The Duke Chronicle cover February 1, 1952

On This Day: February 1, 1952

McCarthy threatens legal action against Duke

Senator Joseph McCarthy threatened legal action against the university if it did not suppress a faculty member’s study of his Senate hearings about communists in the U.S. State Department. The study, “McCarthy versus the State Department,” was conducted by Dr. Hornell Hart, of the Sociology Department, and was critical of McCarthy’s methods. Duke maintained its traditional support for academic freedom. In his reply to the threat, President Edens said “a professor has the right to pursue research investigations of his choice.”