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The Spokesman-Review Newspaper
Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883

100 years ago today: ‘Secret initiation’ of Ku Klux Klan branches takes place in Spokane

By Jim Kershner For The Spokesman-Review

Not just one, but six Ku Klux Klan branches were being organized in Spokane, according to an alarming report by the Spokane Daily Chronicle.

One branch was already organized, with a membership over 100. Five others were in various stages of organization.

A “secret initiation” was scheduled later that night.

“These facts were established today when a representative of the Chronicle was asked to meet with the district kleagle, or organizer of the Klan,” said the paper.

This organizer “freely discussed” the organization’s political plans and purposes.

Once again, the organizer claimed the Spokane version of the Klan would not be “anti-anything.” It was dedicated to a “political and moral cleanup through lawful and legitimate means,” declared the kleagle.

He did admit that it would be made up of American-born persons only.

“Why not an American organization to which only Gentile, Protestant, native-born Americans may belong?” he said.

He claimed that law-abiding citizens, “white, yellow, red or black” had nothing to fear. Some hateful “scrawls in red” had already been seen in Spokane, but the kleagle denied his organization had anything to do with them.

But he also said, “Degenerates and fiends may fear us.”