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30
Nov
07

History of the KKK.

 

 

 

Is the KKK dead or alive?

Believe it or not the KKK is still alive!

RESEARCH FACTS OF THE KKK AND GUIDLINES ALSO DESCRIPTIONAL PICS

KKK symbol confederate_flag.jpg

EVERY DAY FLAGS THAT WERE ORGANIZED TO USE IN THE KLU KLUX KLAN

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Capt. John Lea (above) organized KKK dens throughout his home county in North Carolina.

Sept. 28, 1935: When Capt. John Lea, a respected tobacco man, died at 92, the nation discovered he had gotten away with murder. He was the last of the perpetrators of a Klan execution that had taken place 65 years earlier in Caswell County, N.C. The victim was a state senator and justice of the peace named John Walter Stephens.

Lea, was a Confederate veteran and an organizer of the KKK in his county. Stephens was a scalawag, working to deliver the Black vote for the Radical Republicans. In his fervor, he intimidated White Democrats.

On Sunday morning, May 22, 1870, Stephens was found dead in a storeroom of the county courthouse. The killing created a furor. It was widely believed that Stephens’s death was a Klan execution, and numbers of White men, including Lea, were arrested and questioned. But all remained silent, and all were released.

As time passed, the various suspects died, until only Capt. Lea was left. Asked repeatedly what had happened, he would reply, “You can all wait till I die.” In 1919, he secretly gave three state officials a statement about the execution to be read posthumously.

Made public upon his death, the affidavit stated that Stephens had been “tried” for arson and extortion, found guilty, and sentenced to death by the Klan. Naming the Klansmen involved, Lea then described how Stephens was executed. Lea commented, with no indication of remorse: “Stephens had a fair trial before a jury of twelve men.” – Source of information: Strange Stories, Amazing Facts of America’s Past, Reader’s Digest General Books, 1989.

The Klan organized in Issaquah in April 1924 at a meeting upstairs in the Mercantile Building on Front Street. The rally in July was staged one mile west of Issaquah (near the present [1999] Park and Ride lot) and was designed as a “Konklovation” in which 250 Klansmen were to be initiated. As part of the ceremony a “fiery” electric cross 40 feet high and 27 feet wide was illuminated and the show climaxed with a $1,000 fireworks show. Deputy sheriffs maintained order and hooded Klansmen directed traffic, which clogged roads for two hours following the rally.
A Catholic store owner in Issaquah was harassed by Klansmen. Klansmen made midnight visits to Catholic families in the area. Catholic dairy farmers experienced difficulties in having their milk picked up, and instead it was allowed to spoil.

That Issaquah rally and another one the following night in Chehalis were also championed by the Seattle Star newspaper. So, considering the statewide movement, we can understand why the Mount Vernon Klan felt confident enough to insert itself into the two Sedro-Woolley churches, as described in the two articles transcribed below.

Ku Klux Klan in Sayville and Long Island

Sayville History in the 1920s

Boats similar to this one in tx was used by the Sayville Ku Klux Klan.

At one time Sayville was an important center for the Ku Klux and had much more members than today. At one time a huge portion of the village belonged to it. David Behrens of Newsday said, “one out of seven to eight Long Island residents was a Klan member — about 20,000 to 25,000 men and women.” TThe height of the Ku Klux Klan in Sayville was during the 1920s, and since then the membership declined significantly.

According to a Newsday article, “… Sayville clergyman, Andrew Van Antwerpen of the First Reformed Church, permitted a hooded Klansman to address his congregants.” This church is now called the New Life Community Church and is located on Lakeland Ave., Sayville. The Ku Klux Klan youth in Sayville were called the little “Ku Klux Klams” and inspired an “Our Gang Comedyepisode in 1923 called “Lodge Night.” It was about the gang’s club the “Cluck Cluck Klams.” The idea for the “Klams” was from the fact clams and shellfishing is so important in the area. The episode about the Our Gang kids in the Klams, later called the Little Rascals, was condemned by the NAACP at the time.

Skagit River Journal research about the KKK

(KKK parade)
KKK on parade down Pennsylvania Avenue in Washington, D.C., in 1928


Several readers have inquired about family stories they heard concerning the Ku Klux Klan being active in Sedro-Woolley churches in the 1920s. We had seen an article referring to this but could not find it again. But then, when Larry and Josef Kunzler shared copies they made of local newspapers, we found the two articles transcribed above. We want to state clearly that we do not imply that the activities reported in 1924 and 1925 represent today’s views of the two churches referenced, and we do not know how long the KKK participated in the church activities. The Methodist Church described in story was burned down by an arsonist more than 30 years ago, and the church building was relocated on Polte Road. The Christian Church building still stands on Township, with another denomination worshipping there.
We will supply here a little background of the KKK in general. The fraternal organization formed after the Civil War when radical Republicans in the U.S. Congress decided to punish the white power structure in the South. The Congress formed what was called the Freeman’s Bureau in March 1865, even before the end of the war. That bureau was designed to protect the interests of former slaves and appropriated $17 million to establish more than 4,000 schools and 100 hospitals, in addition to food programs. Congress attempted to extend the bureau but President Andrew Johnson vetoed the Act in February 1866. He also vetoed the Civil Rights Bill in April 1866 that was designed to protect former slaves from a series of laws called the Southern Black Codes. Those codes limited the right for a freed black to testify against white men, forbade them to sit on juries, to vote, to carry weapons in public and to work in certain occupations.
Even more radical Republicans took office after the 1866 elections and they passed the first Reconstruction Act in 1867. As a result, the South was divided into five military districts, where freed male slaves were allowed to vote. An amendment to the Act also offered Southern states that seceded, the right to readmission if they ratified the Fourteenth Amendment and guaranteed adult male suffrage. Johnson also vetoed that act but Congress voted the same day to override his veto. Soon, the hated carpetbaggers arrived by the trainload to manipulate freed blacks, promise them pie in the sky and displace former white leaders.
Whites organized and struck back, forming the initial branch of the KKK in Pulaski, Tennessee, in May 1866. Tennessee was the first state readmitted to the Union after following the rules. Similar organizations such as The White Brotherhood, the Knights of the White Camelia, the Constitutional Union Guards and the Men of Justice soon followed that group in other areas. The KKK grew the fastest of the groups and many local Klans met in Nashville, Tennessee, to from a regional organization in April 1867. Gen. Nathan Bedford Forrest, one of the South’s Civil War heroes, was selected as the first Grand Wizard and local Klans began wearing white sheets, masks and white cardboard as they terrorized blacks during nighttime raids. Other targets of their wrath included radical Republicans, carpetbaggers, Jews and Catholics. By 1870, the KKK had enough political and social power to restore rule by whites in North Carolina, Tennessee and Georgia. The initial goal of scaring blacks away from voting places was followed by harassment of black protection societies and trade unions that formed to help blacks find employment.
Benjamin Butler became the leader of the radical Republicans and in 1870 he pressured President Ulysses S. Grant to investigate the “Invisible Empire of the South.” That led to Congress passing the Ku Klux Act, which took effect in April 1871. Ironically, the group soon disappeared because the members had achieved white supremacy and had cowed the blacks into subservience. Attorney General Amos Tappan Ackerman suspended habeas corpus in South Carolina and fined and imprisoned KKK members, and he was ultimately so successful that the KKK was effectively destroyed statewide, along with declining regionwide and in Northern States where Klans had formed. The Supreme Court ruled in 1882 in U.S. vs. Harris that the act was partially unconstitutional but the KKK did not rise again for three decades.
In 1915 the rebirth of the KKK was predicated by the release of D.W. Griffith’s silent movie,
The Birth of a Nation, which glorified the original Klans and created the myth of the rape and murder of the fictional white teenager, Mary Phagan. A new organization called the Knights of Mary Phagan arose and those leaders revived the Klans in states both north and south of the Mason-Dixon Line. William J. Simmons, a white preacher, became the leader of the new KKK. This time, however, a significant number of blacks refused to knuckle under, and in 1920, following World War I, they formed the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP).
Following the war, the KKK grew and expanded their hostility to socialists, communists and the foreign born, which included Irish and Italians, and Jews and Roman Catholics. The American Krusaders was an affiliate for foreign-born protestants, thus immigrants were okay if they were neither Jew nor Catholic. In November 1922, Hiram W. Evans took over as the national Imperial Wizard and within three years, the membership totaled 4 million and politicians who openly advocated KKK views took significant statewide offices in Oklahoma, Texas, Oregon, Maine and especially in Indiana. In that state, Edward Jackson became governor and KKK membership was a required badge for officeholders in many local, county and state elections. That statewide power soon peaked, however, when David Stephenson, the Grand Dragon of Indiana and fourteen more states, was convicted of second-degree murder and rape of Madge Oberholtzer, who he had kidnapped and transported over state lines in a private rail car. The exposure during the scandalous trial of Stephenson’s shocking actions exhibited his hypocritical actions at the same time that he and the Klan were considered enforcers of morality.
Against his national backdrop, Klans arose in Washington state from Issaquah to Bellingham. The Klan promised to “put Issaquah on the map” with a KKK rally in Issaquah on July 26, 1924. According to the Issaquah
Press, those who attended were entertained by a 32-piece band, a play by school children and speeches on “Americanism.” From History.org

KKK Robe

The usual robe worn by the Ku Klux Klan

The Klan organized in Issaquah in April 1924 at a meeting upstairs in the Mercantile Building on Front Street. The rally in July was staged one mile west of Issaquah (near the present [1999] Park and Ride lot) and was designed as a “Konklovation” in which 250 Klansmen were to be initiated. As part of the ceremony a “fiery” electric cross 40 feet high and 27 feet wide was illuminated and the show climaxed with a $1,000 fireworks show. Deputy sheriffs maintained order and hooded Klansmen directed traffic, which clogged roads for two hours following the rally.
A Catholic store owner in Issaquah was harassed by Klansmen. Klansmen made midnight visits to Catholic families in the area. Catholic dairy farmers experienced difficulties in having their milk picked up, and instead it was allowed to spoil.

That Issaquah rally and another one the following night in Chehalis were also championed by the Seattle Star newspaper. So, considering the statewide movement, we can understand why the Mount Vernon Klan felt confident enough to insert itself into the two Sedro-Woolley churches, as described in the two articles transcribed below.

Ku Klux Klan in Sayville and Long Island

Sayville History in the 1920s

Boats similar to this one in tx was used by the Sayville Ku Klux Klan.

At one time Sayville was an important center for the Ku Klux and had much more members than today. At one time a huge portion of the village belonged to it. David Behrens of Newsday said, “one out of seven to eight Long Island residents was a Klan member — about 20,000 to 25,000 men and women.” TThe height of the Ku Klux Klan in Sayville was during the 1920s, and since then the membership declined significantly.

According to a Newsday article, “… Sayville clergyman, Andrew Van Antwerpen of the First Reformed Church, permitted a hooded Klansman to address his congregants.” This church is now called the New Life Community Church and is located on Lakeland Ave., Sayville. The Ku Klux Klan youth in Sayville were called the little “Ku Klux Klams” and inspired an “Our Gang Comedyepisode in 1923 called “Lodge Night.” It was about the gang’s club the “Cluck Cluck Klams.” The idea for the “Klams” was from the fact clams and shellfishing is so important in the area. The episode about the Our Gang kids in the Klams, later called the Little Rascals, was condemned by the NAACP at the time.

Research on the Ku Klux Klan by: Mason D, Josh B, Brandon C, Casey S, and David B.

Recent reports of a Ku Klux Klan chapter in Olathe, Montrose County led me to review the book “Hooded Empire, The Ku Klux Klan in Colorado” by Professors Robert Alan Goldberg (1981). West Slope Klan counties were quite immune from the East Slope in-fighting, so the Klan still remained around for a while in Montrose County “fraternally” after the debacle of the 1926 statewide election.

One name caught my attention in Goldberg’s book, a woman who turned out to be a mixture of good and bad. “In the Shadow of the Klan: When the KKK Ruled Denver, 1920-1926” a well researched book by Phil Goodstein went into even greater detail.

Suffragette, Klanswoman, eugenics supporter, and fighting for birth control options. Who was this? Dr. and Surgeon Minnie C.T. Love of Denver.

Suffragist:

According to Suffragette documents, and a book by Joseph G. Brown, the Colorado Equal Suffrage Association was formed in 1890. Dr. Love became active in the state campaign at age 36. For the campaign of 1893, Dr. Love served without pay as Corresponding Secretary, keeping in touch with suffragists throughout the state. At the same time, the association held its meetings at Dr. Love’s residence for a number of months.

In the last three months of the campaign, a paid correspondent was hired and headquarters were free of charge in the Tabor Opera House block. The Suffragettes won the election in 1893 for the right of women to vote 35,698 to 29,461 against.

Eugenics:

Dr. Love had a long history of involvement with the Eugenics movement including, according to Denver educator Rob Prince, an unsuccessful attempt with others in 1913, to form a national eugenics organizational headquarters in Denver. Eugenics is the movement to legalize sterilization of mentally handicapped persons.

A 1925 measure was introduced in the legislature by Dr. Love, who had earlier served in the House in 1921 and re-elected in 1924 as a Ku Klux Klan woman at age 69, both times serving as a Denver Republican..

According to Prof. Goldberg, Dr. Love’s bill in 1925, when the Klan had many members of the House “authorized sterilization of epileptics, the retarded, and the insane if procreation might result in defective or feeble-minded children with criminal tendencies.”

Dr. Love was no longer in the legislature when three House sponsors (including one who later became my DU law professor in Wills and Trusts) introduced HB 509 in 1927. It authorized “sterilization of certain persons” and dealt only with inmates of institutions established and maintained by the state (which inmates were wards of the state).

Democratic Gov. Billy Adams (who earlier played a prominent role as a Senate leader of the anti-Klan movement) vetoed the bill as harboring “perhaps unconstitutional provisions” and “it seems to me that any compulsory violation of the person of an individual is undesirable.”

Sterilization of the developmentally disabled is now provided for in Colorado statutes CRS 27-10.5-128 through 135.

Klanswoman (anti-Catholic)

According to Goldberg, Love introduced a bill to abolish sectarian and institutional schools maintained wholly or in part by “public moneys”. While private self-sustaining schools were exempted from the bill’s provisions, “public moneys” were broadly described as funds raised by “public taxation, community chests, charity organizations, or public drives.”

Women’s Rights

Goldberg states “Love sponsored (in 1925) a bill advocating the distribution of birth control information and the manufacture and distribution of contraceptives.” Goodstein adds “a state prison for women, health examinations for marriage license applicants, and unwed mothers to breast feed their babies, and strong state supervision of maternity homes.”

The Klan Fiasco

It’s easier to kill a bill than to pass one.

Both Goldberg and Goodstein considered the “Klan-controlled” legislature of 1925 as inept thanks to the state Senate.

Republicans held the House 52 to 13 and the Senate 21 to 14, but nine Republicans were Senate holdovers, so the Klan did NOT have a majority “and was forced to ally with non-Klansmen who were loyal to the Republican party…”

In the Senate “Anti-Klan Republicans … refused to attend their party caucus because the vote of the majority was binding upon all. Instead they joined with the Democrats to form a bi-partisan majority against the administration.”

Leading the 14 Senate Dems was street-smart Minority Leader Billy Adams, who later became governor in 1927. Three Democratic senators voted with the Klan. Goodstein calls Adams “master of parliamentary tactics who had complete mastery of the legislative process.”

The coalition strategy was to kill as many bills in committee as possible, using “the weight of procedural motions to delay passage.”

Goldberg claims “The anti-Klan forces … controlled the senate State Affairs Committee which received almost half of the House bills” and controlled enough votes in Senate Finance Committee to postpone considering a third of Klan Gov. Clarence Morely’s measures.

According to Goodstein, Gov. Morely had 35 specific Klan bills introduced. Only 19 made it to the Senate, and only one passed, to eliminate a defunct Board of Horseshoe Examiners.”

Goldberg states “The House applied pressure by refusing to act upon any Senate measure until House bills were reported out of committee…” Goodstein added Adams then held up appropriations sought by Klan members until the House backed down, which they did.

The anti-Klan forces took control of the Senate Calendar Committee which could kill any bill simply by refusing to place it on the agenda. All five members (three Republicans and two Democrats) were anti-Klansmen.”

According to Goldberg “Among the most noteworthy pieces of legislation passed were bills which forbade picking the blue columbine, allowed counties to exterminate prairie dogs, and authorized convicts to manufacture license plates.”

Goodstein adds: Ratifying the Colorado River Compact and allowing lawyers to challenge for cause jurors who did not understand English and heard testimony through interpreters.

In the 1926 election, Democrats added two seats in the Senate and six seats in the House. While there were still Klan members in the legislature, their influence was considerably lessened, especially with Billy Adams as governor.

Minnie Love’s defeat

The Klan, on the Eastern Slope was in disarray, and a new organization called the “Minute Men of America” took away large numbers of Klan members in late 1925 and in 1926.

According to Goldberg “After a march of 10,000 women Klan members, Minnie Love, who was an “Excellent Commander” (a Klan title) was also a lieutenant in the Minute Women. She convinced a majority of Denver’s 1,000 Klanswomen to shed their hoods for Betsy Ross outfits. (Klan) Imperial Commander Lauena Senter suspended Love, revoked the Denver Klan’s charter, and seized its assets before their disappearance into Minute Women’s coffers.”

In the Republic primary election of 1926, Minnie Love was unable to obtain a position on the Republican ballot. But her time in politics was not over. In 1925, according to Goodstein, she won a six year term on the Denver Board of Education. She died in 1942 at age 87.


 





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