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New BU Archival Exhibit Features Over 500 Letters From 'Red Scare' Conspiracy Case11:13
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The two sons of condemned atom spies Julius and Ethel Rosenberg and Julius' mother join marchers in front of the White House during a demonstration by people seeking clemency for the Rosenbergs in 1953. (AP)
The two sons of condemned atom spies Julius and Ethel Rosenberg and Julius' mother join marchers in front of the White House during a demonstration by people seeking clemency for the Rosenbergs in 1953. (AP)
This article is more than 5 years old.

In 1951, the Cold War was at a fever pitch. War raged in Korea. The iron curtain had fallen across Europe. And in the Nevada desert, the U.S. military held training exercises for nuclear war by setting off actual nuclear explosions.

And in New York, a remarkable story was playing out in a courtroom: Julius and Ethel Rosenberg were convicted of spying, for conspiring to pass atomic bomb secrets to the Soviet Union, for which they were executed by electric chair. It was the highest profile case of the so-called "Red Scare," when the hunt for communist infiltrators drove the country to a frenzy.

Today, the Howard Gotlieb Archival Research Center at Boston University is unveiling a new exhibit featuring a collection of documents from the case, including more than 500 letters the Rosenbergs wrote from prison.

Guests

Robert Meeropol, younger son of Julius and Ethel Rosenberg.

John Carroll, mass communications professor at Boston University and blogger at campaignoutsider.com. He tweets @johncarroll_bu.

More

The New York Times: Newly Released Letters Illuminate Rosenbergs’ Parental Anxieties

  • "Julius Rosenberg worries that a particular Christmas present suggested for his young sons would be too frustrating, and even dangerous, without parental supervision, which under the circumstances was obviously lacking."

This segment aired on October 7, 2014.

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