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The 20th Century Ku Klux
Klan in Alabama

1. Racism and the bitter memory of Reconstruction figured prominently in the 1920s Klan movement in Alabama:

I am a very old lady, lived over my three score years; born and reared in the Deep South. I am an admirer of the Ku-Klux Klan because my Father was one of the great many who cleansed our public offices of Negroes, carpetbaggers, and scalawags. I can very well remember the Reconstruction Days when the White people of the South were oppressed and mistreated by this ungodly corruptible group. And it was this same group who hated the Ku Klux Klan of that time. . . . I have watched the Ku-Klux Klan in its ups and downs; I have also watched those who so bitterly hate this great organization; have found the haters alwayes had something in mind they wanted to keep covered up, but they know each time when the Klan rises their evils will be uncovered. . . . I can remember my Father saying the Ku-Klux Klan will never die. "It was here yesterday, today, and forever." And I firmly believe God has a working hand through this great organization, for if it wasn't for the Ku-Klux Klan in the Reconstruction Days, America would long have been a mongrelized nation. So today God sees the need of a Ku-Klux Klan as never before a nation as full of corruptible filth as America has. . . . Instead of carpetbaggers and scalawags of years past, America has become infiltrated with worse. . . . [I]n the last thirty years Communism began to grow in America. It has set up fronts such as the N.A.A.C.P and other Jewish controlled organizations as peddlers to create hate and brainwash the minds of the American people [to]. . . just about destroy our Christian faith, our freedom of rights, and the American Way of Life. . . . [W]hen you find a hater of the Ku-Klux Klan check his record; watch him; he is full of corruption; he has something in store for himself and not for others. . . America needs cleaning. The evil ones are in power, as it was in the carpetbagger and scalawag days. Your Father and mine had the guts to clean America. Where are your guts?. . . The Ku-Klux Klan will never die and my prayer is this: O God, bless the Klansman that he may fight to keep America free from ungodly things forever more, and their race as pure as the Lily of the Valley. . . . God bless the Klansman, his home, his family, and his country. Above all, God, bless those who hate the Klan, for they know not what they are doing with their brainwashed minds, Amen.

The Old Lady of the South

P.O. Box 2

Prattville, Alabama

Source: Boone Aiken Collection. Original in private hands; copy in possession of Glenn Feldman.

2. An example of the anti-Catholic sentiment that was so much a part of the KKK's allure in Alabama during the 1920s:

The Pope's Last Call

By Elsie Thornton

The Pope called the Devil up on the telephone one day,
The girl at central listened to all they had to say. . . .
The Devil said "Hello!" to the Pope, and Pope said "how are you"?
I'm running here a hell on earth, so tell me what to do."
"What can I do"? the Devil said, "My dear old Popish Pal,
If there's a thing I can do to help you, I surely will."
The Pope said "Now listen and I will try to tell,
The way that I am running here on earth a modern hell.
I've planned for this for many years, and I've started out to kill
All who refuse to bow, in submission to my will.
My army went through Spain, shooting women and children down
We tore up all their Bibles and killed all the Protestants we found.
My dupes sneaked through their cities, killing both old and young,
And those who escaped the sword, were taken out and hung.
I started out for the U.S.A. with the aid of the poison cup,
The Ku Klux darn them, stopped us, and wouldn't take a sup.
My K.C.'s are devils. Why, you should see them fight;
They go sneaking through the land, and kill hundreds in a night.
I knew what you would tell, till a year or so ago,
When the Ku Klux Klan warned me to go more slow.
They say, Mr. Pope, we don't want to make you sore,
So be sure to tell your K. of C.'s not to bother our schools any more. . . .
Now that's why I called you, Satan, for I want advice from you,
I know that you would tell me just what I ought to do."
"My dear Old Father Pope, there's not much to tell,
For the Ku Klux will make it hotter than I can for you in hell.
I've been a mean old devil, but not half as mean as you.
And the minute that you get here, I will give my job to you.
I'll be ready for your coming, and I'll keep the fires all bright,
And I'll have your room all ready when the Klan begins to fight.
For the boys in white will get you, I have nothing more to tell;
Hang up the phone and get your hat and meet me here in hell."

Source: Alabama KKK Newsletter, June 1926. p. 4. Box 16, Folder 11: Association Records, Ku Klux Klan, Alabama Department of Archives and History, Montgomery.