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A New McCarthyism in Hollywood?

It’s been 70 years since President Truman ordered his loyalty tests. Now Hollywood has a loyalty test of its own.

Seventy years ago this week — on March 21, 1947, to be exact — President Truman issued an executive order that caught some of his most die-hard supporters by surprise.

The order, wrote Robert Justin Goldstein in Prologue magazine, “required that all federal civil service employees be screened for ‘loyalty.’ [It] specified that one criterion … would be a finding of ‘membership in, affiliation with or sympathetic association’ with any organization determined by the attorney general to be ‘totalitarian, Fascist, Communist or subversive’ or advocating or approving the forceful denial of constitutional rights to other persons or seeking ‘to alter the form of Government of the United States by unconstitutional means.'”

Two and a half years before Sen. Joseph McCarthy raised his ugly head and alleged massive Communist infiltration of the government, the “red scare” was underway. It would have a devastating impact on Hollywood.

 

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