You may have to hit your refresh or reload button to pull up everything.
December 1948, Talladega, AL., Klansmen and Santa Claus presented a radio to Jack Riddle, a 107 year old Negro and his wife, Josey, 86, so they could have their wish, to "hear the preachers." Grand Dragon Samuel Green explained that this demonstrated the true heart of a Klansman.
Col. William Joseph Simmons.
"Benevolence and brotherly kindness is my quality of soul. Unselfish, patriotic service has been my mind and heart's unerring aim. To live, "Not For Self But For Others" (Non Silba Sed Anthar) has been my life's motto, my supreme ambition and my crowning glory. I do love my fellowman and have striven all my life to render him an unselfish, beneficial service." -- Col. William Joseph Simmons, fraternalist, philanthropist, founder and first Imperial Wizard of the revival Ku Klux Klan of 1915. Among other things, and to his credit, Col. Simmons planned that his Klan would establish five universities, a publishing company, a banking and trust institution to aid ailing farmers, free homes to newly weds, a national full employment policy, a program to support orphans, several medical research centers, and a chain of hospitals. At the height of its power the revived Ku Klux Klan had a membership of 8,904,871*- more then one out of eight American males between the ages of 21 and 65. This figure is even more impressive when one considers that many American males in this age group were ineligible for membership because they were Jewish, non white, Catholic, foreign born, or of bad reputation; quite possibly, the Klan's eight million plus membership was as much as one third of the eligible male population. If one wants to calculate the total membership of the entire KKK then one must add to this 8,904,871 figure the more then one million members of the Women of the Ku Klux Klan, a separate KKK organization. To that add the combined memberships of the Junior Klan for teenage boys, the Tri-K-Klub for teenage girls, the Ku Klux Kiddies for pre-teens, the American Krusaders (the Klan auxiliary for foreign born naturalized American citizens), the Klan's Colored man's auxiliary, and the branches of the KKK established in Europe, Canada, Mexico, and New Zealand. So total KKK membership would have exceeded ten million. * This exact figure was found in the book, "Inside Ku Klux Klan" by Paul Gillette and Eugene Tillinger. 1965. Page 41.
Various Activities of the Ku Klux Klan:
The following were taken from pages 88-89 of the book, "Story of the Ku Klux Klan", by Col. Winfield Jones, 1921, which is available form us for $8.00.
September 24, 1920, the Chamber of Commerce of Yoakum, TX., accepted an offer of the Yoakum Klan to loan $30,000 to the city for the building and equipping of a public library. It was stipulated in the loan by the Klan that six Holy Bibles must be on file in the library, and the American flag was to fly over the building at all times.
The following are all from the years 1920 - 21:
On Sept. 17, in Richmond, Va., a police officer was killed by a criminal. The Richmond Klan sent $100 to the widow.
On Aug. 27, in Charleston, W.Va., Klansmen contributed $275 toward the support of the Old Ladies Home in Kanawha County.
In March the Charlottesville, Va., Klan gave $1,000 to the University of Virginia Centennial Endowment Fund.
November 24, the Henderson, TX. Klan gave $50 to two Negroes in needy circumstances.
October 1, the Atlanta Klan contributed $100 to help pay expenses of Confederate veterans from Atlanta to Houston, TX., at the annual reunion of the United Confederate Veterans.
Nov. 23, the Greenville, TX., Klan contributed $1,000 toward rebuilding Wesley College, which had been destroyed by fire.
On Christmas Day, 1921, the Atlanta, Ga., Klan contributed $125 to the Christmas fund for former slaves.
Nov. 25, the Memphis, TN., Klan gave $100 to the Red Cross.
Nov. 7, the Goliad, TX., Klan contributed $50 to a town citizen whose home and possessions had been destroyed by fire.
June 22, the San Antonio, TX., Klan gave $100 to the local Orphan's Home.
July 6, the Wharton, TX., Klan contributed $50 to a destitute widow.
July 9, the Cureo, TX., Klan gave $60 to help a man afflicted with tuberculosis.
Nov. 21, the Austin, TX., Klan sent $100 to the Salvation Army.
July 20, the Dallas, TX., Klan sent $100 to the Orphans' Home.
The Atlanta Klan gave $1,000 to the Agnes Scott Girls' School in that city.
Nov. 29, the Washington, D.C., Klan gave $100 to the Salvation Army.
Picture above: 1920's magazine illustration celebrating the KKK's many charitable works.
During this same time period the Atlanta Klan loaned $15,000, interest free, to small tradesmen who needed capital for their businesses. The Klan loaned many more thousands of dollars, free of interest, to small tradesmen across the country.
January, 1921, there was a race riot at Winter Gardens, Fl., the local Klansmen helped to suppress the riot, and members of that Klan stood guard for three days and three nights, protecting lives and property in the Negro quarters.
Feb. 5, 1921, the Mayor of Columbus, Ga., praised the Columbus Klan for its assistance to the police department during an epidemic of burglaries.
In Atlanta, Ga., a mob formed to storm the jail and lynch a Negro charged with an atrocious crime. Col. Simmons happened to be passing and sent Klansmen among the mob to persuade them to disband, which was done. Later when the Negro was taken from the jail to the courthouse, Klansmen stationed along the way prevented any act of violence against the accused.
Nov. 25, the Little Rock, AR., Klan gave the chief of police $1,000 as reward money for the arrest and conviction of anyone attacking a woman.
Photo above: Margaret Sanger gets ready to speak at a KKK rally at Silverlake, N.J., 1920's. If you don't know who Margaret Sanger was look it up. Evangelists Amie Semple McPherson and Billy Sunday were also affiliates of the KKK.
Photo above: For those who can't tell their right from their left, the Klansladies are giving a left handed salute copied from the old Roman Empire. It dates back to the Reconstruction Era as the Klan salute and predates the Nazi salute by decades.
Photo above: Hard to read but it can be looked up to verify. The original KKK was so popular that universities outside the south had fraternal social organizations named after them. The University of Illinois had this chapter founded in 1906. As it often happens, the Klan's name is misspelled Klu Klux Klan, instead of Ku Klux Klan. In the 1920's, numerous colleges and universities had fraternal orders that were branches of the revived Ku Klux Klan.
The following was taken from an article that appeared in the New Hampshire Sunday News in Manchester, N.H., May 29, 1983.
"Few remember that 50 years ago the Klan was an accepted and often respected organization. It donated to numerous charities, sponsored social clubs and with few exceptions, was a law abiding society accepted by other clubs such as the Masons, Knights of Pythias, Odd Fellows, and the Grangers. On April 24, 1924, during a dedication ceremony for a new organ at the First True Memorial Baptist Church, 20 Klansmen marched down the aisle, donated $67.00 to the church and left the service without incident."
The following was taken from, "Hoods: The Story of the Ku Klux Klan", by Robert Ingalls.
In Portland, Or., in the early 1920's, the Ku Klux Klan pledged $50,000 to a children's home and held a Christmas party featuring Kris Kringle. The Klan also organized a Klan Kommunity Kit to compete with the Community Chest, church visits became a kind of ritual. Typically, a small group of Klansmen would march down the aisle, hand the minister an offering of money, and silently depart. (page 39)
Protestant ministers quickly found that the Klan's emphasis on religion helped swell church attendance. (page 41)
Most Klansmen were law abiding, church going family men. Klansmen also hoped to eliminate vice and corruption through the ballot box. One Klansman declared, "Everybody knows that politicians nowadays cater to all kinds of elements, mostly selfish, some corrupt, and some definitely anti-American. They cater to the vice vote and even to the violently criminal vote. What the Klan intends to do is make them pay some attention to the decent God fearing, law abiding vote." (pages 42-43)
Mr. Smith goes to Washington.
During the 1920's, the Klan was subjected not only to verbal abuse but also to physical assault in some areas. Bootleggers, for example, did not take kindly to the Klan's attempts to enforce prohibition. When New Jersey's Klan declared war on local bootleggers, the rum runners formed a defense council and publicly threatened to "Shoot to kill" anyone other then a policeman who interfered with their illegal traffic in liquor. (page 68)
The following was taken from, "Hooded Americanism, the History of the Ku Klux Klan", by David M. Chalmers.
In Minneapolis, the Klan presented bibles to Methodist Churches and stressed "positive Protestantism". (page 151)
In Indiana the Klan gathered contributions to build a new hospital. (page 165)
In Florida, the Klan donated flags and bibles to schools. It gave a big contribution to the YMCA building fund. The Klan joined other civic groups to protect city beaches from commercial exploitation and Klanswomen devoted their efforts to running a two story high free nursery. (pages 226-227)
In Virginia, the Klan presented a flag and flag pole to William and Mary College. (page 234)
In Pennsylvania, the "Pennsylvania Dutch" made the most loyal of Klansmen, once the Klan made certain concessions to accommodate their religious beliefs. The Klan helped passage of a bond issue for the new high school in Greensburg. Elsewhere in the state, the Klan donated bibles and flags to schools. (page 237)
The Pennsylvania Klan was engaged in expensive educational and charity work. It built Klan Haven for orphans and shared in paying the orphanage's expenses with the state. (page 240)
Photos above: Klanhaven children attending 5th annual Klorero of the WKKK of the Realm of Pa. Dec. 3, 1932
The New York Klan donated the trophy at the Huntington Firemen's Tournament. Federal prohibition agents on occasion worked with the Klan. The Klan placed a wreath at the memorial for Hicksville's war dead, who had all been Catholics. (page 256)
Klan parades featured floats representing the Declaration of Independence, the Pilgrims, Betsy Ross, and the importance of bible reading in schools. (page 260)
The New York Klan built Klan Haven Home in Mannsville, south of Watertown, where orphans were trained in farming and domestic science. (page 261)
In Washington, D.C., the Klan sought, with aid from the National Education Administration and the Scottish Rite Masons, a cabinet-level department which would spend liberally to advance teacher training and salaries, educate aliens and illiterates, and promote physical education. In short, Federal aid to education. (pages 284-285)
The York, Pa. Klan organized two enormous meat and bean soup dinners for the victims of the depression. The Klan also contributed to the Red Cross. (page 306)
In Gainesville, Fl., the Klan closed down houses of prostitution so that the students at the university would not be distracted from their studies. (page 311)
In the early 1950's, the Georgia Klan presented a radio to a 107 year old Negro, distributed food among the needy, and donated clothing to the Old Folk's Home in Atlanta. (page 329)
In New Jersey, the Klan built Shark River Recreational Park. (pages 244 & 253)
The primary concerns of the New Jersey Klan was the preservation of the traditional American values. Baptist, Presbyterian, Dutch Reformed, and Evangelical Pastors and churches supplied pulpits for the cause. Most of New Jersey's Klan leadership were clergymen. The Klan's truest friends came from Bishop Alma White's Zarepath, Pillar of Fire Church near Bound Brook, and the Methodists. Bishop Alma White praised the KKK by book and sermon. (pages 245-246)
The New Jersey Klan formed the New Jersey Easter Sunday Evangelistic Society and held sunrise services at Basking Ridge and Bridgewater. (page 249)
The following was taken from, "The Ku Klux Klan in the City, 1915-1930", by Kenneth Jackson.
In 1918, Klansmen demanded more police action against the criminal elements of Birmingham and so terrified local hoodlums that the police chief advised Nashville authorities to organize a Klavern. In Montgomery, the Klan warned loose women to keep away from the soldiers at Camp Sheridan. (page 7)
The Klan donated $20.00 to Decatur Junior High School. Picnics. barbecues, and outdoor sports were popular with local Klans. (page 37)
In 1921, the Memphis Klan gave $500 to Negro victims of a local explosion. (page 46)
The Knoxville Klavern donated to the widow of a murder victim and to a W.W.I veteran wounded by a marauder. (page 60)
In 1922, the Dallas Klan distributed food baskets at Christmas, financed a 75 piece drum and bugle corps, and supported a weekly newspaper. (page 70)
In 1923, the Klan raised $80,000 and built Hope Cottage, a north Dallas orphanage which was dedicated on Oct. 24, 1923. (page 76)
Imperial Wizard Hiram W. Evans significantly proposed a national system of Universal Medicare. "Just as education should be free, so should each and every agency of health be available without cost to every person within our borders. Health ought to be regarded as a public function from beginning to end, with hospitals, doctors, and nurses available to all, rich and poor." (page 77)
The Richmond Klan distributed distributed food baskets at Christmas, donated to the Afro- American Old Folk's Home, and planned a recreational resort with 320 homesites. (page 81)
Photo above: Klansmen giving food baskets to a Negro family in need. Photo below: Klansmen preparing food baskets for the poor.
The Birmingham Klan established an orphanage known as "Klanhaven" and published the "American Sentinel". (page 82)
In 1924, the Woodlawn, IL., Klan donated to the Morgan Park Protestant Home and the Protestant Women's Orphanage Home at Christmas, while the Oak Park Klan met the medical expenses of an impoverished widower. (page 119)
The Chicago Klan donated $1,200 to the Immanuel Baptist Church after its spire had been torn away in a recent storm. In a five month period between Nov. 1922 and March 1923, Klansmen donated to the Douglas Park Christian Church, the Pacific Congregational Church, the Third Congregational Church, the Southfield Community Church, and the Nazareth Evangelical Church. (page 98)
On Christmas Day in 1922 and 1923, Bushel baskets of groceries, candies, shoes, and bed clothing were loaded into 12 big trucks and distributed to more than 100 homes, including several Colored and Catholic families by the Indianapolis Klan. (page 149)
Between 1922 and 1925, the Wichita Klansmen donated $8,500 for hospital construction. (page 162)
In 1922, the St. Louis Klan raised $1,500 for a Boy Scout fund drive. (page 163)
The Montgomery County Klan in Ohio, donated $5,000 to the local Council of Religious Education. The Columbus Klan also engaged in frequent charitable activities. (page 165)
In 1923, the Akron, Oh. Klan donated bibles and flags to South Side High School and secured adoption of an elective course in bible study. (page 166)
In 1922, the Baltimore Klan held a public bazaar to raise $10,000 for a building fund and in 1923, presented a charity circus in Hazarer's Hall. (pages 180-181)
In Oregon, the Klan was instrumental in passing the only compulsory public education law in American history up to that time. (page 186)
In 1922, the Seattle Klan visited local churches and donated $200 to the Japanese Relief Fund (after the great Tokyo earthquake). (page 194)
When evangelist Aimee Semple McPherson appeared in Denver, Co., in July 1922, she was presented with a $64.20 love gift for her two children by the Klan. Local Klansmen also donated $1,000 to Atlanta's University of America and $100 to the Denver YMCA. (page 217)
In January 1939, Imperial Wizard Hiram W. Evans, accepted an invitation to attend the dedication of the Catholic Cathedral of Christ. The local press lauded his action. (page 253)
The following was taken from, "Women of the Klan", by Kathleen M. Blee.
The major areas of work for the WKKK's initial efforts were Americanism, education, public amusements, legislation, child welfare and delinquency, citizenship, civics, law enforcement, disarmament, peace, and politics. " (page 28)
The Franklin, In. (Women's) Klan leaders insisted that in only five weeks the order had done a great deal of charity work among the sick and needy of Franklin, including donating sums Ranging from $32 to $250 to families whose bread winners were stricken ill. Moreover, the Klan claimed it had presented $5 baskets of food to fourteen local families, awarded large American flags to three Protestant churches, and even given $25 to a Colored woman whose home was damaged by fire. (page 134)
WKKK chapters competed among one another to bring Protestant values to the public schools. When one WKKK klavern presented a Bible to every public school in the township, another donated a Bible to every school in the county, or a flag and a Bible to every school. Some schools received copies of Stories of the Bible together with their flags and Bibles. Others received multiple copies of new Bibles for the use of their students or placards with the Ten Commandments for every schoolroom. (page 144)
Women of the Klan in many Indiana counties met with township trustees to urge compulsory Bible reading in public schools. (page 145)
The main activity of the teen orders was social and familial. The KKK and WKKK sponsored play parties for their juvenile orders. Juniors arranged competitive sporting events, sponsored Klan father and son nights, picnics for the entire family, and joint meetings of the juniors and KKK. In 1924, the Indiana Klan sponsored a statewide Junior Klan basketball tournament. The boys' order also ran summer camps under the sponsorship of the men's groups and formed a boys' drum corps. Both the boys' and girls' groups participated in Klan demonstrations, sometimes with their own floats, and attended adult Klan rallies as pages and flag bearers. They had robes, masks, a set of passwords, and even a burial ritual unique to the teen order. The girls; order also sponsored all-girl bands and drum corps that performed at Klan rallies and parades... (page 159) Ku Klux Karnivals were also popular at the time. Nothing fake was done here, but, note the UFO in the upper right corner of the photo.
Kark K. Knecht, who was a charter member No. 4 in the CFA, and the first National Secretary of the organization, once had a circus. Hard to see, but robed Klansmen are in the far lower right of photo. So let's bring on the Ku Klux Klowns.
As early as 1921, the Klan presented Lanier University in Atlanta with a substantial endowment, citing its full agreement with the principles of the university. (page 160)
In the Klan, boys would learn self-reliance, usefulness, the value of work, and the importance of God. So important was this task that the Klan even proposed a minimal tuition correspondence high school and a program of college scholarships for boys from low income families. The Junior Klan, like the Tri-K-Klub, was a preparation for the responsibilities of adult klanishness. While girls were learning the virtues and tasks of motherhood and moral education of the young, the boys were learning the secret agenda of the Klan itself. (page 161)
The Marion County WKKK, sponsored outdoor lectures and entertainment and movies, and even produced their own movie using local Klanswomen as actresses. Virtually every WKKK klavern sponsored weekly cultural activities that ranged from readings and lectures to sewing circles and cooking demonstrations. Group sing alongs were a favorite pastime. Many Indiana WKKK klaverns sponsored performing groups who were in high demand. Several WKKK chapters wrote and performed plays and skits.Klanswomen's activities were often indistinguishable from those of other middle-class white Protestant women, for example, the Indiana WKKK locals chartered trains to take their families to Mammoth Cave, Ky. (pages 164-165)
The following was taken from, "The Ku Klux Klan in the Southwest", by Charles C. Alexander.
Hence the southwestern Klansman's conception of reform encompassed efforts to preserve premarital chastity, marital fidelity, and respect for parental authority; to compel obedience of state and national prohibition laws; to fight the postwar crime wave; and to rid state and local governments of dishonest politicians. Klan reform in the Southwest centered on personal conduct rather than on institutional change, on "law and order" rather than on social amelioration. (page 21)
The next month, at DeQuincy, near the Sabine River in Calcasieu Parish, the local Klan introduced itself by posting signs warning disorderly boys and negligent parents; threatening "professional loafers, whiskey dealers, and law violators"; and promising help for "Negroes who conduct themselves as they should." (page 47)
Klansmen got their own evidence, not only on criminals, but on negligent law officers as well. (page 48)
In mid-December the Prescott Klan gave $54 to the Christmas fund of the local newspaper. (page 52)
The Klan continually admonished bootleggers to "bring in the stills" and halt their illegal business, and there were a number of occasions when Klansmen "captured" stills and deposited them in the middle of town. The Klan was always quite proud of these "citizens arrests" of liquor-making apparatus. Local chapters readily acknowledged their responsibility for such acts and received credit from law officers. (page 76)
What can be said of the Klan's reign of repression? Stanley Frost, from his observations in Oklahoma, credited the Klan with working for public morality, with carrying out an effective drive against crime, and with organizing public opinion behind law enforcement. (page 81)
If members of the local Klan gave money to widows or the town's poor at Christmas, this was accepted as a sincere manifestation of the benevolent spirit; the Klan's charitable ventures seemed particularly admirable in a period of parsimony in public affairs. (page 84)
Throughout the nation thousands of Protestant ministers (one Klan lecturer estimated the number at 40,000) took citizenship in the Invisible Empire. Others, while not joining the Klan, looked kindly on the order and encouraged the male members of their flocks to join. (page 87)
Even Billy Sunday, the greatest revivalist of the early twentieth century, spent some time praising the Klan and accepting contributions from prosperous chapters. (page 90)
Politics eventually obscured every other form of Klan endeavor, but before southwestern Klansmen became thoroughly embroiled in political enterprises, the order had spread goodwill as a philanthropic institution. Like Masons, Odd Fellows, Knights of Pythias, and other societies, the Klan carried on a fairly large amount of charity work wherever it was organized. Imperial headquarters announced that local chapters gave more than $1,000,000 in charity during the year 1921.These contributions were distributed among a wide variety of worthy organizations and individuals; they ranged from modest donations to widows and sick people to ambitious fundraising drives for the construction of hospitals or orphans' homes. (pages 91-91)
Alexandria Klan No. 12, in Louisiana, created a relief fund of nearly $2,000 for victims of a tornado at Pineville. In Arkansas, El Dorado Klan No. 92 initiated a fundraising drive for an Arkansas Oil and Gas Field Klan Hospital, to cost $125,000 and to be open to patients of all religious denominations. Forth Worth Klan No. 101 pledged $1,000 toward the construction of a new Y.M.C.A. building in the city; San Antonio Klan No. 31 contributed $2,500 in gold for a new "Y" building in the Alamo City; and the Houston Klan gave $2,000 to a Baptist hospital fund in Houston. In the spring of 1925, Little Rock Klan No. 1 financed a charity circus which played before a separate group of handicapped children for a week, all proceeds going to a fund for the children. Later that year the Little Rock chapter of the Women of the Ku Klux Klan dedicated a fourteen room children's home on Woodlawn Ave. (pages 92-93)
In 1923, the Klan claimed that 500,000 Masons were citizens of the Invisible Empire. Both Simmons and his successor as Imperial Wizard, Evans, were Masons, and so many Masons joined the Klan that in some communities the Masonic lodge became simply an adjunct of the local Klan unit.
Railroad lines sometimes offered reduced fares to Klansmen and ran extra trains to take the sheeted Knights to their special Konklaves. (page 96)
Photo below: Taking advantage of the railroad's offer, robed Klansmen board the train.
The following was taken from the Bloomington, Ill. "Daily Bulletin", Feb. 21, 1922, page 1:
Headline: "Thanks to the Ku Klux Klan, Shawnee, Okla." - Negro comes into newspaper office, asks that letter be printed. "To members of the Ku Klux Klan - Greetings - We wish to thank you for your courtesy for helping to stop dishonesty and immoral practices in this section of town. We will appreciate any future steps that you may take to completely wipe out these practices. (signed) The Colored Secret Spying Society of South Town.
The following was taken from the Bloomington, Ill. "Daily Pantagraph" Sept. 17, 1924:
Headline: "Klansmen donate to Negro Church". Galesburg - 100 robed men walked into colored church during services and gave $65.00 to pastor with note, "The Klan is your friend."
The following was taken from Chicago's "Dawn", Dec. 23, 1922:
Headline: "Black Billy Sunday in Ft. Worth, TX. likes Klan, preaches at St. James Church".
From "Dawn" Nov. 24, 1923, page 11:
Headline: "Negroes refuse to join war on Klan in Suffolk, N.Y.; nine of sixteen ministers with Catholics say Klan isn't harmful to them. Just against intermarriage."
From "Dawn", Oct. 20, 1923, page 10:
Headline: "Dixon Klan gives to Negro Baptist Church". At the Sunday service, Oct. 14, at the Colored Baptist Church here, the local organization of the Knights of the Ku Klux Klan presented the congregation with an envelope containing four ten dollar bills. About three weeks ago the minister of this congregation received a letter ordering him to leave the city within twelve hours and letter was signed K.K.K., which is merely another example of the false propaganda being sent out by those who oppose this American organization. ... The minister responded with his thanks and assured us that it was received in the proper spirit, and would be used in the proper way. He also said if the Klan is composed of such men and holds such high principles his prayer to God is for more Klansmen."
From "Dawn", Dec. 2, page 8:
Headline: "Klan visits Negro Preacher." Sour Lake, TX. - The Negro Methodist church was the scene of an extraordinary sensation last Sunday afternoon when several white robed Klansmen entered the building and presented the pastor with a donation of $40.00 and a message of encouragement. The visit followed the request of the pastor to Rev. Charles W. Hughes, pastor of the First Methodist church, to assist him in raising funds for religious work in the Colored community. Rev. Hughes delivered a sermon on "Money" before the dusky congregation and assisted in taking up the collection."
Also, from that same page of "Dawn":
Headline: "Negro leader learns Klan is friend." Madison, Wis. - The Knights of the Ku Klux Klan and the Negroes of Madison have buried the hatchet. This was indicated the other day by statements of Klan leaders and Rev. F.J. Peterson, pastor of the African Bethel church, who is regarded as a local leader of his race. The pastor acknowledged receipt of a donation of $25.00 made by the Klansmen. "The board of trustees of our church regards the donation as being made in good faith and has accepted it as such," Rev. Peterson said. "It has helped to dispel natural prejudices and to encourage better feeling. ...In a letter which accompanied the gift, it is declared that reports that the Ku Klux Klan is an anti-Negro organization are untrue."
A summing up of the New Jersey KKK. Much of the following was taken from, "Hooded Americanism, the History of the Ku Klux Klan", by David Chalmers, the "Good Citizen" magazine, and Klan records.
The KKK first spread to New Jersey from the states of New York and Pennsylvania early in 1921 and has had a history of being a peaceful Klan. Attorney Arthur Bell was N.J.'s first and longest reigning Grand Dragon. He ruled the New Jersey KKK right up to the Klan's disbandment in the 1940's. His wife Leah Bell was the state leader of the Women of the Ku Klux Klan. The Klan's first strongholds were in Passaic, Bergen, Essex, Union, and Morris counties and in the area around Trenton and Camden. But the Klan grew strongest in Monmouth county.
In the mid-twenties, the Klan marched, rallied, and worshipped. It reached a membership of around 100,000. The Klan built Monroe Recreational Park and Shark River Recreational Park, where the Grand Dragon lived and the Imperial Wizard visited. (The Klan placed the valuable Shark River Recreational Park in the name of the Monmouth Pleasure Club Association.
Before long the Klan prospered and spread throughout the state. It's purposes were to protect the Constitution and pure womanhood; preserve the White race, the separation of church and state, and uphold law and order. There were no substantiated reports of actual Klan violence and ceremonial cross lightings were common. Drunkenness, wife beatings, mixed marriages, child abuse, and immorality were particularly opposed by the N.J. Klan. Apart from it's nocturnal rituals and fraternalism, the primary concern of the N.J. Klan was the preservation of the traditional American values. As the Klan's Tri-K-Girls put it, "The return to the teachings of our mothers." This meant stressing the virtues of Christian fundamentalism and temperance. It was not surprising, therefore, that in New Jersey this often led to friendly relations and co-operation with many churches.
It became characteristic of the N.J. Klan to receive support from the ministry. Although Baptist, Presbyterian, Dutch Reformed, and Evangelical pastors and churches supplied pulpits and prestige for the Klan, its truest friends came from the Pillar of Fire Church and the Methodists. Bishop Alma White's religious community of Zarepath (near Bound Brook) favored the Klan which they saw as an ally in the fight to protect bible Christianity against modern distortions and criticism. The Pillar of Fire Church looked with favor upon the Klan's fiery cross. Bishop White praised the Klan by sermon, book, and in the church's Good Citizen publication. Bishop White also predicted that the Klan would be popular among the colleges starting with Princeton University. The Imperial Wizard visited the Bishop White at her Zarepath church grounds several times.
Klansmen appeared at friendly churches such as the Third Presbyterian in Elizabeth, the Grace Methodist in Kearney, the First Baptist in Bayonne, the Calvary Methodist Episcopal in Paterson, the Grace Methodist Episcopal in Newark, and the Colonial United Methodist Church in Oxford. Usually they entered "robed up", sat in reserved sections, donated money to the minister, gave talks on why the Klan favored positive Christianity, and peacefully departed as church choirs sang "Onward Christian Soldiers". While approving Klansmen and congregations listened, ministers gave special sermons on Americanism, and quoted from Romans 12:1, the Klan's verse of the New Testament.
In Monmouth and Ocean Counties Klansmen regularly paraded through the streets of Long Branch, Asbury Park, Point Pleasant, and Lakewood on their way to Sunday morning services. Members of the clergy joined the Klan. The recruiters and speakers of the N.J. Klan were often ministers and some pastors headed Klaverns or held state or local Klan office. Of all the denominations, the ministers of the Methodist Episcopal Church were most prominent in Klan affairs. Many ministers in New Jersey felt that it was part of their duty to seek out and reproach transgressors. They warmly approved joint efforts with the Klan to carry it out. The principal objectives of their concern were usually immorality and drunkenness. In Asbury Park, the Civic Church League and the Klan met at the First Methodist Episcopal Church to combine forces against such. Although vice was always a matter of concern, the bond uniting Klan and churchmen was a common struggle against alcohol abuse. During this time the KKK donated money to the Negro church of Belmar and paid off the mortgage to the Negro church of Vineland.
In the spring of 1923, the Klan went to the state assembly to support a bill to permit New Testament readings in public schools. (Such was not considered a violation of the separation of church and state at the time.) Later that summer the Klan and the Ministerial Association of Plainfield joined in opposition to Sabbath breaking. Some ministers preached that the Klan was the only hope of bringing straying Christians back into the fold, and the Grand Dragon promised that he would strive to return New Jersey to "The Old Time Religion". In the village of Atco, near Camden, the Klan participated in the dedication of a new non-denominational church. Throughout the 1920's, the relationship between Klan and clergy continued. Klansmen and churchmen joined to sponsor Senator Heflin for president at a rally at Upsala College. In Atlantic City, the extremely active local Klansmen accused the city government of protecting vice and lawlessness. The Klan took part in the Flag Day parade in Bloomfield. In 11926, the Unity Klan No. 17 of Rahway and Linden sponsored a fund raising drive to rebuild the Negro Church of Carteret. The banner on photo below reads: "Help Us To Rebuild The Negro Church Of Carteret".
Although out of necessity, the Klan occasionally threatened the anti-Klan groups in New Jersey, the Klan was on the receiving end and more the victims rather than the doers of violence. The most controversial activity of the N.J. KKK came in 1940, just prior to US involvement in W.W.II. Grand Dragon Author Bell and a number of Klansmen and Klanswomen took part in a joint rally at Camp Nordland with the American Nazi Bund led by August Klapport. It was a short lived association as W.W.II send Klansmen nationwide rallying around the flag and Americanism more then ever. However, ever since biased historians and distortionists have used that incident to create the myth that the KKK and nazis were allied to each other. It is ignored by these myth makers that in the 1920's the KKK passed out anti-fascist (as well as anti-communist) literature, that in the 1930's the Nazis in Germany persecuted and destroyed the German branch of the KKK established there, and that during W.W.II the Nazis killed Gen. N.B. Forrest III (grandson of Grand Wizard Nathan B.Forrest), who was a United States Air Force general and was Grand Dragon of the Georgia KKK.
The Klan continued in New Jersey, until in 1944, the Klan was nationally disbanded for the second time. In 1946, on Stone Mountain, Ga., the KKK was revived again by Dr. Green. By the 1960's the Klan was once again established in New Jersey. Fragmented units of various splinter Klans continually came and went. There was no unity, size, or influence. Then in the 1980's a serious attempt was made to establish a legitimate Klan once again. While it's main purpose was political and it had a member elected to public office twice and even ran a write in candidate for governor, the revived N.J.Klan also donated money to charities such as the Salvation Army, fire departments, churches, First Aid Squads, and the Polish Mothers' Hospital. The New Jersey was not anti-Catholic in anyway. Greek Orthodox as well as Roman Catholics made up 40% of modern membership. However, the illegal activities of neo-nazis, who formed illegal renegade rival "Klans" made the task of re-establishing a legitimate respectable Klan in New Jersey impossible. The New Jersey Ku Klux Klan disbanded in the early 1990's and there has been no legitimate KKK groups established in New Jersey ever since. However, since the collapse of most neo-nazi illegal "KKK" groups the potential for the re-establishment of a legitimate political or fraternal order Klan group does exist. But, it would be a difficult thing to try given today's politically correct mind control.
Photos below: The N.J. Klan cleans up a highway during Earth Day.
Cartoon below: As usual, every time the KKK does something positive the anti Klan (anti White) press tries to make something negative of it.
Photo bellow: In other states, branches of the KKK join the "Adopt a Road" clean up campaign and more often then not, anti Klan sign makers purposely spell the name wrong. It's Ku, not Klu.
Photos below: In the 1980's, in Frederick, MD. Klansman, Donald Toms, entered his Ku Klux Kar in a demolition derby and wins the trophy.
Food for thought:
In 1923, H.L. Mencken and George Jean Nathan, recognized critics of the American scene, described the Ku Klux Klan for Smart Set, their journal of satirical sophistication. They flayed every organizational aspect of the national life. Sparing no one, majority or minority, they connected the KKK with all that was ludicrous and unwarranted in a society which they felt represented mediocrity. They wrote:
"Not a single solitary sound reason has yet been advanced for putting the Ku Klux Klan out of business. If the Klan is against the Jews, so are half of the good hotels of the Republic and three-quarters of the good clubs. If the Klan is against the foreign born or the hyphenated citizen, so is the National Institute of Arts and Letters. If the Klan is against the Negro, so are all of the states south of the Mason-Dixon line. If the Klan is for damnation and persecution, so is the Methodist Church. If the Klan is bent upon political control, so are the American Legion and Tammany Hall. If the Klan wears grotesque uniforms, so do the Knights of Pythias and Mystic Shriners. If the Klan holds its meetings in the dead of night, so do the Elks. If the Klan conducts its business in secret, so do all college Greek letter fraternities and the Department of State. If the Klan holds idiotic parades in the public streets, so do the police, the letter-carriers, and firemen. If the Klan's officers bear ridiculous names, so do the officers of the Lambs' Club. If the Klan uses the mails for shaking down suckers, so does the Red Cross. If the Klan constitutes itself a censor of private morals, so does the Congress of the United States. If the Klan lynches a Moor for raping someone's daughter, so would you or I."
Dr. Hiram W. Evans.
Second Imperial Wizard of the revived KKK. He reigned from 1923 - 1939.
Dr. Hiram Wesley Evans, Imperial Wizard, Knights of the Ku Klux Klan
I am appreciative of this opportunity to present a matter which is of interest to all Klansmen and Klanswomen. Foremost among the matters of moment which concern our national welfare is a laxity in devotion to the Godly ideals which once coursed vigorously through our national endeavor. If civilization is to continue to progress; if America is to continue to be a nation purposed by Almighty God to hold aloft the beacon light of truth and liberty, men and women of America must know that the fundamental thing is to recognize divine authority and human responsibility thereto for every action. We would return to the simple but sublime principles instituted by Christ for guidance of man's relation to his God, his country, his neighbor and himself.
America's people lived for long decades a life apart, dependent only upon Almighty God, and then as the population increased our people became more and more interdependent upon each other. We have been a homogeneous people in the main, thinking and acting alike, obeying constitutional authority in the interests of the common welfare. Today, our unity is threatened by hordes of immigrants who have sought shelter under our flag. They bring foreign ideas and ideals into our land threatening our unity through a foreign propaganda that is pouring into the hard fibers of our national character. This must be counteracted if we are to remain a united nation of Americans rather than a polyglot mob.
To mold all those now residing within our borders into a united people two things must be done. First, we must stop the influx of the foreign; second, we must, through education, bring all our people to a common program of acting and thinking. The ideals and fundamental principles of the nation which our forefathers fought to create and died to preserve, must be taught to and instilled in the hearts of our composite American citizenry.
To accomplish these great purposes, all who love America, whose hearts beat in fellowship for fellow men must be united forming a band of patriotic, God fearing Americans who are willing to labor with purity of heart and singleness of mind for a united, awakened, vitalized nation to guide civilization along her charted way. (This address on record, No. 75004.)