The Ku Klux Klan also known as the KKK was founded in the year 1865 in the aftermath of the American Civil War in Pulaski, Tennessee by six educated veterens of the Confederate army. The name is said to come from the Greek word "kuklos", which means circle, suggesting a band of brothers. Shortly after the KKK was founded, radical forces in the United States Congress began passing legislation that stripped all civil rights from the Whites living in the former Confederacy. So the Klan took to their horses to fight for white rights in the South and won. From 1866-1867 the Klan broke into black peoples homes to steal firearms and also broke up black prayer meetings. The Klan violence worked to supress black voting. More than 2,000 persons were killed and wounded in Louisiana prior to the Presidential election of 1968. The KKK killed and wounded more than 200 black Republicans chasing them and hunting them through the woods. Thirteen captives were taken from jail and shot, a half-buried pile of 25 was found in the woods. They targeted freedmen and their allies, in sought to restore white supremecy by threats and violence including murder against blacks. They soon adopted white robes and masks to hide their identities while causing chaos during their night rides and it also added drama. By June of 1867 in an 18 month period there said to be 197 muders and 548 counts of aggravated assault. In 1870 the federal government passed the Force Acts, which were used to prosecute Klan crimes and activity. However, in 1874 new orginazations of the Klan formed and started a fresh round of violence against blacks.
In 1915 the second KKK was formed in Atlanta Georgia by William J. Simmons. This Klan was built on anti-immigrant and anit-catholic prohibitionists. This Klan led to the upbringing of the "burning of the cross". This was the second Klans symbol, never used by the original Klan. This "symbol" was used to imtimidate. It was usually put in the yards of the black family the Klan was trying to scare. This year was the year that "Birth of a Nation" came out. A film created by director D. W. Griffith based on the book "The Clansman" by Dixon. The film created a nationwide fan Klan craze. Another event that gave limelight to the Klan was the lynching of Leo Frank, a jewish factory manager that was accused of the rape and murder of Mary Phagan. After the conviction of Frank a Klan that called themselves Knights of Mary Phagan kidnapped him from prison and lynched him. The second Klan was a formal fraternal organization, with a national and state structure. At its peak in the mid-1920s, the organization claimed to include about 15% of the nation's eligible population, approximately 4–5 million men this was also the time women of the Ku Klux Klan was formed. Internal divisions, criminal behavior by leaders, and external opposition brought about a collapse in membership, which had dropped to about 30,000 by 1930. It finally faded away in the 1940s. Klan organizers also operated in Canada, especially in saskatchawen in 1926-28, where it attacked immigrants from Eastern Europe.
By th 1950's the name "Ku Klux Klan" was being used by independent organizations. Beginning in the 1950s, individual Klan groups began to resist the Civil Rights Movement by bombing houses in transitional neighborhoods and the houses of activists, as well as by physical violence, intimidation and assassination. During this time period they formed alliances with Birmingham, Alabama police department. Several members of KKK groups were convicted of murder in the deaths of civil rights workers and children in the bombing of the 16th Street Baptist Church in Birmingham, where 4 girls were killed. Today, researchers estimate that there may be 150 Klan chapters with upwards of 5,000 members nationwide.
The Klan is still active till this day.