Governors, Senators, Diplomats, Jurists, Vice President of the United States (1950s Interviews)July 25, 2021
John Sherman Cooper, politician, jurist, and diplomat from the U.S. state of Kentucky
Herbert O’Conor, a Democrat, was the 51st Governor of Maryland in the United States from 1939 to 1947. He also served in the United States Senate, representing Maryland from 1947 to 1953.
Homer S. Ferguson, United States Senator from Michigan
Hubert Humphrey, served under President Lyndon B. Johnson as the 38th Vice President of the United States. Humphrey twice served as a United States Senator from Minnesota, and served as Democratic Majority Whip. He was a founder of the Minnesota Democratic-Farmer-Labor Party and Americans for Democratic Action. He also served as Mayor of Minneapolis, Minnesota from 1945 to 1948. Humphrey was the nominee of the Democratic Party in the 1968 presidential election but lost to the Republican nominee, Richard Nixon.
Irving Ives, American politician. A member of the Republican Party, he served as a United States Senator from New York from 1947 to 1959. He was previously a member of the New York State Assembly for sixteen years, serving as Minority Leader (1935), Speaker (1936), and Majority Leader (1937–1946). A moderate Republican, he was known as a specialist in labor and civil rights legislation.
John Sparkman, American politician from the U.S. state of Alabama. A Southern Democrat, Sparkman served in the U.S. House of Representatives and the U.S. Senate from 1937 until 1979. He was the Democratic Party’s nominee for Vice President as Adlai Stevenson’s running mate in the 1952 U.S. presidential election.
Joseph McCarthy, American politician
Joseph Raymond “Joe” McCarthy (November 14, 1908 — May 2, 1957) was an American politician who served as a Republican U.S. Senator from the state of Wisconsin from 1947 until his death in 1957. Beginning in 1950, McCarthy became the most visible public face of a period in which Cold War tensions fueled fears of widespread Communist subversion. He was noted for making claims that there were large numbers of Communists and Soviet spies and sympathizers inside the United States federal government and elsewhere. Ultimately, his tactics and inability to substantiate his claims led him to be censured by the United States Senate.
The term McCarthyism, coined in 1950 in reference to McCarthy’s practices, was soon applied to similar anti-communist activities. Today the term is used more generally in reference to demagogic, reckless, and unsubstantiated accusations, as well as public attacks on the character and/or patriotism of political opponents.
Born and raised on a Wisconsin farm, McCarthy earned a law degree at Marquette University in 1935 and was elected as a circuit judge in 1939, the youngest in state history. At age 33, McCarthy volunteered for the United States Marine Corps and served during World War II. He successfully ran for the United States Senate in 1946, defeating Robert M. La Follette, Jr. After three largely undistinguished years in the Senate, McCarthy rose suddenly to national fame in February 1950 when he asserted in a speech that he had a list of “members of the Communist Party and members of a spy ring” who were employed in the State Department. McCarthy was never able to prove his sensational charge.
In succeeding years, McCarthy made additional accusations of Communist infiltration into the State Department, the administration of President Harry S. Truman, Voice of America, and the United States Army. He also used charges of communism, communist sympathies, or disloyalty to attack a number of politicians and other individuals inside and outside of government. With the highly publicized Army–McCarthy hearings of 1954, McCarthy’s support and popularity faded. On December 2, 1954, the Senate voted to censure Senator McCarthy by a vote of 67 to 22, making him one of the few senators ever to be disciplined in this fashion. McCarthy died in Bethesda Naval Hospital on May 2, 1957, at the age of 48. The official cause of death was acute hepatitis; it is widely accepted that this was caused, or at least exacerbated, by alcoholism.