On this day in 1951 Julius and Ethel Rosenberg, an American electrical engineer and his wife, were found guilty by the Federal Court in New York of passing secrets about the atomic bomb to Russia. They would become the first American civilians executed for conspiracy to commit espionage.
In the history of frame-ups, this surely ranks as the first and foremost. It's also the only thing I ever saw my grandparents argue about. My grandfather was rabidly anti-communist; my grandmother was like me, and highly suspicious of the way governments witch-hunt minorities. Despite their agreement on the old maxim 'where there's smoke there's fire' my grandmother - an inveterate and critical media watcher - always had her doubts...
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