Future panjandrum of the KKK is born
On this day in 1881, Hiram Wesley Evans, future leader of the Ku Klux Klan, was born in Ashland, Alabama. He graduated from high school in Hubbard, Texas. He studied dentistry at Vanderbilt, obtained a license in 1900, and practiced dentistry in Dallas. In 1920 he joined the Klan and began devoting most of his time to its support. By 1921 he had reached the rank of "exalted cyclops" and led a group of Klansmen who forcibly removed Alex Johnson, a black bellhop, from the Adolphus Hotel and wrote "K.K.K." on his forehead with acid. Early in 1922, when the "Realm of Texas" was organized, Evans became a "great titan" (district leader), and several months later he was appointed "imperial kligrapp," or national secretary, by the "imperial wizard," William J. Simmons. Under his leadership the Klan became involved in state and local primary elections. Evans was imperial wizard from 1922 until 1939. He died in September 1966 in Atlanta, Georgia.