McCarthy Launches His “Witch Hunt”

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Transcript McCarthy Launches His “Witch Hunt”

The Red Scare
Was it more fact than fiction?
Was it more fiction than fact?
Presentation created Michael Quiñones
The Red Scare
After the Russian Revolution of 1917
saw the Russian monarchy toppled
[removed] by the Bolsheviks [later
Soviets] the United States and much of
Europe was worried that Soviet
communism would spread
throughout the world. Democracy,
economic and political freedoms were
at risk from communism.
The color
red was
symbolic of
the Soviet
Union flag.
McCarthyism and the Red Scare
Throughout the mid 1940s to the 1950s a powerful U.S. Senator from
Minnesota Joseph McCarthy conducted investigations into communist
infiltration of the United States.
With use of the F.B.I. files, surveillance, background checks and
congressional hearings McCarthy intended to “root out” perceived
threats against the security of the United States.
Many hundreds of well known and unknown Americans were ruined
because of their beliefs and connections to certain groups.
Eventually because of irrational accusations and investigative errors
McCarthyism was discredited and died in disgrace of liver disease.
Alger Hiss
Spy Cases Stun the Nation
– High level U.S. State
Department official educated at
Harvard University
– Accused of espionage [spying]
by Whittaker Chambers –
former Communist Spy
– Richard Nixon gained fame for
pursuing Hiss with H.U.A.C.
– Hiss went to prison for perjury
since too much time had
passed to be convicted of
espionage [statute of
– 1990s – Soviet cables released
by the N.S.A. proved Hiss’s
Spy Cases Stun the Nation
Julius and Ethel Rosenberg
– Sept. 3, 1949
 USSR exploded an Atomic Bomb
– Klaus Fuchs, a nuclear physicist,
admitted giving nuclear secrets to
 Implicated Ethel & Julius Rosenberg
– minor activists for Communist
– The Rosenbergs professed their
– They were convicted [found guilty]
of treason on relatively weak and
circumstantial evidence.
– Executed via Electric Chair for
Espionage in June 1953 leaving
behind young children.
McCarthy Launches His “Witch Hunt”
Joseph McCarthy’s Rise
– Senator From Wisconsin
– Became well known for making
random unsupported accusations of
communist affiliation.
– “Name calling” in Senate was
permitted due to congressional
immunity from slander.
– The mere accusations of communist
affiliation ruined lives.
McCarthy’s Downfall
– Accused several U.S. Army officials
of communist affiliation
– Televised hearings exposed the
baseless and “cruelty” of his
– The nation became to realize that
McCarthy was bully and “reckless”
– Censured by Senate and died of
liver disease
Anti-Communist Measures
States passed laws making it
illegal to advocate overthrow of
– Many civil rights groups believed
such laws were a violation of
constitutional rights [1st
Loyalty oaths [people had to
swear allegiance to the U.S.]
became required for many jobs
Law enforcement interrogation
of Union leaders, librarians,
newspaper reporters, &
Nobody was immune to
U.S. President Eisenhower and U.S.
Senator Joseph McCarthy
What is the message the artist is
trying to convey in the cartoon