ARMY-MCCARTHY HEARINGS

by Jeremy Pastor 1st period

Joseph R. McCarthy

Senator of Wisconsin from (January 3, 1947- May 2, 1957). He was born on November 14, 1908 and died May 2, 1957. He was infamously involved with the hearing against the army in which he accused them of being associated with the communists. Previously McCarthy had gone to school for law then served in the Army during WW2. He successfully ran for senate in 1946 and in 1950 became popular for his acclaim to know of 205 state Department employees who were members of the Communist Party.

The Hearings

The hearings lasted 36 days and were all televised on ABC, Dumont, and NBC. Its estimated that at least 80 million people saw part of the hearings. Shine, Cohn, and McCarthy were an integral part of the senate argument where as Joseph N. Welsh, Robert T. Stevens and Ray Jenkins argued against him. The hearings were characterized by 3 arguments:


  1. THE PHOTOGRAPH- Where Roy Cohn and G. David Shine accused Joseph Welsh of altering the photo to show only Shine standing next to Robert T. Stevens and Army Secretary
  2. THE HOOVER MEMO- A letter that McCarthy presented in order to acknowledge the fact that this letter was sent to the Army when Stevens was secretary and he willfully ignored it
  3. HOMOSEXUALITY- A portion of the hearings assessed the security risks of homosexuals in government in a sense that two or more people could have been dishonest due to their "relationship" to each other. Compared to the day in age of sexual equality that we are in today this argument seems completely pointless and invalid, but the 1950's were certainly not a time of equality particularly to sexual preference/ identity.

"Have you no sense of decency, sir? At long last, have you left no sense of decency?"

- Joseph Welch in response to McCarthy's relentless attack upon Fred Fisher, a young lawyer in Welch's own Boston law firm whom Welch planned to have on his staff for the hearings.
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Joseph N. Welch (left) being questioned by Senator Joseph McCarthy (right), June 9, 1954.