May 5, 2012

Sen. Joe McCarthy (center) flanked by counselors Carr (L) and Cohn (R). Much ado about ruining careers.

This first week in May of 1954 saw the beginning of the infamous Army-McCarthy Hearings regarding Communist infiltrators within the Military. This broadcast, from May 5th, wraps up the days proceedings from May 4th, which was Day Nine in the seemingly never-ending hearings.

This was one of the first gavel-to-gavel live Senate hearings to be broadcast on radio and television. The first was the legendary Kefauver Crime Committee Hearings, and the audience for those hearings went through the roof.

Likewise with the Army-McCarthy Hearings, some four years later. These hearings were epitomized by the now-famous showdown between Chief Counsel Welsh and Sen. Joe McCarthy several weeks later that ended in the quote "Have you no shame, Senator?".

These days, with C-Span, we take hearings like this for granted. But in 1954 it was a first glimpse for many into the inner-workings of Capitol Hill.

So here is Day 9 as reported by George Herman and Griffing Bancroft of CBS Radio with excerpts from the days proceedings (for those who missed it live).

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