When the Army-McCarthy hearings convened, on April 22, 1954, Senator Joseph McCarthy (R-Wis.) was one of the most powerful and feared men in the United States. He had charged the military with “coddling Communists” within its ranks, while the Army countered that Roy Cohn, McCarthy’s chief aide, had threatened to “wreck” it. The battle was televised live across the country—a first for the new medium.