Chambers and Hiss Testify Before HUAC
|The work of the House Un-American Activities Committee took a startling turn on August 3, 1948, when Whittaker Chambers, a senior editor of Time magazine, testified that he had previously been part of a large communist spy network that had been operating within the U.S. government since the 1930s. He submitted a list of those he knew to be members of this ring, but one in particular caught the public’s attention—Alger Hiss. Hiss was at that time chairman of the influential Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, but during World War II he had held a high-level position in the State Department, and had played a prominent role in the creation of the United Nations.
To many skeptics Chambers’s story seemed too fantastic to be true, and two days later Hiss appeared before HUAC to rebut the accusation. At first he denied ever having met Chambers, but eventually claimed to have known him by the name of George Crosley. He further claimed to have sublet an apartment to this man Crosley, and even to have given him an old car, but staunchly denied ever having provided him with classified documents.