Harding was a Klansman

Klansman don’t just show up for funerals for the hell of it. Has anyone seen the photo of the Ku Klux Klan at Harding’s funeral? I have personally interviewed Stetson Kennedy and believe his first hand account of the wire taping he did with Alton Young. His veracity is authentic. I also interviewed a Klansman in Indiana who showed me the photo of the Harding funeral with the Klan there in huge numbers.

You guys don’t hang out in the circles I do. Check your research a bit more carefully.

What’s this in reference to, please? (I’m familiar with the allegations of his black ancestry and all that, but is there a thread open?)
ETA: Evidently the OP’s in reference to this 2005 Staff Report: Was Harding a Klansman.

ETA2: Stetson Kennedy’s accuracy/reliability has been called into question many times over the years, most notably in recent years being the bestseller Freakonomics. The author and publishers changed a chapter based upon information received from him between the hardback and paperback editions. Brief recap on wiki. I haven’t kept abreast enough of the controversy to have a strong opinion one way or the other, but it is worth noting for this thread that he has his doubters.

Even if we beleive Stetson in that he did hear “On his deathbed Young confessed to renowned Klan-fighter Stetson Kennedy that he had been part of a team that had inducted Harding into the Klan during a private White House ceremony. The induction team allegedly was headed by Imperial Wizard William Joseph Simmons, founder of the revived Klan. According to Young, Harding rewarded the members of the induction team with special War Department license plates that allowed them to run red lights. Kennedy tape-recorded this confession and later turned the tapes over to historian Wyn Craig Wade, who then claimed Harding was a Klan member in his book The Fiery Cross” we have no evidence at all that Alton Young was being truthful. In other words, this is complete heresay.

OTOH, I am rather suspicous about Harding’s death, although I doubt if it had anything at all to do with the Klan.

You are right to be suspicious. The government has long covered up the true fact that Warren G Harding was killed with cyanide as he lay in a coma after being bit by a vampire.

Considering the safety equipment in cars of the 1920s (ie: none), those special licence plates sound like a way to reduce the number of high-ranking Klansmen, except traffic lights were rare in the 20s.

The real story here is that traffic lights didn’t have to be so uncommon. The technology for automated controlling signals was available, and many transportation engineers were agitating for their installation, but this was blocked by the Klansmen who were in control of the government. Their reasoning was, if traffic lights started to show up in the wealthier neighborhoods, people would realize how inexpensive they were and how easy their implementation, so the poor people would want them too. And because a higher proportion of the poor was black, the Klansmen in the Oval Office and in other positions of power didn’t want to install anything that would save their lives, or improve the quality thereof, so they blocked the general deployment of traffic signals for many years after the practical problems had been resolved. The license plate thing was largely irrelevant to this plan, because of course black people didn’t own cars.

Let me know if I can shed any more light on the racist conspiracies of the era. :slight_smile:

Wasn’t the problem that traffic lights are coloured, and they didn’t want coloured people getting uppity by thinking that they might be useful to white people?

Cervaise, that theory is slightly, but just slightly, more plausible than the vampire thing.

However, I fear we are giving southerngal the impression that we are rude and not open to the ideas of others. We should be friendlier and welcome her. Then, after she pays her dues, we can be ourselves.

I would like to see the photos she refers to. I seem to remember seeing them once, but if there are some copies online it would be nice.

I wonder about this. I can’t find any such photos in a search. What I did find was several references to a supposed Klan funeral for Harding, a very different thing.


It would be nice if the OP returns to point us to an actual photograph of the Klan at Harding’s official funeral (which took place in Washington, not Marion, BTW). Until then, I doubt such a thing exists.

A Klan presense at Harding’s funeral doesn’t really signify much one way or the other. At that time, about 15% of Americans eligible to be in the KKK had joined – several million in all. They frequently appeared in public, marched in parades, etc. And the 20th-century Klan, for all that they were working to undermine everything America is supposed to stand for, nevertheless thought of itself as a patriotic organization, just as today’s equally treasonous creationist gangs do.

I’d’a thunk it was Wilson, but I suppose he was too stuck up to hang out with those guys, no matter how much he agreed with them.

I have a great deal of trouble believing that the Klan had a public presence at Harding’s official state funeral. Some peripheral location, possibly. A funeral for Harding in Marion, possibly. At his state funeral, not possible, if only because the photographs would be in every history book today, not something that is impossible to find. Notwithstanding the popularity of the Klan, attendance there in costume would have been incredibly noteworthy.

The Klan was not shy. If they were there, robes and all, they would be seen and remarked upon, and they would ensure that would be the case. But nobody can document a sighting, a presence, or a photograph. I say it never happened.

For sure the Klan made an appearance, if only indirectly, at his funeral service in Marion, Ohio, on Friday the 10th of August.

From a newspaper article from the date, using Newspaperarchive.

Show-off. I thought the rules here were that one couldn’t use a website for research unless it was free.


No, I think that was just MY rule. :smiley:

Sounds like a nice arrangement, though.

ETA: Hmmm, BLOOD red flowers? Could the KKK have been sending a signal they knew about the coverup? :dubious:

Since the rumors of Harding’s biracial ancestry (very possibly more than rumors) were oft-repeated and even published in his own lifetime, and KKK members aren’t the most skeptical and critical of people in general, would they have even allowed him to join?

Do we have any evidence that this was the Klans only show of Condolences for a Prez? It is possible Mrs Harding had a relative in the Klan?

Harding Was A Klansman

Indie Rock/Alternative/Punk song name!

You’d have to read news stories from around the Nation in the weeks Harding died, was shipped back to DC, and then shipped to Ohio for burial. The Klan was out in force in tens, if not hundreds, of cities to tell him goodbye. Of course, this was in the day when waiting at the railroad station when anyone of this importance died and was shipped across the country was the thing to do. You certainly weren’t going to miss a reality tv show by spending your evening next to the tracks.

I’ll see if I can scare up any other stories about the Klan and Harding, as “ripped” from the pages of history.

No what I am asking- did the Klan turn out for any other Prez, besides Harding?

Woodrow Wilson died about six months later (Feb 3, 1924). However, there was no train trip since he died in Washington and was buried in Arlington. He was a southerner with pronounced views on skin color that would have been compatible to the Klan. (His quote on the greatness of Birth of a Nation is something that was attributed to him and never confirmed, although never straightforwardly denied. It was a popular view at the time and, if you subtract the context, an accurate one. I don’t think most current historians believe he said it.) He would be far more likely to attract a Klan presence in Washington than Harding. The same James Venable as in my above quote says point blank than Wilson was a member. Yet there has never been any mention of the Klan at his funeral.

The previous president to die was Theodore Roosevelt. He died at his home in Oyster Bay, NY and was buried nearby, so no train trip there either. Of course, he was an unlikely candidate to be embraced by the Klan. (Although, who knows. When looking earlier for that Harding/Klan photo I found a Klan site that called FDR a Klan member. If you can believe that, you can believe Teddy as well. Or Barack Obama.)

No other presidents died between 1908 and 1930, both outside the height of the second Klan.

If there is no record of the Klan in Washington at the zenith of their power for the funerals of Harding and Wilson, then any association of them and the Klan would have to be taken as dubious until and unless some real hard evidence appeared.