Over here there was fear of the invisible enemy, communism, but here they didn't wear uniforms. One didn't know who was or who wasn't a member or sympathizer of the Communists. Senator Joe McCarthy said that there were communists everywhere. It was politics of fear. "Red hunting" seemed to be a popular game for McCarthy and Pat McCarran and the House Unamerican Subcommittee and others. Government films and newsreels reinforced our fears. After all, the Soviets had "the bomb." Even the Boy Scouts were not immune to accusations. Ambrose Salmini was a one-man crusader to tell the truth about communism and said that hate alone was a poor weapon to use. He found three persons to make half hour recordings on the various phases of communism. One of those was Bishop Fulton J. Sheen, who spoke about communism and religion. These were distributed to industries and schools.
Private citizens were caught up in all of this. Abraham Full, a top lawyer at the United Nations and also counsel to Trygve Lie, Secretary General of the United Nations, tried to defend UN workers who were targets of the McCarran investigation. Although he was neither accused nor suspected of wrong doing, the pressure got to him and he committed suicide.
The McCarron-Walter Act further changed the immigration laws and removed race as a barrier, but added a new rule to keep out immigrants or to deport naturalized citizens who the government thought were subversive. President Truman had thought the bill was unconstitutional and discriminatory and vetoed it. However, the veto was overridden the day before Christmas.
The French ship Liberte arrived in New York just before Christmas, and the 270 members of the crew were looking forward to shore leave. Unfortunately, Leonard Martin, an immigration officer, was on board, and he felt it necessary to question the crew. When the crew chose not to answer the questions, they were denied shore time. As the ship left New York after Christmas, some in the crew noted that the Statue of Liberty looked like she was wearing a policeman's hat and holding a big stick in her hand.
Teachers thought to be communist sympathizers who refused to testify on communist activities were let go. It is said that the government planted people who pretended to be students in classes to see what was being taught.
With all the fear and frustration in the winter of '52, music kept everything together. Eddie Fisher was the "GI crooner." Fisher said that he wanted to go to Korea, and Trumen said that he would go all over the world. In an interview, Fisher said that his two years in the army were the best years of his life. And there were the stars: Charlie Parker, Duke Ellington, Count Basie, Billie Holliday, Stan Kenton, and George Shearing, who is shown playing a song he composed in ten minutes, "Lullaby Of Broadway." Deejay Hal Jackson recounted that at that time he hosted three radio shows every day in New York: "Live from Birdland" featured jazz carried on WABC, a rhythm and blues show on WLIB, and a show featuring pop singers on WMCA. Tony Bennett tells how tight budgets required that four sides (singles) be done in three hours. Albums were reserved for the classics. Ameht Ertigun of Intercity Records noted that the traditionally black rhythm and blues gave rise to Rock and Roll.
Filmdom brought out a 3-D film "Bwana Devil" which necessitated the use of special glasses for using. The hit film "Singing In the Rain" had come out earlier in the year, and for books were in the process for filming: "The Caine Mutiny," "Giant," "A Man Called Peter," and "The Old Man And The Sea." Also happening in the winter of '52: John Kennedy was elected senator for Massachusetts. The United States Atomic Energy Commission conducted the first hydrogen bomb test. George Meany was elected president of the AFL. Walter Reuther was elected president of the CIO. President Eisenhower's inauguration was carried live on television. In Denmark, George Jorgensen went into the hospital and came out Christine Jorgensen after a sex change operation. The NAACP said that 1952 was the first year in the U.S. that there were no lynchings...at least none reported. The Detroit Lions beat the Cleveland Browns 17-7 for the NFL championship. Desi Arnaz, Jr., was born Along with the red menace, the program mentions that there was a "green menace" taking root. It was coming out of Lafayette, Georgia, and began on January 4, 1953...a carpet made of tufted plastic...Astroturf.