The Reagan Revolution of the 1980s sought to change Americans’ attitudes toward their country, their government, and the world, as the United States emerged from the 1970s. Ronald Reagan entered the White House in January 1981 promising to...
Senator Joseph McCarthy began a series of televised Congressional investigations into Communists in the US Army. The broadcasts exposed McCarthy as an unscrupulous bully, and the Senate eventually voted to censure McCarthy for his conduct during the hearings.
The People’s Liberation Army, led by Communist leader Mao Zedong, ousted Chiang Kai-Shek’s Nationalist government in China. Mao Zedong declared the establishment of the People’s Republic of China, and Nationalist forces and sympathizers were forced to retreat to Taiwan.
President Harry S. Truman signed Executive Order 9835, which established the Federal Employee Loyalty Program. The program instituted invasive measures designed to identify and remove Communist sympathizers from government.
The House Un-American Activities Committee began an investigation of Communism in the American film industry, demanding to know, “Are you or have you ever been a member of the Communist Party?” A group of screenwriters, directors, and producers known as the “Hollywood Ten” refused to answer the committee’s questions concerning their political beliefs. They were sentenced to prison terms of up to a year for contempt and many were blacklisted from the film industry for decades.
In summer 1950, Julius Rosenberg and his wife, Ethel, were arrested on charges of espionage. The pair were accused of sharing secret American intelligence with the Soviets. They were ultimately found guilty and executed in 1953. Though evidence later showed that Julius did in fact spy for the Soviets, Ethel was likely unaware of her husband’s activities.
After a military coup and the deposition of the revolutionary Grenadian prime minister by Communist hard-liners, the US Marines invaded teh Caribbean island of Grenada in order to rescue 800 American students enrolled at St. George’s School of Medicine. Invading American forces found a major arsenal of weapons and suffered nineteen deaths and 119 injured in the conflict. After the successful invasion, an elected government was installed in Grenada, ending the threat of a Communist takeover there.