152: The Second Ku Klux Klan: Racism, Anti-Semitism, & Anti-Catholicism in the 1920s

History That Doesn't Suck

Mar 25 2024 • 1 hr 2 mins

“Every official except one elected yesterday at the first municipal election of this borough had been endorsed by the Ku Klux Klan.” This is the story of the Second Ku Klux Klan. It’s been nearly half a century since the Third Enforcement Act killed off the Klan in 1871. But amid Jim Crow segregation in 1915, the lynching of a Jewish Georgian Leo Frank, coupled with a new film, The Birth of a Nation, inspires William Simmons to resurrect the Klan.  This new Klan has a longer list of enemies. While still opposed to Black Americans fully integrating into American society, this KKK also targets Jews and Catholics. It’s also more politically connected than the first Klan. While Klansmen will participate in violence–including the near annihilation of the Black quarter of Tulsa, Oklahoma–most Kluxers are more focused on politics. As membership swells into the millions, the Klan’s endorsed candidates will win seats in Congress, state houses, and city councils across the nation. Yet, the Klan will come crashing down almost as quickly as it rose in the 1920s. We’ll find out why. ____ Connect with us on HTDSpodcast.com and go deep into episode bibliographies and book recommendations join discussions in our Facebook community get news and discounts from The HTDS Gazette  come see a live show get HTDS merch or become an HTDS premium member for bonus episodes and other perks. HTDS is part of the Airwave Media Network. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices