At the end of the American Civil war a radical
group of former Confederate Army soldiers started the group that became known
as the Ku Klux Klan. The first branch of the Ku Klux Klan (KKK) was established
in Pulaski, Tennessee, in May, 1866. The first Grand Wizard of the KKK was Nathan Forrest, an outstanding general during the Civil War. During the next two years Klansmen killed black and
whites Americans. In the late 1860’s and early 1870’s the Ku Klux Klan
played an important role in restoring white rule in southern states.
The Ku Klux Klan or Invisible Empire of the South, membership covered every profession and class. The Klan had a constitution and bylaws, which provides, among other things, that each member should own a firearm.
By the last 1890’s the KKK was disbanded as an organized
The Ku Klux Klan was reformed in 1915 by William J. Simmons, a preacher influenced by such things as Thomas Dixon's book, The Ku Klux Klan (1905) and the film, Birth of a Nation, directed by D.W. Griffith. This became known as the Second Era Klan.
Following the First World War the Ku Klux Klan added to their list of undesirable, were groups such as Jews, Catholics, socialists, communist and all non-White foreigners.
Hiram W. Evans became the Klan's
Imperial Wizard. Under his leadership the organization grew rapidly and in the
1920s Klansmen were elected to positions of political power. In the 1920’s
membership grow to reach more than 4,000,000.
After Klan leader David C. Stephenson was convicted of second-degree murder, and evidence of corruption and by members in the Indiana State House, Klan membership fell to below 30,000. After the Second World War the organization was disbanded.
In the 1950s with the emergence of the Civil Rights Movement this resulted in a revival in Ku Klux Klan organizations. This is known as the Third Era Klan.
The Ku Klux Klan through the 1960’s would become the Klan that murder college student and little girls.
On Sunday, 15th September, 1963, at 10.22 a.m., a bomb exploded killing Denise McNair (11), Addie Mae Collins (14), Carole Robertson (14) and Cynthia Wesley (14). The four girls had been attending Sunday school. Twenty-three other people were also hurt by the blast.
On 21st June, 1964 the Ku Klux Klan murdered three college age men, James Chaney, Andrew Goodman and Michael Schwerner who worked for the Congress of Racial Equality (CORE).
The 1970s would
give rise to a new Klan which talks about white rights and less on hatred. This
Klan became known as the Forth Era Klan.
The 1970s would give rise to a new Klan which talks about white rights and less on hatred. This Klan became known as the Forth Era Klan.
In 1975 David Duke, of Louisiana, founds the Knights of the Ku Klux Klan and re-builds the Klan into a national organization. He demands equal rights for Whites. Louis Beam starts a paramilitary group and coined the term Leaderless Resistance.
In 1978 Klansmen were involved in a violent confrontation with Marxist and anti-Klan demonstrators in Greensboro, North Carolina. Five members of Communist Workers Party are killed when a shot out accrued between the two groups. The Klansmen were acquitted of all criminal charges.
In the early 1980’s the Fifth Era Klan was born, Robert E. Miles lays out his ideas for the Ku Klux Klan in his book 33/5, 33 standing for the three K (K equal the 11th letter of the alphabet, added up equals 33 and the 5 for the 5th Era). Louis Beam organizes formulates his strategy of Leaderless Resistance and Lone Wolf Idea. Tom Metzger and his run for Congress were he received over 80,000 votes as the Democratic Candidate.The Klan today is the smallest of all the racist groups in America with only about 5,000 to 8,000 members.American Civil War