The warming of U.S.-Soviet relations and the crumbling of communist parties' control in
Eastern Europe are changing they way we look at the world. But sixty years ago, most
Nebraskans spelled "Communist" with a capital "C." The Communist threat was widely
perceived, and was the subject of debate on the floor of the Nebraska Legislature.
One newspaper editor opined: "Although the state legislature at Lincoln committed a serious
blunder in its consideration of a bill which would have barred the communist party for the
ballot in Nebraska, the consideration of the bill brought to light some interesting side glances.
"The motion to postpone action on the measure was made by Marion J. Cushing (Republican)
of Ord. This astute representative made the amazing statement that communists in America
are of minor importance. They are fewer in number than they were a year ago and until the
organization encroaches upon us there will be sufficient time for restrictive legislation of this
kind, Mr. Cushing asserted. It appears he would wait for the snake to strike before crushing
"However, it is fortunate for the reputation of the legislature's intelligence and for the state at
large that this wishy-washy view was not indulged in by all of those present. Representative
G. R. Curry of Arapahoe assailed the communists and declared rightly that their objective
was no domination of America. The speaker said that eight organization meetings had been
held by international leaders of the Russian communistic party within Nebraska since
January. There is no reason to doubt this statement and we cannot agree with Mr. Cushing
that 'there will be sufficient time for restrictive legislation.' We believe that the political
snake should be crushed at once.
"Representative Curry read from a report of the congressional committee appointed to
investigate communistic activities, and said, 'If ever there was a time when America should
rise up it is now. You can't expect to meet this enemy in the open. They only operate
through destructive underground channels. They are headed for your home and your farm.'
"And Curry is right." -- Sarpy County Agriculturist