The Ku Klux Klan (KKK), also known as the Klan or the Invisible Empire, is a right-wing extremist organization that has emerged at three distinct periods of U.S. history: from 1865 to the 1870s, from 1915 to 1944, and from the 1950s to the present. In the name of white supremacy and the protection of “one-hundred percent Americanism,” these Klan movements have targeted—through political rhetoric and violent actions—African Americans, immigrants, Catholics, Jews, and organized labor, as well as prostitution and the alcohol industry. While antipathy from political elites ensured that the Klan never gained the foothold in Virginia that it had in other states, it was most prominent in the Commonwealth during the 1920s and resurged during the 1950s and 1960s to target civil rights activists. During Reconstruction (1865–1877), the Klan was active in Virginia only for a period of several months before the newspapers that had once supported it condemned its use of violence. After the events of World War I (1914–1918) encouraged a heightened fear of “anti-American elements,” the Klan was more efficiently mobilized and enjoyed a longer reign in Virginia, but was undone by legal restrictions on its violent activities, which included kidnappings, floggings, and at least one lynching. The Klan was reborn in the late 1950s to defend white supremacy against the threats of desegregation, but mounting pressure from civil rights groups led the white political establishment to commit to stamping out masked rallies and cross-burnings and making Virginia an inhospitable environment for Klan activity. The white political and social elite consistently decried the Klan, not because they were opposed to white supremacy but because they viewed the Klan’s methods as crass and unsophisticated. Klan klaverns still exist in the Commonwealth, but there has been little public notice or concern of them since the late 1960s.