From Westminster, Maryland, came the news on Wednesday that an electrical fire had occured at the farm of Whittaker Chambers, the onetime Communist and journalist whose testimony in 1948, and “pumpkin papers” evidence, led to the conviction of former State Department official Alger Hiss on perjury charges, in the case which propelled Richard Nixon to national prominence. According to Chambers’s son John, the farmhouse in which his father wrote his classic account of the case, Witness, was damaged, but plans are already underway to repair it. The farm is now a National Historic Landmark.