BW - EP127—009: May 1954—The Army-McCarthy Hearings Continue With Roy Cohn's Testimony

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On Friday May 28th, 1954 as beaches and public parks opened for Memorial Day weekend, families hopped in their cars, turned on the radio dial, and heard the continuing testimony of McCarthy’s Attorney Roy Cohn during the Army-McCarthy Hearing. CBS radio was there. Cohn played a major role in McCarthy’s crusade. He helped create the Lavender Scare, which claimed overseas Communists blackmailed closeted government employee homosexuals into passing on secrets. Convinced that the employment of homosexuals was now a threat to national security, President Eisenhower signed an executive order on April 29th, 1953, banning homosexuals from working for the federal government. Cohn also saw that colleague G. David Schine receive special treatment when he was drafted in the U.S. Army in 1953. He contacted military officials from the Secretary of the Army down to Schine’s company commander and demanded that Schine be given light duties, extra leave, and exemption from an overseas assignment. It was this behavior that hastened McCarthy’s downfall, as during these hearings both Cohn and McCarthy claimed the Army was holding Schine “hostage” to squelch McCarthy’s Communist investigations. Cohn testified from May 27th through June 2nd.

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