The Charlotte News

Thursday, March 20, 1947


Site Ed. Note: The front page reports that in response to a question by Representative Mike Mansfield of Montana, Undersecretary of State Dean Acheson predicted that the aid to Greece and Turkey being urged by the President to halt the spread of Communism, would not result in war. He added that collapse, however, of the two countries could lead to war by setting off a chain reaction in other countries.

Such was the foundation for what later came to be called the "Domino Theory", the primary justification for America's ultimate full-scale military entry into Vietnam in 1964.

Mr. Acheson stated that it did not necessarily imply that like aid would be given to other countries in similar straits. Aid might be provided other countries in different ways.

He stated that the Administration was considering how the U.N. could handle the problem after the present emergency in Greece had passed. He said that the U.S. did not intend in Greece to try to step into the shoes of Britain. There was no intention of sending American military personnel to the country, only aid for its own military.

He told Senator Henry Cabot Lodge of Massachusetts that no specific figure of 500 million dollars had been discussed with respect to the expense to maintain troops in Southern Korea, for which the U.S. had occupation responsibility. He later told reporters that no meeting had occurred the previous night, as reported, with Secretary of War Patterson and Secretary of the Navy Forrestal, discussing such a figure for Korea.

In Salonika, Greece, John Zevgos, the Communist Minister of Agriculture in the Cabinet of George Papendreou in 1944, had been assassinated by gunmen on a street corner at 1:00 p.m. Christos Vlachos, 30, was arrested and questioned in the assassination. He said that he was a member of the O.P.L.A. execution squad of the Communist Party. Police quoted him as saying that he killed Mr. Zevgos for causing his suffering in the mountains while a guerilla. The assassination was seen as a sign of a rift among the Communists. Mr. Zevgos had been the leading Communist in Salonika and one of the party's most fanatical followers. He had been a leader in the guerilla revolt against the Government in 1944 in the wake of the ouster of the Nazis.

Secretary of State Marshall gave notice that he would propose that Austrian Government representatives come to Moscow to consult on the drafting of the Austrian treaty. Meanwhile, the first rift between the Western representatives at the Foreign Ministers Council meeting occurred when French Foreign Minister Georges Bidault stated that France would not agree to economic reconstitution of Germany absent independence of the industrial Ruhr.

In Nuremberg, American lawyers announced that twenty German industrialists who had worked for I. G. Farben during the war had been linked to sending of workers to Oswiecim crematorium when they were deemed unfit for work in the Farben synthetic rubber plant next to the camp. The industrialists were soon to be charged with war crimes and the death penalty would be sought in the cases. It marked the first time that industrialists had been directly linked to war crimes.

The State Senate defeated a bill to establish a state minimum wage of 40 cents and a maximum work week of 48 hours. Coupled with the session's previous outlawing of the closed shop in the state, it gave the Assembly a decidedly anti-labor cast.

Attorney General Tom Clark petitioned the Supreme Court to grant immediate review of the Federal District Court ruling denying portal-to-portal pay to employees of Mt. Clemens Pottery Co. in Mt. Clemens, Michigan, the subject of the previous decision by the Supreme Court finding that the pay was available under the 1938 Wages and Hours Act, that portal-to-portal time was required employment time on the job. The Federal District Court had found in the instant case, however, that the time in question was de minimis, only amounting to seven minutes per day, and thus not compensable under the law.

Congressman Harold Knutson predicted, after a closed door meeting with Republicans of his Ways and Means Committee, that agreement would be reached for a 26 percent tax reduction for persons with taxable incomes up to $1,000 and that all other taxpayers would receive at least a 20 percent reduction, except the small number, estimated to be less than a thousand, earning more than $302,000, those to receive a 10.2 percent reduction.

Governor M. E. Thompson of Georgia told the Legislature that Herman Talmadge had bolted the Democratic Party, and he criticized the white-supremacy legislation which Mr. Talmadge had championed. He assailed Mr. Talmadge and his backers for seizing the state for his own selfish advantage. He warned that he might veto the white-only primary legislation, making the primary a private function of the party. He also said, however, that he favored the white-only primary, but wanted it accomplished with rigid education requirements for voting and provision of separate polling booths for whites and blacks. He believed that the legislation as written would lead to fraud at the polls.

It was the first speech by the Governor since he had been declared by the State Supreme Court the previous day to be the legal successor to Governor-elect Eugene Talmadge who had died in December before taking the oath of office.

In Philadelphia, there was still no resolution to the mystery of the origin of the $92,800 in small bills found in the basement of a couple's home where they had lived for 25 years. The employer of the owner, a bookkeeper, wanted the matter resolved as it had fueled a rumor that the money came from illegal black market operations. The employer had been fined previously for illegal possession of sugar stamps.

Tom Fesperman tells of visiting Police Headquarters in Charlotte. He had known the amiable dispatcher for many years. They had always called him "Doughnut" as far back as school days, and still did. He obtained the moniker from the other kids calling for doughnuts from the pie man. Eventually, the kids started calling each other "Doughnut" and the appellation as applied to him had stuck. Around his church, they called him "Shakespeare". In school, they had been studying the Bard and he would recite some lines, and other students then called him "Shakespeare". He could not recall any Shakespeare, however, to recite presently.

A call came in to have someone repair a stuck storm drain in Eastover before it caused an accident. He took care of it.

In the Eastern part of the state, people called him "Preachin' Pete". He did not know why. At the hotel uptown, they called him "Mac". He did not know why. He had about nine or ten nicknames.

Mr. Fesperman never did find out the actual first name of his old acquaintance.

Sports editor Ray Howe would, in the ensuing three days, provide a continuing report on the progress of the tenth annual Greater Greensboro Open golf tournament. Many of the same stars would participate in the Charlotte Open the following week. Charlotte's own Clayton Heafner figured to have a prominent role in the outcome of the GGO. Whether, however, it would turn out a faux pas remained to be seen. It perhaps would depend on whether his betrothed would properly bless his faux play. Or whether his to flay once would as much a slice to quick the bank's woe in trap as twice to Rutland 'ld cut the cliff's ford apple roan from roe as scorn from hitch to tow, like unto a babe at its mother's pap will.

On the editorial page, "Georgia's Pretender Is Unseated" finds former Governor Ellis Arnall given to hyperbole in his statement in reaction to the Georgia Supreme Court decision of the previous day finding that the Lieutenant Governor properly succeeded the deceased Governor-elect Eugene Talmadge under the State Constitution, not son Herman Talmadge elected by the Legislature. The former Governor had said that the decision proved that stealing was still unlawful in Georgia and that the people's rights had been vindicated.

The decision did reaffirm, however, orderly government in the state and Governor Arnall deserved great credit for his stand in January against the "usurper" Mr. Talmadge and the Legislature.

But the decision could not undo the mess left behind by the two months of limbo during which Herman Talmadge had signed into law several pieces of legislation, presumably void, but still in need of decision by the courts. The legislation, however, would simply be re-enacted by Mr. Talmadge's supporters in the Legislature who had elected him in the first instance.

Lieutenant Governor M. E. Thompson likely would ride with the tide, having already endorsed the policies championed by Eugene Talmadge, including the all-white private primary system. He would not be a protege of the progressive Ellis Arnall who had put through the Constitutional amendment to abolish the poll tax in Georgia. Mr. Thompson had a working relationship with former Governor E. D. Rivers, another reactionary.

Regardless of the victory for the people, the government they would obtain from it would be little different from that which had been in office since January.

"The Merchants and Parking" tells of the Merchants Association having endorsed the proposed legislation to authorize parking lot construction and operation of off-street facilities by the City. The piece supports the plan, to alleviate the limited downtown parking and consequent congestion on narrow streets.

"The De-Hexing of Stephen Richardson" tells of a voodoo witch doctor having placed a spell on a man in Franklin County, causing the husky farmhand to begin to waste away for want of appetite. Nothing had tasted good to him anymore, even milk. Doctors could not find anything wrong with him physically. The doctors at Duke Hospital diagnosed the condition as paranoid schizophrenia.

The witch doctor, 70 years old, then shifted his spell to another man, Willie Mitchell, who did not take kindly to the notion, took a shotgun and killed the witch doctor.

Publicity on the case led to a New York hypnotist arriving to free Stephen Richardson of the original spell. A magician from Durham also dropped in, to call up the spirit of the witch doctor to release the spell. They both agreed that it had been successfully challenged. The subject of the spell also agreed.

The piece wonders, however, what would become of Willie Mitchell who had used the more direct approach to release the hex.

A piece from the Richmond Times-Dispatch, titled "Science, Spare That Monster", suggests to the scientific community that it leave the sea monster of legend to the depths of the imagination, half hoax, half possible reality, rather than elevate it to a captured specimen to be poked at and eyed with a disbelieving skepticism by the public.

The Saturday Evening Post had published an article recently which had chronicled the legend and found that the sightings in various places which could not have been interconnected during the previous fifty years had related a remarkably similar description of the thing: snakelike neck and bobbin-shaped torso, propelled by flippers, from 20 to 60 feet in length.

The piece wanted the monster left alone.

Drew Pearson tells of the enforced servitude of nineteen Marine sergeants and corporals enlisted to act as bartenders and cloakroom checkers for the Christmas party thrown by Marine Corps Commandant General Alexander Vandegrift.

Brig. General Frank Armstrong of the Army Air Forces had addressed Naval officers at Norfolk, telling them that the Army Air Forces were going to take over the Navy and run the show, including Norfolk.

The Motion Picture Academy had awarded the previous Thursday an Oscar for Best Documentary to "Seeds of Destiny", produced by the War Department. But the American Theater Association would not show the 20-minute film because it was too long for the purpose of preceding the feature. So, it was an excellent film going unseen by the American public, regarding the future of the children of Europe and Japan and the importance of planting in them the seeds of democracy rather than the continuing seeds of despotism on which Hitler and Mussolini and Tojo had thrived.

The Republicans in Congress were drying up appropriations for the successful Conciliation Service of the Labor Department, which had stopped numerous strikes in the offing.

Harold Ickes tells of the airplane junkets being taken by the Cabinet secretaries to pleasure spots around the globe at considerable Government expense. Secretary of the Navy James Forrestal had taken a group of Congressmen to the Bikini Atoll atomic bomb tests the previous summer and then taken an extended global tour on the way back. Postmaster General Robert Hannegan had taken a group of Congressmen on a round-the-globe inspection tour of post offices. The greatest traveler of them all was Secretary of the Interior J. A. Krug, successor to Mr. Ickes, who had flown on several junkets to nice places during the year since becoming Secretary, each time taking a Congressman or two along.

Mr. Ickes thinks it time that the Government reel in the travel for less than purposeful trips at taxpayer expense. When FDR was President, he informs, no Cabinet secretary could use an airplane without specific permission.

Samuel Grafton suggests that the country re-examine its policy of allowing limited immigration. It wanted to be a beacon for democracy but only for the select few.

There was a labor shortage and thus immigrants could provide a necessary work force. As it was, Bahamian workers were given a temporary work permit and then sent home after the harvest season. An influx of immigrants would help to reduce the national debt, as each such employable immigrant would be contributing to the revenue stream. Instead, the country was insisting on sending aid to Turkey and Greece to salve a festering wound abroad.

There were more than 800,000 displaced persons in camps in Europe, half of whom could be admitted to the United States. It was the American tradition to open its gates and it was that which had made the country strong.

Most importantly, it would demonstrate to the world a moral security in American values, a better bet for the future than the aid the country was placing on the line in the hope of creating bulwarks to Communism.

A letter informs that the Teen Age Club of Charlotte had lost its clubhouse and its members were pleading for a new one from the City Council, which had promised them such a recreational facility.

A letter tells of a veteran, his wife, and baby daughter giving the writer a ride and telling of their looking for housing without success. The author provides Scripture and suggests that no one should rent to others before veterans who had served their country during the war.

Senator Soaper says: "A Boston dog is revealed as a co-owner of bonds worth $15,000. It is becoming easier right along to believe those stories that begin, 'A St. Bernard walked into a saloon and ordered a Manhattan...'"

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