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What have become known as the “McCarthy hearings” refer to 36 days of televised investigative hearings led by Senator Joseph McCarthy in 1954. After first calling hearings to investigate possible espionage at the Army Signal Corps Engineering Laboratories in Fort Monmouth, New Jersey, the junior senator turned his communist-chasing committee's attention to an altogether different matter, the question of whether the Army had promoted a dentist who had refused to answer questions for the Loyalty and Security Board. The hearings reached their climax when McCarthy suggested that the Army's lawyer, Joseph Welch, had employed a man who at one time had belonged to a communist front group. Welch's rebuke to the senator—“Have you no sense of decency, sir? At long last, have you left no ...

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