The impact of the House Unamerican Activities Committee’s investigation into Communism in Hollywood can never fully be assessed: after all, it’s impossible to assess the caliber of scripts never written and performances never given. Nevertheless, the witch hunt that took place between 1947 and 1952 represents the studio system’s darkest hour.
Margaret Madeline Chase Smith (December 14, 1897 – May 29, 1995) was an American politician. A member of the Republican Party, she served as a U.S Representative (1940-1949) and a U.S. Senator (1949-1973) from Maine. She was the first woman to serve in both houses of the United States Congress, and the first woman to represent Maine in either. A moderate Republican, she is perhaps best remembered for her 1950 speech, "Declaration of Conscience," criticizing the tactics of McCarthyism.
McCarthyism is the practice of making accusations of disloyalty, subversion, or treason without proper regard for evidence. The term has its origins in the period in the United States known as the Second Red Scare, lasting roughly from 1950 to 1954 and characterized by heightened fears of communist influence on American institutions and espionage by Soviet agents.