History of the Ku Klux Klan

      Historical Fiction Mini-Project
      In the winter of 1865-1866, the Confederate Army veterans based in Pulaski, Tennessee formed the group Ku Klux Klan, designed primarily as a social group. The name was an adaptation from the word “kyklos”, Greek for circle and clan from English. The title Grand Wizard was reserved for the leader of the organization, the first being General Nathan B. Forrest. The Klan was the “Invisible Empire of the South” during the Nashville convention in the summer of 1867. Other names were used for junior officers in the organization including Grand Cyclops, Grand Dragon, and Grand Titan (Gitlin 12)
      The members of the group chose to dress in sheets and robes to disguise their identity and hence evade the federal troops. The attire also served to frighten black people. However, with time, the organization evolved into a terrorist group carrying out the orders of the Democratic Party while trying to maintain white supremacy. Their mode of operation was seeking to destroy Congressional Reconstruction mainly by killing blacks and also the whites affiliated to Republican politics or in favor of offering education to the black children. They burnt chases while at the same time making many flee their homes. In 1867, probably due to the unwillingness or inability of the local law enforcement officers to stop the Klan, the Force Bill was passed by Congress. This bill allowed the federal government to prosecute any members of the Klan. The prosecutions and convictions that followed wee not many since only a few individuals were punished but this proved sufficient since it broke up the activities of the Klan (Gitlin 17)
      In 1915, however, the Klan was reformed by William Simmons in Stone Mountain, Georgia as a Protestant fraternal society. It perpetuated atrocities against the blacks, the Jews, immigrants, as well as the Roman Catholics. Its expansion was rapid, recruiting about two...