John Howard Lawson was dragged forcibly from the witness chair during his stormy testimony in Washington during the fall of 1947. As during state legislative hearings Lawson denied his Communist Party membership, but he had hardly been evacuated from the busy sanctum on Capitol Hill when a congressional investigator unveiled a “registration card No. 47275 made out in the name” of Lawson. Not only Red Hollywood but also Liberal Hollywood initially viewed these congressional hearings as a clear and present danger. Lawson and his comrades thought they had a sound case, since being a Communist theretofore had not been embraced warmly but certainly had not been used as a predicate for imprisonment. House Un-American Activities Committee (HUAC) proceeded in its crusade to discredit Red Hollywood. Some stars were seized with fear about the otherwise mundane.
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