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The Klan: 1922

The Klan: 1922

Washington, D.C., or its Virginia suburbs. "March 18, 1922. Ku Klux Klan." And Klanmobile. National Photo Company Collection glass negative. View full size.


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Really Low

Only .0001267 percent of viewers "liked" this photo. I think we're safe.


Way to post only the pc liberal comments.

[Not so. You're the first "douche" we've gotten. - Dave]

Shorpy Politcs

Thank you for the amazing images, history, and photographs presented on this site. I've enjoyed the many visits I've made here the past few years, and I think I've recommended it to just about everyone I know --a better escape from the day-to-day nonsense of modern life I haven't found. However, I don't come here for political discussions or cheap shots; the 'teabag' comment is unacceptable and just plain lame. I can get that sort of stuff anywhere, so I will be moving on. Best of luck to you and your family (whose pictures I think I enjoyed the most).

[My family? You're a wee bit confused. Not to mention thin-skinned. - Dave]

Watch out for the FBI

By the 1960s, the klan was heavily monitored by the feds. One of my father's coworkers was a member and tried to recruit anyone who would listen. Within 48 hours of the JFK assassination, the FBI came calling to find out where he was when the president was shot. Immediately, he resigned and for the rest of his life, denied any involvement in the orginazation.


According to DCplates, these plates may have a reserved number, possibly for somebody important.

A December 1921 Washington Post article about the distribution of 1922 plates indicates that "Tags numbered from 200 to 500 have been reserved for the motor corps of the Home Defense league." On the day that 1922 plates first became available (the final day of November 1921), several three-digit plates were issued to foreign diplomats and embassies, such as 190 to 197 to the Russian embassy and 750 to the foreign minister of Ecuador.

The Car

Probably not a Lincoln.

Deceptive "Marketing"

One of my ancestors was talked into joining under false pretenses about what the Klan was about. He quit two weeks later after he found out what they really stood for.

I visit here to avoid politics

Can we not turn this into a political website?
This comment should be removed.

The Bright Side

Today I am grateful for evolution.

Call DMV

I wonder if the District of Columbia 1922 motor vehicle records still exist. At least we would know the registered owner of 590.

Any DC archivists in Shorpydom?

The Urban Klan of the 1920's and my Grandpa

My state of Indiana was a hotbed of Klan activity under D.C. Stephenson in the 1920's. They were known as the "second wave" of the Klan and was more organized than the first incarnation.

A rumor in my family is that my maternal grandfather was "forced" to join the Klan in the 1920's. I don't think the Klan influenced him if he were a member, because Gramps always got along fine with all people (he worked in the steel mills of Northwest Indiana where you worked alongside all races), and let his daughter (my mother) marry a second generation Polish American (my dad).

Thanks, Mel

This sort of thing is easier to take if you just think of "Blazing Saddles."

Is that a teabag I see?

At least they are all dead now.

Don't Like

Hoping that the new Facebook "Like it" button won't get much use on this photo.

Run those plates.

I wonder how many Senators and/or Congressman were in that crowd.

The Mighty Klan



At least while they wore those pastry bags over their heads they would have been able to lick the icing off the insides. That would explain why so few of them had teeth.

This photo

Gives me the willies.


Washingtonians have often described the District of Columbia as just another big ol' Southern town. This kind of brings it home.

Laundry Day

Gives new meaning to the term "whiter whites."

The Klan in NY State in the 1920's

My mom and dad witnessed a Klan gathering in Walden NY back in the late 1920s. My dad was threatened with violence by a white-robed and masked Kluxer when he failed to remove his fedora promptly enough, as they hoisted Old Glory up on their flagpole.

Their recruitment scheme is still going on with many "organizations" in this day and age: recruit members who recruit members who recruit members who recruit members. Highly profitable and very pyramidal.

Good start, bad ending

Suprisingly, the Klan was started as a fraternal organization and had no intention of ending up the way it did. They started scaring people at night as part of the fun and then realized it could be used for a darker purpose rather quickly.

Extra starch

The robes are looking rather sloppy and wrinkly. You'd think if you were going to wear a ridiculous get-up in public, you'd at least take the time to iron it first.

The Pyramid Scheme

I read an interesting essay about the financial side of the 1920-30s Klan.

It was essentially a multilevel marketing scheme, with recruiters recruiting recruiters to get a cut of the then-steep membership fee. Robe sales were a big income generator, too.

I like how there's a target conveniently over their hearts.

Automotive sponsor

I don't know the make and model of that vehicle, but, I wouldn't be at all surprised if it was manufactured by the White Motor Company.

The Lincoln Memorial was dedicated

Six weeks later, May 1, 1922.

Cockeyed Klan

What's with the tippy hoods? I would have thought that their pointy little heads would have kept them sticking straight up.

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