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Inc. John Henry Faulk v. Aware et al: 1962

The Cold War Climate

With the onset of the Cold War in 1946, the federal government and other sectors of American life were purged of those suspected of sympathy with the Soviet Union's Communist government. Blacklists containing the names of anyone who had refused to appear before the House Un-American Activities Committee (HUAC) were circulated to intimidate offending individuals and organizations. By the 1950s, the blacklisters, motivated as much by the desire to make a buck as anti-Communist ideology, had begun to intimidate the private sector—business, higher education, radio, and television.

Performers were systematically "cleared" through paid security consultants. Encouraged and provided with information by the continuing HUAC hearings, they researched a performer's political history. The evidence was often slight or ambiguous. A $5 donation to the "wrong" cause was sometimes sufficient to add a name to a blacklist and jeopardize the "sinner's" livelihood. By 1955, the practice was an integral part of the broadcast industry's hiring procedure.

Additional topics

Law Library - American Law and Legal InformationNotable Trials and Court Cases - 1954 to 1962Inc. John Henry Faulk v. Aware et al: 1962 - The Cold War Climate, Faulk Leads Fight Against Blacklisting, Trial Witnesses Hard To Find, Suggestions For Further Reading