The Day The KKK Bombed KPFT
|1960s Texas Music via Bill Narum collection|
|The KPFT staff poses for a group picture in 1970.|
Space City!, in its Nov. 14, 1970 issue, reported that two well-known Klansmen - Louis Beam and Jim Hutto - were picked up driving with their lights off near a local radio station after a bomb threat had been called in. They were equipped in paramilitary garb, "with several rifles, a bottle of gasoline and a walkie-talkie." They had been spotted near the Space City! office earlier in the evening. They were released without charges. Louis Beam -- who was implicated in the KPFT bombing and the bombing of a Socialist Workers Party headquarters in Houston -- would himself become a Grand Dragon, spend some time on the FBI's most wanted list, be acquitted of sedition and become a leader of the Aryan Nation and the Christian Identity movement. Frank Converse admitted that the Klan had members working undercover in the police and city government. And, "for over two years we kept Klansmen working in the SDS," he said, but added that they had pulled them out for fear their cover would be blown.It goes on:
Jim Hutto had in fact successfully infiltrated Houston SDS for a bit, selling himself as a working class hero. The Klan attempted to infiltrate the Space City! staff but scrawny and clueless "Mike Love" didn't fool anyone for long. In what - through the coolness of retrospection - seems genuinely knuckleheaded, a couple of staffers actually went to a cross-burning and photographed Love in full Klan regalia. Space City! ran the photos in the next issue.