Social Studies 5: The History of the Ku Klux Klan

We know it isn't fun to hear about, but hate groups were and are unfortunately a part of history. And we hate them. But not in a hate-groupy way of course. Today's lesson is all about the Ku Klux Klan.

5th GradeSocial Studies
Elementary and Middle School5th Grade
LanguageEnglish Language

Transcript

00:27

The Ku Klux Klan was founded in Tennessee in 1866

00:31

by six confederate veterans, who clearly had no fashion sense.

00:35

Its first leader was Confederate General Nathan Bedford Forrest, a guy who, if you can't already [Nathan Forrest]

00:39

tell just by looking at him, wasn't too happy with the outcome of the war, seeing as his [Nathan Forrest standing in a jail cell]

00:44

side lost and all.

00:45

The group's aim was to be the “invisible Empire of the South,” by scaring African

00:50

Americans and trying to tell everyone that white people were the best.

00:54

They did this through lots of violent acts towards African Americans, black institutions, [Black American in chains]

00:58

and black elected politicians.

01:00

Basically, they were a bunch of really nasty people.

01:03

As a response to the KKK's disgusting, inhuman behavior, the US government established the

01:08

1871 Ku Klux Klan Act, which aimed to put a stop to their violent acts. [The Ku Klux Klan act of 1871]

01:13

This act, along with the emergence of several other political groups, lead to a slow decline

01:17

of KKK's activities throughout the end of the 19th century, which made pretty much everyone

01:22

that wasn't the KKK super happy. [Group of people happy]

01:24

Sadly, the Klan experienced a revival in 1915, and throughout the 1920s, this time because

01:29

of ideas surrounding anti-immigration. That made pretty much everyone that wasn't the KKK super sad. [KKK protesting for anti-immigration]

01:35

It was a rollercoaster ride of emotions.

01:38

But then came with Great Depression in 1929, which sure, was pretty terrible for a lot

01:42

of reasons, but on the bright side, it led to the official end of the KKK in 1944. [Hand punches KKK member in the head]

01:47

Seriously, what a rollercoaster.

01:49

A few years later in the 1950s and 60s came the Civil Rights Movement. That was a pretty

01:54

swell time, because everyone banded together in order to end racial segregation and discrimination [Group of people protesting]

01:59

in the United States.

02:00

Which, as you can imagine, didn't fly with the Official Grouchy Jerks Club, aka the Ku

02:05

Klux Klan, who re-emerged during this time in order to fight all the progress going on.

02:09

These guys were like the boogeyman…just when you think they're gone, they crawl out [Boogeyman appears from under a boys bed]

02:13

from underneath your bed…

02:15

Thankfully, the KKK violence and membership has never been as popular as it once was,

02:20

and is has been on a steady decline since the 1970s, though it still exists today. [KKK member speaking and a tomato hits his face]

02:25

And yes, they still wear those dumb bed-sheet ghost costumes.