The McCarthy Era
An Era of Suspicion
House of UnAmerican Activities
Committee
FILMS HAD POWER TO CORRUPT
AMERICAN PEOPLE
 BEGAN INVESTIGATING FILM INDUSTRY
FOR DISLOYALTY
 “HOLLYWOOD 10”
– WRITERS, ACTORS, DIRECTORS, AND
PRODUCERS JAILED FOR CONTEMPT.
– ALL DISCHARGED WHEN THEY
REFUSED TO ANSWER COMMITTEE
QUESTIONS.

WHO WAS IN CHARGE?
 CHAIRMAN:
 ASKS
J. Parnell Thomas
THEM:
–“ARE YOU KNOW OR HAVE YOU
EVER BEEN A MEMBER OF THE
COMMUNIST PARTY?”
JOSEPH McCARTHY
 Came
to Power in the SENATE
 Accused many gov’t employees of
being COMMUNISTS
 American People support him out
of FEAR
 Want communits out of gov’t
positions.
LEGACY OF HUAC & THE
McCARTHY HEARINGS
 HUNDREDS
OF GOV’T WORKERS
LOSE THEIR JOBS.
 MANY IN THE ENTERAINMENT
INDUSTRY BECOME
“BLACKLISTED”
 AGE
OF SUPPRESSION OF IDEAS
& OPEN DISCUSSION
WHY?
 Why
were Americans willing to
suspend the Bill of Rights to fight
Communism?
 What
were they afraid of?
 What were they trying to protect?
 What did fear drive some
Americans to do?
FEAR
 OF
NUCLEAR
ATTACK
 COMUNIST
OVER
TAKE
 COMMUNISTS
INFILTRATING
GOVERNMENT
MEET THE ROSENBERGS
WHY WERE THEY ARRESTED?
Former members of
the U.S. Communist
Party
 Inactive for some
time.
 Accused of espionage
(giving Soviets the
secrets to the ABomb)

Rosenberg's cont..
Both denied the
charges & claimed
that they were being
targeted because they
were Jewish.
 Died by electric chair
in 1953.
 First “spies” to be
killed.

DOWNFALL OF HUAC
 McCarthy
becomes reckless
 Makes wild accusations against ARMY
REPS.
 Hearings are televised for 36 Days.
 By April 1954, Public is FED UP
 Stays in SENATE, yet loses his power
and dies in 1957.