County sheriff and founder of the Minnesota State Highway Patrol, before he died in the 1960s.
However, Brown also has alleged affiliations with the Ku Klux Klan.
A book written by a Minneapolis high school teacher Elizabeth Dorsey Hatle alleges Brown had ties to the KKK going back to the 1920s. According to the book, when Brown was sheriff, he did not stop the KKK from burning crosses or meeting in Hennepin County.
The controversy led the Brooklyn Center School District to rename Earle Brown Elementary to Brooklyn Center Elementary last summer.
The city is also weighing name changes for buildings named after Brown including the Earle Brown Heritage Center.
The city plans to call the annual festival Brooklyn Center Days for this year until a process for community input is created.