Guide to the Ku Klux Klan (KKK), Realm of California
Special Collections & Archives
18111 Nordhoff St.
Northridge, CA 91330
Phone: (818) 677-2832
Fax: (818) 677-2589
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Overview of the Collection
Collection Title: Ku Klux Klan (KKK), Realm of
0.21 linear feet
Language of Materials:
Abstract: During the 1910s, the Klan, which had
been defunct since the concluding decades of the 19
century, was revived in Atlanta, Georgia and spread across the country within a decade.
The Klan's revival was due in part to urbanization and industrialization. Many
Klansmen in the 1920s – 1940s were lower to middle class whites who sought to protect
their jobs and neighborhoods, both from black migrants moving out of the South and new
immigrants arriving in industrial cities, particularly those from Southern and Eastern
Europe who tended to be Catholic and Jewish. This collection of materials from the Realm
of California primarily includes by-laws, correspondence, and publications.
The Ku Klux Klan is a far-right organization which advocates extremist reactionary
currents such as white supremacy and white nationalism, and is opposed to immigration.
The first Ku Klux Klan, founded in 1865 in Pulaski, Tennessee, was primarily made up of
Confederate veterans of the American Civil War and operated under a decentralized
structure in which local chapters and bands were highly independent. The first Klan was
essentially defunct by the late 19th century.
In 1915, the second Ku Klux Klan was founded by William J. Simmons in Atlanta, Georgia.
By the 1920s, social tensions brought on by rapid industrialization and increased
immigration in urban areas had set the stage for the Klan’s expanding popularity. Unlike
the first Klan, the second Klan was a centralized fraternal organization, with a
national and state structure, which had rapidly spread from the South to the Midwest and
Western states. The purification of politics, anti-Catholicism, the enforcement of
prohibition, and nativism formed the nucleus of the second Klan’s objectives and goals,
summed up by their credo, “One Hundred Percent Americanism.” Membership in the second
Klan appealed to lower, working, and middle class white Protestants from urban areas,
who’s fears and concerns over jobs and housing played into the Klan’s philosophies.
By 1924, at the height of the second Klan’s popularity, membership rose to 6,000,000 but
had dropped to 30,000 by 1930. Throughout the early 1940s, financial difficulties,
chronic internal conflicts, external opposition, and the exposure of criminal behavior,
had diminished the organization’s power and appeal. In 1944, the Internal Revenue
Service filed a lien for $685,000 against the Klan, which led to the closure and of the
organization’s home office, and subsequently dissolution of its national charter.
This Collection is indexed under the following controlled access subject terms.
Ku Klux Klan (1915- ) --
Genre/Form of Material:
Nativistic movements --
Conditions Governing Use:
Copyright for unpublished materials authored or otherwise produced by the creator(s)
of this collection has not been transferred to California State University,
Northridge. Copyright status for other materials is unknown. Transmission or
reproduction of materials protected by U.S. Copyright Law (Title 17, U.S.C.) beyond
that allowed by fair use requires the written permission of the copyright owners.
Works not in the public domain cannot be commercially exploited without permission of
the copyright owners. Responsibility for any use rests exclusively with the user.
Conditions Governing Access:
The collection is open for research use.
[Identification of item], [date],
Ku Klux Klan, Realm of
, Special Collections and Archives, Oviatt Library,
California State University, Northridge.
Scope and Contents
This collection includes correspondence and membership cards from Fresno and Los
Angeles, newspaper and pamphlet literature, and Ku Klux Klan or related publications. In
many cases, individuals named in the correspondence and membership cards have been
blacked or cut out. The collection is arranged alphabetically.
By-Laws Of The Ku Klux Klan,
C.E. Snelson, Grand Dragon - Correspondence,
C.W. Taylor, State Commander - Correspondence.
California Fiery Cross, Vol. 1, No.
1924 April 21
Citizenship - Robert Burnett
Constitution And Laws Of The Ku Klux Klan, Constitution And Laws Of The
Women Of The Ku Klux Klan,
Dr. Samuel Green, Grand Dragon - Correspondence,
Edward Young Clarke, Imperial Wizard Pro-Tem -
G.W. Price, Imperial Representative, Realm Of California -
James M. Harvey, Imperial Night Hawk - Correspondence,
Junior Order United American Mechanics, Los Angeles
Kourier Magazine, Vol. 2, Nos. 11,
October 1926 And November 1926
T.C. Moore, Fresno Klan - Correspondence
To All Klansmen - Greeting
Western Citizen, Vol. 1, No.
1924 March 24