Facts about McCarthyism

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McCarthyism was a kind of paranoid witch hunt of Communists during what can be considered a shameful part of American history. It affected thousands of people and was started by just one man waving a list of names of suspected communists. Here are some interesting facts about McCarthyism.

Fact 1: McCarthyism was started by Senator Joseph McCarthy in response to the growing threat of Communism in Eastern Europe and China during the 1940s and 1950s.

Fact 2: Joseph McCarthy claimed that 200 Communists had infiltrated the United States Government.

Fact 3: In order to expose Communists, McCarthy started the House Un-American Committee in 1938. It jailed people for not naming other Communists and held ‘œtrails’ against suspected Communists.

Fact 4
: Many writers and entertainers were targeted by McCarthyism, including Dashiell Hammett, Lena Horne, Arthur Miller, Waldo Salt, Lillian Hellman, Lucille Ball, and Charlie Chaplin, often destroying careers.

Fact 5: Joseph McCarthy never successfully convicted any American of being a Communist.

Fact 6
: More than 2,000 government employees lost their jobs as a result of McCarthyism.

Fact 7
: Joseph McCarthy was one of only three Senators to be censored by the Senate, condemning his McCarthyism conduct.

Fact 8: The President at the time, Dwight Eisenhower, also disagreed with McCarthyism. He said of Joseph McCarthy, ‘œI will not get into the gutter with this guy’.

Fact 9: While being questioned by McCarthy in the courtroom, lawyer Joseph Welch famously asked, ‘œHave you no sense of decency, sir? At long last, have you left no sense of decency?’ After applause, McCarthy responded by asking, ‘œWhat the hell just happened?’

Fact 10: Joseph McCarthy died in 1957 from cirrhosis of the liver while still serving as a United States Senator. He was only 48.

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