Someone mentioned this review over on the Classics list t'other day ... the New York Times reviews a biography of Robert Byrd, and we get a tidbit about the Ku Klux Klan that I was utterly unaware of:

As a boy, he watched a parade of white hoods in Matoaka, learning years later his father had been among them. Back then ''many of the 'best' people were members,'' he says, and Byrd was vulnerable to the anti-Communism rhetoric.

He recruited 150 members, and when Grand Dragon Joel L. Baskin came to a meeting in Crab Orchard, Byrd was unanimously elected Exalted Cyclops.

''You have a talent for leadership, Bob,'' Baskin told him. ''The country needs young men like you in the leadership of the nation.''

As someone else mentioned on the Classics list, this adds another dimension to the Klan gathering scene in O Brother, Where Art Thou? (the apparent leader of the group only had one eye!). Quickly Googling things (since report cards are due), I note a pile of Klan officers betray a 'Classical' influence ... there is mention of Genii, Hydras, Great Titans, Furies ... I'll have to write this one down as one warranting further investigation.