IN HIS "Almanac of American Letters" (1981,...


IN HIS "Almanac of American Letters" (1981, William Kaufmann Inc.), Randy F. Nelson includes what he calls "perhaps the greatest tribute to the effect of [H.L.] Mencken's pen" -- a unanimous resolution of the Knights of the Ku Klux Klan of Little Rock, Ark. Adopted on Sept. 7, 1925, the resolution reads:

"WHEREAS, One H.L. Mencken is the author of a scurrilous article recently published in the Baltimore Sun, describing the Klan parade in Washington, D.C., August 3, in which he viciously slurs and insults the good women and the patriotic men who marched in that parade to the number of more than 100,000, declaring that there was not an intelligent or comely face among them, that they looked like a gang of meat cutters and curve greasers on a holiday and many other slanders and insults too vile and indecent to be repeated, therefore be it:

"RESOLVED, by the Knights of the Ku Klux Klan of Arkansas, a State which the said Mencken has in times past slandered as a 'land of morons,' that we condemn in the strongest possible language the vile mouthings of this prince of blackguards among the writers of America, to whom virtue, patriotism and democracy are only a subject upon which to expend the venom of a poisonous pen; that we further condemn the Baltimore Sun for heaping insults upon the good men and women of America, and that we commend the course of the Baltimore Chamber of Commerce in protesting against the calumny too degrading and false to come from the heart of one who is not himself a moral pervert.

"RESOLVED FURTHER, That copies of this resolution be sent to the Baltimore Sun, National Courier, Baltimore Chamber of Commerce and H.L. Mencken."

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