For a British professor with more than a passing interest in US foreign policy and the role of the United States in ending the Cold War, it is indeed fascinating to observe how deeply divided opinion still...
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.
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 Geneva Agreement ended fighting between the French and the Viet Minh in Indochina. To American disapproval, the truce divided Vietnam along the 17th parallel into the Communist North and the anti-Communist South.
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.
President Truman signed the Marshall Plan (or European Recovery Program) into law. The plan, introduced by Secretary of State George C. Marshall in June 1947, outlined American assistance in the physical and economic rebuilding of Western Europe in the wake of World War II. Fearing that poverty and other conditions created by the war might make Europe susceptible to Communism, the American government funneled about thirteen billion dollars into Western Europe to rehabilitate and stabilize countries affected by war.