Ku Klux Klan

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In the spring of 1866, A year after the civil war had ended; Six confederate veterans formed a social club in the town of Pulaski, Tennessee. Just out of the war and looking for excitement they formed a secret society which they named the Ku Klux Klan. The name came from the Greek word Kuklos, meaning circle.

This small group started as a harmless fun loving group, developed into one of the largest, most violent groups in American History. The original group only lasted a few years, and left a permanent impression, rituals that people today still use. Klan supporters saw the group as a protector of a certain way of life and the white race. The original Klan shut down in 1872.

On Thanksgiving Night 1915, The Klan struck again. Sixteen men from Atlanta, Georgia went to the top of the mountain and set up for a Klan ritual. They built an altar of stones, on which they placed on American Flag, a bible and a sword. Then the men erected a sixteen-foot high cross and lit it on fire.

William Joseph Simmons was the leader of the new Klan. William, son of an ex Klan member, heard his dad speck of Klan stories and wanted to “Frighten the Dark people” himself.

In the early 1920’s the Klan traveled on a wave of terror in the south and southwest. As the violence spread a pattern appeared. The majority of the Victorian’s were whites who had broken some kind of moral code. Such as Bootleggers, Gamblers, were favorite targets. The Klan would parade the streets at night as a reminder of the constant terror they haunted a southern town with.

By taking the law into their own hands the Klan made sure the laws were respected. Hooded Klansmen sometimes took their victims in brood daylight but mostly they piled into cars and went “nightriding”.

Klansmen used whips to punish those victims. Once they finished whipping they would pour hot tar on them and sprinkle feathers on them. This would add insult to injury.

I n 1921, the Klan was brought to trial for the murder of a black man who had been a known drunk in his hometown. Simmons, Klan leader, stepped up in front of congress and swore on the holy bible that the Klan “never had been and never will be involved in violent acts”.

In 1922, the Klan used its anti-Catholic appeal to capture control of the Oregon St.

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