Historical Notes: Death of the Witness

In the summer of 1948, a squat, rumpled man took the witness stand before the House Un-American Activities Committee and made a series of accusations that changed the temper of his times. The accuser was a journalist named Whittaker Chambers. The accused was Alger Hiss, a longtime high-ranking State Department official who had been at Franklin Roosevelt's side at Yalta and had helped to write the Charter of the United Nations.

Chambers' sensational charge: he and Hiss had once worked hand in glove for a Communist spy ring operating in Washington during the...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now

Subscribe
Subscribe

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 TIME.com

Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

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