You could probably go far back in history and pick pogroms that were run against saying certain things disliked by the people in power. I would rather talk about the application of this theory during my lifetime. The first political use in this country was by the early communist and socialist parties to tout party lines as political correct (with little impact) they never really reached any strength.. Picked up in the early 70's by the liberal parties that focused on sexism and racism and later picked up by the conservative parties to counter the liberal success of modifying the acceptable language of the time.
That's as history shows it but in the real world things looked a little different to us folks living with it out there. To me being in the mid 30's at the time and having recently spent 11 years in the submarine service where language has a tendency to be on the rough side, it was a difficult time. Women's liberation was just starting to have an impact in the US and a lot of the political correct speech was aimed at changing the way we talked about and to women. The one particular that sticks in my mind of a sign of the times was the discussion from women about us men leaving the toilet seat up after use. Always seemed to me that should work both ways if they were seeking equality , shouldn't they then have left the seat up for me. Of course that's so trivial it serves to diminish my story. When in truth it should strengthen it because it points out the one little thing diminished the importance of the women's movement in my eyes.
Keep in focus please if you research the history of PC you will see that it has always been the ploy of political parties and used to sway the masses to their side.. Shame on us for falling prey to that trick.
1970 began the movement of women into the work force being told they deserved more than being labeled a housewife.. So off they trotted to jobs in offices and factories to find out in the end , hey this is just work there is not a lot of glamour to it. At the time most women found out they now had ,many jobs, their work job, housekeeper, mother, and sexual partner. Exhausting when you think about it. I have always believed the movement of women into the labor force had more to do with keeping the household income steady as men's wages were driven down. But at the time it was definitely PC to be in favor of liberating women I just never could see how that worked . The saying of that got me into a lot of debates that were generally not fun.
It developed into a very strong movement for awhile, limiting speech of any kind because some were afraid of offending this group or that.. It made public speaking risky business at the time.. As other forms of communication came into being , internet, cellphones, twitter, facebook etc.. PC kinda went away hidden on line, but remained active in public speech. When rap showed up PC for the common man went away , damn near anything could and was said hidden under the protection , it's just a song.
It's still used politically by both sides, who carefully craft their words using "WORDSMITHS" to craft their speeches to a particular audience, by picking word for word what turns that audience on. Drives me absolutely ape shit when I see Frank Luntz play an audience building a speech for a particular politician .. Both sides use em but Frank is the most well known. When he gets done with a speech you can't recognize it from the original.
So here we are in 2013 and PC speech isn't talked about much any more, perhaps because everybody is on their Twitter machine or Facebook and not talking out for us to hear.. Just as well if the crap on those things is what they have to say I ain't listening .. I still can't see how it is possible to bully on Facebook, shit it has an unfriend button , use the damn thing the bullying stops. Yeah I know that ain't PC but tough shit.