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Alger Hiss in McCarthyism & Red Scare

Alger Hiss (1904-1996) was a high-ranking official in the State Department of Franklin D. Roosevelt. Hiss participated in the critical Yalta Conference at the end of World War II and also played an important role in helping to organize the United Nations. In one of the most notorious espionage trials of the twentieth century, he was later accused of being a Soviet spy.

In 1948, an ex-Communist named Whittaker Chambers accused Hiss of being a member of the Communist Party and a Soviet spy. Hiss, called to testify before the House Un-American Activities Committee, denied all charges. When Chambers produced evidence suggesting Hiss was lying, Hiss was convicted of perjury and sentenced to four years in prison. Though he insisted until his dying day that he was innocent, recently disclosed Soviet records suggest that Hiss was, in fact, a Soviet agent.

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