To install click the Add extension button. That's it.

The source code for the WIKI 2 extension is being checked by specialists of the Mozilla Foundation, Google, and Apple. You could also do it yourself at any point in time.

Kelly Slayton
Congratulations on this excellent venture… what a great idea!
Alexander Grigorievskiy
I use WIKI 2 every day and almost forgot how the original Wikipedia looks like.
Live Statistics
English Articles
Improved in 24 Hours
Added in 24 Hours
Show all languages
What we do. Every page goes through several hundred of perfecting techniques; in live mode. Quite the same Wikipedia. Just better.

J. Parnell Thomas

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

J. Parnell Thomas
J. Parnell Thomas (January 1939)
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from New Jersey's 7th district
In office
January 3, 1937 – January 2, 1950
Preceded byRandolph Perkins
Succeeded byWilliam B. Widnall
Member of the New Jersey General Assembly
In office
Chairman of the House Committee on Un-American Activities
In office
Preceded byEdward J. Hart
Succeeded byJohn Stephens Wood
Personal details
John Parnell Feeney Jr.

(1895-01-16)January 16, 1895
Jersey City, New Jersey
DiedNovember 19, 1970(1970-11-19) (aged 75)
St. Petersburg, Florida
Political partyRepublican
EducationUniversity of Pennsylvania (1917)

John Parnell Thomas (January 16, 1895 – November 19, 1970) was a stockbroker and politician. He was elected to seven terms as a U.S. Representative from New Jersey as a Republican. He was later a convicted criminal who served nine months in federal prison for corruption.[1]

Early life and career

Born as John Parnell Feeney Jr. in Jersey City, New Jersey, he changed his name in 1919 to John Parnell Thomas. Raised Catholic, he later became an Episcopalian.[2]

After graduating from high school, he studied at the University of Pennsylvania. When the United States entered World War I in 1917, he served overseas with the United States Army. Following his discharge from the military in 1919, Thomas worked in the investment securities and insurance business in New York City for the next eighteen years.

He entered Allendale, New Jersey, municipal politics in 1925 and was elected councilman and then Mayor of Allendale, New Jersey from 1926 to 1930. He was elected to a two-year term to the New Jersey General Assembly in 1935. In 1936 Thomas was elected to the United States House of Representatives as a Republican Party Representative from New Jersey's 7th congressional district, filling the vacancy left by the death of Randolph Perkins. He would be re-elected six times.


As a U.S. Congressman, Thomas was a staunch conservative opponent of President Franklin D. Roosevelt and his New Deal, claiming the President's legislative agenda had "sabotaged the capitalist system." Thomas opposed government support for the Federal Theatre Project declaring that "practically every play presented under the auspices of the Project is sheer propaganda for Communism or the New Deal."[3]

In 1949 Thomas called the U.S. Secretary of Defense, James Forrestal, "the most dangerous man in America" and claimed that if Forrestal were not removed from office he would "cause another world war."[citation needed]


In the post-war period, Thomas called for a rapid demobilization of the American military. In 1946, he invited General Dwight Eisenhower to his office to discuss the issue. When he arrived, the general was faced with a table surrounded by soldier's wives, many holding babies. News photographers took photos of the furious Eisenhower.[4]


After the Republican Party gained control of the 80th Congress in the November 1946 elections, Thomas was appointed chairman of the House Committee on Un-American Activities (HUAC)–during that period, also called the "Thomas Committee." In May 1947, Thomas traveled to Hollywood to meet with film industry executives with a view to exposing what he believed was Communist infiltration of motion pictures content by members of the Screen Writers Guild. Returning to Washington, D.C., he shifted the focus of the committee to what he called the "subversives" working in the film business.

Under Thomas, in October 1947, HUAC summoned suspected Communists to appear for questioning. These summonses led to the conviction and imprisonment for contempt of Congress of the "Hollywood Ten" who had refused to answer the Committee's questions, citing the Fifth Amendment.

Corruption charges and imprisonment

Prominent American columnists Jack Anderson and Drew Pearson were critical of Thomas and his committee's methods.[5][6]

Rumors about corrupt practices on the part of Thomas were confirmed when his secretary, Helen Campbell, sent documents to Pearson which he used to expose Thomas' corruption in an August 4, 1948, newspaper article. The fraud had begun on New Year's Day of 1940, when Thomas placed Campbell's niece, Myra Midkiff, and Campbell's maid, Arnette Minor[7][8] on his payroll as clerks. Midkiff earned roughly $1,200 a year and was to kick back her entire salary to the Congressman. Through this practice, he would also evade a tax bracket increase.[9] The arrangement lasted for four years.[10] As a result, Thomas and Campbell were summoned to answer to charges of salary fraud before a grand jury.[9]

Thomas refused to answer questions, citing his Fifth Amendment rights, the same stance for which he had criticized accused Communists. Indicted, Thomas was tried and convicted of fraud, fined and given an 18-month prison sentence. He resigned from Congress on January 2, 1950.

In an ironic twist, he was imprisoned in Danbury Prison where Lester Cole and Ring Lardner Jr., both members of the "Hollywood Ten" were serving time because of Thomas' inquiries into the film industry.


After his release from prison, Thomas was an editor and publisher of three weekly newspapers in Bergen County, New Jersey. President Harry S. Truman pardoned Thomas on Christmas Eve of 1952. In 1954, Thomas tried to re-enter politics, but was defeated for the Republican Party nomination for Congress.


Thomas died in 1970 in St. Petersburg, Florida, aged 75, of undisclosed causes.[1] He was cremated, and his ashes were interred in the Elmgrove Cemetery in Mystic, Connecticut.


In the 2015 film Trumbo, Thomas is portrayed by James Dumont.

See also


  1. ^ a b Robert D. McFadden (November 20, 1970). "J.Parnell Thomas, Anti-Red Crusader, Is Dead. Headed House Committee on Un-American Activities Prison Sentence for Padding Payroll. Ended Career In Hiss Spotlight". New York Times. Retrieved 2011-09-19. J. Parnell Thomas, a seven-term United States Representative from New Jersey who gained national notice as an anti-Communist crusader in the late 1940s and later went to prison for padding his Congressional payroll, died here tonight after a long illness. He was 75 years old. ...
  2. ^ "University of Pennsylvania archives site". Archived from the original on 2018-04-23. Retrieved 2009-05-01.
  3. ^ Kanfer, Stefan (2011). Tough without a gun : the life and extraordinary afterlife of Humphrey Bogart (1st ed.). New York: A.A. Knopf. p. 90. ISBN 978-0-307-27100-6.
  4. ^ Halberstam, David (10 May 1994). The Fifties. 516: Ballentine. ISBN 0449909336.CS1 maint: location (link)
  5. ^ "The story of J. Parnell Thomas". 3 December 2009. Retrieved 15 August 2018.
  6. ^ Pohl, Robert S. (1 April 2012). Wicked Capitol Hill: An Unruly History of Behaving Badly. Arcadia Publishing. ISBN 9781614234036. Retrieved 15 August 2018 – via Google Books. Pearson accused Thomas of hiring Myra Midkiff, ostensibly as a stenographer, though she did not actually have to appear for work. All she had to do was...
  7. ^ "Rep. Thomas Indicted On Fraud Count". The Evening Independent - Google News. Retrieved 15 August 2018. The indictment alleged that Miss Campbell's niece, Myra Midkiff, and a maid in Miss Campbell's home, Arnette Minor, were carried on the Thomas office pay roll...
  8. ^ Bolling, Eric (27 June 2017). The Swamp: Washington's Murky Pool of Corruption and Cronyism and How Trump Can Drain It. St. Martin's Press. ISBN 9781250150196. Retrieved 15 August 2018 – via Google Books. ...showing he had been receiving kickbacks from a woman ostensibly hired to be a clerk, Myra Midkiff, who had a do-nothing job with Thomas since 1940.
  9. ^ a b
  10. ^ "J. Parnell Thomas". Retrieved 15 August 2018.

Further reading

  • Caballero, Raymond. McCarthyism vs. Clinton Jencks. Norman: University of Oklahoma Press, 2019.

External links

U.S. House of Representatives
Preceded by
Randolph Perkins
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from New Jersey's 7th congressional district

January 3, 1937 – January 2, 1950
Succeeded by
William B. Widnall
This page was last edited on 2 April 2020, at 08:20
Basis of this page is in Wikipedia. Text is available under the CC BY-SA 3.0 Unported License. Non-text media are available under their specified licenses. Wikipedia® is a registered trademark of the Wikimedia Foundation, Inc. WIKI 2 is an independent company and has no affiliation with Wikimedia Foundation.