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Pumpkin Patch

June 01, 1988

Your editorial concerning designating Whittaker Chambers' farm a historic landmark ("Pumpkin Parable," May 25) asks "did the microfilm contain any secrets worth stealing?"

Victor S. Navasky's book "Naming Names" (Viking Press, 1980) describes the three rolls of microfilm that played a pivotal roll in the Hiss trial and that were not made public for security reasons until 25 years later via a Freedom of Information Act suit. One was blank, the other two were instructions by the Department of the Navy on the use of fire extinguishers and life rafts.

Surely we can create a better historic landmark than one to innuendo, McCarthyism and witch-hunts.

NATALIE ROESCH

Huntington Beach

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