As World War II was ending, a fear-driven movement known as the Second Red Scare began to spread across the United States. Americans feared that the Soviet Union hoped to spread communism all over the world, overthrowing both democratic and capitalist institutions as it went. Communism was, in theory, an expansionist ideology, spread through revolution. It suggested that the working class would overthrow the middle and upper classes. With the Soviet Union occupying much of Eastern and Central Europe, many Americans believed that this nation would continue to militarily spread communism.
Once the United States no longer had to concentrate its efforts on winning World War II, many Americans became afraid that communism might spread to the United States and threaten the nation's democratic values. Both the federal government and state governments reacted to that fear by attacking potential communist threats. One of the main tactics used at the federal level was the creation of various investigative committees. Senator Joseph McCarthy chaired one such committee, hoping to end communist influence in the federal government. Thousands of federal government workers came under suspicion of being loyal to the communists, and many of these people lost their jobs. The federal government also investigated the motion picture, television, and radio industries, believing that communists were spreading their propaganda through these media.
This fear of communism did not just grip the federal government. In 1951, the Ohio General Assembly implemented the Ohio Un-American Activities Committee, a joint committee of state representatives and senators charged with determining communism's influence in Ohio. The committee was based upon the federal government's House Un-American Activities Committee, and its members received sweeping powers to question Ohioans about their ties to communism. Between 1951 and 1954, the Ohio Un-American Activities Committee, headed