Student dresses up in a Ku Klux Klan hood for a California school history project

Hiram Wesley Evans, who was Imperial Wizard of the Ku Klux Klan, walking in the mass Klan march in Washington, D.C., in 1924

Hiram Wesley Evans was born in Alabama on September 26, 1881, and moved to Texas to study dentistry at Vanderbilt University. 

He set up a dental practice in 1910 and joined the clan ten years later.

In 1921, while leader of the Dallas Klan, he led a mob who kidnapped a black bellhop called Alex Johnson, and burnt ‘KKK’ on his forehead with acid. 

A year later he rose to the position of Imperial Wizard – leader of the national Klan – and oversaw a massive increase in membership to four million in 1925. 

He began to oppose vigilante actions in favor of trying to gain political influence and elect local and national officials. 

By the 1930s, the Klan was in crisis due to a rapidly declining membership and the Great Depression, which squeezed its finances. 

He resigned as Imperial Wizard on June 10, 1939. He continued commenting on Klan activities until his death in Atlanta on September 14, 1966.Source: Spartacus