The Charlotte News

Wednesday, February 12, 1947


Site Ed. Note: The front page reports that a second Superior Court judge in Georgia, at McDonough, had ruled on the issue of the succession to the Governor's office, and, unlike the first judge the previous week in Rome, who had ruled Lieutenant Governor M. E. Thompson the rightful successor under the State Constitution, this judge ruled in favor of Herman Talmadge, elected by the Legislature to succeed his deceased father who had died in December before taking the oath of office. As with the first decision, this decision would be appealed to the Georgia Supreme Court.

Mr. Talmadge had stated that the first decision had been "collusive" and was handed down without his being aware of the hearing. Its object was to force members of the Parole Board to provide budgetary information to the rightful Governor.

A third case was pending, to be decided Saturday in Atlanta.

In England, emergency supplies of food were rushed by plane to remote villages isolated by winter storms during the previous month. The entire country, save the southwestern tip, remained ice-bound, the worst cold wave in more than half a century. The Ministry of Fuel & Power ordered the electricity restrictions extended to the entire country, including Scotland, previously excluded from the order that usage be cut five hours per day in residential units. Street lighting was to be restricted at night. The previously idle four million workers were now estimated to number five to six million in consequence of the industrial shutdown. Many of them were now on the public dole as a result. The Liverpool Chamber of Commerce warned that disaster was imminent—but because of the effect of the emergency, not its "affect", unless they were somehow enamoured of it or found it full of unduly pretentious ceremony.

Flying squads of police were on duty in Germany to break up crowds seeking to loot coal cars on rail sidings. Coal and grain shortages also threatened in Finland, as seaborne cargoes were unable to reach port. In Norway, frozen reservoirs endangered power supplies. Belgium and the Netherlands also reported increasing coal shortages amid frigid conditions.

We are glad to report, incidentally, that this night in 2014, a near disaster was averted by some swift thinking in the area of our old alma mater, beset as it was by a two-inch snow, causing traffic on the main artery leading to the rival institution twelve miles distant to bring earth to a standstill. A tradition in basketball between the two institutions, uninterrupted since 1920, without postponement of any sort of any contest, indeed, our institution, so far as we can find, never having had a complete postponement of a basketball game in the history of the sport at the school, originating in 1910, nearly came to an unceremonious halt in the snow. The rival institution's team bus was initially thought not capable of passing over the stretch of roadway to reach our school, so paralyzed was the passage. In consequence, the contest was abruptly postponed, until...

That's when quick thinking paid off. The coach of the rival team came up with the solution, contacting the dogsled team coach, affectionately known as "Sarge", and arranged his approval to have the dogsledders—the Blue Mounties, as they are dubbed in reflexively semiotic allusion by the students, "Cimmaron Crazies" to the sportscasters of the Winter Games—, transport the basketball team to the opposing gymnasium via the old roads in the backcountry, the existence of which, for disuse in the past 25 years or so, everyone had forgotten, except, of course, the Blue Mounties and the quick-thinking coach of the basketball team.

Calls were placed to conference officials and the NCAA, both organizations quickly approving the emergent use of the dogsled team outside the normal competitive environment, likewise receiving approbation, albeit sprinkled with a little opprobrium by way of caveat, from the institution's insurer, Blue Crossbow. It was assured to all that the dogsled teams would receive an extra large portion of chow before setting out on the expedition and that plenty of rations would be carried in case of becoming stranded somewhere in the wilderness of the Forest between the two rival institutions. And the race was on.

Well, they made it. And the game went on as scheduled, our team, amid mutual cold shooting in the first half, having pulled it out in the last minute and a half of play with a blistering hot performance, to come from three points behind to win 68-62, in a memorable contest of wills. The Blue Mounties then dejectedly carried the visiting team back to their native habitat, arriving, we are informed, at 5:00 a.m., after intermittent stops at taverns along the way in the backcountry, to take the chill off the bones, exchanging old stories the while, of days past and games of yore.

There is one thing you must say of this rugged, hearty, sturdy new generation of young men: through rain, snow, sleet and traffic stallers, nothing will stop the college basketballers.

We had thought for a bit, while it was being suggested that the game might be postponed, that so accustomed to the terms of winter under global warming had the generation become that harsher winters of days past had long been forgot. Why, back in our day, it used to snow about a foot per week, sometimes far more, and the roads were packed with ice about every day. Nevertheless, we always got to class, even from far out in the country. There was, parenthetically, we admit, that time in Charlotte, at the North-South Doubleheader of 1969, when the snow became so deep after the games, thirty-three feet, we recall, that we did lay back a day on Sunday and did not return to our classes until Tuesday. But that was a little different, requiring a treacherous passage over 80 miles of turf, unsuitable to the dogs.

Today's youth being of a tough and imaginative sort, ready at the drop of a hat to meet exigent circumstances in a heartbeat, we had confidence that someone would come up with a creative solution, and they did. It is only too bad that for all that effort and creative thinking, the visitors came away with a loss.

Well, fellows, sit back, relax, and have an ice cold Coca-Cola. You'll have your chance at Cimmaron in three weeks. We shall always remember, though, that 68-62 win in the blizzard of 2014, with 48 feet of snow on the ground.

The secretary of Col. Jack Durant, accused of taking the Hessian crown jewels valued at 1.5 million dollars, continued her testimony before a Military Tribunal in Washington, stating that the jewels she had brought into the country for Col. Durant looked to her as cheap, ordinary jewelry. She said that she had received no remuneration for the task, and had not been instructed to conceal anything.

Ambassador O. Max Gardner, who had passed away suddenly of a heart attack the previous Thursday morning, hours before departure for London to assume his new post, left $587,000 in bequests for educational and charitable purposes. He left $25,000 to endow an annual professorship at the Consolidated University and $250,000 for the Gardner Foundation, set up for charitable and educational purposes. His Will was filed in probate in Shelby this date. The remainder of his estate was left to his widow and three children. The full value of the estate was believed to be in the millions.

In Raleigh, Governor Gregg Cherry was perusing the 52-page magazine report contained the previous day in The News, regarding the state's health care. The report had been popular with Legislators and found its way to the Governor.

A bill was introduced in the Legislature to hold a statewide referendum on controlled liquor sales.

In Hollywood, actress Diana Reed, daughter of silent screen actor Donald Reed, obtained a divorce from a film editor who, she reported, "started getting mean".

Perhaps, she wound up on the cutting-room floor one too many times.

The judge asked her how long she had known her husband before the pair were married and when she replied that it had been only two months, the judge told her that she had gotten what she asked for.

In Los Angeles, a nightclub owner became somewhat perturbed when he discovered a man following him after he had withdrawn from the bank two five-hundred dollar bills. When he reached his club, he punched the alarm bell, only to find that the man approached him and handed him the two bills which he had dropped.

In New York City, a sign of normalcy was seen by the fact of candy being sold in drug stores under signs which read, "Nickel candy now 5 cents."

On the editorial page, "The Value of Academic Freedom" finds it distressing that such a noteworthy citizen as John W. Clark of Greensboro, a member of the Board of Trustees of the University of North Carolina, was advocating that the University turn down a $30,000 donation from the Rosenwald Foundation on the basis that it was for the purpose of encouraging equality among the races.

Mr. Clark further had launched into an implicit defense of the late Eugene Talmadge and Theodore Bilbo, and their atavistic racial views regarding white supremacy. He believed that the North Carolina press, in attacking these views, had not provided the true facts of either case.

Frank Porter Graham, president of the University, had responded to Mr. Clark by asserting that the Rosenwald Foundation had made no attempt to interfere with academic freedom or control the way studies pursuant to the grant would be conducted.

There were faculty members who supported Mr. Clark's views and those who opposed them. That was the essence of academic freedom and that which had nurtured the University's reputation and attracted top faculty members despite lower pay than many other competitor institutions of higher learning.

It reminds of the difficulties experienced by the University of Georgia when Mr. Talmadge had previously been Governor.

"The Flood of Local Legislation" reports that 188 bills introduced thus far in the 1947 session of the Legislature had been local in nature, still fewer than the usual average, 60 to 70 percent having been of such character in the previous session of 1945. It finds this volume overburdening the duties of the legislators, and advocates revision of the laws to relegate to the counties and cities measures which directly affected only those citizens.

"Abe Lincoln and the Ape Boy" tells of a boy in Chicago who had been saved from the taunts of his classmates as an "ape boy" by a plastic surgeon. It compares the experience of the homely Abraham Lincoln and his slovenly dress and lack of formal schooling. Yet, even 82 years after his death, people looked upon his countenance and saw only the unmistakable mark of character, wisdom, wit, strength, and tolerance.

"No plastic surgeon on earth could have improved upon that face; the scalpel is no substitute for character."

Drew Pearson tells of there having been many blacks invited to the White House from the time of the Emancipation Proclamation in 1863 until the conclusion of Reconstruction in the latter 1870's, after which there was a lapse in such White House invitations until the Hoover Administration, when President Hoover invited Oscar de Priest, a GOP Congressman from Chicago, to have tea. That invitation had raised a furor, especially among Republicans.

Eleanor Roosevelt had invited many black guests to the White House, as had the Trumans. The previous week, a lone black guest had been invited to a large assemblage of three and four-star generals, including General Eisenhower and Admiral Nimitz. Brigadier General B. O. Davis was the only black general in the Army.

Secretary of State Marshall made a special point, skipping the two chiefs of staff, to greet General Davis. After he had broken the ice, many others within the group, led by Congressman Paul Kilday of San Antonio, stepped forward to shake the General's hand.

He next relates of a 75-million dollar loan to the Philippines having to be negotiated by the President to obtain the approval of Secretary of the Treasury John W. Snyder and Undersecretary of State Will Clayton, both on the National Advisory Council, the approval of which was required for the loan, made by the RFC. The original term of the loan was 3.5 years, but when informed that the Philippines could not possibly repay it in that time, given its war-torn condition, the President had to convince Mr. Snyder and Mr. Clayton that a longer term was needed. They agreed to five years, with the possibility of renegotiation at that point if the loan could not then be repaid.

He next tells of Commodore Jake Vardaman, a member of the Federal Reserve Board, waging a campaign to have Federal Reserve chairman Marriner Eccles lift all credit controls on installment buying. Commodore Vardaman had been a successful wheeler-dealer previously for his personal benefit. Other members believed the restrictions should remain as a hedge against inflation. Currently, the restrictions applied to all goods costing more than $50, requiring a third down and no more than twelve months to pay.

Marquis Childs reports that Senators Arthur Vandenberg of Michigan and Eugene Millikin of Colorado had met with Secretary of State Marshall and Undersecretaries Dean Acheson and Will Clayton to arrange a compromise on reciprocal trade agreements. The agreement allowed for full disclosure of the reasons for tariff reductions as well as the establishment of a Tariff Commission, to which appeals could be taken by unions or trade organizations claiming harm from a tariff reduction. There were also other agreed provisions.

It was likely that Senator Vandenberg would have a difficult time getting the approval of many of his fellow Republicans, those who wished to take the world back to the time of high tariffs during the McKinley Administration at the turn of the century. Yet, the chances of success for the plan were good.

Labor M.P.'s from Britain had of late been warning that unless trade barriers were reduced, Britain would have to turn to preferential trading.

Tariff agreements had a three-year duration and so if the Republicans could be brought onboard, things would be fine for a short time, until the Reciprocal Trade Act would expire in mid-1948.

If there was difficulty, leading to economic isolationism, political isolationism would inevitably follow. The Republicans could ill afford to move backward when they claimed the right to the future.

Harold Ickes again finds Robert Hannegan not up to the job of DNC chairman and hopes that he would resign from that post and as Postmaster General and return to St. Louis from whence he had come. He compares James Farley to Mr. Hannegan in managing the Democratic Party as Mt. Ararat would compare to an ant hill.

But were there diamonds in the anthill?

He relates of the announcement by Mr. Hannegan that the President would run for the job in 1948, communicated in a restaurant in New York on February 7. The restaurant was owned by Bernard "Toots" Shor, who had been caught with too many ration books for meat, fats, and oils in 1943. The reason Mr. Shor's establishment was used to disclose the intention to run was to try to attract the nightclub vote and the big city machines to the Truman camp. Mr. Shor had already been invited to a White House luncheon in late January by Mr. Hannegan.

Mr. Ickes finds this political strategy to be fumbling, hopes that the President would replace Mr. Hannegan with someone of the caliber of Leslie Biffle.

A letter writer seeks to re-write the Gettysburg Address to embrace the world.

A letter from the executive secretary of the National Association of Women's and Children's Apparel Salesmen, Inc., advises that prices on clothing were not in fact declining but values were improving, with inferior fabrics used during the war now being shunned by the manufacturers.

Ralph McGill of the Atlanta Constitution tells of fishing, finding a dead pelican, asking another fisherman what had happened, being informed that some "jerks" routinely took a piece of board, attached mullet to it, and then let it go on a fish line behind the boat, until a pelican would come by and dive at the mullet, breaking its neck. The jerks would laugh at the spectacle.

Mr. McGill finds such jerks regularly cropping up everywhere in the society, sometimes finding it funny to break a man's neck. The Nazis had become that way, thought it funny to hear the screams of the women and children as they ushered them into the showers and listened as they succumbed to the gas pellets.

"After the pelican floated in, the place wasn't the same. And I left."

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