A photograph of Jewish businessman Leo Frank at his murder trial in a courtroom in Marietta, Georgia, 1913.
Leo Frank was a manager at a pencil factory in Marietta, Georgia. Frank was convicted on questionable evidence of the rape and murder of thirteen-year-old Mary Phagan. Shortly after his death sentence was commuted to life in prison, Frank, who was Jewish, was kidnapped and lynched by a group of men. When William J. Simmons heard of Frank’s lynching, he was inspired to create the Second Ku Klux Klan in a ritual that reenacted a cross-burning scene from the film The Birth of a Nation at Stone Mountain, Georgia, in 1915.