The McCarthy era — characterized by anti-communism, the Cold War and the threat of the nuclear bomb — was one of the most turbulent in American history.
In February 1950, Wisconsin Senator Joseph McCarthy made his first anti-communist speech, claiming he had the names of “known communists” in the state department. By 1952, McCarthy had secured an appointment in the Senate’s Permanent Investigations Subcommittee, and with little or no evidence, questioned and arrested suspected communists — many of them ordinary Americans.
In 1954, popular broadcast journalist, Edward R. Murrow, challenged McCarthy in an episode of the TV documentary “See It Now.” The show questioned McCarthy’s tactics — blacklisting movie stars and intimidating government employees — and turned the public against him.
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Edward R. Murrow was a pioneering figure in what profession?
Murrow, made famous for his coverage during World War II, was one of the most distinguished and well-known broadcast journalists in history.
Joseph McCarthy was a senator from which state?
The Wisconsin politician won election in 1939 as a district court judge before enlisting in the Marines during World War II. In 1944, he unsuccessfully ran for the U.S. Senate, but campaigned to win the state’s second seat in 1946.
The McCarthy era is often compared to:
The McCarthy era is often compared to the Salem witch trials, most famously described in Arthur Miller’s play, The Crucible.
What was the red scare?
The red scare was a period of intense anti-communism in the United States during the 1920s and 1950s.
What political group did McCarthy investigate?
In 1950, McCarthy said he believed communists had infiltrated the U.S. government. With a list of 208 suspected communists in hand, McCarthy began an investigation that lasted five years, and spanned several federal agencies, including the U.S. military.
Murrow worked for what TV network?
Murrow started reporting for CBS in 1935, becoming one of the most recognizable figures in broadcast history.
What’s the Cold War?
The Cold War was a state of political tension between the United States and the former Soviet Union, characterized by increased trade, technological and political hostilities between the two countries.
Murrow documented McCarthy on what famous TV show?
“See It Now” ran the McCarthy telecast on March 9, 1954. Considered one of the finest broadcast reports in history, the telecast explored McCarthy through his own images and words. The show helped reverse the public’s opinion of McCarthy, and eventually led to his censure before the Senate.