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The Salem Witch Trials . The Crucible. How it began. Originated in Salem Village with Betty Parris, the only daughter of the town’s reverend, and her cousin Abigail She began exhibiting odd behavior, convulsions, problems with speech, and skin sensations

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How it began
How it began

  • Originated in Salem Village with Betty Parris, the only daughter of the town’s reverend, and her cousin Abigail

  • She began exhibiting odd behavior, convulsions, problems with speech, and skin sensations

  • The diagnosis: The girls had been bewitched

Proposed causes of the trials
Proposed causes of the trials:

  • Political unrest between a very divided town—the town verses the village on the outskirts

  • Fear from Indian attacks and thoughts that it was a punishment from God

  • Fungus

The trials
The trials

  • First trial—May 27, 1692

  • Last trial—January 1693

  • By the end of the trials, nineteen people were hanged, one was pressed to death, and possibly thirteen died in prison

  • All in all, 140 people were accused of being witches



The Great Fear

Daniel Fitzpatrick, St. Louis Post-Dispatch (February 23, 1947)

Alien registration act
Alien Registration Act

  • Passed by Congress on June 29, 1940

  • Made it illegal for anyone in the United States to advocate or teach the desirability of overthrowing the government

Alien registration act cont
Alien Registration Act cont.

  • Law also required all alien residents in the United States over 14 to file a comprehensive statement of their personal and occupational status, as well as their political beliefs

  • Within four months, a total of 4,741,971 aliens had been registered

Ara cont
ARA cont.

  • The main objective was to undermine the American Communist Party

  • The House of Un-American Activites Committee (HUAC) would investigate people suspected of unpatriotic behavior


  • Chaired by J. Parnell Thomas

  • In 1947, they began an investigation into the Hollywood Motion Picture Industry

  • Interviewed 41 people who attended voluntarily


  • During the interviews, they named nineteen people who they accused of hold left-winged views

  • Herbert Biberman, Lester Cole, Albert Maltz, Adrian Scott, Samuel Ornitz, Dalton Trumbo, Edward Dmytryk, Ring Lardner, Jr., John Howard Lawson, and Alvah Bessie refused to answer questions

Hollywood ten
Hollywood Ten

  • Known as the Hollywood Ten, they claimed that the 1st Amendment allowed them to refuse to answer any questions

  • They were all found guilty of contempt of congress and sentenced to between six and twelve months in prison

Larry parks
Larry Parks

  • Larry Parks was the only actor in the original nineteen named

  • He agreed to give evidence to HUAC and admitted that he was a member of the Communist Party but refused to name anyone

Parks cont
Parks cont.

  • Two days later, it was leaked to the press that Parks had named names, and that several other Hollywood icons were willing to name members

Red channels
Red Channels

  • In June, 1950, three former FBI agents and television producer, Vincent Harnett, published Red Channels

  • This pamphlet listed the names of 151 writers, directors, and performers who claimed to be Communists

Red channels cont
Red Channels cont.

  • A free copy was given to those involved in employing people of the entertainment industry

  • All of the people named were blacklisted until they appeared in front of HUAC and convinced the members that they had completely renounced their past

Edward dmytryk
Edward Dmytryk

  • Because of financial problems, Dmytryk decided to have his named removed from the blacklist

  • On April 25th, 1951, he appeared before the HUAC and answered all of their questions and named 26 former members of left-winged groups


  • Over 320 names were placed on the blacklist, including Arthur Miller