Every year, on Lincoln’s birthday, the Republican Party holds special Lincoln Day dinners. If available, a major politician will give an address. At the time, Joseph McCarthy was viewed as an inconsequential political player and was sent to address the Women’s Republican Club in Wheeling, West Virginia. The speech he delivered was anything but inconsequential – it was perhaps one of the most important speeches of that generation.
In his speech at Wheeling, McCarthy claims that there are 205 communists inside the State Department. People were so shocked they didn’t immediately question whether this was true, or how this man would know. The truth was: McCarthy’s campaign had begun.
Learn more about MCCARTHY, including where to watch the documentary: http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/americanexperience/films/mccarthy/