▼ Drawing Conclusions A How did the Loyalty Review Board pose a threat to civil liberties? PAUL ROBESON Paul Robeson was an all- American football player and Phi Beta Kappa member at Rutgers University. After earning a law degree in 1923, he began a distinguished international career as a singer and actor. He was a vocal civil rights activist, and he was sympathetic to the Soviet culture and political philosophy. In 1950, when he refused to sign an affidavit indicating whether he had ever been a member of the Communist Party, the State Department revoked his passport for eight years. During that time, he was unable to perform abroad and was blacklisted at home. His income fell from $150,000 a year to $3,000 a year. 823
N O W N O W T H E N T H E N In response to the hearings, Hollywood executives instituted a blacklist, a list of people whom they condemned for having a Communist background. People who were blacklisted—approximately 500 actors, writers, producers, and directors—had their careers ruined because they could no longer work. B THE MCCARRAN ACT As Hollywood tried to rid itself of Communists, Congress decided that Truman’s Loyalty Review Board did not go far enough. In 1950, Congress passed the McCarran Internal Security Act. This made it unlawful to plan any action that might lead to the establishment of a totalitarian dictator- ship in the United States. Truman vetoed the bill, saying, “In a free country, we punish men for the crimes they commit, but never for the opinions they have.” But Congress enacted the law over Truman’s veto. Spy Cases Stun the Nation Two spy cases added to fear that was spreading like an epidemic across the coun- try. One case involved a former State Department official named Alger Hiss. ALGER HISS In 1948, a former Communist spy named Whittaker Chambers accused Alger Hiss of spying for the Soviet Union. To support his charges, Chambers produced microfilm of government documents that he claimed had been typed on Hiss’s typewriter. Too many years had passed for government pros- ecutors to charge Hiss with espionage, but a jury convicted him of perjury—for lying about passing the documents—and sent him to jail. A young conservative Republican congressman named Richard Nixon gained fame for pursuing the charges against Hiss. Within four years of the highly publicized case, Nixon was elected vice president of the United States. Hiss claimed that he was innocent and that Chambers had forged the docu- ments used against him. However, in the 1990s, Soviet cables released by the National Security Agency seemed to prove Hiss’s guilt. Analyzing Causes B Why was Hollywood a target of anti-Communist investigations by Congress? 1954 In 1954, the Communist- hunting senator Joseph McCarthy, in U.S. Senate hearings that were televised live, accused the U.S.