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The Second Coming of the KKK: The Ku Klux Klan of the 1920s and the American Political Tradition

The Second Coming of the KKK:  The Ku Klux Klan of the 1920s and the American Political Tradition

by Linda Gordon,
Tulsa World, November 12, 2017

Stimulated in no small measure by the popularity of the 1915 silent film “Birth of a Nation,” the Ku Klux Klan, which had been dormant since the 1870s, was re-established in 1915. By the 1920s, the KKK had become a powerful political force. Expanding its enemies list to include Catholics and Jews, as well as African Americans, the KKK enrolled almost 6 million members, many of them from above the Mason-Dixon line. Although the Klan exaggerated its influence, 16 U.S. senators, dozens of congressmen (the Klan claimed 75) and 11 governors made no secret of their allegiance to the organization.

 

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