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Senator Joseph McCarthy burst onto the national scene after a speech to the Ohio County Republican Women’s Club in West Virginia in February 1950. Waving a sheet of paper in the air, he claimed that he had a list of 205 supposed Communists shaping policy in the State Department. With this list in hand, the unremarkable first-term senator from Wisconsin stoked fear of the Communists “infesting” every corner of American government and society.