Looking Back At The Blacklist

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Looking Back At The Blacklist

It is not one of those anniversaries Americans care to celebrate. This fall marks 50 years since Washington began its disgraceful hunt for Communists in Hollywood. A group of screenwriters, dubbed the Hollywood Ten, were jailed back then for refusing to name names during their October 1947 testimony before the House Un-American Activities Committee (HUAC). After emerging from prison, the writers were blacklisted by an industry cowed into submission by rabid Commie hunters. At a recent ceremonial event in Beverly Hills, 82-year-old Ring Lardner Jr. (one of only two surviving members of the Hollywood Ten) read the moving opening statement he was not allowed to deliver before the HUAC in 1947. The following government documents, which total eight pages, track the persecution of Lardner, a two-time Oscar winner. The records include:

Page 1: Justice Department background memo.

Pages 2-3: D.C. Jail report.

Page 4: Gene Kelly letter supporting parole.

Page 5: Katharine Hepburn letter backing parole.

Pages 6-8: Transcript of unsuccessful parole hearing.