Following the release of “The Birth of a Nation” and Leo Frank’s lynching, the Ku Klux Klan experienced a revival in 1915 in Atlanta.
On Thanksgiving Day, leader William J. Simmons and a group of “charter members” met on Stone Mountain’s summit to establish a new KKK order. Dressed in robes and hoods, the men ceremoniously burned a 16-foot cross.
Stone Mountain’s owner, Sam Venable, agreed to give the KKK the right to hold meetings there soon after. In order to relieve itself of this agreement, the state had to condemn the property when purchasing the mountain in 1960.
– Caroline Parsley, The 100 Companies