In the summer of 1949, the Cold War came to Peekskill, New York, as two proposed Paul Robeson concerts were marred by the protests of local veterans' organizations. The protests exploded into violence as area residents joined in the protest. This event provides important insights into the nature of American anti-communism in the early Cold War. The riots, and anti-communism in general, have long been portrayed as the result of political manipulation. This text suggests that it is more a rational response to local, national and international events than it is a product of political conspiracy. The author seeks to rectify the usual overly-simplified view by examining the cause-and-effect relationships that led to the events, within the larger context of the Cold War.