The Klan Wanted to Have a Parade in Monroe on Mardi Gras Day.

In early February of 1925, Mayor Arnold Bernstein and Commissioner Will Atkinson received the following letter from a member of the Monroe KKK:

Monroe, Louisiana,
February 7th, 1925

To the Honorable Mayor and Commission Council,
City of Monroe, Louisiana.

Gentlemen:
Monroe Klan No. 102, Knights of the Klu Klux Klan wish to hold a parade on the streets of our city on Mardi Gras night February 24th, at 8 o’clock p.m.

As our organization wishes to comply with the law in every respect, we are making this formal request to you as the governing power of the Municipality for this privilege.

Your prompt action on this request, and a reply will be appreciated.

MONROE KLAN NO. 102,
Signed: C.V. Sanders, “Kligrapp”

After consulting with City Attorney H.H. Russell, Mayor Bernstein and Commisioner Atkinson sent the following reply:

Monroe, La.,
February 18th, 1925

Mr. C.V. Sanders, Kligrapp,

Monroe Klan No. 102 Klu Klux Klan, Monroe, Louisiana

Dear Sir:

Replying to your letter of February 7th in which you make application on behalf of Monroe Klan No. 102 Klu Klux Klan for authorization from the municipal authorities of the City of Monroe to conduct a parade on the night of February 24th.

We have requested and have received from the City Attorney, Mr. H.H. Russell, opinion as to the law governing the matter and we enclose herewith copy of such opinion, this day received.

We understand from such opinion, that a parade in which the members wear a mask, or hood, or other facial disguise concealing identity, would constitute a violation of the law of the State of Louisiana, unless the law was suspended by formal action by the municipal authorities.

We see no good reason for so suspending the operation of the law of the State and cannot therefore grant your request contained in your letter.

Of course, if you contemplate holding such parade without mask, or hood, or other facial disguise concealing identity, you may do so without the necessity of further formal permission.

Yours very truly,

ARNOLD BERNSTEIN,
Mayor.

WILL ATKINSON,
Commissioner.

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