McCarthyism describes the action Joseph McCarthy took in attacking political opponents: anyone who supported civil rights, labor and other progressive causes.
The episode seems silly in retrospect. What was not so silly, however, was the political repression Communists faced.
Senator McCarthy experienced a meteoric rise to fame and power in the U.S. Senate when he charged that "hundreds" of "known communists" were in the Department of State.
On July 8, 1862, labor organizer and leading communist Ella Reeve "Mother" Bloor was born on Staten Island, N.Y.
In the height of the Cold War witchhunts on June 21, 1956, playwright and a giant of American theater, Arthur Miller, courageously defied the House Committee on Un-American Activities and refused to name any suspected communist.