1951 June 14

Joe McCarthy Attacks American War Hero, Gen. George C. Marshall

 

In one of the most outrageous acts in his reckless anti-Communist crusade, Senator Joe McCarthy accused General George C. Marshall of assisting the cause of international Communism. As Army Chief of Staff and military adviser to President Franklin D. Roosevelt, Marshall was one of the heroes of World War II. He also served as Secretary of State under President Harry Truman (1947–1949) and was the author of the famous Marshall Plan, which was named for him, and which was designed to revitalize the economies of European countries after World War II as a way of fending off Communist influence.

McCarthy’s attack enraged Dwight D. Eisenhower, Marshall’s friend and wartime colleague. In the 1952 presidential election campaign, Eisenhower planned to pay tribute to Marshall in a speech in Milwaukee, but he caved in to pressure from McCarthy and Republican Party leaders on October 2, 1952, and deleted that section of his speech.

Joe McCarthy burst onto the political scene on February 9, 1950 with a speech in Wheeling, West Virginia, in which he made the first of many reckless allegations about communists in the federal government. The Senate finally censured McCarthy for his conduct on December 2, 1954.

Learn more: Thomas C. Reeves, The Life and Times of Joe McCarthy: A Biography (1982)

Read the original documents related to the speech: http://www.eisenhower.archives.gov/research/online_documents/mccarthyism.html

Learn about George C. Marshall: Forrest C. Pogue, George C. Marshall (1987)

Learn more: David Oshinsky, A Conspiracy So Immense: The World of Joe McCarthy (1983)

Learn more about McCarthyism: http://www.history.com/topics/cold-war/joseph-mccarthy

Find a Day

Go
Abortion Rights ACLU african-americans Alice Paul anti-communism Anti-Communist Hysteria Birth Control Brown v. Board of Education Censorship CIA Civil Rights Civil Rights Act of 1964 Cold War Espionage Act FBI First Amendment Fourteenth Amendment freedom of speech Free Speech Gay Rights Hate Speech homosexuality Hoover, J. Edgar HUAC Japanese American Internment King, Dr. Martin Luther Ku Klux Klan Labor Unions Lesbian and Gay Rights Loyalty Oaths McCarthy, Sen. Joe New York Times Obscenity Police Misconduct Same-Sex Marriage Separation of Church and State Sex Discrimination Smith Act Spying Spying on Americans Vietnam War Voting Rights Voting Rights Act of 1965 War on Terror Watergate White House Women's Rights Women's Suffrage World War I World War II Relocation Camps

Topics

Tell Us What You Think

We want to hear your comments, criticisms and suggestions!