Red Scare. The communis hysteria in the US during the 1950s.

Essay by Anonymous UserHigh School, 11th gradeA+, March 1997

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One evening in 1950 a Houston couple entered a Chinese restaurant. The woman, a radio writer, wanted the proprietor's help in producing a program on recent Chinese history. Overhearing their conversation, a nearby man rushed out, phoned the police, and informed them that people were 'talking Communism.' The couple was immediately arrested and jailed for 14 hours before the police concluded they had no case. At about the same time a policeman in Wheeling, West Virginia, discovered some penny-candy machines dispensing goodies with tiny geography lessons. One lesson, under the hammer-and-sickle Soviet flag, read: 'USSR Population 211,000,000. Capitol Moscow. Largest country in the world.' 'This is a terrible thing to expose our children to,' pronounced the city manager Robert Plummer when informed. He quickly had the sinister sweets removed to protect the innocent from the knowledge of the Soviet Union. The preceding is an example of the extent to which the national hysteria of the nineteen-fifties reached.

The results of the Cold War against communism had quite an opposite effect compared to its original intentions of preserving freedom during the red scare.

The early 1950's was a time of emotional stress for much of the United States. With the USSR and the USA emerging from the second World War as major world powers, neither wished to give up their newly acquired land. Both countries following imperialist ideas attempted to spread their government across the world. America, insecure about its power to uphold a democratic government in foreign nations feared a communist invasion from their Cold War foe, Russia. A hysteria swept across the United States as American paranoia of a loss of personal rights increased. President Harry Truman's thoughts summed up the nation's feelings toward communists with, 'The Reds, phonies and parlor pinks seem to be banded together and are...