The Use of American Propaganda During the Cold War Kristin M AHAP- DEF Horace Greeley HS Chappaqua NY
Essential Question How did propaganda reflect on American fears and support during the Cold War?
The Red Scare : Hysteria • In the 1950’s, communism was not an imagined enemy, it had concrete shape in the form of the Soviet Union and Joseph Stalin. • Many hindrances were encountered in America’s fight against communism: • The Korean deadlock • The defeat of China • The development of the Atomic bomb by the Soviets • People were searching for somebody to blame, and many were drawn to the suggestion of a communist conspiracy among the American nation. • State and local governments, the judiciary, schools and universities, labor unions – all sought to rid themselves of real or imagined subversives. • Not only was the fear of communism in the air, but also the fear of being suspected of ties with communists. • This panic gave way to an extraordinary public figure whose behavior was merely accepted because of the crucial times that called for such actions.
Joseph McCarthy • National spotlight shone first on McCarthy in 1950, when he made a speech in Wheeling, W.Va. He declared he had a list of 205 Communists working in the State Department. • In the 1950’s, he became the most visible public face during a period of extreme anti-communism tensions. Republican US Senator from Wisconsin
McCarthy’s Manner • Along with his immoral assistants, Roy Cohn and David Schine, McCarthy moseyed his way through federal offices and American embassies seeking evidence of communist influence. • One after another were harassed by McCarthy’s subcommittee and their public careers were soon destroyed due to feeble proof produced by McCarthy. • His accusations were without confirmation yet a rising community in the US grew to adore his policies and the assaults he was making on those subversives, real or phony.
McCarthyism • Is characterized by uncontrollable, and unproven accusations, as well as public attacks on the character or patriotism of political opponents Have a care, sir. • No one was able to bash McCarthy without the risk of being called a communist spy or sympathizer, even President Eisenhower remained silent.
In the summer of 1954, a branch of the American Legion denounced the Girl Scouts, calling the "one world" ideas advocated in their publications "un-American."
House of Un-American Activities Committee (HUAC) • In search of an issue to attack the Democratic party with, the Republican-controlled Congress established the House of Un-American Activities Committee with the goal to prove that the government under Democratic rule, had tolerated communist sedition. • A committee that was made up of the U.S. House of Representatives, was created to investigate treachery and subversive associations. (1938–75)
“Hollywood Ten” • The movie industry was the first to be attacked by HUAC, claiming that communists had broke into Hollywood and polluted America with propaganda. • Writers and producers were called to testify and when some refused to answer questions about their own political views, they were jailed for their disdain. • Not only were these ten fined and sentenced to years in jail for contempt of Congress, they were also blacklisted from working in the film industry in Hollywood until the 1960's when the ban was lifted. Herbert Biberman, Martin Popper, Robert W. Kenny, Albert Maltz, Lester Cole, Dalton Trumbo, John Howard Lawson, Alvah Bessie, Samuel Ornitz, Ring Lardner Jr., Edward Dmytryk, Adrian Scott.
...Continued • There were many grounds by which HUAC investigators arrested those in the entertainment business • sympathy toward the American Communist Party • involvement in liberal or humanitarian political causes that enforcers associated with communism • refusal to assist federal investigations into Communist Party activities • Some were blacklisted merely because their names came up at the wrong place and time
HUAC Hearings (Click on individual pictures to read on!) “I have turned down quite a few scripts because I thought they were tinged with communistic ideas.” “We have exposed their lies when we came across them, we have opposed their propaganda...” Gary Cooper Ronald Reagan “Nobody has stated just what they mean by propaganda. I use the term to mean anything which gives a good impression of communism as a way of life.” “They looked at a lot of our pictures, and I think they ran a lot of them in Russia, but then turned them back to us ... They didn't suit their purposes.” Ayn Rand Walt Disney
Alger Hiss Trial - Background • Alger Hiss was a tall, handsome Harvard-trained lawyer with an impeccable family background. Whittaker Chambers was a short, stocky, and rumpled Columbia drop-out and confessed former Communist from a poor and troubled Philadelphia family. • According to Chambers, Hiss was a devoted Communist engaged in espionage, even while working at the highest levels of the United States government. Hiss’ story was very different, claiming unwavering loyalty and denying even membership in the Communist Party. • Chambers did not wish to testify before the House un-American Activities Committee in August 1948 but he believed that "the danger to the nation from Communism had now grown acute," threatening his country's very existence.
Alger Hiss Trial - Background • Chambers did not wish to testify before the House un-American Activities Committee in August 1948 but he believed that "the danger to the nation from Communism had now grown acute," threatening his country's very existence. • Questioned about his association with Alger Hiss, Chambers described a close friendship that included time in the Hiss home with Alger and his wife, Priscilla. • In response to Chambers's claims, which were given large play in the media, Hiss sent a telegram to HUAC's chairman, firmly denying the charges. Hiss's telegram said: I DO NOT KNOW MR. CHAMBERS AND, SO FAR AS I AM AWARE, HAVE NEVER LAID EYES ON HIM.THERE IS NO BASIS FOR THE STATEMENTS ABOUT ME MADE TO YOUR COMMITTEE.I WOULD FURTHER APPRECIATE THE OPPORTUNITY OF APPEARING BEFORE YOUR COMMITTEE
Alger Hiss’ Word Vs. Whittaker Chamber’s Testimony Alger Hiss Whittaker Chambers
Who Was Lying? • One member of the Committee, however, wanted to continue with the investigation. Congressmen Richard Nixon found Hiss "patronizing" and "insulting in the extreme." Hiss's Eastern Ivy League pedigree and style offended Nixon, a Whittier College graduate and the product of working-class parents. With some reluctance, the Committee voted to make Nixon chair of a subcommittee that would seek to determine who was lying, Hiss or Chambers, at least on the question of whether they knew each other. • Through intense questioning on both ends, and the release of the Pumpkin Papers, it was soon uncovered that Hiss and Chambers had in fact been in close relations. • Pumpkin Papers were a series of documents turned into the Hiss case committee by Chambers that consisted of various evidences that placed Hiss in serious danger of criminal charge. • Hiss could not be tried for espionage because of the statute of limitations, a law that protects individuals from prosecution for most crimes after seven years had passed. • He was charged with two counts of perjury and several years in prison
Importance • Heightened American’s fears • Cast the suspicion that communism had in fact crept into the US government. • Projected an unknown California congressman named Richard Nixon to national fame • Set the stage for Senator Joseph McCarthy's infamous Communist-hunting • Marked the creation of a conservative intellectual and political movement that would put Ronald Reagan in the White House
Federal Loyalty Program • 1947 - In an effort to shield itself from Republican attacks, the Truman administration began a widely publicized program to review the loyalty of federal employees • 1950 – Truman approved agencies to fire people believed to have no more than “bad security risks” • 1951 – Over 2,000 government employees resigned under pressure and 212 were discharged
McCarran Act • Congress passed the Internal Security Act of 1950 that required all communist associations to register with the Attorney General and to make public all records. • Subversive Activities Control Board (SACB) - tightened alien exclusion and deportation laws, allowing for the arrest of dangerous, disloyal, or subversive persons in times of war or "internal security emergency" • J. Edgar Hoover – director of Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI) • Investigated and harassed alleged radicals
FBI • June 1950 – 3 former FBI agents and a right-wing television producer, Vincent Harnett, published Red Channels • A pamphlet listing the names of 151 writers, directors and performers who they claimed had been members of subversive organizations before the World War II but had not yet been blacklisted. • The blacklist had been compiled from FBI files and a detailed analysis of the Daily Worker, a newspaper published by the American Communist Party. • A free copy of Red Channels was sent to those involved in employing people in the entertainment industry and hundreds were blacklisted until they appeared in front of the House of Un-American Activities Committee and swore to its members that they had abandoned their radical past. • McCarthy also began receiving information from his friend, J. Edgar Hoover. William Sullivan, one of Hoover's agents, later admitted, "We were the ones who made the McCarthy hearings possible. We fed McCarthy all the material he was using."
The FBI, under J. Edgar Hoover, helped provide the committee with material from its aptly named ‘raw files'. Some producers, directors and screen writers refused to testify or to play the ‘name game' in which the committee demanded the names of associates, who could then be called on to name others thus providing an ever-expanding list of suspects to be summoned.
...Continued • In June, 1945, the FBI raided the offices of Amerasia, a magazine concerned with the Far East, and discovered a large number of classified State Department documents. • The 1946 Atomic Energy Act gave the FBI “responsibility for determining the loyalty of individuals having access to restricted Atomic Energy data.” • Any public or private agency or individual with information about subversive activities was urged to report it to the FBI and posters were distributed to police departments throughout the country.
Julius and Ethel Rosenberg • Paranoia was increasing among the American nation because: • The explosion of an atom bomb by Russia • The invasion of South Korea by the Communist North Koreans and Chinese • The numerous revelations and confessions of former communists and professed spies • The intensity of the McCarthy mentality of the times • Klaus Fuchs validated these fears when he confessed to have given the Russians information on the construction of the bomb. • From the beginning, the trial attracted a high amount of media attention, but unlike the trial of Alger Hiss, there was no single public expression of doubt as to their guilt in any media before and during the trial because of the immense fear in the heart of every American. • The Rosenbergs were convicted on March 29, 1951, and sentenced to death under Section 2 of the Espionage Act.
Julius Rosenberg “This death sentence is not surprising. It had to be. There had to be a Rosenberg Case because there had to be an intensification of the hysteria in America to make the Korean War acceptable to the American people. There had to be a hysteria and a fear sent through America in order to get increased war budgets. And there had to be a dagger thrust in the heart of the left to tell them that you are no longer gonna give five years for a Smith Act prosecution or one year for Contempt of Court, but we're gonna kill ya!” Julius Rosenberg, as quoted by his attorney, Emanuel Bloch, September 22, 1953.
Controversy • In imposing the death sentence, Judge Irving Kaufman held the Rosenbergs responsible not only for stealing atomic secrets but also for more than 50,000 deaths in the Korean War. • Klaus Fuchs, who spied for many more years than the Rosenbergs, provided far more sensitive nuclear information to the Soviet Union, and was caught, confessed, tried, convicted, and sentenced in the United Kingdom, received 14 years in jail, which was the maximum penalty in that nation for passing military secrets to friendly nations.
Bibliography • Aberdeen, J.A. Walt Disney. 1950. Cobblestone Entertainment. 29 May 2007 <http://www.cobbles.com/simpp_archive/walt-disney_intro.htm>. • Aiuto, Russel. "The Rosenbergs: a Case of Love, Espionage, Deceit, and Betrayal." Crime Library. 2007. 7 June 2007 <http://www.crimelibrary.com/terrorists_spies/spies/rosenberg/1.html>. • Ayn Rand. 1999. United States Postal Service. The Ayn Rand Institute,. 4 June 2007 <http://ronhickman.home.att.net/aynrand/AynRand.html>. • Berger, Joseph. "Decades Later, Rosenberg Case Again Ignites Passions." New York Times 15 Nov. 2004, sec. B: 4. ProQuest. Horace Greeley High School Library, New York. 7 June 2007. • Brinkley, Alan. A Survey American History. 12th ed. New York: McGraw Hill, 2007. 782-784. • Chambers, Whittaker." Online . Encyclopædia Britannica Online. 7 June 2007 <http://www.britannica.com/eb/art-74504>. • "Cold War Experience." CNN Interactive. 23 Oct. 1947. 6 June 2007 <http://www.cnn.com/SPECIALS/cold.war/episodes/06/documents/huac/>. • Dotinga, Randy. "McCarthy's Rise to Power." Boston: The Christian Science Monitor, 2006. ProQuest Direct. Horace Greeley Library, Chappaqua. 30 May 2007. • Gary Cooper. 1926. Motion Picture and Television Archive. 6 June 2007 <http://poll.imdb.com/gallery/mptv/1385/Mptv/1385/0809_0878.jpg.html?hint=nm000011>.
Bibliography • Goldstein, Alvin. 1975. The Unquiet Death of Julius and Ethel Rosenberg. Lawrence Hill. • Herblock. Have a Care, Sir. 1954. Washington DC. Herblock's History. 1 June 2007 <http://www.loc.gov/rr/print/swann/herblock/fire.html>. • Herblock. Stand Fast, Men -- They'Re Armed with Marshmallows. 1954. Washington DC. Herblock's History. 1 June 2007 <http://www.loc.gov/rr/print/swann/herblock/fire.html>. • Higgins, Roger. Julius and Ethel Rosenberg. 1951. New York. 1 June 2007 <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Image:Julius_and_Ethel_Rosenberg_NYWTS.jpg>. • "Hiss, Alger." Online Photograph. Encyclopædia Britannica Online. 7 June 2007 <http://www.britannica.com/eb/art-52271>. • Hoover, J. Edgar." Online Photograph. Encyclopædia Britannica Online. 7 June 2007 <http://www.britannica.com/eb/art-11697>. • Linder, Doug. "The Trials of Alger Hiss: a Commentary." Famous Trials. 2003. 2 June 2007 <http://www.law.umkc.edu/faculty/projects/ftrials/hiss/hissaccount.html>. • McCarthy, Joseph." Online Photograph. Encyclopædia Britannica Online. 7 June 2007 <http://www.britannica.com/eb/art-12900>. • Neville, John F. 1995. Press, the Rosenbergs & the Cold War. Greenwood.
Nixon, Richard M.." Online Photograph. Encyclopædia Britannica Online. 7 June 2007 <http://www.britannica.com/eb/art-13235>. • Oshinsky, David. "McCarthy, Joseph." American National Biography Online. Oxford UP, 2000. Horace Greeley High School Library, New York. 30 May 2007. • "Reagan, Ronald." Online Photograph. Encyclopædia Britannica Online. 7 June 2007 <http://www.britannica.com/ebc/art-72178>. • Regnery, Alfred S. "A Life of Deception." 38 (2005): 62-65. ProQuest. Horace Greeley High School Library, New York. 5 June 2007. Keyword: Alger Hiss AND Espionage. • Rosenberg, Julius and Ethel." Online Photograph. Encyclopædia Britannica Online. 7 June 2007 <http://www.britannica.com/ebc/art-61007>. • Schuster, Simon. RonaldReagon.com. 3 June 2007 <http://www.ronaldreagan.com/hollywood.html>. • "Seeing Red." PBS. 24 Oct. 1997. 1 June 2007 <http://www.pbs.org/newshour/bb/entertainment/july-dec97/blacklist_10-24.html>.