2nd December
It was on this day...
1954 US Senate Condemns The McCarthy Witchhunt

McCarthy was condemned for conduct unbecoming of a senator. 65 votes to 22.

Senator Joseph McCarthy had begun his activities in 1950. He declared that he had the names of 205 communists who had infiltrated the US State Department.

It is unlikely that he ever had such a list, but there was more than a little sympathy for the allegation in the country, and the US authorities had little option but to investigate his allegations.

In 1953 the, now, Republican Congress, appointed him chairman of the Committee on Government Operations and its Subcommittee on Investigations. Here he was fully in the spotlight and proceeded to bully and destroy innocent people with damaging accusations.

McCarthy eventually would lose the support of his party due to what were increasingly seen as reckless charges. When he started to pick a fight with Army Officers, and then refused to back up his claims with documentation, the army decided to investigate McCarthy himself.

McCarthy's power was effectively ended on 9th June, when a special prosecutor for the army, Joseph N Welch, when defending one of his junior lawyers from a McCarthy attack, said:

"Until this moment, senator, I think I never really gauged your cruelty or your recklessness. Let us not assassinate this lad further, senator. You have done enough. Have you no sense of decency, sir? At long last, have you no sense of decency?"

Joseph McCarthy died of alcoholism in 1957.

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