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Ku Klux Klan (KKK), Realm of California Records



Biographical Note

Scope and Contents

Administrative Information

Detailed Description

Box 1

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Ku Klux Klan (KKK), Realm of California Records, 1921-1947 | Special Collections & Archives

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Collection Overview

Title: Ku Klux Klan (KKK), Realm of California Records, 1921-1947Save to your list.


Primary Creator: Ku Klux Klan (1915-)

Extent: 0.21 Linear Feet

Date Acquired: 00/00/1970

Subjects: Ku Klux Klan (1915- ) - California, Nativistic movements - California

Forms of Material: Paper records, Publications

Languages: English


During the 1910s, the Klan, which had been defunct since the concluding decades of the 19th 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.

Biographical Note

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 by 1930 it had dropped to 30,000. 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 of the organization's home office and subsequent dissolution of its national charter.

Scope and Contents of the Materials

The Ku Klux Klan (KKK), Realm of California Records 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.

Subject/Index Terms

Ku Klux Klan (1915- ) - California
Nativistic movements - California

Administrative Information

Repository: Special Collections & Archives

Access Restrictions: The collection is open for research use.

Use Restrictions: 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.

Related Materials: This collection is part of the California Collection.

Preferred Citation: For information about citing items in this collection consult the appropriate style manual, or see the Citing Archival Materials guide.

Box and Folder Listing

Browse by Box:

[Box 1]

Box 1Save to your list.
Folder 1: By-Laws of The Ku Klux Klan, ca. 1921Save to your list.
Folder 2: C.E. Snelson, Grand Dragon - Correspondence, 1939Save to your list.
Folder 3: C.W. Taylor, State Commander - Correspondence.Save to your list.
Folder 4: California Fiery Cross, Vol. 1, No. 10, 1924 April 21Save to your list.
Folder 5: Citizenship - Robert BurnettSave to your list.
Folder 6: Constitution and Laws of the Ku Klux Klan, Constitution and Laws of the Women of the Ku Klux Klan, 1921Save to your list.
Folder 7: Dr. Samuel Green, Grand Dragon - Correspondence, 1947Save to your list.
Folder 8: Edward Young Clarke, Imperial Wizard Pro-Tem - Correspondence, ca. 1922Save to your list.
Folder 9: G.W. Price, Imperial Representative, Realm of California - Correspondence, 1923-1924Save to your list.
Folder 10: James M. Harvey, Imperial Night Hawk - Correspondence, 1941Save to your list.
Folder 11: Junior Order United American Mechanics, Los AngelesSave to your list.
Folder 12: Kourier Magazine, Vol. 2, Nos. 11, 12, October 1926, November 1926Save to your list.
Folder 13: Ku Klux Klan LiteratureSave to your list.
Folder 14: Naturalization CeremonySave to your list.
Folder 15: Oath of AllegianceSave to your list.
Folder 16: T.C. Moore, Fresno Klan - CorrespondenceSave to your list.
Folder 17: To All Klansmen - GreetingSave to your list.
Folder 18: Western Citizen, Vol. 1, No. 6, 1924 March 24Save to your list.

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