"McCarthyism" Inspired Cartoons
Senator Joseph McCarthy made headline news after he proclaimed that he had a list of Communists in the State Department. Browse our selection of Herblock editorial cartoons and other graphic art that captures the sentiments of the time.
"I have here ion my hand..." May 7, 1954.
Editorial cartoon showing Sen. Joseph McCarthy holding a "doctored photo" and a "faked letter," both burning, his fingers singed, which he claims are FBI documents during the Army-McCarthy hearings
(Credit: 1954 Herblock Cartoon, © The Herb Block Foundation)
You read books, eh?
Editorial cartoon showing members of "State and local 'Anti-subversive' Committees in the U.S." ransacking a school teacher's classroom, terrorizing her with questions about reading books, preparing to cut the Soviet Union out of a map of Europe, digging through the trash and finding something suspicious in a math problem, and noting, with displeasure, a portrait of Thomas Jefferson hanging on the wall.
(Credit: 1949 Herblock Cartoons, © The Herb Block Foundation)
We now have new and important evidence.
Editorial cartoon showing two men carrying a section of a fence on which is written "Joe Zilch is a Red" into a Senate hearings chamber as "new and important evidence".
(Credit: 1950 Herblock Cartoon, © The Herb Block Foundation)
It's Okay — We're Hunting Communists.
Editorial cartoon showing an automobile, "Committee on Un-American Activities", recklessly driven by J. Parnell Thomas, as he runs over pedestrians on the sidewalk, the passenger in the car turns to reassure the injured that "it's okay [because] we're hunting communists." He is accompanied by fellow committee member Robert E. Stripling. This cartoon was published after a week of testimony by Hollywood screenwriters that included: Ring Lardner, Jr., Lester Cole,
Bertolt Brecht, and John Howard Lawson. (Credit: 1947 Herblock Cartoon, © The Herb Block Foundation)
Is This Tomorrow? America under Communism!
This 1947 pamphlet produced by the Catholic Catechetical Guild Educational Society was part of a "Red Scare" in the U.S. that raised fears about the horrors of a communist takeover.
(Credit: Illustration by the catechetical guild, courtesy Wikimedia, PD.)
The Red Iceberg (Credit: "Traces of Mind Control" project, Bryn Mawr College.)
Fight for Freedom! (Credit: "Traces of Mind Control" project, Bryn Mawr College.)