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Cold War
(1947-1991)

Alger Hiss and the Pumpkin Patch Mystery



Alger Hiss and the Pumpkin Patch Mystery
Reading Level
     edHelper's suggested reading level:   grades 6 to 8
     Flesch-Kincaid grade level:   8.49

Vocabulary
     challenging words:    microfilm, testimony, testify, perjury, maze, military, incident, formerly, congressman, guilty, editor, history, advisor, prove, fans, various
     content words:    President Kennedy, Did Washington, Cold War, Whitaker Chambers, House Un-American Activities Committee, Un-American Activities Committee, Soviet Union, Alger Hiss, State Department, Activities Committee


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Alger Hiss and the Pumpkin Patch Mystery
By Sharon Fabian
  

1     History fans love a mystery. Who shot President Kennedy? Did Washington really chop down the cherry tree?
 
2     Here's another one. Were the Cold War "spies" really spies?
 
3     Consider the case of the secret in the pumpkin. It all started when a Times magazine editor, named Whitaker Chambers, was called to testify before the House Un-American Activities Committee. (The House Un-American Activities Committee was in charge of investigating people accused of helping the communists during the Cold War.) He admitted to previously being a member of the Communist party, and he confessed to passing on US government secrets to the Soviet Union.
 
4     During his testimony, Chambers accused Alger Hiss of stealing the military secrets that he passed on to the communists. He said that Hiss was a spy too, and that he had given the secret documents to Chambers.

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