William Joseph Simomns (May 6th, 1880 – May 18th, 1945) was the founder of the second Ku Klux Klan in 1915 on Thanksgiving Night. He showed an avid belief in white supremacy and was a pastor who thought that it would please god to speak intolerance against other races. He was considered the most influential of the Ku Klux Klan leaders.
Ku Klux Klan
In 1915, Simmons rebuilt the Ku Klux Klan after watching the popular film Birth of a Nation. He also studied the old Klan's book "Prescript". He would inspire the lynching of Leo Frank, who was a Jew and accused of killing a young woman named Mary Phagan. He was angry that the governor of Georgia had commuted Leo Frank from death sentence to life imprisonment. The organized lynch mob became known as Knights of Mary Phagan. They removed him from the jail cell and hung him by lynching.
On October 16, 1915 they went to stone mountain to burn a large cross, a practice that had been introduced by D.W Griffith, who had created the Birth of A Nation film. This practice originated from Scottish clans burning crosses for signaling from hilltops, not because they hated Christians. That Thanksgiving was the official inauguration of the new Klan. While it started out as a less popular movement, being very small until around 1917, it would become much bigger. In 1917, it started to spread to the Midwest and other areas. They disliked all non-whites, non-Protestants, and non-Anglo Saxons/ celtics. He, in 1922, passed his title of a Grand Imperial wizard to Hiram Wesley Evans.