WASHINGTON, April 22, 1954 (UP) - Spectators cheered as Sen. Joseph McCarthy and his wife, Jean, who was using crutches, entered the gaudy Senate caucus room for the opening of the Army-McCarthy hearings.
McCarthy made his way through the crowd-packed room to a seat at one end of the long committee table, flanked by his aides. Jean took a seat behind him. The McCarthys were five minutes late.
Army Secretary Robert T. Stevens, a key "defendant," entered a few minutes earlier. He was flanked by two generals. His entrance created hardly a stir in the straining, pushing crowd.
Committee members were next. Most of them stopped to shake hands with Stevens who sat at the end of the committee table.
As the members took seats, a cheer went up from the back of the room. McCarthy was entering.
McCarthy and Stevens, who used to be friends, could have reached out and shaken hands without rising. They didn't. They gave no sign they saw each other.
Assistant Secretary of Defense H. Struve Hensel, a late addition to the principals in the case, arrived alone a few minutes earlier.
The hearings began before the staring eyes of television cameras in the ornate Senate caucus room which was jammed with congressmen, reporters and a relatively small number of lucky spectators who managed to squeeze in.
Police tried to provide sitting and standing space for somewhat more than 450 persons. But half the space was reserved for subcommittee members and staff, principals and witnesses, and a record 120 reporters. Another 90 seats were reserved for congressmen and their families.