Description: This passage is mainly about house un american activities committee. This passage is a short review lecture outlining the development of the House Un-American Activities Committee.
Welcome to Hip Hughes History, we’re going to do it up for you now. We’re going to do a little bit of review that will be the house on Un-American Activities Committee, which was a Standing Committee in the house of representation from 1945 to 1975.
But before we get started, we’re going to talk a little bit about the precursors to which originated in the Senate in 1918 and 1919 is called the Overman committee and named after its Senate committee chairman Lee Slater Overman, who was a senator from North Carolina, he was first charged with investigating German influence in the bootlegging arena in the United States.
But as the Russian Revolution occurred in 1917 and 1918, it turned its focus on Bolshevik influence in the United States, which sparked the first Red Scare and promoted this fear. These communists came from Eastern Europe and the now Soviet Union is to infiltrate the United States and overthrow its government.
So that’s the first person that we have in the Overman committee, and that’s replaced in the 1930s by another institution in the House of Representatives, which is called the fish committee, and these are not standing committees, these are special investigative committees.
But Hamilton fish, who was a Republican House member from the great state of New York in the 1930s, used to have public and private hearings to investigate suspected public employees and organizations and individuals of being communists.
He particularly didn’t like the ACLU, the American Civil Liberties Union. He spent a long time going after them as well as pressuring the Justice Department to clamp down on enforcement of suspected communists. They manipulated immigration law to keep suspected communists out.
So the second committee we get from 1934 to 1937 is the McCormack Dickstein committee, which was named after House member John McCormack from Massachusetts and Samuel Dickstein from New York. Both Democrats and their original purpose was to have an Un-American Activities Committee to investigate Nazi propaganda, which was another certain propaganda.
But they certainly had a lot of latitude to go after suspect communists. Their most famous thing for exposing or investigating was the business plot, which was supposedly uncovered by Major General Smedley Butler, who was one of the Bonus Army leaders of Wall Street tycoons. They were planning a fascist overtake of the United States.
Then in 1938 to 1944, we have another committee and now it’s a special investigative committee. That’s renamed the house on American Activities Committee, this is led by a man by the name of Martin dyes jr., who’s a Democratic House member from the great state of Texas.
They have the same purpose to investigate plots, subversive communists and anybody that’s seeking to overthrow the constitutional government of the United States in their view. They’re going to go after organizations such as the federal theater project, which is part of the WPA, they said that this New Deal program was being infiltrated by communists, who were using their influence to put it into plays and try to propagate against the United States of America.
Because after the American Youth Congress as well as private citizens, public employees and other organizations, they also issued something called the yellow report, which was very critical of the War Relocation Department, they said that they had too soft of a stance on the Japanese-Americans.
They were being interned on the west coast and they weren’t being punished enough, that was a real problem and we were opening our up cells to vulnerability from Japanese spies. Now in 1945, this committee is going to be turned in the House of Representatives to a standing committees.
So now we have it, the House on American Activities Committee, the first committee chairman of this new Standing Committee is a Democrat by the name of Edward Hart. Now Edward Hart is going to use this committee in the 1940s to go after some big fishes.
One would be Hollywood, there was a Hollywood investigation that ended up black listing, ten producers and directors that worked in Hollywood. Over 300 actors and writers and screenplay artists were thrown out of Hollywood, some of them for forever, such as Orson Welles, Paul Robeson and Charlie Chaplin.
So that was one of their biggest investigations and it played a big role in putting a spotlight on them. Not soon after, they’re going to score a win, they’re going to be investigating suspected communists and the government.
One of them Algar hiss is going to be convicted on perjury. Now he claims that he is never a spy, but KGB records show that he probably was a spy. So who has success in convincing the public by convicting Algar hiss of perjury that. This is a real problem.
They are a needed committee to investigate and root out communists that are buried in the United States government. Their functions also include pushing propaganda at a Hollywood. we don’t mention this before, but there were films, such as I Married A Communist, Red Menace, Red Planet Mars. These were all produced by Hollywood after those Hollywood investigations.
It showed the influence of Standing Committee on work an art that was coming out of Hollywood. But 1947 and 1948 are going to be their heydays, because they’re going to have a problem and it’s not a problem that exists within their chambers.
But the other chamber out there across the hall the US Senate, and that’s where we have Joseph McCarthy done his thing. You’ve probably heard of McCarthyism, there’s another article for that, but McCarthy is going to implode in the 1950s after he starts going after members of the US Army and being communist.
That was going to be a way in an anchor on who acted as they started to lose credibility. In 1960, they gave another big spurt by having investigations in San Francisco City Hall, there were a whole bunch of riots outside Berkeley, and Stanford students who were protesting outside and who were attacked by the police.
This ended up as the public eye big time. With the ACLU, they put out films to show what was going on and how ridiculous these who acted hearings were. Now they’re downfall, because they don’t die until 1975. It is going to occur in the late 1960s, where they start going after the students for democratic society.Hippies specifically Abbie Hoffman.
Now it’s one thing, when you’re going after he’s got a lot to lose, he wears a nice suit, combs his hair to the side, he doesn’t want to be blacklisted. But it’s another thing, when you’re going after Abbie Hoffman, who will show up dressed as a revolutionary soldier and hand out copies of the Declaration of Independence, who will do Nazi salutes when people are asking him questions, who dressed as Santa Claus.
So he’s using satire in the protest movement to shine a light on the ridiculousness of what these hearings are all about. So after Abbie Hoffman, they renamed the committee in 1969 the Internal Security Committee, maybe they thought they could put some lipsticks on a pig or something like that.
But by 1975, it’s not going to work or they’re going to abolish that committee, and the investigative army of that committee are going to be wrapped up into the Judiciary Committee, where all the files are moved.
So that’s who acts back on American Activities Committee. We hope that you know a little bit more about it now. We certainly hope that you always remember that where your attention goes, your energy flows. We’ll see you next time if you press my buttons.