Kefauver Hearings

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by bindi
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Kefauver Hearings

The Kefauver HearingsThe Early Days of Televisionby Tessa Haws

The day is January 5, 1950, Senator Estes Kefauver of Tennessee introduced the plan that would allow the Senate Committee to investigate the Mafia's role in crime throughout the United States.

In March 1951 the live committee hearings were broadcast on American TV's. 30 million Americans watched as Senator Kefauver held hearings in 14 major cities around the United States. More than 600 witnesses testified. At that time more than 72% of Americans were aware of the Kefauver comittee's work because of the television hearings.

An article in Life Magazine described the public sentiment: "People had suddenly gone indoors into living rooms, taverns, and clubrooms, auditoriums and back-offices. There, in eerie half-light, looking at millions of small frosty screens, people sat as if charmed. Never before had the attention of the nation been riveted so completely on a single matter."


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