The Charlotte News

Friday, October 22, 1948


Site Ed. Note: The front page reports that in Paris, the six "neutral" nations of the U.N. Security Council asked Russia to end the Berlin blockade and the Western powers to end their counter-blockade, that they agree that the Russian mark would become the only official currency for Berlin, and that the parties meet in the Foreign Ministers Council on November 30 to work through the remaining German problems. Neither side had yet indicated assent. The Big Four nations were urged by the six nations to set aside prestige and pride to work for peace.

Leaders of Eastern Germany gathered in Berlin to draft a constitution for Eastern Germany to rival that being drafted in Bonn for Western Germany.

The President approved an additional allocation of 66 C-54 transport planes for the Berlin airlift, bringing the total to 250. The order was made after consultation the previous day with General Lucius Clay.

In Tel Aviv, Israel ordered its troops to cease fighting in the Negev, following its acceptance of the U.N.-declared ceasefire after obtaining sufficient assurances that the Arabs would also obey the ceasefire. Egypt had likewise accepted the order. Quiet in the region ensued, after fighting earlier in the day had continued in the week-old battle for the southern desert region of Palestine.

In St. Etienne, France, a newspaper editor reported that police opened fire with submachine guns on 1,500 striking coal miners, and that the strikers had returned the fire. Several were wounded on both sides. The Communist-led strikers had attacked the police initially with stones, nuts, bolts and sticks.

In Munich, ten German war criminals were hanged at Landsberg prison. They included the former commander of the Dachau concentration camp and a commander of troops who executed Allied aviators who had parachuted over enemy territory. All had been convicted by the American tribunal.

Two Munich churchmen, one Catholic and one Protestant, had sought an end to the executions of the remaining 139 war criminals awaiting their fate.

In Athens, seven Greek Communists, convicted of crimes against the nation, were executed, while 50 others were arrested for being members of the outlawed Communist Party.

The IRB indicated that it had erred in listing the Oak Ridge Institute of Nuclear Studies as having lost its tax-exempt status. The mistake was caused by a printer's error.

The President returned to West Virginia to campaign for Matthew Neely, hoping to defeat incumbent Senator Chapman Revercomb. The President said the previous night in a radio address from the White House that the Republicans intended to "put the axe" to the New Deal programs.

Governor Dewey sent a surrogate, Representative Hugh Scott, RNC chairman, to West Virginia to campaign for Mr. Revercomb, saying that Mr. Dewey did not have time to be there in person.

Mr. Dewey discussed discrimination at the annual Al Smith memorial dinner the previous night in New York.

Former Vice-President Henry Wallace discussed labor in a radio talk the previous night in New York.

Governor Strom Thurmond campaigned in Tennessee.

A fact-finding board reported to the President that East Coast AFL longshoremen and management had surpassed the principal obstacles to an agreement in the wage dispute which had threatened a strike by 45,000 dock workers.

In Pittsburgh, a six-month old baby, according to hospital personnel, swallowed a bottle of perfume and would likely develop hives as a result.

In Quincy, Mass., the Navy undertook to fly the crippled three-year old daughter and wife of a sailor to Los Angeles to reunite as a family.

In New York, police revealed a plot to extort $100,000 from Edgar Luckenbach, Jr., heir to a steamship fortune and backer of Broadway shows. Two men accused of sending the extortion letter were arrested after they sought to pick up what they thought was the extortion money, actually a bogus package with detectives observing. One had admitted the scheme.

In Los Angeles, actor Robert Walker, 29, was arrested for allegedly being drunk in public. West Los Angeles police claimed that he was "loud and boisterous". He said, after his date was stopped for suspicion of drunk driving, that he had been drunk 25 years, but that she was not drunk, as she could "drink the whole jail full of liquor and never get drunk." The officers contended that he became belligerent at the station. He wanted someone to call his former wife, actress Jennifer Jones. His second wife, daughter of director John Ford, had recently sought an end to their July 8 marriage on the basis that he had not performed his duties as a husband, causing the marriage never to have been consummated.

The police said that they had chased the actor's 1949 Cadillac for three blocks before the woman pulled over.

He may have been off the wagon a little, even off the reservation, if still on the merry-go-round, but the question remains the same: Was there a cellist on the train?

To make matters even more complicated, students at Oklahoma A & M were seeking to get local dry cleaners in Stillwater, home of the Aggies, to drop their prices from 50 cents for pants and 90 cents for suits, forming a student association for the purpose to perform a boycott, proclaiming "Aggie-baggie" season in lieu of standard dress. The dry cleaners, for their part, said that prices ought be hiked, not lowered.

On the editorial page, "Education at the Crossroads?" tells of the report by the State Education Commission on the status of education in the state, making its recommendations to the 1949 Legislature. It extensively covers again the key points of the report, indicating general deficiency in education in the state and recommending higher teacher salaries, with a minimum of $2,400 per year, and smaller classes, plus more funding for school construction, shifting part of the revenue burden for schools to local property taxes, the latter a controversial aspect of the recommendations.

As Governor Charles Aycock's progressive education program at the turn of the century had determined educational progress in the state for decades, so, too, might this report into the future.

"If Not Registered, Do So Tomorrow" reminds that a democracy could not thrive without participation of the populace in the form of voting. During the primary in the spring, only 60,000 were registered to vote in Mecklenburg County, out of a population of potential voters of about 160,000. The following day was the last opportunity to register and it encourages those who had not done so to take the plunge.

Drew Pearson tells of Secretary of Defense James Forrestal having fought the President's order to increase Army and Air Force reserves to match that of the Navy. In the end, the efforts of the Secretary failed.

He next relates of Robert Smith, previously a chief Washington lobbyist, until his entertainment nest was discovered and exposed. He drifted away only to return with another lobby which then was exposed as a self-serving moneymaker for his family. His latest scheme was to send a letter to thousands of people urging them to support former RNC chairman Carroll Reece for the Senate from Tennessee, promising them a place on the national advisory board of an insurance group. Mr. Pearson quips that the board must have been unusually large. Moreover, the letter stated that Mr. Reece had realized how fatal the New Deal was to those whose futures depended on insurance. Mr. Reece, while in Congress, however, had been on a New Deal national economic committee which investigated insurance companies.

He notes that the race between Congressman Estes Kefauver and Mr. Reece was one of the more interesting Senate races. Mr. Kefauver was young and energetic, believed to be following in the footsteps of former Secretary of State Cordell Hull, while Mr. Reece had opposed Mr. Hull's reciprocal trade agreements, a grave error.

The Spanish Foreign Minister of the Franco Government had come to Latin America hoping for several official invitations. Only the Peron Government in Argentina, however, had extended the welcome mat, along with less valued invitations from the Dominican Republic and Peru.

Stewart Alsop, in Montgomery, Ala., tells of that state's split Democratic Party, into the Dixiecrats, led by former Governor Frank Dixon, and the regular Democrats, led by Senator Lister Hill, a liberal on everything except civil rights, a long-time supporter of the New Deal.

Mr. Dixon had always fought the Klan but was considered by Northern liberals as a Southern reactionary. He believed that the Truman civil rights program would reduce whites to a "mongrel, inferior race, mixed in blood".

Senator Hill had never been an advocate of white supremacy but opposed Federal intervention in civil rights. Senator Hill was a part of what Mr. Dixon believed the Democrats had become during the New Deal era, "an unholy alliance of left-wingers, pseudo liberals and radicals of as many hues as Joseph's coat."

The Senator refused to join when the bulk of the Alabama delegation walked out of the Democratic convention. He had refused to answer a letter inviting him to join the Dixiecrats. But he had not denounced the Dixiecrats because of the fact that under state law, he could be barred from running again for the Senate in 1950 if he did. For the law required that the candidate for state offices had to have supported the candidate of his party for the presidency to qualify, and Strom Thurmond was the Democratic candidate on the Alabama ballot.

It was believed that after the election, Senator Hill would begin to fight the good fight against reaction. On one side would be the Senator, who thought as Northern liberals except on civil rights, while on the other would be the Dixiecrats, who thought as Republicans on most issues and wanted to depart from Northern liberals.

Such a right-left split could result in a two-party system in the South. But the Georgia situation suggested a different result. There, Governor-nominate Herman Talmadge had refused to join the Dixiecrats, staying within the Democratic Party, but believed that after the defeat of President Truman, Southern Democrats would be able to dominate the party, a group to which he wished to belong.

Republican opposition might take support from politicians such as Mr. Talmadge and eventually cause the Southern Democrats to resemble their counterparts in the North, leading perhaps to a reconciliation of Northern and Southern Democrats.

Marquis Childs tells of the Democrats showing signs of optimism, believing that the President in his cross-country touring had begun to have an impact on the voters, that they were moving into his corner. But even the most optimistic Democrats believed that he would need another month to win over enough votes to carry the election.

They did, however, believe that they would gain control of the Senate by a narrow margin, winning GOP seats in Minnesota, Wyoming, Oklahoma, and West Virginia, possibly Iowa.

A Dewey landslide looked less likely than a month earlier, but a sizable majority in the electoral college still was probable.

Yet, there was natural sympathy for the underdog and Governor Dewey had proved cold and aloof on the campaign trail, with his train not attracting very sizable or excitable crowds compared to those of the President. His slip of the tongue in a moment's exasperation after his campaign train had backed up into a crowd of 1,000 people at one stop, referring to the engineer as a "lunatic" and that he ought be shot at dawn, had fueled speculation about his temper and ability to control it. Sometimes, such a faux pas could count more than speeches during a campaign.

The President's journey was lonely, with the only Cabinet member regularly on the trail with him being newly appointed Labor Secretary Maurice Tobin. Secretary of Agriculture Charles Brannan was helping some, while Secretary of Interior Julius Krug, supposed to be taking care of the West, had demonstrated no evidence of it yet. Former Secretary of Interior Harold Ickes, who had split with the President in 1946, had recently mended fences and was ready to campaign for him.

Labor had organized a get-out-the vote drive, but it was a month too late in coming. Alaska had recently held its elections and the Democrats had swept them. The Territory had always predicted the national results.

A piece by C. W. Gilchrist of Charlotte, reprinted from The Rotarian, the official publication of Rotary International, advocates voting. A single vote, he informs, was precious, had elected Oliver Cromwell to the "Long Parliament" in England, changing history in the process.

A single vote had elected Edward Hannegan of Indiana to the Legislature, from which he was chosen by the membership to be Senator, and in that capacity had cast the deciding vote which annexed Texas to the union.

Likewise, a single vote had made California a part of the country in 1850, giving the free states a majority by one state.

President Andrew Johnson had survived removal from office by impeachment by only a single vote in 1868.

In 1876, the Hayes-Tilden election for the presidency was decided by a single vote on a 15-person specially appointed bipartisan commission, albeit with a Republican acting as chair and becoming the deciding vote for the Republican Rutherford B. Hayes, after neither candidate was able to achieve a majority of electors because three states had sent two slates, one for each candidate. The commission decided that the Hayes electors would be recognized, despite Samuel Tilden having won the popular vote.

The Eighteenth Amendment, banning alcohol for consumption, was ratified after William Jennings Bryan successfully prevailed on a wavering legislator in Louisiana to vote for ratification, the deciding vote.

Had the piece been written 52 years and a couple of weeks later, it could have added the historic election of 2000 to the critical one vote margins, Florida, following a contested ballot count, making the difference in the electoral vote in that election, though Vice-President Gore had won the popular vote nationally by a half million ballots.

And the rest, as they say...

Another pome comes from the Atlanta Journal—much superior to those out of the Wichita Falls Times, unable even to form rhyme sublime—"in which is outlined briefly a proposed organization for the examination of those who are hard to convince:


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