Karl Mundt

Karl Mundt

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Karl Mundt was born in Humboldt, South Dakota, on 3rd June, 1900. After graduating from Columbia University he became a high school teacher in Bryant (1923-27) before moving to the General Beadle State Teachers College (1927-36). Mundt was also involved in real estate and the insurance business.

A member of the Republican Party, Mundt was elected to Congress in January 1939. Mundt was a member of House of Un-American Activities Committee (HUAC) and remained in Congress until 1973. Karl Mundt died on 16th August, 1974.

The need for legislation to Control Communist activities in the United States cannot be questioned. Ten years of investigation by the Committee on Un-American Activities and by its predecessors have established: (1) that

the Communist movement in the United States is foreign-controlled; (2) that its ultimate objective with respect to the United States is to overthrow our free American institutions in favor of a Communist totalitarian dictatorship to be controlled from abroad; (3) that its activities are carried on by secret and conspiratorial methods; and (4) that its activities, both because of the alarming march of Communist forces abroad and because of the scope and nature

of Communist activities here in the United States, constitute an immediate and powerful threat to the security of the United States and to the American way of life. The conclusion that the Communist movement constitutes a threat to the security of the United States and to the American way of life is not the cry of alarmists.

The Communist program of conquest through treachery, deceit, infiltration, espionage, sabotage, corruption, and terrorism has been carried out in country after country and is an ever growing threat in other countries. There is ample evidence that one of the primary objectives of the world Communist movement, directed from within the most powerful existing Communist totalitarian dictatorship, is to repeat this pattern in the United States.

There is incontrovertible evidence of the fact that the Communist Party of the United States is dominated by such totalitarian dictatorship and that it is one of the principal instrumentalities used by the world Communist movement, directed from within that totalitarian dictatorship, in its ruthless and tireless endeavor to advance the world march of communism.

The findings, which support these conclusions, and the vast quantity of evidence on which they are based, are set forth in detail in the numerous reports which this committee and its predecessors have printed and circulated. Corroboration has been supplied by independent and exhaustive research by other committees of Congress.


KARL E. MUNDTThe founder of the National Forensic League and long-time Congressman signed this paper in green ink Signature: &ldquoKarl E. Mundt&rdquo in bright green ink on a 3¼x2 piece of paper. Karl E. Mundt (1900-1974) was a United States Congressman who served in the House from 1938-1948 and the Senate from 1948-1973. In 1923, he was named teacher and principal of Bryant High School. The following year he was promoted to superintendent of all the schools in Bryant, South Dakota. This position, as well as a teaching tenure at Eastern State Normal School (Dakota State University today), gave him the exposure he needed to run for office. Just two years into his position as superintendent, Mundt co-founded the National Forensic League, an organization known nationally today as a debate and speech honor society. In 1969, Mundt had a major stroke while serving as Senator, preventing him from keeping up on his duties and requiring intensive speech and physical therapy. Mundt did not resign despite his incapacitation instead, his wife ran his office at the Capitol for over three years, a controversial decision to this day. Toned. Otherwise, fine condition.

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Karl Earl MUNDT, Congress, SD (1900-1974)

MUNDT Karl Earl , a Representative and a Senator from South Dakota born in Humboldt, Minnehaha County, S.Dak., June 3, 1900 attended the public schools of Humboldt, Pierre, and Madison, S.Dak. graduated from Carleton College, Northfield, Minn., in 1923 and from Columbia University, New York City, in 1927 high school teacher of speech and social science in Bryant, S.Dak., 1923-1924, and superintendent of schools in Bryant 1924-1927 speech and social science teacher in General Beadle State Teachers College, Madison, S.Dak., 1927-1936 also engaged in the real estate and insurance business and in agricultural pursuits member of the State Game and Fish Commission 1931-1937 also engaged in literary pursuits elected as a Republican to the Seventy-sixth Congress reelected to the four succeeding Congresses and served from January 3, 1939, until his resignation on December 30, 1948, having been appointed to the United States Senate to fill the vacancy caused by the resignation of Vera C. Bushfield and served from December 31, 1948, to January 3, 1949 elected as a Republican to the United States Senate in 1948 reelected in 1954, 1960 and 1966 and served from December 31, 1948, to January 3, 1973 was not a candidate for reelection in 1972 died in Washington, D.C., August 16, 1974 interment in Graceland Cemetery, Madison, S.Dak.

Digital Library of South Dakota

The Digital Library of South Dakota (DLSD) is a collaboration of the libraries of the six Board of Regents colleges and universities as well as partners in the state of South Dakota.

DSU Institutional Archives: The DSU Archives collection contains materials relating to the University and its history from 1881 to the present, including photographs, student yearbooks, student newspapers, university catalogs, and records of student clubs, athletics, university presidents, academic and administrative departments, and other constituents of the campus community. The collection documents people, events, publications, buildings, and grounds of Dakota State University, located in Madison, Lake County, South Dakota. Dakota State University was formerly known as Dakota Normal School, 1881-1902 Madison State Normal School, 1902-1921 Eastern State Normal School, 1921-1924 Eastern State Teachers College, 1924-1947 General Beadle State Teachers College, 1947-1964 General Beadle State College, 1964-1969 and Dakota State College, 1969-1989.

Karl E. Mundt Archives: Karl E. Mundt served the people of South Dakota as a United States congressman for 34 years. The Karl Mundt Archives contains artifacts, documents, speeches, film, tapes, slides, scrapbooks, photographs, books, correspondence, government documents, plaques, certificates, cachets, awards, miscellaneous memorabilia and much more. The collection includes ´Your Washington and You´, a weekly report by Karl E. Mundt to South Dakota on a variety of topics.

Karl Earl Mundt

Karl Mundt made his 1923 College Accounts in Northfield ( Minnesota ). He then worked as a teacher at a high school in Bryant and in 1924 became a school councilor in this city. After graduating from Columbia University in 1927 , he taught at State Teachers College in Madison until 1936 .

Mundt held his first political office from 1931 to 1937 as a member of the state gaming and fishing commission. From 1939 to 1948 he then represented the first constituency of South Dakota in the United States House of Representatives . On December 30, 1948, he resigned to fill the vacant seat of Vera C. Bushfield in the United States Senate . Mundt exercised this mandate from December 31, 1948 to January 3, 1973, before he no longer ran for re-election. He died in Washington the year after he left Congress .

Visual materials in the Archives do not circulate and must be viewed in the Society's Archives Research Room.

For the purposes of a bibliography entry or footnote, follow this model:

Wisconsin Historical Society Citation Wisconsin Historical Society, Creator, Title, Image ID. Viewed online at (copy and paste image page link). Wisconsin Center for Film and Theater Research Citation Wisconsin Center for Film and Theater Research, Creator, Title, Image ID. Viewed online at (copy and paste image page link).


Coordinator of Commercial and Cultural Affairs for the American Republics, Nelson Rockefeller, initiates the exchange of persons program with Latin America inviting 130 Latin American journalists to the United States

Office of War Information (OWI) established to consolidate scattered agencies of domestic and foreign information

President Truman terminates OWI one section is placed within the Department of State as the Office of International Information and Cultural Affairs (OIC). OIC has a network of 76 branches worldwide 67 information centers and libraries stock books, display
exhibits and show films.

Fulbright Program is established

OIC is renamed the Office of International Information and Educational Exchange

Rep. Karl Mundt and Sen. H. Alexander Smith introduce the Smith-Mundt Act, establishing a statutory information agency to "promote a better understanding of the United States in other countries, and to increase mutual understanding" between Americans and foreigners

International Visitor Program formally established to engage professionals, intellectuals and opinion leaders in the political and social infrastructure

President Eisenhower establishes the United States Information Agency (USIA) to consolidate information functions administered by the State Department and other agencies. Educational and cultural exchanges remain within the State Department

The exchange function is separated from the State Department’s Bureau of Public Affairs and is assigned to a newly created Bureau of Educational and Cultural Relations (CU)

Congress passes the Fulbright-Hays Act to increase mutual understanding between the people of the United States and the people of other countries. By the end of the year, a Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs is established in the Department of State

President Carter approves a major reorganization of USIA, combining it with the department’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs to become the United States International Communication Agency (USICA)

President Carter initiates the Hubert Humphrey Fellowship Program

President Reagan changes USICA’s name back to USIA

The Congress-Bundestag Youth Exchange Program begins

Congress creates the Cultural Property Advisory Committee to help stem illicit trafficking in cultural property. The CPAC secretariat is housed in ECA

Future Leaders Exchange (FLEX) Program is established

USIA moves into the State Department where exchange programs and other USIA components comprise the department’s new Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs (ECA), which maintains its authority under the Fulbright-Hays Act

Congress creates the Ambassadors Fund for Cultural Preservation

ECA creates Alumni.State.Gov to connect exchange alumni in Southeastern Europe and Eurasia

ECA establishes the Office of Alumni Affairs and expands Alumni.State.Gov into a global network

The Bush administration launches the National Security Language Initiative, including ECA’s NSLI-Y initiative focused on American youth

ExchangesConnect debuts as the first social network of the U.S. government

The International Visitor Leadership Program (IVLP) celebrates its 70th Anniversary

Army-McCarthy Hearings

By 1953, Republican Senator Joseph McCarthy had become one of America's best-known politicians through his campaigns to uncover subversives in government operations. His attacks on the U.S. Army in the fall of 1953 led to the first televised hearings in U.S. history, the Army-McCarthy hearings of 1954. The American public watched McCarthy live in action, and they didn't much care for what they saw. Popular approval for McCarthy eroded during the hearings and his eventual fall from power became just a matter of time. In the fall of 1953, McCarthy conducted an investigation of the Army Signal Corps. His announced intent was to locate an alleged espionage ring, but he turned up nothing. However, McCarthy’s treatment of General Ralph W. Zwicker during that investigation angered many. McCarthy insulted Zwicker's intelligence and commented that he was not fit to wear his uniform. On March 9, 1954, CBS television broadcast Edward R. Murrow’s See It Now program, which was an attack on McCarthy and his methods. Subsequently, the Army released a report charging that McCarthy and his aide, Roy Cohn, had pressured the Army to give favored treatment to G. David Schine, a former McCarthy aide who had been drafted. McCarthy counter-charged that the Army was using Schine as a hostage to exert pressure on McCarthy not to expose communists within its ranks. The Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations decided to hold hearings that became known as the Army-McCarthy hearings, televised from the Senate Caucus Room. McCarthy relinquished his chairmanship position to Republican Karl Mundt from South Dakota so that the hearings could commence. Both sides of that dispute aired on national television between April 22 and June 17, 1954, for 188 hours of broadcast time in front of 22 million viewers. McCarthy’s frequent interruptions of the proceedings and his calls of "point of order" made him the object of ridicule, and his approval ratings in public opinion polls continued a sharp decline. On June 9, the hearings reached their moment of greatest drama, when Point of Order.

U.S. Senator Joseph McCarthy’s Nemesis: Attorney Joseph Welch

In 1953 U.S. Senator Joseph McCarthy, Republican of Wisconsin, targeted Langston Hughes, a black writer, over his alleged communism.

Later that same year, McCarthy’s attention shifted to the U.S. Army when the Senator’s Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations began an investigation focused on an alleged spy ring at the Army Signal Corps laboratory at Fort Monmouth, New Jersey. Those accusations, however, were not sustained, so McCarthy went after the left-wing affiliations of an Army dentist, Irving Peress, who had declined to answer McCarthy’s questions and who had been promoted to Major. After his commanding officer, Brigadier General Ralph Zwicker, a World War II hero, had given Peress an honorable discharge, McCarthy attacked Zwicker, but he refused to answer some of McCarthy’s questions, and the Senator verbally abused the General at the hearing. Army Secretary Robert Stevens then ordered Zwicker not to return to McCarthy’s hearing for further questioning. In an attempt to mediate this dispute, a group of Republican Senators, including McCarthy, met with the Secretary, who capitulated to virtually all of McCarthy’s demands. Afterwards the Secretary was a subject of public ridicule.

In early 1954 the battle between the Army and McCarthy continued when the Army accused McCarthy and his chief counsel, Roy Cohn, of improperly attempting to pressure the Army to give favorable treatment to G. David Schine, a former aide to McCarthy and a friend of Cohn’s and who was then serving in the Army as a private. McCarthy claimed that the accusation was made in bad faith, in retaliation for his questioning of Zwicker. The Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations was given the task of adjudicating these conflicting charges. Republican Senator Karl Mundt, Republican of South Dakota, was appointed to chair the committee for this purpose, and what were known as the Army-McCarthy hearings convened on April 22, 1954.

This is when Boston attorney Joseph Welch entered the drama as the lead attorney for the Army and ultimately proved to be the Senator’s nemesis.

The hearings lasted for 36 days and were broadcast on live television by two networks to an estimated 20 million viewers. After hearing 32 witnesses and two million words of testimony, the committee concluded that McCarthy himself had not exercised any improper influence on Schine’s behalf, but that Cohn had engaged in “unduly persistent or aggressive efforts” in that regard. The committee also concluded that Army Secretary Stevens and Army Counsel John Adams “made efforts to terminate or influence the investigation and hearings at Fort Monmouth”, and that Adams “made vigorous and diligent efforts” to block subpoenas for members of the Army Loyalty and Screening Board “by means of personal appeal to certain members of the [McCarthy] committee.”

Of far greater importance to McCarthy than the committee’s inconclusive final report was the negative effect that the extensive exposure had on his popularity. Many in the audience saw him as bullying, reckless, and dishonest, and the daily newspaper summaries of the hearings were also frequently unfavorable.

The most famous incident in the hearings was an exchange between McCarthy and Welch on June 9, the 30th day of the hearings. Welch was cross examining Roy Cohn and challenging him to provide the U.S. Attorney General with McCarthy’s list of alleged Communists or subversives in defense plants “before the sun goes down.” McCarthy interrupted to say that if Welch was so concerned about persons aiding the Communist Party, he should check on a man in his Boston law office named Fred Fisher, who had once belonged to the National Lawyers Guild, which the Attorney General had called “the legal mouthpiece of the Communist Party.”

In an impassioned defense of Fisher, Welch immediately responded, “Until this moment, Senator, I think I never really gauged your cruelty or your recklessness …” When McCarthy resumed his attack, Welch interrupted him: “Let us not assassinate this lad further, Senator. You’ve done enough. Have you no sense of decency, sir, at long last? Have you left no sense of decency?” When McCarthy once again persisted, Welch cut him off and demanded the chairman “call the next witness.” At that point, the gallery erupted in applause and a recess was called.

The issue of Fisher’s membership in the National Lawyers Guild was not a surprise to Welch.

When Welch went to Washington, D.C. to start his work for the Army in April 1954, he took along two young associate attorneys, Fisher and James St. Clair. At an initial press conference, Welch unexpectedly mentioned their names while announcing that Welch himself was “a registered Republican and a trial lawyer. I am just for facts.”

That night over dinner, Welch asked Fisher and St. Clair if there was anything in their past that could embarrass them if they were to be involved in the matter. St. Clair had nothing to be concerned about. Fisher, however, told Welch that he had been a member of the National Lawyers’ Guild while in law school and that the group had been criticized for alleged links to communists. Welch immediately was worried and called President Eisenhower’s Press Secretary, James Hagerty, to alert him to the issue. Later that night, Welch and St. Clair met with Hagerty at a home in Georgetown, and they all concluded that Fisher should not be a member of the team. As a result, Fisher ceased work on the matter and returned to Boston. (Before the decision was made that Fisher should leave the team, Welch and others discussed the possibility of Fisher’s remaining on the team and if McCarthy attacked Fisher, Welch’s becoming outraged and turning the attack on McCarthy.)

Thereafter, St. Clair was essentially Welch’s only assistant. (St. Clair later became a leading partner at the same law firm and represented President Nixon in the litigation over the White House tapes.)

The next day Welch made a public announcement that Fisher was no longer involved and the reason for his withdrawal in an attempted preemption of any attack by McCarthy on Fisher and Welch. The New York Times reported this statement.

Soon thereafter, Senator McCarthy included the Fisher issue in the Senator’s “indictment” about the Army. It stated, “a law partner of Mr. Welch has, in recent years, belonged to an organization found by the House Un-American Activities Committee to be the ‘legal bulwark’ of the Communist party, and referred to by the Attorney General as the ‘legal mouthpiece’ of the Communists. This same law partner was selected by Mr. Welch to act as his aide in this matter, and was discharged only when his Communist-front connection became publicly known.” The Senator also let it be known that he planned to attack Fisher at the hearings. Thus, the issue did not die.

During the course of the hearings, Welch and St. Clair apparently had discussions with McCarthy’s representatives about McCarthy’s not mentioning the Fisher issue in exchange for Welch’s not discussing the non-existent military record of McCarthy’s aide, Roy Cohn. Welch and St. Clair say there was no agreement to such effect while Cohn and the Army’s regular attorney (John Adams) said there was. At least, it seems to me, there was an informal understanding between the two sides that there might be adverse consequences to the party that first raised one of these issues.

In any event, the night before the cross-examination of Cohn, Welch and St. Clair considered going into the issue of Cohn’s military record, but decided against it because it would be similar to McCarthy’s personal attacks. The next morning, before the hearing started, Welch or St. Clair told Cohn that he would not be examined about his military record.

Later that morning during Welch’s cross-examination of Cohn, McCarthy interrupted to raise the Fisher issue. Cohn apparently tried to signal McCarthy to stop talking about Fisher. Even though McCarthy persisted, Welch did not retaliate by going into Cohn’s military record. He did not do so, St. Clair says, because they did not want to stoop to McCarthy’s level and tactics. Instead, as previously mentioned, Welch made a vigorous defense of Fisher.

Welch maintained that he was surprised by the McCarthy attack on Fisher and that Welch had not prepared his response. However, given the prominence of the Fisher issue and the bullying tactics of McCarthy, Welch must have thought that such an attack was possible. Moreover, during the course of the hearings before the actual attack on Fisher, Welch and St. Clair called Fisher from time to time to say that McCarthy had said he would tell “the Fisher story” and that Fisher should be prepared for same.

Any competent lawyer in that situation would have contingency plans at least in the lawyer’s own mind about what to do if the attack came. The videotape of this famous exchange shows an unperturbed Welch delivering his oft-quoted remarks without apparent emotion, supporting the notion, in my judgment, that Welch was not surprised and had prepared his remarks.

Indeed, some of the participants thought that Welch’s questioning of Cohn was designed to goad McCarthy into talking about Fisher and that Welch had rehearsed his defense of Fisher. For example, Roy Cohn said Welch’s conduct that day was “an act from start to finish.” It started with Welch’s “sarcastic, sneering, coaxing, taunting” insistence that Cohn and McCarthy rush to find communists “before the sun goes down.” McCarthy’s raising the Fisher issue, Cohn insisted, “played squarely into Joe Welch’s hands.” And one of Welch’s clients, John Adams, agreed: “Welch was a master actor. He was . . . conducting a theatrical performance.” Immediately after the hearing that day, Welch was overheard saying to another lawyer, “How did it go?”

Later that same day, Welch was observed crying outside the hearing room. Some thought it was provoked by the attack on Fisher. Cohn thought it was an act to engender sympathy for Fisher and the Army. I wonder whether they were genuine tears of anguish for Welch’s possibly baiting McCarthy to tell “the Fisher story,” i.e., for using Fisher to make a point for the client. There is no evidence to support any of these interpretations.

Soon after this encounter, Welch wrote to Fisher, “I have an agony of apprehension that I did less for you than should have been done. [But] I did all in my power. I allow myself to hope [the attack] did you little, if any harm. It could even be that it will do you good. I pray it does.”

Fisher subsequently issued a public statement acknowledging his membership in the National Lawyers’ Guild from 1947 through February 1950, when he resigned because of disagreement with its activities. He also expressed his concern over the possible effect of the attack on his reputation and his ability to make a living for himself and his family. (In fact, the attack toughened Fisher, and he went on to a distinguished legal career at the same law firm, eventually specializing in bankruptcy law. He was active in the American and Massachusetts bar associations, serving the latter as president in 1973, and in the Republican party.)

Near the end of that same year, the Senate passed a resolution condemning the Senator’s conduct, and Welch often was credited with hastening the downfall of McCarthyism.

Subsequent posts will review other aspects of Welch’s representation of the Army in the hearings, President Eisenhower’s participation in the hearings, the Army’s hiring of Welch as its attorney, Welch’s activities after the hearings and his background.[1]

[1] I interviewed Fred Fisher and James St. Clair in 1986 and have reviewed many source materials that document the assertions in this post. If anyone wants to see the bibliography of these sources, I will do so in another post at the conclusion of this series. Just make such a request in a comment to this or the other posts in this series.

EROS History

In 1966, the Department of the Interior announced it was launching a new endeavor with the revolutionary goal of gathering data about the Earth's natural resources using satellites equipped with sophisticated remote sensing instruments. Discover how EROS developed in tandem with the Landsat satellite program to become a world-renowned center for Earth observation and data products.

How EROS' Location Was Determined

When the idea of EROS was conceived, it was decided that it needed to be centrally located for receiving data as Landsat satellites passed over the United States. The choice for the Center's location was narrowed to several States. Ultimately, South Dakota was selected as the site for the Center, due in part to the role played by the late S.D. Senator Karl Mundt.

Who Uses the Data in EROS Archives?

Scientists, managers, and technical users from around the world, including the staff at EROS, use data from the archives for a variety of data applications and research programs.

EROS History Project

The EROS History Project set out to preserve as much historical information on EROS as possible, dating as far back as 1966. The web site was developed to enable the sharing of these historical documents (text reports, still pictures, and videos). While a significant amount of information exists on the site now, we will continually add to the site as we discover and preserve more and more history.

The site is organized by decade followed by tabs containing Documents or Videos. Individual decades may have additional categories such as Newsletters, Reports or Anniversaries. Pictures utilize a gallery approach.

Watch the video: Meeting of Senate Subcommittee on Investigations chaired by Senator Karl Mundt HD Stock Footage