The Charlotte News

Tuesday, March 11, 1947


Site Ed. Note: The front page reports that the President's address to a joint session of the Congress the following day on the proposed aid to Greece and Turkey would recommend 250 million dollars for Greece and 150 million for Turkey.

Senator Arthur Vandenberg of Michigan, chairman of the Foreign Relations Committee, who had met twice with the President on the matter, stated that he was withholding judgment until he heard the President's full statement. He had told his fellow Republican Senators in a meeting the previous night that he believed the proposed aid to Greece would not be an isolated gesture but would be the forerunner to a general policy of such aid to countries which were threatened from within and without by Communist forces. He said that his colleagues had wanted to know from the President in the meeting the previous day why aid should be given to Greece and not to the Chinese Nationalists of Generalissimo Chiang Kai-Shek fighting the Communists.

In Moscow, France and Britain sided with the United States at the Foreign Ministers Council meeting against the Russian attempt to place China on the conference agenda. The Western powers asserted that China should be represented at the table if the matter was to be discussed.

In Peoria, Ill., the president of the Toledo, Peoria & Western Railroad had been murdered by shotgun, following threats against his life. The railroad was in the midst of a seventeen-month strike by the Railroad Brotherhoods. Two pickets were killed and three wounded on February 6, 1946 at Gridley, Ill., and four railroad guards were later acquitted on charges of manslaughter in the shootings. The president of the railroad had regularly denounced the picketers from a railroad car.

The navigator aboard a TWA Constellation was sucked out of the plane's broken bubble top over the Atlantic Ocean, 500 miles away from Gander, Newfoundland, heading for Geneva. Constellations were equipped with a bubble canopy to permit observation.

In Tokyo, the second of two G.I.'s died from drinking anti-freeze. Two others of thirteen who had consumed the lethal mixture were in critical condition.

In Los Angeles, a one-time Paramount Studios copyright legal expert was found bludgeoned to death near City Hall, and a few hours later, the body of a second woman, clad only in a nightgown, was found on a river bed in Norwalk, having been strangled by an electric cord. A railroad section hand, who had reported finding the body in the earlier incident, was detained on suspicion of murder. The victim appeared to have been raped. The man was arrested because he had lipstick on his lips, explaining that he had knelt and kissed the corpse on the mouth before reporting the find to police. He denied having anything to do with the murder.

So, being a good Boy Scout, he attempted CPR. What's the big deal, copper?

The report remarks that the Black Dahlia case, the slaying of Elizabeth Short, remained unsolved, as was the trampling death of a nurse and aviatrix, whose body was found obscenely inscribed with lipstick on February 10.

In the latter case, the assailant wrote out "Tex" and "B D", with an extruded lower loop on the "B", resembling a pregnant woman's abdomen, after providing, above the initials, the overly familiar salutation. Investigators thus initially believed the murder to be connected with the January 15 murder of Ms. Short. The February 10 murder also was never resolved.

Of course, with that kind of skimpy connection, one could try to connect even the 1969 murders at the home of Sharon Tate to the 1947 spate of crime in Los Angeles. And, in one sense, though not literally, they might well be interconnected. Anyone who can read, can read a newspaper account, even from twenty-plus years earlier, or watch a news retrospective or a movie, and attempt a kind of sordid practical joke on authorities, consciously or subconsciously plotted, the latter usually based on long forgotten memories which nevertheless still reside in the mind and of which one must always be aware as that little Devil telling you to be witchy. You are not being witchy but grossly transparent, with malevolent intent, long repressed, only awaiting an excuser on whom blame may be placed, to shift responsibility for the "B" to act at the behest of the "D", with a little Rosemary and thyme thrown in for good measure.

In Cincinnati, a five-story building collapsed and buried five men underneath it. All the buildings in the Bottoms Area where the building was located had been undermined by flooding of the Ohio River.

In Frankfurt, Germany, an Army M.P., originally of Charlotte, in the Army since 1943, was detained on charges of shooting to death another M.P. after the latter tried to arrest him for having a woman in his quarters at Mannheim.

The State House approved a second reading of the record-breaking tax revenue raising bill, designed to raise 311 million dollars. At the same time, a record-breaking 355 million dollar appropriations bill was proposed to the House.

The proposed cross-town boulevard route along Westmoreland Avenue in Charlotte—to become Independence Boulevard—was to be brought before the City Council on the afternoon of this date. The estimated share of the City's cost for construction of the project would be $253,000, one-third of the total, the rest to be shared by the State and Federal Governments.

Tom Fesperman tells of two trains nearly crashing head-on in Charlotte beneath the moon, averted by an alert signalman, all transpiring in the basement of a man who, along with three other men, ran five trains down there on a regular basis.

In Chicago, Freckles was discovered to have consumed three half-dollars, two quarters, and a penny, $2.01 total. Whether he could also give change in nickels was not disclosed. The money was removed and he was okay.

On the editorial page, "How Divided Is the GOP?" tells of RNC chairman Carroll Reece pleading with the Republicans of the Old Guard to unite with the Young Turks, much as had Robert Hannegan pleaded with the conservative Southern Democrats a year earlier to unite with the Northern Democrats. The effect had been the same: Senator Wayne Morse of Oregon insisted on voting his conscience, as had Senator Clyde Hoey, for instance, on the other side of the aisle a year earlier.

But the Republicans were divided over method more than ideology. Most Republicans were conservatives. They wanted to reduce taxes, but had trouble in agreeing to the specifics. The Democrats, by contrast, were comprised of two distinct wings, one liberal, one conservative, and so the division ran deeper.

Mr. Reece was concerned because the Republicans were not conservative enough, but the piece suggests it would be awhile before the party would desert the standards held by Presidents McKinley and Harding.

"Harry and George on the Road" tells of the grand welcome afforded President Truman in Mexico, perhaps a welcome warmer than President Roosevelt ever received abroad. The reason was likely Mr. Truman's simplicity and disregard for protocol.

He appeared to have gone to Mexico essentially on whimsy, in response to the invitation of the Mexican Ambassador, with whom the President had established a close friendship. The result had been that the President had truly enjoyed himself during the trip and the Mexicans had sensed it.

The press had been uniformly praising of the good will generated by the trip. It suggested that the trip would be the first of many such "Good Neighbor" visits by the President, implying that there was little the President could do in Washington. But that was where his first duty lay.

King George of Britain also was touring South Africa, with reported good results, but that diplomacy was part of his royal duties, not so with the President.

"Communists and Civil Liberties" opines that the attempts to deny Communists civil liberties in the country through the witch hunts just beginning in Congress would be a sure way to make Communists into martyrs and garner for them sympathy. As it was, according them basic rights presented no threat to the American system.

The Winston-Salem Journal-Sentinel had afforded advertising to the party as had the Raleigh News & Observer, on the premise that it was a political organization. The North Carolina Legislature had heard from Sam Hall, head of the North Carolina Communist Party, but on the premise that he was a private citizen entitled to be heard. The New York Times had given two rolls of newsprint to the Daily Worker, to tide it over during the newsprint shortage. These gestures were appropriate, it thinks, and consistent with the American system. To suppress Communist ideas would be to make them more attractive. The Czars of Russia had learned the lesson the hard way.

A piece from the St. Louis Globe-Democrat, titled "Exiles Always Weep a Little", tells of a Columbus, Ohio, editor who had tried to telephone to Eire to find out how things were in Glocca Morra, finding it did not exist. It was the stuff of dreams, as surely as "My Old Kentucky Home".

Everyone preserved romantic visions of their long, lost native homeland and preserved same in song and story.

You know the one that goes, for instance, "Ain't it just like a friend of mine to stab me ruefully in the back from behind..." You know that one. You know it only too well. They only sing the other version, which you have heard, down at the Zoo.

"Get away while we sing of Glocca Morra. For there is a bit of exile in all of us and 'by the waters of Babylon' we would sit down and weep."

Incidentally, we think we may have mentioned once before that in April, 1970, we were on our way to see the film "The Damned", when, it having become apparent that the parking lot behind Thalheimer's—in which one hot August afternoon in 1965, in the backseat of the same car which we drove in 1970, albeit before the spray job, we had perused for the first time the inner sleeve of the album version of "Help!", having purchased it then in the notch of the tree down the street—was full, we had to venture onto another street from Thalheimer's which we assumed to be two-way, in fact one-way, and, being directed to Turn from that street into the bank, we so followed the command, only to turn into the right fender of the car in the left lane. We never saw "The Damned", it having been half over by the time everything was sorted out. We went to play Putt-Putt instead.

Drew Pearson tells of John L. Lewis, shortly before the adverse decision by the Supreme Court the previous Wednesday, having appeared to have a premonition of the outcome as he gave a talk before various Senators and Congressmen at an elkmeat dinner given by Kingman Brewster, father of future Yale president, Kingman Brewster, Jr. The senior Brewster was a tax lobbyist. Mr. Lewis urged the Congress to return to free enterprise, away from the oppressive tactics being followed by the Government. Senator Albert Hawkes of New Jersey replied that, while agreeing that it was necessary to return to voluntary cooperation, it was up to labor to save free enterprise.

The Senators had been puzzled by the dinner, ostensibly given to honor former Senator Burton Wheeler of Montana, a long-time friend of Mr. Lewis.

He next tells of freshman Congressman Jacob Javits of New York having risen to ask during House debate on the emergency deficiency bill whether enough would be allotted to allow OPA to continue administration of rent control. He was told by John Taber of New York, chairman of the Appropriations Committee, that there would be, provided the money was handled wisely. When Mr. Javits, however, subsequently found out that there was not enough money appropriated for OPA, he took the unusual step of appearing before the Senate Appropriations Committee to ask for the allotment. Such a stance, while courageous, did not endear him to the reactionary Republican leadership.

Marquis Childs suggests that as John L. Lewis began testifying before the Senate Labor Committee a day after the Supreme Court decision had gone against him the previous Wednesday, he was initially appearing downcast, in the form of Hamlet. But as he got going, he appeared more in the vein of King Lear, an aging monarch seeing the forces of the world seeking to destroy him. He became expansive and verbose, his usual role.

When Senator Taft had suggested that he was an autocrat in the UMW, he responded that he had read reports that the Senator was pushing around the Republicans in Congress but would not draw any conclusions therefrom unless he had a chance to discuss with him their truth or falsity. Laughter followed from the spectators. When the Senator responded that one could not push around 51 Senators, Mr. Lewis said, "Methinks the Senator doth protest too much."

But the truth was that UMW, like other such large unions, had fallen under concentrated control at the top. It was the underlying reason why the Government had controlled the coal mines since the previous May.

The operators were contending that they could not sign a contract with UMW to provide the health and welfare fund benefits which the Government contract provided. They might wait out the June 30 deadline when ownership would revert to the operators.

The Senate was considering breaking up monopoly control in the union by prohibiting industry-wide bargaining and requiring only local bargaining. But they also had to consider breaking up the concentration of power within industry, itself.

Samuel Grafton, still at sea on his return voyage from Europe, tells of Americans being kings on the sea, while the British were treated as second class citizens, with the British pound being in such tenuous condition that the ship's bank would not accept the checks of British passengers. The British were limited to carrying 75 pounds with them across the ocean.

The British first class was migrating to America to escape the economic woes of Britain. There was discussion on the ship among both Americans and British as to what to do about the situation. In the end, however, all agreed, both Americans and British, that they were glad to be Americans.

These British would not dare criticize America and relished talk of the prospects of a Republican victory in 1948.

The only dissenting voice came from a European who predicted that when the forces of evil took over the Continent, America would be unable to act because of its being a democracy, war thus being too difficult to declare.

A piece by Margarette Smethurst, from the Raleigh News & Observer, comments on the finding that 100,000 North Carolina white students were not receiving adequate education in the public schools. She asserts that poor performance on standardized tests, however, was the result of more than just sub-standard teachers. She lays the blame on elementary school teaching methods. The system had to monitor the mental growth of each child as they passed through the educational system.

Part of her complaint, we suggest, may have been, and still may be, generally throughout the educational system of the nation, not teaching and requiring students, full of hormonal energies and action beyond their immediate control, to sit still for a little while each day and re-read their script which they have presented for their teacher, quite usually in first draft form, half-drafted in the first instance. Re-reading is the key to elimination of the bulls, the gaffes, exploiting others for full effect, and insertion of the proper punctuation, all of which Ms. Smethurst complains. Re-reading once, twice, ten times if necessary, to achieve full self-impact as seen through the eyes of others, is prerequisite to achievement. That is a little time consumptive, but once one gets the hang of it, also quite entertaining, provided one has the capacity for self-evisceration and, in the process, self-amelioration, instructive repeatedly also of the realization that one is not more, as well the omnipresent thematic necessary to a reasonably long and happy life no matter the pitfalls thrown in one's path: cogito ergo sum on the Cartesian plane.

So that a younger, computer-driven age group should not think themselves, however, overly achieving, should they follow such instruction, beyond their parents and grandparents who had no such advantage from the time of their younger years, we remind that in 1947 and through the mid-1980's, the self-editing process had to be accomplished through rude rudiments of the old-fashioned cutting and pasting, or through squigglies manifested on the face of the original draft, of which likely only the author could make heads or tails, then dutifully transcribed to its final edition, with or without headphones adorning the editor during the final transcription phase, yet never during orginal composition and editing phases.

Perhaps, however, in that hardship, might derive the better form of creativity blossoming in youth, to be realized soon or late, that the useful tools of the computer may be destroying the necessary basic utilitarian building blocks of trial and error in slow motion which informs youth with that springboard, degraded perhaps significantly during the past 30 years or so, to the point that thinking is at a premium. When not exercised daily, it becomes effaced from the mental landscape.

We also recommend highly that the student study Latin assiduously in high school, to make better use of the English language, in written and verbal form.

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