Click on the link here for Audio Player – NBC Radio – Recap of Army-McCarthy Hearings for April 26, 1954 – Gordon Skene Sound Collection
Sixty-five years ago this month, the endless, far-reaching and career-destroying Army-McCarthy Hearings took place. So popular were these hearings, they were televised live, recapped in the evening via Radio and the subject of conversation all over the country.
The subject of these hearings were over allegations of widespread Communist infiltration of the Armed Forces, that within the Defense Department was a virtual network of spies and potential terrorists working in some of the most sensitive areas of the Military.
The hearings convened on April 22 and concluded on June 17, 1954 with Army Secretary Army Stevens in the hotseat. The subject was charges and counter-charges over alleged infiltration of the Army Signal Corps at Fort Monmouth by Communists. The Army alleged that Chief Sub-committee Council Roy Cohn attempted to pressure the Army into giving consultant G. David Schine preferential treatment while in the Army, threatening blackmail if the request wasn’t met. The McCarthy team alleged Schine was uncovering mass Communist infiltration, and that Army Secretary Stevens knew about it and was holding Schine as hostage in order to call off the McCarthy investigation. Further allegations over McCarthy’s reluctance to produce the supposed list of 250 Communist subversives in the State Department finally led to a showdown between McCarthy and Army Council Joseph Welch and the famous “Have you no sense of decency, sir?” quote.
Since McCarthy was accused of orchestrating much of the hysteria, Senator Karl Mundt had taken over the Chair of the Investigating Committee, and McCarthy was now in the position of defending his allegations against the Army.
On this day, Stevens is grilled by the Committee over the investigation at the Fort Monmouth facility.
The hearings dragged on almost two months, produced some 130 witnesses and turned out 2 million words of testimony.
Here is a re-cap of Day 4, as broadcast on April 26, 1954.
Our tax dollars at work, sixty-five years ago.