24 December 1865

The Ku Klux Klan is formed.

On this day in history, six Confederate veterans from Pulaski, Tennessee created the original Ku Klux Klan. The name was formed by combining the Greek word for circle kyklos with clan. The group was known for a short time as the “Kuklux Clan”.

The Klan began as a “Christian” social club of like-minded individuals, quickly evolving into an action society dedicated to “demonstrating” its opposition to blacks later expanded to Jews, immigrants, Communists, gays and lesbians and, until recently, Catholics. The Klan is still active, and was estimated in 2012 to have between 5,000 and 8,000 members. It is classified as a hate group by the Anti-Defamation League and the Southern Poverty Law Center.

More recently, the fortunes of the Klan seem to have been revived by the successful presidential race of Donald Trump. David Duke, longtime Klan leader, neo-Nazi, and international spokesman for Holocaust denial, claimed  credit in part for Trump’s win, tweeting “make no mistake about it, our people played a HUGE role in electing Trump!”