Ku Klux Klan Leaders
Great Figures of the KKK
Ku Klux Klan Figureheads
Here are the following people who are both famous and infamous throughout KKK history.
Nathan Bedford Forrest
During the American Civil War, Forrest served as a lieutenantgeneral in the confederate army. He became a member of the Ku Klux Klan in 1866 and became the first Grand Wizard.
The KKK under Forrest’s rule attempted to persuade African-American freedmen to return to slavery and a state of repressed station in life. Because of numerous failed attempts, they became violent despite Forrest’s efforts to maintain order. Theyorganized ghost masquerades, midnight parades and murdering African-Americans.
In 1875, Forrest gave a warmly-accepted speech apologizingfor his former beliefs against the African-American population.
Robert Carlisle Byrd
Born Cornelius Calvin Sale Jr., Byrd is considered as one of the most famous members of the KKK in the early 1940s and later on became a U.S Senator. He’s the longest-serving senator from West Virginia in the history of the U.S. Congress.
In the 1940s, Robert Byrd recruited around 150 of his friends and associates to organize a new Ku Klux Klan chapter and eventually became an Exalted Cyclops.
Byrd was known to write letters advocating his beliefs. Some of them are:
To Mississippi Senator Theodore G. Bilbo (1944)
“I shall never fight in the armed forces with a Negro by my side … Rather I should die a thousand times, and see Old Glory trampled in the dirt never to rise again, than to see this beloved land of ours become degraded by race mongrels, a throwback to the blackest specimen from the wilds.”
To a Grand Wizard (1946-1947)
“The Klan is needed today as never before, and I am anxious to see its rebirth here in West Virginia and in every state in the nation.”
In 2005, Byrd explained his involvement with KKK and quoted saying:
“I know now I was wrong. Intolerance had no place in America. I apologized a thousand times … and I don’t mind apologizing over and over again. I can’t erase what happened.”
Samuel Kenneth (“Sam”) Bowers
Bowers was the founder of the White Knights of the Ku Klux Klan as a response to the African-American Civil Rights Movement in 1955-1968.
This violent organization was behind two of the most talked about murders in southern Mississippi. The first was the triple murder of James Chaney, Andrew Goodman and MichaelSchwerner near Philadelphia in 1964. The other one was the murder of Vernon Dahmer in Hattiesburg. Bowers masterminded these murders and served six years in prison for the 1964 murder and 32 years for the 1966 murder.
Bowers also masterminded the bombings in Jackson and Meridian in 1967-1968, targeting Jewish citizens.
He eventually died at the age of 82 in prison.
David Ernest Duke
David Duke is a former Grand Wizard of the Knights of theKu Klux Klan. He is also a writer, activist and formerRepublican Louisiana State Representative. He was strongly opposed to Zionism, legal and illegal immigration, IRS (Internal Revenue Service) and communism. He champions the Western Culture and Traditionalist Christian family values, racial segregation and white separatism.
He describes himself as a racial realist, saying that, ”All people have a basic human right to preserve their own heritage.”
Duke ran for office a couple of times albeit unsuccessfully. In 1988, he was a former candidate for the Democratic presidential primaries and again in 1992, was a candidate in the Republican presidential primaries. He ran for the Louisiana State Senate, United States Senate, Governor of Louisiana and the United States House of Representatives as well.
Thomas Robb, also known as Thom Robb from Detroit, Michigan, is a pastor at the Christian Revival Center and thenational director of the Knights of the Ku Klux Klan. He is also known to defend the KKK as a harmless organization. He’s awriter and often broadcasts on shortwave radio and Stormfrontinternet radio about his beliefs regarding creationism and his opposing beliefs on evolution and the attacks against the Christian faith.
He masterminded the protest against the Martin Luther King National Holiday in 1986 Pulaski, Tennessee. Since it is the where the Ku Klux Klan was founded, the event eventually became the White Christian Heritage Festival.
Robb has close ties with fellow extremists David Duke, Billy Roper, J. B. Stoner, Don Black, Ed Fields, Willis Carto, Michael Collins Piper, former Croatian Diplomat Tomislav Sunic andCanadian extremist Paul Fromm.
The Knights of the Ku Klux Klan was ordered to pay $25,000 in punitive damages to the Rhino Time (a North Carolina newspaper) in July 2009. They were indicted to illegally using the newspaper to spread their extremist propaganda by inserting fliers into editions of the newspaper in 2006. The KKK counter-sued the newspaper company for defamation, but was dismissed.
Today, public attention is shifted towards Robb’s family. His daughter, Rachel Pendergraft, and his granddaughters, Shelbyand Charity Pendergraft have formed a “white nationalist” band called Heritage Connection.
Green was an obstetrician from Georgia, who joined the Ku Klux Klan in 1922 and eventually became the Imperial Wizard of the Knights of the Ku Klux Klan in the late 1940s. He died of a heart attack two weeks after being elected.
Hull became more popular in 1949 when he opposed having two Brooklyn Dodgers players, Roy Campanella and Jackie Robinson, banned from the Exhibition Baseball Games in Macon and Atlanta saying, “there is no law against the game. But we have an unwritten law in the South – the Jim Crow law.”He continued saying things against black players on a white team.
Hugo Lafayette Black
Black was considered to be one of the most influential United States Supreme Court justices in the 20th century. He was amember of the Democratic Party, representing Alabama in the U.S Senate from 1927-1937 and the fifth longest-serving justice in the U.S. Supreme Court nominated by former President Franklin D. Roosevelt. Black endorsed Roosevelt in the 1932 and 1936 U.S. Presidential elections.
In 1921, Black defended E. R. Stephenson when put on trial for the murder of Fr. James E. Coyle, a Catholic priest. Afterwards, Black joined the Ku Klux Klan, thinking that it will help his political career. He mentioned that he only joined to get the votes he needed from Klan members, but lateradmitted that it was a mistake.
When asked about the Ku Klux Klan, Black said he“sympathized with the group’s economic, nativist, and anti-Catholic beliefs” and that he “disliked the Catholic Church as an institution.” He made many anti-Catholic speeches in Ku Klux Klan meetings throughout Alabama during his 1926 campaign.
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