65 years ago today, the U.S. Senate voted 65 to 22 to censure Sen. Joseph McCarthy, the Republican from Wisconsin, for “abusing” colleagues during his four-year anti-Communist crusade—a witch hunt that ruined the careers of many writers and artists. It was U.S. Army counsel Joseph Welch (pictured, left) who finally confronted McCarthy six months earlier, during the Senate hearings investigating Communist activity in America, by saying, “Have you no sense of decency, sir? At long last, have you left no sense of decency?” At that point, the Senate gallery erupted in applause for the only brave soul to have finally stood up in the Congressional hearings against the “Red Scare” that had paralyzed the nation’s psyche. (1954)
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