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African-American History - Ku Klux Klan

50,000 Klansmen March in Washington, D.C. (Literary Digest, 1925)

A report on the August, 1925 KKK march in Washington, D.C.:
"The parade itself marshaled 'from 50,000 to 60,000 white-robed men and women' as the correspondent of the The New York Times estimates, and H.L. Mencken tells us in the New York Sun":

"The Klan put it all over its enemies. The parade was grander and gaudier, by far than anything the wizards had prophesied. It was longer, it was thicker, it was higher in tone. I stood in front of the treasury for two hours watching the legions pass. They marched in lines of eighteen or twenty, solidly shoulder to shoulder. I retired for refreshment and was gone an hour. When I got back Pennsylvania Avenue was still a mass of white from the Treasury down to the foot of Capitol Hill - a full mile of Klansmen..."

Click here to learn about the origins of the term "Jim Crow".


The Imperial Wizard (Ken Magazine, 1938)

"Fat, shrewd-smiling, garrulous "Old Doc Evans" (Hiram Evans, 1881 – 1966) is still Emperor and Imperial Wizard, but he's now apparently only fronting for a Big Boss who has some sensational new plans which have already begun to click. Once again the Klan is holding hands with politicians all over the country, but the hand-holding is being done under the table. The big drive begins in May"


The Birth of the KKK (Coronet Magazine, 1946)

A brief account outlining the post-Civil War origins of the KKK:

"The original Ku Klux Klan began in 1865 as a social club of young men in Pulaski, Tennessee. Its ghostly uniform and rituals frightened superstitious Negroes; and when Klansmen discovered this fact accidentally, they lost little time in recruiting membership to 55,000."

During the Thirties and early Forties there was a link between the Bund and the KKK: click here to read about him.


Klan Methods and Customs (Literary Digest, 1922)

This article reported on the alarming growth and surprising appeal that the KKK was attaining in 1922. The unnamed journalist described numerous incidences that clearly reflected the Klan's open contempt for law throughout the country- concluding that the Klan "was beyond redemption." The article revealed that the newspaper editors who lived and worked in those regions where the Klan was most active had greater contempt for them than we otherwise might have been lead to believe.


The KKK Influence on U.S. Politics (The Literary Digest, 1922)

Attached is a 1922 report from THE LITERARY DIGEST regarding how remarkably close two KKK candidates for governor came to winning their respective state primaries. The two political contests in question, Oregon and Texas, caught national attention and became popular subjects for concern across the United States:

"The closeness of the vote ought to be a warning...If the Ku Klux Klan insists on entering politics, good citizens must show it the way out."


The KKK Fall from Fashion (The Literary Digest, 1928)

In 1928 the presiding übermensch of the KKK, Hiram Evans (1881 - 1966), saw fit to make a sartorial change in his terrorist organization by declaring that there would be no need in the future for any face-covering to be worn by any member. The article is primarily about the rapid "disintegration" that the Klan was experiencing and the tremendous loss in it's over all social appeal throughout the country.

"It was a success, temporarily, because it appealed to the playboy instinct of grown-ups and offered burning phrases of patriotism as the excuse for gallivanting about... It failed because its 'patriotism' was not real, but ancient bigotry in new a guise... It failed finally, because the genuine American sense of humor finally asserted itself and laughed at the Klan out of court."


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