Wednesday, February 08, 2006

How could this happen in America ?? It doesn't seem possible, but it did.

On this day in 1915, filmmaker D.W. Griffith's Civil War epic "The Clansman" opened at Clune's Auditorium on the northeast corner of 5th and Olive streets in Los Angeles, with 17 police officers guarding the entrance as 3,000 people jammed into high-priced $2 seats. As part of an advertising ploy, actors in full Ku Klux Klan regalia sat on horseback outside the theater. They were surrounded by shouting African American protesters. "The Clansman," which glorified the Ku Klux Klan and included many demeaning images of black people, opened only after Griffith got a court injunction. The local censors had approved the film, but City Council members had voted to suppress it because of its racist content. Scenes were cut and the film was retitled "The Birth of a Nation" before it opened in New York the following month. The photo above is of a 1922 Ku Klux Klan rally in the South.

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