A "marked change" had come over Congressman J. Parnell Thomas, he told the doctors. The onetime fire-eating chairman of the House Un-American Activities Committee was just in no shape, he insisted, to stand trial in federal court on charges that he padded his congressional payroll. Ever since he had been operated on for peptic ulcer, he said, he had suffered from depression, sometimes wept, had phobias about seeing people, driving a car and going to the barbershop.

Since the trial had already been postponed ten months, District Judge Alexander Holtzoff appointed doctors to check up on Thomas' health. They reported:


Want the full story?

Subscribe Now


Get TIME the way you want it

  • One Week Digital Pass — $4.99
  • Monthly Pay-As-You-Go DIGITAL ACCESS$2.99
  • One Year ALL ACCESSJust $30!   Best Deal!
    Print Magazine + Digital Edition + Subscriber-only Content on

Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!