Forty thousand members of the Ku Klux Klan marched down Pennsylvania Avenue in Washington DC in full regalia on this date in 1925.
The “Invisible Empire” boasted some 4 million members at this time and claimed to control 24 of the nation’s 48 state legislatures. Dedicated to white supremacy, anti-Semitism, anti-Catholicism, and anti-communism, the KKK had sprung to life after a long fallow period with the lynching of Leo Frank in Marietta, Georgia on this same date in 1915.
During the 1920s, the KKK’s national leader, David Curtis Stephenson, became a millionaire from the sale of robes, hoods and insignia. He was convicted, however, for kidnapping and sexual assault in 1925, and his downfall, in combination with the prosecution of several Klan-supported politicians on corruption charges, drove down KKK membership to only 45,000 by 1930.
“We believe in an existing being known as the Devil or Satan and called the Serpent … who has a literal ‘seed’ or posterity in the earth … commonly called Jews today …” -Website of the Imperial Klans of America