McCarthyism: A Twentieth Century Witch Hunt


In these photos:
  1. Senator McCarthy responds to charges that a photo of army personnel, submitted as an exhibit at the hearings, has been altered during the Army-McCarthy Hearings of 1954.
  2. Senator McCarthy speaks in front of a television camera in 1953

November 14,1908
Senator Joseph McCarthy is born in Grand Chute, Wisconsin.
McCarthy graduates from Marquette University Law School.
Founding of The House Un-American Activities Committee: an organization responsible for investigating communist activity in the US during the Cold War.
McCarthy elected to the senate as a Republican to represent Wisconsin.
HUAC(House of Un-American Activities Committee) creates an unofficial "blacklist" with the name of suspected communists within the entertainment industry. These people were shunned by Hollywood studios when looking for work.
February 9, 1950
Senator Joseph McCarthy accuses 205 members in the State Department of being communists.
"While I cannot take the time to name all of the men in the State Department who have been named as members of the Communist Party and members of a spy ring, I have here in my hand a list of 205 that were known to the secretary of state as being members of the Communist Party and who nevertheless are still working and shaping the policy of the State Department."
In a speech made in Wisconsin, McCarthy states, "McCarthyism is Americanism with its sleeves rolled."
Arthur Miller writes The Crucible, a play that revealed similarities between the McCarthy hearings and the Salem witch trials.
The Korean War ends and the threat of World War III is no longer fast-approaching causing the nation's mood towards these happenings to shift.
April 22, 1954
The US Army, represented by Attorney Joseph Welch, attacks McCarthy with a charge of corruption.
June 9, 1954
Welch stated this, "Until this moment, Senator, I think I never really gaged [sic] your cruelty or your recklessness. . . . Let us not assassinate this lad further, Senator. You have done enough. Have you no sense of decency, sir, at long last? Have you left no sense of decency?" during the Army-McCarthy hearings. Welch holds televised congressional hearings in which he shows how McCarthy had doctored photos and created false documents stating that this "evidence" was enough to prove that the accused were guilty.
December 2, 1954
The US Senate votes to issue a formal reprimand to Senator McCarthy for his persecution of communists.
"Resolved, That the Senator from Wisconsin, Mr. McCarthy, failed to cooperate with the Subcommittee on Privileges and Elections of the Senate Committee on Rules and Administration in clearing up matters referred to that subcommittee which concerned his conduct as a Senator and affected the honor of the Senate and, instead, repeatedly abused the subcommittee and its members who were trying to carry out assigned duties, thereby obstructing the constitutional processes of the Senate, and that this conduct of the Senator from Wisconsin, Mr. McCarthy, is contrary to senatorial traditions and is hereby condemned."
May 2, 1957
McCarthy dies.

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