Joseph Welch – 1890-1960
Welch was a civilian attorney for the U.S. Army when it was under investigation by Joseph McCarthy’s Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations. On June 9, 1954, the 30th day of the nationally televised “Army-McCarthy Hearings,” McCarthy attempted to smear one of Welch’s junior attorneys, implying that he had Communist ties. Welch squashed the attempt, then rebuked McCarthy: “Have you no sense of decency, sir? At long last, have you left no sense of decency?” Welch then cut off McCarthy’s bid to renew his attack by demanding that the chairman “call the next witness.” The gallery burst into applause, and the American television audience saw McCarthy for what he was: a reckless bully who built his career on destructive innuendo.