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Digital History ID 3414


In August 1948, Whittaker Chambers, a Time magazine editor and a former Communist, told the House Un-American Activities Committee that Alger Hiss, a former State Department official and president of the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, supplied Soviet agents with classified U.S. documents.

A federal grand jury indicted Hiss for perjury after Chambers produced a microfilm he had kept hidden in a pumpkin on his Maryland farm. The microfilm contained photographs of the documents Hiss allegedly passed to Chambers. Hiss's first trial ended in a hung jury, but in 1950, he was found guilty and sentenced to five years in prison. The Hiss case was offered as proof that there had been Communists in high government positions.

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