From Boomers to Millennials: A Modern US History Podcast

Episode 6 - 1951: Firing a Caesar

January 03, 2020 Logan Rogers Season 1 Episode 6
From Boomers to Millennials: A Modern US History Podcast
Episode 6 - 1951: Firing a Caesar
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From Boomers to Millennials: A Modern US History Podcast
Episode 6 - 1951: Firing a Caesar
Jan 03, 2020 Season 1 Episode 6
Logan Rogers

The Korean War reached a key turning point when President Harry Truman removed General Douglas MacArthur as the conflict's top strategic commander. MacArthur provoked the decision with his statements and actions that undermined the Truman Administration's military policies. Nevertheless, the American public was outraged that an unpopular small-town politician like Truman could end the career of a revered war hero like MacArthur. Congress considered impeachment for a time, but it backed down when top military & diplomatic officials consistently testified that the president's decision had been proper & well-justified. The legislative branch limited presidential power in 1951 by pushing through the 22nd Amendment to the Constitution, which limited chief executives to 2 elected terms. Accusations that new government programs were "socialistic" nixed political reforms. American society shifted in a more devout direction due to a growing revival of religious participation, and American culture increasingly reflected the public's fears during the Cold War. Artists faced tough decisions about whether they should criticize anti-Communist fervor or go along with it. The episode concludes with a preview of the political changes that will open up a new chapter of the Cold War during the 50s.

Show Notes Transcript

The Korean War reached a key turning point when President Harry Truman removed General Douglas MacArthur as the conflict's top strategic commander. MacArthur provoked the decision with his statements and actions that undermined the Truman Administration's military policies. Nevertheless, the American public was outraged that an unpopular small-town politician like Truman could end the career of a revered war hero like MacArthur. Congress considered impeachment for a time, but it backed down when top military & diplomatic officials consistently testified that the president's decision had been proper & well-justified. The legislative branch limited presidential power in 1951 by pushing through the 22nd Amendment to the Constitution, which limited chief executives to 2 elected terms. Accusations that new government programs were "socialistic" nixed political reforms. American society shifted in a more devout direction due to a growing revival of religious participation, and American culture increasingly reflected the public's fears during the Cold War. Artists faced tough decisions about whether they should criticize anti-Communist fervor or go along with it. The episode concludes with a preview of the political changes that will open up a new chapter of the Cold War during the 50s.

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from boomers to millennials is a modern U. S. History podcast, providing a fresh look at the historical events that shaped current generations from the mid 19 forties to the present. Welcome to 1951 a k Episode six. Firing a Caesar Before we get started with our return to the geopolitical drama of the early fifties, we have one quick correction to issue in our last supplemental episode. Five A. We quoted several contemporary journalists and opinion columnists regarding the okay, Boomer MIM. Our original reference to one of these articles somehow got cut out of the podcast during the editing process. So we apologize to Andrew Ferguson of The Atlantic magazine for not providing his full name and his publications name. I know some history podcasters on Twitter are currently annoyed with Mr Ferguson for an even more recent piece where he argued that historians shouldn't weigh in on modern political issues. But if someone trained as a historian, I feel duty bound to give proper attribution to any source that eye sight, regardless of how I may regard the author's other work. In fairness, we did give a full citation to Ferguson and all the other authors of articles we referenced in the Episode five a source list on our patriotic. We also have source lis available to the public for this episode and all previous episodes. Please visit our PATRI on page to check those out. In our recent episode on the year 1950 we concluded by mentioning that a conflict between General Douglas MacArthur and President Harry S. Truman was about to reach the breaking point. For those who may have missed that episode or who need a memory refresher about its details, here's a quick recap of the many twists and turns of the Korean War. Communist North Korea had invaded US supported South Korea and the U. S. Than intervened on behalf of the South, thanks in part to the military strategies of General MacArthur. American and South Korean troops liberated the South and conquered most of North Korea. However, MacArthur miscalculated in his belief that the red Chinese patrons of the North Korean communists would not intervene in the conflict. MacArthur ignored Chinese warnings not to go near the Yalu River that marks the border between North Korea and China. Sure enough, in the final two months of 1950 the Chinese invaded in overwhelming numbers, causing the pro capitalist forces to retreat hundreds of miles down the peninsula. These events killed the dream of total victory over the Korean Communists, according to authors Walter Isaacson and Evan Thomas. By 1951 quote the U. S war aim had become restoration of the status quo at the 38th Parallel Close Quote in early 1951. The disastrous retreat continued as the North Koreans and Chinese recaptured the South Korean capital of Seoul in January. However, soon after the U. S slowed and then stopped, the Communists advance. Much of the credit for this valiant stand is usually given to of dynamic new frontline commanding officer, 55 year old General Matthew Ridgway. Before his service in Korea, he had been a commander in the U. S invasion of fascist Italy during World War Two, according to historian James T. Patterson. He was quote a soldier's soldier. He thrived in the field and in the midst of his man in Korea. He stocked the front lines, a hand grenades strapped to his chest and tried to rally his dispirited forces. Close quote. By April 1951 Ridgeway's troops managed to gain ground and soul changed hands for the fourth time in less than a year. Soon after the war bogged down a stalemate. Historian George Herring notes that Ridgeway's stabilization of the situation in Korea meant the Chinese Communist leader Mao Zedong, also had to settle for a limited war. Because red conquest of the South now seemed out of reach, General Ridgeway's so called meat grinder tactics tried to lure the Chinese troops into the open and then destroy them. Isaacson and Thomas right? The Ridgeway then focused on quote killing enemy troops rather than holding territory and attrition strategy that would later work less well in Vietnam. Close quote. The war soon included bloody battles in obscure places that urn names like No Name Ridge and Heartbreak Ridge History Professor Thomas Borstal Man writes that the U. S military had previously been dragging its feet on President Truman's 1948 order to desegregate the armed forces. But he notes that as the Korean War dragged on and casualties mounted, the top brass began aggressively implementing the order because the U. S army needed the flexibility to quickly transfer troops, including black troops wherever they were needed. Despite Ridgeway's tactical successes at the front lines, the top ranking overall commander and strategist of the Korean War was still Douglas MacArthur. The so called American Caesar pressed forward with his insistence that his troops should be directly authorized to attack the Chinese mainland. Isaacson and Thomas report that he quote proposed to the Joint Chiefs of Staff that he blockade the coast of China, destroy China's industrial capacity with airstrikes and unleash Chiang Kai shek, the Chinese nationalist leader, to attack the mainland. The Joint Chiefs replied that they were not interested in starting World War three. Close quote. Truman biographer David McCullough reports that MacArthur also suggested using nuclear weapons to create an impassable zone of radioactive waste between China and North Korea. As disconcerting as MacArthur's proposals for escalating the war may have been to policymakers back in Washington, equally troubling was the general's pattern of disobeying orders and making controversial statements to the press. According to Patterson, MacArthur had been ordered in December 1950 to make no public statements without receiving clearance, but he nevertheless went on giving regular interviews to the media when he confidentially learned in March 1951 that Truman sought to enter secret negotiations with the enemy. MacArthur issued a statement that the Chinese leaders better sit down with him for negotiations, and if they refused, he would invade China. This public leak and contradiction with the president's policy damaged Truman's diplomatic plans. McCullough suggests that this may not have been an accident, but rather an act of sabotage, because one of MacArthur's aides later bragged the general's actions here had successfully blocked the administration supposedly cowardly effort to appease China. Truman was increasingly feeling that MacArthur had to go, but he proceeded with great caution. Well aware that MacArthur was very popular with the American public and that he was quite unpopular, Secretary of State Dean Acheson warned the president quote, If you relieve MacArthur, you will have the biggest fight of your administration. Close quote. Paterson reports that the Joint Chiefs of Staff, the top ranking advisory body of head US military leaders, were also getting exasperated with MacArthur in a December 1950 meeting of the Joint Chiefs, Air Force officials were complaining about the American Caesar's tendency to treat orders as suggestions. According to Patterson President, the meeting was General Ridgway, who had just been ordered to go to Korea, and he spoke out at this point. Apparently not inclined to be a defender of MacArthur, the man who is soon to be his boss, Ridgeway bluntly asked the Joint Chiefs quote. You can relieve any commander who won't obey orders, can't you close quote. Nevertheless, the Joint Chiefs were too cautious to take the lead on recommending removal at that time, and Truman continued to let MacArthur off with warnings for its protocol violations well into 1951. After all, how do you fire a general with so much charisma, so many lifetime accomplishments and such mass popularity? Can you really fire an American Caesar? Truman was about to find out when, during April 1951 a surprising development occurred that forced his hand. The House Republican leader represented Joseph Martin of Massachusetts, stepped onto the floor of Congress and announced he was about to read into the record a letter sent to him by none other than General MacArthur. The letter praised a speech that Martin had given back in February that argued that the president must get tough and do whatever it takes to win in Korea and if he failed to do this. Quote. This administration should be indicted for the murder of American boys. Close quote. MacArthur was known to be a conservative Republican in his political views and, like all of us military leaders, are entitled to their own personal opinions, including critical viewpoints about the current leadership of the government. However, what they're not allowed to do in an official capacity is to publicly contradict their commander in chiefs orders or to publicly cheer on the president's partisan critics, especially after being ordered to cease making public statements. Harry Truman was now fed up with Douglas MacArthur. As we have seen, the feisty Missourian had a tendency to act and speak impulsively that sometimes got him into trouble. However, to his credit, Truman was very careful and deliberate. In planning out the firing of MacArthur, He consulted with his military advisers with Secretary of Defense George Marshall with Vice President Alben Barkley with the speaker of the House of Representatives and with the chief justice of the U. S. Supreme Court in order to get their assurance that he was making an appropriate decision. The joint chiefs had also had enough of MacArthur and they formally recommended his removal. On April 11th 1951 Truman announced the dismissal of General Douglas MacArthur. The fallout of this decision was quick and furious When MacArthur and his family returned to U. S soil after many years in Asia, he was given a hero's welcome by huge, supportive crowds. Everywhere he went from San Francisco to New York City to Washington, D. C. Crowds in the Bay Area overwhelmed police barriers. According to Herring, MacArthur was greeted by a quote ticker tape parade viewed by 7.5 million people in New York City. Close quote. In the nation's capital, MacArthur gave a speech to Congress in which he discussed his differences with the Truman administration. Sze Korea policies. He famously closed his speech in his career with a farewell to the American people, using all his proper diction, baritone, gravitas and sense of dramatics. Old soldiers never die. They just fade away, he said. I now close my military career and just fade away. An old soldier who tried to do his duty as God gave him the light to see that duty. Goodbye, close quote. Several people in the audience, including Congressman, wept openly one Republican representative apparently told reporters, Quote, We heard God speak here today, the voice of God, Close quote. So I guess he kind of liked MacArthur's speech. The American public also largely expressed admiration for MacArthur and resentment of Truman. Hearing writes that quote flags flew at half mast, the president was burned in effigy and there were calls for impeachment. Close quote. The White House was flooded with letters and, according to historian James T. Patterson for everyone letter supportive of Truman. There were 20 pro MacArthur messages criticizing the president's decision. Isaacson and Thomas recalled that these messages called Truman, among other things, an imbecile, a Judas, a bastard and a red herring. Republican representatives soon gave public speeches in Congress, insisting that Truman should be impeached. McCullough notes that the state legislatures of California, Illinois, Michigan and Florida all passed resolutions condemning Truman's decision to dismiss the general, According to a Gallup poll. At the time, 70% of Americans took MacArthur's side over that of the president. The firestorm over the dismissal of MacArthur appears to have been one of those times in American history, where emotion instead of logic shaped the public and its attitude about a situation. Most of the civilian and military leaders who Truman consulted with included that MacArthur had repeatedly disobeyed the president's orders and therefore deserve dismissal. But the public, which was less aware than the experts of the details and the rules that issue in the controversy, took the general side anyway. In 1951. The emotions of pride, anger and fear that fired up Americans to defend MacArthur also help to explain why half or more of the country was sympathetic to Joe McCarthy's communist hunts. Around the same time, the emotional sentiment about MacArthur probably originated from two sources, from nostalgia for the moral clarity and noble sacrifices of World War Two and from anxiety that derived from the Cold War. In The Red Scare, the revelations of genuine cases of Communist spies who had infiltrated the U. S government contributed to a climate of fear and paranoia. The lead Americans to side with Mavericks like a rabble rousing general and a tough talking senator instead of the current political establishment. And then there's a nostalgia factor. MacArthur had been a young, heroic officer in World War I. He had been one of the two main commanders of the military forces in the Pacific Theater of the Second World War, along with Admiral Chester W. Nimitz. When driven out of the Philippines by the Japanese, he had promised to return and re conquer, and he'd actually successfully done it. He had humbled the emperor of Japan and helped transform that nation from an arch enemy of the U. S. To a friendly power. And he had planned the brilliant, risky attack at Inchon that turned the tide in the Korean War, or it So it had seemed for a few weeks. The vast majority of Americans had their lives changed dramatically by World War Two, and many soldiers had looked upto leaders like MacArthur. I think nostalgia for the martial virtues that the public persona MacArthur represented helps to account for the emotion about the retirement of the old soldier elite opinion was generally more favorable to Truman's decision than the public opinion at the time. Unsurprisingly, the president received public support from prominent liberals such as Eleanor Roosevelt, Walter Ruth ER and Supreme Court Justice William O. Douglas. Patterson reports that additionally quote from the beginning, many leading newspapers, including some that normally opposed Truman had defended the right and duty of a president to punish insubordination. Close Quote biographer David McCullough recalls that Truman even got a letter of support from the very Washington Post music critic who had criticized his daughter's singing and who the president had threatened to beat up just six months prior. Most members of the intelligence you're recognized that a key principle of any Democratic Republic civilian control over the military was at stake. The Founding Fathers, after all, hadn't even wanted a standing army and certainly never intended to have military figures overruling the decisions of democratically elected public officials. After all, government takeovers by generals like Julius Caesar, the original Caesar, had traditionally been the death knell of ancient Republics, the key turning point where popular government transformed into an undemocratic empire. The founding Fathers had designed the Constitution and a conscious attempt to avoid exactly that fate. Another factor in American sympathy for MacArthur's when it all costs perspective was what Patterson called the quote unquote grand expectations in his book of the same name. Americans had developed these grand expectations during the post war era. We Americans have defeated fascist empires on opposite sides, of the world in a two front war, and we had simultaneously invented the atomic bomb seemingly in our spare time. So why couldn't we completely subdue the tiny nation of North Korea? The military support the North Koreans received from the massive Nation of China is, of course, a big part of the answer. Still, some Americans thought that if the mighty American military couldn't win this war, there must be something shady going on. Like maybe the government was putting in 1/2 hearted effort or worse, Americans were still wrestling with the idea of limited war that might not conclude in total victory after the total conquest of Germany and Japan after World War two. Isaacson and Thomas note that quote. Many ordinary people were impatient with containment, a strategy that required half measures patients steadiness and endurance Close quote. Similarly, Herring writes that quote. Many Americans bristled at the limits imposed by the nuclear age Close quote. As the 20th century went on, the USA would continue to learn just how difficult it was to prevail in proxy wars with communist powers via third world civil wars. Despite all our superior firepower, Americans found it difficult to crush an ideologically committed enemy, particularly when fighting on the enemy's home turf. Congress held investigative hearings in the aftermath of Truman's decision to fire General MacArthur. Military leaders such as General Omar Bradley, one of the key commanders in the European theater during World War Two, were called to testify. Bradley testified that MacArthur wanted quote the wrong war at the wrong place at the wrong time and with the wrong enemy. Close quote. In his farewell speech to Congress, MacArthur had implied that most of the nation's military agreed with his views. Republicans were shocked and disappointed to learn how wrong that characterization. Waas McCullough argues that quote the dismissal of MacArthur said all of them Secretary of Defense Marshal General Bradley, the Joint Chiefs of Staff was more than warranted. It was a necessity, close quote. He quotes an aide to Omar Bradley, who insisted that the Joint Chiefs lost faith in Douglas MacArthur quote on military rather than political grounds. A part of their dissatisfaction was with some of his strategic and tactical decisions, such a splitting his forces in Korea and jumping off on his November 1950 offensive with inadequate field intelligence about the enemy. Close quote. The congressional hearings were unable to prove any serious in propriety by the Truman administration and removing MacArthur, and over time, the partisan and public outrage over the firing of the general slowly faded away. Still, some members of Congress simply would not let the issue rest. Truman's canning of MacArthur also brought a new wave of accusations and denunciations by the chief congressional red baiter, Senator Joseph McCarthy. Herring argues that McCarthy accused administration officials quote for being soft on Communism, for sheltering communists within the government and for not waging the Cold War with sufficient resolve. Close quote. McCarthy continued to pursue the State Department officials who had supposedly lost China. The Truman administration also expanded its loyalty board investigations of these government employees and 51 under pressure from McCarthy and his allies, Isaacson and Thomas report that one State Department official was quote smeared with the somewhat contradictory charge that he was a homosexual who fathered an illegitimate child. Close quote. They argue that another accused State Department employees only crime seemed to be criticizing the corruption and ineptitude of Chinese anti communist leader Chiang Kai shek. This man was nevertheless dragged half a dozen times before loyalty boards and was repeatedly cleared by the panel on Lee to be re accused and recharged. McCullough notes that quote the worst of Joe McCarthy's venom aimed now at Defense Secretary George Marshall. Close quote. After all, he'd been in charge of this State Department during the red takeover of China. The Wisconsin senator now accused Marshal of being a mysterious and powerful figure within a vast, traitorous Communist conspiracy. McCarthy's willingness to accuse such a prominent and patriotic figure was particularly audacious. After all, Marshall was a military hero who had been chief of staff of the U. S Army during World War Two. Marshall came from a prominent and prosperous old Virginian family, and he wasn't even a liberal or a Democrat. He was registered to vote as an independent. Soon after being smeared by McCarthy, the aging defence secretary announced that he was ready to step out of the political crosshairs. Marshall was now 70 years old, and he had an impressive track record from decades of military and government service. He retired from public life in September 1951. McCullough writes that quote to what degree the attacks by McCarthy influence. Marshall's decision to retire is not clear. Close quote. Marshall was replaced by his deputy, Robert Lovett, one of the so called Wiseman, as head of the Defense Department. Love, its longtime pal, current Secretary of State Dean Acheson, remained an even bigger target of McCarthy and his allies. He was hated by many Republicans for his privileged background, his liberal politics, his arrogant demeanor, his pretentious moustache and his British style striped suits. Acheson was called to testify before Congress about alleged State Department misconduct and was grilled by Republicans for eight straight days. Isaacson and Thomas report that this time he was quote totally prepared, brilliant and less condescending to the congressman than usual, which helped. After emerging from a grueling week in the congressional crosshairs mostly unscathed, Acheson was asked about his next immediate plans and equipped quote. I have a plan that will test my capacity for the consumption of alcohol, and if another war erupts before I finish, it must be waged without my service is close quote. Another important development during 1951 was the passage of the 22nd Amendment to the U. S. Constitution after FDR selection to an unprecedented four straight terms as president, the Republicans were determined to make sure that never happened again. They wanted Americans to go back to the tradition set by George Washington, which had never been a legal requirement in the past, of a president stepping down after serving two terms as president. To this end, they promoted a constitutional amendment limiting presidents to two elected terms. Meeting the legal requirements to add a new amendment to the United States Constitution is very difficult. It requires not only a 2/3 majority of both houses of Congress to pass it, but also for 3/4 of state legislatures to then ratify it. Can you even imagine 2/3 of Congress and 3/4 of the state's agreeing on anything today? But new constitutional amendments could actually pass during the mid 20th century. The proposed 22nd Amendment appealed to Americans Democratic instincts, even across party lines, that executive power ought to be limited, and that included a limit on the number of years one person could serve in the most powerful office in the world. The 22nd Amendment had been a long time coming. It had been approved by Congress back in 1947 when the Republicans held the majority. But the measure still got bipartisan support. The state legislatures of the USA then began a lengthy process of state by state debates, until, in 1951 3/4 of the American state legislatures had ratified the amendment. The principle of only two elected terms was simple enough. But the law had to address how to handle situations like that of Truman, who had served as president for over three years after President Roosevelt died just months into his fourth and final elected term. The amendment stated that if you serve more than two years of another president's term, you were limited toe one elected term. But if you served as president for less than two years, you could be elected to two additional terms. This is why Lyndon Baines Johnson, who filled in his president for just one year of the late John F. Kennedy's term, could both win in 1964 and also be eligible to run in 1968 after already being president. So technically under the 22nd Amendment, a president can theoretically serve for almost 10 years. But of course, that requires the unusual situation of a vice president taking over as commander in chief due to the death in capacity, resignation or removal of an existing president in the middle of his term. The rules of the new amendment indicated Truman would be ineligible to run in 1952. But the law had carved out an exception, saying that the measure did not apply to the current president serving at the time of the amendments ratification. But despite his eligibility to run for reelection, the embattled Truman was publicly noncommittal about his future plans. McCullough notes that by November of 51 Truman had privately confided to his closest political aides that he would not be running for president again in 1952. While the nerve wracking political and military developments of early Cold War years dragged on, American society and culture was changing. By 1951 the U. S was beginning to undergo a religious revival. The evangelical Protestant preacher Billy Graham was winning converts and gaining national attention with his cross country tours, warning of sinfulness and socialism in America. It seemed that in Americans eagerness to define themselves against the officially atheist Soviet government, Americans wanted to express their religious and spiritual lives more than ever, many people are surprised to learn that it wasn't until the 19 fifties that under God was added to the Pledge of Allegiance and that the motto in God We trust was added to all money minted by the U. S government. Churchgoing became more popular than it had been in previous decades. During the 19 fifties, religious participation was on the rise, with in pretty much every denomination, sect and creed. Anti communism was a key component of the religious revival of the fifties. Karl Marx, a key influence on communism, had famously characterized religion as a drug that kept workers from thinking about their exploitation. In this life, Communist nations were officially atheist regimes that marginalized or infiltrated religious denominations operating within their borders. The religious leaders of the West weren't going to take this threat lying down. Billy Graham defined Communism is evil during the early 19 fifties, and many conservative to fundamentalist Protestants likewise viewed communism literally as a satanic force within the world. The Roman Catholic Church had struggled throughout the 20th century against secular radicalism throughout Europe, and it had issued papal decrees condemning communism. American parishes shared Rome's conviction that Marxism was a grave threat to Western Christian traditions and institutions. According to McCulloch, Senator Joe McCarthy chose to refocus his political career on crusading against Communists. Upon the suggestion of a Catholic priest, Patterson documents that McCarthy received support and patronage from Joseph Kennedy of Massachusetts. Joe Kennedy was the patriarch of a powerful Irish Catholic political family and the father of future President John F. Kennedy, according to historian Stephen Whitfield, Catholic Cardinal Francis Spellman of New York worked with federal authorities to eliminate communist influence from the U. S labor movement. Not all Christians were on the political right, of course. For example, Presbyterian Minister Norman Thomas repeatedly stood as a Socialist Party candidate for president during this era. But unsurprisingly, even liberal toe leftist Christians at a negative view of outright communism. Due in large part to its suppression of religious freedoms. The changing cultural attitudes during the Cold War narrowed the range of acceptable political views. As noted in prior episodes, the common tendency to associate heavy handed government actions with autocratic socialist, fascist or communist governments made reforms achieved through big government programs seem suspect to the post war era, according to Professor Whitfield, during the Truman administration, health care reform was scuttled after proposed government interventions into the system were labeled quote unquote socialized medicine. Ironically, groups opposing existing government instead of seeking expansion of it could also be accused of being read because it was common knowledge that Marxist radicals desire to overthrow existing governments via revolutions. As a result, reform movements and other social movements that were inclined to criticize the existing U. S government became weaker and more cautious. Professor George Herring writes That quote a Cold War culture of near hysterical fear, paranoiac suspiciousness and stifling conformity had emerged. A big factor in the emergence of this conformity was the fact that people feared being labeled a dissident or a deviant because being odd or different from the US norm was viewed with more suspicion during this time than during other areas. The red scare also transformed American popular culture. During this period of the Cold War, the military was almost always depicted positively on film and television. Patriotism was overt. While Whitfield asserts that pacifism was suspect. School textbooks during this era gave a patriotic and upbeat version of U s history. There was good reason for Americans to feel optimistic about their country. Would field notes that by the fifties the United States had the highest standard of living in the world and consumed more goods than any other nation. The Red Scare divided the American literary scene. Woodfield observes that some popular writers, like hard boiled crime novelist Mickey Spillane, wrote militantly anti Communist fiction. On the other side. Another author of Wa style detective stories, Daschle Hammett, was imprisoned for five months for refusing to testify about a left wing organization that he had belonged to often foreign novelists such as the British rider Graham Greene, author of the 1955 novel The Quiet American At a Freer Hand to write critically about the influence of the USA Upon the World during the Sarah, as discussed in Episode five, a Hollywood was also influenced by shifting political winds. During this time, would field notes that in the early forties, during the wartime alliance with the Soviet Union, the Russians were depicted favorably in films. But that changed quickly with the rise of the Cold War, while profit minded studio heads focused on whatever would keep Americans buying tickets. They're genuinely was a sizable group of radical screenwriters and other creative types who were sympathetic to the Communist movement. Many Hollywood actors and directors, with the variety of political views found themselves facing the question of whether to name names of radical sympathizers in their industry to the Congressional House on American Activities Committee or Hugh AC, which held hearings investigating red influence in Hollywood. A group of 10 screenwriters gained notoriety for refusing to answer You acts questions. The Hollywood 10 soon joined hundreds of others blacklisted by the film industry for their leftist associations. Two more prominent Hollywood figures who took divergent approaches to congressional questioning were playwright Arthur Miller and director Elia Kazan. Miller and Kazan had both been attracted to the left after their respective families had suffered great financial difficulties during the Great Depression. The two men became friends and collaborators during the forties. In the early fifties, the red scare would divide them. Miller was among the artists who refused to identify politically radical acquaintances when questioned by Hugh AC. As a result, he was cited for contempt of Congress, but he avoid serving jail time through a successful legal appeal On the other hand, Kazan was among those in the film industry who is unwilling to risk dire legal and career consequences in order to protect the identities of Hollywood radicals. Kazan was a former Communist Party member who had come to believe that the spread of communism was a genuine threat. He cooperated with the committee and identified colleagues with leftist affiliations. His An reportedly made his classic film on the Waterfront, which tells the story of a whistleblower who testified against a corrupt and violent labor union in part to justify his own decision to reveal names to Congress. Meanwhile, Miller compared the Hue AC hearings and the Red Scare to the Salem witch trials in his play, The Crucible. Unsurprisingly, they're different. Decisions on the congressional witness stand led to a long term estrangement between Miller and Kazan. Meanwhile, other forces were exerting influence upon Hollywood. Conservatives were pushing studios to make more anti communist films. Hollywood complied. Patterson suggests that movies such as The Iron Curtain I Married a Communist and Red Snow portrayed Communists as rude, humorless, fanatical and violent. According to Whitfield, the pro capitalist novelist Ayn Rand published a pamphlet instructing screenwriters to always portray businessmen in a positive light. With limitations such as these. The range of artistic statements that filmmakers could create had narrowed substantially. Despite these restrictions, much famous and quality literature and film emerged during the era of the Red Scare. For example, classic books like The Catcher in the Rye by J. D. Salinger, An Invisible Man by Ralph Ellison, were published during this period, and the Oscar winning movies All About Eve and An American in Paris were released during the early fifties. Unfortunately for Hollywood, attendance at movie theaters began declining during the fifties due to the increased ubiquity of television. The medium in its early years was heavily reliant upon game shows and Melo dramas that usually had less subtlety and nuance than the cinema did. Right and wrong were pretty much a black and white issue on early TV shows, and not just because color televisions were a rarity during this era. Woodfield argues that television was bad for journalism during the fifties because it promoted controversy to draw bigger audiences. After all, coverage of Senate hearings helped make Joe McCarthy a nationally known figure who was admired by many. On the other hand, TV news programs such as Edward R. Murrow's See It now would be influential contributors to McCarthy's decline and downfall, the crisis atmosphere of the late forties and early fifties and the limits that placed upon artists would not last forever. Studios were censoring themselves in order to placate public opinion they were not. Being censored by the state has happened to artists in the communist bloc. As a result, studios could and would shift gears when national attitudes began to change. By the late fifties and early sixties, the trend of Cold War Melo drama films was coming to an end, and studios had fewer pressures and restrictions concerning the political content of their films. After all, humans naturally adjust to new circumstances even a global Cold War and a bilateral nuclear arms race. And as a result, the public hysteria of the red scare eventually diminished among Americans. Make no mistake, the Cold War continued to be deadly serious and truly scary throughout the sixties through the eighties, with occasional terrifying flare ups that brought high tensions between the superpowers. Bert, perhaps never again with the issue of nefarious Communist threats dominate American culture is heavily as it did in the early fifties. During the years that follow the Cold War, narrative becomes one very big story among many big issues facing US society, but was no longer the exclusive story line. We closed 1951 with a return to the U. S. Dilemma in Korea. Truman attempted to negotiate with the Communists after the firing of MacArthur. But his deals fell through and the war rumbled on. Hearing reports that one of the main sticking points was Truman's insistence the POWs from communist countries should not be forced to return to those countries if they did not wish to go back. He recalled how Soviet POWs who had been captured by the Axis powers are often sense to the gulag upon their return to Stalin's brutal dictatorship. David McCullough says that quote. By late August 51 the peace talks have broken down, and by summer's end, total American casualties had passed 80,000 with 13,822 dead. Losses among South Korean forces were greater still, Close quote. Despite his many troubles, Harry Truman had one thing to be grateful for. In 1951 Douglas MacArthur would not run for president in 1952. As mentioned, Truman was not planning to seek an additional term, but it surely would have been humiliating to hand over the keys of the presidency to his opponent. In the Korean controversies, fears of a MacArthur coup among some liberals amounted to nothing. It seemed that the old soldier really did intend to fade away from the public spotlight. McCullough writes that during their only face to face meeting on Wake Island back in October 1950 Truman and MacArthur discussed their respective political futures. MacArthur ask Truman if he planned to run for reelection, and 52 quickly adding that he only asked because the Japanese emperor wished to know Truman. Asked if MacArthur had political ambitions of his own, the American Caesar denied that he had a saying quote. If you have a general running against you, his name will be Eisenhower, not MacArthur. The president told MacArthur that he didn't think I quiz a serious political threat. Truman said that he admired General Eisenhower, but insisted that the man quote doesn't know the first thing about politics. Close quote. Truman wasn't the first person and wouldn't be the last to underestimate Dwight David Eisenhower, and we'll find out why in our next episode about the year. 1952. From Boomers to Millennials is produced by Aaron Rodgers. Logo designed by Keamey Schaefer and Aaron Rodgers. Written and narrated by Logan Rogers. Donate to our Patri on at Patriot in dot com slash boomers A millennial You can follow us on instagram at boomers to millennials and on Twitter at Boomer Underscore two. If you have comments or suggestions about our podcast, you can email us at boomer to millennial at outlook dot com. On a final note Joe McCarthy may have baseless, Lee questioned the loyalty of many of his fellow Americans. But here at the From Boomers to millennials podcast, we would never question the loyalty of our devoted listeners. So, as always, thank you for listening.