The Charlotte News

Friday, May 16, 1947


Site Ed. Note: The front page reports that in Greenville, S.C., the trial continued of the 31 defendants, 28 of whom were cab drivers, accused of murdering by lynching Willie Earle on the morning of his arrest and jailing, February 17, for allegedly killing a Greenville cab driver the night before. Johnnie Willimon had provided a pre-trial written statement, read to the jury by the prosecutor, which said that he had witnessed Mr. Earle being shot three times by Carlos Hurd, Sr., making him the eighth defendant to identify Mr. Hurd as the trigger man. Mr. Hurd had denied having or shooting a gun and claimed that he had turned away when the actual shooting occurred. Mr. Willimon also claimed that Hendrix Rector and Paul Griggs had dragged Mr. Earle from the lead cab of the procession in which he was transported away from the jail after his abduction at gunpoint. He was then beaten with the butt of a shotgun and murdered by a shot to the head.

Another of the defendant cab drivers, Howard Thompson, who could neither read nor write, had authorized a statement saying that he had been a member of the lynch mob but had not seen who fired the fatal shot.

In Tucker, Ark., Vollie Bill Bates, 20, was electrocuted for the kidnaping, robbery, and murder of a cab driver a year earlier. He left his eyes to two blind Arkansans, who were scheduled to undergo corneal transplants the following day.

Secretary of State Marshall told the House Foreign Affairs Committee that the country needed to have the means to counteract negative American propaganda abroad and so urged the House to restore funding for the broadcasts to Russia. He stated that he opposed firmly any American propaganda to counter the foreign propaganda. Assistant Secretary William Benson stated that the Department wanted the broadcasts accurately to mirror American life, not just to present one rosy picture.

Congressman Jasper Bell of Missouri urged Congress to establish an annual pension of $50,000 for former Presidents, who could not save anything from their annual salary of $75,000.

In the Municipal Court Building in Washington, a disgruntled 40-year old lawyer of Jackson, Miss., shot to death two people, a clerk and a patrolman, and wounded two others when he was refused a refund of a $100 bar application fee, following his being refused admission to the District of Columbia Bar. The lawyer was shot four times by police before he was captured.

In Lisbon, Portugal, Prince Juan, claimant to the Spanish throne, stated through a spokesman that he did not intend to cooperate with Generalissimo Francisco Franco and that the latter would need surrender unconditionally his power before Juan would assume the throne.

In New York, 101 B-29 bombers, the largest force ever assembled for demonstration, flew in two waves over New York City.

In Kansas City, an armored truck took off on its own down a hill and killed one person and injured two others.

In Washington, former Congressman Andrew May testified in his trial on charges of fraud and receiving bribes from the Garsson brothers for war contracts. It was the first time he had ever publicly testified on the matter. He had testified in a closed hearing to the Senate War Investigating Committee the previous summer.

In Atlanta, police were searching for clues to the slayer of the 31-year old wife murdered by strangulation after being raped on Peachtree Creek, where she often went to collect wild flowers. The only clue thus far was some black hair found under one of her fingernails.

Bob Sain reports on page 7-A of the Bostians of the Salisbury Road who repaired mannequins as a means to make a living.

On the editorial page, "The New Council's Appointments" tells of the new City Council appointing new city personnel. Only two of the members were incumbents and so there were no obligations for the remainder to appoint existing personnel. Yet, with the exception of the Solicitor who had resigned, they had not failed to reappoint any of the old heads of departments.

It notes that it was especially impressive that the new Council had reappointed Judge Currie of the Recorder's Court, who had publicly criticized the election as not attracting enough able candidates for the Council. He was an able judge and deserved the reappointment.

"The Resignation of Dean Acheson" finds it tragic that Dean Acheson had resigned as Undersecretary of State, leaving a void in experience as an able assistant to Secretary of State Marshall, who, for all his ability, had spent his life in the military and had little experience with the diplomatic service. Mr. Acheson no longer could endure the financial hardship of public service.

The Congressional attitude toward the State Department had been to cut to the bone its information service and the Voice of America. The State Department needed the support as much as the War and Navy Departments during the war. The failure to get it was compromising the Department's ability to keep qualified personnel such as Mr. Acheson.

Mr. Acheson would come back as Secretary of State in 1949, following the resignation of Secretary Marshall after two years in the post. Mr. Acheson would also be a key adviser to the Kennedy Cabinet and the President during the Cuban Missile Crisis of October, 1962.

"The Republicans in Asheville" tells of the City Council election in Asheville being the only contested election across the state, with an active slate of Republican candidates. The Democrats had won with the Democratic machine, but it at least had brought out a larger percentage of voters than in any other local election in the state. It hopes that the losses would not discourage other Republican county organizations from running slates of candidates to provide a two-party system, necessary for democracy to work.

A piece from the Denver Post, titled "Carolina's Jargon University", informs of Prof. Joe Cuthrell's Jargon University in North Carolina, where one could learn to be a tobacco auctioneer for a fee of $400, then earn $4,000 to $10,000 per season for the accomplished art. The successful auctioneer had to learn the bidders' secret sign language as well as develop the ability to chant the chant of the auctioneer and finally intone, "Sold Americain!" But Denver did not catch that last part.

Drew Pearson tells of the President's special emergency fund as given to all Presidents, a fund which he could spend as he saw fit. President Truman had been given in 1946 a 2.5 million dollar emergency fund and Mr. Pearson tells how it was spent. He had spent only two million dollars out of the fund despite there being only a month and a half left in the fiscal year. Most of it, 1.1 million, had been spent on running the coal mines, operated by the Government since the previous May 29.

He next imparts some miscellany from Washington, including the factum that the President, for use in the White House bowling alley, had acquired a fancy bowling shirt with his initials on it and a hand-painted picture on the back showing a bowler making a strike.

The substitute rooster for the First Family of late had been the steam shovel on the White House lawn digging a new store room—or bomb shelter.

It was being suggested that Senator Taft had not wanted to tackle hearings on the high prices because it would focus attention on the failure of the Republican-backed theory that removal of price controls would raise production and thus bring down prices.

Under his Capital Chaff: "Tris Coffin's scintillating new book, "Missouri Compromise," gives the best story of what happened behind the scenes when the Republicans went on their OPA binge and dumped price control in the Potomac.... Congressman Jack Kennedy of Boston, son of the former U.S. Ambassador to Great Britain, is developing into one of the live-wire veterans on Capitol Hill."

It is the first time that John F. Kennedy had ever been mentioned either on the front page or editorial page of The News or in Drew Pearson's column.

That it appears a day after Mr. Pearson told of the appointment of the first Central Intelligence Agency director, Admiral Roscoe Henry Hillenkoeter, and the focus by Stewart Alsop on the Pig and Pepper story from Alice's Adventures in Wonderland, is not without its strange intersection with subsequent time, both heroically and tragically. Should a reference to Edgar Allan Poe or King Lear or Love's Labour's Lost surface soon on the page, the notion will be more complete as to that which we have set forth numerous times previously, that which we call, for want of a better label, lopointu. One must remember that many people read these pages when they were first published, and they thus became wedded with the conscious and subconscious mind and memory.

The years 1961 to 1963 were not so far in the future, fourteen to sixteen years in the past from the present time being 1998-2000, but yesterday to those who were already of a mature age at that time. Memories persist for a lot longer and in considerable detail.

Soon, no doubt, we shall see the name Richard Nixon also for the first time on the page.

Lyndon Johnson, having been a Congressman since 1937, and narrowly losing to Governor P. the B. W. Lee O'Daniel in June, 1941 in the special election for the Senate, had already appeared on the pages several times.

In any event, mark the date down as May 16, 1947, and note the stories, both locally and nationally, which were appearing at the time in juxtaposition.

As we have previously pointed out, John F. Kennedy's first appearance in any national publication came in September, 1939 when he was asked by his father, then Ambassador to Great Britain, to speak to the stranded survivors of the Athenia, torpedoed and sunk on September 3, just after the start of the war, by a German U-boat. The meeting in Glasgow was covered in the September 18 issue of Time. He also had contributed several special reports for the Hearst newspapers on the U.N. Charter Conference in San Francisco in May, 1945.

Marquis Childs discusses the Communist Party in France and the attention it was drawing from every foreign office in the world, with a view that the direction might set the pattern for other Western nations, with Moscow directing the action.

During the Moscow Conference, a prominent Soviet publication urged return to the Lenin April Thesis of 1917, which advocated that the Communist Party in foreign countries were to become secret instruments for revolution. He believed that when the Communist Party was legal and part of the parliamentary system, it became corrupted by the bourgeois parties and soft. Some observers believed that Moscow was now urging foreign counterparts to go underground and that Russia was no longer interested in giving even the pretense of cooperation with the West.

The French Communists had withdrawn from the coalition Government and Premier Paul Ramadier was attempting to bargain with the Communist-controlled General Confederation of Labor regarding demands for higher wages and bonuses for increased production.

Secretary of State Marshall was aware of the importance of this struggle, was thus preparing to strengthen the diplomatic representation in France.

The balance between chaos and stability was just as tenuous in Italy, with the resignation of Premier Alcide De Gasperi. Hunger and a deep sense of injustice made the Italians susceptible to the violent appeals from both the extreme left and right.

Outlawing Communists would enable them to go underground and thrive in preparation for revolt. By charging persecution, the Communists hoped to gain sympathy from fellow travelers and naive idealists.

The battleground was in Western Europe, where in the coming weeks the intentions of Moscow would become known.

Samuel Grafton finds U.S. foreign policy suffering from too much moral grimness and nervous fanaticism, uncharacteristic of the American people. It too much ignored the qualties of humor and tolerance in American life. The foriegn policy was closer to the grim William McKinley than to Abraham Lincoln's sense of humor.

Once, the foray into Greece in support of the King would have been scoffed at in satire by such lights as Mark Twain or Artemus Ward. Americans were secure enough to laugh along with them. But now such humor was unacceptable, making the country as Russia, a singular achievement of the Bolsheviks.

In an earlier time, aid would have likely been sent to Greece, but without professing any affection for the throne or its reactionary Government. The trend also would have been to approach Moscow with a cocky freshness. Such qualities made friends for the country and kept it strong.

A letter commends the newspaper for publishing an ad by the Communist Party. He believes, as had an editorial on the matter, that defeating the Communists would be easier with knowledge of the organization out in the open.

A letter from A. W. Black recommends outlawing the Communist Party, that the fear that it would drive it underground carried no weight. Nor did it compromise the Bill of Rights as the Constitution allowed for putting down any internal or external threat to the republican form of government. He believes that Communists thus forfeited their Constitutional rights.

For the first time, we note, Mr. Black had gotten through an entire letter without any orthographical miscues. Thus, he appears to be entirely serious on this occasion. He may or may not have been on the prior occasions.

Senator Soaper says: "The Byrd expedition completes its Polar mission, and we are dying to hear the full details, especially as they have to do with the deposit of any metal whose initial is U."

It really should read, "...the initial of which is U", unless it was referring to something other than one of the elements, with mud in your eye, dining off Io. Perhaps, you, too, spotted that erroneous semiotic referent, not without analogue to a fizzled fissile missile, bobaloo-bonzo cubered.

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.