On This Day, March 30, 1950 – Harry Truman Denounces Joe McCarthy


1950President Harry Truman denounces Senator Joe McCarthy as a saboteur of U.S. foreign policy. 

This was the reaction of President Harry Truman to Loyalty Investigation, “News Conference at Key West,” March 30, 1950

Q. Do you think that Senator McCarthy can show any disloyalty exists in the State Department?

The President. I think the greatest asset that the Kremlin has is Senator McCarthy.

Q. Would you care to elaborate on that?

The President. I don’t think it needs any elaboration—I don’t think it needs any elaboration.

Q. Brother, will that hit page one tomorrow!

Q. If you think we are going to bust down the fence on what you have got later, that’s a pretty good starter. [Laughter]

Q. Mr. President, could we quote that one phrase, “I think the greatest asset the Kremlin has is Senator McCarthy”?

The President. Now let me give you a little preliminary, and then I will tell you what I think you ought to do. Let me tell you what the situation is . . .

The Republicans have been trying vainly to find an issue on which to make a bid for the control of the Congress for next year. They tried “statism.” They tried “welfare state.” They tried “socialism.” And there are a certain number of members of the Republican Party who are trying to dig up that old malodorous dead horse called “isolationism.” And in order to do that, they are perfectly willing to sabotage the bipartisan foreign policy of the United States. And this fiasco which has been going on in the Senate is the very best asset that the Kremlin could have in the operation of the cold war. And that is what I mean when I say that McCarthy’s antics are the best asset that the Kremlin can have.

1842 – Dr. Crawford W. Long performed the first operation while his patient was anesthetized by ether. 

1855 – About 5,000 “Border Ruffians” from western Missouri invaded the territory of Kansas and forced the election of a pro-slavery legislature. It was the first election in Kansas. 

1858 – Hyman L. Lipman of Philadelphia patented the pencil. 

1867 – The U.S. purchased Alaska from Russia for $7.2 million dollars. 

1870 – The 15th amendment, guaranteeing the right to vote regardless of race, was passed by the U.S. Congress. 

1870 – Texas was readmitted to the Union. 

1909 – In Oklahoma, Seminole Indians revolted against meager pay for government jobs. 

1941 – The German Afrika Korps under General Erwin Rommel began its first offensive against British forces in Libya. 

1958 – The Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater gave its initial performance. 

1964 – “Jeopardy” debuted on NBC-TV. 

1972 – The British government assumed direct rule over Northern Ireland. 

1981 – President Ronald Reagan was shot and wounded in Washington, DC, by John W. Hinckley Jr. Two police officers and Press Secretary James Brady were also wounded. 

1987 – Vincent Van Gogh’s “Sunflowers” was bought for $39.85 million. 

1993 – In the Peanuts comic strip, Charlie Brown hit his first home run. 


Sources: Onthisday.com; historymatters.gmu.edu