The Charlotte News

Wednesday, March 19, 1947


Site Ed. Note: The front page reports that the Georgia Supreme Court had decided 5 to 2 that the State Constitution provided for the succession of the Lieutenant Governor as Acting Governor until an election could be held in 1948, following the death of Governor-elect Eugene Talmadge the previous December. Son Herman Talmadge, who would go on to be elected Governor in 1948 and eventually become Senator, was thus, for the nonce, denied the Governor's Mansion after his election by the Legislature on the premise that the gubernatorial vote was nullified by the death of his father, leaving it to the Legislature to elect an interim Governor. The Court rejected that interpretation of the State Constitution.

Mr. Talmadge said that he was preparing to vacate the Executive Office and Mansion as soon as everything could be packed up. He also stated that the people would ultimately decide the case.

The Court essentially upheld the position which outgoing Governor Ellis Arnall had championed, attmepting to hold the office from Mr. Talmadge until Lieutenant Governor M. E. Thompson could be sworn in. He had been ousted from the Executive Mansion and the Governor's Office by State Patrolmen operating under the direction of Mr. Talmadge in the hours following the Legislature's election of Mr. Talamdge in the wee hours of the morning.

At the Moscow Foreign Ministers Council meeting, V. M. Molotov disagreed with the American and British position that the Potsdam declaration on reparations superseded the Yalta agreement on the subject. He also said that Russia would not accept the plan for economic unity of Germany without reparations, but that with reparations, it would be acceptable.

Foreign Secretary Ernest Bevin rejected the Molotov proposal for ten billion dollars in reparatiuons from Germany on the premise that Britain did not accept specific dollar amounts for reparations. He revealed that Prime Minister Stalin had advocated a program by which reparations would come from capital goods, particularly factories in the Western zones. The West had so agreed and believed the matter of reparations had been settled thereby at Potsdam in July, 1945.

Senator Alexander Smith of New Jersey wanted the State Department to reconcile President Truman's request for aid to Greece and Turkey with the U.N. Charter, requiring peaceful settlement of all international disputes.

President Truman asked the Congress to extend Government controls over exports for another year, until June 30, 1948, lest the removal of controls increase the cost of living by increasing domestic shortages.

John L. Lewis agreed not to call a strike after March 31, pursuant to the Supreme Court decision of the previous Wednesday which had held that 2.8 million dollars in fines imposed for contempt by the Federal District Court against the UMW would be remitted if the strike were called off. He thus withdrew his previous notice that the Government contract would be terminated.

In Los Angeles, a woman was found in the bushes of Elysian Park, beaten, bleeding with her skull gashed. She was the fifth such victim in recent weeks. She had met a man and went with him to the park but refused his pleas to accompany him home. He then attacked her and rendered her unconscious.

In Kannapolis, N.C., a 22-year old member of a prominent family jumped in front of a Southern Railway train and was killed the previous night. A few hours later, his eighteen-year old wife was found with her throat cut, apparently having been murdered with a Marine-type knife.

The Joint Appropriations Committee of the General Assmbly approved an appropriation for 3.79 million dollars to fund the construction of a new four-year medical school and teaching hospital at the University in Chapel Hill. It would be supplemented by 1.5 million dollars in Federal funds. Other money was appropriated also for construction of hospitals and medical centers throughout the state, to be matched by local and Federal funds.

Tom Fesperman tells of the druggist at the Charlotte Drug Co., located at Trade and College, inviting him to see a "whatchamajigger" he had never seen. He called the other pharmacist over to show it to Mr. Fesperman. It was a pill-roller, said the pharmacist, used before pharmaceutical companies made pills.

The pharmacy had been in the same location since right after the Civil War. There were no headache powders in those days. A doctor would write a prescription and if it worked, they would continue to use it. They had a soda fountain in the old days with Vichy water for upset stomach. It was pretty bad and so people had to be in the grip before consuming it. There were only about a dozen doctors in town.

They had prescriptions dating back 75 years in one book. Others hung on spike files. They were the new ones, dating only from 1910.

They insisted that Mr. Fesperman write that the pharmacy might be the oldest in the state, that if he declared it the oldest, they would be jumped on for it.

In San Francisco, KYA and KSFO left the air when announcers went on strike. KSAN and KJBS, plus KLX and KROW in Oakland, were involved in the dispute but remained on the air. What about KGYM in the place that isn't there?

Readers of the puzzle page may have a go at a new puzzle, "Quicky Trickie".

It will only take you several more decades to figure that one out completely, though it will begin to come clearer starting in 1973.

On the editorial page, "Limitation That Doesn't Linger" discusses the State Constitutional limit of 15 cents per hundred dollars of property valuation which could be utilized for general purposes. The result was that special taxes to support special functions had been created.

The Mecklenburg delegation to the Legislature had propsoed such a special tax to support the County Police Department via a ten-cent levy, evading thereby the Constitutional limit.

The maneuver suggested the need for an amendment to provide more flexibility to the Constitutional limitation, to enable muncipalities to function without such special laws being passed by the Legislature to meet local needs.

"The Theory of Group Libel" comments on a suggestion some weeks earlier in an editorial by Norman Cousins in The Saturday Review of Literature that libel laws be extended to protect minorities against racial defamation by publication of malicious falsehoods.

The Saturday Review received more than 200 letters in reply, including some from leading public figures, Bernard Baruch, Senators Arthur Vandenberg, Joseph Ball, and Elbert Thomas, Representative Frank Matthews, Federal Court of Appeals Judge Learned Hand of New York, and others. Only Mr. Baruch had expressed the belief that such a law would be workable in a democracy. The others, while sympathetic, viewed it as impractical and contrary to free speech and press doctrine.

Senator Vandenberg offered that an established view of race, anthropologically and historically, would first have to be determined to constitute "the truth" as a standard to judge falsity, the first requirement for defamation. Labeling a group as inferior could then be deemed defamatory. The Senator believed that it would be a dangerous precedent, his primary objection being that free speech meant free speech, without abridgement.

Indeed, one could foresee opening the door to an established and accepted theory of racial superiority of certain groups and having it then be deemed defamatory to assert the contrary—a legal nightmare.

Representative Matthews contended that the Constitution provides that all men are free and equal and thus makes no room for special rights for anyone. The rights specifically protected from government alienation belong to individuals, not groups.

Judge Hand had pointed out that the minority group offended would have to show damages to each individual member, an endless track. Punitive damages could be awarded, but he favored elimination of all punitive damages, not broadening of the category, as they were theoretically intended to punish the civil wrongdoer rather than to benefit the party harmed. It left only criminal prosecution as a remedy for group defamation. But there would never be adequate evidence adduced to meet the high burden of proof in a criminal case. Juries would be ill-equipped dispassionately to deal with the complexities of expert testimony regarding the various competing historical and social theories presupposing as hypothesis and purporting to prove one stance or another on race. Such trials would only intensify reaction to the discordant voices on both sides which had precipitated the libel and offense to the libel in the first instance.

Suppression of ideas, good or bad, he believed, only added to their vitality. The resolution of the problem belonged in the realm of education, "the slow advance of the spirit of tolerance", not law.

The piece concludes that the editorial had likely defeated the concept it supported. But the reaction showed that some of the nation's leaders still clung tenaciously to the Founding principles, under attack from both the right and left.

"The Legislature's Housing Shortage" tells of a shortage of space for the General Assembly to work at the State Capitol. One solution was to build two new wings, but that was met with protest by the state's historical societies, wanting to preserve the Capitol Building, constructed in 1840.

Another suggestion was to preserve the building as a museum and construct a new building around the corner. That was regarded as dead for lack of enthusiasm.

Eventually, a modern General Assembly Building was completed and opened in 1963.

A piece from the Salisbury Post, titled "Something New Has Been Added", comments on the unusual circumstance presented by the Buncombe County Junior Chamber of Commerce in Asheville sponsoring an ABC store election. Usually, groups on one side or the other of the liquor issue acted to sponsor such elections.

Candidly, we don't care what you do with your liquor or where you put it, but, whatever you do, let's get it over with and get this story off the pages of the newspaper. It's patently boring, like a drunk.

Drew Pearson tells of a secret session of the Republican conference attended by 44 of the 51 Republican Senators to hear discussion by Senator Vandenberg regarding the proposed aid to Greece and Turkey and why it should be supported. He took questions and then gave the stock answer that he would provide a response at the hearings. Only two Senators, Wayne Morse of Oregon and Raymond Baldwin of Connecticut, pledged full support of the proposed aid. Most others expressed doubt of the wisdom of intervention in the Near East. They wanted to know why the aid should go to Greece and Turkey and not other places such as China, where Communism also threatened.

Some complained that it had been reported that Foreign Secretary Bevin had informed Secretary of State Byrnes the previous October that the British would need to pull out of Greece but that nothing had been told to Congress until the President's conferences in advance of the March 12 speech to a joint session.

The primary fear being expressed was that once such a policy was inaugurated, there would be no end to it, and other nations would expect such loans.

He next relates of a testy exchange between Representative Harold Knutson, chairman of the House Ways & Means Committee, and member Walter Lynch of New York, regarding obtaining by Mr. Lynch of a copy of a transcript to which Mr. Knutson was referring during a hearing. At first contending that he only had the one copy, Mr. Knutson finally gave in to Mr. Lynch's persistent prodding and stated that he should have a copy before he passed out. Mr. Lynch then stated to the four-decade older Congressman that he would not do so before the chairman.

Mr. Pearson notes that Mr. Knutson was not allowing any other tax bill to be considered by the committee before his own proposing a twenty percent across-the-board cut. Republican members were becoming agitated because they knew the bill had no chance of passage, wanted to introduce more moderate measures

He next notes that Senator Vandenberg had offered a lift to Senator Taft back to the Capitol after visiting at the White House with the President. Senator Vandenberg said they could take Senator McKellar's car, referring to the limousine inherited from the Senator from Tennessee when Mr. Vandenberg succeeded him as president pro tempore of the Senate the previous January. The limousine was formerly that of the Vice-President.

Marquis Childs discusses the U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization having sent a mission, comprised primarily of Americans, to Greece to study the needs of the country, issuing a report regarding the primary need for stimulus to agriculture through a program of hydroelectric power dams and irrigation projects, to be financied in part by the International Monetary Fund and World Bank. It also recognized the need for funding from other sources, such as that recommended by the President, urging 250 million dollars in U.S. aid.

A commission had been sent to Greece by the Security Council to study the unrest in the north. A split, however, had developed between the Eastern and Western members of the commission as to what to do in response. It suggested that the U.N. was not ready to handle such a complex situation, as the President had implied in his March 12 speech.

Nevertheless, every effort ought be made to use the U.N. in the effort to rebuild Greece. The loan proposed by the President would provide the financial foundation for action on which the U.N. then could be called to provide help and guidance in implementing.

Samuel Grafton tells of the American problem appearing to be that Congress could not determine what it needed to do. On the one hand it bragged of free enterprise while on the other, it proposed to take away collective bargaining rights of labor. It touted the country's high standard of living while doing away with price control and now seeking to abolish rent control, proposing to grant tax cuts to the wealthy, all to the end of contributing to inflation and a higher cost of living, lowering the standard of living for the average American.

The problem carried over to the new foreign policy. On the one hand, the country wanted to be known worldwide as a beacon of freedom and democracy while also propping up royalty in Greece to act as a bulwark against Communism. Supporting labor unions in Greece would go further in that direction.

He concludes that the country had not yet decided whether to oppose Russia by moving sharply to the right or remaining morally secure in the country's own freedom. The indecision was paralyzing.

Harold Martin writes a piece in The Atlanta Constitution in which he instructs that not long before, Montana Slim and Hackensack Red had sung the song which went:

Going down the road a-feelin' ba-aa-ad,
Oh, goin' down the road a-feelin' bad,
An' I ain' go'n be treated this away.

They had sung other lyrics, such as "I'll be seein' you in all the old familiar places." But the one about the road, with the additional line, "going where the water tastes like wine", was the one to which people had listened more than any of the others back in 1930. It was the one Mr. Martin had liked best. The road then was full of wandering minstrels with guitars, such as Clancy Connell from the University of Iowa.

The times were tough, jobs were available as long as one did not mind washing dishes or the like. Boys sold magazines to put themselves through college. He had sold magazines.

He and a buddy were wandering and figured out an angle. They spotted a kindly looking lady on the front porch of a large house and offered to do work in exchange for room and board. She directed them to a dumpy little room which was the Waldorf to them. She then then sat down and figured what they could do to earn their keep.

That, he posits, was the way things were in those days. People were kinder than they were at present. They were caught in a common misery which they did not understand and pulled together as a result. He thinks, in that respect, it was a better time than 1947.

Louis Graves of The Chapel Hill Weekly writes of Wallace E. Caldwell having had to take the Pasteur treatment for rabies after his dog gone mad had. He wondered, should he go mad, whom he might bite first.

A neighbor who may have had contact with the gone dog mad but did not partake of the 14 injections was told by another neighbor that it did not matter, for if he were to go mad, no one would notice.

This night, incidentally, the 1947 N.C.A.A. Basketball Tournament would begin in Kansas City with the first round of the West Regional. Texas would beat Wyoming 42 to 40 and Oklahoma would beat Oregon State 56 to 54. The following night, in Madison Square Garden, the first round of the East Regional would take place, with eventual national champion Holy Cross beating Navy 55 to 47, and CCNY topping Wisconsin 70 to 56. Both regional finals would be held the following Saturday, with the national finals to be held the ensuing Tuesday in New York.

Two-time defending national champion Oklahoma A & M was not invited to the eight-team tournament in 1947, having lost their star Bob Kurland to graduation, though finishing with a respectable 24-8 record and tied for second in the Missouri Valley Conference. A school had to be a major conference champion in those days to have any hope of landing a spot in the limited fields of either the N.C.A.A. or N.I.T. tournaments, admitting of only a total of 16 teams. Indeed, none of the other three 1946 final four teams, North Carolina, Ohio State, and California, were invited to either tournament in 1947.

N. C. State, winner of the Southern Conference Tournament, played in the N.I.T. in New York, beating St. John's 61 to 55, before losing to Kentucky in the semi-finals, 60 to 42. State would capture third place by winning the consolation game against West Virginia, 64 to 52. Utah would beat Kentucky 49 to 45 for the N.I.T. championship. The other three participants were Long Island University, loser in the opening round to Kentucky, 66 to 62, Duquesne, loser to Utah, 45 to 44, and Bradley, loser to West Virginia, 69 to 60.

Each of the tournaments vied with one another in those days for the greater prestige. Today, as everyone agrees, the N.I.T. is the accepted arbiter of quality. Our team rarely makes it, having been only six times, the last being in 2010, a year after having won the inferior tournament, a feat repeated by Kentucky last year. It appeared they might for awhile this year, our team and the pre-season number one Kentucky, but the prospects faded for both as the season progressed, yet our team shading back into contention a little in the A.C.C. Tournament, but not enough. Well, there is always next year.

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