The Charlotte News

Wednesday, October 6, 1948


Site Ed. Note: The front page reports that the three Western powers each presented to the Security Council this date the case against Russia regarding the Berlin blockade, the American spokesman, Columbia Professor Phillip Jessup, claiming that the Russians had used all available means to force the Western powers out of Berlin and assuring that the U.S. stood ready to discuss all disputed issues regarding Germany at the point when the blockade would be lifted.

The American Military Government's official newspaper in Berlin reported that the Cominform recently had met in Dessau in Eastern Germany to discuss the Cominform position in the event of open conflict. It was the first such meeting of the Cominform in Germany. In attendance were the Soviet military administration, representatives from Czechoslovakia, Poland, and Hungary. It had been rumored that Soviet satellite representatives of the Cominform had met with Stalin recently in the Crimea.

In China, about 100,000 Nationalist troops were reported to have abandoned Changchun, the capital of Manchuria, fleeing to Mukden. Previous reports said that 200 persons or more per day had been dying of starvation in Changchun. Orders for the abandonment were said to have come directly from Chiang Kai-Shek.

In Shanghai, pilots of two American C-46 commercial planes reported that Soviet fighter planes had buzzed them over China. The planes were part of the company owned by retired Maj. General Claire Chennault.

Senator Chan Gurney of South Dakota, chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, advocated military aid be provided to Western Europe and that friendlier relations take place with Franco's Spain. He also favored a pledge of American armed forces in the event of an attack on Western European countries. He believed that a Dewey administration would open doors to Spain. The Senator had just returned from a tour of the Middle East and Europe.

FDR kingmaker James Farley visited Generalissimo Franco in Madrid and expressed the hope of establishment soon of more amicable relations with the U.S.

Secretary of the Army Kenneth Royall said that a special Army commission had recommended sparing the lives of a limited number of the 139 Nazis sentenced to death for war crimes and still awaiting execution. A stay of execution had been granted in the spring to 17 men convicted for the killing of 150 or more unarmed American prisoners of war at Malmedy, Belgium, during the Battle of the Bulge on December 17, 1944. It was not yet known whether they were included among those to receive commutations. Records had been examined by the special commission in all cases in which it was claimed that the prosecution had introduced improperly obtained evidence. Of the 426 Nazis originally sentenced to death, 160 had already been executed and 127 had already had their sentences reduced, leaving 139 still facing execution.

In Munich, a war crimes official reported missing the lampshades reputed to be made of tattooed skins of prisoners at Buchenwald concentration camp. It was not known what happened to them. A shrunken head was also among the possessions found at Buchenwald, said to have belonged to Ilse Koch whose life term for war crimes had been reduced in June to four years by an Army review board. The exhibits had been sent to Nuremberg for use in the trials of Hermann Goering and other top Nazis. The man who had been in charge of them went back to the U.S. and another person took charge of the exhibits. It was reported that someone may have thought that the exhibits were no longer needed for evidence and took them as souvenirs.

Frau Koch was awaiting a determination by General Lucius Clay, at the request of Secretary Royall, as to whether she could be tried on additional charges of mistreating prisoners at Buchenwald.

In Meshed, Iran, 200 were killed and thousands injured by an earthquake which hit the previous midnight. Damage was great in the walled holy city, a hundred miles northeast of Tehran. The quake had apparently been recorded at Fordham University in New York, registering as stronger than the earthquake the previous June in Fukui, Japan, which had killed 3,238 people.

Florida escaped serious damage from the hurricane which had skirted the "Gold Coast". Ten inches of rain fell on Miami as sustained winds of 78 mph were recorded, with gusts up to 90 mph. Eleven had died and 300 were injured in Cuba where winds had reached 130 mph.

In Philadelphia, the President spoke at Convention Hall. Earlier, he had spoken to a crowd of 2,000 from his train in Wilmington, Del., saying that Governor Dewey was running on a slogan of "two families in every garage"—paraphrasing the Herbert Hoover campaign promise in 1928 of "two cars in every garage and a chicken in every pot".

Governor Dewey was not scheduled to resume campaigning until the following Monday, busy in Albany with John Foster Dulles preparing for his new administration.

Moral: Don't count your families before they catch on.

The train carrying GOP vice-presidential candidate Earl Warren was hit by fire, forcing Governor Warren and his family to evacuate the train. The accident occurred near Marysville, O. One axle of one rear car had been severed. The family of Governor Warren spent the night in Chicago where he had a planned speaking engagement.

John L. Lewis urged doubling of UMW dues from $2 monthly to $4.

In Boston, the Boston Braves won the first game of the World Series over the Cleveland Indians, 1-0. Bob Feller, giving up only two base hits, lost the game and Johnny Sain, who gave up four hits, was the winning pitcher.

On the editorial page, "Lighting and Scholarship" discusses the meaning of "foot-candle", the term referencing the amount of light falling on one square foot from a candle placed one foot away. The term had obtained significance by a report to the City School Commissioners that the average lighting in Charlotte classrooms was only one to three foot-candles. The piece asks the reader to imagine doing schoolwork under such dim lighting conditions. The engineers had said that the minimum standard acceptable was 25 to 30 foot-candles of light.

In consequence, a recommendation for spending $250,000 to improve lighting in the schools was before the Commission.

Most of the classrooms had been built before the era of fluorescent lighting and had instead big, dirty globes with incandescent light bulbs in them. Sometimes, they burned out or broke and were not replaced.

According to studies, good lighting was connected to good scholarship, and so the piece recommends the improvement and the expenditure of the full $250,000 at once rather than only the currently available $50,000.

If one of those fluorescent suckers goes bad though and starts incessantly to buzz, it can positively drive you buggy, getting right down into the recesses between your anvil and hammer, blinding you to your task, especially if you haven't had the requisite amount of sleep the prior night, the only suitable remedy then being to concentrate mightily on the minute hand of the clock, hoping for 2:30 to arrive sooner than later.

One could, of course, in that event make appeal to the bad boys of the classroom to join in an effort, by the facility afforded by the little green rubber bands, the same color as the walls, and an assortment of pebbles or coins, to put out the offending apparatus, but that would be subversive. And you had better be thankful that we are not and never have been by nature subversive.

"Will Russia Walk Out?" wonders whether Russia would abandon the U.N. over the Berlin crisis. Conventional opinion was that it would remain. The Russians had never faced such uniform condemnation from the West. Premier Paul-Henri Spaak of Belgium had delivered a tongue-lashing against the Soviets in response to the condemnatory address by Andrei Vishinsky, calling the current Soviet policy more ambitious than that of the czars and making Hitler's fifth columns in other countries during the war appear as nothing by comparison to that of the Russians maintained since the war.

The piece ventures that perhaps the Russians would understand that to regain some level of good will in world opinion, they must achieve an amicable end to the Berlin crisis through compromise, even if it would amount only to an armed truce between East and West. That would be better news to the world than war.

"Judge Warlick and ABC" tells of Superior Court Judge Wilson Warlick—whose nomination to the Federal District Court bench had been temporarily withdrawn until after the election in favor of a temporary recess appointment after the Senate refused to consider judicial confirmations in the special session in July—being a dry advocating a statewide referendum on the sale of alcohol. Such a statewide vote would likely wind up in defeating the 25 or so wet counties out of the total of 100.

But he also had recognized that in Mecklenburg County, since the advent of the ABC system a year earlier, the bootleggers coming into court on criminal charges had practically vanished. And he stated that he did not see the ABC system as having increased drinking in the county.

In Federal Court also, points out the piece, moonshiners were finding it hard to do business and the trade had diminished.

It concludes that if Judge Warlick was convinced of the merits of the ABC system, the ABC Board must have been doing a very good job locally.

Drew Pearson tells of Congressman J. Parnell Thomas, HUAC chairman, having become irate at a police officer in Maryland who gave him a ticket for speeding and passing cars on a curve. The police officer then followed the Congressman for ten miles, prompting Mr. Thomas to believe that there was something suspicious about the matter. He tried to get the police officer to stop following him, but the police officer refused. Mr. Thomas then complained to a Maryland Commissioner and obtained intervention by a friend in Congress from Maryland, all to no avail. The New Jersey head of motor vehicles told the New Jersey Congressman that he could do nothing involving another state.

"Thus ended," concludes Mr. Pearson, "another chapter in the palpitating life of J. Parnell Thomas of New Jersey." Mr. Pearson found the incident noteworthy for the fact that Mr. Thomas had no problem in wiretapping and casting suspicion on many citizens of the country for supposed un-American activities.

Governor Dewey was not going to intervene in the Michigan scandal involving automobile dealer contributions illegally made to the GOP. The Chevrolet dealer who initiated the contributions, Arthur Summerfield, had supported Senator Arthur Vandenburg for the nomination. The State Attorney General who had been pressing the case was for Dewey.

Joseph Alsop, in Chicago, finds the Progressive Party proving a bust, had determined to withdraw their challenger to Congresswoman Helen Gahagan Douglas in California, as well as in other places where they had initially placed a candidate. The Illinois Progressives had sought to make a deal with Jacob Arvey, the head of the Kelly-Nash machine in Cook County, whereby the Democratic Party would keep liberal Paul Douglas off the Democratic ticket for the Senate, and if he refused, the Progressives would run a candidate to help re-elect the stooge of Col. Robert McCormick, Senator Curly Brooks. When Mr. Arvey refused to agree, they ran the Progressive candidate but were ruled ineligible for the state ballot.

After that point, they offered another deal to Mr. Arvey whereby they would take the Cook County nominees, allowed onto the ballot, off the ballot and withdraw all of the write-in effort for their other candidates statewide, provided Mr. Arvey could assure that Henry Wallace would be on the ballot statewide. Mr. Arvey also rejected this scheme.

A similar scenario had transpired in Minnesota where the Progressives sought to run a candidate against liberal Mayor Hubert Humphrey to re-elect his opponent, reactionary Senator Joseph Ball. The candidate was withdrawn after the iron workers objected to any indirect support of Senator Ball, a supporter of Taft-Hartley, and vowed to switch their allegiance from Mr. Wallace to President Truman.

Initially, Mr. Wallace and other front men of the party had not gone along with the idea that liberals were inimical to Progressive Party interests, but had eventually agreed with the strategy. When the new strategy of withdrawal of the Progressive candidates was announced, however, Mr. Wallace winced.

All effort by the Progressives was now being concentrated on getting votes for Mr. Wallace. Resentment over the earlier strategy had reduced the expected Wallace vote to less than two million, and if he got no more than that, the party would disintegrate as it would cease to be a front group desired by the Communists.

James Marlow wonders whether the Politburo had gotten Josef Stalin to go back on his word after telling the Big Three ambassadors in Moscow that there would be cooperation in Berlin to resolve the crisis after which, during the Berlin talks between the four-power commanders, Marshal Vassily Sokolovsky had balked. Premier Stalin had agreed to lift the blockade if there could be agreement on the issue of currency such that the four powers would jointly control the Russian marks as the sole currency. In Berlin, the Russians, however, nixed such a plan. That ended the diplomatic talks and led to presentation of the crisis to the U.N.

The latest Russian offer was for the West to abandon the idea of establishing a separate Western government of Germany, in response to which the Russians would lift the blockade. That was a condition not mentioned by Stalin, though he had expressed a hope that it would be considered.

So, concludes Mr. Marlow, Stalin had changed his mind or the Politburo had determined that he had not been tough enough and changed it for him.

A letter writer counsels wholesale repentance for the country to remedy the many wrongs besetting it.

A letter writer comments on the cult of snake handling and other such superstitious beliefs held by certain religious sects professing them as Biblically sanctioned practices. He says that faith would not move mountains or even small hills, but that gasoline powered shovels would. Humans were the most dangerous creatures on earth, as proved by their wars.

A letter writer says that he was angered to read of the drive to have a statewide referendum on alcohol, views it as an effort of the minority to impose their will on the majority. He also was upset that The News would allow its front page to be used as an instrument for such an effort. He says that many had circulated petitions in the drive to get ABC controlled sales passed in 1947 and had gotten no such attendant publicity. He wants more freedom of the press for the side of controlled sales to match that given to temperance.

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.