Roots of the Ku Klux Klan

Updated 1:19 PM ET, Thu July 9, 2015
kkk 1kkk 1
1 of 14
Gen. Nathan Forrest, a former Confederate soldier, slave trader and plantation owner, became Grand Wizard of the Ku Klux Klan in 1867. Rolls Press/Popperfoto/Getty Images
Actors in the silent film "The Birth of a Nation," released in 1915, portrayed Ku Klux Klan members dressed in full regalia and riding horses. Hulton Archive/Getty Images
William Joseph Simmons founded the second Ku Klux Klan on Thanksgiving 1915 after seeing "The Birth of a Nation." Gamma-Keystone/Getty Images
Ku Klux Klan members crawl out of a tunnel after a meeting in 1922. Topical Press Agency/Getty Images
Nelson Burroughs was kidnapped by members of the Ku Klux Klan and branded with hot irons in 1924 because he refused to renounce his Catholic vows. Topical Press Agency/Getty Images
Klan members march in a parade in Washington in 1927. Buyenlarge/Getty Images
A Klan member hangs a noose out of a car window to intimidate black voters in Miami in 1939. Members drove 75 cars through the streets that day. Hulton Archive/Getty Images
A cross burns in a field during a Ku Klux Klan rally in 1946. Time Life Pictures/Getty Images
Stetson Kennedy, an activist who infiltrated the Ku Klux Klan and wrote about it in his book Southern Exposure, poses in KKK garb in 1947 and demonstrates the sign for the Oath of Secrecy. Keystone Features/Getty Images
A group of 58 Ku Klux Klan members marched through Pell City, Alabama, in 1949 with their faces uncovered, in accordance with a new state law. New York Times/Getty Images
The knights of the Ku Klux Klan formed a baseball team in Tennessee in 1957. Time Life Pictures/Getty Images
A woman dressed in Ku Klux Klan regalia holds her baby at a KKK meeting in Beaufort, South Carolina, in 1965. Harry Benson/Getty Images
Ku Klux Klan members chant "white power" during a rally to recruit members on the steps of the Defiance, Ohio, courthouse in 1999. AFP/Getty Images
Members of the Knights of the Southern Cross of the Ku Klux Klan, joined by members of other Virginia Klan orders, participate in a cross lighting ceremony on May 28, 2011, near Powhatan, Virginia. EPA/Landov