Economics and similar, for the sleep-deprived

A subtle change has been made to the comments links, so they no longer pop up. Does this in any way help with the problem about comments not appearing on permalinked posts, readers?

Update: seemingly not

Update: Oh yeah!

Thursday, January 08, 2009

Idea for a sitcom: set in a Ku Klux Klan-owned dry cleaners

Seriously, these things look like they would be a bugger to wash, and when you consider that their main outings would be to small fires in grassy fields, the staining would be terrible. The economic basis of the Ku Klux Klan is dry cleaning.

No seriously. That sounds like a Harry Hutton "Killer Fact", but the KKK was not an insurance lodge (although the "revival Klan" was set up by two insurance lodge promoters, and various Klan-owned companies did sell insurance) and made a very significant proportion of its operating income by the sale of robes, and by requiring members to have them cleaned at Klan-owned laundries (source: "The Element Books Encyclopedia of Secret Societies"; it's also mentioned in Levitt & Fryer, 2007).

Killer Fact! Apparently the town of Iola, Kansas had an "Anti-Ku Klux Klan Cleaning and Pressing Shop" during the 1924 gubernatorial elections (during which Henry Justin Allen faced a challenge from both a Republican supported by the Klan and an "Independent Anti Klan" candidate).

The history of the anti-Klan movement in America is really interesting and colourful (The "Ancient Order of Anti-Poke-Noses" in Arkansas; the "Knights of the Flaming Circle" in Ohio, the "Royal Blues" in Oklahoma). They were mostly Italian-American organisations - the words "All-American" in a secret society's title, by the way, is usually a dead giveaway that it was ethnically based. I don't know what the Kansas one was called - I hope it wasn't something boring like the "Anti Ku Klux Klan All-American Association" (Indiana)

Bonus hilarity: various internet listings sites claim that there's a dry cleaners' in Charlotte, North Carolina, called "Klan And Fresh". I think they mean "Klean". Presumably they have a sign up saying "Please Separate Whites And Coloreds"
6 comments this item posted by the management 1/08/2009 04:24:00 AM

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