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Senator McCarthey's Witch Hunt


Grades 8–12

Between 1950 and 1954, Senator Joseph McCarthy engaged in a virulent witch-hunt for Communist subversives. Utilizing tactics that included unfounded accusations, harassment, and bullying, McCarthy destroyed lives and careers and caused private citizens as well as generals and presidents to fear him. Experience McCarthy’s sensational witch-hunt through these unique, primary source documents, including McCarthy’s famous Wheeling speech, political propaganda brochures, presidential correspondence, Congressional testimony, and political cartoons. Historian: Christine Brendel Scriabine. The contents of this Focus Jackdaw feature:

Support Materials

  • Illustrated Broadsheet Essay
  • Timeline
  • Critical Thinking Questions
  • Recommended Reading List

Historical Documents

  • McCarthy makes his debut on the national stage — Wheeling, West Virginia, February 9, 1950
  • McCarthy attacks Truman, February 1950
  • Draft of Truman’s reply, February 1950
  • Anti-McCarthy brochure, Democratic Organizing Committee of Wisconsin, 1952
  • Pro-McCarthy booklet, The McCarthy Club, 1952
  • Excerpt from hearings before the Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations of the Committee on Government Operations, April 29, 1953
  • Eisenhower turns against McCarthy — Entry from the diary of President Eisenhower’s press secretary, May 28, 1954
  • Fighting McCarthy and McCarthyism with a pen — A political cartoon poster
  • Senate condemnation of Senator McCarthy, December 2, 1954

Price: $36.50



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