Forever Youngdahl

Our Hero 

This [actually, that] Day In History.

May 2, 1953 was the beginning of the end for efforts to get Owen Lattimore.

He had been indicted on a motley group of perjury counts growing out of his record 12 day encounter with the McCarran Senate Internal Security Committee.  The McCarran Committee was an effort to clear up Joseph McCarthy’s loose ends. McCarthy failed to prove his claim that Lattimore was the top Soviet agent in the United States, or much else, but Lattimore’s contempt for his accusers spurred them to more thorough efforts at burying him.

McCarran forced Truman’s last and Eisenhower’s first Attornies General to pledge Lattimore’s indictment, and Truman left the case as a parting gift to Eisenhower.

But Federal Judge Luther Youngdahl dismissed the key charges, particularly Count One, a catch-all claim that Lattimore had promoted the Communist Line in East Asia.

Youngdahl was upheld by the Appeals Court, leading the Eisenhower Justice Department to try yet another Hail Mary indictment, only to have those charges shot down by Youngdahl as well.

By 1955 it was all over – the feds gave up the effort.


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