August 14, 1951 – 66 years ago we were in the middle of the Red Scare, but we were also in the middle of something more dark and sinister than the threats from Moscow – we were in the midst of threats at home. The mantra of Anti-Communist was being used for a range of issues, but much of it had very little to do with Communist ideologies or threats of Red Domination. As President Truman laid out, during his address at the American Legion Headquarters dedication in Washington, this day in 1951, the threat was just as palpable at home as it was from abroad, that our liberties were under attack and those in places of authority (i.e. Congress and Senator Joe McCarthy) were doing little to challenge those attacks at home. That racism and discrimination were being ignored and incidents of anti-semitism were on the rise – all under the guise of Christian values and Anti-Communist vigilance.
Truman’s address drew polite applause from the Legionnaires, but was not embraced by them for the most part. His emphatic language over the presence of “slander mongers”. Adding that, while America was defending itself against Communism, the nation was under attack by people at home who claimed to be anti-communist, but who were chipping away at Americas basic freedoms, far more effectively than the Communists were ever able to do. And even though President Truman named no names, it was clear he was talking about Sen. McCarthy. He went on to add that the Scare, slander and hate mongers slinging charges and accusations were trying to get Americans so hysterical that no one would stand up to them for fear of being called a Communist themselves.
And that was just a sample of what was going on in America and the world, this August 14, 1951, as reported by Don Hollenbeck, substituting for Edward R. Murrow and the News.