Ku Klux Klan

An evil association teaching a doctrine of hate, and addressing itself to the task of generating bigotry and strife, has no place in America and should not be permitted to exist. If this were the message and mission of the Klan, it should be destroyed. And every true Klansman, who is a real Christian patriot, would aid in its destruction. But the mission of the Klan is harmony, and the mission of the Klan is love.
-- A Fundamental Klan Doctrine, 1924

Once upon a time, the Ku Klux Klan had a wonderful PR image. Difficult as it may be to imagine, in the 1920s the Klan was widely regarded as a benevolent public service organization. At least among white Americans.

And why not? How could you not love an organization whose chapter president is called The Exalted Cyclops? It's so adorable. Plus, there's their affectation of the abusing the letter K. If you read the 1965 Kloran of the Mississippi branch, you are treated to such terms as kharacter, klavern, klongress, klonklave, klonversation, klonvocation, and kreed. They even refer to dates by the year of the group's inception, which was 1866. Thus, the year 2000 was 134 AK (Anno Klan). You have to admit: that is just precious.

kkk_pressed_penny_shrunk It's like a secret club for kids. Well, white kids anyway.

It is widely-believed but poorly documented that one of the original founders of the KKK was a Confederate general (plus an influential and prominent Freemason) named Albert Pike.

See also David Duke.


8 Feb 1915 D.W. Griffith's film The Birth of a Nation debuts in theaters. It is partially based on the stage play The Clansman, An Historical Romance of the Ku Klux Klan. In fact, the title on the marquee at the Los Angeles premiere is The Clansman. The three-hour film becomes an overnight sensation, and inspires thousands of honkies to join the KKK.
8 Aug 1925 40,000 klansmen march down Pennsylvania Avenue in Washington, DC. This is a bit less than 1% of total Klan membership.
1944 The Internal Revenue Service slaps a lien on the KKK for $685,000 in back taxes. Unable to pay, the national organization promptly folds.

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