The Second Era of the Ku Klux Klan (1915-1925)
"We believe that pioneers who built America bequeathed to their own children a priority right to it, the control of it and its future, and that no one on earth can claim any part of this inheritance except through our generosity."
- Hiram Wesley Evans, Imperial Wizard of The Ku Klux Klan - 1925
The Ku Klux Klan was revived in the 1920s and the second era began. The Klan focused on the Catholic and Jewish immigrants who were coming to America. In a lot of states the Klan had a large amount of political power, but after a series of sex scandals, that power was greatly reduced. At its peak the second era had close to four million members. The Klan disbanded once again due to the Great Depression.
William J. Simmons
To help the Klan grow, Simmons hired publicists to get the word out about the Klan and to help recruit new members. The Klan continued to grow, creating more chapters.
Simmons was the cause of the first revival of the Klan. He decided to put the Klan back together because he was inspired by the movie "Birth of a Nation." Simmons took this opportunity to attack the Catholic and Jewish immigrants coming to America.
Clip of lynching by the Ku Klux Klan, 1915, Birth of a Nation (video length: 0:20)
David Curtiss (D.C.) Stephenson
D.C. Stephenson was the Grand Dragon, or state leader of the Indiana Ku Klux Klan in the second era. Stephenson was thought to be the most successful leader of the Klan until he was charged with murder, ending this era. Under Stephenson's leadership, Klan membership in the states he oversaw enormously increased.