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When FDR saw fit to nominate a Klansman to the Supreme Court, Hugo Black, it prompted the editors at Literary Digest to recall the history of those terrorists and how they came into existence, their customs, practices and uniforms - but the most interesting aspect of this article speaks of a Klan that was entirely dormant for a fifty year period - up until 1915. It was revived by means of the mass marketing techniques that were born of the First World War and the threesome of oily racists who employed the exact same methods to promote KKK membership that were first used to promote food drives for war-torn Europe and war bond campaigns.

"[By the early Twenties] there was an appalling number of tarrings and featherings, kidnappings and floggings attributed to the Klan. For how many of these outrages the Klan was actually responsible, no one could tell; for if one had a private grudge to satisfy, it was all too easy to beat up one's neighbor, leave him half-dead with a KKK label attached to him and depart in the assurance that the law would be too frightened to investigate. The Klan ruined by boycott hundreds of businesses whose proprietors could not or would not put in their windows the TWK sign (Trade with Klansmen). Spreading west and north, it took on a wide variety of forms. There were lonely communities in which it became virtually the only respected agency for maintaining order. There were others where it became a weapon in the hands of crooks and gangsters. In California it was largely anti-Japanese; in Oregon anti-Catholic; elsewhere it might be chiefly anti-Jewish or anti-liberal; it suited its hates to the local market. For a time it dominated ominously the state governments of Oregon, Oklahoma, Texas, Arkansas, Indiana, Ohio and California. Alabamans say today that in the middle of the Twenties, when Hugo Black is alleged to have joined the Klan, it was almost impossible for an Alabama politician to win election without Klan support. Its total national membership in those days has been estimated at four to five million, although the actual figure is probably much smaller."

More about Hugo Black can be read here.

Click here to read about the Klan in Indiana.

Click here to read about the Klan in Oklahoma.

Click here to read about the Klan in Texas and Oregon.

Click here to read about the Klan in Miami.

A similar article about Klan customs and traditions can be read here.

     


Looking Back (Literary Digest, 1937)

Looking Back (Literary Digest, 1937)

Looking Back (Literary Digest, 1937)

Looking Back (Literary Digest, 1937)

Looking Back (Literary Digest, 1937)

Looking Back (Literary Digest, 1937)

Looking Back (Literary Digest, 1937)

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