After World War II, Dr. Samuel Green of Georgia led a concerted attempt to revive the Klan, but it failed dismally as the organization splintered and as state after state specifically barred the order. Southern civil-rights activities during the 1960s gave the Klan a new impetus and led to revivals of scattered Klan organizations. The most notable of these were Mississippi's White Knights of the Ku Klux Klan, led by Robert Shelton. The newly revived Klan groups were responsible for violent attacks against blacks and civil-rights workers in cities throughout the South, including Jacksonville and St. Augustine, Fla., Birmingham and Montgomery, Ala., and Meridian, Miss. In spite of its efforts, the new Klan was not strong, and by the end of the decade its power and membership had declined to practically nothing. Although a resurgence of support for the Klan was manifest in the surprising popularity in the early 1990s of David Duke of Louisiana, actual membership in Klan organizations is estimated to be in the low thousands.
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.