The Red Scare

Kendra Strickland

The Loyalty Review Board

Was set up by Truman in response to allocations that he allowed communists in the US government. In 1947 to investigate all federal employees, by the end of 1951, more than 20000 employees had been investigated, 2000 had resigned and more than 300 had been determined security risks and fired.

House on Un-American Activity

Congress had cracked down on the Communist party in the US. Leading the fight was the House Un-American Activities Committee. HUAC questioned the political ties of members of peace organizations, liberal political groups, and labor unions. In 1947 HUAC responded to charges that Hollywood was full of communists by holding hearings to investigate people in the movie industry. The Hollywood Ten went to jail rather than answer HUAC’s questions.

Hollywood Ten

A group of California film directors and writers known as the Hollywood Ten went to jail rather than answer HUAC’s questions. They were blacklisted and were denied work from the film industry.

Alger Hiss

In 1948 Whittaker Chambers, a former member of the Communist Party, accused Alger Hiss of being a communist spy. Chambers told HUAC that Hiss, a new deal lawyer who had joined the state department in 1936 had given him secret state department documents to pass on to the soviets. Hiss sued Chambers for slander. Chambers came out with the papers that Hiss supposedly gave him and Hiss was sentenced to five years in prison.

Julius & Ethel Rosenberg

In 1951 these two Americans were convicted of providing the Soviet Union with atomic-energy secrets during WWII. People defended the Rosenbergs by saying that they were just victims of anticommunist hysteria. They were executed in June 1953.

Senator McCarthy and His Tactics

He fueled the communist hysteria. He argued that “the communists within our borders have been more responsible for the success of communism abroad than Soviet Russia.” He came to rise when he claimed to have a list of known Communists who worked at the State Department. He singlehandedly ruined the reputations and got hundreds of government workers fired. In 1950, Smith and several other senators issued the Declaration of Conscience, which condemned those who had turned the Senate into a forum of hate and character assassination. This was directed toward McCarthy. Eventually everyone saw that he was just a bully with no hard evidence and Joseph Welch, the army’s chief counsel made a fool of McCarthy and a few months later, the Senate condemned McCarthy for conduct unbecoming a senator.

Declaration of Conscience

In 1950 Smith and several other senators issued the Declaration of Conscience, which condemned those who had turned the Senate into “’a forum of hate and character assassination.

Army-McCarthy Hearings

In 1954, McCarthy’s congressional committee investigated charges that there were Communists in the US Army. Each day a huge audience watched McCarthy’s hearings. He constantly interrupted and ridiculed witnesses with no hard evidence. Joseph Welch pointed out that he was making a fool out of himself and the rest of America finally saw the same thing.
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My name is Dalton Trumbo.

I am a member of the Hollywood Ten. I believe what I did was within my rights and it was unlawful of them to blacklist me. I watched my career, family and life fall apart right before my eyes. Why did this happen to me? Communist hysteria.