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Ku Klux Klan – oregonencyclopedia.org

Fiery crosses and marchers in Ku Klux Klan (KKK) regalia were common sights in Oregon and the nation during the 1920s. The social and economic problems following World War Ionly partly explain why this organization, with its southern heritage of racismand violence,appealed to the overwhelmingly white, native-born, and Protestant population of Oregon.

Whilethe Klanmay have been new to the state, the attitudes and issuesit exploited were not. Racism, religious bigotry, and anti-immigrant sentiments were deeply entrenched in the laws, culture, and social life of Oregon, and few Oregonians questioned the Klan’s doctrines of white supremacy, Protestantism, and “One-Hundred Per Cent Americanism.”

The first Klan organizers (Kleagles) arrived in Oregon from California and the South in early 1921. Maj. Luther I. Powell, a gregarious Louisianan, swore in the first Oregon Klansmen in Medford while his fellow Kleagles recruited in Portland, Eugene, Salem, Astoria, Hood River, Pendleton, and other communities. Historians estimate that the national Klan attracted more than two million members during the 1920s, and by 1923 Oregon Klan leaders claimed 35,000 members in more than sixty local chapters and provisional Klans. Hundreds ofother Oregonians joined the Women of the Ku Klux Klan, the Junior Order of Klansmen for teenagers, and the Royal Riders of the Red Robe for foreign-born Protestants.

The Klan spread rapidly in Oregon, but internal strife plagued it from the beginning. After his election as the first Exalted Cyclops (leader) of Klan No. 1 in Portland, Fred L. Gifford forced Powell from Oregon and became the Grand Dragon (head) of the state Klan. From their Portland headquarters, Gifford and his croniesincluding Lem Dever, the colorful editor of the Oregon Klan’s newspaper, The Western Americanturned the organization into a potent and controversial political machine during the elections of 1922 and 1924.

The Klan’s appeals to morality and patriotism initially masked the reality: the political intrigue and social conflict and the loyalty to the Klan that transcendedpolitical party affiliations. In 1922, Klansmen won election to local and county offices throughout Oregon, and some Klansmen won seats in the state legislature. The Klan helped elect LaGrande Democrat Walter M. Pierce as governor and played a significant role in passing an initiative measure requiring all children eight to sixteen years of age to attend public schools.While targeting Roman Catholics, thecompulsoryschool bill would have eliminated other private and denominational schools. As the only state to pass such a law, Oregon gained notoriety and faced numerous legal challenges. The law was never implemented, and the U.S. Supreme Court declared it unconstitutional in 1925.

Klansmen and their allies in the 1923 legislature resurrected controversial racial and religious issues rejected in earlier years. A bill prohibiting the ownership of land by aliens, aimed primarily at Japanese immigrants, passed easily. Other successful bills with connections to the Klanbanned teachers from wearing religious garb in the public schools and blocked public schools from using civics and history textbooks with negative remarks about the Founding Fathers and American heroes. The Klan’s political agenda alsoincluded support forbills to improve state roads and public education.

The Klan’s influence on social and cultural life was more damaging and longer lasting than its political successes. The Oregon Klan had its share of charlatans and characters, but the overwhelming majority of members were ordinary Oregonians who represented a cross-section of their communities. Few members engaged in violence. Many local Klansstrengthened fraternal bonds byorganizing bands, baseball teams, family picnics, and charitable activities. But members also used the Klan to impose their moral and cultural beliefs on other Oregonians, often splintering communities, churches, and social organizations. Numerous Protestant ministers, largely fundamentalist and evangelical,joined or supported the Klan, and several became prominent spokesmen for its anti-Catholic crusade. As the official Klan Lecturer in Oregon, the Rev. Reuben H. Sawyerenthusiastically proclaimed”The Truth about the Ku Klux Klan” to many audiences, including acrowd of several thousand at Portland’s Municipal Auditorium in December 1921.

Opponents of the Klan struggled to find allies. Most Oregonians did not join the Klan, but many supported its agenda and others declined to challenge it. Members of some religious denominations and social and fraternal organizations, minority groups, and a few politicians, including Republican Governor Ben Olcott, vigorously opposed it. The Medford Tribune, the Salem Capital Journal, the Hood River News, the Pendleton East Oregonian, the Portland Telegram, the Portland Advocate, and the Catholic Sentinel editorialized against the Klan, while most local newspapers supported it or took a neutral stance.

Dramatically successful initially, Gifford soon alienated members with his dictatorial style. By 1924, Klansmen outside Portland, long wary, turned against him.As charges of corruption and sexual scandals plagued the Klan in other states, most Oregon Klansmen quit the organization. Some local Klans survived into the 1930s, but attempts to revive the state organization failed. During the Civil Rights Era, when new waves of Klan violence swept the South, the hooded order was only a fading memory in Oregon.Newer extremist groups, while often more militant, have been much smaller and far less successful in Oregon than the Ku Klux Klan of the 1920s.

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Inside The Ku Klux Klan: KKK Explain Their Plan For …

Inside The Ku Klux Klan: KKK Explain Their Plan For Expansion

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A GROUP of Ku Klux Klan members says it is planning military style combat training for the FIRST time in KKK history – exactly 60 years after the birth of the African-American Civil Rights Movement. Klan bosses say an influx of military troops – existing members and new KKK recruits – will return to the US from overseas campaigns in a matter of weeks and plan to train the Loyal White Knights (LWK) faction, which has Klan members made up of men, women and children across at least three states. LWK leaders say they are preparing for a race war they believe will break out soon with the collapse of modern society, and will learn armed combat, hand-to-hand combat and survival skills. The controversial organisation is also targeting kids as part of a modern recruitment drive. Unlike members of the 20th century, today’s KKK use social media and the internet alongside traditional methods like nighttime leaflet drops in local neighbourhoods to attract new members, including 13-17 year olds. These exclusive images show a recent KKK rally held at a secret location in a forest near Parkersburg, West Virginia. KKK expert Brian Levin says the main danger from the modern KKK doesn’t come from the group forming an army, but from individual splinter groups with desperate new leaders trying to make a name for themselves. He said they can draw inspiration from extremist acts like a recent massacre in a Jewish Community Center in Kansas. Frazer Glenn Miller Jr., a former Klan faction leader, was arrested and charged in April with killing three people in the shootings, a 14-year-old boy with his grandfather and a woman.

Videographer / Director: Ruaridh ConnellanProducer: Liam MillerEditor: Ben Churcher / Ian Phillips / Josh Douglas

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4 weeks ago Cinema event of the week: BlacKkKlansman 11 months ago The scary return of the Ku Klux Klan 11 months ago The Ku Klux Klan and his race war: 10 startling facts about the racist organization 11 months ago Ghosts transformed into representations of the Ku Klux Klan 11 months ago VIDEO What is the Ku Klux Klan ?

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Ku Klux Klan – A Secret History – YouTube

Documentary detailing the history of the Ku Klux Klan. A racist far right extremist movement founded in 1866 which reached unprecedented popularity during the early part of the ‘Jim Crow’ era in U.S.A. The Organization went on to gain international popularity and still exists today. Includes footage relating to the Ku Klux Klan involvement in the ‘Freedom Riders’ Civil Rights Protests & the Alabama Church Bombings.

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Ku Klux Klan | Encyclopedia.com

LEADERS: James Roesch, Ron Edwards, Jeff Berry

YEAR ESTABLISHED OR BECAME ACTIVE: 1866

USUAL AREA OF OPERATION: United States

The Ku Klux Klan, also known as the KKK or the Klan, is one of the oldest and best-known hate groups in America. Founded by a group of Confederate Civil War veterans in 1866, the group expanded throughout the South and beyond, attracting thousands of members unhappy with Reconstruction, the post-war period when the former Confederate states were occupied by Union troops and governed by northerners. The Klan eventually swelled to more than half a million members, though national leaders actually exercised little direct control over the local chapters. As the Klan became larger, it also grew more violent, prompting national leader Nathan Forrest to formally disband it in 1869. Despite his attempt to end the organization, local Klans continued their actions, and in 1871, federal legislation outlawing the Klan was passed. The resulting legal crackdown marked the end of the Klan’s first incarnation.

In 1915, William J. Simmons reorganized the Klan in Georgia, focusing its attention on African-Americans, Catholics, immigrants, and various other groups. Membership swelled to 100,000 and money flooded in. This second incarnation of the KKK spread across the nation, and the group managed to recruit numerous political leaders into its ranks. A rising tide of violence, combined with a midwestern Klan leader’s conviction for a grisly rape and murder, began the Klan’s decline. An IRS tax lien finished the job by bankrupting the organization in 1944. While the formal Klan no longer exists as a unified organization, various splinter groups, estimated to have fewer than 10,000 members altogether, continue to employ the name and practices of the Ku Klux Klan.

The Ku Klux Klan was founded in 1866 in Pulaski, Tennessee, by six Confederate army veterans. In its earliest form, the group was largely social in nature, its members enjoying many of the rites and rituals often found in other fraternal organizations. But soon after its founding, the Klan’s members became involved in racially motivated actions aimed at African-American families and organizations.

The Klan’s 1867 convention created a formal structure for the group, as well as a three-item statement of purpose, called the “Prescript.” This document defined the Klan’s purposes: protecting the weak and defenseless, defending the U.S. Constitution, and enforcing the laws of the United States, particularly those dealing with unlawful seizure of property. While these objectives sound relatively benign to modern ears, they conveyed a clear message in the post Civil War South: the Klan existed to resist Reconstruction and impede the progress of freed slaves.

Leading the Klan in its new mission was a former Confederate general, Nathan Forrest, who was named the Klan’s first Grand Wizard. Under his leadership, the Klan swiftly capitalized on Southern suffering, particularly in rural areas. The Klan was organized into various regions, with leaders creatively titled Grand Dragons, Titans, Giants, and Cyclopes. Across the rural South, Klansmen began a campaign of violence, including hundreds of lynchings. Klan violence was not restricted to freed slaves; Northern teachers, judges, and Republicans were all targeted for their perceived role in the destruction of the South’s traditional way of life. Despite ample evidence to the contrary, Klan leader George Gordon issued a proclamation in 1868 reaffirming the Klan’s nonviolence and disavowing any connection with violent acts carried out in its name.

At its peak in 1868, the first Klan claimed more than half a million members nationwide. Despite its rapid numerical growth, the Klan’s nominal leadership lacked any real control of its widely dispersed chapters. National leaders began to complain that local Klan groups were doing as they wished, and as violence escalated, reputable citizens began leaving the group. In 1869, in the face of growing unrest and infighting within the Klan’s ranks, Grand Wizard Forrest ordered the organization disbanded. Whether this order was a legitimate effort to rein in the group’s excessive violence or simply a form of legal self-protection for the group’s leader, it had little effect and the violence continued to escalate.

In 1871, President Ulysses S. Grant signed legislation making the Klan illegal and authorizing law enforcement to use force in bringing the group under control. Hundreds of Klansmen were jailed or fined as a result of the new law, and while pockets of Klan membership remained throughout the South, the organization as a whole was largely destroyed.

Despite a court ruling in 1882, which struck down the original anti-Klan legislation, the Klan’s reputation had been largely destroyed, and the Klan largely disappeared for more than 30 years. In 1915, D. W. Griffith’s epic film The Birth of a Nation was released. This work of historical fiction depicted the post Civil War South as a noble society, African-Americans as uneducated and violent, and Northerners as wicked interlopers. The film’s heroes were the hooded members of the Ku Klux Klan, who delivered Southern white virtue from the African-American menace.

The film was a box office smash, ultimately taking in more than $10 million to become the highest grossing movie to that date. While controversial, the movie played upon the fears of many Americans, particularly working class men who were nervously watching an enormous wave of immigrants enter the U.S. workforce. In Atlanta, newspapers carrying ads for the movie also carried a small advertisement soliciting interest in a new Klan. The response was overwhelming, and later that year, Methodist pastor William J. Simmons gathered with a group of followers to launch the second Ku Klux Klan, with Simmons as Grand Wizard.

Simmons’ new Klan had much in common with the original Klan, opposing Jews, Catholics, African-Americans, and immigrants. It also took positions against various illegal and allegedly immoral acts, including bootlegging, prostitution, graft, and failure to observe the Sabbath. Simmons also is credited with adding the infamous burning cross to the Klan’s repertoire.

Simmons was a consummate promoter, and in the years leading up to 1921, membership swelled to 100,000, as money flooded in. In 1924, 40,000 Klansmen marched through the streets of the nation’s capital in support of the Democratic National Convention. And political leaders at all levels chose to join the Klan rather than risk incurring its opposition. Future president Harry Truman was briefly a member.

The second Klan was much better organized, and far more profitable, than the first. It also managed to extend its reach beyond the South to much of the United States. But like the first Klan, the second soon found itself swimming in a rapidly rising tide of violence. As Klan leaders battled for control of the group’s coffers, local Klan groups became more and more violent. The conviction of Midwest Klan leader, D. C. Stephenson, for the gruesome kidnapping, rape, and murder of a young schoolteacher, played a major role in the Klan once again falling from public favor during the 1930s. Following an IRS tax lien filing in 1944, the Klan formally dissolved for the second time.

Although the Klan formally died in the 1940s, the name continued to be used by numerous independent groups. The rapid growth of the U.S. economy following World War II, combined with the nation’s resulting prosperity, reduced support for these factions. Rising interest in civil rights and victims’ increased willingness to fight back during the 1960s also reduced the Klan’s influence, and Klan marches were frequently met by counter-protestors. Law enforcement officials also actively worked to monitor and disrupt Klan activities.

By the 1980s, three separate umbrella Klan groups were competing for members: the Imperial Klans of America, the American Knights of the Ku Klux Klan, and the Knights of the White Kamelia. A string of lawsuits has hurt these three groups; a civil suit following the 1981 lynching of Michael Donald pushed another group, the United Klans of America, into bankruptcy. The Southern Poverty Law Center and other civil rights groups have achieved some success in using high-dollar lawsuits to siphon off Klan resources.

While remaining one of the most widely known and most inflammatory of the nation’s many hate groups, today’s Ku Klux Klan is little more than a shadow of its former self, with an estimated 5,000-7,000 members scattered primarily across the South and Midwest. A 2002 report by the Jewish Anti-Defamation League concludes that, “Today, there is no such thing as the Ku Klux Klan. Fragmentation, decentralization, and decline have continued unabated.”

While the Ku Klux Klan has a lengthy history of bigotry, violence, and racism, the group’s focus and tactics have proven remarkably malleable, often shifting in response to the current mood in the country. While the specific targets of Klan attacks have changed, a common theme runs throughout; in each of its incarnations, the Klan has targeted groups that are easily painted as a threat to working-class Americans. By blaming these groups for the struggles faced by blue-collar workers, the Klan has been able to tap into deep veins of frustration and paranoia, allowing it to attract new members and grow rapidly.

The original Ku Klux Klan, sprouting amid the rubble of the Reconstructionist South, quickly set its sights on those it saw as a threat to the South’s way of life: freed slaves, Northern immigrants, and local judges who seized property and enforced federal equality laws. In addition, the original Klan offered defeated Confederate soldiers a second chance to battle the foes of the South. The tactics used by the first Klan were typically harassment, intimidation, and physical violence. Among the most violent acts was the practice of lynching.

Lynching, in its broadest sense, refers to any punishment administered outside the formal justice system. Lynching takes a variety of forms around the world; in the United States, the term most often refers to murder by hanging. During the late 1800s, lynchers often raided African-Americans’ homes at night. In some cases, the attackers removed firearms, while in others they whipped or murdered the residents. Lynching was intended to intimidate African-Americans and prevent freed slaves from voting or owning weapons. The number of lynchings declined after the Klan was banned in 1871, but they continued to occur regularly well into the twentieth century. Thus the threat of lynching remained a potent weapon for Klan members for many years.

The revived Klan of the early twentieth century was far broader in its geographic scope, moving beyond the South and into the Midwest and other regions of the country. As the group expanded, it found itself with new resources and new techniques at its disposal. The year 1915 saw the birth of the new Klan, and along with it, the arrival of a new technique, the placement of a burning cross on property in order to terrorize the owner. Along with the burning cross, the reorganized Klan also employed violence similar to that used in the group’s first incarnation.

The Klan’s rapid expansion in the 1920s also provided it with significant sums of money. Klan Grand Wizard William Simmons, a former pastor, used some of this income to hire publicists to assist the Klan with advertising and recruiting, and the group’s numbers swelled. With both financial resources and a large membership, the group was now able to impact the political process in ways the original Klan never could. At its peak, the Klan had the resources to elect candidates of its choosing, most notably Ed Jackson, whom the Klan aided in his successful bid for the Indiana governor’s office.

Various national politicians were members or past members of the Klan. Edward White, Chief Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court in the early twentieth century, was one of two Supreme Court members known to have been Klansmen. While there remains some scholarly debate on the question, evidence suggests that President Warren Harding was a member of the Klan, having supposedly taken the oath of membership in the White House. Harry Truman was advised to join the Klan to help win re-election to a judgeship in Missouri, which he did, though he later distanced himself from the group. Hugo Black, Democratic Senator and Supreme Court Justice, was a Klan member in the 1920s, but later repudiated the group. West Virginia Senator Robert Byrd was a Klansman for many years. Byrd later called his membership a mistake.

In its second incarnation, the Klan once again identified groups that it blamed for the struggles of working-class Americans. While the original Klan was largely a product of Southern frustration and had chosen its targets accordingly, the second Klan quickly spread beyond the South. Consequently, its list of targets was correspondingly longer and more diverse. The second Klan’s enemy list formally included African-Americans, Jews, Catholics, and various lawbreakers, including drug dealers and prostitutes; informally, local Klan organizations were frequently willing to target anyone they perceived as threatening their chosen values. Given the general distrust of foreigners and “outsiders” prevalent in the United States at the time, the Klan’s focus on opposition to these groups led to rapid growth.

The Klan’s tactics against these new groups once again included traditional practices such as lynching, which became more frequent as the Klan grew. In addition, the new Klan began using the burning cross, a graphic threat that, by itself, was sometimes adequate to force victims to relocate. Klan leader Simmons also began to employ the tactics of marketing, hiring publicists to help him advertise and recruit new Klan members. The Klan’s high point came in 1924, when 40,000 Klansmen converged to march in Washington, D.C. as a demonstration of the organization’s growing political clout. Membership in the Klan approached 100,000 at its peak, and several top Klan leaders became wealthy.

As the Klan grew, it began to face a growing incompatibility between its public image of law and order and its private addiction to violence. With violent acts becoming more common and more extreme, the Klan’s leadership found itself repeating the struggles of the first Klan’s leaders, who had also tried to corral the group’s increasingly radical fringe segments. This inability to exert control, combined with intense infighting over the group’s profits, began to shake the Klan apart. By the late 1920s, the Klan was once again largely discredited among the general public, and its membership dissolved into dozens of competing factions, most with dwindling membership roles.

The Klan continued to decline throughout the Great Depression and World War II. With the U.S. economy rolling rapidly ahead following the war, the Klan’s recruiting pleas were largely ineffective. While local Klan groups remained throughout America, efforts to reunite them into a monolithic Klan during the 1950s and 1960s failed. The coming of civil rights legislation in the 1960s did provide some new fuel for Klan fires, and membership nudged upward in response. However, the FBI and other law enforcement groups also became far more active in policing the Klan during this era, often using informants and infiltrators within the Klan to monitor and at times disrupt the group’s operations. In one of the more bizarre episodes of this era, author Stetson Kennedy infiltrated the Georgia Klan and began stealing Klan passwords, which were then broadcast on the weekly Superman radio show. These episodes, in which Superman battled and defeated the Klan, revealed the group’s mysterious secret rituals to actually be sophomoric passwords and signs, leaving the Klan publicly humiliated.

While the Ku Klux Klan has little political influence today, Klan members have attempted to enter the political arena. David Duke joined the Klan at the age of 17, and was eventually elected Grand Wizard of the Knights of the Ku Klux Klan, a title he later changed to “national director.” Duke ran for the Louisiana State Senate in 1976. While he later left the Klan to create the National Association for the Advancement of White People, he maintained his white supremacist position and never repudiated his involvement with the Klan. Duke later ran for statewide office as a Republican, prompting both Ronald Reagan and George H. W. Bush to visit the state and campaign for his opponent. Duke was imprisoned in 2002 for tax and mail fraud. He was reportedly considering a new run for office following his release in 2004.

While the Ku Klux Klan has found its popularity dwindling in recent years, it does still have allies, primarily other white supremacist organizations which share the Klan’s views.

The ACLU, whose stated purpose is to defend American individual rights from government interference, is frequently criticized for their work on behalf of groups such as the KKK. In 2002, Klan members reserved a Riverside Country, California public facility. Upon learning of the Klan’s connection to the event, state officials attempted to cancel the contract. The ACLU of Southern California obtained a court order permitting the event to take place, citing First Amendment freedom of speech protection for the Klan’s activities.

The ACLU often serves as a legal advocate for the Klan, not based upon the merits of Klan philosophy and thought, but rather for their Constitutional right to express their views. In a statement on the ACLU of Southern California’s website, Ramona Ripston, ACLU/SC Executive Director, offered this perspective: “We defend the free speech rights of individuals and groups no matter where they fall on the political spectrum, from left to right and no matter how repugnant we find their message.”

In the twenty-first century, the Ku Klux Klan is in disarray. Living in an increasingly diverse America, most U.S. citizens have become more comfortable with interpersonal differences, making them less receptive to white supremacist claims. Further, the generally healthy economic climate of the recent past has left fewer Americans out of work, further limiting the Klan’s appeal. Today, the Klan exists only as around 100 independent Klaverns, whose influence is largely local and, in most cases, extremely limited. The emergence of numerous other white supremacist organizations has also provided new options to potential Klan members, making recruiting even more difficult for the aging KKK.

“Oh my God, I shot little brother!” was the first thing police say America’s Invisible Empire Knights of the Ku Klux Klan member Gregory Allen Freeman said after he accidentally shot a fellow Klansman in the head during a Nov. 23 initiation in Johnson City, Tenn.

The ritual began to go awry after Klan initiate Karl Mitchell III, 27, was strung to a tree with a noose and made to stand on tiptoe while being pelted with paintballs.

According to Chief Deputy Patrick Littleton of Washington County, Freeman apparently meant to scare Mitchell with the sound of real gunfire by firing his handgun near Mitchell’s ear.

But one of the paintballs apparently struck Freeman, causing him to buckle and squeeze off a round in the direction of Klan brother Jeffrey S. Murr, 24, who may have leaned forward after being hit with a paintball as well. A 9mm bullet entered the top of Murr’s head and exited the bottom of his skull.

Freeman’s reaction wasn’t very helpful to his brother Klansman. A 45-year-old who goes by the nickname “Rebel,” Freeman reportedly paced back and forth, hitting himself in the head with his handgun over and over, before he fled the scene.

Only Mitchell, the initiate, seemed to have his wits about him after the accidental shooting. After telling the Klansmen to cut him down from the tree, Mitchell rushed to Murr’s side and applied pressure to the wound until help arrived.

Three months later Murr remained in serious condition, unable to speak.

Freeman was later found near his home and charged with reckless endangerment and aggravated assault. Released on $7,500 bail, he was scheduled to face a judge in mid-March.

Source: Southern Poverty Law Center, 2004

B’nai B’rith. Extremism in America. New York: Anti-Defamation League, 2002.

Wade, Wyn C. The Fiery Cross: The Ku Klux Klan in America. Oxford, England: Oxford University Press, 1998.

Anti-Defamation League. “Ku Klux Klan.” http://www.adl.org/learn/ext_us/kkk.asp (accessed October 18, 2005).

Bartleby.com. “The Columbia Encyclopedia: Ku Klux Klan.” http://www.bartleby.com/65/ku/KuKluxKl.html (accessed October 18, 2005).

National Association for the Advancement of White People

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Ku Klux Klan: A History of Racism | Southern Poverty Law …

The civil rights Memorial in Montgomery, Alabama, was built by the Southern Poverty Law center as a perpetual reminder of the sacrifices that were made to end racial segregation in the South. The names of 40 individuals, killed because they stood up for human rights, are inscribed in the circular black granite table that serves as the centerpiece of the Memorial. These are the true heroes of the civil rights Movement their martyrdom made freedom possible for millions in the South.

For every story of courage that is represented on the Memorial, there is a parallel one of evil and violence. For every person killed, there was a killer in most cases more than one. Some acted out of impulsive rage. Others used their legal authority to enforce the rules of a dying social order.

In many cases, the killer was never apprehended, the crime concealed by a code of silence.

At the forefront of the racial terrorism of the 1950s and 1960s was the Ku Klux Klan. Klansmen have been identified as the killers of 14 of the individuals honored on the Memorial. Their stories are told below. But that number is surely an incomplete accounting. Many killings attributed to unknown night riders were likely the work of the Klan.

The deaths remembered on the civil rights Memorial offer undisputed testimony to the Klans willingness to use murder as a tool to enforce its belief in white supremacy. The heroic spirit of those who gave up their lives in the cause of racial freedom should not be forgotten. Nor should the crimes of those who forced them to make that sacrifice.

23 January 1957

WILLIE EDWARDS JR.

KILLED BY KLAN

MONTGOMERY, ALABAMA

The racial climate in Montgomery, Alabama, was palpably ugly in early 1957. A grass-roots movement of black citizens led by the rev. Martin Luther King Jr. had recently forced the integration of the city transit system. The Ku Klux Klan reacted violently. Members of the Klan marched through Montgomery in an effort to terrorize black bus riders and bombed the homes and businesses of boycott supporters.

Several members of a local Ku Klux Klan group decided that only the murder of a black would express their outrage. Willie Edwards Jr., a quiet man who had kept his distance from the bus boycott, became the unfortunate victim of their deadly resolve.

On Jan. 23, Edwards was substituting for the driver of a supermarket delivery truck when the Klansmen pulled him over on a rural stretch of road outside Montgomery. Their intent was to harass the regular driver of the truck, whom they suspected of dating a white woman. Not knowing what he looked like, they mistakenly assumed that Edwards, the fill-in, was their target.

The Klansmen forced Edwards into their vehicle and drove through rural Montgomery County. Though Edwards denied making advances to white women, his kidnappers tortured him repeatedly. Finally, they ordered him at gunpoint to jump off a bridge over the Alabama river. Seeing his only hope of escape, he leaped into the water below. His decomposed body was found three months later.

The investigation turned up no suspects and was quickly closed. Some 19 years later, the Alabama attorney general indicted three Klansmen for edwards murder. But a judge threw out the indictments on a legal technicality, and the men were never brought to trial.

15 September 1963

ADDIE MAE COLLINS

DENISE McNAIR

CAROLE ROBERTSON

CYNTHIA WESLEY

SCHOOLGIRLS KILLED IN BOMBING

OF 16TH ST. BAPTIST CHURCH

BIRMINGHAM, ALABAMA

As the summer of 1963 waned, blacks in Birmingham, Alabama, had reason to celebrate. They had bravely withstood police commissioner Eugene Bull Connors fire hoses and attack dogs while marching through city streets in opposition to segregation. Stung by harsh criticism of these repressive measures, local and federal officials were dismantling laws which prohibited black access to public institutions.

But the Ku Klux Klan, holding firm to its belief in white supremacy, intensified its efforts to intimidate blacks. In the early morning hours of September 15, Klan members planted a bomb at Birminghams prominent 16th Street Baptist church. Some eight hours later, as Sunday worship services were about to begin, an explosion ripped through the brick structure. Four young girls Addie Mae Collins, 14, Denise McNair, 11, Carole Robertson, 14, and Cynthia Wesley, 14 were instantly killed. The FBI identified the group of Klansmen responsible for the bombing, but inexplicably no one was charged. It wasnt until the Alabama attorney general reopened the case 14 years later that an arrest was made. Klansman Robert Chambliss, then 73, was found guilty of first degree murder and spent the remainder of his life in prison.

2 May 1964

HENRY HEZEKIAH DEE

CHARLES EDDIE MOORE

KILLED BY KLAN

MEADVILLE, MISSISSIPPI

The civil rights struggle in Mississippi was fought on many fronts during the summer of 1964. College students from the North descended on Mississippi in response to the call of civil rights leaders for an all-out campaign to expose the injustices of racial segregation. White opponents fought back with a bloody campaign of beatings, church burnings and murders.

The Mississippi White Knights, known as the Souths most violent Ku Klux Klan organization, led this campaign of intimidation. Their most noted victims were three civil rights workers killed near Philadelphia, Mississippi. But one month before those murders, two White Knights were implicated in the murder of a pair of young men near the southwest Mississippi town of Meadville.

Charles Eddie Moore, 20, had just been expelled from college for participating in a student demonstration. Henry Hezekiah Dee, 19, worked in a local lumber yard. Two White Knights James ford Seale, 29, and Charles Marcus Edwards, 31 were convinced that the two young men were part of a rumored Black Muslim uprising in the area, Edwards said later. (Their information was groundless.) They abducted the young black men, took them into a nearby forest, beat them unconscious, and dumped them into the nearby Mississippi river where they drowned. Nearly two-and-a-half months passed before their remains were found.

Edwards and Seale were arrested for the murders. Edwards, a paper mill worker, gave the FBI a signed confession, but his admission of guilt was insufficient to convict him. A justice of the peace threw out the charges without explanation, and the case was never presented to a grand jury.

This pattern of law enforcement indifference to Klan-related crimes was repeated throughout the South until federal intervention forced local officials to prosecute the perpetrators of racial violence. But that shift in attitude came too late for justice to be done for Henry Hezekiah Dee and Charles Eddie Moore. Their murderers were never punished.

21 June 1964

JAMES CHANEY

ANDREW GOODMAN

MICHAEL SCHWERNER

CIVIL RIGHTS WORKERS ABDUCTED

& SLAIN BY KLAN

PHILADELPHIA, MISSISSIPPI

Nothing enraged Mississippi Klansmen like a Northerner helping blacks achieve racial justice in their state. And if that outsider was a Jew, their hatred was even more intense.

Michael Schwerner, 24, epitomized the Klan stereotype of a Yankee agitator. The outspoken, self-confident Schwerner was a social worker from New York who came to Meridian, Mississippi, to work with the congress of racial equality in early 1964. He quickly earned the enmity of local Mississippi White Knights, and soon they talked openly of killing him. His efforts to build a freedom School in Philadelphia, Mississippi, provided the opportunity.

Schwerner had developed a working relationship with James Chaney, a black native of Meridian. Chaney, 21, had convinced the members of the Mount Zion Methodist church to host the Freedom School. The churchs elders previously had been reluctant to use their building for civil rights activities out of fear that the Klan would retaliate. On Sunday, June 21, their concerns were realized: arsonists firebombed the church, reducing it to a charred rubble.

Schwerner, Chaney and Andrew Goodman, 21, a newly arrived civil rights worker from New York, were on their way from Mt. Zion to Philadelphia, Mississippi, when they were stopped by Neshoba county Deputy Sheriff Cecil Price. Price charged Chaney with speeding and arrested Goodman and Chaney on the absurd charge of burning Mt. Zion. Now the stage was set for local Klansmen to murder Schwerner and his accomplices.

Around 10 p.m., Price released the three civil rights workers and ordered them to return to Meridian. They had traveled only a short distance when Price, accompanied by two carloads of Klansmen, pulled the men over again. The Klansmen drove them to an isolated area where they were shot at point-blank range, one by one. They were buried in a nearby earthen dam.

The disappearance of the three men prompted a national cry of outrage. Blacks had been terrorized for decades in the South, but the violence against two white men finally moved the federal government to action. President Lyndon Johnson ordered the FBI to give the case top priority.

After a massive investigation, officers found the bodies of the dead men after paying an informant $30,000 for information on the murders.

Mississippi officials never brought charges against the murderers of Schwerner, chaney and Goodman. The Department of Justice accused 19 men of federal civil violations in connection with the incident. Seven were found guilty, but none received a sentence greater than 10 years.

11 JULy 1964

LT. COL LEMUEL PENN

KILLED BY KLAN

COLBERT, GEORGIA

Although the U.S. Armed forces was integrated after World War II, the American South in the 1960s remained hostile to blacks service members or not. So when Army reserve officer Lt. Col. Lemuel Penn, 49, left his home in Washington, D.C., in June 1964 to attend summer training at ft. Benning, Georgia, he timed his trip to avoid unnecessary stops.

His attempt to escape confrontation proved tragically unsuccessful. While he and two other black army officers were driving back to Washington on July 11, Penn was accosted outside of Athens, Georgia, by a carload of Klansmen and shot at point-blank range. The three assailants were members of a violent Klan group called the Black Shirts. They were searching for out-of town niggers [who] might stir up some trouble in Athens, the driver of the car confessed later.

An investigation implicated the Athens Klansmen in the crime. Cecil William Myers and Joseph Howard Sims were tried on first-degree murder charges, but an all-white jury acquitted them despite the drivers confession. Later, the Department of Justice brought civil rights charges against Myers, Sims and four other Klansmen. After a lengthy proceeding, which went all the way to the U.S. Supreme court, Myers and Sims were convicted and sentenced to 10 years in prison. Their accomplices were set free.

25 March 1965

VIOLA GREGG LIUZZO

KILLED BY KLAN

WHILE TRANSPORTING MARCHERS

SELMA HIGHWAY, ALABAMA

On the night of Sunday, March 7, 1965, Americans received a close-up view of the harsh methods employed by Southern law enforcement officers against civil rights activists. News broadcasts that evening showed Alabama state troopers brutally beating participants in a voting rights march as they crossed the Edmund Pettus Bridge in Selma, Alabama. It was a critical turning point in the civil rights movement in America.

Many viewers merely expressed outrage at the incident. Viola Gregg Liuzzo, a mother of five from Michigan, was moved to action. She traveled to Selma to participate in the struggle for racial equality and soon was ferrying marchers on the road between Selma and Montgomery as the demonstrations in support of voting rights continued.

Liuzzos presence in Selma and the casual way she interacted with black marchers enraged a group of Klansmen who were assigned to terrorize the protesters. They chased down Liuzzos Oldsmobile on the highway between Selma and Montgomery, and one of the group shot her through the car window. She died instantly.

The men charged with Liuzzos murder were set free by an all-white jury. As it became increasingly clear that state prosecutors were unable or unwilling to bring these criminals to justice, the Department of Justice stepped up its use of the civil rights Act to bring charges against the Klan. A federal jury convicted three of Liuzzos murderers, and the judge gave them 10-year prison terms.

10 JanUary 1966

VERNON DAHMER

BLACK COMMUNITY LEADER

KILLED IN KLAN BOMBING

HATTIESBURG, MISSISSIPPI

Vernon Dahmer was a business and political leader in Hattiesburg, Mississippi, whose success as a farmer, sawmill operator and merchant had earned him the admiration of black and white residents alike. But his outspoken support of voting rights for blacks earned him the enmity of the violent White Knights of Mississippi.

For years, the White Knights stalked Dahmer. When the time was right, they planned to burn his home or kill him, if possible. After Dahmer offered to pay the poll taxes of blacks too poor to register to vote, the Klan decided to strike. They attacked Dahmers home and grocery store with guns and fire bombs. His 10- year-old daughter was hospitalized with third degree burns; Dahmer died from the injuries he suffered in the blaze.

During the civil rights Movement, Klansmen expected the support of whites (or at least their quiet acquiescence) after they attacked civil rights leaders. The reaction to the Dahmer murder was different. The entire community black and white rallied around the Dahmer family and helped rebuild their burned-out house. Local law enforcement officials aggressively investigated the crime. Three Klansmen were convicted of murder and sentenced to life in prison.

Dahmers death was not in vain. In the wake of his murder, city officials began reforming local segregation laws, just as Dahmer had been asking them to do for years. equally important, the prosecutions and loss of support from the white community diminished the power of the White Knights. After conducting a reign of terror for a decade, this group of violent white supremacists began to lose its grip on the people of Mississippi.

10 June 1966

BEN CHESTER WHITE

KILLED BY KLAN

NATCHEZ, MISSISSIPPI

Among all of the Klan victims in the struggle for civil rights, Ben Chester White seems the most unlikely. He was a quiet, unassuming man who worked his entire life on a plantation near Natchez, Mississippi. He avoided protests against segregation and wasnt even registered to vote. But Whites race was enough to make him a target of local Klansmen. Members of the cottonmouth Moccasin Gang, a faction of the White Knights of the Ku Klux Klan, conspired to kill the 61-year-old man on the false premise that he favored school integration. They had an ulterior motive. They hoped the murder would lure Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. (then leading a protest march through Mississippi) to Natchez so they could kill him and establish themselves as heroes among their fellow Klansmen.

Gang members James Jones, Claude Fuller and Ernest Avants took White to a secluded area outside Natchez on the pretext that they were looking for a lost dog. There, fuller shot and killed the unsuspecting man. On orders of fuller, Avants fired his shotgun into Whites lifeless body. The men dumped Whites corpse in a nearby creek.

Wracked with guilt, Jones admitted his role in the slaying. Despite his admission, the jury was unable to reach a verdict against him and set him free. Local authorities arrested Avants, but he was found innocent after arguing that he had shot a dead body. Fuller, the triggerman, was never tried.

Whites son vowed to see the killers punished. He filed a $1 million civil suit against the White Knights for conspiring to violate the civil rights of his father. The judge found in favor of the plaintiff, marking the first time civil damages were assessed against the Klan for the actions of its members.

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Papers read at the meeting of Grand Dragons, Knights of …

Papers read at the meeting of Grand Dragons, Knights of the Ku Klux Klan, at their first annual meeting held at Asheville, North Carolina, July, 1923 : together with other articles of interest to Klansmen

Date: 1923 | Identifier: HS2330.K6 A3 1923 1 BOOK Joyner NC Rare

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A Government Takeover by the Ku Klux Klan | The New Yorker

The Ku Klux Klan was originally focussed on maintaining the old racial order in the post-Civil War South, chiefly through the violent suppression of African-Americans. But, in the nineteen-twenties, the Klan was reborn as a nationwide movement targeting not only African-Americans but Jews, Catholics, Muslims, Mexican-Americans, and Asian immigrants. In the jingoistic years following the First World War, the Klan made discrimination the new patriotism. The Bancroft Prize-winning historian Linda Gordon charts this rebirth in The Second Coming of the KKK. She writes that millions of people joined the Klan in the span of just a few years, among them mayors, congressmen, senators, and governors. Three Presidents were members of the Klan at some point before taking the office. Gordon tells David Remnick that the lessons for our current political moment are sobering.

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What is the Ku Klux Klan, who was KKK Imperial Wizard …

THE Ku Klux Klan returned to prominence thanks toDonald Trump who is cited as a factor in the rise ofright-wing groups in America after they backed him to become president.

Here is the story of the evil group, its history in the US and the meaning behind its members infamous white robes.

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In a nutshell, the Ku Klux Klan (or the KKK) is an extremist hate group who believeall non-Caucasian people are inferior to them.

The group believes that America should be a nation that is free from drugs, homosexuality and immigration.

Claiming to have extreme pride in their nation, they say that they are building a better society for everyone arguing on their website that they are a group not of hate but of love.

Historically, black Americans have been the KKKs main target but more recently it has targeted Jews, immigrants, LGBT people and even Catholics.

Since its formation in 1865, the groups history can be divided into three eras.

The first Klan, founded in Tennessee, was formed by former members of the Confederate army in around 1865.

As a movement it was relatively short-lived at the outset but, as secret vigilantes, the Klan carried out acts of terrorism such as the lynchings, arson, murders, tar-and-featherings, rapes and other violent attacks historically associated with the group. During the first era, these attacks were directed towards anyone who challenged white supremacy.

The second Klan, founded in Atlanta, Georgia in 1921, presented itself as a fraternal organisation employing full-time recruiters. At its peak, it was present in every state in America claiming to have at least 4 million members, operations in Canada, and even reportedly some recruiting activity in the UK.

A series of chilling photos were recently unearthed showing babies being baptised by white hooded-figures.

However, the KKKs popularity plummeted to only 30,000 members after a series of scandals.

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The third revival came in the 1960s in opposition to the civil rights movement, which in the Klans eyes threatened segregation.

The KKK name was used by a number of independent groups many members of which were convicted of murders of civil rights workers.

One of the KKKs most violent actions was the bombing of the 16th Street Baptist Church in Birmingham, Alabama, in 1963 an attack which killed four young girls.

Today, it is thought there are at least 5,000 members of various KKK chapters in the United States.

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The KKK refers to its beliefs and practices as Klankraft.

Although they are a secretive group, there is some knowledge of its beliefs and practices which are all based on their white supremacist views.

Incredible imagesgive a chilling insight into white supremacist culture that still exist in all corners of America.

One of the most iconic symbols of the KKK is their white robes, which feature a conical mask. These were adopted by the first Klan, and were intended to add to the terror of their brutal attacks.

As part of their rituals, the KKK carries out cross burnings. Most Christians would say burning a cross is sacrilege but the Klan believe it is lighting it, in a symbol of members faith.

The KKK also use unique titles and greetings among their members with the leaders referred to as Grand or Imperial Wizards.

To this day the KKK attend rallies, and due the United States Constitutions First Amendment, which relates to freedom of speech, their hate speech is legal.

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Frank Ancona, a self-described Imperial Wizard of the Missouri chapter of the Traditionalist American Knights of the Ku Klux Klan, was found dead with a gunshot to the head in February 2017.

Ancona, who wrote that the KKKs mission was to preserve white culture and heritage, had been reported missing from his home afterhe told his wife Malissa that he was filing for a divorce.

After being reported missing on February 10, his body was found near the Big River, with the Sheriff describing his death as a tragic and senseless act of violence.

The 51-year-olds wife, Malissa, and her son Paul Edward Jinkerson Jr, 24, have both been charged with his murder.

Authorities believe that Malissa broke into Franks safe to get at his guns so that she could kill him.

Washington County coroner Brian DeClue told The Kansas City Star:It was not self-inflicted.This is now a homicide investigation.

Donald Trumpblasted the KKK and neo-Nazis as repugnant after being criticised for not singling out the far-right violence following the horrific car assault inCharlottesville, Virginia.

Far-right groups had gathered on August 12 to protest the decision to bring down the statue of Confederate General Robert E Lee.

Activist Richard Spencer and formerKu Klux Klanleader David Duke attended the demonstrations.

Heather Hyer, 32, died after being hit by the car, with her family saying she had been marching in a cry for social justice.

During his statement at the White House, the Trump denounced racism as evil and singled out the Ku Klux Klan and neo-Nazis as repugnant.

He said: Racism is evil. And those who cause violence in its name are criminals and thugs, including the KKK, neo-Nazis, white supremacists and other hate groups that are repugnant to everything we hold dear as Americans.

Trump had attracted criticism for not being strong enough following the terrifying car assault.

David Duke was the Grand Wizard of the Knights of the Ku Klux Klan, a chapter of the KKK, from 1974 to 1980.

Before 1975, he was a member of the American Nazi party and is now a Republican.

The 56-year-old, who is an antisemitic conspiracy theorist and Holocaust denier, is against what he believes to be the Jewish control of the Federal Reserve Bank, US federal government and the media. He also believes in racial segregation.

Following Donald Trumps election, David Dukethanked Wikileaks and Julian Assange describing the Wikileaks founder as a hero.

AP:Associated Press

Robb was born in Detroit, Michigan, in 1946 to a Baptist family.

He grew up in Tuscon, Arizona, with his parents who shared political views with anti-communist crusaders Kenneth Goff and Joseph McCarthy.

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At the age of 13, Robb claims he became aware of the myth of the Holocaust while reading anti-Communist and anti-Semitic paper Common Sense, written by Conde McGinley, which actively promotes Holocaust denial.

While at high school, Robb joined the John Birch Society a radical, far-right organisation against communism.

He later received a scholarship to attend the Soldiers of the Cross Training Institute in Evergreen, Colorado, which was found by Dr Kenneth Goff.

Robb gained a degree in theology and metRalph Forbes an associate and organiser of George Lincoln Rockwells National Socialist White Peoples Party.

He took over leadership of the KKK in the 1980s after David Duke left but he shunned the original title of Imperial Wizarder and instead opted for National Director.

In 1986, after moving to Boone County, Arkansas, Robb organised aprotest against the Martin Luther King National Holiday in Pulaski, Tennessee, which is the birthplace of the Ku Klux Klan.

The event became known as theWhite Christian Heritage Festival and is held each October in Pulaski.

Robb began forming close bonds withother extremists including J. B. Stoner, Ed Fields, Don Black, David Duke, Willis Carto and Michael Collins Piper.

In the 1990s, Robb started spreading the concept that white people were being targeted for genocide.

He has described the Klan asgentle, upbeat, and friendly and publishes official KKK magazine The Crusader.

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Ku Klux Klan – oregonencyclopedia.org

Fiery crosses and marchers in Ku Klux Klan (KKK) regalia were common sights in Oregon and the nation during the 1920s. The social and economic problems following World War Ionly partly explain why this organization, with its southern heritage of racismand violence,appealed to the overwhelmingly white, native-born, and Protestant population of Oregon. Whilethe Klanmay have been new to the state, the attitudes and issuesit exploited were not. Racism, religious bigotry, and anti-immigrant sentiments were deeply entrenched in the laws, culture, and social life of Oregon, and few Oregonians questioned the Klan’s doctrines of white supremacy, Protestantism, and “One-Hundred Per Cent Americanism.” The first Klan organizers (Kleagles) arrived in Oregon from California and the South in early 1921. Maj. Luther I. Powell, a gregarious Louisianan, swore in the first Oregon Klansmen in Medford while his fellow Kleagles recruited in Portland, Eugene, Salem, Astoria, Hood River, Pendleton, and other communities. Historians estimate that the national Klan attracted more than two million members during the 1920s, and by 1923 Oregon Klan leaders claimed 35,000 members in more than sixty local chapters and provisional Klans. Hundreds ofother Oregonians joined the Women of the Ku Klux Klan, the Junior Order of Klansmen for teenagers, and the Royal Riders of the Red Robe for foreign-born Protestants. The Klan spread rapidly in Oregon, but internal strife plagued it from the beginning. After his election as the first Exalted Cyclops (leader) of Klan No. 1 in Portland, Fred L. Gifford forced Powell from Oregon and became the Grand Dragon (head) of the state Klan. From their Portland headquarters, Gifford and his croniesincluding Lem Dever, the colorful editor of the Oregon Klan’s newspaper, The Western Americanturned the organization into a potent and controversial political machine during the elections of 1922 and 1924. The Klan’s appeals to morality and patriotism initially masked the reality: the political intrigue and social conflict and the loyalty to the Klan that transcendedpolitical party affiliations. In 1922, Klansmen won election to local and county offices throughout Oregon, and some Klansmen won seats in the state legislature. The Klan helped elect LaGrande Democrat Walter M. Pierce as governor and played a significant role in passing an initiative measure requiring all children eight to sixteen years of age to attend public schools.While targeting Roman Catholics, thecompulsoryschool bill would have eliminated other private and denominational schools. As the only state to pass such a law, Oregon gained notoriety and faced numerous legal challenges. The law was never implemented, and the U.S. Supreme Court declared it unconstitutional in 1925. Klansmen and their allies in the 1923 legislature resurrected controversial racial and religious issues rejected in earlier years. A bill prohibiting the ownership of land by aliens, aimed primarily at Japanese immigrants, passed easily. Other successful bills with connections to the Klanbanned teachers from wearing religious garb in the public schools and blocked public schools from using civics and history textbooks with negative remarks about the Founding Fathers and American heroes. The Klan’s political agenda alsoincluded support forbills to improve state roads and public education. The Klan’s influence on social and cultural life was more damaging and longer lasting than its political successes. The Oregon Klan had its share of charlatans and characters, but the overwhelming majority of members were ordinary Oregonians who represented a cross-section of their communities. Few members engaged in violence. Many local Klansstrengthened fraternal bonds byorganizing bands, baseball teams, family picnics, and charitable activities. But members also used the Klan to impose their moral and cultural beliefs on other Oregonians, often splintering communities, churches, and social organizations. Numerous Protestant ministers, largely fundamentalist and evangelical,joined or supported the Klan, and several became prominent spokesmen for its anti-Catholic crusade. As the official Klan Lecturer in Oregon, the Rev. Reuben H. Sawyerenthusiastically proclaimed”The Truth about the Ku Klux Klan” to many audiences, including acrowd of several thousand at Portland’s Municipal Auditorium in December 1921. Opponents of the Klan struggled to find allies. Most Oregonians did not join the Klan, but many supported its agenda and others declined to challenge it. Members of some religious denominations and social and fraternal organizations, minority groups, and a few politicians, including Republican Governor Ben Olcott, vigorously opposed it. The Medford Tribune, the Salem Capital Journal, the Hood River News, the Pendleton East Oregonian, the Portland Telegram, the Portland Advocate, and the Catholic Sentinel editorialized against the Klan, while most local newspapers supported it or took a neutral stance. Dramatically successful initially, Gifford soon alienated members with his dictatorial style. By 1924, Klansmen outside Portland, long wary, turned against him.As charges of corruption and sexual scandals plagued the Klan in other states, most Oregon Klansmen quit the organization. Some local Klans survived into the 1930s, but attempts to revive the state organization failed. During the Civil Rights Era, when new waves of Klan violence swept the South, the hooded order was only a fading memory in Oregon.Newer extremist groups, while often more militant, have been much smaller and far less successful in Oregon than the Ku Klux Klan of the 1920s.

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Inside The Ku Klux Klan: KKK Explain Their Plan For …

Inside The Ku Klux Klan: KKK Explain Their Plan For Expansion SUBSCRIBE: http://bit.ly/Oc61Hj A GROUP of Ku Klux Klan members says it is planning military style combat training for the FIRST time in KKK history – exactly 60 years after the birth of the African-American Civil Rights Movement. Klan bosses say an influx of military troops – existing members and new KKK recruits – will return to the US from overseas campaigns in a matter of weeks and plan to train the Loyal White Knights (LWK) faction, which has Klan members made up of men, women and children across at least three states. LWK leaders say they are preparing for a race war they believe will break out soon with the collapse of modern society, and will learn armed combat, hand-to-hand combat and survival skills. The controversial organisation is also targeting kids as part of a modern recruitment drive. Unlike members of the 20th century, today’s KKK use social media and the internet alongside traditional methods like nighttime leaflet drops in local neighbourhoods to attract new members, including 13-17 year olds. These exclusive images show a recent KKK rally held at a secret location in a forest near Parkersburg, West Virginia. KKK expert Brian Levin says the main danger from the modern KKK doesn’t come from the group forming an army, but from individual splinter groups with desperate new leaders trying to make a name for themselves. He said they can draw inspiration from extremist acts like a recent massacre in a Jewish Community Center in Kansas. Frazer Glenn Miller Jr., a former Klan faction leader, was arrested and charged in April with killing three people in the shootings, a 14-year-old boy with his grandfather and a woman. Videographer / Director: Ruaridh ConnellanProducer: Liam MillerEditor: Ben Churcher / Ian Phillips / Josh Douglas For more amazing footage of the amazing side of life, visit the Like Barcroft TV on Facebook: http://goo.gl/7ayYgYFollow Barcroft TV on Twitter: http://bit.ly/10vFLY9Follow Barcroft TV on Instagram: http://bit.ly/1b84Ku0Barcroft Media website: http://bit.ly/19OYwp

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Homepage – KuKluxKlan Facts

4 weeks ago Cinema event of the week: BlacKkKlansman 11 months ago The scary return of the Ku Klux Klan 11 months ago The Ku Klux Klan and his race war: 10 startling facts about the racist organization 11 months ago Ghosts transformed into representations of the Ku Klux Klan 11 months ago VIDEO What is the Ku Klux Klan ?

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Ku Klux Klan – A Secret History – YouTube

Documentary detailing the history of the Ku Klux Klan. A racist far right extremist movement founded in 1866 which reached unprecedented popularity during the early part of the ‘Jim Crow’ era in U.S.A. The Organization went on to gain international popularity and still exists today. Includes footage relating to the Ku Klux Klan involvement in the ‘Freedom Riders’ Civil Rights Protests & the Alabama Church Bombings. Buy the DVD – http://amzn.to/2ykzVEh

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Ku Klux Klan | Encyclopedia.com

LEADERS: James Roesch, Ron Edwards, Jeff Berry YEAR ESTABLISHED OR BECAME ACTIVE: 1866 USUAL AREA OF OPERATION: United States The Ku Klux Klan, also known as the KKK or the Klan, is one of the oldest and best-known hate groups in America. Founded by a group of Confederate Civil War veterans in 1866, the group expanded throughout the South and beyond, attracting thousands of members unhappy with Reconstruction, the post-war period when the former Confederate states were occupied by Union troops and governed by northerners. The Klan eventually swelled to more than half a million members, though national leaders actually exercised little direct control over the local chapters. As the Klan became larger, it also grew more violent, prompting national leader Nathan Forrest to formally disband it in 1869. Despite his attempt to end the organization, local Klans continued their actions, and in 1871, federal legislation outlawing the Klan was passed. The resulting legal crackdown marked the end of the Klan’s first incarnation. In 1915, William J. Simmons reorganized the Klan in Georgia, focusing its attention on African-Americans, Catholics, immigrants, and various other groups. Membership swelled to 100,000 and money flooded in. This second incarnation of the KKK spread across the nation, and the group managed to recruit numerous political leaders into its ranks. A rising tide of violence, combined with a midwestern Klan leader’s conviction for a grisly rape and murder, began the Klan’s decline. An IRS tax lien finished the job by bankrupting the organization in 1944. While the formal Klan no longer exists as a unified organization, various splinter groups, estimated to have fewer than 10,000 members altogether, continue to employ the name and practices of the Ku Klux Klan. The Ku Klux Klan was founded in 1866 in Pulaski, Tennessee, by six Confederate army veterans. In its earliest form, the group was largely social in nature, its members enjoying many of the rites and rituals often found in other fraternal organizations. But soon after its founding, the Klan’s members became involved in racially motivated actions aimed at African-American families and organizations. The Klan’s 1867 convention created a formal structure for the group, as well as a three-item statement of purpose, called the “Prescript.” This document defined the Klan’s purposes: protecting the weak and defenseless, defending the U.S. Constitution, and enforcing the laws of the United States, particularly those dealing with unlawful seizure of property. While these objectives sound relatively benign to modern ears, they conveyed a clear message in the post Civil War South: the Klan existed to resist Reconstruction and impede the progress of freed slaves. Leading the Klan in its new mission was a former Confederate general, Nathan Forrest, who was named the Klan’s first Grand Wizard. Under his leadership, the Klan swiftly capitalized on Southern suffering, particularly in rural areas. The Klan was organized into various regions, with leaders creatively titled Grand Dragons, Titans, Giants, and Cyclopes. Across the rural South, Klansmen began a campaign of violence, including hundreds of lynchings. Klan violence was not restricted to freed slaves; Northern teachers, judges, and Republicans were all targeted for their perceived role in the destruction of the South’s traditional way of life. Despite ample evidence to the contrary, Klan leader George Gordon issued a proclamation in 1868 reaffirming the Klan’s nonviolence and disavowing any connection with violent acts carried out in its name. At its peak in 1868, the first Klan claimed more than half a million members nationwide. Despite its rapid numerical growth, the Klan’s nominal leadership lacked any real control of its widely dispersed chapters. National leaders began to complain that local Klan groups were doing as they wished, and as violence escalated, reputable citizens began leaving the group. In 1869, in the face of growing unrest and infighting within the Klan’s ranks, Grand Wizard Forrest ordered the organization disbanded. Whether this order was a legitimate effort to rein in the group’s excessive violence or simply a form of legal self-protection for the group’s leader, it had little effect and the violence continued to escalate. In 1871, President Ulysses S. Grant signed legislation making the Klan illegal and authorizing law enforcement to use force in bringing the group under control. Hundreds of Klansmen were jailed or fined as a result of the new law, and while pockets of Klan membership remained throughout the South, the organization as a whole was largely destroyed. Despite a court ruling in 1882, which struck down the original anti-Klan legislation, the Klan’s reputation had been largely destroyed, and the Klan largely disappeared for more than 30 years. In 1915, D. W. Griffith’s epic film The Birth of a Nation was released. This work of historical fiction depicted the post Civil War South as a noble society, African-Americans as uneducated and violent, and Northerners as wicked interlopers. The film’s heroes were the hooded members of the Ku Klux Klan, who delivered Southern white virtue from the African-American menace. The film was a box office smash, ultimately taking in more than $10 million to become the highest grossing movie to that date. While controversial, the movie played upon the fears of many Americans, particularly working class men who were nervously watching an enormous wave of immigrants enter the U.S. workforce. In Atlanta, newspapers carrying ads for the movie also carried a small advertisement soliciting interest in a new Klan. The response was overwhelming, and later that year, Methodist pastor William J. Simmons gathered with a group of followers to launch the second Ku Klux Klan, with Simmons as Grand Wizard. Simmons’ new Klan had much in common with the original Klan, opposing Jews, Catholics, African-Americans, and immigrants. It also took positions against various illegal and allegedly immoral acts, including bootlegging, prostitution, graft, and failure to observe the Sabbath. Simmons also is credited with adding the infamous burning cross to the Klan’s repertoire. Simmons was a consummate promoter, and in the years leading up to 1921, membership swelled to 100,000, as money flooded in. In 1924, 40,000 Klansmen marched through the streets of the nation’s capital in support of the Democratic National Convention. And political leaders at all levels chose to join the Klan rather than risk incurring its opposition. Future president Harry Truman was briefly a member. The second Klan was much better organized, and far more profitable, than the first. It also managed to extend its reach beyond the South to much of the United States. But like the first Klan, the second soon found itself swimming in a rapidly rising tide of violence. As Klan leaders battled for control of the group’s coffers, local Klan groups became more and more violent. The conviction of Midwest Klan leader, D. C. Stephenson, for the gruesome kidnapping, rape, and murder of a young schoolteacher, played a major role in the Klan once again falling from public favor during the 1930s. Following an IRS tax lien filing in 1944, the Klan formally dissolved for the second time. Although the Klan formally died in the 1940s, the name continued to be used by numerous independent groups. The rapid growth of the U.S. economy following World War II, combined with the nation’s resulting prosperity, reduced support for these factions. Rising interest in civil rights and victims’ increased willingness to fight back during the 1960s also reduced the Klan’s influence, and Klan marches were frequently met by counter-protestors. Law enforcement officials also actively worked to monitor and disrupt Klan activities. By the 1980s, three separate umbrella Klan groups were competing for members: the Imperial Klans of America, the American Knights of the Ku Klux Klan, and the Knights of the White Kamelia. A string of lawsuits has hurt these three groups; a civil suit following the 1981 lynching of Michael Donald pushed another group, the United Klans of America, into bankruptcy. The Southern Poverty Law Center and other civil rights groups have achieved some success in using high-dollar lawsuits to siphon off Klan resources. While remaining one of the most widely known and most inflammatory of the nation’s many hate groups, today’s Ku Klux Klan is little more than a shadow of its former self, with an estimated 5,000-7,000 members scattered primarily across the South and Midwest. A 2002 report by the Jewish Anti-Defamation League concludes that, “Today, there is no such thing as the Ku Klux Klan. Fragmentation, decentralization, and decline have continued unabated.” While the Ku Klux Klan has a lengthy history of bigotry, violence, and racism, the group’s focus and tactics have proven remarkably malleable, often shifting in response to the current mood in the country. While the specific targets of Klan attacks have changed, a common theme runs throughout; in each of its incarnations, the Klan has targeted groups that are easily painted as a threat to working-class Americans. By blaming these groups for the struggles faced by blue-collar workers, the Klan has been able to tap into deep veins of frustration and paranoia, allowing it to attract new members and grow rapidly. The original Ku Klux Klan, sprouting amid the rubble of the Reconstructionist South, quickly set its sights on those it saw as a threat to the South’s way of life: freed slaves, Northern immigrants, and local judges who seized property and enforced federal equality laws. In addition, the original Klan offered defeated Confederate soldiers a second chance to battle the foes of the South. The tactics used by the first Klan were typically harassment, intimidation, and physical violence. Among the most violent acts was the practice of lynching. Lynching, in its broadest sense, refers to any punishment administered outside the formal justice system. Lynching takes a variety of forms around the world; in the United States, the term most often refers to murder by hanging. During the late 1800s, lynchers often raided African-Americans’ homes at night. In some cases, the attackers removed firearms, while in others they whipped or murdered the residents. Lynching was intended to intimidate African-Americans and prevent freed slaves from voting or owning weapons. The number of lynchings declined after the Klan was banned in 1871, but they continued to occur regularly well into the twentieth century. Thus the threat of lynching remained a potent weapon for Klan members for many years. The revived Klan of the early twentieth century was far broader in its geographic scope, moving beyond the South and into the Midwest and other regions of the country. As the group expanded, it found itself with new resources and new techniques at its disposal. The year 1915 saw the birth of the new Klan, and along with it, the arrival of a new technique, the placement of a burning cross on property in order to terrorize the owner. Along with the burning cross, the reorganized Klan also employed violence similar to that used in the group’s first incarnation. The Klan’s rapid expansion in the 1920s also provided it with significant sums of money. Klan Grand Wizard William Simmons, a former pastor, used some of this income to hire publicists to assist the Klan with advertising and recruiting, and the group’s numbers swelled. With both financial resources and a large membership, the group was now able to impact the political process in ways the original Klan never could. At its peak, the Klan had the resources to elect candidates of its choosing, most notably Ed Jackson, whom the Klan aided in his successful bid for the Indiana governor’s office. Various national politicians were members or past members of the Klan. Edward White, Chief Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court in the early twentieth century, was one of two Supreme Court members known to have been Klansmen. While there remains some scholarly debate on the question, evidence suggests that President Warren Harding was a member of the Klan, having supposedly taken the oath of membership in the White House. Harry Truman was advised to join the Klan to help win re-election to a judgeship in Missouri, which he did, though he later distanced himself from the group. Hugo Black, Democratic Senator and Supreme Court Justice, was a Klan member in the 1920s, but later repudiated the group. West Virginia Senator Robert Byrd was a Klansman for many years. Byrd later called his membership a mistake. In its second incarnation, the Klan once again identified groups that it blamed for the struggles of working-class Americans. While the original Klan was largely a product of Southern frustration and had chosen its targets accordingly, the second Klan quickly spread beyond the South. Consequently, its list of targets was correspondingly longer and more diverse. The second Klan’s enemy list formally included African-Americans, Jews, Catholics, and various lawbreakers, including drug dealers and prostitutes; informally, local Klan organizations were frequently willing to target anyone they perceived as threatening their chosen values. Given the general distrust of foreigners and “outsiders” prevalent in the United States at the time, the Klan’s focus on opposition to these groups led to rapid growth. The Klan’s tactics against these new groups once again included traditional practices such as lynching, which became more frequent as the Klan grew. In addition, the new Klan began using the burning cross, a graphic threat that, by itself, was sometimes adequate to force victims to relocate. Klan leader Simmons also began to employ the tactics of marketing, hiring publicists to help him advertise and recruit new Klan members. The Klan’s high point came in 1924, when 40,000 Klansmen converged to march in Washington, D.C. as a demonstration of the organization’s growing political clout. Membership in the Klan approached 100,000 at its peak, and several top Klan leaders became wealthy. As the Klan grew, it began to face a growing incompatibility between its public image of law and order and its private addiction to violence. With violent acts becoming more common and more extreme, the Klan’s leadership found itself repeating the struggles of the first Klan’s leaders, who had also tried to corral the group’s increasingly radical fringe segments. This inability to exert control, combined with intense infighting over the group’s profits, began to shake the Klan apart. By the late 1920s, the Klan was once again largely discredited among the general public, and its membership dissolved into dozens of competing factions, most with dwindling membership roles. The Klan continued to decline throughout the Great Depression and World War II. With the U.S. economy rolling rapidly ahead following the war, the Klan’s recruiting pleas were largely ineffective. While local Klan groups remained throughout America, efforts to reunite them into a monolithic Klan during the 1950s and 1960s failed. The coming of civil rights legislation in the 1960s did provide some new fuel for Klan fires, and membership nudged upward in response. However, the FBI and other law enforcement groups also became far more active in policing the Klan during this era, often using informants and infiltrators within the Klan to monitor and at times disrupt the group’s operations. In one of the more bizarre episodes of this era, author Stetson Kennedy infiltrated the Georgia Klan and began stealing Klan passwords, which were then broadcast on the weekly Superman radio show. These episodes, in which Superman battled and defeated the Klan, revealed the group’s mysterious secret rituals to actually be sophomoric passwords and signs, leaving the Klan publicly humiliated. While the Ku Klux Klan has little political influence today, Klan members have attempted to enter the political arena. David Duke joined the Klan at the age of 17, and was eventually elected Grand Wizard of the Knights of the Ku Klux Klan, a title he later changed to “national director.” Duke ran for the Louisiana State Senate in 1976. While he later left the Klan to create the National Association for the Advancement of White People, he maintained his white supremacist position and never repudiated his involvement with the Klan. Duke later ran for statewide office as a Republican, prompting both Ronald Reagan and George H. W. Bush to visit the state and campaign for his opponent. Duke was imprisoned in 2002 for tax and mail fraud. He was reportedly considering a new run for office following his release in 2004. While the Ku Klux Klan has found its popularity dwindling in recent years, it does still have allies, primarily other white supremacist organizations which share the Klan’s views. The ACLU, whose stated purpose is to defend American individual rights from government interference, is frequently criticized for their work on behalf of groups such as the KKK. In 2002, Klan members reserved a Riverside Country, California public facility. Upon learning of the Klan’s connection to the event, state officials attempted to cancel the contract. The ACLU of Southern California obtained a court order permitting the event to take place, citing First Amendment freedom of speech protection for the Klan’s activities. The ACLU often serves as a legal advocate for the Klan, not based upon the merits of Klan philosophy and thought, but rather for their Constitutional right to express their views. In a statement on the ACLU of Southern California’s website, Ramona Ripston, ACLU/SC Executive Director, offered this perspective: “We defend the free speech rights of individuals and groups no matter where they fall on the political spectrum, from left to right and no matter how repugnant we find their message.” In the twenty-first century, the Ku Klux Klan is in disarray. Living in an increasingly diverse America, most U.S. citizens have become more comfortable with interpersonal differences, making them less receptive to white supremacist claims. Further, the generally healthy economic climate of the recent past has left fewer Americans out of work, further limiting the Klan’s appeal. Today, the Klan exists only as around 100 independent Klaverns, whose influence is largely local and, in most cases, extremely limited. The emergence of numerous other white supremacist organizations has also provided new options to potential Klan members, making recruiting even more difficult for the aging KKK. “Oh my God, I shot little brother!” was the first thing police say America’s Invisible Empire Knights of the Ku Klux Klan member Gregory Allen Freeman said after he accidentally shot a fellow Klansman in the head during a Nov. 23 initiation in Johnson City, Tenn. The ritual began to go awry after Klan initiate Karl Mitchell III, 27, was strung to a tree with a noose and made to stand on tiptoe while being pelted with paintballs. According to Chief Deputy Patrick Littleton of Washington County, Freeman apparently meant to scare Mitchell with the sound of real gunfire by firing his handgun near Mitchell’s ear. But one of the paintballs apparently struck Freeman, causing him to buckle and squeeze off a round in the direction of Klan brother Jeffrey S. Murr, 24, who may have leaned forward after being hit with a paintball as well. A 9mm bullet entered the top of Murr’s head and exited the bottom of his skull. Freeman’s reaction wasn’t very helpful to his brother Klansman. A 45-year-old who goes by the nickname “Rebel,” Freeman reportedly paced back and forth, hitting himself in the head with his handgun over and over, before he fled the scene. Only Mitchell, the initiate, seemed to have his wits about him after the accidental shooting. After telling the Klansmen to cut him down from the tree, Mitchell rushed to Murr’s side and applied pressure to the wound until help arrived. Three months later Murr remained in serious condition, unable to speak. Freeman was later found near his home and charged with reckless endangerment and aggravated assault. Released on $7,500 bail, he was scheduled to face a judge in mid-March. Source: Southern Poverty Law Center, 2004 B’nai B’rith. Extremism in America. New York: Anti-Defamation League, 2002. Wade, Wyn C. The Fiery Cross: The Ku Klux Klan in America. Oxford, England: Oxford University Press, 1998. Anti-Defamation League. “Ku Klux Klan.” http://www.adl.org/learn/ext_us/kkk.asp (accessed October 18, 2005). Bartleby.com. “The Columbia Encyclopedia: Ku Klux Klan.” http://www.bartleby.com/65/ku/KuKluxKl.html (accessed October 18, 2005). National Association for the Advancement of White People

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August 23, 2018  Tags:   Posted in: Ku Klux Klan  Comments Closed

Ku Klux Klan: A History of Racism | Southern Poverty Law …

The civil rights Memorial in Montgomery, Alabama, was built by the Southern Poverty Law center as a perpetual reminder of the sacrifices that were made to end racial segregation in the South. The names of 40 individuals, killed because they stood up for human rights, are inscribed in the circular black granite table that serves as the centerpiece of the Memorial. These are the true heroes of the civil rights Movement their martyrdom made freedom possible for millions in the South. For every story of courage that is represented on the Memorial, there is a parallel one of evil and violence. For every person killed, there was a killer in most cases more than one. Some acted out of impulsive rage. Others used their legal authority to enforce the rules of a dying social order. In many cases, the killer was never apprehended, the crime concealed by a code of silence. At the forefront of the racial terrorism of the 1950s and 1960s was the Ku Klux Klan. Klansmen have been identified as the killers of 14 of the individuals honored on the Memorial. Their stories are told below. But that number is surely an incomplete accounting. Many killings attributed to unknown night riders were likely the work of the Klan. The deaths remembered on the civil rights Memorial offer undisputed testimony to the Klans willingness to use murder as a tool to enforce its belief in white supremacy. The heroic spirit of those who gave up their lives in the cause of racial freedom should not be forgotten. Nor should the crimes of those who forced them to make that sacrifice. 23 January 1957 WILLIE EDWARDS JR. KILLED BY KLAN MONTGOMERY, ALABAMA The racial climate in Montgomery, Alabama, was palpably ugly in early 1957. A grass-roots movement of black citizens led by the rev. Martin Luther King Jr. had recently forced the integration of the city transit system. The Ku Klux Klan reacted violently. Members of the Klan marched through Montgomery in an effort to terrorize black bus riders and bombed the homes and businesses of boycott supporters. Several members of a local Ku Klux Klan group decided that only the murder of a black would express their outrage. Willie Edwards Jr., a quiet man who had kept his distance from the bus boycott, became the unfortunate victim of their deadly resolve. On Jan. 23, Edwards was substituting for the driver of a supermarket delivery truck when the Klansmen pulled him over on a rural stretch of road outside Montgomery. Their intent was to harass the regular driver of the truck, whom they suspected of dating a white woman. Not knowing what he looked like, they mistakenly assumed that Edwards, the fill-in, was their target. The Klansmen forced Edwards into their vehicle and drove through rural Montgomery County. Though Edwards denied making advances to white women, his kidnappers tortured him repeatedly. Finally, they ordered him at gunpoint to jump off a bridge over the Alabama river. Seeing his only hope of escape, he leaped into the water below. His decomposed body was found three months later. The investigation turned up no suspects and was quickly closed. Some 19 years later, the Alabama attorney general indicted three Klansmen for edwards murder. But a judge threw out the indictments on a legal technicality, and the men were never brought to trial. 15 September 1963 ADDIE MAE COLLINS DENISE McNAIR CAROLE ROBERTSON CYNTHIA WESLEY SCHOOLGIRLS KILLED IN BOMBING OF 16TH ST. BAPTIST CHURCH BIRMINGHAM, ALABAMA As the summer of 1963 waned, blacks in Birmingham, Alabama, had reason to celebrate. They had bravely withstood police commissioner Eugene Bull Connors fire hoses and attack dogs while marching through city streets in opposition to segregation. Stung by harsh criticism of these repressive measures, local and federal officials were dismantling laws which prohibited black access to public institutions. But the Ku Klux Klan, holding firm to its belief in white supremacy, intensified its efforts to intimidate blacks. In the early morning hours of September 15, Klan members planted a bomb at Birminghams prominent 16th Street Baptist church. Some eight hours later, as Sunday worship services were about to begin, an explosion ripped through the brick structure. Four young girls Addie Mae Collins, 14, Denise McNair, 11, Carole Robertson, 14, and Cynthia Wesley, 14 were instantly killed. The FBI identified the group of Klansmen responsible for the bombing, but inexplicably no one was charged. It wasnt until the Alabama attorney general reopened the case 14 years later that an arrest was made. Klansman Robert Chambliss, then 73, was found guilty of first degree murder and spent the remainder of his life in prison. 2 May 1964 HENRY HEZEKIAH DEE CHARLES EDDIE MOORE KILLED BY KLAN MEADVILLE, MISSISSIPPI The civil rights struggle in Mississippi was fought on many fronts during the summer of 1964. College students from the North descended on Mississippi in response to the call of civil rights leaders for an all-out campaign to expose the injustices of racial segregation. White opponents fought back with a bloody campaign of beatings, church burnings and murders. The Mississippi White Knights, known as the Souths most violent Ku Klux Klan organization, led this campaign of intimidation. Their most noted victims were three civil rights workers killed near Philadelphia, Mississippi. But one month before those murders, two White Knights were implicated in the murder of a pair of young men near the southwest Mississippi town of Meadville. Charles Eddie Moore, 20, had just been expelled from college for participating in a student demonstration. Henry Hezekiah Dee, 19, worked in a local lumber yard. Two White Knights James ford Seale, 29, and Charles Marcus Edwards, 31 were convinced that the two young men were part of a rumored Black Muslim uprising in the area, Edwards said later. (Their information was groundless.) They abducted the young black men, took them into a nearby forest, beat them unconscious, and dumped them into the nearby Mississippi river where they drowned. Nearly two-and-a-half months passed before their remains were found. Edwards and Seale were arrested for the murders. Edwards, a paper mill worker, gave the FBI a signed confession, but his admission of guilt was insufficient to convict him. A justice of the peace threw out the charges without explanation, and the case was never presented to a grand jury. This pattern of law enforcement indifference to Klan-related crimes was repeated throughout the South until federal intervention forced local officials to prosecute the perpetrators of racial violence. But that shift in attitude came too late for justice to be done for Henry Hezekiah Dee and Charles Eddie Moore. Their murderers were never punished. 21 June 1964 JAMES CHANEY ANDREW GOODMAN MICHAEL SCHWERNER CIVIL RIGHTS WORKERS ABDUCTED & SLAIN BY KLAN PHILADELPHIA, MISSISSIPPI Nothing enraged Mississippi Klansmen like a Northerner helping blacks achieve racial justice in their state. And if that outsider was a Jew, their hatred was even more intense. Michael Schwerner, 24, epitomized the Klan stereotype of a Yankee agitator. The outspoken, self-confident Schwerner was a social worker from New York who came to Meridian, Mississippi, to work with the congress of racial equality in early 1964. He quickly earned the enmity of local Mississippi White Knights, and soon they talked openly of killing him. His efforts to build a freedom School in Philadelphia, Mississippi, provided the opportunity. Schwerner had developed a working relationship with James Chaney, a black native of Meridian. Chaney, 21, had convinced the members of the Mount Zion Methodist church to host the Freedom School. The churchs elders previously had been reluctant to use their building for civil rights activities out of fear that the Klan would retaliate. On Sunday, June 21, their concerns were realized: arsonists firebombed the church, reducing it to a charred rubble. Schwerner, Chaney and Andrew Goodman, 21, a newly arrived civil rights worker from New York, were on their way from Mt. Zion to Philadelphia, Mississippi, when they were stopped by Neshoba county Deputy Sheriff Cecil Price. Price charged Chaney with speeding and arrested Goodman and Chaney on the absurd charge of burning Mt. Zion. Now the stage was set for local Klansmen to murder Schwerner and his accomplices. Around 10 p.m., Price released the three civil rights workers and ordered them to return to Meridian. They had traveled only a short distance when Price, accompanied by two carloads of Klansmen, pulled the men over again. The Klansmen drove them to an isolated area where they were shot at point-blank range, one by one. They were buried in a nearby earthen dam. The disappearance of the three men prompted a national cry of outrage. Blacks had been terrorized for decades in the South, but the violence against two white men finally moved the federal government to action. President Lyndon Johnson ordered the FBI to give the case top priority. After a massive investigation, officers found the bodies of the dead men after paying an informant $30,000 for information on the murders. Mississippi officials never brought charges against the murderers of Schwerner, chaney and Goodman. The Department of Justice accused 19 men of federal civil violations in connection with the incident. Seven were found guilty, but none received a sentence greater than 10 years. 11 JULy 1964 LT. COL LEMUEL PENN KILLED BY KLAN COLBERT, GEORGIA Although the U.S. Armed forces was integrated after World War II, the American South in the 1960s remained hostile to blacks service members or not. So when Army reserve officer Lt. Col. Lemuel Penn, 49, left his home in Washington, D.C., in June 1964 to attend summer training at ft. Benning, Georgia, he timed his trip to avoid unnecessary stops. His attempt to escape confrontation proved tragically unsuccessful. While he and two other black army officers were driving back to Washington on July 11, Penn was accosted outside of Athens, Georgia, by a carload of Klansmen and shot at point-blank range. The three assailants were members of a violent Klan group called the Black Shirts. They were searching for out-of town niggers [who] might stir up some trouble in Athens, the driver of the car confessed later. An investigation implicated the Athens Klansmen in the crime. Cecil William Myers and Joseph Howard Sims were tried on first-degree murder charges, but an all-white jury acquitted them despite the drivers confession. Later, the Department of Justice brought civil rights charges against Myers, Sims and four other Klansmen. After a lengthy proceeding, which went all the way to the U.S. Supreme court, Myers and Sims were convicted and sentenced to 10 years in prison. Their accomplices were set free. 25 March 1965 VIOLA GREGG LIUZZO KILLED BY KLAN WHILE TRANSPORTING MARCHERS SELMA HIGHWAY, ALABAMA On the night of Sunday, March 7, 1965, Americans received a close-up view of the harsh methods employed by Southern law enforcement officers against civil rights activists. News broadcasts that evening showed Alabama state troopers brutally beating participants in a voting rights march as they crossed the Edmund Pettus Bridge in Selma, Alabama. It was a critical turning point in the civil rights movement in America. Many viewers merely expressed outrage at the incident. Viola Gregg Liuzzo, a mother of five from Michigan, was moved to action. She traveled to Selma to participate in the struggle for racial equality and soon was ferrying marchers on the road between Selma and Montgomery as the demonstrations in support of voting rights continued. Liuzzos presence in Selma and the casual way she interacted with black marchers enraged a group of Klansmen who were assigned to terrorize the protesters. They chased down Liuzzos Oldsmobile on the highway between Selma and Montgomery, and one of the group shot her through the car window. She died instantly. The men charged with Liuzzos murder were set free by an all-white jury. As it became increasingly clear that state prosecutors were unable or unwilling to bring these criminals to justice, the Department of Justice stepped up its use of the civil rights Act to bring charges against the Klan. A federal jury convicted three of Liuzzos murderers, and the judge gave them 10-year prison terms. 10 JanUary 1966 VERNON DAHMER BLACK COMMUNITY LEADER KILLED IN KLAN BOMBING HATTIESBURG, MISSISSIPPI Vernon Dahmer was a business and political leader in Hattiesburg, Mississippi, whose success as a farmer, sawmill operator and merchant had earned him the admiration of black and white residents alike. But his outspoken support of voting rights for blacks earned him the enmity of the violent White Knights of Mississippi. For years, the White Knights stalked Dahmer. When the time was right, they planned to burn his home or kill him, if possible. After Dahmer offered to pay the poll taxes of blacks too poor to register to vote, the Klan decided to strike. They attacked Dahmers home and grocery store with guns and fire bombs. His 10- year-old daughter was hospitalized with third degree burns; Dahmer died from the injuries he suffered in the blaze. During the civil rights Movement, Klansmen expected the support of whites (or at least their quiet acquiescence) after they attacked civil rights leaders. The reaction to the Dahmer murder was different. The entire community black and white rallied around the Dahmer family and helped rebuild their burned-out house. Local law enforcement officials aggressively investigated the crime. Three Klansmen were convicted of murder and sentenced to life in prison. Dahmers death was not in vain. In the wake of his murder, city officials began reforming local segregation laws, just as Dahmer had been asking them to do for years. equally important, the prosecutions and loss of support from the white community diminished the power of the White Knights. After conducting a reign of terror for a decade, this group of violent white supremacists began to lose its grip on the people of Mississippi. 10 June 1966 BEN CHESTER WHITE KILLED BY KLAN NATCHEZ, MISSISSIPPI Among all of the Klan victims in the struggle for civil rights, Ben Chester White seems the most unlikely. He was a quiet, unassuming man who worked his entire life on a plantation near Natchez, Mississippi. He avoided protests against segregation and wasnt even registered to vote. But Whites race was enough to make him a target of local Klansmen. Members of the cottonmouth Moccasin Gang, a faction of the White Knights of the Ku Klux Klan, conspired to kill the 61-year-old man on the false premise that he favored school integration. They had an ulterior motive. They hoped the murder would lure Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. (then leading a protest march through Mississippi) to Natchez so they could kill him and establish themselves as heroes among their fellow Klansmen. Gang members James Jones, Claude Fuller and Ernest Avants took White to a secluded area outside Natchez on the pretext that they were looking for a lost dog. There, fuller shot and killed the unsuspecting man. On orders of fuller, Avants fired his shotgun into Whites lifeless body. The men dumped Whites corpse in a nearby creek. Wracked with guilt, Jones admitted his role in the slaying. Despite his admission, the jury was unable to reach a verdict against him and set him free. Local authorities arrested Avants, but he was found innocent after arguing that he had shot a dead body. Fuller, the triggerman, was never tried. Whites son vowed to see the killers punished. He filed a $1 million civil suit against the White Knights for conspiring to violate the civil rights of his father. The judge found in favor of the plaintiff, marking the first time civil damages were assessed against the Klan for the actions of its members.

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May 5, 2018  Tags:   Posted in: Ku Klux Klan  Comments Closed

Papers read at the meeting of Grand Dragons, Knights of …

Papers read at the meeting of Grand Dragons, Knights of the Ku Klux Klan, at their first annual meeting held at Asheville, North Carolina, July, 1923 : together with other articles of interest to Klansmen Date: 1923 | Identifier: HS2330.K6 A3 1923 1 BOOK Joyner NC Rare

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March 9, 2018  Tags:   Posted in: Ku Klux Klan  Comments Closed

A Government Takeover by the Ku Klux Klan | The New Yorker

The Ku Klux Klan was originally focussed on maintaining the old racial order in the post-Civil War South, chiefly through the violent suppression of African-Americans. But, in the nineteen-twenties, the Klan was reborn as a nationwide movement targeting not only African-Americans but Jews, Catholics, Muslims, Mexican-Americans, and Asian immigrants. In the jingoistic years following the First World War, the Klan made discrimination the new patriotism. The Bancroft Prize-winning historian Linda Gordon charts this rebirth in The Second Coming of the KKK. She writes that millions of people joined the Klan in the span of just a few years, among them mayors, congressmen, senators, and governors. Three Presidents were members of the Klan at some point before taking the office. Gordon tells David Remnick that the lessons for our current political moment are sobering.

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January 25, 2018   Posted in: Ku Klux Klan  Comments Closed

What is the Ku Klux Klan, who was KKK Imperial Wizard …

THE Ku Klux Klan returned to prominence thanks toDonald Trump who is cited as a factor in the rise ofright-wing groups in America after they backed him to become president. Here is the story of the evil group, its history in the US and the meaning behind its members infamous white robes. Getty Images In a nutshell, the Ku Klux Klan (or the KKK) is an extremist hate group who believeall non-Caucasian people are inferior to them. The group believes that America should be a nation that is free from drugs, homosexuality and immigration. Claiming to have extreme pride in their nation, they say that they are building a better society for everyone arguing on their website that they are a group not of hate but of love. Historically, black Americans have been the KKKs main target but more recently it has targeted Jews, immigrants, LGBT people and even Catholics. Since its formation in 1865, the groups history can be divided into three eras. The first Klan, founded in Tennessee, was formed by former members of the Confederate army in around 1865. As a movement it was relatively short-lived at the outset but, as secret vigilantes, the Klan carried out acts of terrorism such as the lynchings, arson, murders, tar-and-featherings, rapes and other violent attacks historically associated with the group. During the first era, these attacks were directed towards anyone who challenged white supremacy. The second Klan, founded in Atlanta, Georgia in 1921, presented itself as a fraternal organisation employing full-time recruiters. At its peak, it was present in every state in America claiming to have at least 4 million members, operations in Canada, and even reportedly some recruiting activity in the UK. A series of chilling photos were recently unearthed showing babies being baptised by white hooded-figures. However, the KKKs popularity plummeted to only 30,000 members after a series of scandals. Getty Images The third revival came in the 1960s in opposition to the civil rights movement, which in the Klans eyes threatened segregation. The KKK name was used by a number of independent groups many members of which were convicted of murders of civil rights workers. One of the KKKs most violent actions was the bombing of the 16th Street Baptist Church in Birmingham, Alabama, in 1963 an attack which killed four young girls. Today, it is thought there are at least 5,000 members of various KKK chapters in the United States. Getty Images The KKK refers to its beliefs and practices as Klankraft. Although they are a secretive group, there is some knowledge of its beliefs and practices which are all based on their white supremacist views. Incredible imagesgive a chilling insight into white supremacist culture that still exist in all corners of America. One of the most iconic symbols of the KKK is their white robes, which feature a conical mask. These were adopted by the first Klan, and were intended to add to the terror of their brutal attacks. As part of their rituals, the KKK carries out cross burnings. Most Christians would say burning a cross is sacrilege but the Klan believe it is lighting it, in a symbol of members faith. The KKK also use unique titles and greetings among their members with the leaders referred to as Grand or Imperial Wizards. To this day the KKK attend rallies, and due the United States Constitutions First Amendment, which relates to freedom of speech, their hate speech is legal. Facebook Frank Ancona, a self-described Imperial Wizard of the Missouri chapter of the Traditionalist American Knights of the Ku Klux Klan, was found dead with a gunshot to the head in February 2017. Ancona, who wrote that the KKKs mission was to preserve white culture and heritage, had been reported missing from his home afterhe told his wife Malissa that he was filing for a divorce. After being reported missing on February 10, his body was found near the Big River, with the Sheriff describing his death as a tragic and senseless act of violence. The 51-year-olds wife, Malissa, and her son Paul Edward Jinkerson Jr, 24, have both been charged with his murder. Authorities believe that Malissa broke into Franks safe to get at his guns so that she could kill him. Washington County coroner Brian DeClue told The Kansas City Star:It was not self-inflicted.This is now a homicide investigation. Donald Trumpblasted the KKK and neo-Nazis as repugnant after being criticised for not singling out the far-right violence following the horrific car assault inCharlottesville, Virginia. Far-right groups had gathered on August 12 to protest the decision to bring down the statue of Confederate General Robert E Lee. Activist Richard Spencer and formerKu Klux Klanleader David Duke attended the demonstrations. Heather Hyer, 32, died after being hit by the car, with her family saying she had been marching in a cry for social justice. During his statement at the White House, the Trump denounced racism as evil and singled out the Ku Klux Klan and neo-Nazis as repugnant. He said: Racism is evil. And those who cause violence in its name are criminals and thugs, including the KKK, neo-Nazis, white supremacists and other hate groups that are repugnant to everything we hold dear as Americans. Trump had attracted criticism for not being strong enough following the terrifying car assault. David Duke was the Grand Wizard of the Knights of the Ku Klux Klan, a chapter of the KKK, from 1974 to 1980. Before 1975, he was a member of the American Nazi party and is now a Republican. The 56-year-old, who is an antisemitic conspiracy theorist and Holocaust denier, is against what he believes to be the Jewish control of the Federal Reserve Bank, US federal government and the media. He also believes in racial segregation. Following Donald Trumps election, David Dukethanked Wikileaks and Julian Assange describing the Wikileaks founder as a hero. AP:Associated Press Robb was born in Detroit, Michigan, in 1946 to a Baptist family. He grew up in Tuscon, Arizona, with his parents who shared political views with anti-communist crusaders Kenneth Goff and Joseph McCarthy. Alamy At the age of 13, Robb claims he became aware of the myth of the Holocaust while reading anti-Communist and anti-Semitic paper Common Sense, written by Conde McGinley, which actively promotes Holocaust denial. While at high school, Robb joined the John Birch Society a radical, far-right organisation against communism. He later received a scholarship to attend the Soldiers of the Cross Training Institute in Evergreen, Colorado, which was found by Dr Kenneth Goff. Robb gained a degree in theology and metRalph Forbes an associate and organiser of George Lincoln Rockwells National Socialist White Peoples Party. He took over leadership of the KKK in the 1980s after David Duke left but he shunned the original title of Imperial Wizarder and instead opted for National Director. In 1986, after moving to Boone County, Arkansas, Robb organised aprotest against the Martin Luther King National Holiday in Pulaski, Tennessee, which is the birthplace of the Ku Klux Klan. The event became known as theWhite Christian Heritage Festival and is held each October in Pulaski. Robb began forming close bonds withother extremists including J. B. Stoner, Ed Fields, Don Black, David Duke, Willis Carto and Michael Collins Piper. In the 1990s, Robb started spreading the concept that white people were being targeted for genocide. He has described the Klan asgentle, upbeat, and friendly and publishes official KKK magazine The Crusader.

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