close-up of KKK hood

Revived in Georgia in 1915, its membership grew to 4.5 million by 1924. No longer were blacks the Klan’s sole target – Catholics, Jews and immigrants also now were singled out for hatred. The Klan’s strength in the 1920s lay in the Nation’s Mid-West where it elected governors and ran the entire state of Indiana.

In a Kansas newspaper in 1926, the Klan listed those whom they opposed: “Every criminal, every gambler, every thug, every libertine, every girl-ruiner, every home-wrecker, every wife-beater, every dope-peddler, every moon-shiner, every crooked politician, every pagan papist priest… every Knights of Columbus… every Roman-controlled newspaper, every hyphenated American, every lawless alien.”

The Klan’s revival was fueled by the post-war repulsion of all things foreign and “un-American.”

1920s Ku Klux Klan Hood.
Loan courtesy of the Indiana Historical Society.