June 19, 1953
Ossining, New York
Julius and Ethel Rosenberg are executed for selling top-secret nuclear bomb plans to the Soviet Union
The couple had many supporters who believed the Rosenberg were victims of Cold War propaganda. However, after the fall of the USSR, information regarding the pair was declassified. The information detailed Julius’ role as a courier and Soviet recruiter while Ethel was an accessory.
The Rosenberg’s children are currently campaigning to have their mother legally exonerated of the espionage charge, claiming Ethel was simply aware of her husband’s actions but had no part in them. They also believe their father was guilty of conspiracy, but not of the more severe crime of atomic spying and should have not been handed the death penalty.
The general consensus among historians is that the Rosenbergs were guilty but railroaded in the heat of the second Red Scare. As Alan Dershowitz, Harvard law professor, succinctly wrote, the Rosenbergs were “guilty – and framed.”
(Article pictured is a reproduction found in Front Page: A Collection of Historical Headlines from the Los Angeles Times, 1881-1987)