The Charlotte News

Saturday, May 24, 1947


Site Ed. Note: The front page, in a special report by News writer Tom Fesperman, states that Buddy Bush, the 24-year old black man who had been abducted from the Jackson, N.C., jail in the wee hours of Friday morning by six masked men with guns, was believed now to have escaped the men as they exited the jail with him. A woman who lived across the street from the jail described seeing the incident and said that a man broke free from the other men, ran between two houses across the street and disappeared into the woods. One of the masked men had fired a gun at the fleeing man, but the bullet went past his ear and apparently missed him, as no sign of blood was discovered. A Raleigh News & Observer reporter found a bullet lodged in the wall of one of the houses and the State Bureau of Investigation was now analyzing it, as well as a footprint found, believed to be from the fleeing man.

There was still no sign of Mr. Bush and no identification made of any of the abductors. Law enforcement and prosecutors expressed the belief that Mr. Bush had not been lynched but had fled the scene.

The News had dispatched Mr. Fesperman and a staff photographer to Jackson as soon as the news came of the abduction, and several photographs appear which were the first relating to the story, shared with other newspapers throughout the nation via the Associated Press.

Governor Gregg Cherry released a statement indicating that no lynching had occurred in the state since that in Louisburg, July 30, 1935, and he intended to use all of the available services of law enforcement to assure the capture of the would-be lynchers in the instant case. He instanced the August 15, 1941 Roxville attempted lynching, in which five men, who were not the instigators, drew 90-day jail sentences—not "prison sentences" as the piece suggests. The five men had been paroled after 90 days by Governor Melville Broughton, Mr. Cherry's predecessor. In any event, it was believed that this incident had been the first time in the South that attempted lynchers had been successfully prosecuted for any crime, in this case, unlawful assembly. Governor Cherry also referenced an April, 1941 Cherryville melee between white and black men, resulting in the death of one black man, for which four white men had received "long prison sentences".

The piece points out that Tuskegee Institute had stated that North Carolina had 99 instances of lynching, 84 of them black and 15 white, since 1882, while Mississippi had 573.

We pause to suggest that all of this notion of comparison of such gruesome data seems quite archaic and, to our 2014, or even 1964 or 1954, sensibilities, at times outrageously insensitive and apologetic for that which is, in the abstract, nevertheless heinous conduct and lenient, if not nearly absent, punishment once the politically necessary ends of capture of the culprits and prosecution were fulfilled. But such were the times that people of good will looked to any incremental progress as steps forward out of the jungle-bred complex for the lesser lights of the community, the torch-bearing, cross-burning Neanderthalic throwbacks who believed that God had ordained the white man superior to the bestial black man, descendant of an ape, while the white man was made whole in Eden, a fixture made in the likeness of God to do his Will on earth, which included holding the beasts in their rightful places.

That such men as Dr. Sam Green of Atlanta ran the Klan in those days, was only because such men found it delightful to the jingle of the omnipresent twenty pieces of silver in their pocketbooks and political stature in their own bailiwicks to have advantage over the morons in their communities who fell for such sucker bait hogwash, making them feel like men rather than monkeys.

Charles Darwin did not say or imply that the human is a monkey, but rather that man had evolved, even if imperfectly, through time, as all other species of flora and fauna, by a process of natural selection, eliminating along the way bad physical and mental traits, not conducive to survival of the species. It is a simple theory, borne out through a couple of centuries and more of dedicated research, some of which preceded Darwin, by his own father, as well as Lamarck and others.

In any event, humankind progresses by fits and starts, with increase in consciousness as we do so. Some are, relatively speaking, to the manor born, that is to educated and conscientious parents and relatives, while others are not so fortunate, have not the role models in their midst to follow, at least until they enter school, by then most of the damage having been done and nearly ineradicable by the best of teachers. So, we cannot condemn someone for the manner of their birth, any more than we may for the pigment of their skin or their religious heritage or other differences separating "the other" from thou. None of us, even siblings, even twins, are exactly and precisely alike.

Were it so, life would not only be pretty boring, but we would all be quite expendable and thus the human species would likely have eliminated itself, suicidally, long ago, for its sameness. Imagine living only with you 24 hours a day, every day, no ideas or actions with which to disagree, correct, or against which to inveigh and protest.

So, learn to appreciate the differences in people, even if the differences be damnably hard to understand at times, and proceed thus in light rather than in ignorance.

In Baltimore, police arrested eleven students involved in an imbroglio between ralliers at Johns Hopkins and those of like tendency at the University of Maryland regarding a lacrosse match and the stealing of the Maryland Terrapin in reprisal for the Maryland students having invaded Johns Hopkins and painted unfavorable signs on buildings of the campus and sidewalks in Baltimore.

Both sides were still holding hostages, and a couple of dozen Hopkins students with shaved heads, emblems of combat readiness, maintained watch over the Terrapin, still missing from the vanatage of the Maryland students. The Hopkins students had erected barbed wire barricades to keep the Maryland students at bay.

We note that our own school's rivalries, especially with the school twelve miles distant, never, to our knowledge, reaches this level of desperation and will to prevail, especially regarding lacrosse. Perhaps, the relatively bucolic settings of the campuses offset such combative tendencies, to allay the pugilistic traits besetting youthful male hormones, the fight-or-flight mechanism in protection of the tribal village walls.

But we can recount an experience in high school one morning when an unknown student had mockishly painted on the history building of our school, in large block letters, words not here printable, suggesting that the student named in the phraseology flirted too much with bovine hindparts of the male variety. We do not believe that school officials ever were able forensically to detect and bring to justice the culprit or culprits in this episode. We felt sorry for the student who was singled out, as we never saw him do such a thing as was represented. And what prompted the libel we do not know. In any event, it was not about lacrosse, at least we do not think so, as our school had no lacrosse team, at least not one of which we were aware.

In Williamson, W. Va., a Hatfield was convicted the previous day for voluntary manslaughter in the shooting death of a McCoy, both men being descendants of the feuding clans. Sentencing had not yet taken place, pending a motion by defense counsel to set aside the verdict. The offense carried a one-to-five year prison term.

Senator John McClellan of Arkansas had introduced two amendments to the Finance Committee tax measure, under which exemptions would be raised and community property tax laws applied uniformly throughout the nation, not just in community property states as law currently provided. Senator Eugene Millikin of Colorado predicted failure of the amendments.

White House press secretary Charles G. Ross stated that the President would remain with his mother, Martha Truman, until her condition might improve. She had in the previous two days taken a turn for the worse after some improvement. Mrs. Truman, 94, had suffered a broken hip some months earlier and recently had become worse. The attending physician recommended that the President remain with her in Grandview, Mo.

The President was staying in a hotel in town and appeared haggard, emerged after a night and morning of work, signed eight "buddy poppy" dollar bills for eight little girls as he got off the penthouse elevator.

In Jackson, Miss., a 30-year old waitress had her charge of assault, based on her having thrown a pie in the face of her boss, dismissed when he did not show up to court to press the charge. He had fired her but did not wish to prosecute, said that all was forgiven. The Ritz Cafe had a sign now saying, "Waitress Wanted".

It brings to mind the strange little factum that Bonnie Parker, before meeting Clyde Barrow, was said to have worked in a Dallas cafe which stood at the corner of Houston and Main Streets, before being torn down to make way for Dealey Plaza in 1936. Whether she threw any pies or not at her boss, we don't know. Maybe she should have and gotten whatever the Devil it was out of her system.

In any event, the boss in this instance had the right idea, we think. Best to forgive wayward, aggressive employees and others, before the pies become something more lethal.

There has never been and never will be a perfect society as long as it is populated by the inevitable imperfection of the human being, that prevalent and unmistakeable universal feature which inspires us alternately to the comic burlesque or to poetry, whether in iambuses, rhombuses, or nimbuses.

Victor Riesel, in his "Inside Labor" column, tells on page 2-A that lack of steel had caused new cars to be missing from the showrooms of the country, or, more interestingly, in the column we located elsewhere, comments on Henry Wallace's speechmaking tour of the country, remarking that he had no support among labor, had alienated CIO leadership by criticizing Minneapolis Mayor Hubert Humphrey.

On the editorial page, "Round Three on the Boulevard" hopes that the new City Council would follow the lead of their predecessors in determining the fate of the cross-town boulevard—to become Independence Boulevard. A few opponents, who were nonetheless quite active and verbal, wanted a perimeter highway instead of an east-west route favored by the impartial traffic experts. Their rationale was based on the disturbance to private property owners along the route and that the highway would cost too much to build and maintain. But the experts had evaluated the subject and found that the only effective means to alleviate downtown traffic congestion and concomitant parking concerns was this boulevard as proposed.

"The Bureaucrats Can Be Efficient" tells of Government efficiency in running the Post Office Department and that it had cooperated with airlines in the United States through airmail subsidies, largely financing commercial air traffic in the early days of the companies' existence. Moreover, the Government had recovered 94 percent of the investment and eventually would recover all of it.

It demonstrated that government and private business could cooperate for the benefit of both.

"A Job for Vittorio" provides update on the youngest son of Benito Mussolini, who had, in the earliest days of his father's attempt to restore the Roman Empire, flown in combat against the unarmed Ethiopians. He had perfected his skills in this operation such that when he flew against the Loyalists of Spain, his aim was improved.

The piece goes on to suggest that Vittorio had described his experience of bombing unarmed civilians as viewing the unfolding of a beautiful red rose beneath him among the clouds, confusing Vittorio with younger brother Bruno, who had met his maker during the war, in August, 1941, finally becoming, himself, one of those bursting red roses.

In any event, it says that Vittorio had now surfaced again in the news, having accepted an offer from a wholesale butcher in Argentina—not being a metaphoric euphemism for Juan Peron but rather, literally, in a slaughterhouse. The piece finds the job offer suggestive that some of the "good neighbors" to the south still found sympathy for the likes of the murderous members of the Mussolini family.

Vittorio Mussolini, incidentally, lived until 1997.

A piece from the Durham Sun, titled "Nailing Some Lies", takes to task the advertisement appearing in The Sun for the Communist Party of the United States, finds it full of lies and reminds that a similar ad attacking the Soviet system could not appear in Russia, which had no freedom of the press and would subject anyone attacking the system to exile in Siberia.

The piece makes an error in suggesting freedom of the press and speech to be "privileges to be used, not licenses to be abused". It is no privilege but a right inherent in our freedom, not granted by the Government but held safe against infringement by the Government. Such erroneous interpretation is a fundamental mistake many people make when looking at the First Amendment, one with royal implications.

The First Amendment grants nothing, no right, no "privilege", which implies licensure for use, a major objection having been raised in the colonies to just that concept under Royal rule by the British; for it is unnecessary under the assumptions of freedom of the individual in America, as expressed in the Preamble of the document, often forgotten. The First Amendment only prohibits interference with these rights by the Government. The Bill of Rights expressly states in the Ninth Amendment that it does not mean to suggest by the enumeration of rights within the document that such are exclusive of other rights. Hence, Roe v. Wade.

We don't live in Rome. If you want to do so, that is your privilege in America. But do not try to impose your will on the rest of us. And then we will not try to impose ours on you. You are free to practice your religion all you wish. Just because someone else chooses not to do so does not mean they are impinging on your freedom. You are not King or Queen of the land. You are not Mussolini.

Drew Pearson jots a series of notes about the state of things. Prices had not yet come down and prospects of a recession were still a worry. Layoffs, not reflected in unemployment figures, were mounting. The President feared a last-minute rent control extension with 15 to 50 percent increases authorized, which he would be cornered into signing to avoid having no controls at all after June 30, similar to the last-minute OPA extension passed the previous summer which he had initially vetoed before being forced in late July to acquiesce on a slightly improved version of the bill.

Only half the necessary six billion dollars worth of new homes for veterans, post-war, had been or would be constructed, and thus the chances of acquiring a new home were almost nil.

With the death of Washington socialite Evalyn Walsh McLean, the mantle was passed to Oklahoma oil heiress Perla Mesta, who had entertained the Trumans before they were in the White House.

Democratic Party headquarters began putting out "Truman in '48" campaign buttons, as it was no longer a secret that the President would run. But he had not been paying attention to recommendations by the party chieftains. They had urged a veto of the portal-to-portal pay ban which he signed. They had also asked him to go lightly on a get-tough policy toward Russia, which he also ignored, getting the Truman Doctrine passed. The President had also ordered a stop to the anti-Hoover talk, which had been a central Democratic talking point in recent years.

Mr. Pearson goes on to discuss the difficulties in adjustment by Secretary of State Marshall; Republican concerns increasing about defeat of the President in 1948; Veterans Administration head Omar Bradley's battles with Congress over appropriations despite his successful overhaul of the V.A.; Secretary of Agriculture Clinton Anderson having few headaches as the farm outlook was bright with surpluses anticipated, even if farm labor prospects continued in deficit from urban migration; and the ongoing debate between CIO and AFL on whether to combine or not.

Attorney General Tom Clark planned a series of speeches pledging safeguards of civil liberties in the loyalty investigations of Government personnel. Recently, FBI agents had quizzed for hours former aides of former Treasury Secretary Henry Morgenthau regarding his supposed Communist connections, warning them against even association with disloyal persons. Mr. Morgenthau complained to the White House about the conduct, thought that his long service in the Government had made him immune from such a witch-hunt.

Navy Secretary James Forrestal was contemplating quitting his position, as he believed the peacetime Navy was not enough of a challenge. He hoped to be named Secretary of Defense, when the new position was created—as he would be. He had hoped to be Democratic nominee for Governor of New York in 1950, but Mayor William O'Dwyer of New York City was now the choice for the position.

Joseph & Stewart Alsop discuss one of the most significant State Department dispatches in some time, that of George Kennan, head of the planning section under Secretary Marshall. Mr. Kennan had sent the dispatch from Moscow during the height of the Iran crisis in February, 1946, arising regarding Soviet initial refusal to withdraw troops from Azerbaijan in the north within six months after the end of the war, or by March 2, as determined previously in a 1942 Russo-Iranian treaty, based on the Russian assertion that the Azerbaijanis, who, at the urging of the Soviets, were trying to proclaim independence from Iran, required protection from aggression by Iranian Government troops seeking to prevent a revolt.

Mr. Kennan, at the time charges d'affaires in Moscow following the departure of Ambassador Averell Harriman, started from the point of view espoused by Josef Stalin in 1927 when addressing a group of American trade union workers in Moscow, that there were two centers of world significance, the socialist center, dominated by the Soviet Union, and the capitalist center, dominated by the Western democracies. The contest between these two centers would determine which side dominated the world's economy. Thus, the central point was that the Soviet regime in power viewed the world as determined by conflict.

Mr. Kennan stressed that Marxism had at its core a view that routine conflicts within capitalistic democracy would result in both a threat and an opportunity for Communism. The threat was that the conflicts within the democracies would lead to war, and that the war would lead to an attack on the Soviet Union. The opportunity was that Communists could make inroads on democratic societies during such inevitable periods of conflict.

Mr. Kennan concluded that the democratic objectives in the world could not be achieved without a fundamental change in this Soviet policy. A change had occurred at the death of Lenin and the transition into the Stalinist period, and another change would likely occur whenever Stalin would leave power.

The ultimate way, however, to make the change occur in a manner conducive to world peace, the goal of the democracies, was to disprove the theories on which Soviet policy was premised, difficult of accomplishment for its longitudinal assumptions.

Samuel Grafton discusses the failure of the Newburyport, Mass., plan to reduce prices by ten percent voluntarily because it had not been able to motivate wholesalers to reduce likewise their costs of goods.

Had Newburyport been closer to Madison Avenue, thinks Mr. Grafton, then the model's exposed knee would have been called upon to promote the plan. He thinks that a monster parade would be the next form of promotion of a plan to combat inflation, as it was the ultimate method of promoting causes which could not be achieved by either political speeches or models.

A statement by an economist with the National Industrial Conference Board had indicated that the problem lay in expectations by the consumers that 1939 prices ought prevail on 1947 wages, an unrealistic approach. Management needed to do a better job of education of workers and consumers.

But the figures which showed consumer buying above a year earlier belied this notion of a consumer strike in the face of higher prices. The consumers simply could not buy as much merchandise with the same dollar. Refraining from buying certain goods was no more than a practical decision for lack of money, not a boycott. Thus, psychological approaches to the problem would not be effective.

He again advocates a Congressional committee to investigate the inflationary trend and find out where the worst offenders were spending their money and how much of the prices were fat profits, not just absorption of higher operating costs. Piecemeal approaches were getting nowhere and a comprehensive plan was necessary to combat inflation.

A letter from "Rambling Bill", the correspondent in Phoenix who once lived in Charlotte and had invited a partner to join him on a gold prospecting expedition, as long as the partner could stand eating beans, salt pork, and jackrabbit stew on the trail, tries again.

Parenthetically, you don't want the jackrabbit stew. That is foul, stringy and leaves a bitter aftertaste. We once had some as a little tyke and about lost our lunch, can still taste it if we think on it. It is remindful of battery acid, which you should only try in a pinch. Stick to the beans and salt pork.

He had received letters from men from all over the country in response, but most had large families and shoestring budgets, needed to bring cough syrup and the like with them on the trail. Prospecting would not admit of such excess. There were rattlesnakes, scorpions, centipedes, and vinegarroons, the latter liking to crawl into the bedroll and then sting the occupant when angered. (Yet, we note, vinegar goes well with the beans, and so an utilitarian application of the otherwise unsavory emission from this latter creature might be made, provided a little dab would do you.)

Moreover, he had realized but one dollar in ten as profit from his prospecting ventures through time, as was the experience of 75 percent of all such expeditions.

The real compensation, he says, was being away from the cities and the chiselers, getting out into the open country. The sound of the coyotes was music sweeter by far to him than all of the "joke box" music of the city.

He then again invites a partner, suggests that he be between 30 and 60, a good shot with all run of guns, enough finances to pay his own way, no family ties for one to ten years, no drinking habit, good eyesight, not afraid of a pick and shovel or sleeping on the ground with the snakes, scorpions, and vinegarroons, and fond of salt pork and beans.

If you fit the bill and have a hankering, you can write Mr. Richardson, as he supplies his address. Maybe he is still out there prospecting.

A letter warns that Communism was absolutely anti-Christian, required as a tenet atheism.

Nevertheless, as an editorial had recently pointed out, the newly re-elected president of the Southern Baptist Convention had recently gone to Moscow and, though shown selective areas, found religious freedom generally flourishing. Other reports had been made likewise from within Stalinist Russia. Everything was not as doctrinaire as Marxist literature suggested it.

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