The FBI, COINTELPRO-WHITE HATE, and the Ku Klux Klan in North Carolina, 1964-1971 Between September 1964 and April 1971, the Federal Bureau of Investigation conducted a domestic covert action program named COINTELPRO-WHITE HATE. This counterintelligence program endeavored to discredit, disrupt, and vitiate the Ku Klux Klan and other white-supremacist vigilante groups.1 While historians are quite familiar with the FBI's efforts to nurture anticommunism and to disrupt civil rights and leftist movements, the FBI's role in neutralizing KKK groups in the American South during the late 1960s has not been systematically assessed.2 A number of accounts provide insight and anecdote, but none of them have scrutinized the actual effects of COINTELPRO operations on the targeted individuals and organizations.3 This article describes and assesses the effects of the COINTELPRO-WHITE HATE operation in North Carolina, where the United Klans of America recruited the largest Klan membership of the 1960s. It provides an important comparison with operations in the Deep South, where some local and state law enforcement authorities were less willing to suppress Klan activity. Part of a larger study of COINTELPRO-WHITE HATE across the South, this article provides a detailed account of COINTELPRO’s effect upon the Ku Klux Klans in the 1960s.
During Reconstruction, three overlapping paramilitary groups, the White Brotherhood, the Constitutional Union Guard, and the Invisible Empire (or Ku Klux Klan), led by ex-Governor Zebulon Vance, engaged in guerilla-type terrorist operations against African Americans and white Republicans in the North Carolina Piedmont. Raleigh area Klansmen, for example, raped and mutilated a young black woman, and Caswell County Klansmen murdered a State Senator. Governor William Holden was able to defuse Union Guard violence in Jones, Duplin and Lenour counties, through a policy of concilliation and appeasement, but Klan violence escalated northwest of Raleigh, and along the railroad corridor through Alamance County, where twelve murders, nine rapes, fourteen arsons and seven mutilations took place.4 In 1870, the Governor Holden proclaimed martial law, provoking a Conservative revolt and, in March 1871, Holden’s impeachment and removal from office. Klan violence peaked in 1871, as South Caroina Klansmen provided “hit teams” to conduct raids in Cleveland, Gaston, Lincoln and Rutherford Counties. Military enforcement of the federal Ku Klux Klan Acts, between October 1871 and February 1872, finally brought an end to nightriding.5
Vigilantes whipped dozens of people in 1921.6 Led by Superior Court Judge Henry Grady, the Second Ku Klux Klan gained 25,000 members in North Carolina between 1922 and 1923. Grady restrained his Klansmen by focusing on political activity, and North Carolina experienced only sporadic acts of vigilantism. In Raleigh, for example, the Klan was instrumental in the selection of the police chief. Membership dropped from 15,000 to 2817 between fall 1925 and Spring 1926 however, due to a controversy over the disposition of $900 in aid to victims of the Sanford Mine disaster. Imperial Wizard Hiram Evans banished the North Carolina Grand Dragon in 1927, after the latter’s refusal to support anti-black and anti-Catholic legislation, leading sixty-six of the state’s 86 klaverns disband in protest. Scattered Klan units continued to meet during the 1930s, but the North Carolina Realm folded in accordance with the national disbanding of the Knights of the Ku Klux Klan Inc., in 1944.7
In 1948, Thomas L. Hamilton, a veteran Klansman and former aide to Association of Georgia Klans leader Dr. Samuel Green, began organizing Klansmen in Horry County South Carolina. Defecting from Green’s Klan in 1949, Hamilton began recruiting across the border in 1950. That summer, Hamilton gained a small but vigilant following among tobacco farmers, blue-collar workers, store clerks and other rural residents of Columbus County. By espousing white supremacist countersubversive rhetoric with evangelistic fervor, Hamilton was able to launch a number of Klaverns, to create the loosely organized Association of Carolina Klans.8 During a two-year campaign of cross-border terrorism-which in North Carolina effected the counties of Columbus, Brunswick and Robeson, AGK Klansmen flogged thirteen people, most of them white, for drinking and morals violations. Groups of up to thirty vigilantes beat their victims with leather straps and rubber tire parts, causing severe injuries. The campaign culminated on August 31, 1950, when a caravan of 150 robed Klansmen fired 300 gunshots on a dance hall in Myrtle Beach. One shot killed fellow Klan member and Conway patrolman James Johnson. The Klansmen kidnapped the black proprietor, Charlie Fitzgerald, whose light-skinned wife they mistook for a white woman, and cut a notch in his ear.9
The atrocities brought condemnation from the pulpits of local churches, as well as an anti-Klan campaign organized by local newspapers. Hamilton and eight of his Klansmen were jailed for conspiracy to stir up mob violence, and Constable T. M. Floyd was dismissed for cooperating with the Klan. Hamilton was soon jailed again, for an August 1950 whipping, but it took two more years for State authorities to suppress the violence. In October 1951, after he published attacks on a journalist in Anderson South Carolina, Hamilton was fined $1000 for criminal libel. When eleven Klansmen, including the Police Chief of Tabor City and the ex-Police Chief of Fair Bluff, took a couple across the border from Columbus County into South Carolina and flogged them, federal jurisdiction commenced.
Forty FBI agents helped State Bureau of Investigation agents and local authorities to investigate and prosecute the terrorists. In summer 1952 and January 1953 fifty one Klansmen were indicted on federal and State charges in the Carolinas, for their involvement in abductions and floggings. Ten Klansmen were convicted in federal court, and sixty-three convictions for assault were obtained from a New Hanover County jury. Scores of Klansmen were fined, while seventeen received prison sentences ranging from eighteen months to six years. Hamilton received a four-year sentence. From prison, Hamilton renounced the Klan and urged his few remaining followers to disband.10 The successful prosecutions, as well as subsequent convictions in the region through the mid-1950s, demonstrated that rural citizens of the southeastern tobacco belt could enlist federal help and repress Klan vigilantism if they so chose.11
Historian John L. Goodwin, found that “industrial and financial leaders, religious leaders, educators, and law enforcement officials” in New Hanover County, “placed industrial development, education and improved race relations in the number one position on the agenda for progress, rejecting claims of massive resistance.”12 After Sheriff’s deputies became involved in vigilante activity, County officials quietly deposed the Register and his deputy.13 In adopting this approach, they were adhering to a policy of moderation, as espoused by Governor Luther Hodges.14
Political opinion shifted to the right after the Supreme Court’s school desegregation decision in Brown v. Board of Education. NC? Congressmen who declined to sign the Southern manifesto were defeated, while Governor Luther Hodges, faced with a segregationist opposition, disavowed moderation and began attacking the NAACP.15 The resistance movement centered around the four Piedmont industrial cities of Charlotte, Durham, Greensboro and Winston-Salem, was very small. The Patriots of North Carolina, Inc. lacked good leadership however, and neither it nor successor Citizens’ Council-type organizations ever achieved mass appeal in the State. In 1957-1958 token desegregation began in some school districts, including Winston-Salem.16 In Greensboro however, which would not fully desegregate schools, however, until forced to do so in 1971, intimidation forced the first integrating black student to leave the city.17
Rather than embrace massive resistance and repress civil rights activity, North Carolina projected an elusive image of genteel moderation, which William Chafe described as a “progressive mystique.”18 Racial paternalism, wrote Timothy Tyson, allowed North Carolinians “to consolidate a social order carved out in murder and violence but preserved in civility and moderation.”19 In John L. Godwin’s formulation, the “hegemonic force of progressive ideology,” enabled “the regime [to] legitimat[e] itself in the eyes of leading blacks by engaging in moderate reform linked with the suppression of racist extremism.”20 In Wilmington, according to Godwin, local officials, journalists, clergymen, and law enforcement, had joined forces with the FBI in a struggle to contain the influence of the KKK during 1950-1951. This, in turn,sustained “illusion and false hopes” for progress on civil rights, and erecting “a barrier to civil rights activism on a large scale.” A similar pattern would prevail in Greensboro later in the decade.21 Indeed, as late as 1966, Governor Dan K. Moore characterized both the KKK and the NAACP as “political action groups” that should not be allowed to participate in the State Fair, provoking a critical editorial in the Charlotte Observer.22
As the focus of civil rights protest shifted to the Piedmont in the late 1950s, a proliferation of localized and competing Klan groups sprung up in communities such as Monroe, Charlotte, and Greensboro. In 1955, the NAACP estimated that 45 Klaverns existed in North Carolina. Klan activities were especially strong in Guilford, Randolph, Union, Rowan, Alamance and Carrabus counties, where the first integration of schools in the state took place. A Klan group led by James “Catfish” Cole, set up its area headquarters with the tacit approval of local police in Monroe, where rally attendance reached 7500-15,000 in 1956-1957. During a local integration campaign, an armed cadre of black veterans led by Robert Williams repelled an attempted attack on the home of Dr. Albert Perry by Gaffney Klavern members.23 After the home of white NAACP supporters Dr. James and Cladia Sanders was bombed in November 1957, an FBI-State Police investigation resulted in the arrest of five members of the Independent Knights of the KKK. One of the Klansmen who confessed to the crime was killed in a suspicious accident at work.24 Klan parades, cross burnings and other intimidation also too place in Hallifax and Northampton counties in the late 1940s and early 1950s.25
A number of Klansmen also lashed out against school desegregation in Charlotte, committing bombings and armed assaults the late 1950s. Charlotte was a moderate city that responded relatively quickly to demands for greater integration with limited integration.26 Klan terror had little effect on school desegregation due to vigorous law enforcement efforts to control their activities. In early 1956 a Charlotte Recorder’s Court fined Klan organizer Arthur Bryant and charter Patriots of North Carolina member Percy C. Wyatt, for printing and distributing defamatory anti-Semitic and segregationist literature.27 County police raided a Klan meeting resulting in arrests and convictions and obtaining internal documents. County and city police kept group under surveillance.28 After a City police infiltrator assigned to destroy the Klan advised of a scheme to dynamite a black school, police arrested three Klansmen while en-route, on February 1, 1958. Convicted of conspiracy, Grand Wizard Lester Francis Caldwell received a 5-10 year prison sentence and two other members of the N.C. Knights of the KKK received 2-5 years.29 1957-8 two bombings in Charlotte, one each in Greensboro, Gastonia, Durham.30
On January 8 1958, Klansmen led by James Cole, were routed by a group of armed Lumbee Indians, near Maxton, in Rowan County. The North Carolina Knights had launched a morals crusade, charging miscegenation between Indian women and white men, despite the fact that the tribe maintained a system of three-way racial segregation. One thousand Lumbees shot up the rally site, driving the 50-75 Klansmen out, and destroying their sound equipment. This incident brought editorial condemnation and a promise of a crackdown from the Governor. Cole was indicted for inciting a riot and sentenced to eighteen to twenty four months in prison. A number of Knights had already been raising allegations of financial mismanagement, apparently resulting in desertions, and the group disbanded. The State Bureau of Investigation estimated that no more than 150 Klansmen resided in North Carolina at this point. Cole was never able to live down the Maxton humiliation in Klan circles. When the largest Klan group of the 1960s, the United Klans of America began recruiting in North Carolina in 1963, they banned Cole explicitly.31
This experience allows Charlotte to deal with crm and desegregation of restaurants and hotels by 1963.32 Arthur and Joseph Bryant, for example, were jailed for possession of dynamite in 1955, which prevented them from expanding their Charlotte based North Carolina Knights. Formed from remnants of this group, Lester Caldwell’s National Christian Knights lasted less than a year, disbanding in 1959 after Caldwell and two of his Klansmen were convicted of plotting to bomb a school in Charlotte. Testimony from Charlotte Police Department infiltrator Robert Kinley convicted them.33 Three blasts had occurred in a black neighborhood of the city in November 1957. The home of Elijah Herring, a black Greensboro resident whose children had attended a white school, was bombed in October 1957, and the Durham home of Rev. Warren Carr was bombed in July 1958.34
Charlotte’s moderate response to the civil rights movement and the suppression of Klan activity by police enabled desegregation of local restaurants and hotels by 1963.35 Moreover, official denunciation and investigations of the Klan on the State level, coupled with prosecution of individuals, white supremacist inspired violence never approached the level of that in some Deep South communities, where racial bombings, assaults and murders threatened law and order.36 Journalist Dwayne Walls, no friend of the Klan, has remarked that
[North Carolina Klan leader J. R. Jones] deliberately held down the violence. He wouldn't tolerate it. It would have upset his nice little money game. And also the Klan was so heavily infested with informants, he knew he couldn't get away with it.37
FBI agents based in North Carolina expressed a similar view.38 If North Carolina Klansmen committed less violence, less often, than their bretheren in the Deep South, The state was by no means tranquil.
Between 1960 and 1966, Klansmen committed numerous acts of intimidation, harassment and assault against civil rights activists. In 1960, Klansmen and white teenagers in Greensboro taunted and harassed picketers, and tried to prevent sit-in demonstrators from sitting down. A few activists’ homes were shot into during sit-in demonstrations in Fayetteville.39 In Weldon, activists received threatening phone calls and notes, and Klansmen burned crosses on their lawns in 1961. A racial brawl erupted there, after blacks seeking service were attacked, forcing the Highway patrol to restore order.40 In Monroe, where Klansmen had shut down protests in 1957, fighting broke out between pickets and hostile crowd of about 1000 whites. One policeman was shot. Intimidation and shootings followed, as well as two attempts to run activists off the road.41
In 1963, sixty white youths carrying a sign reading "bring back the Ku Klux Klan" attempted to intimidate black demonstrators in downtown Greensboro. The Klan held counter demonstrations every night, but police infiltration prevented violence. In Lexington, however, a white man was killed during a race riot when shots were fired as a crowd of whites gathered to retaliate against demonstrators.42 Two nights of violence also rocked Goldsboro.43 In April, police allowed whites to kick and strike protesters trying to desegregate a movie theater in High Point.44 In May-June a thousand angry whites confronted demonstrators in Fayetteville. Police used teargas and arrested 140 demonstrators.45 On the first day of the fall school term, several carloads of white youths threatened Jasper Brown, father of four children enrolled at a formerly all-white school in Yancyville. Sheriff’s deputies twice refused to escort him away and upon the third attack, Brown shot and wounded two of them.46 Klansmen participated in a 13 car motorcade in Salisbury that September, where two months later, 2000 people attended a Klan rally.47
In January 1964, two professors were violently assaulted in Chapel Hill, where a segregationist grocery store manager poured ammonia on sit-in demonstrators. The owner of another restaurant forced his way into a home and assaulted a field worker, and in February white spectators attacked demonstrators.48 American Nazi Party activists distributed racist literature and one nazi and violently assaulted a female civil rights worker.49 Easter weekend brought the first Klan rally in many years to the area.50 In Weldon and Halifax County, where activists received death threats, the Klan paraded and burned crosses.51 In May Klansmen burned crosses in New Hanover, Smithfield, Oxford, Roxboro, Tarboro, Abermarle, Salibury, Statesville, Elizabethtown, Holly Ridge, Currie, Ward’s Corner, Smithfield, Mocksville, Lexington, Wilson and Greensboro.(check spelling w map) After the Civil Rights Act was signed into law on July 2, 1964, most testers were served without incident, but others were attacked with clubs.52 On Sept 19, 1964 vigilantes shot at an integrated party in Chapel Hill. Violent resistance to civil rights, if usually sporadic and often uncoordinated, certainly did take place in North Carolina.53
In May 1965, 5000 people attended a Klan wedding near Farmville, and in June, 2500 attended a rally near Trenton. Robed Klansmen appeared at a Knightdale school in May. In June, Klansmen distributed leaflets in Wilson, calling on white citizens to boycott the Wonder Bread Company, which had just hired a black secretary. In the Greenville area and in Raleigh, they distributed pamphlets urging that the local school board refuse federal funds rather than desegregate, as well as leaflets claiming black inferiority and attacking the President’s support for desegregation. Klansmen distributed leaflets throughout the state, which made the false claim, that the wife of Black Vice President of Pepsi Cola Corporation was white, resulting in a boycott that seriously reduced sales. In July, Klansmen walked the streets of Reidsville, and in August, two carloads of Klansmen drove through the black section of Lenoir. In November, more than a hundred Klansmen from Whitsett, Ashboro, Greensboro and Stokesdale forcibly shut down an abandoned farmhouse where teenagers and adults had been drinking and carrying on. On two successive nights, Klansmen among a group of fifty stopped and whipped 13 young men at the farmhouse. Two Elon Colege students took out warrants against Clyde Webster. Charges were dismissed during the ensuing trial.54
Even though the sit-in movement was launched in Greensboro, Klan recruitment in North Carolina initially lagged behind that of other states. The Alabama-based United Klans of America (UKA), formed in 1961, began to make inroads in 1962-1963, when Salisbury Klan organizer Arthur Leonard combined a number of Klan organizations under his leadership. In late May 1963, more than 1000 demonstrators protested at the governor’s mansion. Black protest brought militant white backlash, as a full-fledged Klan revival began. Mass rallies featuring UKA Imperial Wizard Robert Shelton, attracted 1500-2000 spectators. Beginning in Salisbury, the recruiters opened units in Monroe, Gold Hill and Williamston by traveling from truck stop to truck stop. In Wilmington, about thirty-five people, encouraged by former mayor Royce McClellan, immediately accepted an offer by Leonard’s aid, J. R. Jones, to sign up with the order. [Charlotte PD officers attend meeting, leading FBI to become ‘very circumspect about distribution on info about potetial violece within its jurisdiction so as to protect informant.55]By late 1963, Leonard and Jones had assembled the largest group of Klansmen in the State. J. R. Jones took over the Realm, and, with four or five other full-time organizers, launched a statewide campaign to recruit new members.56
Jones became the most successful Klan recruiter of the 1960s. By January 1964 he had organized 525 Klansmen into 13 Klaverns, with twelve more soon to follow. By August-September, Jones had recruited about 3000-4000 Klansmen, most of them young men in their twenties and thirties, spread among 35-40 Klaverns in the eastern and Piedmont regions of the state.57 Capitalizing onresentment against the 1964 Civil Rights Act, which brought about complete desegregation of public facilities, and spurred pushes toward token school desegregation in 14 northeastern county schools, Rocky Mount, Wilson and Silver Lake became centers of Klan activity. [Klansmen were also active in towns such as Greensboro, Kannapolis Rich Square, Statesville, Hawville and Eden, where in 1964, blacks began to enter the textile mills that so dominated the States manufacturing sector.58] Jones and his Kleagles had acquired or created 112 UKA Klaverns by October 1965. North Carolina had become one of the largest UKA Realms in the United States.59
The Charlotte Observer estimated that Jones assembled 2000-3000 hard core Klansmen between 1963 and 1964. Although a number of Klaverns declined in size, or became inactive during 1965, new klaverns arose in other locales. Survey reports to Headquarters compiled in May and July 1966, covered 165 and 177 Klaverns, respectively. By 1967, according to the House Committee on Un-American Activities, the North Carolina Realm boasted 7500 active members, spread among 192 Klaverns.60
More Klansmen lived in North Carolina than in any other Southern State during the 1960s, but federal, state, and some local authorities infiltrated the group, maintained surveillance, and exchanged information. No North Carolina Klan gatherings occurred without police surveillance. As they had since the 1950s, FBI agents continued to work closely with local authorities in certain North Carolina communities, helping the Wilmington police chief, for example, to develop a close working relationship between his police and local civil rights leaders in 1963.61 This was important, insofar as the Wilmington-based New Hanover County Klavern was one of Jones’ strongest UKA units. According to the North Carolina State Bureau of Investigation, this Klavern, which included some Klansmen from Brunswick County, had gained more than 250 members by September 1964.
As Klan rallies grew in size and frequency, and crosses burned on courthouse lawns in early 1964, Governor Terry Sanford sent in an undercover informant from the State Bureau of Motor Vehicles. The informant gained the confidence of Klan leaders, and was elected to the position of Klavern leader. Regular briefings were also received from an ADL agent who reached the upper tier of the State Klan.62 Sanford publicly condemned the Klan in June, invoking State statutes passed in 1953 against secret societies, cross burning, and the wearing of masks.63 That same month, Klansmen drove an integrated church group out of Elm City, a small community located 60 miles east of Raleigh. In July, a deputy sheriff and highway patrolman who had hidden inside the group’s church thwarted two white men who attempted to burn the building. The group was able to return and paint their church bothered only by a small crowd of whites who watched sullenly as the work progressed.64 Angry that Jones had backed down, and resentful of the fact that many of the top ranking UKA officers lived in the immediate area surrounding Jones’ Klavern, according to SBI reports, Klansmen in Rocky Mount, Nash and Wilson began talking about leaving the UKA.65 Faced with increasing Klan activity and threats of vigilante violence late that summer, local civil rights activists contacted the SBI, whose action enabled peaceful desegregation to take place. Klansmen were subjected to open surveillance by the State Police, and forced to periodically change meeting places in an effort to elude law enforcement. Acts of harassment, including late night calls, death threats, and anonymous hate mail, however, continued.66
In September 1964, as COINTELPRO got underway, newspapers across North Carolina, with the help of the SBI, began attacking the Klan in a series of exposés. Jones had already accused the news media of “taking face shots of every Klansman they can and sending them to the SBI and FBI,” in August.67Charlotte Observer, and the Wilmington Star News published excerpts from an SBI report, leading to the exposure of Sherrif Marion Millis, and several New Hanover County deputies, for their participation in the Klan. Klan activity picked up again in Spring, 1965, however, with a series of cross burnings throughout the State, topped off by a six foot burning cross at the Wilmington Court House, less than a block from Sherrif Millis’ office. Throughout the Spring and Summer of 1965, Millis would continue to deny that his department was colluding with the Klan, even as one of his deputies, Charles Goodwin, served as Grand Klaliff for the North Carolina Realm and stored Klan dues in the sheriff's department safe. Called before HUAC on October 25, Millis admitted that deputies had joined the Klan, and explained that they had aimed to obtain information and had all quit. Meeting attendance declined in the wake of the testimony from 42 on October 25, to 19 in February 1966. [11/22/65 four homes-NAACP attorney, President, President's brother and city council member, and community activist bombed. substantial damage. relief fund organized by mayor gets more dollars than necessary. more than 150 carpenters masons, bricklayers provide volunteer labor to rebuild and mass clergy service and mass meeting civic and political leaders. but perpetrators never identified.68] Southern Piedmont Klaverns lost as much as one-third of their membership due to the HUAC Hearings, and because the FBI intensified infiltration of Charlotte area Klan units in an attempt to solve the November bombings of four black homes in that city, creating mistrust and attempts to increase security.69] The UKA remained active in Anson County however, where shots were fired into the cars of a white minister and a white missionary who had organized a Sunday school for blacks, and crosses were burned at a black church.70
A Klan rally held north of the city on May 2 however, attracted 1500-2000 people. This led the Wilmington City Council to deny the Klan the use of City stadium for their next rally, planned for June 12. Klansmen supported Millis in his 1966 political campaign.71 Claiming that the UKA was a fraternal organization akin to the B’nai-B’rinth or the Knights of Columbus, Klan spoksman Warren Chadwick denied that the Klan was subversive and protested that city authorities were denying “white people” their Constitutional right to assemble. 72 Three days later, another cross was burned.73 Wilmington was not the only North Carolina city which was attempting to project a more progressive image. In July, when CORE returned to Durham for a convention, they were greeted by more than two dozen large welcome signs that had been posted in downtown businesses by the City’s Merchants Association.74 Like Wilmington, however the Durham area also contained a large UKA unit, membership of which overlapped with the local Citizens’ Council and Committee for Law and Order.
A rally at the Civic Center featuring Imperial Wizard Robert Shelton attracted 200 people in November 1964. Five months later, 7000-80000 people attended a rallly outside the city, and in July 1965, 1000 attended a rally in the small community of Hillsborough, and 3500-4000 showed up for a rally in Landis that August. Local unit leader C. P. Ellis built up a network of friends within city government, who kept him apprised of local civil rights activity.75 Ellis claimed affluent local power structure used the Klan, calling upon them to come out to public meetings to oppose blacks and the left.76 300 marched up Fayetteville Street in Raleigh that June, after which 600 people attended a Klan rally outside the city.77 In smaller communities south of Raleigh, moreover, UKA rallies also attracted thousands of people. Klan lawyer Matt Murphy, flanked by Collie Leroy Wilkins, W. O. Eaton, and Gene Thomas, all currently under indictment in Alabama for the murder of civil rights activist Viola Liuzzo, managed to attract 6000 people, for example, to a rally in Dunn on May 16.78
Between May 1965 and April 1966, groups of Klansmen ranging in size from 8-10 to 100-150, paraded and rallied in Albemarle, Riedsville, China Grove and Rowan County, Huntersville, Statesville, Salisbury, Wilson, Kannapolis, Rural Hall, Mount Airy, Pilot Mountain, Smithfiled, Albemarle, Hookerton, Belmont, Hillsborough, Cherryville, Mount Holly, China Grove, Stanley, and Roxboro. Thousands of spectators attended rallies in Morganton, Beulaville, Cherryville, Roxboro, Hillsborough, Louisberg, Warrenton Oxford, Richlands, Jacksonville, Goldsboro, Rabdleman, Burlington, Walnut Grove-Stokesdale, Greensboro, Salisbury, Red Cross-Albemare, Snow Hill, Playmouth, Farmville, Ayden, Vanceboro, Wallace, Asheboro, Biscoe, Henderson, Franklin County, Washington, Williamston, Palmico, Plymouth, Durham, Winston-Salem, Boiling Springs, Whiteville, Deep Run, Edenton, Clayton, Mount Holly, Rocky Mount, Greensboro, Sanford, Benson, Faison, Ramseur, Salisbury, Greenville, Clinton, Polkville, Fayetteville, and Trenton. Smaller rallies, attracting crowds of 200-1000, occurred in Ebfield, Conway, Macclesfield, Wilson, Catherine Lake, Stella, Riedsvile, Yancyville, Concord, Mount Airy, Morganton, Coe City, Aurora, Swanquarter, Holly Ridge, Apex, Albemarle, Troutman, Lexington, Morehead City, Supply, Aberdeen, Richlands, Rutherfordton, Elizabethtown, Marion, Holly Ridge, Vance County near Henderson, Greenville, Edenton, Plymouth, Snow-Hill, Washington, and Landis.79 Between September and December, rallies in Sanford, Vanceboro, Plymoth and Belhaven drew between 300-350, while one in Wilmngton drew 500 and another in Durham, 2000.80 April 1967 rallies drew 150 to Goldsboro, 200 to Roxobul?, 300 to Elizabeth City and 500-700 to Chocowinity.81 August 1967 Morgantown, 185 and 12 robed; Salisbury 300.82
Between 1964 and 1967 then, UKA rallies were held almost every night in a different town or hamlet, regularly drawing crowds of 400-800. In sparsely populated Hyde County, where at least 23 Klaverns existed by 1966, several rallies attracted several hundred people. On occasion, as many as 500 people, or 15% of the counties’ white population attended. Here, the UKA drew suport from several prominent white citizens, including the owner of a seafood cannery, and several prosperous farmers, and Klansmen, according to David Cecelski, were generally men of property and good standing. Economic threats, as well as vandalism, harassment and death threats, were employed to retard school integration.83 Klansmen also continued to recruit by engaging in street walks in a number of North Carolina cities, towns, and rural crossroads.84
UKA Kleagle Marshall Kornegay built up three of the UKA’s strongest units in the Wake City area, where no Klan activity had existed a year previously.85 Even a rally by 100 robed Klansmen in the western North Carolina