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Joseph McCarthy

1908 Nov.14 Joseph McCarthy was born in east central Wisconsin, worked in grocery store, went to high school at age 20 and finished in one year, studied law at Marquette University, worked in a law firm 1935-39

1939 won his first election to judge in Wisconsin, became known for his fast and quick decisions

1942 June 4 enlisted in the Marines, but never was in combat, never was injured

1945 re-elected circuit court judge in Wisconsin

1946 at age 37 won Wisconsin election to Senate, defeated Robert LaFollett, Jr.; was the "Pepsi-Cola Kid" who took money from sugar and soft drink lobbyists

1950 Jan. 7 meeting at the Colony restaurant, agreed to lead Republican investigation of communism in Truman administration

Feb. 9 Wheeling speech to Republican Women's Club at the McClure Hotel, said he had a list of 205 names of communists in the State Dept.

Feb. 10 Salt Lake City speech said he had 57 names

Feb. 20 Senate speech for six hours, said he had 81 names, including "one of our foreign ministers"

Feb. 22 at the suggestion of Senate Majority Leader Scott Lucas, the Tyding Committee was cre4ated of 5 members, a subcommittee of the Foreign Relations Committee, to investigate McCarthy's accusations

Mar. 8 Tydings Committee began hearings, McCarthy entered at 10 am with big brown briefcase, said he was prepared to make big revelations

Mar. 30 McCarthy accused Owen Lattimore, Far Eastern expert at Johns Hopkins, but the Tydings Committee cleared Lattimore by Apr. 6

June 1 speech in Senate by Maggie Smith denounced McCarthy

June 21 publication of Red Channels alleging Communist affiliations of 151 entertainers started the Blacklist

July 20 report by Tydings Committee denounced McCarthy

Oct. midterm elections gave McCarthy the opportunity to attack the Democrats, especially members of the Tydings Committeee; used false picture associating Millard Tydings with Earl Browder, and Tydings was defeated in Maryland by Republican John Marshall Butler; Senate Majority Leader Scott Lucas was defeated in Illinois by Republican Everett Dirksen; Republicans won 5 seats in the Senate and 28 seats in the House, and McCarthy received $200,000 that was deposited in his personal checking account

1951 June 14 report by McCarthy of 60,000 words attacked George Marshall as an "instrument of a Soviet conspiracy"

Aug. 6 resolution introduced by Sen. William Benton to expel McCarthy, but nothing done after 16-month investigation by the Rules Committee; Benton lost the Connecticut election in 1952

Oct. 28 speech by McCarthy attacked Adlai Stevenson

Dec. incident at a Washington DC party where McCarthy slapped and kicked columnist Drew Pearson

1953 as January session of Congress opened, McCarthy was appointed chairman of the Senate Committee on Government Operations, where according to Robert Taft "he can't do any harm"

Mar. 12 speech opposed nomination of Charles Bohlen to be ambassador to Russia, followed by series of speeches attacking the State Department overseas libraries and the Voice of America

July notification of induction into the Army sent to G. David Schine, heir to hotel fortune, friend of McCarthy Committee counsel Roy Cohn and unpaid consultant for the Committee

Oct investigation by McCarthy of the Army Signal Corps at Fort Monmouth, soon expanded to investigate other Army operations, including the Army's honorable discharge of Capt. Irving Peress, Army dentist who refused to answer his loyalty questionairre in 1952

Nov. 24 attack on Eisenhower administration, began to carry .45 automatic pistol

1954 Jan. Gallup poll gave McCarthy a public approval rating of 50%, was given a seat on the Senate Rules Committee, at height of his influence

Feb. 24 agreement by Secretary of the Army Robert Stevens to allow Gen. Ralph Zwicker, the commanding officer of Peress, to testify before McCarthy's Committee

Mar. 8 began Edward R. Murrow's See It Now documentary on McCarthy

Mar. 11 report by Army showed 44 efforts by McCarthy staff memebrs Roy Cohn and Francis Carr to get preferential treatment for Private Schine

Apr. 22 began the Army-McCarthy hearings, televised live for 36 days to an audience of 20 million; kinescopes of these hearing were used by Emile de Antonio to produce the 1964 documentary Point of Order

Dec. 2 condemnation by Senate

1957 May death of McCarthy from cirrhosis of the liver


Revised 4/10/03 by Schoenherr | Cold War Policies and links