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Were Presidents Harry S. Truman, Warren G. Harding, Calvin Coolidge, and Masonic Icon Gen. Albert Pike members of the Ku Klux Klan?
Recently, I saw a documentary on the History Channel about the Free Masons. Having had a part in making the History Channel's documentary: "Ku Klux Klan - a Secret History", and being a history major in college, I want to pause here to say that from what I have seen on the History Channel in numerous documentaries and from what I have discussed with other historians and researched for myself, the History Channel is biased and is distorting history. It is not a completely reliable source of historical information. In this documentary about the Free Masons, a pseudo scholar said that Albert Pike was said to have written the rituals of the original Ku Klux Klan. He claimed to have searched through the Masonic Library of the Supreme Council, where a copy of everything written by the Masons was kept and no Klan rituals were found. His conclusion was that Pike did not write the rituals of the KKK and that Pike was not a Klansman. His method? If he didn't find it, then it never was. A flawed method. What this man apparently doesn't know is that the original KKK never wrote down its rituals! The rituals were all memorized and passed on from member to member by word of mouth. When the last original Klansman died the rituals died with him and are all lost to history now. The original KKK only wrote down its Prescripts (book of rules and regulations) and two general orders. All else was passed on verbally. So, this "researcher" on the History Channel was looking for something in writing that was never put in writing and he was looking in the wrong place! If Pike wrote the ritual for the KKK it would not be in the Masonic Library of the Supreme Council. It would be in the Klan's place of records. But, when the Klan disbanded, Gen. Forrest ordered all Klan regalia and paraphernalia to be destroyed. As a result very few objects from the original KKK survived. For example, only two copies of the Klan's Prescripts survived. So this "scholar" on the history channel proved nothing and his research was incomplete. He is guilty of distortionism when he then claimed that he proved Pike was never a Klansman. Here at the Indiana Historical Research Foundation, we have quite a few books (mostly long out of print) that mention Albert Pike not only as a Klansman, but the KKK's Chief Judicial Officer and Grand Dragon of Arkansas as well. What follows is from the book: Authentic History of the Ku Klux Klan by Susan L. Davis, copyright 1924 (which was a time when there were original Klansmen still living, many of whom she interview in person. She also personally knew Grand Wizard Forrest and many other high ranking Klansmen when she was a girl during the Reconstruction Era because of her father's prominent position in the original Klan.
The page below is taken from the last chapter of the same book. It shows the extent of Masonic involvement with the KKK reached all the way to the top.
At least two of the six men who founded the original KKK were Free Masons. They were Maj. James R. Crowe, Grand Turk of the Klan and Illustrious Grand Master of the Grand Mason Council of Tennessee and Capt. John B. Kennedy, Grand Magi of the Klan and member of Masonic lodge F. and A. M. Another original Klansman was Nicholas Richardson, Grand Cyclops of the KKK and High Mason. In support of the pages above, the page below is from the book: "The Tragic Era" by Claude Bowers, copyrighted 1962. It lists the Grand Dragons (state leaders) for eight Klan Realms (a Realm is a Klan term for a state). Albert Pike is plainly listed among them for the Realm of Georgia.
The photo below is from the book: "Story of the Ku Klux Klan" by Col. Winfield Jones of the Washington Corps of Correspondents. The inscription says: "Albert Pike, Chief Judicial Officer, Ku Klux Klan." How much more proof do you want? I say to all Free Masons, stop lying and admit the truth; Pike was Klansman and liked it.
Further, Col. Simmons, who revived the KKK in 1915 and Hiram Evans, who was second Imperial Wizard of the revived KKK, were also Free Masons. Rev. Thomas C. Jones was a Klansman and public speaker for the KKK. He was, also, a Methodist minister and a 32nd Degree Free Mason. When the Klan was at its height in 1924, with over eight million members nationwide, half the Free Masons in the USA were also members of the KKK. Masonic Lodges across the country doubled as Klaverns for the Klan. Now, let's take a look at the Masonic / Klan connection from a Grand Master's point of view. This leaflet (printed in its entirety here) was widely distributed by both the KKK and Free masons in the 1920's.
This is not all there is to it. There is evidence that the Free Masons were so deeply involved in the original KKK that they took it over and changed it from the protective society it was into an instrument of terror used by the Free Masons to get revenge for the country's Morgan Anti Mason War of the 1820's and for the Anti Mason Party's efforts to wipe the Free Masons out. (The Anti Mason Party was defeated in the presidential election by Andrew Jackson, a Free Mason.) There is evidence that it was the Free Masons who were members of the KKK in the 1920's to '30's that were the ones who were committing the crimes attributed to the KKK at the time while the non Masonic members of the KKK were mostly involved in charitable works and social activities. I will add more when I get the time.
This watch fob (front and back shown) clearly shows a KKK - Masonic link. AKIA means "A Klansman I Am". Indicating a joint Klan- Masonic membership.
The photo above, circa 1970's, shows a Klansman in front of the sign for a Masonic Temple. In the background Klansmen can be seengoing in and outof the temple.
Recently, I came across a web page which plainly said that Truman and Harding were never members of the KKK. This web page then went on to say it wanted to become a page renown for the truth. In that case the people who put that page up need to research the subject more deeply. In recent years I have seen a lot of denial concerning the Klan membership of prominent men who held such high offices. So, in the name of truth, I will spend some time here getting things straight. Below is a 1944 presidential campaign poster. One recently sold at auction for over $1,000.00. Items like these are rare but they stand as documentation to the truth. The Dewey campaign could have gotten into a lot of trouble if Truman had not been a member.
The fact is, Truman was only a minor member and for only two years, (1920 - 1922). He joined at a time when millions were joining and the KKK was a popular respected organization. He later had a falling out with the KKK over his wanting to appoint Catholics to political positions. The KKK said it would refuse to back Truman in an up coming political campaign if he did. Truman ignored the Klan's warning and appointed the Catholics anyway. Without Klan backing he lost the election. Truman was anti-Klan from then on. His family has tried to bury his Klan membership ever since. The fact is, the Klan's message, at the time, did appeal enough to young Harry to convince him to join the KKK. While he, no doubt, tried to bury that after his falling out with the Klan, the Dewey people either remembered enough or researched enough to dig up his Klan past in an attempt to defeat him and FDR in the 1944 presidential election. Four years later Truman would get even with Dewey for this political ploy when he pulled a political upset defeating Dewey at the last minute.
The above photo is actually much larger. The sides were removed due to space limitations here. It is from the book: "The Ku Klux Klan, A Pictorial History, 1865 - 1946. by W. Lee Ackridge. In the book, this photo is clearly identified as Warren G. Harding's funeral, 1923.
Photo below: President Calvin Coolidge (in suit) marches next to Imperial Wizard Hiram Evans (in center) in the great Washington, D.C. Klan parade, 1925. 40,000 Klansmen and Klansladies marched in that parade and 25,000 marched in the second Washington, D.C. parade in 1926. The Klan had peaked in 1924, with nearly nine million members. In the 1980's, I spoke to everyone I could find who would have been alive in the 1920's and old enough to remember what went on. They all told me it was common knowledge that President Coolidge was a Klan member. In the 1924 election, Coolidge received massive Klan support sweeping him into the White House. In that same election scores of Klansmen were elected into all levels of public office from Capitol Hill to state and local positions.
Black writer Greg Griffin speaks:
The date, 1930, is a typing error on Griffin's page. It should be 1920.
The cartoon above dates from the 1920's and it shows William Jennings Bryan walking arm in arm with the KKK. Though he ran in five elections, he was never elected president. But, he was a famous political figure throughout that time period.
To be continued as soon as I get the time. I intend to next add documentation proving that Roosevelt accepted aid and support form the KKK during his campaign for president.