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The Rebirth of the KKK. 1915-1930s 3-6 Million Members. Ku Klux Klan. America's oldest, most visible, and most infamous hate group White supremacy and anti-immigration Hostile towards Jews, Muslims, Immigrants to America, Asians, Homosexuals, Catholics, . End of 1 st , Beginning of 2 nd.

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the rebirth of the kkk

The Rebirth of the KKK

1915-1930s

3-6 Million Members

ku klux klan
Ku Klux Klan
  • America's oldest, most visible, and most infamous hate group
  • White supremacy and anti-immigration
  • Hostile towards Jews, Muslims, Immigrants to America, Asians, Homosexuals, Catholics,
end of 1 st beginning of 2 nd
End of 1st, Beginning of 2nd
  • Becoming disorganized
  • Started to be seen as the true criminals
  • Being suppressed by other groups
  • Ceased to exist for decades until William J. Simmons began a recreation with only 2 returning members of the original Klan
events leading to rebirth
Events Leading to Rebirth
  • The film Birth of a Nation
  • Leo Frank’s 1913
  • William J. Simmons at Stone Mountain
birth of a nation
Birth of a Nation
  • Directed by D. W. Griffith
  • Based on the book and play, The Clansmen by Thomas Dixon Jr.
  • Glorified the original Klan and began a new Klan craze
  • Much of the Ku Klux Klan’s iconography are derived from the film
  • Influence and popularity were enhanced by a widely reported endorsement by U.S. President Woodrow Wilson.
leo frank
Leo Frank
  • Jewish man
  • Convicted of the rape and murder of Mary Phagan
  • After a 25 day trial, Frank was found guilty
  • Northern factory owners exploiting southerners
  • Knights of Mary Phagan
  • Lynched
william j simmons
Official founder of 2nd Klan

Wrote his own prospectus for a reincarnation of the organization

Involved with lynching of Leo Frank and Stone Mountain

Organized 15 men to burn a cross on Stone Mountain on Thanksgiving of 1915

Declared himself the Imperial Wizard of the Invisible Empire of the Knights of the Ku Klux Klan

William J. Simmons
stone mountain georgia
Stone Mountain, Georgia
  • Setting of the 1915 revival
  • Hooded mob bet November 25, 1915
  • A cross was lit, and the oath was administered by Nathan Bedford Forrest II
  • Witnessed by the owner of Stone Mountain, Samuel Venable, who granted the Klan rights
  • "let freedom ring from Stone Mountain of Georgia!" –Martin Luther King Jr.
  • Klan was able to influence the ideology of the carving
the new klan
The New Klan
  • Emphasized the new costumes
  • Secret rituals and rallies
  • The Klan also organized to oppose the teaching of evolution in the schools
symbols and activities
Burning of the cross: a symbol of intimidation

Costume: “Glory Suit” regalia

Symbol on the robe: red circle with a cross and a blood drop in the middle

Violence was not uncommon

Lynching: illegal execution of an accused person by a mob

Southerners felt threatened after the Civil war

Wanted to Maintain white supremacy

Estimated that between 1880 and 1920, an average of two African Americans a week were lynched in the United States.

Symbols and Activities
political influence
Political Influence
  • Spread from South to Midwest and Northern States
  • Turned Anaheim, California into model Klan State
  • Played a significant role at the 1924 Democratic National Convention
  • Worked for political and social reform
  • Members served in state legislatures and Congress, and were elected to the governorship in several states.
fall and resistance
Fall and Resistance
  • The scandal surrounding the murder trial of D.C. Stephenson destroyed its image
  • By 1926 the Klan had weakened
  • Many groups began speaking out against the Klan
  • Attacked and referred to as violent and "un-American“
after the 2 nd klan
After the 2nd Klan
  • “Ku Klux Klan” used by many independent local groups opposing the Civil Rights Movement and desegregation
  • Several members of KKK groups were convicted of murder in the deaths of civil rights workers
  • Individual Klan groups in Birmingham, Alabama began to resist social change and blacks' improving their lives by bombing houses in transitional neighborhoods.
  • "Bombingham"
  • Current Klans across the nation hold about 5,000 members