There are a number of small neo-Nazi groups in the United States. The earliest example of this ideological tendency can be traced back to 1924 and the formation of the Free Society of Teutonia. This organization merged with the Friends of New Germany to form the German-American Bund. The German-American Bund and similar groups achieved limited popularity in the 1930s (at one point staging a rally with over 20,000 people), but rapidly faded with the onset of World War II. The groups either disbanded or were dismantled by force of law (such as the 1942 sedition trial) during the war period. After the war, new organizations formed, with varying degrees of support for Nazi principles.
The National States’ Rights Party, founded in 1958 by Edward Reed Fields and J. B. Stoner countered racial integration in the American South with Nazi-inspired publications and iconography. The American Nazi Party founded by George Lincoln Rockwell in 1959 achieved high-profile coverage in the press through their public demonstrations.
Organizations which report upon American neo-Nazi activities include the Anti-Defamation League and Southern Poverty Law Center. While a small minority of American neo-Nazis draw public attention, most operate underground, so they can recruit, organize and raise funds without interference or harassment. The American correctional system houses many white supremacist and neo-Nazi prison gangs, and often white prisoners join those gangs for protection.
The First Amendment to the United States Constitution guarantees freedom of speech, which allows political organizations great latitude in expressing Nazi, racist, anti-Semitic and homophobic views. A First Amendment landmark was the “Skokie Affair“, in which neo-Nazis threatened to march in a predominantly Jewish suburb of Chicago. The march never took place in Skokie, but the court ruling allowed the neo-Nazis to stage a series of demonstrations in the Chicago area. Neo-Nazis are known to attack and harass Jews, African Americans, Homosexuals, Asian Americans, Latinos, Arab Americans, Native Americans, Catholics, and people with different political or religious opinions. American neo-Nazi groups often operate websites, occasionally stage public demonstrations, and maintain ties to groups in Europe and elsewhere.
Members of The Order were convicted of crimes such as racketeering, conspiracy, violating civil rights and sedition. Matthew F. Hale of the Creativity Movement was imprisoned for soliciting the murder of a federal judge. Aryan Nations lost a $6.2 million lawsuit after some of its members opened fire on a passing vehicle. Aryan Nations has since lost its headquarters and paramilitary training grounds, and has split into three separate organizations.