Tennessee was traditionally moderate on racial issues, reacting to

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Founded in Pulaski Tennessee in the Spring of 1866, the Ku Klux Klan mobilized in the wake of the Radical victory of 1867, under Grand Wizard Nathan Bedford Forest, a former slave trader and Confederate cavalry leader. It gained greatest strength in the central and western areas of the State. Vigilantes raided black homes, killing several and whipping many in Maury County, killing a Union League activist in Hickman County, and committing assaults people in Sumner County, Marshall County and Shelbyville during early 1868. Murders and floggings were also common in Pulaski and Giles County.1 Night riding escalated after helping to ensure conservative victory in the November 1868 elections, and subsequently shifted to the counties east and Southeast of Nashvillle during 1870-1871 after which violence became sporadic.2

The Second Klan was concentrated in the eastern and western corners of Tennessee. Despite signing up 10,000s of lower-middle class and working class members in Memphis, it failed to capture municipal elections due to newspaper exposés, and the willingness of political rivals to form an anti-Klan coalition. Klan politics also failed in Chattanooga, while in Knoxville, 2000 the order, which slowly faded after 1923. Klan units survived through the 1930s and World War II in Knoxville, as well as Nashville, where terrorists bombed black homes in January 1950 and March 1951.(430) Sam Green expelled Chattanooga Klansman from the Association of Georgia Klans after reports linked them to 16 floggings and a bombing in 1949. Another bombing occurred in the city in May 1950(429).3

Tennessee was traditionally moderate on racial issues, reacting to Brown in a “constructive if not compliant” manner, which produced scattered disorder.4 It was the reaction against implementation of the Brown decision in Clinton during fall 1956 however, which sparked large-scale Klan organizing.5 Add from Chalmers/Wade Despite the existence of substantial white-supremacist sentiment in the area due to trade links with the Deep South,6 Klan organizers met with little success in Memphis during 1954-1956.7 After itinerant agitator John Kasper was arrested for violating an injunction against rallying segregationist mobs, Alabama Klansman Asa Carter led a crowd to the mayor’s home to demand his release and, given paltry policing, the marchers attacked local black citizens. Amid racial disorders, 125 hooded Klansmen paraded. Klansmen burned four crosses and chased reporters from a rally outside town, and someone bombed a black-owned home, causing no damage. In December, white Baptist minister Rev. Paul Turner was mobbed and beaten for having escorted black children to school, and the town’s fourth bombing occurred a month later. Three more bombs exploded by February 14 1957, when a suitcase full of dynamite shattered windows in 20 homes on Clinton Street.8 In total, eight bombs exploded in Clinton and thirteen in the industrial city of Chattanooga during the late 1950s.9

Bombings also occurred in Nashville, Memphis, and Knoxville, where two occurred.10 In August 1957, after Kasper led segregationist pickets in Nashville, students and parents openly harassed black students, and a school was bombed, local officials set up blockades and arrested pickets, allowing token desegregation to proceed.11 Seven Klansmen were jailed for destroying a school in September.12 According to a May 1958 FBI report, local Klansmen committed no subsequent acts of violence.13 After three blasts virtually destroyed Clinton High School on October 5, 1958 however,14 Tennessee Governor Clement offered a reward. The State Supreme Court eventually upheld the conviction of one man on conspiracy charges.15

Memphis desegregation was contentious but peaceful, and the Knoxville mayor ordered police to protect sit-in demonstrators. In Nashville however, demonstrators were subjected to physical harassment and mass arrests in Nashville, and a Fisk student sit-in activist was whipped in Shelbyville. Chattanooga was long a place of racial accomodation and black business, which had hired black police and desgregated the public library and in the late 1940s, and desegreated public buses in 1957. During the sit-ins six whites were arrested and charged with assault after a white mob hurled bottles and bricks and beat several black students. Racist thugs also attacked demonstrators protesting continued segregation of theaters in 2/61. Five bombings, including that of two black homes in August 1960 which injured two children, prompted a reward offer from the mayor and an FBI investigation. Meetings with city officials during renewed demonstrations in 1963 however, enabled peaceful desegregation or restaurants and establishments.16

Chattanooga: The Dixie Klans, Knights of the KKK

The main Klan organization in Tennessee during the post-Brown years was the U.S. Klans, Knights of the Ku Klux Klan, led by Imperial Wizard Eldon Edwards. Edwards expelled Chattanooga Klavern #1 leaders Jack Wilson Brown and his brother Harry Leon Brown in [September17] or October 1957, because of their alleged uncontrollable proclivity for violence.18 The Browns formed the Dixie Klans, Knights of the Ku Klux Klan. FBI could not confirm allegation form a source that Jack William Brown encourages acts of violence and that a secret “den” within the Dixie Klan orchestrated five bombings of residences in Hamilton County during July and August 1960.19 Membership and activities centered around Chattanooga, where, according to HUAC, Klansmen were “repeatedly involved in bombings and other acts of violence.”20

Jack Brown was also active in the anti-Semitic National States Rights Party, members of which were prosecuted for bombing an Atlanta synagogue, and, years later, convicted of bombing a Birmingham Alabama church in 1958.21 When the sit-in movement reached Chattanooga in February 1960, precipitating a race-riot, police acted to control white vigilantes. Hamilton County homes were bombed during July-August 1960, however, allegedly by a secretive group within Dixie Klans.22

A DK unit continued to exist in Knoxville as late as October 63,23 but when COINTELPRO began, the Klan consisted of only one unit in Chattanooga. Informants reported a membership of 45, with approximately 25 members regularly attending weekly meetings.24 As of summer 1966, the Dixie Klans encompassed about 150 members.25

The FBI had instituted a program of interviewing Klan members at the time of the assassination of President Kennedy, and later in connection with bombings in Birmingham. Due to these interviews, “some Klan members felt that the information in possession of the FBI could only have been obtained from some high official source in the Klan.”26 Perhaps for this reason, no discussion of acts of violence had occurred among Chattanooga Klansmen between October 1962 and July 1965, this despite demonstrations seeking integration of public and municipal facilities, as well as desegregation of schools in Chattanooga and Hamilton County in 1962-1963. According to FBI reports, Dixie Klan leaders had instructed Klansmen to stay away from the demonstrations and the schools, and not to engage in, advocate, or engage in discussions of violence. No Dixie Klan demonstrations or acts of violence had taken place, even though all municipal facilities were integrated and court approved integration proceeded.27

This situation began to change in August 1965, when a Klansman named [John Mayhew, Jr.]] beat a teenager who had heckled a Klan rally.28 In isolated incidents during August-September 1965, younger members of the Dixie Klans and young teenagers who frequented the Klan’s recreation hall beat black citizens in the vicinity of the Boon-Hysinger Housing projects of east Chattanooga, where spectators had jeered and thrown rocks at police during race riots. Informants reported that these youths had been urged on by [Mayhew], a member of the Dixie Klans.29 They alleged that [Mayhew] had converted tear-gas pens into .22 caliber firearms and distributed them to young white males in the area. Agents furnished this information to the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation, and urged law enforcement authorities to stop and search [Mayhew], and make an attempt to locate these firearms.

The Tennessee press consistently condemned Klan activity and white supremacist vigilantism throughout the post-Brown period,30 but FBI agents obtained minimal cooperation against Klan activity from area law enforcement authorities. After agents alerted contacts at the Chattanooga Police Department, the Hamilton County Sheriff’s office and the Tennessee Highway Patrol, that [Mayhew] was driving with and out-of-state license, he was stopped and forced to acquire a Tennessee license, but no further action was taken. Agents also advised authorities, in September 1965, about threats to bomb Hardy Jr. High School, but city police took no action. When they alerted [Bureau deletion] that Mayhew was residing in a city-run housing project, this individual expressed interest in having the Mayor terminate his residence, but no action seems to have occurred.31

Agents “repeatedly furnished information on the explosive situation” to the Chattanooga Police Department, conducted obvious surveillance, and put pressure on Chattanooga police to place large number of cars in the vicinity, to compel Klansmen to “curtail the loafing of these young punks in the vicinity of their recreation hall.” After [6], presumably a law enforcement official, held secret meeting with Brown and reportedly gave him ultimatum to “clean up elements around his hall or he would be closed.” Klan leaders started checking Klan membership cards at the entrance to prevent entrance by unauthorized youths.32 Agents also informed a contact at the Welfare Department that Mayhew possessed an automobile however, the Department cut off his benefits.33

Since aggressive interviews had had a disruptive effect during earlier FBI investigations, agents incorporated them into the counterintelligence program. FBI agents described Jack Brown as extremely surveillance conscious and dangerous to deal with.34 They interviewed forty to fifty Chattanooga Klansmen in 1965, developing an informant in July. Many of the interviewees had been under the false impression that their membership was secret and had thus purposely never driven to the Klan hall. Since some of those interviewed had never even attended Klan meetings, they became very upset that their membership had been exposed, and this became a matter of grave concern to Dixie Klans leaders. As result, Klansmen began to spy on each other, search members at meetings and search halls for hidden microphones, causing disruption of the organization.35

Brown was in poor health, and died of heart attack on October 4 1965.36 Agents contacted bank officials to inform them that Brown died. On October 22, these officials agreed to freeze remaining funds until an appropriate change in signatures could be recorded, causing embarrassment to [7] since he had been relieved of duties.37 Mayhew attempted to take the reigns. FBI intelligence described him as incompetent, having been institutionalized on three occasions for narcotics addiction. Mayhew was “very active and belligerent . . . mentally incompetent and dangerous.” He

carries firearms in his car; and is exactly the type of person who should be watched in the event of a visit by President Johnson to Tennessee. . . . [his] propensity for violence has been previously disseminated to Secret Service and other interested agencies.
At first, FBI executives debated “whether we should expose him now, in order to preclude his election to the top post, or endeavor to make his election to that office a reality and then expose him as a mental case.” They reasoned that “the latter could cause considerably more disruption and embarrassment by exposing the top official as an incompetent mental case who has been institutionalized.”38

Ultimately however, a decision was made to direct FBI informants stir up resentment of elected officers in opposition to the apparent takeover of [deletion] and controlling of [deletion]. The elected officers and old members had been opposed to the fact that Brown had permitted [Bureau deletion] to hold public demonstrations without the approval of the membership. One state officer had become so disgusted over [Mayhew’s] activities that he had unofficially resigned even before Brown died. He called special meeting on Oct 18 for purpose of stripping [deletion] of all authority, retrieving Klan records, and turning them back over to elected officials, but39 [Mayhew] took charge of this meeting and took all records with him.40

The principal rivalry was between [22] the Imperial Klaliff and the Tennessee Grand Dragon, and [Mayhew], who had large following of younger members and those more inclined to favor violence and violation of the law. One of these rivals had been appointed by Brown and he served from June to October 1965 when [X] forced him to turn over Klan records. 5 of the ten elected officers followed Mayhew at a subsequent meeting on December 7.41 [Mayhew] had backing of younger members and teenagers, as well as [16], so had he actually taken over the organization, there would have been great potential for violence. As of December 1965 however, he was almost completely devoid of authority, and was spending most of his time at home since he had been requested to not to loaf in the vicinity of a Brown-family owned company. He also ceased loafing in the vicinity of the Dixie Klan Hall, because members had become unfriendly, and usually arrived late and departed early from meetings because of their coolness towards him.42

Given the fact that [Mayhew] was likely to be defeated in upcoming elections, he began discussing formation of a new Klavern or a new Klan organization.43 At a December 14 Klan meeting 35-40 people heard that [Mayhew] had run for office on Dec 7 despite [X] having told him not to, wherepon an argument ensued. After much insistence [X] explained to those present about [Mayhew’s] criminal record and confinement to mental hospital. [Mayhew] resigned his position and announced plans to launch a new organization.44 Charles Macon Roberts, who took over the Realm,45 had been instrumental in deposing [Mayhew,] and made known to [Mayhew’s] sympathizers that he was a former mental patient with a police record.46

Bitter over his ouster and extremely outspoken against former leaders of the Dixie Klans, Mayhew contacted other Dixie Klan members, urging them to join the Mowhawk Club and, according to informant reports, made contact with the UKA and another Klan in Florida to get charter.47 Agents tried to determine whether the Mohawk club held meetings at Graysville or Ringgold Georgia, whether it’s leader tried to affiliate with UKA, whether the Anniston Alabama Dixie Klan unit was planning to affiliate with [Mayhew], and whether the Mowhawk Club was recruiting in Virginia.48 Interviews with Klansmen who reportedly had left the Dixie Klans however, ultimately caused [Bureau deletion] to suspend activities to form a new organization.49 [Bureau deletion] meanwhile, hired lawyers to look into [Mayhew’s] history of arrests and confinement to a mental hospital.50 By summer 1966, he too, was apparently exploring the possibility of merging the Dixie Knights with the UKA.51

The combined effect of putting continual pressure upon city law enforcement to crack down on vigilantism, inducing the welfare department and banking officials to disrupt Klan finances, conducting aggressive interviews of Klan members, and promoting disruptive factionalism through the use of informants was quite effective. Although informants reported that a secret ten-member group existed within Klavern #1 between June 1965 and January 1966, no Klan violence had occurred since the September events.52 Scattered violence in July 1967, including an attempted fire bombing of at least two restaurants which occurred after a white man was charged with shooting and wounding a black boy from a passing car, failed to elicit any response from local Klansmen.53 The State Attorney General’s approval of mixed marriages seems not to have provoked in any protest activity either.54 Indeed, the Dixie Klans had become so weakened that the HUAC, which held hearings between October 1965 and January 1966, decided not to bother issuing subpoenas to any members of the group.55

FBI reports make no mention Dixie Klan activity until June 1967, when informants reported that [9], a Dixie Klan officer had attended meetings in his Sheriff’s uniform. Since [deletion] had previously been advised of this fact but had taken no action, agents leaked this information to a well-trusted source at the Chattanooga Times.56 Both the Times and the Chattanooga Post decried the fact that Sheriff Frank Newell had hired and Exalted Cyclops, and then refused to act once this fact came to public attention.57 In the wake of negative publicity, Sheriff Newell expressed regret over the differences that he had had with FBI officials over use of the FBI lab due to [9]’s employment, and asked the FBI to report to him if [9] was continuing to attend Klan meetings. Agents informed him that [9] was not being truthful.58 Four months later, after [9] was charged with felonious assault, the Knoxville SAC urged the Knox County Attorney General to undertake vigorous prosecution, because it would act as a deterrent against Klan violence, but an out of court settlement was reached instead. Over the next year and a half, agents continued to urge a subsequent county administration to re-open the case, but failed.59

After agents interviewed [9] however, he stopped attending meetings of the Mascot Klavern.60 Located north of Knoxville in Corryton, the twenty-member strong Mascot Klavern #788 had been organized in January 1968. Agents made a concentrated effort, interviewing Klavern members two to three times each. Since the presence of FBI cars and agents was very obvious in the small rural communities of Corryton and Mascot, agents were observed talking to particular Klan members. This created suspicions of one particular Klavern member, even as interviews reduced membership to 4-5 members. By December the Klavern had been forced to fold up.61

At the same time, agents interviewed selected members of the Black Organizing Project resulting in suspicion that those members not interviewed were police or FBI informants. Infighting caused a number of resignations, and a reduction in recruiting and finances. Agents also maintained daily contact with police, to provide information on law violations and obtain information gleaned by undercover police agents in the BOP. Several arrests created a financial burden for the group. They also provided names of Black militants who had enrolled at various universities in Memphis and Nashville to “trusted and reliable sources . . . to better control demonstrations” and acquire information about them. Finally, agents furnished BOP statements and printed material to newspaper contacts. Numerous critical articles resulted, causing several militants to lose positions in a Federal Government sponsored anti-poverty program.62

In summer 1969 [6] engaged in a vigorous recruitment drive, raising Mascot Klavern? membership numbers from 15 to more than 45. Given this organizer’s excessive demands for money however, other individuals fought for power, allowing agents to aggravate an emerging split that centered on disapproval of [6]’s leadership. In interviews, agents emphasized that dishonesty and trouble making on the part of [6] made for a bad image. Klavern members voted him out of office and, subsequently banished him from the Klan. This in turn caused members loyal to [6] quit the group. By July 1970, it had declined once again.63 At this point, both the UKA and the Dixie Klans were quiescent and no violence was occurring within the Knoxville division. FBI interviews continued to reduce newly recruited members, even as the election of new officers caused some old-timers to quit.64

The United Klans of America

On March 19 1961, members of the Maryville, Harriman and Dayton, Tennessee chapters of the U.S. Klans affiliated with the United Klans of America. As of October 1964, active UKA Klaverns existed in Harriman, Maryville, Sevierville, and Knoxville, [where a unit had existed for the previous year.65]. The Maryville chapter had 127 members, but the rest held less than 30. By January 1966, additional Klaverns existed at Etowah and Johnson City Capitalizing on civil rights protests, the UKA began recruiting in rural West Tennessee counties with public rally in Brownsville in August 1965. According to HUAC, Grand Dragon Raymond Anderson of Maryville built the Tennessee Realm into only five klaverns as of October 1965. By early 1966 the Realm only contained ten klaverns populated by 225 members. As of March 1966, FBI agents had identified 330 Klansmen in Tennessee.66

In Spring 1965, agents interviewed numerous UKA Klansmen from Sevierville, Maryville and Knoxville in connection with a bombing investigation.67 They interviewed more than fifteen members of the Sevierville klavern to discourage activity. Informants confirmed that many of the Klansmen who informed agents that they would withdraw from the UKA because they did not want to be associated with an organization under investigation with the FBI, indeed dropped out.68 One UKA officer was removed after he failed to attend three meetings.69

Memphis-based agents interviewed the new recruits in western Tennessee, emphasizing corruption among Klan leaders, and arguing that Klan violence merely served to bring in new waves of civil rights agitators and finances into the South.70 In interviews with religiously motivated Klansmen, agents emphasized Klan-related murders in Alabama and Mississippi, and they discussed Klan monetary and fiscal policies that had raised allegations of embezzlement with the “hot-headed and ignorant.” They emphasized that Robert Shelton possessed little knowledge of communism and had merely memorized passages of from J. Edgar Hoover’s books to “seemingly intelligent Klansmen,” and urged them to join patriotic organizations.71

Agents described [4], the highest raking UKA official in west Tennessee as an “extreme egoist and braggart.” They interviewed him periodically, not only to deter violence but to “inflate his ego” so that he would continue to brag, and thus raise suspicions among lesser-ranking Klansmen as to how much he was talking to FBI agents about Klan activities.72 They also moved to capitalize on bitter personal differences that had led to the ouster of the Crockett County Exalted Cyclops by [10] and other UKA leaders, as well as the fact that [20] of Tipton County was initiating new members without 4 being present.73

In connection with an intimidation complaint against black customers at a restaurant in Kingsport, agents interviewed a UKA organizer [8], and 3-4 enrollees. As a result, all organizing efforts ceased and [8] wrote a Klan official his unfounded belief that he had been “spied upon for 30 days by the FBI and had been followed from job to job by some automobile.”74 Agents did not threaten Klansmen in these interviews, but merely apprised them of the Bureau’s interest in whether Klan organizations were involved in acts of violence. Yet the interview drew attention to the fact that their Klan membership was no longer a secret. When individual Klansmen protested that their klavern was not involved in violence, agents reminded them that violence undertaken by members of their organization had been publicized in adjoining states. One Klansman resigned and after agents interviewed other members of the Harriman klavern, informants soon reported that for all practical purposes, that unit had disbanded.75

When numerous members of the Maryville Klavern #1 became alarmed that there was a “leak” and became suspicious of each other due to interviews, agents sent an anonymous note to a member of the Maryville klavern, which declared that a Klansman named Myers was responsible.76 The letter created confusion and intensified existing dissention antagonism in the unit. Myers, instead of rising in Klan ranks, was ousted from his position.77 As Tennessee’s largest UKA Klavern split into two factions agents made plans to either cause Myers to completely lose power or cause his expulsion from the UKA.78

Myers had taken it upon himself to hold Klan rallies in a recruiting drive. Four warrants, based on complaints made by Klansmen, charged him with embezzling $10 initiation fees. He was arrested and incarcerated in Sommerville jail, resulting in considerable television, radio and newspaper publicity in eastern Tennessee, especially in the Knoxville newspapers. [20] of the Sevierville klavern made bond. Agents interviewed all known UKA members on number of occasions and whenever an opportunity arose, made insinuations that Myers was dishonest and did not contribute to the support of his family.79 Within three months, the Klavern was failing.80 As of March 1966, Knoxville executives counted 130 active Klansmen in their division. Many of the 225 other people who had joined the UKA or attended meetings in the past year had allowed their membership to lapse by ceasing to attend meetings or failing to pay Klan dues.81

As mentioned above however, Memphis agents however, had identified an additional 200 Klansmen in Western Tennessee.82 In summer 1966, they mailed out copies of a postcard entitled “Which Klan leader is Spending Your Money Tonight?” to seventy-five Klansmen, and sent another set of 100 cards in July.83 A second set of postcards entitled “Invisible Government,” sent to eighty-five Klansmen, caused considerably more concern, as well as several discussions in Klavern meetings in Brownsville, Ripley and Shelby County about which civil rights organization had sent them.84 Combined with the interviews, speculation about the postcards limited meeting attendance and caused some older Klan members to quit.85 Klansmen adopted a constant worry that security had been breached.86

In Maryville and Eastern Tennessee, the postcards elicited curiosity, but no alarm from, possibly because the majority of those remaining Klansmen were “old-time Klansmen,” not concerned about their identity becoming known.87 Another possible reason was that these Klansmen had not engaged in any violence or intimidation, except for a couple of isolated cross burnings perpetrated near residences but on public property so as not to violate trespassing laws.88 According to the Knoxville SAC,

Although there may be no public sympathy for the Klan in this area, there is certainly no antagonism toward the organization and many persons have a passive feeling toward its membership and activities.89
Some politicians, including a U.S. Congress candidate from a Knoxville district solicited the support of the Klan in local elections.90 Notional communications that attacked Klan leaders as embezzling con-men had little effect either.91 As agents continued to use interviews to “denigrate certain Klan leaders and members” in both the eastern Tennessee UKA and the Dixie Klans however, absences from Klavern meetings followed.92

In August 1966, a new group composed of about 10 disgruntled former UKA members called the Christian Knights of the Ku Klux Klan held a rally at Sevierville, where NRSP Christian Identity preacher Rev. Connie Lynch spoke, but no further meetings were held.93 Robert Shelton, who had attended a Maryville rally the previous summer and established rapport with more influential and avid Klan members, now expressed concern about a lack of expansion in Tennessee.94 Speaking before 50 Tennesssee Klansmen in Harrison in June 1967 Shelton expressed concern about FBI informers.95

In fall 1966, Memphis agents sent an anonymous communication to the national Headquarters of a corporation or union? operating in Memphis, alerting executives that an officer of Klavern 777 Memphis named Daniel, was recruiting for the UKA on company time, to get him fired. The vast majority of officers and members of the union at the plant were ardent segregationists.96 The letter eventually brought about a change in the recruiter’s working night shift, resulting in his expulsion from the Klan for poor meeting attendance.97

1967 federal courts forced faculty integration in the public schools.98 In the wake of a Federal Court decision requiring consolidation of black and white schools in Haywood County, arsonists burned five Black homes and a Black-owned store.99 In mid-December, J. Edgar Hoover reported to the Attorney General that the FBI had controlled expansion of the Klan in Tennessee through the use of informants, and discouraged violence throughout the state.100

Suspicion that X is misusing klavern funds, by April a majority believe this.101

In June 1968, the Brownsville Sheriff conducted an investigation to bring charges of operating an illegal moonshine against two UKA Realm officers one of them a Brownsville Klavern member. Due to an FBI tip, a restaurant owner who had lost business because a new interstate highway bypassed his Jolla café was suspected of burning his establishment to collect an insurance payment, and prevented from collecting $6000. As constant publicity that [9] was involved in moonshine led to rumors that he was almost on the way out, informants increased the growing pressure to oust him, harassing state officers.102 After the Treasury Department issued a warrant for conspiracy to violate the liquor laws against [5] and [9 or 10], informants continued to discredit 9 and 6.103

The West Tennessee Klan now also went into decline, with many members voicing dissatisfaction with the UKA. Two Klansmen were expelled from the Brownsville Klavern, now Tennessee UKA Headquarters, and a feud erupted between [9] and the UKA leader in Haywood County. Since the leader of Shelby 777 dis-aligned from [11], the present leader in the Memphis area, Shelby 777 declined in membership, with only 5 people attending meetings.104 By early 1969, Brownesville Klansmen were shunning [9].105

By December, [9] had been forced to close his business in order to defray attorney’s fees for representation in the federal liquor law case, and an attempt to recover the $6000. Given extensive publicity in the local media Tipton County officials had also suspended his beer license. The Shelby County unit folded and the EC resigned due to distrust of the Klan, even as [9]’s arrest and conviction prompted local citizens to have UKA HQ ousted from community. In early 1969, [9] was convicted, and his co-defendants [19] and [18] acquitted in federal court, precluding his ability to hold state office or open membership in the UKA. [3, 9] was in debt due to the costs of his defense.106

Tarnished by his support of [9] in the liquor case, [11]’s attempts to re-organize failed due to unwillingness by sympathizers to become involved in Klan functions. A rally in Memphis flopped due to this unwillingness, as well as poor communications and advertising, with only 20-25 people attending.107 Attempts to hold rallies at Pulaski and Giles City failed, as and city and county officials refused permits for any Klan meetings in the area. Informants reported noticeable decline in Klan membership throughout all the Klaverns of western Tennessee.108 No popular with members and every indication he will be replaced.109 Very small units remained in Haywood and Shelby counties, with a few widely dispersed sympathizers elsewhere.110 This despite 1968 deseg order that ended gerrymandered school districts in Crockett County.111 Surveillance of Klan functionaries and members in Memphis created wide-spread and suspicion of each other in Shelby County # 777 that an informant was operating. Klansmen turned up a radio during meetings, convinced that the hall was bugged.112
Bill Church, IW of Justice Knights, larry Payne, marshall thrash of chatanooga held for wounding of 4 black women by shotgun blasts from passing car in Chatt.113 Two (passenger and driver) acquitted by all white jury of assault to comit murder and Thrash (shooter) given 20 month sentence and fined $225 for simple assault114 verdicts prompted three nights of violence include injuring of eight pd by shotgun fire, and firebombings.115 1982 KKK Chapter and three former members ordered to pay $535,000 in damages.116
Roving police teams armed w automatic weapons prevented 75 robed and hooded Klansmen from marching in Nashville’s Christmas parade and granted special protection to Jerry Thompson, who had infiltrated for the Tennessean series.117
2000 watch < 100 robed/fatigued marchers in Pulaski protest against MLK national Holiday include McCollum and Robb. Request for cross burning denied.118
Two Klansmen sentenced to 3-6 years and 2-4 years for explosives possession and conspiring to commit illegal act include self-proclaimed national titan of United Empire of the KKK Larry Owens, arrest stem from car chase during racial disturbance July 26.119
April 1980 several carloads of Justice Knights drove into the black community of Chattanooga to burn a cross. One Klansman fired a shotgun, injuring four elderly black women, while a blast from a second carload injured another woman. Police arrested three Klansmen, but after an all-white jury acquitted two of them, the NAACP and the Center for Constitutional Rights filed suit in Federal Court against the three Klansmen and the Justice Knights. The jury awarded $535,000 to the five victims and the judge permanently enjoined all defendants against intimidating blacks in the city. Telephone survey found that support was far from negligible, especially among the less educated of surrounding Counties.120
Federal agents arrest three attempting to bomb Nashville Synagogue.121 Two Klan and one nazi convicted in plot to blow up synagog, television tower and Jewish owned businesses: Gladys Girgenti and Bobby Joe Norton of confederate vigilantes of the KKK and William Foutch of ANP. Implicated by ATF infiltrator Robert lee Vance.122 members of UKA jailed for arson in Knoxville in 1982 and for shooting a suspected drug dealer in Rutherford County in 1984.123 Citing lack of support in TN and sw VA, Gollub announces moving to GA.124 Imperial Wizard Rocky Coker, United Empire Knights convicted of murder, ending group that had competed with JKs in 1980.125
Memphis began school desegregation in 1961. The Governor Clement won an election in which all candidates actively sought black support, and unlike Chattanooga or Clinton, no acts of vigilantism were reported.126 A May 1965 incident in which a black civil rights worker was stabbed and at least five other people, four of them white, were injured during tests at four restaurants and a drug store in Sommerville, was not Klan related.127

1 Trelease, White Terror, 7-9, 19-20, 23, 26-43, 46; Chalmers, Hooded Americanism, 15-16.

2 Trelease, White Terror, 175-185, 278-280; Michael and Judy Ann Newton ed., The Ku Klux Klan, An Encyclopedia, (New York: Garland, 1991), 555-556; Wyn Craig Wade, The Fiery Cross: The Ku Klux Klan in America, (New York: Simon and Schuster, 1987), 37, 40-41, 45-50, 63, 84.

3 Newton Racial and Religious Violence, 428-429, 430; Chalmers, Hooded Americanism, 152-153, 335-336. Klansmen were especially active in the Memphis Firestone Plant. Daniel, Lost Rvolutions, 125.

4 Neil R. McMillen, “Organized Resistance to School Desegregation in Tennessee,” Tennessee Historical Quarterly, XXX:1, (Spring 1971), 315.

5 Newton, KKK Encyclopedia, 556-557; Newton, Racial and Religious Violence, 420-421; Kenneth T. Jackson, The Ku Klux Klan in the City, 1915-1930, (Chicago: Ivan R. Dee, 1967), 45-65; FBI Report, “The Ku Klux Klan,” Section II, 1944-1958, (May 1958), downloadable from www.thememoryhole.org/fbi/kkk.htm, 67-68.

6 McMillan, Citizens Councils, 308; McMillen, “Organized Resistance,” 316.

7 FBI Report, “The Ku Klux Klan,” Section II, 1944-1958, (May 1958), downloadable from www.thememoryhole.org/fbi/kkk.htm, 58-59.

8 Newton, KKK Encyclopedia, 119-120; Lovett, Civil Rights Movement, 47-48; McMillen, “Organized Resistance,” 317 passim; James T. Patterson, Brown vs. Board of Education: A Civil Rights Milestone and Its Troubled Legacy, (New York, 2001), 101-103; AP, “Klan Burns Crosses at Clinton, Tenn.,” Washington Post, 16 October 1956, C16. The Tennessee Federation for Constitutional Government, the only Citizens Council-type group to organize in the state, denounced Kasper. Concentrated in the western counties where the black population was concentrated, the federation never enlisted a substantial following. McMillan, Citizens’ Council, 107-111.

9 Newton FBI and KKK, 216n24.

10 Director to Albany and all Continental Offices, 1023/58, Bombings and Attempted Bombings, Racial Matters, 12-14, and Knoxville Report, 11/1/58, “Bombings and Attempted Bombings,” in FBI San Francisco file 100-44462, “Bombings and Attempted Bombings,” Lazar archive.

11 Patterson, Brown v. Board of Education, 103-104. Eventually, five white men were charged in the bombing. Only ten of the 115 blacks assigned to the white school dared to attend, while fifty-five white students assigned to black schools were allowed to transfer out. Lovett, Civil Rights Movement, 56, 58-59.

12 Newton, FBI and KKK, 216n25.

13 FBI Report, “The Ku Klux Klan,” Section II, 67-68. The December 1958 bombing of a Jewish Community Center, claimed by a “Confederate Underground,” was never solved. Jackson Toby, “Bombing in Nashville: A Jewish Center and the Desegregation Struggle, Commentary 25 (1958): 385-389.

14 Newton, KKK Encyclopedia, 119-120. By 1958, Clinton, Nashville and Qak Ridge had desegregated, with Oak Ridge still being operated under federal auspices in its fourth year of mixed classes in the Junior and Senior years. Jean White, “Outside Spotlight, Integration Quietly Gains,” Washington Post, 7 September 1958, A1.

15 Michal Belknap, Federal Law and Southern Order: Racial Violence and Constitutional Conflict in the Post-Brown South, (Athens: University of Georgia Press, 1987), 54-55. Kasper praised the bombing. Lovett, Civil Rights Movement, 58.

16 Thugs records expunged, however. Graham, “Crisis in Print,” 194-195; Lovett, Civil Rights Movement, 144-151, 173-183, 188-200. A 30 member Dixie Klans unit 6-8 of whom were active existed in the city during 1960. Memphis to Director, 5/22/62, SAC Letter No 63-4, 1/23/63, FBI HQ File 157-7 “Klan Type Organizations and Hate Groups," Section 1, Lazar archive.

17 SAC Letter No 63-4, 1/23/63, 10, FBI San Francisco file 100-44462, “Bombings and Attempted Bombings,” Lazar archive.

18 Newton, KKK Encyclopedia, 58, 76, 555-556; US Congress, House. Committee on Un-American Activities. Report: The Present-Day Ku Klux Klan Movement. 90th Congress, 1st Session, 1967, 20, 57.

19 Sources advised that the DK also had a few units in northern Georgia, a 30 member klavern in Memphis, inactive since fall 1961, and a Klavern in Colonial Heights Virginia. SAC Letter No 63-4, 1/23/63, 11-12, FBI San Francisco file 100-44462, “Bombings and Attempted Bombings,” Lazar archive.

20 In addition to the Headquarters in Chattanooga and small units in Chatsworth and Dalton Georgia, an active Klavern also existed in Anniston Alabama. Newton, KKK Encyclopedia, 557; US Congress, House. Hearings before the Committee on Un-American Activities. Activities of Ku Klux Klan Organizations. 89th Congress, 1st Session, 1966, 1562, 1568, 1580; HUAC, Present-Day, 57-58 (quote), 146.

21 Brown was identified as a suspect in the 1963 16th street Baptist church bombing in Birmingham Alabama. NSRP functionary Joseph Milteer, a Georgia Klansman who reportedly claimed foreknowledge of the method by which President Kennedy would be assassinated, implicated Brown in continuing plots to kill Martin Luther King Jr. Newton, KKK Encyclopedia, 72, 76, 394; Melissa Fay Greene, The Temple Bombing, (Reading: Addison Wesley, 1996); “White Supremacist Surrenders for Prison,” Washington Post, 2 July 1983, A5.

22 Belknap, Federal Law and Southern Order, 77-78; Knoxville to Director, 12/10/65 and attached LHM; AC Letter No. 63-4, 1/22/63, FBI HQ File 157-7 “Klan Type Organizations and Hate Groups," Section 1, Lazar archive.

23 Knoxville to Director, 10/11/63, FBI HQ File 157-7 “Klan Type Organizations and Hate Groups," Section 2, Lazar archive.

24 Knoxville to Director, 10/15/64. As of July 1965, agents were aware of one klavern in Georgia, as well as the klavern in Anniston Alabama. Knoxville to Director, 12/10/65.

25 In addition to the Headquarters in Chattanooga and the small units in Chatsworth and Dalton Georgia included in this figure, an active Dixie Klans Klavern also existed in Anniston Alabama. Newton, KKK Encyclopedia, 557; US Congress, House. Hearings before the Committee on Un-American Activities. Activities of Ku Klux Klan Organizations. 89th Congress, 1st Session, 1966, 1562, 1568, 1580; HUAC, Present-Day, 57-58 (quote), 146.

26 Knoxville to Director, 10/15/64.

27 Knoxville to Director, 12/10/65 and attached LHM.

28 Knovville to Director, 1/18/66 (identifies Mayhew), 2/4/66.

29 Knovville to Director, 2/4/66.

30 Hugh Davis Graham, Crisis in Print: Desegregation and the Press in Tennessee, (Vanderbilt University Press, ).

31 Knoxville to Director, 6/25/65, 12/2/65, 1/4/66, 1/18/66, 2/4/66, 3/31/66; Director to Knoxville, 3/29/66; Philadelphia to Director, 4/1/66; Director to Philadelphia, 5/4/66.

32 Knoxville to Director, 12/2/65.

33 Knoxville to Director, 12/2/65, 1/18/66.

34 Knoxville to Director, 6/25/65.

35 Knoxville to Director, 7/26/65, 12/2/65.

36 Knoxville to Director, 6/25/65, 10/11/65.

37 Knoxville to Director, 12/2/65.

38 Knoxville to Director, 11/29/65.

39 Knoxville to Director, 12/2/65.

40 LHM attached to Knoxville to Director, 12/10/65.

41 LHM attached to Knoxville to Director, 1/12/66.

42 Knoxville to Director, 12/2/65.

43 Knoxville to Director, 12/2/65.

44 Knoxville to Director, 12/17/65 and attached LHM

45 HUAC, Present Day, 57.

46 Knoxville to Director, 1/6/66.

47 LHM attached to Knoxville to Director, 1/12/66.

48 Knoxville to Director, 1/12/66.

49 Knoxville to Director, 3/31/66.

50 Knovville to Director, 2/4/66.

51 Newton, KKK Encyclopedia, X; HUAC, Present Day, 57.

52 This “Claw” group was not reportedly known to the regular membership and not under the control of the exalted Cyclops, with members holding black instead of red colored membership cards. Knoxville to Director, 2/4/66.

53 UPI, “2 Charged in Shooting of Tennessee Negro, 11,” Washington Post, 19 July 1967, A4.

54 AP, “Mixed Marriage Given Approval in Tennessee,” Washington Post, 19 July 1967, A4.


56 Knovville to Director 6/1/67, 8/5/67; Director to Knoxville, 6/14/67.

57 Klan and Patrol,” Chattanooga Post, 3 August 1967; “Why a Cyclops on the County Police?” Chattanooga Times, 3 August 1967; Knoxville to Director, 10/17/67.

58 Director to Knoxville, 8/4/67.

59 Knoxville to Director, 12/28/67, 7/26/68, 10/21/68, 1/28/69, 7/29/69.

60 Knoxville to Director, 4/10/68.

61 Knoxville to Director, 1/28/69, 4/28/69.

62 Memphis to Director, 5/22/68, 8/30/68, BNHG

63 Knoxville to Director, 7/29/69, 1/2/70, 4/2/70, 7/2/70, 11/3/0/70.

64 Knoxville to Director, 1/8/71.

65 Knoxville to Director, 10/11/63, FBI HQ File 157-7 “Klan Type Organizations and Hate Groups," Section 2, Lazar archive.

66 Newton, KKK Encyclopedia, 17, 557; HUAC, Present-Day KKK, 33, 37, 62; Knoxville to Director, 10/15/64, 1/28/66 (and attached LHM), 3/9/66; Memphis to Director, 10/8/65, 3/10/66.

67 The so-called Greenbomb case. Knoxville to Director, 3/29/65.

68 Knoxville to Director, 1/6/66.

69 Knoxville to Director, 12/7/65.

70 Memphis to Director, 10/8/65.

71 Memphis to Director, 4/1/66.

72 Director to Memphis, 11/16/65.

73 Memphis to Director, 1/12/66.

74 [8] was interviewed only once. Knoxville to Director, 1/6/66.

75 Knoxville to Director, 1/6/66.

76 Knoxville to Director, 5/10/65 (quote), 6/25/65; Director to Knoxville, 6/3/65.

77 Knoxville to Director, 6/25/65, 7/26/65, 11/24/65.

78 Knoxville to Director, 12/2/65.

79 Knoxville to Director, 12/7/65.

80 Knoxville to Director, 3/31/66, 7/6/66.

81 Knovville to Director, 3/9/66.

82 Memphis to Director, 3/10/66.

83 Memphis to Director, 7/1/66 (2); 8/8/66.

84 Memphis to Director, 9/2/66.

85 Memphis to Director, 7/1/66, 9/30/66.

86 Memphis to Director, 12/31/66.

87 Knoxville to Director, 7/6/66.

88 Knoxville to Director, 10/17/66.

89 Knoxville to Director, 10/15/64.

90 Knoxville to Director, 10/15/64.

91 Knoxville to Director, 7/6/66.

92 Knoxville to Director, 10/17/66.

93 Knoxville to Director, 10/17/66; Los Angeles to Director, 8/12/66, 10/20/66; Charlotte to Director, 7/14/66, 9/14/66. NSRP Chairman Ned Dupes also addressed a Maryville Tennessee Klavern in November. Knoxville to Director, 12/12/66.

94 Knoxville to Director, 10/13/66.

95 Birmingham Report, 10/24/67, 6 FBI HQ File 157-552 #44 “Robert M. Shelton,” Lazar archive.

96 Director to Memphis, 9/14/66, 11/2/66, 12/2/66; Memphis to Director, 10/18/66, 11/15/66, 12/31/66.

97 Memphis to Director, 9/30/67, 1/1/68.

98 AG Annual Report 1967, 177.

99 William Chapman, “Racial Bombings May Be Reprisals,” Washington Post, 27 November 1967, B7.

100 Report, Director, FBI to Attorney General, December 19, 1967, KU KLUX KLAN INVESTIGATIONS FBI ACCOMPLISHMENTS. Reprinted in Church, Hearings, Vol 6, 516-527.

101 Memphis to Director, 1/1/68, 4/1/68.

102 The arsonist had already collected $10,000. Memphis to Director, 6/28/68, 9/30/68.

103 One Arrested at former gambling joint Tipton County Hwy 51. Other at Tibbs community residence. Memphis to Director, 8/5/68, 8/7/68.

104 Memphis to Director, 9/30/68, 4/14/69.

105 Memphis to Director, 3/28/69.

106 He received a six month sentence. Memphis to Director, 12/26/68, 4/14/69, 11/5/69.

107 Memphis to Director, 9/30/69.

108 Memphis to Director, 6/30/69.

109 Memphis to Director, 1/2/70.

110 LHM attached to Memphis to Director, 7/28/69.

111 Atny Gen report 1968

112 Memphis to Director, 9/30/70, 12/31/70, 3/31/71.

113 AP, “Four Black omen Wounded in Chattanooga; Klansmen Held,” Washington Post, 21 April 1980, A11.

114 “Klansman Convicted, 2 Freed in Wounding of Black Women,” Washington Post, 23 July 1980, A3.

115 AP, “Black Volunterers Replace Chattanooga Police Patrol,” Washington Post, 26 July 1980, A2; “Ku Klux Klan Fined,” Washington Post, 28 February 1982, A4.

116 “Ku Klux Klan Fined.”

117 “Klan Blocked from parade,” Washington Post, 8 December 1980, A7.

118 Peggy Bendet, “Klan Stages Brief Protest Against King,” Washington Post, 19 January 1986, A1.

119 “Two Klansmen Sentenced,” Washington Post, no date.

120 Rick Seltzer and grace M. Lopes, “The Ku Klux Klan: reasons for Support or Opposition Among White Respondents,” Journal of Black Studies, 71:1, (September 1986): 91-109.

121 UPI, “# Are Arrested in Nashville in Synagogue Bombing Plot,” Washington Post, 27 May 1981, A2.

122 “Three Convicted in Bomb Plot,” Washington Post, 22 November 1981, A4.

123 Newton, KKK Encyclopedia, 557.

124 AP, “Klan Organizer, Citing lack of Support, Says He’ll Move,” Washington Post, 18 August 1986, B8.

125 Newton, KKK Encyclopedia, 557.

126 Robert E. Baker, “Rights Movement Stabs Into Depths of Dixie,” Washington Post, 9 September 1962, E1.

127 A white grocer charged with assault and battery. AP, “Rights Worker Stabbed; 5 Hurt,” [New Orleans] Times-Picayune, 2 May 1965, 1:14.

Directory: drabbs
drabbs -> But Klansmen whipped a Columbus County woman in 1951
drabbs -> With the complicity of
drabbs -> The fbi, cointelpro-white hate, and the Ku Klux Klan in North Carolina, 1964-1971
drabbs -> 2 From October 1871 into 1873, mass arrests and federal prosecutions “broke the back of the Ku Klux Klans” after which Southern violence took on new form
drabbs -> 2 From October 1871 into 1873, mass arrests and federal prosecutions “broke the back of the Ku Klux Klans” after which Southern violence took on new form
drabbs -> The fbi, cointelpro-white hate and the Decline of Ku Klux Klan Organizations in Mississippi, 1964-1971
drabbs -> Chapter ? ‘A negative and Unwise Approach’: Private Detectives, Vigilantes and the fbi counterintelligence, 1910-1972
drabbs -> Fbi covert Operations and Suppression of Ku Klux Klan Violence, 1964-1971

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