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VINTAGRAPH • WPA • WWII • THE TOY DEPARTMENT, 1913

March on Washington: 1925

March on Washington: 1925

"KKK parade on Pennsylvania Avenue, August 8, 1925." From the Washington Post's report: "Phantom-like hosts of the Ku Klux Klan spread their white robe over the nation's most historic thoroughfare yesterday in one of the greatest demonstrations this city has ever known. . . . Police estimated that there were 30,000-35,000 in the weird procession -- men, women and children of the Klan." National Photo Company Collection glass negative. View full size.

 

Wow, what an intolerant group...

I'm not referring to the photo, but the extreme hatred in the comments accompanying it. These venemous responses are far more frightening than an old photo of a legal, civil march, even if one disagrees with their philosophies.

I'd be interested to see post-march photos as to how clean the area was left, as compared to the "tingly" feeling activity that occured this past January. Now that truly scary brainwashed mob (who left the area looking like a war zone), are something to truly fear. The overwhelming majority of those attending that truly frightening event epitomize the term "uncivil".

One can only hope that in the 80+ years that follow, all those in attendance will surely be deceased, as well as their anti-American socialist and communist ideologies, so future generations can overcome the true nightmare of the cesspool that we are currently call America.

[America is a "true nightmare of a cesspool"? Talk about extreme. Whutta nut. - Dave]

Special Attention to Ladies

The Occidental Restaurant, established 1906, is still serving diners.

The following advertisement, circa 1923:

1923_occidental_restaurant

Occidental Restaurant

"Famous for Food" -- As opposed to what? The tablecloths?

Oh, wow!

A national Crack-the-Whip convention! You can tell these guys are experienced players, as they are all wearing white, which, of course, can be bleached after a sullying, rousing match.

One has to wonder how the dunce caps would hold up during a rigorous game of Red Rover.

Something I Noticed

Near the corner, standing a bit forward from the fence, is a kid wearing a beanie with what looks like with the Star of David on it. It seems a bit extraordinary that a Jewish family would go to a parade like that, and if it's just someone's hat, well, I would think about what I was putting on my child if that was were we were going (or if it was the 20's).

Other than that, there are just so many KKK people. They go back really far. It's shocking.

Masked Men

One is reminded of any number of current marches by the likes of, say, Hamas. The Klan was a domestic terrorist organiztion with considerable political clout. That we survived this era should say something about the prospects of some new democracies in other parts. What, exactly, I'm not sure.

So many white sheets

Looks like the laundries in Washington did a good business for a few days.

Horror picture

This is the scariest picture on the site. Forget Frankenstein. These are the real monsters. "Innocently" partying and parading by day, lynching the true innocents after dark. But as far as them all being dead -- not so.

There are plenty of people alive who were born before 1925.
The parents in this photo may be dead, but the children are still with us. You can see those children watching their parents (and others in the parade) from the sidelines.

And you can almost hear the chants, which were surely going on as they marched, that put their version of Christianity together with their concept of "the white race." I'll bet the sounds surrounding this parade were even more scary than the sight.

Weirded Out

This picture totally weirds me out. I can NOT imagine that many KKK members in one place. I read several studies on the KKK in the past and it still amazes me that they wielded sooo much power in local governments. In my home state of Oregon, they managed to swing the vote for governor away from the Catholic delegates. It is strange to think they had so much power and now are so fragmented (thank GOD).

Women Too

Judging by the shoes on the participants on the right, I'd say the parade had both men and women in it. It was a bit of a surprise as I had always assumed the KKK to be exclusively male.

[Like a lot of fraternal organizations, the Klan had a Ladies' Auxiliary. - Dave]

Ooo Wee Ooo

Ooo Wee OO
EE OOO Rum

Ooo Wee OO
EE OOO Rum

Kodak moment

I see some of the spectators in the buildings have their Kodaks. We don't often see photography in Shorpy photos.

Hypocrisy

Holding hands? Seems kinda Gay to me. I thought they was against that kinda thing.

The best thing about this picture:

They're all dead now.

Constitutionally and legally

Constitutionally and legally it could happen, but the KKK is tiny and disorganized these days and they frankly couldn't get it done even if they managed to get a few hundred people to show up. Even if they did get something together, they would be massively outnumbered by counter-demonstrators.

'Coupla things ....

I've scanned this photo to the best of my ability but cannot make out any black faces. This both does and doesn't surprise me; it just looks odd to see only white faces in that crowd.

Secondly, I have to chuckle at all those big, white, "God-fearin'" men holding hands in public! I guess they weren't, as yet, hip to the looming, insidious "lavender menace" that would soon be arriving on the social scene to hand the KKK another lame raison d'etre.

Other than that, what really caught my eye were all those beautiful buildings! Do any of them still exist? I'm afraid to look for myself.

Forgotten but not gone

The robes and hoods may be gone, but many of their judgments about social issues remain intact and in play in the back-and-forth of state ballot measures across the country. That is both the bright and dark side of Democracy. The Klan itself may have more or less gone away, but, as late as the mid-1980s, when I parked my rusty old pickup in the commercial district of a certain rednecky suburb east of San Diego, I would invariably find a business card on my windshield when I returned, inviting me to the monthly public orientation meeting of the local Ku Klux Klan chapter. Evidently my beat-up Chevy 3/4 ton suggested to one of their supporters that I was probably "in the demo." And to this day, San Diego County (in the godless, liberal state of California) has the only museum in the country devoted to teaching "the science of Creationism."

FSF

Well, now we have the Folsom Street Fair.

KKK

The Klan had surprising power in the 20s for several reasons. Americans were increasingly xenophobic because of the "foreign entanglements" of WWI, resented new crops of immigrants from Eastern and Southern Europe, and also resented advancements made during the "Great Migration" when African Americans moved North to work in war jobs. In addition, it was a pyramid scheme, as members would receive a kickback for signing up other Klansmen. They had their day until embezzlement and kidnap/rape charges afflicted some of their higher leadership. Good riddance.

[The biggest bee in the Klan's bonnet at the time seems to have been the teaching of evolution in public schools. - Dave]

Well, why couldn't it happen today?

As far as I know, the First Amendment is still in effect. Just because their views are reprehensible doesn't mean they can't express them.

Granted, the public protest/confrontation would be intense. But that doesn't mean it couldn't happen.

Things have changed a lot in 80 years.

Imagine this now, especially given the recent inaugural parade.

Well, nothing's perfect.

This is a reminder to those of us who feel we were born 100 years too late that the "good old days" sometimes had their darker side. A scene like this on Pennsylvania Avenue simply could not happen today, and thankfully so. Of course, back then this would have offended a good many people as well, both black and white.

Progress

We have made decent progress in these 84 years; still a ways to go, but we are on the right track!

Creepy

I guess I'm creeped out by the marchers (looks like they're holding hands & skipping) ... but what really astounds me is the CROWD! This was a big, although peaceful, event. The fact that they don't have their faces covered is surprising too.

[The District of Columbia had an "anti-masking" law. - Dave]

 
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