Atlanta, Ga (Jun. 22)
The Knights of the Ku Klux Klan, anti-Semitic and anti-Catholic organization, is being completely reorganized and will enter the national arena again to “combat un-American propaganda and to coordinate the forces of those who are interested in constitutional government,” Dr. Hiram Wesley Evans, local dentist and Imperial Wizard of the organization, declared in announcing the appointment of M. O. Dunning, of Savannah, as chief of staff “in charge of propagation.”
The Klan is still opposed to Jews and Catholics, the Imperial Wizard revealed, declaring in reply to a question that members of these faiths cannot become members of the Klan. He added that the Klan believed that Catholics and Jews could best serve the “purposes of the organization by working with and through their own church groups.”
Dr. Evans announced that the Klan will discard its traditional helmets and masks, but will continue to wear the familiar white robes. Although the membership of the organization will continue to be secret, he said, all meetings will be open to the press and no effort will be made to keep Klan activities secret.
Declaring that the new work of the Klan would not involve religious, racial, or political issues, Dr. Evans said the organization would direct its forces at propaganda that is “undermining our institutions.” Although the organization has officially been inert for the past few years the Imperial Wizard said that the membership was still active, and has suffered only to the extent that other organizations do during periods of depression. Credited with taking an active part in the defeat of Alfred E. Smith for the presidency in 1928, Dr. Evans said the Klan’s last work was in connection with a campaign for the enactment of legislation restricting immigration. At its peak, the Klan is said to have numbered 5,000,000 members and the organization now has twenty-eight offices scattered throughout the country, with headquarters in Atlanta.
“NATION IN GREAT DANGER”
Announcing the appointment of Dunning as head of the national staff, Dr. Evans said, “Public spirited people, klansmers and non-members alike realize that this nation is in great danger.
“The Klan has delivered in every crisis since the war between the States and can be counted upon now. Klansmen in action, competent and courageous, will lead the American people to see that individual liberty and constitutional government shall not perish and that this nation will no longer be the victim of alien propaganda. The Klan, a living, vital movement in itself, is not a party to any other movement whatsoever. There is no laison between the Klan and fascism, communism, or shirtism, for all such are abhorrent to national liberty.”
In accepting the appointment, Mr. Dunning, at one time winner of a trophy “for the most meritorious public service performed by a Savannahian,” stressed the fact that the organization would tolerate no violence or intimidation, and added that both national and state directorates would be composed of “men of prominence and sound judgment. The Klan will not condone lawlessness,” he said. “It will devote its every thought and action toward curbing lawlessness.”