March 29 Thomas Lemuel Hamilton is born in Aiken, S.C. His father, Lemuel Hamilton, is a former streetcar conductor who opened a small grocery store in Graniteville (one of the mill villages outside of Aiken) about 1905. Lemuel Hamilton dies in 1910, leaving behind his widow, Eulalie, and their two sons, Thomas and Frampton Hamilton. The family then moves back to the old farm place owned by the Wingard family, Eulalie Hamilton’s family. Thomas Hamilton attends all eleven grades at the Aiken Normal School in Aiken.


January 21 Walter Horace Carter is born in a “faded green bungalow” on the corner of Church and Mill streets in the cotton mill village of Efird in west Albemarle, Stanly County, North Carolina.


Horace Carter moves with his family to Endy, a small community just outside of Albemarle, N.C. His mother quits work at the Efird cotton mill when his father, Raleigh Carter, gets a job as a mechanic at the Ford dealership in Albemarle. Carter’s father will lose his job during the economic depression of the 1930s and his mother will return to work in the cotton mill.


Thomas Hamilton is working for the A&P grocery store in Aiken, South Carolina, when he joins the Ku Klux Klan at the age of 19. Further north, in Horry County, S.C., at least three Klan klaverns are active: one in Conway, a second between Conway and Loris, and a third in Little River, S.C. The major form of Klan activity—whipping individuals for alleged moral crimes—sets the pattern for Klan activity that Thomas Hamilton will direct there 25 years later, between 1950-52. The Klan’s victims during both periods are overwhelmingly white: 17 of 25 individuals (during the early 1920s) and 10 of 13 (between 1950-52).


Thomas Hamilton moves from Aiken, S.C., to Augusta, Georgia, in 1930. There he marries another South Carolina native, Olive Ray, an elementary school teacher. For most of the 1930s Hamilton works in an A&P store on Walton Way in Augusta, while Olive, a graduate of Winthrop College, teaches elementary school near their rented apartment. A daughter, Sally, is soon born to the young couple.

Hamilton finds a large and active Klan when he moves to Augusta in 1930: some 3,200 members are reputedly on the roles of its Alexander H. Stephens Lodge. Yet Hamilton probably joins the new Richmond Klan No. 294, which is formed in 1930 by his future Klan mentor, Dr. Samuel Green of Atlanta. Both klan lodges fall on hard times during the depression and come close to being disbanded before being reborn during World War II and combined in 1946 by Green and Hamilton. Thomas Hamilton will become head of the consolidated Augusta Klavern in 1948.


Horace Carter begins a part-time job at the age of 16 writing a local sports column for the Stanly News and Press. He also takes a full-time, second shift job sweeping floors during the summer at the Efird Mills in Albemarle. Carter continues to work at both places during his high school years.


Horace Carter graduates from Endy High School and enters the University of North Carolina with the hope of becoming a journalist. He is given a work study job at the University News Bureau earning 30 cents an hour, which makes it possible for him to pay for part of his stay in Chapel Hill.

Thomas Hamilton is working in Augusta, Georgia, at a grocery owned by John F. Carswell, one of his fellow church members at the Woodlawn Baptist Church. The store is located at 846 Liberty Street in a section of Augusta known as Frog Hollow.


Horace Carter and Lucile Miller are engaged in the fall of 1941 but delay marriage because of the uncertainty of American entry into World War II.


Horace Carter drops out of the University of North Carolina in January 1942 in order to take a job at the shipyard in Wilmington, N.C. Later in the year, he joins the navy.

Thomas Hamilton begins to emerge as a community leader in Augusta, Georgia. He and his wife Olive work closely with the youth at Woodlawn Baptist Church, he as general director of the Baptist Training Union and she as a choir leader. Hamilton represents his church at the Southern Baptist Sunday School convention in Texas. He also joins the Exchange Club, serves on the county’s War Price and Rationing Board, and becomes a central figure in the local Masonic order.


Horace Carter serves at the Hospital Corps School at Portsmouth, Virginia, for three months after completing his naval training at Norfolk, Virginia. From Portsmouth, he is sent to Charleston, S.C., where he becomes assistant master at arms of the naval hospital. In the meantime, his fiancé, Lucile Miller, graduates from college and begins teaching in Gastonia, N.C. Late in 1943, Horace Carter is selected for the Navy V-12 Training Program and is sent to the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill for training.


Horace Carter is elected editor of the student newspaper at UNC, the Tar Heel, in April 1944. His term as editor ends three months later, in June, when the Navy transfers him to midshipman’s school at the University of Notre Dame. Carter’s experience as a journalist earns him the position of editor-in-chief of the Navy’s year-book, The Capstan. Following his schooling at Notre Dame, Carter is accepted for training in a secret navy program called “Amphibious Roger” (later “Scouts and Raiders”). He is given 19 days of leave before his training starts, and during that time, on October 28, he and Lucile Miller are married.


Severe knee and ankle injuries combine with night blindness to prevent Horace Carter from continuing in the Scouts and Raiders program. As a result, the Navy transfers him from Florida to Brooklyn, New York, where he graduates from navigator’s school. In August he begins his duties as a navigator on the newly launched U.S.S. Zenobia, a training ship with the Atlantic Fleet's Operational Training Command. While on leave during Christmas in 1945, he is told he will be officially discharged from the Navy in January.


Horace Carter returns to Chapel Hill to complete his degree in journalism at the University of North Carolina. He takes several courses during the winter and spring quarters but the specific required course he needs to graduate—in political science—is not offered. He lives in Chapel Hill during the week and visits his wife Lucile in Albemarle on the weekends. Their first child, Linda Carol Carter, is born on January 28, 1946—the same day that Carter is officially discharged from the Navy.

Augusta grocer Thomas Hamilton serves as one of Grand Dragon Samuel Green’s closest allies in the postwar revival of the Ku Klux Klan in Georgia. Hamilton becomes an officer of the new Augusta Klavern chartered by Green and his rise to the klavern’s top position occurs simultaneously with his rise to the top of the local Masonic Order.

June Horace Carter moves with his family to Tabor City, N.C., to work as executive secretary of the Tabor City Merchants Association. His principal interest in the position is the related promise made by association officers to help him start a newspaper in Tabor City.

July 5 Horace Carter publishes the first issue of the Tabor City Tribune.

December President Harry Truman appoints a distinguished group of leaders to serve on the President’s Committee on Civil Rights. The purpose of the committee is to recommend “more adequate means and procedures for the protection of the civil rights of the people of the United States.”


July 12 Judge J. Waties Waring of Charleston, S.C., judge of the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of South Carolina, rules that the exclusion of blacks from Democratic Party primaries in South Carolina is an unconstitutional state action, despite the state legislature’s recent deregulation of the party. The U.S. Supreme Court eventually upholds Waring’s decision, and in 1948, thousands of African American will vote in the South Carolina primaries.

Fall Horace Carter leases the Tabor City Tribune to two associates and moves with his family back to Chapel Hill, North Carolina, where he partners in a new printing company, Colonial Press. Carter’s partner is another former editor of the Tar Heel, Orville Campbell, who forms the Colonial Press after being guaranteed the printing contract for the Tar Heel.

October President Harry Truman’s Committee on Civil Rights issues its report, “To Secure These Rights,” which sets the nation’s civil rights agenda for the next generation. The report notes that African Americans still suffer many restrictions in the United States and that all Americans, regardless of their race, color, or national origin should have access to education, decent housing, and jobs. The committee recommends, among other things, anti-lynching and anti-poll tax laws, a permanent Fair Employment Practices Committee, and the strengthening of the civil rights division of the Department of Justice.

December Thomas Hamilton is named High Priest of the Royal Arch Masons in Augusta, Georgia.


Feb-March President Harry Truman asks Congress to enact several of the recommendations made the previous October by his Committee on Civil Rights. The Klan responds to Truman’s request with a parade in Swainsboro and a cross burning in Wrightsville—two south Georgia towns within 75 miles of Augusta. The Klan’s Grand Dragon, Dr. Samuel Green, warns the crowd at Wrightsville that northern bayonets may bring bloodshed and violence to southern streets if Congress complies with Truman’s request.

April The Klan’s Grand Dragon Dr. Samuel Green joins Thomas Hamilton in Augusta, Georgia, for special ceremonies initiating 125 klansmen. The Klan’s resurrection divides Augusta, especially its religious community. The Augusta Ministerial Association considers but fails to approve a resolution condemning the Klan.

June-July Both the Republicans and the Democrats hold their national conventions in Philadelphia, the Republicans in June and the Democrats in July. North Carolina is alone among southern states in casting its delegate votes for President Harry Truman during the Democratic national convention. Late in July, moreover, after bolting the Democratic national convention, a group of Southern Democrats, led by South Carolina governor Strom Thurmond, form their own party, the States’ Rights Democratic Party. The Dixiecrats, as they are called, select Thurmond as the new party’s presidential candidate at a convention in Birmingham.

October 8 The Augusta Chronicle runs what appears to be the last newspaper advertisement for Thomas Hamilton’s grocery store.

October 19 President Harry Truman dedicates the “Three Presidents” monument on Capital Square in Raleigh, N.C. He also delivers a political speech at the State Fairgrounds in Raleigh, making North Carolina the only Southern state in which he campaigns during the 1948 presidential elections.

November 2 Harry Truman is elected president of the United States in an upset victory over Republican candidate Thomas Dewey. The States’ Rights Democratic ticket, headed by presidential candidate Strom Thurmond of South Carolina, carries only 4 states: Alabama, Louisiana, Mississippi, and South Carolina. The States’ Rights Democratic Party quickly disappears.


February 23 Thomas Hamilton and Dr. Samuel Green visit Columbia, South Carolina, for a Klan meeting in West Columbia. During the day, the two Klan leaders visit the South Carolina legislature, where the representative from Aiken introduces the Georgia Grand Dragon to legislators. Green bows amid scattered applause and then identifies Hamilton, who is sitting with him in the house gallery.

April Grand Dragon Dr. Samuel Green charters the Thomas L. Hamilton Klavern No. 42 in Langley, South Carolina—a town halfway between Augusta, Georgia, and Hamilton’s native Aiken, S. C. Green also honors Hamilton’s wife, Olive, with the creation of the Olive Ray women’s Klan auxiliary in Langley.

June Horace Carter completes his course work at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and receives a degree in journalism while managing the printing operations for Colonial Press. He also discusses the formation of a new printing company with Mark Garner, a former Tar Heel reporter who is executive secretary of the Myrtle Beach Chamber of Commerce.

August 18 The Klan’s Imperial Wizard, Dr. Samuel Green of Atlanta, dies, setting off a leadership struggle within the organization. Speculation initially centers on Thomas Hamilton as Green’s successor, but the position goes to Sam Roper of Atlanta.

September Thomas Hamilton sells his grocery store in Augusta and moves to Leesville, S.C., to focus on organizing Klan klaverns in the two Carolinas.

November Georgia’s new Grand Dragon, Sam Roper, calls Thomas Hamilton a “traitor” after Hamilton announces that the Association of Carolina Klans has been formed and that he, Hamilton, is the ACK’s Grand Dragon. Hamilton organizes the ACK’s first North Carolina klavern late in November in Charlotte. “You’d be surprised the type of men who are in it,” he tells one Charlotte reporter. “Some of the city’s leading business men were there.” The goal of the new klavern is to “fight the Communism that has crept into the schools, the colleges and the political set up,” Hamilton says, and “the Charlotte Klavern will be the nucleus from which other North Carolina groups will be formed.”

December 17 Klan representatives from 14 states meet in Montgomery, Alabama, to form the National Ku Klux Klan. The new group is led by Thomas Hamilton (Grand Dragon of the Association of Carolina Klans); William Hugh Morris (chairman of the board of governors of the Federated Klans of Alabama); and Bill Hendrix of Florida (adjutant of the Southern Klans, Inc.) “We have joined with the pledge to fight Communism and all other un-American ‘isms,’” Hamilton tells the Augusta Chronicle. “And we are not banded for any pecuniary gain.”


February 12 The Association of Carolina Klans holds a special konclave. Thomas Hamilton brings together Klan leaders from throughout South Carolina at the Thomas L. Hamilton Klavern No. 42, in Langley, South Carolina. The meeting provides Hamilton with contacts and membership lists that enable him to plan strategically for mobilizing the Klan in South Carolina. More than 50 representatives from 18 different klaverns attend.

April 3-7 The United States Supreme Court hears arguments regarding separate-but-equal educational facilities in graduate and professional schools.

May 6 Thomas Hamilton and the Klan stage a “spring festival” at the brick “Klan Klavern” building on Rabbit Hill in Langley, S.C. The only robed and hooded figure at the meeting is a tall, unidentified man described as “Nathan II,” who tells the crowd of 125 spectators that “the days of Reconstruction are coming back.” Hamilton also speaks to the crowd, as does Bill Hendrix, the Grand Dragon of Florida, and all three men use the back of a pickup truck as their pulpit. While Hendrix and Nathan II rail against “Asiatic Jews”—a supposedly new group of Jews who are allegedly leading the communists and Negroes—Hamilton sounds like the true Christian klansman he considers himself to be. According to the Augusta Chronicle [May 6, 1950], “South Carolinian Hamilton told the group he believes in the Bible and goes to Sunday School.”

May 16 NAACP lead counsel Thurgood Marshall and Columbia, S.C., attorney Harold Bouleware file a case in the U. S. District Court in South Carolina charging that blacks are being denied equal educational facilities (in this case, school buses) in Clarendon County, S.C. This case is the precursor to the Briggs v. Elliott case that will be combined with the Brown case from Kansas (and several others) as part of the historic 1954 Supreme Court decision outlawing segregation in the public schools.

May 26 Thomas Hamilton visits Tabor City, N.C. to meet with local Klan sympathizers led by Troy Bennett.

May 29 Thomas Hamilton meets with Klansmen in Horry County, S.C., to discuss the Klan organization there.

June 5 The United States Supreme Court announces its decisions demanding desegregation in public transportation and public graduate schools.

June 14 Horace Carter and Mark Garner publish the first issue of the Tabor City Tribune under their new partnership, Atlantic Publishing Company. Carter announces that he is the editor and publisher of the Tribune, which is located in Tabor City, N.C.

June 16 The Atlantic Publishing Company prints the first issue of Horace Carter and Mark Garner’s new newspaper, the Myrtle Beach Sun. Garner is editor of the Sun, which is located in Myrtle Beach, S.C.

June 25 The Korean War begins when North Korea invades South Korea.

July Horace Carter and Mark Garner buy a one-half interest in the Ocean Beach News through their corporation, Atlantic Publishing Company. They have no editorial control over the paper; they only print it. They will purchase the remaining half of the paper from its founder J. Eddie Bone, in March, 1951.

July 1 Thomas Hamilton visits Conway, S.C., on a recruiting drive for the Klan. He receives numerous letters in the weeks that follow asking him for membership applications and for more information on the Klan.

July 8 Thomas Hamilton leads a Klan motorcade through Conway, S.C.

July 11 South Carolina Senator Olin D. Johnston defeats Governor Strom Thurmond in the Democratic primary for the U.S. Senate in South Carolina. James Byrnes wins the Democratic nomination for governor in S.C.

July 12 The police chief of Tabor City, N.C., L.R. Watson, writes Thomas L. Hamilton on police department stationery. Addressing his letter “To Whom it May Concern,” Watson notes he is writing at the urging of local barber Frank Young, who is working with Hamilton. According to the FBI, Watson stated in his letter that “he received a message concerning leading a parade through the town of Tabor City and would be glad to have the opportunity to lead the parade through as he had several places in mind he would like the parade to pass, all of which were in the city limits and would not take much time. WATSON stated if that was agreeable he would like the same representative to contact him.”

July 22 Horace Carter’s barber in Tabor City, N.C., Frank Young, suggests that the young Tabor City Tribune editor be downtown that Saturday evening—that there would be something Carter would want to see. What Carter sees that Saturday night is Thomas Hamilton leading a Ku Klux Klan motorcade through Tabor City.

July 26 Horace Carter opens his attack on the Klan after struggling with the questions of if and how he should respond to the Klan motorcade. He publishes several stories in the Tabor City Tribune: “This Issue – A Dual Purpose”; “An Editorial: No Excuse for KKK”; and “Ku Klux Klan Here on Saturday Night.”

July 27 Horace Carter finds a threatening note under the windshield of his car and two more such notes at his Tabor City Tribune office. These are the first of hundreds of threats he eventually receives in connection with the Klan crusade of 1950-52.

August 2 Horace Carter publishes a short editorial, “Our Thanks,” regarding reader response to his earlier anti-Klan editorial, and “An Open Letter from Me to You on This Week’s Ku Klux Klan Developments.”

August 7 Grand Dragon Thomas L. Hamilton writes Judge William F. Simmons, a magistrate at Myrtle Beach, S.C., regarding the recruitment of Klan members there. Simmons responds by saying that he is too old to help the Klan physically, but that he would like to help Hamilton find a few good men for a klavern in Myrtle Beach. Simmons helps Hamilton organize a Klan motorcade that will lead to violence in Myrtle Beach on the night of August 26.

August 9 Horace Carter publishes a letter in the Tabor City Tribune from John W. Hardee of Tabor City, N.C. Hardee says that even though he is not a member of the Klan, he believes Carter is misrepresenting it. The Klan is not a group of “Lawless hoodlums,” Hardee argues. It is “just a good old Red Blooded American Organization. Organized to support the good Morals of Good American People.” Hardee is especially worried about corrupt law enforcement officials and the prospect “of a bootlegger or a red light district next door” to Tabor City. Not only does Hardee send Thomas Hamilton a copy of his letter to Carter, but on August 14 Hardee writes Hamilton again saying that he wants to be a charter member of the Klan being organized in nearby Loris, S.C.

August 16 Horace Carter publishes “This Is Final Installment on Ku Klux Klan Activities” in the Tabor City Tribune. “The Tribune with this short article expects to ring down the curtain on further publicity regarding the Ku Klux Klan. . . . It is the sincere hope of The Tribune that the Ku Klux Klan will see fit to forget that Tabor City is on the face of the earth and that they will carry on their activities elsewhere.”

August 26 Klansmen from a motorcade led by Thomas Hamilton attack Charlie’s Place, a popular black night club in Myrtle Beach. The club is owned by Charlie Fitzgerald, a prosperous black man whose gambling, prostitution, and illegal liquor operations are connected with organized crime and the graft and corruption of state and local law enforcement officials. The attacking klansmen fire hundreds of shots into Fitzgerald’s night club, and during the fracas, a white Conway policeman, James Daniel Johnston, who had just been elected as a magistrate in Conway, is killed—his Klan robe covering his policeman’s uniform. Fitzgerald, the club’s owner, is taken to the woods in nearby Pine Island where he is severely beaten and cut by several klansmen. He is found several hours later by a friend, and after being treated for his wounds by Dr. William S. Chapman, a white physician in Myrtle Beach, Fitzgerald is taken into protective custody by Sheriff Ernest Sasser. Rather than take the black man to the county jail in Conway, however, where Sasser himself is headquartered, the sheriff puts Fitzgerald up for the night in the basement of his (Sasser’s) house. The following day Sasser takes Fitzgerald to Marion, S.C., for safekeeping. The black entrepreneur is booked as “Paul Roberson” (but, apparently, not charged), and after two days in the Marion jail, Fitzgerald is transferred by Horry County deputies to the “Women’s Department” jail in Conway, where he is held for safekeeping until being released on September 7. Fitzgerald leaves the state and goes in to hiding with friends in Baltimore, Philadelphia, and New York City.

August 29 Walter White, executive secretary of the NAACP, sends a telegram and letter to the Department of Justice asking it to investigate the incident at Charlie’s Place for violations of Fitzgerald’s civil rights under Title 18, Sections 241 and 242 of the U.S. Criminal Code.

August 31 Horry County Sheriff Ernest Sasser arrests the ACK’s Grand Dragon Thomas Hamilton and 8 other klansmen on charges of “conspiracy to stir up mob violence.” Before releasing Hamilton on $5,000 bail, Sasser puts him in jail in Conway in a cell next to Charlie Fitzgerald.

September 2 The South Carolina Highway Patrol is ordered to break up “all concentrations of people and cars on highways that would tend to impede traffic.” According to the state’s highway commissioner, Claude R. McMillan, the order is aimed at preventing the Klan from repeating the torch-light processions it had been staging every Saturday night for the past month.

Grand Dragon Thomas Hamilton addresses a Klan rally in Tallahassee, Florida, telling the crowd that the “Myrtle Beach Negroes had dared the hooded group to ride past their dance hall. ‘Whenever a Negro tells me that I can’t drive down a highway without bloodshed I won’t take it,’ he said.”

September 22 James M. McInerney (Asst. Attorney General, Criminal Division, United States Department of Justice) writes to FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover requesting a full investigation of the Ku Klux Klan motorcade through Myrtle Beach and the beating of Charlie Fitzgerald. McInerney provides Hoover with summaries of investigations being conducted by Horry County Sheriff Ernest Sasser and by Eugene A. R. Montgomery, head of the NAACP in South Carolina. Hoover hesitates ordering the FBI to investigate because of these other investigations and the fact that Hamilton and other Klansmen had been arrested and faced a preliminary hearing.

September 30 A preliminary hearing is held for Thomas Hamilton and other klansmen arrested by Horry County Sheriff Ernest Sasser for their participation in the incident at Charlie’s Place in Myrtle Beach. The hearing is held at the Horry County Court House in Conway, S.C., before magistrate H. D. Crawford. Crawford finds “probable cause” to hold Hamilton and four other men for further trial: Charles McCown Garrison (patrolman, Florence, S.C. Police Department), Robert Lee Simms, Jr. (salesman, Florence, S.C.), Joe Clyde Creel (owner of Creel’s Gulf Station in Conway, S.C.) and Greenville Grandy Sawyer, Jr. (bricklayer, Effingham, S.C.).

October Horace Carter is chosen as chairman of the Christian United Jewish Appeal for the Tabor City, N.C., and Loris, S.C., area. “Many times during the course of every year our Jewish neighbors here are asked to contribute to dozens of worthy projects,” Carter says. “They always cooperate in these fund drives and have been among the leaders in aggressive community betterment and civic pride in our town. This time they are calling on the assistance of the Christian people of Tabor City to help them reach a goal of $2250.”

October 5 A grand jury at the Court of General Sessions in Conway, S.C., returns a “No Bill” on charges that Thomas Hamilton, Charles Garrison, Robert Simms, Joe Creel, and Greenville Sawyer conspired to commit mob violence during the incident at Charlie’s Place. All five men are set free. In Washington, NAACP leaders Walter White and Thurgood Marshall take Charlie Fitzgerald to meet with officials in the Civil Rights Section of the Department of Justice. At the request of section officials, FBI agents take a statement from Charlie Fitzgerald.

October 20 James M. McInerney (Asst. Attorney General, Criminal Division, United States Department of Justice) asks Deputy Attorney General Peyton Ford to have the FBI conduct a full investigation of the incident at Charlie’s Place in Myrtle Beach, S. C. The FBI complies with McInerney’s request and begins an investigation into the incident at Charlie’s Place.

November 7 A dozen men break in to the home of Rufus Lee, a farmer, in Conway, S.C. They seize Lee and send his two sons, Hinson, 18, and Coolidge, 23, running down the road toward the family’s tobacco barn. The men then drive Rufus Lee to a secluded spot, whip him, and cut his hair. The incident, which is investigated by FBI agents and by South Carolina state constabulary officers, is condemned by the South Carolina Temperance League. Horry County Sheriff Ernest Sasser blames the Klan for the incident.

November 9 Some 40 union officials in North Carolina and South Carolina sign a telegram to U.S. Attorney General J. Howard McGrath warning him of a Klan rally planned in Horry County, S.C.

“We the undersigned union officials of North and South Carolina, call to your attention the fact that the Carolina Ku Klux Klan has announced a ‘Demonstration and Cross-Burning’ in Horry County, South Carolina on Saturday night November 11th.

“According to the KKK this demonstration is being called as a follow-up to the Myrtle Beach violence of last August now being investigated by the FBI.

“Since the constitutional rights, property and personal safety of Negro citizens are endangered we respectfully urge that the Department of Justice take immediate action to prevent further violence.”

November 10 The FBI ends its investigation into whether anyone acting “under color of the law” participated in the Klan attack on Charlie Fitzgerald and his nightclub in Myrtle Beach.

The Special Agent in Charge at the FBI office in Savannah writes to FBI Director Hoover that “The Association of Carolina Klans has scheduled at 8:30 P.M., 11/11/50, a Klan demonstration at a point about 8 miles from Mullins, S.C., on State highway 917, which is the Mullins-Loris highway.

“The purpose of this demonstration and cross burning is to explain the Klans’ side of the Myrtle Beach incident.
“Mr. Thomas L. Hamilton, Grand Dragon, has stated to the press that he anticipates a large crowd, possibly from 8,000 to 10,000 people.”

November 11 The Association of Carolina Klans holds a rally in Horry County, S.C. The editor of the Tabor City Tribune, Horace Carter, attends the rally along with about 8,000 other spectators.

November 15 Horace Carter of the Tabor City Tribune responds to the ACK’s recent rally in Horry County, S.C., by publishing an article titled “K.K.K. Threatens to Expose Horry Officials,” and also “An Editorial: True or False,” that examines the statements made by Thomas L. Hamilton at the November 11 rally.

November 17 Speaking at a Democratic banquet in Columbia, South Carolina’s newly elected governor, James Byrnes, refuses to countenance the Klan’s recent actions. Horace Carter takes note of Byrnes’ remarks in the next issue of the Tabor City Tribune (November 22, 1950). Writing in an article titled “Governor-Elect Issues Warning As Sasser Replies to Klan Charges,” Carter notes that: “South Carolina Governor Elect James F. Byrnes told a Democrat banquet audience in Columbia last Friday night ‘there will be no room for a government presided over by a grand dragon or a grand kleagle’ after he takes office.”

November 19 Grand Dragon Thomas Hamilton releases a letter responding to the anti-Klan remarks made by governor-elect James Byrnes two nights earlier in Columbia. The letter, which Hamilton also sends to outgoing Governor Strom Thurmond and to South Carolina Senator Olin D. Johnston, says that anyone who claims the Klan has taken the law into its own hands is “just a liar,” and that “any man or group of men who says the Klan has advocated any violence in this state is also a liar.” Hamilton writes that he presumes Byrnes “has definitely taken a stand against the Klan, of which I am leader here in South Carolina.” And then chides Byrnes: “I am satisfied that, if you made that statement before your were elected, you would not be the Governor.”

November 28 The United States Atomic Energy Commission announces it will build a nuclear materials plant 20 miles south of Augusta, Georgia, near Aiken, S.C. Construction of this Savannah River Plant will require the removal of 1,500 families within 18 months and the arrival of 8,000 workers in six months. According to one joke in Washington, the South Carolina site was selected after 43 states asked to be excused from the project, which they considered as too dangerous. Finally, President Truman allegedly said: “Put it in South Carolina. It’ll serve Jimmy Byrnes right.”

December 5 A post card headed “K.K.K. News” is mailed from Leesville, S.C. to Jesse Reese Fant Jr. of Anderson, S.C. The post card has Thomas Hamilton’s post office box listed at the bottom: “Box 231 Leesville, S.C.” The post card reads:

“K.K.K. News
“Old Poison Pen Wilton E. Hall, of the Anderson Independent, has stepped into it up to his ne[ck.] Hall is having NIGHT-MARES – When he gets on drunk now, he dont see white elephants, inste[ad] he sees white robes; or should I say he sees his newspaper partner….Senator Taylor. BEWARE!!!! of Newspaper Editors – they sit behind closed doors.
“Box 231 Leesville, S.C.”

The recipient of the post card, Jesse Reese Fant, Jr. is a member of the state house of representatives from Anderson, S.C. Wilton Hall is a newspaper and radio station owner from Anderson, S.C., who also served briefly as a United States Senator from South Carolina. The post card will result in federal charges being brought against Thomas Hamilton in June 1951.


January By January of 1951 the first of several klaverns eventually organized in Columbus County has been formed in Whiteville, the county seat. This “Kolumbus Kounty Klavern” holds its first meeting in Whiteville at the American Legion hut. The klavern’s “Exalted Cyclops” is Jule Richardson, a 54-year-old Fair Bluff man whose high blood pressure keeps him from working. The klavern’s secretary-treasurer is Howard Gore, an electrician. Jule’s brother, Carl Richardson, will participate in (and be convicted for) several of the floggings administered by the Klan in Columbus and Horry Counties over the next year.

Jule Richardson, the Exalted Cyclops, is asked by one of the new klavern’s members, T. L. Enzor, to put his (Enzor’s) neighbors, Bessie Page and Will Flowers, on the Klan’s list for flogging. Enzor claims that he saw Page—a white women whose house is connected to Enzor’s by a three-foot path across a field—having sexual intercourse with another neighbor, Will Flowers, a black man who lives with his wife, Evergreen, and their daughter, near Page and Enzor outside of Chadbourn, N.C.

January 16 James F. Byrnes is inaugurated as governor of South Carolina. He recommends a state law prohibiting anyone over 16 years of age from appearing masked on the streets.

January 17 Horace Carter briefly notes in his Tabor City Tribune that the paper has received one of the notices mailed out by the KKK from Leesville, S.C., “inviting thousands of people to another public speaking” on January 20, 1951, in Aiken, S.C.

January 17-18 At a Klan meeting in Crescent Beach, S.C., Thomas Hamilton appoints Klansmen from Columbus County, N.C., to flog a white woman, Bessie Page, and a black man, Will Flowers, who are neighbors in the Broadway section of Columbus County near Chadbourn, N.C. Page and Flowers are targeted because of allegations made by their neighbor, T. L. Enzor, a Klansman, who claims he saw the couple having sex. Hamilton tells the selected floggers “You better give ‘em a good whipping or you’ll have to do it again.” He then leaves with Florida’s Grand Dragon Bill Hendrix to prepare for the Klan’s January 20 rally in Aiken, S.C.

The designated floggers return to North Carolina where they are joined by 30 or 40 more of their cohorts, none of whom is robed or hooded. Bessie Page escapes flogging, as does her neighbor and alleged black lover Will Flowers, who escapes from his home as the Klansmen attack. His wife, Evergreen Flowers, is knocked out and briefly tied up by the Klansmen before being released.

Down in Horry County, moreover, at roughly the same time that night, 7 Klansmen wearing robes and hoods attack two white men, J.C. Gore, 25, a Purple Heart veteran of World War II, and his crippled uncle, Sam Gore, 42. Horry County Sheriff Ernest Sasser arrests 7 Klansmen for the Gore floggings, but each immediately pays $5,000 bond and is released.

January 20 Thomas Hamilton and Bill Hendrix hold a large Klan rally at Aiken, S.C., near the construction site of the new atomic materials plant. Hamilton and Hendrix tell some 350 unmasked and unrobed listeners that the U.S. should pull out of the “Jewish-dominated” United Nations. Hamilton also blames the recent violence in Horry County, S.C., on “New York racketeers” and Sheriff Ernest Sasser, claiming that one S.C. county (obviously Horry County) is “the jumping-off place for racketeer operations between New York and Florida.”

January 24 Horace Carter runs articles in the Tabor City Tribune describing the Klan attacks on Evergreen Flowers near Chadbourn, N.C., and on the Gores in Horry County, S.C.

Carter also runs an editorial in the same issue of the Tribune headlined “Right is Right and Vice Versa.” The editorial concerns a black woman teaching in a local school who was slapped by a white man. Carter argues that this was wrong no matter the color, and that had the situation been reversed, the assaulting party would have been duly punished.

January (late) The editor of the Tabor City Tribune, Horace Carter, receives an anonymous telephone call from a man who claims he is a physician in Myrtle Beach. The caller says he has overheard a party-line telephone conversation in which two men were discussing a contract on Carter’s life.

February 7 Early in February, 1951, the Horry County Klavern of the Association of Carolina Klans begins printing and distributing 4x7 manila cards called the KKK News. The first two issues—mimeographed cards printed in red ink—attack Horry County Sheriff Ernest Sasser as corrupt and ineffective. Implying that Sasser had sold out to the gambling interests in Myrtle Beach, the KKK News suggests that Horry County needs its own “Kefauver investigation.” Horace Carter responds with an editorial in the Tabor City Tribune on February 7. In “Bring the Charges to Court,” Carter says he has no brief to bear for Sasser, but that the Horry County Klan should submit proof of its accusations against the sheriff.

February 9 South Carolina releases statistical information on its 46 counties. Horry County leads all counties in the percentage of income derived from farm products. It is also the only county in the state where more than 50% of the white school teachers lack a class 4 certificate—that is, a certificate for 4 years of college work.

February 14 In an editorial titled “Klan Attacks Sasser with Literature,” Horace Carter, the editor of the Tabor City Tribune, summarizes the KKK News and its recent threats against those who would inform on the Klan. “Three of the sheets carried rough sketches of a rat and was indicative of the contents of the articles,” Carter writes of the KKK News. “Each sheet was aimed at attacking any person accepting a deputy sheriff’s position from Horry Sheriff Ernest Sasser who announced several weeks ago that private citizens throughout the area would be deputized to help in investigating Klan activities.”

Carter also runs a story containing two letters signed by the KKK and sent to a local farmer, Shepard Strickland. Strickland brings Carter the handwritten letters, which threaten retaliation by the Klan unless Strickland stops drinking, lets his family go to church, and stops talking bad about the church. According to Carter, Strickland contacted Thomas Hamilton about the letters and was told by the Grand Dragon: “Don’t do anything until I see you.”

February 23 Grand Dragon Thomas Hamilton visits Horace Carter at the offices of the Tabor City Tribune in Tabor City, N.C. The Klan leader says he will call for a boycott of Carter’s advertisers if Carter does not end his campaign against the Association of Carolina Klans.

February 28 Horace Carter prints a brief, 3-paragraph story summarizing Thomas Hamilton’s visit to the Tabor City Tribune. The Tribune also carries a full-page ad headlined “Patronize Our Advertisers” and a note that says “Another group of circulars have been distributed by the Ku Klux Klan advertising another public speaking. The new circulars announce a speaking to be held at McBee, S.C., Thursday night, March 1, at 8:00 P.M.”

March 9 Horace Carter and Mark Garner announce that their company, Atlantic Publishing, has purchased the remaining 50% of the Ocean Beach News from the paper’s founder, J. Eddie Bone. The purchase gives Atlantic Publishing complete ownership of the Ocean Beach News, which is located in Ocean Beach, S.C.

March 27 The Fourth District Court of Appeals in Richmond, Virginia, rules that the University of North Carolina must admit blacks to its law school. Two black students will be admitted in June, 1951.

April 18 Horace Carter writes in support of the UNC Law School decision in his “Carter’s Column” in the Tabor City Tribune.

April 28-29 Stickers labeled with “KKK Yesterday, Today, and Forever” are found plastered on automobiles, trucks, and businesses in Whiteville, N.C., the county seat of Columbus County. The stickers show a robed Klansman riding a horse and a lighted torch held aloft in his hand.

May Registration begins for municipal elections in Tabor City, N.C. the Tabor City Tribune notes on May 9 that Troy Bennett had registered to run for the Board of Town Commissioners. Bennett, a leading local Klansman, will be elected as one of Tabor City’s three town commissioners in June of 1951. He will be forced to resign from the board in July 1952, however, after being convicted in state court for participating in a Klan flogging.

May 19 Thomas Hamilton leads a second Klan motorcade through Tabor City, N.C. Some 34 vehicles, most with S.C. license plates, are reported as part of the motorcade. As the motorcade leaves Tabor City and crosses the state line into South Carolina, Hamilton’s car is stopped and he is issued a citation for having an illegal red light in the form of a cross on the front of his vehicle. The light violates a state law recently passed by the South Carolina legislature.

May 23 Horace Carter briefly summarizes in the Tabor City Tribune the second Klan motorcade through Tabor City. He also writes an editorial titled “The KKK, Another Step . . . Breakdown of Government.” Carter writes:

“All over the world, governments are growing weaker. In our own country, never before have so many people lost confidence in the men they elected to high office. Graft and subversion has crept stealthily into almost every phase of American public life.

“Taking advantage of this weakness, the obviously un-American and subversive Ku Klux Klan has rapidly grown among the disgruntled, the dissatisfied, the trouble makers and the prejudiced. ”

June 4 A federal grand jury in Columbia, S.C., indicts Thomas Hamilton on charges of violating postal laws by mailing the “K.K.K. News” post card in December 1950. Specifically, Hamilton is charged with sending mail “of a libelous, scurrilous and defamatory character and calculated and obviously intended to reflect injuriously upon the character and conduct of one Wilton E. Hall[.]”

June 12 Municipal elections are held in Tabor City, N.C. Troy Bennett, a local Klan leader, is elected as one of the three commissioners on the Board of Town Commissioners.

June 27 Horace Carter publishes in the Tabor City Tribune a long letter written by the Grand Dragon of the Association of Carolina Klans, Thomas Hamilton. The letter is Hamilton’s response to Carter’s earlier editorial criticizing the Klan for taking advantage of the general breakdown of government at all levels in the United States. Carter also publishes his own equally long rebuttal to Hamilton’s letter.

Late June The editor of the Tabor City Tribune, Horace Carter, begins receiving an increasing number of threatening notes and phone calls. Some call him names, others threaten him with physical harm, and one caller even threatens to kidnap his bird dog, Bess.

July 21 Whiteville, N.C., hires William Hayes Farrell, a klansman, as its new police chief.

August 13 The editor of the Whiteville News Reporter, Willard Cole, publishes a story saying that the Association of Carolina Klans had sent out notices about its plans to stage a rally in Columbus County between Whiteville and Tabor City on Saturday, August 18. According to Cole, Grand Dragon Thomas L. Hamilton said the ACK would stage the “‘most colorful and spectacular demonstration in the Southeastern United States in the past 25 years.’ [Hamilton] said that the purpose of the meeting is to ‘awaken the people of America to some of the things going on in this county’ and to educate the people to the purposes of the Klan.”

August 18 Some 5,000 spectators show up for the Association of Carolina Klans rally at 8:30 pm on highway 701 in Williams Township, between Tabor City and Whiteville, N.C. Both Horace Carter, the editor of the Tabor City Tribune, and Willard Cole, the editor of the Whiteville News Reporter, attend the meeting and summarize it in their respective papers.

August (mid) Horace Carter’s dog Bess disappears from the editor’s house in Tabor City, N.C., and is assumed kidnapped. She is gone for four months, reappearing in late December.

August 28 North Carolina Governor W. Kerr Scott responds to questions about the Ku Klux Klan’s plans to expand in the state, saying “we’re not going to take any foolishness from the Klan. Both the Klan and the Communists are obnoxious to the people of this State. The Communists want to overthrow our government, while the Klan wants to take the place of government.” Scott sees no difference between the two.

But he does see a difference between the current Klan, which he refused to join when asked to, and the Reconstruction Klan, to which his grandfather belonged. “It was an entirely different problem then,” Scott said of the Klan during Reconstruction. “We didn’t have law and order in those days. We do now.”

September 26 Horace Carter notes in the Tabor City Tribune that “Another KKK Meet” is scheduled for Saturday night, September 29, between Tabor City and Whiteville. Carter reports that one of the Klan’s scheduled speakers, Florida Grand Dragon Bill Hendrix, has challenged the president of the North Carolina Junior Chamber of Commerce to a debate at the rally. Hendrix issues the challenge in response to the chamber’s recent description of the Klan as un-American.

September 29 The Association of Carolina Klans stages it second rally in two months in Williams Township (between Tabor City and Whiteville) in Columbus County, N.C. Only about 700 people show up for the rally.

October 6 A group of Klansmen seize a white couple, Ben Grainger and Dorothy Dillard Martin, from her grandmother’s home in Fair Bluff, N.C. The Klansmen then transport the couple into South Carolina and flog them there for alleged moral infractions, such as making and drinking moonshine, not going to church, and living together out of wedlock.

The incident is the first in a series of floggings that Klansmen will administer over the next several months in Columbus County, N.C., and Horry County, S.C.

October 8-14 Tabor City celebrates its annual Yam Festival.

October 21 A group of Klansmen abduct George Kemper Smith, a white man, in Nichols, S.C., and carry him across the state line into North Carolina. They then whip him near Fair Bluff, N.C., at a place known as Lover’s Lane. Like many other Klan victims, Smith is beaten for alleged immoral behavior, in this case his reputation for drunken driving and carrying a woman across state lines for immoral purposes. The Klansmen tell Smith they are beating him “because you ought to stay home more.” Many of the 19 Klansmen who participate in the Smith flogging also participated in the Oct 6 flogging of Grainger and Martin and will take part in several subsequent whippings.

October 26 Robert Lee Gore, a white man in Olyphic, N.C. is abducted, taken across the state line into South Carolina, and flogged by Klansmen. No one is ever arrested for the incident.

October 30 Grand Dragon Thomas Hamilton is convicted in federal court in Columbia, S.C., for mailing material defamatory to former South Carolina Senator Wilton Hall. The jury trial takes place under George Bell Timmerman, Sr., of Batesburg, S.C., who is Judge of the United States District Court for the Western District of South Carolina. Hamilton pays a $1,000 fine rather than go to jail for a year. The Klan klaverns in Columbus (N.C.) and Horry (S.C.) Counties raise about $250 to help Hamilton pay his fine.

October 31 During an evening revival service at the Cane Branch Baptist Church, near Allsbrook, S. C., 24 men in Klan robes enter the sanctuary and parade through the aisles. After exiting the church and leaving its property, 14 of the Klansmen are arrested by Horry County Sheriff Eugene Sasser (and six of his deputies) for violating a state law prohibiting the wearing of masks on public property. The arrested Klansmen are jailed overnight and released the following day after each posts a $1000 bond. Several Klansmen claim that the church granted them permission to wear their regalia to the service.

November 5 Judge William F. Simmons of Myrtle Beach issues warrants for the six deputies who assisted Horry County Sheriff Ernest Sasser during the October 31 arrest of 16 Klansmen outside of the Cane Branch Baptist Church near Allsbrook, S.C. Simmons, the magistrate who helped Thomas Hamilton organize the August 1950 Klan motorcade through Myrtle Beach, issues the warrants upon the complaint of A. L. Tyler, a deacon of the Cane Branch Baptist Church. Tyler says in his complaint that the deputies used obscene language and broke up a church meeting. The church’s pastor, the Rev. N.E. Tyler, and the church’s clerk, Arthur W. Tyler, report that church members passed resolutions commending and approving the Klansmen’s conduct.

Other local churchmen, however, immediately side with the deputies arrested in the Klan incident. Ministers and deacons from Methodist, Baptist, and Presbyterian churches throughout Horry County post bond for the deputies.

Nov 15-18 Klansmen attack three residents of Columbus County, N.C.: Clayton Sellers, a white man; Dorsey Robinson, a black man; and Esther Lee Floyd, a black woman.

Sellers, a poor farmer of the Sellerstown community between New Hope and Beaverdam, says Klansmen told him he was being flogged for having beaten his mother.

The Klan also later claims that Robinson was acting as a messenger between Floyd, the other black victim that night, and a white man who is allegedly her lover. Robinson and Floyd, both of Chadbourn, N.C., are targeted separately, on the same night, by the same group of Klansmen. Robinson later says the Klan accused him of getting drunk and cussing in front of a white woman. The Klansmen decide not to flog Floyd, however, after she tells them she is pregnant. They scissor-cut a crude cross in her hair instead, telling her: “Go to Whiteville and tell everybody the Ku Kluxers got you.”

Nov 19-21 The first press reports of the floggings of Robert Lee Gore (October 26) and Clayton Sellers (November 15) are printed by Willard Cole in the twice-weekly Whiteville News Reporter and then by Horace Carter in the weekly Tabor City Tribune.

December 1 Lee and Louise Tyson, white tenant farmers in Hallsboro, N.C., are riding in a truck with Norman Sasser, a drinking companion, when Sasser stops his truck near the Tyson’s home and gets out. Robed and hooded men seize the Tysons from the truck and proceed to flog Lee Tyson, telling him he is being whipped for not going to church and for failing to provide for his 8 children. The Klansmen decide not to beat Tyson’s wife, however, after she shows them her bandaged thigh and says she was severely burned there several weeks earlier.

December 8 Woodrow Johnson, a white auto mechanic in Whiteville, N.C., is abducted and flogged by Klansmen for “drinking too much.” The man leading the flogging party is Johnson’s step father-in-law, Henry Edwards, a garage owner in Whiteville.

December 25 Dan Ward, a white farmer in Nakina, N.C., is threatened by three white men who demand that Ward and his wife, Ella, remove a black tenant farmer from their property by December 30 or have their property burned and the black tenant farmer “Kluxed.”

December 29 Greer Pinkney Wright, a white tenant farmer and painter in Hallsboro, N.C., is abducted and flogged by men who tell him “We’re Ku Kluxers.”

December 31 The pastor of Fair Bluff Methodist Church, a white man, the Rev. Eugene Purcell, is threatened after refusing to withdraw his invitation to a local “Negro quartet” to sing for a men’s fellowship supper at the church. Allegations that the Klan is behind the threat are given credence by the fact that Early Brooks, the Klansman leading most of the violent local floggings, is a member of the Fair Bluff Methodist Church.

By late December, the Klan has succeeded in creating a “reign of terror” in the Carolina border towns of Columbus and Horry Counties. Local residents are buying all the ammunition they can find, and when they do answer their doors at night, it’s usually with some kind of weapon in hand. The strain is particularly acute on the region’s small Jewish population, many of whom are successful merchants. Arthur Leinwand liquidates his business, for example, and moves to Virginia, while Albert Schilds, a Jewish merchant who owns clothing stores in Tabor City and Whiteville, is hospitalized with a bleeding ulcer.


January 1 Lawyer W. Jernigan, a white tenant farmer in Hallsboro, N.C., is abducted and beaten, and told by his captors that the 25 lashes they give him are “just a sample” of what awaits him if he continues to fail to support his family.

Alton Bullock, the manager of the black quartet invited to sing at the (white) Fair Bluff Methodist Church, is visited by a white man who says “I was sent all the way from Florence, S.C. to tell you boys not to sing.” After Bullock decides his quartet will not perform, the church extends its invitation to two other black groups, both of which decide not to sing after being told of the threats made earlier. On the night of the scheduled performance, several cars filled with men and bearing South Carolina license plates ride through Fair Bluff and linger across the street from the church. The stress of the situation takes its toll on the church’s minister, the Rev. Eugene Purcell, and his pregnant wife. The distraught pastor takes a leave of absence from the church.

January 8 The three men who threatened to “Klux” Dan Ward’s black tenant farmer in Nakina, N. C., and to burn Ward’s property if the tenant were not removed, are convicted of assault and trespassing in Recorder’s Court.

Later that night, H. D. “Dick” Best, a white automobile salesman in Whiteville, N.C., is abducted from his home and flogged by several hooded figures. Best is later told that the incident resulted from a complaint made by his nephew, who alleged that Best was mistreating his wife.

January 9 Horace Carter reports in the Tabor City Tribune that “Three Nakina Men Get Road Terms For Threatening To ‘Klux’ Farmer.” He also notes that his bird dog had been found two days earlier on highway 701 near Williams Township school by his brother-in-law, Tribune employee J. A. Herlocker.

January 16 Horace Carter responds in his “Carter’s Column” to the perceived lull in Klan coverage mentioned by several readers of the Tabor City Tribune. Carter reiterates his long-standing opposition to the Klan and then mentions the fact that the town of Fair Bluff is “practically an armed camp” and “that guns and other weapons are available in just about every residence, and that the slightest incident might set off fireworks that could end only in death and tragedy.” Carter also notes “reliable reports that the FBI is nearing the day when wholesale arrests are going to be made and some KKK members are going to be exposed in open court. This is our greatest hope. If arrests are not made and if the organization is not exposed to the public, it can only end one way – that is mass tragedy with several persons meeting their death.”

January 23 Horace Carter prints on the front page of the Tabor City Tribune a long letter written to him by Grand Dragon Thomas Hamilton in response to the “Carter’s Column” of January 16. Carter also prints in an adjacent column his own response to Hamilton’s letter.

Later that day, the Columbus County Ministerial Association releases a long statement declaring that “we do not countenance nor condone the lawless and violent acts of certain men within our county.”

January 24 The Whiteville News Reporter publishes a resolution approved by the Columbus County Ministerial Association in opposition to the recent floggings. The resolution, which is scheduled for reading in churches of all denominations on Sunday, January 27, is headlined by the News Reporter as describing a “Close Parallel Seen Between Local Acts Of Violence And Communist And Fascist Methods.”

Later that same day, someone calls the Associated Press from Whiteville, N.C., to report that Thomas Hamilton had disbanded the Fair Bluff klavern for “un-Klanish” activities.

February 1 There are an estimated 1,556 dues-paying Klansmen in Columbus County, N.C., and between 3,000 and 5,000 Klan members in Horry County, S.C.

February 12 Florida Grand Dragon Bill Hendrix is arrested on federal charges in Tallahassee, Florida, for sending defamatory materials through the United States mail.

February 16 More than 35 FBI agents, working in close coordination with state and local law enforcement officials in Columbus County, N.C., arrest 10 Klansmen for the kidnapping and flogging of Ben Grainger and Dorothy Martin on October 6, 1951.

Feb-May Dozens of men are arrested in connection with the flogging cases in Columbus County, and many more will be arrested in the months that follow. Most of those arrested are charged with violating state laws regarding kidnapping and conspiracy to kidnap.

March 22 The Tabor City Merchants Association presents Horace Carter with an engraved wristwatch in naming him “Tabor City Man of the Year.”

April-May Horace Carter receives numerous telephone threats as arrests, trials, and sentencings continues for the 13 reported floggings that occurred in Columbus and Horry Counties between 1951-52.

May 24 Grand Dragon Thomas Hamilton is arrested in Florence, S.C., and charged with conspiracy to kidnap and conspiracy to assault in the Evergreen Flowers case of January 18, 1951. Hamilton posts a $10,000 bond in Florence and then a $10,000 bond in Whiteville, N.C.

June Horry County, S.C., Sheriff Ernest Sasser is defeated in his reelection bid by John Henry.

July 19 Grand Dragon Thomas Hamilton stages a rally of the Association of Carolina Klans at Johnsonville, S.C. Some 2,000 spectators attend the meeting.

July 21 Grand Dragon Thomas Hamilton pleads not guilty to the charges against him in the Evergreen Flowers case.

July 22 Grand Dragon Thomas Hamilton changes his plea to guilty on the first day of his trial at a special session of Superior Court in Whiteville, N.C.

July 30 Grand Dragon Thomas Hamilton is sentenced to four years in state prison for his role in the Evergreen Flowers case. Hamilton is given until October 1 to begin serving his sentence because his wife Olive must have a hysterectomy for cancer.

September 1 Most of the men convicted in the Klan-related flogging cases begin their sentences.

October 1 Grand Dragon Thomas Hamilton enters the North Carolina state penitentiary in Wilmington, N.C.

November 16 The Anti-Defamation League of B’nai B’rith honors Horace Carter of the Tabor City Tribune and Willard Cole of the Whiteville News Reporter for their editorial stands against the Klan.


May 4 Horace Carter receives telegram from Grayson Kirk, President of Columbia University, notifying him that the Tabor City Tribune and the Whiteville News Reporter have won the Pulitzer Prize for Meritorious Public Service.


February Thomas Hamilton is paroled from prison after serving 17months of his four-year prison term. He and his wife Olive eventually move to North Augusta, South Carolina, where they live with their daughter Sally until her death in the mid-1960s. Hamilton is eventually ordained as Baptist minister and will serve several small churches in the North Augusta area until his death on September 29, 1976. His wife Olive dies in 1985


Horace Carter continues to work at the Tabor City Tribune and to write his “Carter’s Column” for the weekly newspaper.

Contact Info for Carter-Klan Project
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