On This Day In 1954: Senate Unanimously Votes To Outlaw Communist Party : It's All Politics Fifty-five years ago today, the Senate unanimously votes to outlaw the Communist Party.

On This Day In 1954: Senate Unanimously Votes To Outlaw Communist Party

Aug. 12, 1954:

Anti-communist.

The Senate, on an 85-0 vote, passes a bill that would outlaw the Communist Party. The bill is sponsored by Sen. Hubert Humphrey (D-MN), but opposed by President Eisenhower, Attorney General Herbert Brownell and FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover.

A partial explanation for Humphrey's role might be that Sen. Joe McCarthy (R-WI) had spent the previous four years attacking Democrats as soft on communism. But the Minnesota Democrat was also aware that there was genuine concern about Communist subversion in the U.S., and he didn't want to cede the issue to Republicans. Among Humphrey's co-sponsors were Sens. John Kennedy (D-MA), Paul Douglas (D-IL) and Wayne Morse (D-OR), all liberals.

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