Published March 4, 1954
This 1954 drawing shows a butcher knife-wielding Joe McCarthy confronting a frightened President Eisenhower. That he is pulling a feather from a sword’s sheath implies that the president was powerless to stop McCarthy’s crusade. While in Wisconsin during his 1952 presidential campaign, Eisenhower removed from his speech a defense of his mentor, George C. Marshall, for fear that defending the McCarthy target would cost him the state’s electoral votes. McCarthy held Secretary of Defense Marshall responsible for much of China falling into Mao Zedong’s communist rule. Like politicians before him Eisenhower used America’s strong anti-communist sentiment to his advantage, campaigning beside McCarthy en route to his presidential election.
Even after seven republican senators condemned McCarthy’s smear tactics, Eisenhower failed to take a strong stance and continued to speak of “justice and fair play” in fighting communism.
Published May 7, 1954
On February 9, 1950 Joseph McCarthy gave a speech in Wheeling, West Virginia to the local Republican Women’s Club and stated “I have here in my hand a list of 205 . . . a list of names that were made known to the Secretary of State as being members of the Communist Party and who nevertheless are still working and shaping policy in the State Department. . . .” McCarthy was said to be drunk before the speech and asked a journalist for the number of Communists in the State Department. The journalist, Walter Trohan, mistakenly told him 205, when the actual number was 57. Herblock saw this as another example of McCarthy’s false accusations and insufficient evidence.
Published August 11, 1954
In August of 1954 local Girl Scout leaders received a 12-page pamphlet ordering for certain changes in their handbook. The nervousness surrounding foreign affairs was evident and was attempting to find it’s way into a 40 year old organization of young girls and women. The changes ordered for less world driven language and focused on more community involvement. The Girl Scout Handbook was built upon the ideas of Juliette Gordon Low who returned from England and promoted the ideas of acceptance and love for all of mankind regardless of “nation, creed or race”. The Girl Scouts of America were condemned for promoting the anti-American qualities in their Handbook and eventually succumbed to the pressure and agreed to the changes.
Published October 29, 1954
In 1954 during his campaign for President, Nixon traveled throughout the country throwing around accusations that the Democrats were being soft on communism. Herblock noted the similarities to McCarthy and depicted Nixon crawling out of a sewer reminiscent of a similar cartoon portraying McCarthy. After Nixon saw this cartoon he canceled his Washington Post subscription, the newspaper in which it was published, and once said he needed to “erase the Herblock image.”
Published July 25, 1956
The fact that the government keeps secrets isn’t so secret. Herblock played on this irony in 1956 shortly after a congressional committee reported that one million people in the government, from civilian to military, were authorized to use secrecy stamps. These stamps were used on everything from speeches to public records encouraging a ‘better to be safe than sorry’ notion to all documents.