The first recorded death in the Cold War occurred on Aug. 25, 1945 — one week before VJ Day — when Chinese Communists murdered a Baptist missionary and United States Army Captain named John Birch. Although the U.S. State Department tried to cover up the details of his death, the story was related in the book, The Life of John Birch, written by Robert Welch in 1954.
Four years later, Welch named the anti-Communist organization he founded the John Birch Society after the young man who had inspired him so much. The organization, whose motto is, “Less government, more responsibility, and — with God’s help — a better world,” became one of the most vilified groups in U.S. history.
Like Senator Joe McCarthy before them, they must have been doing something right.
— Chip Wood