“For their crusade against the Ku Klux Klan in North Carolina, Editor Willard Cole of the Whiteville News Reporter (circ. 5,007) and Editor Horace Carter of the Tabor City Tribune (circ. 1,500) won a Pulitzer Prize this year, the only one ever given to weekly papers.
“Last week Editor Cole was praised from another quarter…. In the mail came an unsolicited letter from former Imperial Wizard Thomas L. Hamilton, who was sent to jail, along with 15 other Klansmen, as a result of the weeklies’ crusade.
“Said Hamilton’s letter, which Cole put on Page One: ‘All my friends everywhere should disband the Ku Klux Klan…. I am through with [it] and believe all my former associates will best serve themselves and society as a whole by taking a similar stand.’ ”
— From Time magazine, Nov. 2, 1953
One thought on “In jail cell, a Klansman changes his sheets”
The Hugh Morton Collection in the NC Collection’s Photographic Archive includes a photo of Thomas L. Hamilton being booked. My colleague Elizabeth Hull wrote about the photo and the Columbus County newspapers’ crusade in a post for the View to Hugh blog–http://blogs.lib.unc.edu/morton/index.php/2008/04/the-klan-in-nc/
The Southern Oral History Program, whose archives are held here in Wilson Library, includes a recorded interview with Horace Carter. You can listen to the interview and read the transcript here–http://docsouth.unc.edu/sohp/B-0035/menu.html