The Charlotte News

Friday, November 26, 1948


Site Ed. Note: The front page reports that the U.N. General Assembly had defeated by a vote of 33 to 6 a Polish resolution to forbid economic pressure by one nation on another as a means to influence domestic or foreign policy, designed to attack ERP. The Soviet bloc nations cast the six votes favoring the proposal. Nineteen nations abstained or were not present.

In the U.N. political committee, the U.S. opposed a British proposal to take the Negev Desert from Israel, contrary to the partition plan of the previous November which had awarded the territory to Israel.

Syria proposed a resolution to establish a five-nation committee to study the possibility of a single Palestine of Arabs and Jews on a federalized basis, a proposal defeated a year earlier by the Assembly.

In Charleston, U.S. District Court Judge J. Waties Waring ruled that blacks had established their membership in the South Carolina Democratic Party sufficiently to be admitted to vote in the primaries and that it was unconstitutional to deny anyone the right to vote by discrimination based on race or color. The decision made permanent a temporary injunction issued the previous July 16, granting blacks the right to vote in the 1948 primaries in South Carolina.

The National Negro Council charged that two million black citizens were denied the right to vote in five Southern states during the primary and general elections and asked for a Senate investigation of the matter. The Council asked that Senate hearings be held in Birmingham, Jackson, Miss., New Orleans, Atlanta, and Columbia, S.C.

Senator Millard Tydings of Maryland said that as chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee in the new Congress, he intended to keep defense spending to 15 billion dollars.

Madame Chiang Kai-Shek was planning another visit to the United States to make appeal for more aid.

In Munich, 14 more German war criminals were hung, bringing the number of executions, in groups of 9 to 15 on consecutive Fridays, to 87. Fifty-two still faced execution and 48 of those cases were under review. German church leaders had asked that the executions be stopped.

The President met with members of the Cabinet to discuss foreign policy. Secretary of State Marshall did much of the talking, apprising the members of developments internationally.

Agreement had been reached on both coasts in the longshoremen's strike, which had persisted for 86 days on the West Coast. Some 92,000 dock workers would return to work and load 830 million tons of held up Marshall Plan aid stuck on Eastern docks. The West Coast strike was the second longest in history to date and had cost 344 million dollars in lost trade to the shipping industry, four million dollars per day.

The Eastern strike was settled for a wage hike of 13 cents per hour, retroactive to August 21, bringing daytime base pay scale to $1.88 per hour. The lowest previous union demand had been $2.00 per hour as base pay.

The Western strike was settled on a wage hike of 15 cents per hour, to $1.82, the amount for which the union had asked at the start of the strike on September 2.

Amid anti-Communist rhetoric and demonstrations, the CIO convention in Portland, Ore., prepared to elect new officers, with overwhelming support being demonstrated for president Philip Murray's re-election. A campaign among right-wing CIO members to defeat United Electrical Workers Union head Albert Fitzgerald as a vice-president of the organization had been squelched by Mr. Murray and so Mr. Fitzgerald, head of a reputedly Communist-infiltrated union, was expected to be re-elected. The convention also voted to provide $100,000 monthly to the Southern organizing campaign, and more for national CIO organizing. The fees were via a three-cent increase in union dues paid to CIO.

North Carolina Governor-elect Kerr Scott, whose whereabouts had been a mystery for four days, was said by his secretary to be on vacation at a place unrevealed. Friends had begun to worry when he had not appeared for a meeting of the Advisory Budget Commission as planned.

Said a brother of Mr. Scott, "Kerr doesn't tell us what he's going to do; he does as he pleases." The family had expected him back for Thanksgiving, but he had not shown. A relative said that he may have gone up North somewhere.

At least he had not gone South.

The 21-year old Persian faith healer, Avak, was visiting Charlotte during the week after spending most of the year in meditation in a Miami hotel. Avak claimed to have seen a vision of Jesus in Persian Armen when he was 17, giving him the power to heal the sick. He had been brought to the United States by a wealthy Napa Valley, California, wine merchant in mid-1946, and had spent most of his time since in Florida. He had not visited tourist attractions or ever seen a movie, spent his days meditating and healing the sick.

After healing a diabetic in Florida, he reportedly had a medically inexplicable high fever for a day and a half. One person claimed miraculous recovery by carrying a picture of Avak in his pocket.

There is a photograph of him on the front page should you have reason to test the premise with a printer and a pair of shears.

Caveat: Judging by the world situation, he was not having widespread success.

Donald MacDonald of The News tells of the Police Department's motto for the holidays: "Don't walk in a daze, but look both ways." Records showed a decrease in traffic-related injuries and fatalities in Charlotte since the previous year, with 113 through October, 1948, versus 124 for the first ten months of 1947. The police warned that those over 65 had to be especially careful as the pedestrian death rate for that group was four times that of the national average, with the next highest being among those aged 45 to 64. "Walking," said the police spokesman, "is a full-time job."

Where's our paycheck?

On page 8-A, radio critic John Crosby reports of the fast growth of television across the nation, with 41 stations in 22 cities, serving 620,000 television sets.

On the editorial page, "The Empty Stocking Fund" tells of the beginning of the annual News-sponsored drive to collect money for toys to be distributed to needy families in the community at Christmas. It urges giving to the fund for the satisfaction of knowing that the contributor would have provided presents at Christmas for youngsters who would otherwise be without.

"Things Aren't the Same on the Hill" tells of some UNC students having designed on November 13, following the UNC victory in College Park over Maryland, to storm the White House grounds and place a Confederate flag there.

The piece wonders how the "Snaveley Machine" victory became embroiled in political feuding between the White House and the South, but there it was. The whole thing, however, had turned into "alcoholic Saturday night victory talk" and never came off.

The piece finds it curious, nevertheless, in suggesting the revival of the Confederate flag as a symbol of protest by college students. The revivification of the symbol was taking place all over the South—a "profane way to demonstrate their Saturday night high spirits." Older people might miss the harmless, humorous mischief intended.

The flag had appeared at the Dixiecrat convention and during football games at Kenan Stadium in Chapel Hill during the fall—indeed, would continue to appear in the South through 1963, both before and afterward, its wavers seemingly oblivious to the dark imagery it conjured, perhaps not so amazing at the time when viewed through the lens of popular media representations celebrating the centennial of the Civil War.

The piece finds the phenomenon revealing of how many generations had passed since the dark days of the Civil War and how meaning transmitted by symbols had come to be perceived differently over time. Most of the students waving the flags appeared to be doing so in a jocular manner.

When Governor Strom Thurmond had appeared in Chapel Hill, there were several Confederate flag wavers in the audience, but there was a "knowing half-mocking attitude" about the students who displayed them.

The faculty and administration, once concerned about the Red Menace overtaking Chapel Hill, now were busy keeping the Stars and Bars off the White House lawn.

Well, in any event, beyond the singing of a mockingbird's version of "Amen", we trust that, following the UNC victory in basketball over Maryland Tuesday night next, there will be no such symbols displayed or any attempt to place one on the White House lawn. No matter the prankster spirit which might attend such a mission, you will make national news and be arrested with deserving accompanying ignominy for the rest of your days, not to mention being presented with an FBI jacket, not the sort one wears.

We recommend therefore more innocent expressions of collegiate devil-may-care spirit.

You could ride a giant turtle...

But after the UNC football team defeats Clemson next Saturday, please don't try to ride a tiger to the big bowl game. Leave the driving to them, lest you wind up inside.

Incidentally, the editorial brings to mind a question: Why is it so, and for decades past, that students and alumni alike rarely, if ever, refer to "The Hill"? The phrase was used regularly by UNC students of an earlier generation in the Twenties and Thirties, and evidently into the Forties. Perhaps through the wear of time, the advent of a faster-paced tv and rock 'n' roll rocket age, the narrowing of perceptions, the notion that the University is perched on a hill has been lost.

"Chaos at Christmastide" tells of Christmas spirit sweeping the community.

But where is the Christmas parade after Thanksgiving to kick off the season?

Oh, they already had it before Thanksgiving and so there is nothing now to which to look forward after the turkey. See? What did we tell you?

Greedy merchants pandering to the materialism of consumers does not the spirit of Christmas make—then or now. It breeds cynicism toward the true spirit of the season.

A piece from the Christian Science Monitor, titled "Rural Helpfulness", praises the teamwork of the Schley Grange in North Carolina, which had won a $25,000 prize from Sears Roebuck for its effort in renovating a Baptist Church in the community and in holding a field day to view soil conservation practices in the remaking of a farm.

A summary of a piece from the Congressional Quarterly reports that opposition in Congress and in the Administration was growing to the long-range farm program of lower, flexible price supports, 60 to 90 percent of parity on a sliding scale, set to become effective at the beginning of 1950. Southern control of the new House Agriculture Committee following the election would likely mean defeat of the program in the House. The Senate Agriculture and Forestry Committee was to be chaired by Oklahoma Senator Elmer Thomas, pressing for continuance of the 90 percent parity level.

Drew Pearson tells of Secretary of State Marshall having agreed with the President during their conference of November 22 to remain in the Cabinet for an indefinite period after January 20. Secretary Marshall expressed the hope that it would not entail the full four years. The President told him that he could not spare him at present, until the situation in Berlin cleared again, at which time, Secretary Marshall would be free to do as he saw fit.

In Macon, Georgia, a group of American Legionnaires and church leaders were seeking to head off a KKK rally scheduled for December 10 in Macon. The Klan had indicated in their secret Klavern meetings in Atlanta that they planned the largest cross-burning in Klan history at Macon. To combat the planned Macon meeting, a city ordinance was being proposed to forbid wearing of masks in public places. The question remained whether Klan influence could block passage of the ordinance by the City Council.

The Rev. Dan Poling, father of one of the four chaplains who had given up their lives so that GI's could live during the sinking of a war transport ship, had proposed an inter-faith dinner to celebrate unity in the country on the evening following the inauguration of President Truman on January 20. The occasion would be chaired by former President Hoover and invitees would include all living widows of deceased former Presidents, and former presidential nominees and their wives. It would honor the President and present a face of unity, irrespective of party, to the world, while making an appeal for the Children's Fund of the U.N. Dr. Poling had reminded that the U.S. had met only a tenth of its 60 million dollar quota for contributions to this fund, whereas Canada, with one-eighteenth the population, had raised four million dollars more at ten million dollars.

Senator Claude Pepper had complimented the President on taking in Florida sunshine in Key West, making him appear as the "champion" he was. The President said that the climate was so languorous that it caused him to remain in bed until 7:00 a.m. Senator Pepper countered that any such climate could not be beat.

Air Force strategists had calculated that Russia, in the event of war, would neutralize U.S. bases in Britain within 20 days. The Navy said that it could not keep sea lanes open to American shipping in the event of war with Russia, given its expanding submarine fleet, obtained from Germany after the war. The Navy was thus stressing light aircraft carriers and destroyers.

Marquis Childs discusses some of the mistakes made in American policy toward China. Secretary of State Marshall, after returning from China at the end of 1946 following a year as the President's special envoy, recommended to the President that a moderate coalition Government be formed between the Chiang Government and the Communists. That proposal proved unworkable. At the other extreme were devotees to Chiang, either for sincere reasons or having been wooed to the cause by the Chinese during junkets to China, or having a financial interest in China, or, as William Bullitt, returning from a special mission at the behest of the lameduck 80th Congress, seeking to make political hay out of the mistakes in Administration policy.

Official policy existed somewhere in between these extremes and effectively was no policy. It was unfair to blame only the State Department for the resulting policy vacuum, for a mixture of problems were involved, starting with confused public opinion anent China. Some officials in the Government had advocated sending aid directly to military commanders in North China, such as Fu Tso-Yi, thus bypassing the graft in the Chiang Government. But those loyal to Chiang chafed at the notion of undermining the World War II ally, as though, remarks Mr. Childs, Chiang had not already done so himself.

James Marlow discusses possible changes to Taft-Hartley. UMW, CIO, and AFL wanted Taft-Hartley scrapped. But none had suggested any law which would prevent big, crippling strikes, a goal of any new legislation regarding labor.

John L. Lewis had gone so far as to advocate that nothing be substituted in place of Taft-Hartley, leaving free enterprise to resolve wage disputes rather than mediation through the NLRB, as under the Wagner Act of 1935 and Taft-Hartley.

The new Congress would likely abrogate Taft-Hartley and replace it with the old Wagner Act, which had no big strike injunction capability.

Philip Murray of CIO did not want injunctions to prevent big strikes. AFL had indicated indirectly that it might support some big strike prevention. Some labor leaders had suggested having a means to forestall large strikes even if not directly enjoining them.

A letter from the general chairman of the Queen City Classic, the second annual News-sponsored football game between West Charlotte and Second Ward High Schools to raise money for their underfunded athletic programs, expresses appreciation to the newspaper for its sponsorship and support of the game. It had produced a net of $3,750, with $3,600 split between the two schools.

A letter writer from Blacksburg, S.C., expresses general gratitude for the newspaper, to which she had subscribed for over thirty years. She was paying attention to the contest for the longest subscriber, but was not entering it herself as she believed she was not the longest subscriber and in any event had no proof of her subscription as she had paid in cash weekly.

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