The Charlotte News

Monday, June 2, 1947


Site Ed. Note: The front page reports that the House had passed the four-billion dollar tax relief bill and the Senate was expected to follow suit the following day. The vote was 220 to 99, unclear as to whether, with all 435 members voting, there would be enough for a two-thirds override of a veto. The bill trimmed taxes between 10.5 percent and 30 percent, effective July 1.

The Senate struck from the rent control extension bill the amendment passed the previous week which permitted gradual removal of controls. The amendment had been sponsored by freshman Senator Joseph McCarthy of Wisconsin. The move for reconsideration was led by Senator J. William Fulbright of Arkansas.

President Truman's advisory commission of nine prominent citizens, headed by M.I.T. president Dr. Karl Compton, reported that compulsory military training of 950,000 American youths each year was a necessity, along with other military preparedness measures, to avoid eventual extermination. The atomic bomb, it said, would afford some insulation for a period of 4 to 10 years. But a weak armed forces would encourage totalitarian nations eventually to war against the United States.

Senator Lister Hill of Alabama stated that he did not believe there was time remaining in the current session, prior to the summer recess, to pass a bill on universal training but that it underscored the necessity of immediate action on unification of the military under a Department of Defense.

Secretary of State Marshall announced a suspension of half of a previously allocated 30-million dollar credit to Hungary because a pro-Communist regime had just been set up with support by the Russians. He also stated that Premier Alcide de Gasperi of Italy, in the appointment of his new Cabinet, had set up a democratic Government and as a result, Italy would continue to receive American support. A group from the Export-Import Bank was in Italy assessing a request by the country for a 100-million dollar loan.

The number two man in Hungary reportedly had fled to Austria to avoid arrest by the Communists, following the resignation, submitted from Switzerland the previous week, by President Ferenc Nagy.

The Supreme Court agreed to hear a case regarding the constitutionality of having religious education classes in public schools, whether it violated the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment, requiring separation of church and state, that is forbidding the establishment by the Government of a religion. The case arose out of Champaign, Ill. The Illinois courts upheld the right of the schools to hold such classes.

—Yea, we support religion. We are not atheist scum.

—That has nothing to do with it, stupid. Read your Constitution and realize that without that protection, the Government, state or Federal, could establish any religion as the official religion of the state or country and then deprive you of your freedom to believe or not believe as you, individually, see fit. Separation goes hand in hand with freedom of religious belief. That is the issue: religious freedom or not. The clause was included based on the negative lesson imparted from England, where the State declared the Church of England as the official religion, resulting through time in bitter civil wars between Catholics and Protestants, leading into modern time in Ireland. So, when you seek to teach Christianity in a public school, to the exclusion of other major religious doctrines, you implicitly give sanction to civil war.

Perhaps, that is your true purpose.

The Court, the following March, would decide 8 to 1 in McCollum v. Board of Education, 333 U.S. 203, a decision delivered by Justice Hugo Black, that the classes in instruction of religious doctrine, aiding sectarian groups by providing pupils for their religious classes, did violate the Establishment Clause, and thus compelled reversal of the State Court decision which had denied a parent a petition for mandamus ordering that the religious instruction be ceased. A separate concurrence would be authored by Justice Felix Frankfurter, joined by Justices Robert Jackson, Wiley Rutledge, and Harold Burton, Justice Jackson also submitting a separate concurrence. Justice Stanley Reed would author the lone dissent in the case.

The Court this date also refused review of the conviction of Mayor James Curley of Boston for mail fraud in connection with war contracts, on which he had been sentenced to six to eighteen months in jail.

In Boston, the trial began of Douglas Chandler, accused of treason during the war for his radio broadcasts from Germany under the name "Paul Revere". It was the first treason trial in New England history.

In Arkansas and Oklahoma, a tornado left at least 39 persons dead and hundreds injured. Pine Bluff, Ark., had suffered the worst damage and had thirty-three reported deaths, most of them children. Leedey, Oklahoma, was leveled, and six people died there.

Representative Edward Miller of Maryland demanded a thorough investigation in the House regarding airline safety, following the two worst crashes in the country's history, occurring on successive days the previous Thursday and Friday, one killing 40 persons in a failed takeoff from La Guardia Airport in New York City, reportedly caused by a sudden freak wind, and the other taking the lives of 53 persons in Whittaker's Barren, Md., near Port Deposit northeast of Baltimore, after one or more of the plane's engines apparently exploded causing the plane to roll on its back and plummet to earth in a wooded area. Both planes were DC-4's, the first operated by United and the second by Eastern. Mr. Miller accused the Civil Aeronautics Board and Administration of "gross negligence" in the first crash.

Secretary of Commerce Averill Harriman told Senators of the Appropriations Subcommittee that slashes by the House in the budgets of both the C.A.B. and the C.A.A. had caused a setback to civil aviation.

In Rich Square, N.C., three black men were being held on charges related to the alleged attempted rape of a white woman, one of the accused being held on the principal charge, and the other two for assisting him in getting away. A white woman, 17, claimed that a black man knocked on her door, then pulled her from her home, fleeing when she screamed and fainted. A mob, including the County Solicitor, pursued the man and caught him with one other man a couple of miles away from the woman's home, three hours after the alleged incident.

The rash of these claimed attacks suddenly began right after the acquittal two weeks earlier of the 31 defendants in Greenville, S.C., for the lynching on February 17 of Willie Earle after he was kidnaped from a jail in Pickens where he was held under arrest for the stabbing murder of a cab driver in Greenville the night before.

It would appear, in short, that some KuKu wives or brides to be were reviving the old practice of accusing young black men of leering, and then yelling rape. The News had already editorialized that the similar charge against Buddy Bush, victim of an attempted lynching the previous week in Jackson, N.C., in jail for a charge of attempted rape arising out of Rich Square, was "questionable". All of these reported incidents, save one in which there was a confession, appear exactly alike, black men allegedly grabbing white women either from their cars or homes, usually in broad daylight, and then attempting a rape, suddenly fleeing. It is not a likely scenario.

If you give white trash an inch, they will take a mile.

In Paris, a bakery strike began, leaving housewives in long lines awaiting bread after the ration was reduced from 250 to 150 grams per day.

In Los Angeles, Avak Hagopian, a 20-year old faith healer, who some believed was the incarnation of the Second Coming, appeared in public, greeted by throngs of people seeking to touch him. One woman fainted. The former mechanic, an Armenian living in Iran, attended communion at a church and then returned to Palm Springs where he was staying during his visit, subsidized by a wealthy vintner who was hoping the reputed healer could heal his 37-year old son, crippled since age nine when he had been struck by a bus.

In London, the British Labor Government refused a passport to Sir Oswald Mosley, seeking travel to France to obtain warm water swims for his thrombosis. Mr. Mosley had been head of the British Union of Fascists prior to the war during the Thirties, and was considered persona non grata by most Britons, a downgoing status he never overcame.

Also in London, Russian-born song writer and band leader Herman Darewski died of a heart attack at age 64. He had written, arranged, or published such popular hits as "Whispering" and "Sister Sue's Sewing Shirts for Soldiers", among other tunes.

It was twenty years hence, yesterday...

The "Carolina Farmer" section of the newspaper tells of Silas Herlocker's farm in Stanly County being a producer of cattle, despite its steep slopes, because of conservation steps taken years earlier. If you have land on a steep slope and wish to raise cattle, you will want to read that.

But if, afterward, one of your cows should then fall out of the pasture, steepling the fence, on a snowy morning in January, onto the freeway below, the right-of-way of which having been slashed, by the jaws of the Cat, through your bottom land a decade hence, and cause in consequence numerous traffic accidents, in pile-up, for which you are then sued on a cause of negligence for not keeping your cow properly tied to its hitching post, by the wile's crutch, on a snowy January morn, knowing the while its propensities, under such conditions, it having been in a blizzard born, for donning boots and then skiing down the pitched slope in heedless glee, as it sang, too, while in career, in restive remembrance of the war years, "Keep Those Milk Bottles Quiet", don't blame us. We were only trying to help.

On the editorial page, "The Decision on the Boulevard" tells of the new City Council once again taking up the issue of the cross-town boulevard, to become Independence Boulevard. The editorial sees no basis for reconsideration of the previously approved plan, which had undergone a thorough public airing and expert examination before approval. Only a vote of the citizens, it offers, should therefore alter it, and no mandate for doing so appeared.

"To Needle the Needler" tells of CBS presenting a new radio program, premiering the previous Saturday, hosted by Don Hollenbeck, titled "CBS Views the Press", examining critically the press in response to the report of the Hutchins Commission on Freedom of the Press, recommending decentralization and breaking up of monopoly ownership of radio and press outlets in the same market, as well as criticizing the print and radio media for undue stress on sensationalism in reportage.

The piece thinks that the program, only broadcast from New York City, would do the Fourth Estate good to hear criticism, especially being levelled via radio, a medium which the print press regularly assailed for its lesser performance in news delivery, interspersing soap operas and other such programming.

"The Good Name of Rich Square" tells of an attorney, resident of Rich Square, writing to the Raleigh News & Observer defending the predominantly black community, asserting it to have been unfairly maligned in the press in the wake of the Buddy Bush incident, a resident of Rich Square who had been kidnaped by a lynch mob from jail in nearby Jackson and, but for his escape, was about to be lynched on Friday a week earlier. The attorney stated that black and white residents of the community had lived in harmony for years. The Buddy Bush incident was, he contended, merely an aberration.

The lawyer had criticized "foreign press reports" for calumny against the community, but never once found any fault with the lynchers who brought the bad publicity in the first place.

The piece saw no twisting by the press of the facts and did not put in the mouth of the Police Chief of Rich Square the statement that the seven accused men could have raised a million dollars, if needed, for bail, as they came from the best families.

The editorial concludes that the people of Rich Square had seen to it that the law was brought to bear against Buddy Bush when he was accused of attempted rape, and now it was incumbent upon them to apply the law against the men who sought to lynch him, charged with kidnaping and breaking and entering a jail, and conspiracy to commit those offenses.

A piece from the Asheville Citizen, titled "A Report Gathers Dust", states that some members of HUAC were blocking publication of a pamphlet titled "Fascism in Action", prepared at the direction of Congressman Wright Patman by the Legislative Reference Service of the Library of Congress. HUAC members believed that "action" was only desired by Communists.

The committee, per its usual course, believed that anyone who sought to expose Fascism was a Communist. But "Communism in Action" had already been published by the Service. J. Edgar Hoover had stated that the two great threats to democracy were Fascism and Communism, both being materialistic, totalitarian, and anti-religious, as well as degrading to humanity. He saw them as differing little but in name.

The piece thus wonders why HUAC insisted on exposing one and not the other.

Drew Pearson tells of President Truman and the Congress agreeing on at least one thing, a low opinion of modern art. The President had recently written to Assistant Secretary of State William Benton that modern art derived from "the vaporings of half-baked lazy people."

No, Mr. President. It is fully baked usually, literally.

The President had also referred to modern art as "ham and eggs art". At least he had not referred to it as scrambled eggs.

Mr. Benton had defended, to both the President and Congress, his purchases of modern art for display in Europe.

Mr. Pearson reprints the entirety of the President's letter, in which he opined that art requires evidence of painstaking technique, lacking in "modern art", which he considered not to be art at all.

It's a craft—akin to the 1946 World Series and the Democratic primary election in Kansas City. (Cf. Truman Capote, circa 1969, on "The Dick Cavett Show", and his diatribe calling all actors, and eventually all artists, "stupid", starting with Marlon Brando, and ultimately then referring to acting as a craft, not an art, carefully and studiously distinguishing art and craft, admitting that a substantial component of writing was craft.)

Mr. Pearson notes that the President was completely behind the remainder of the State Department's cultural program, including the Voice of America broadcasts from Munich to Eastern Europe and Russia.

Mr. Benton would resign from the State Department the ensuing September in the wake of the the art exhibit being pulled from circulation, and most of the paintings sold to the University of Oklahoma, the University of Georgia, and Auburn. He called the exhibit the greatest mistake of his career.

Mr. Pearson next tells of being encamped with a hundred Bulgar prisoners and a few Serbian guards in the Yugoslav region of "Dobro Do", ("Good Valley"), in 1919, right after World War I, engaged in rebuilding houses burned by the Bulgarian Army during the war. Only about a tenth of the people were literate. The camp was beside a schoolhouse, unused since 1912. The school had no windows, was without books or supplies. He relates that he had always felt guilt from the fact that they had not restored the school to working order before having to leave.

He asserts that lack of education was the reason for the continuing support of Tito and his Communist dictatorship in Yugoslavia.

He uses the reference as a launching platform into a brief discussion of the plight of schools with low teacher pay in his native state of Pennsylvania, where sometimes five different teachers handled a single class in a given year because of the turnover rate, that despite Pennsylvania being the second richest state in the union. But it had the lowest per capita tax rate of any state outside the South, Iowa, and Nebraska. The Governor was reducing taxes by 94 million dollars, but had no program to improve education.

He concludes by advising that well-educated persons did not fall for "isms".

Marquis Childs, in Minneapolis, tells of the University of Minnesota being the second largest university in the country, with 25,000 students, lending a view of what the new mass education was like, making higher education accessible to more people of varied socio-economic levels than ever before by virtue of the G.I. Bill. Only U.C.-Berkeley was larger.

It was expected that 30,000 students would enroll the following fall, as generally the ensuing school year was estimated by the V.A. to be the peak post-war year for higher education. The G.I. had his books and tuition paid by the Government, and received $65 per month if single and $90 if married. At the time, 5.8 million applications for education and job training had been approved by the V.A., of which four million were for institutional training, which included everything from dancing academies to cooking schools.

At the University of Minnesota, 61 percent of the the students were veterans, with 90 percent veteran enrollment in the engineering and business schools. It was unclear therefore whether the veteran wanted, as a consequence of higher education, higher income or was interested as much or more in the world of abstract ideas. But it was clear that the average veteran was serious about getting an education.

Consistent with the observations the previous month made by Hal Boyle at his alma mater, Indiana University, the atmosphere which Mr. Childs observed on campus was no longer so playful as before the war.

Classes sometimes ran to 900 students, requiring professors to don microphones. Buildings resembling a barracks or barn were being erected at Federal Government expense to accommodate the swollen student body.

When Henry Wallace spoke on the campus the previous month, 2,000 students turned out to hear him. The student newspaper analyzed his speech and accused him of double-dealing.

He concludes by suggesting that an experiment in mass education was taking place across the country, and on it hung far-reaching influence into the future.

Samuel Grafton discusses the opinion circulating that America was being "bled white" by European relief, playing into the hands of the Communists, to weaken the country financially before taking over Europe. He doubts that it was so, based on the entire cost thus far of the relief program being about 1.25 billion dollars, compared to 250 billion spent on the war.

The aid needed to be viewed differently, as peace dollars, investing in a stable future. The people were seeing this expenditure instead through the lens of war dollars. The peace dollars were beneficial to segments of the economy, such as the wheat producers, who were producing about double their normal output to accommodate the need for shipments abroad. It served as a cushion to gradual reduction of production levels.

So, if the money were not being spent on Europe, it would likely be spent on farm relief payments.

But the naysayers were behaving as if they did not want the country's problems solved, insisting that the Treasury was being "bled white".

A letter writer responds to a previous editorial, "Round Three on the Boulevard", states that he had no interest in the properties affected by the route proposed for the cross-town boulevard, but nevertheless strongly opposed it. As a developer, he believed the route was dangerouis and erratic, that a bypass was more sensible than an east-west route across the city.

A letter from a dry advocate says that the dry interests favored less drinking, and he believes that voting for establishment in the county of ABC stores for controlled sale of liquor would be to swap "the devil for the witch". He attributes the problem of bootlegging under prohibition to lack of police enforcement, and asserts that prohibition had been a success in terms of curbing drinking.

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