The Charlotte News

Saturday, January 25, 1947


Site Ed. Note: The front page reports that the Aroused Citizens of Georgia, a group formed to protect the election by the Legislature of Herman Talmadge, were calling for a grand jury investigation of claims that legislators had been solicited for acceptance of bribes by forces supporting both Lieutenant Governor M. E. Thompson and Herman Talmadge, to vote on succession of Mr. Talmadge's deceased father as Governor, after the elder had died in December prior to taking office. Several legislators had reported the attempts, Jack Flynt claiming that he and another member were offered $100,000 not to vote for Mr. Talmadge, though subsequently Mr. Flynt abandoned the claim on the high figure, saying instead it was a "substantial amount". The Georgia House Speaker stated that he intended a thorough investigation of the claims.

Mr. Flynt, incidentally, eventually served 24 years in Congress, from 1954 to 1979, having been defeated in the 1978 election by future House Speaker Newt Gingrich, who had attempted unsuccessfully to unseat Mr. Flynt in 1974 and 1976.

Prime Minister Josef Stalin had rejected a proposal by Field Marshal Lord Bernard Montgomery for an exchange of student-officers on the premise that the public would view such an exchange as preparatory to war. Field Marshal Montgomery felt otherwise.

A million Poles had been returned to Poland during 1946 and 1.6 million Germans had been expelled.

In London, a Rome-bound Spencer Airways plane had crashed, killing twelve of 23 people aboard. The crash occurred right after takeoff in a light snow from Croydon Airport, the plane then faltering and pitching to earth where it burned. Three of the dead were nuns. The eleven survivors had managed to leap from the plane as the wind blew the flames away from them.

In Atlantic City, the American Economic Association predicted a recession but no major depression for 1947. Inflation, it said, would pass its high mark during the year.

OPA ruled out across-the-board rent increases, but raises on a hardship basis to landlords would be allowed.

The Senate confirmed former Labor Secretary Frances Perkins as a member of the Civil Service Commission.

In New York, two men were convicted of fraud against the Government in connection with black market meat, totaling 12.26 million dollars worth of fraud. Each faced up to 273 years in prison and $590,000 in fines.

Good luck. Hope the judge has a heavy roast beef lunch before sentencing.

In Miami Beach, Al Capone was reported to be in critical condition, under an oxygen mask.

Don't burn your feet.

In Elmore City, Okla., a family found oil on their alfalfa farm, with the oil gushing at the rate of 100 to 200 barrels per hour. The family had barely gotten by on the alfalfa crop. Sohio Oil Co. had leased the rights and was paying handsome royalties to the family, already having received $21,000.

They could probably afford now to move to Beverly Hills.

In Los Angeles, soprano concert vocalist Mary Crawford Reed, known in the 1920's, had died.

Dick Young of The News tells of the Recorder's Court, following a preliminary hearing, binding over for trial in Superior Court two defendants accused of murdering local bootlegger Herman Satinover on the previous Monday, when he punched the eventual shooter in the face after coming to the house where they were playing poker, claiming that someone had insulted his sister. The other man had held Mr. Satinover while he was shot once in the stomach after a first shot missed. The State called only one witness, but the defense called three witnesses of the State to get the entire evidence before the court, and to gain its own discovery of what would be presented at trial.

The defense stated its intended defense to be self-defense.

Good luck. Perhaps you can load the jury with WCTU people who won't pay too much attention to your own clients' state of sobriety at the time of the shooting.

It is, incidentally, quite remarkable that a preliminary hearing of any kind, let alone one for murder, would take place within a week after the event. But such was the shape of things in 1947.

Associate editor of The News Harry Ashmore had been awarded by the North Carolina Newspaper Institute a $100 cash prize for first place in feature story writing for his editorial, "Mr. Jones Goes to Washington", a piece in November on Hamilton C. Jones becoming the district's Congressman. Bill Sumner of the newspaper had won third place for a photo of Bernard Baruch and Josephus Daniels when both were in Charlotte the previous year for Harry Golden's Carolina Israelite Brotherhood Week awards. Harriet Doar, former woman's editor of the newspaper, won honorable mention for a piece she had written on the problems with the average church wedding.

Staff of the Charlotte Observer had also won awards, Hal Tribble for his reporting on the kidnapping of a four-year old girl by her nurse-maid a year earlier, and Legette Blythe for revelations regarding the public schools and the plight of the homeless veterans.

The awards were presented by Governor Gregg Cherry.

In Newark, N.J., a female nightclub singer reported having her curls snipped by a man as she rode home on a bus. She did not realize it until she got home. A dozen women and girls in the Washington area had reported such snipping as they rode busses. The press had dubbed the individual in the latter instance "Jack, the Snipper".

On the editorial page, "A Beautiful Friendship, He Says" comments on the President's statement of looking forward to cooperation with the Republican Congress, finding it out of joint with the facts of the moment.

The Republicans had blocked the Democratic attempt to halt the investigations of war profiteers by abolishing the War Investigating Committee, a move favored by the President who had once been its chairman.

The Republicans were favoring high tariffs, excluding Democrats from the House Ways & Means Committee hearings on reciprocal trade.

The House was in a stew about a $125,000 shortage in its bank account at the end of the previous Congress.

Thus, the public perception was that of a President flat on his back being trampled by the opposition, not cooperation.

"A Tremulous Rebuttal" tells of at least 750 North Carolinians having suffered injuries from firecrackers during the Christmas season, based on a survey of only about 11 percent of the state's physicians. Loss of hands and eyes had been reported. It represented a first in official reporting within the state on this annual problem.

The Legislature had responded with three bills to restrict the sale of fireworks. But they were being opposed by the manufacturers. One bill would disallow the TNT bomb and other dangerous pyrotechnics from being sold to young people.

Future interim Senator and longtime Congressman, State Senator Alton Lennon of New Hanover County, told the fireworks industry that they brought the legislation on themselves by selling such dangerous fireworks. The piece thinks the people would likely agree.

Well, at least so far, they had not sold anyone a rocket launcher or an atom bomb.

"All Talk and No Vote" discusses the City Council's deliberations on how liquor revenue would be divided if and when an affirmative vote in a referendum was recorded on controlled sale. The Council expected the referendum to occur in 1947. The piece hopes that it would take place and would pass, to replace the system in place which only spawned bootlegging and its attendant criminal activity, did not reduce the presence of drunkenness in the community, simply made it tax free.

A piece from the Salisbury Post, titled "Reflections on Legal Liquor", tells of a referendum petition being circulated in Rowan County on controlled sale of liquor. The piece, for the usual reasons, favors its passage.

Drew Pearson tells of wasteful indecision by the Navy brass at the Solomon's Island, Md., ordnance development center and nearby mine test base. The Navy first decided to eliminate the latter base and keep the ordnance center, then reversed that decision on both counts, then again reversed itself, each time undertaking clearance and construction at substantial costs. Meanwhile, construction of veterans housing went wanting for lack of building materials.

He next tells of Senator Alben Barkley imparting to Chip Robert of Atlanta that Mr. Barkley's new moustache was admired by the ladies, that they reacted to it as rabbits to a brier patch.

Given that Mr. Barkley was 69, we do not wish to form that mental picture just now.

Though he hailed from Kentucky, the Aroused Citizens of Georgia might have comment upon it.

A former Congressman, Charles Dewey, had accidentally stepped on the President's instep during a recent social function, then apologized, saying that he did not realize he was stepping on the President. Mr. Truman stated that it hurt just the same.

If wartime excise taxes were not removed on matches, then druggists and tobacconists would stop giving away the ten billion books annually at a cost of 35 million dollars, $35 per business.

Recently, the Pullman car carrying General Eisenhower from Florida was switched to another track upon his return to Washington and uncoupled, to prevent the public from seeing him, a practice not followed recently by other Army chiefs of staff.

The column credits Stetson Kennedy and his book Southern Exposure for practically rendering extinct the racist, anti-Semitic, Klan-like Columbians, Inc., of Atlanta.

Marquis Childs discusses Secretary of Commerce Averell Harriman, a wealthy liberal in politics. He had been chairman of the Union Pacific Railroad since 1932 and had been accused by the Farmers Union of being responsible for the so-called Western rate deal among the railroads, against which the Justice Department had filed suit, though not naming Mr. Harriman. He had been in Russia on a mission for FDR when the deal was made in 1943, but had been quoted as approving it, albeit by railroad union personnel, such as A. F. Whitney, head of the Trainmen's Union, inimical to the President since the previous spring when the President strong-armed an end to the railroad strike by threatening draft of labor. But Mr. Harriman, at least tacitly, did not deny his involvement in the Western agreement.

The pending Bulwinkle bill, of which Mr. Childs wrote the previous day, would likely pass the Congress, eliminating the Justice Department's challenge to the Western agreement by allowing railroads to fix rates irrespective of anti-trust laws. It remained an open question, however, as to whether President Truman would sign the bill.

Rail freight rates determined whether industry would locate to particular areas of the country and so were quite important to regional economic development.

Mr. Harriman was likely supportive of the legislation. But the President was leery of control being exerted by bankers on any entity, and the concern could prove decisive as to whether he would sign the bill. It might still, of course, be passed over his veto.

Samuel Grafton tells of Sir Stafford Cripps complaining about the quality and quantity of American films being exported to Britain. They were deemed both insipid and lacking in realism, showing, for instance, veterans living in nice, clean houses in nice, clean neighborhoods, with good jobs and plenty to eat. Such fare reached skeptical audiences in Britain where shortages remained.

The American Military Government in Germany was practicing baseball diplomacy, teaching the game to Germans with fair success. But others thought it would be better simply to kick the Nazis out of high places.

Another avenue of teaching democracy was through reciprocal trade agreements. But Senator Arthur Vandenberg of Michigan was attempting to provide farmers and businessmen more voice in how these agreements were constructed, which, for self-interest, meant fewer tariff reductions, fewer pacts, and less reciprocity. Other Republicans were far more strict than Senator Vandenberg on the issue, some working to repeal the pacts outright.

The American ideal could not spread around the world very effectively if the latter policy were followed on trade. It implied a retreat toward isolationism, not as fully as after World War I, but a retreat nevertheless. Such efforts as exporting movies and baseball would not substitute for economic amity.

Bertram Benedict tells of Senator Vandenberg warning the President of the Republican opposition to reciprocal trade agreements and advising the President to proceed slowly in reducing tariff rates. The State Department was holding hearings on agreements with eighteen countries, to last probably into February.

Under the 1945 Act, the President could reduce tariffs by up to 50 percent of the rates existing at the start of 1945. That Act would not expire until June, 1948, but Congress could terminate the authority earlier. Republicans were willing to go along with the President's authority for the present, however, if undertaken judiciously, a change of attitude from earlier years when the GOP had opposed the reciprocal trade agreements.

He covers some of the history of the agreements back to the turn of the century and earlier Republican support for them.

A letter from the director of the Charlotte Youth for Christ tells of the group having been formed years earlier by the former police chief, Walter Anderson, to combat juvenile delinquency in the community. The organization was not connected to the Youth for Christ, International, though it had sympathy for its goals. The President had endorsed the national organization, as had many leading ministers.

He stresses that the organization did not support Gerald L. K. Smith or other individuals—Mr. Smith having recently publicly stated his support for the national organization. A letter writer had inquired as to whether the Charlotte chapter had anything to do with Mr. Smith and his anti-Semitic ideas. The editors had assured the writer that their knowledge of the organization indicated the contrary.


Framed Edition
[Return to Links
Page by Subject] [Return to Links-Page by Date] [Return to News<i><i><i>--</i></i></i>Framed Edition]
Links-Date -- Links-Subj.