The Charlotte News

Saturday, November 6, 1948


Site Ed. Note: The front page reports that at the U.N. meeting in Paris, Russia, through Deputy Foreign Minister Andrei Vishinsky, charged before the political committee that Greece, with full awareness by the U.S. and Britain, was preparing to use poison gas on the Communist guerrillas. The statement came during continuing debate on the resolution that Yugoslavia, Albania, and Bulgaria were making illegal incursions to the Greek borders.

Mr. Vishinsky said that Paul Porter, former director of OPA, had written an interesting article in Collier's in which he had stated the "substance of the remarkable relations between Britain and Greece." He had said, according to Mr. Vishinsky, that the commercial clique in Greece was ready to sell out their country for a "barrel of pork" and that Britain had exploited these ruling cliques and suppressed the masses.

Another Russian delegate taunted U.S. delegate John Foster Dulles for the Republican defeat in the election, and claimed that the U.S. had dreams of empire.

Wait just a minute, now, pal. Only Americans can taunt members of the opposing party after a defeat. You step back into line, buster Commie. We'll say when it's time to taunt Mr. Dulles.

The President began discussions with Cabinet officers this date, discussing the prospect of a 1.5 billion dollar deficit for the fiscal year. Secretary of Defense James Forrestal appeared to confirm implicitly rumors that he might soon be leaving the Administration, refusing to be photographed with Secretary of the Navy John Sullivan, suggesting that there had been enough photographs.

Governor Dewey said that Republican overconfidence was a major factor in his defeat Tuesday in the presidential election, causing, he believed, two or three million Republicans to remain home. He asserted that telegrams he had received from Republican youth from around the country expressing approval of his campaign showed that there were many young people who believed that the Republican Party stood for the future. He planned to take a two-week vacation in Tucson, beginning the following day.

On Wall Street, stocks, which had been going down in price since the election, began the day with a rebound before again bogging down, with gains and losses about even by the end of trading.

Small tornadoes and windstorms swept through five Southern states, Georgia, Mississippi, Louisiana, Tennessee, and Kentucky, on Friday, leaving eight dead and 67 injured, along with extensive property damage.

In Fayetteville, Ark., a University of Arkansas freshman, 18, committed suicide by poison, leaving a note claiming that he had been the "phantom" killer of three of five persons in the vicinity of Texarkana during the previous two and a half years. Police had been stumped by the five killings, each accomplished by gunfire. The student provided a riddle which, he said, if solved, would give the combination to a strongbox. It was inside the strongbox that the note of confession was found by the police. The police were not certain that the note was true and were investigating.

In Chester, Pa., seven men were killed and six other persons wounded by a berserk gunman who also died in a second floor room in which he had barricaded himself against the bullets and teargas of the police. One of those killed was a police detective who had opened fire after he had been fired upon from the second floor window, initiating the exchange. A citizen passerby was killed when he approached the wounded detective to try to render assistance. The second-floor gunman then began sniping at a gathering crowd below, killing and wounding the others. Police gunfire eventually killed the sniper.

In the Pacific Northwest, three planes were missing with 38 persons aboard, including an Alaskan airliner and two Navy planes. An extensive search was being conducted for the missing aircraft.

Billy Evans, general manager of the Detroit Tigers baseball team, said that Steve O'Neill would not return for another season as manager of the club.

At Davidson College, near Charlotte, it was announced that a campaign to raise 2.5 million dollars by mid-1949 was underway, to afford expansion and future development of the institution. The plans included a new church for the Presbyterian-affiliated school, a new dormitory, and landscaping. A new gymnasium was being dedicated this date.

In New Bern, N.C., the Reverend Thomas Fryer, who had invited the President to attend services at the First Baptist Church and would deliver a sermon in the presence of the President the following day, was busy preparing that sermon, amid interruptions from the press and visitors. The President would arrive by plane at Cherry Point and then ride by car to New Bern. Immediately following the services, he would fly on to Key West to begin his vacation.

On the sports page, Ray Howe tells the story of UNC football coach Carl Snavely, the man in the fedora, who was leading his team to a stellar season, to be capped by a Sugar Bowl invitation. The only blemish in the ten-game regular season schedule occurred this date, with a tie of William & Mary, 7 to 7, leaving the Tar Heels 6-0-1 at this juncture.

On the editorial page, "A Lifeline for Mountain Folk" finds that the people who lived in the mountains of Western North Carolina lived without adequate hospital facilities. Midwifery was still practiced on a regular basis to effect childbirth.

In 1946, a young Charlotte doctor, George Bond, set out in a jeep to Bat Cave, N.C., to establish a hospital. The previous month, he had accomplished his goal. The people of the community had aided the doctor in bringing the vision to reality, converting an abandoned schoolhouse into the clinic and hospital, doing so without Federal or State aid.

He hoped for a network of such hospitals through the mountains, but scarce funding and lack of trained personnel hindered the prospect. Part of his funding had come from a Hendersonville civic club, the rest from citizens of Hickory Nut Valley, surrounding Bat Cave.

And no, that is not where Batman lives.

It urges more such endeavors to establish such a network of medical facilities in the poorer, remote communities of the state.

"Truman and North Carolina" finds in the victory of President Truman in North Carolina a parallel to the victory of Kerr Scott in the spring Democratic gubernatorial primary over State Treasurer Charles Johnson, thought a shoo-in for the nomination. It suggests that the ordinary people of North Carolina had placed no stock in the polls in either case and voted their conscience.

North Carolina was second behind Texas in delivering the largest majority of any state for the President. (Actually, while the state delivered an impressive majority, the statement bears correction as Oklahoma, at 63 percent, Arkansas, at 62 percent, and Georgia, at 61 percent, joined Texas, at 66 percent, to surpass North Carolina's 58 percent majority, tied with Missouri.) Observers in Raleigh said that a good deal of the credit for that strong showing belonged to Governor Gregg Cherry, who had resisted the Southern defection movement early in the process. Governor-elect Scott had also been a staunch supporter of the national ticket, making a last minute radio appeal on Monday night for a Democratic Administration.

It opines that the GOP failed to attract more support in the state because a stronger platform and candidate were needed, speaking more closely to the heritage of the South's ordinary people.

—Yeah, Bob, take note of that for the future.

—Yeah, that's exactly right, Bob. Their hearts and minds will follow.

—Yeah, that's good. Then run like hell back to the middle in the fall. Write that down.

"If It Isn't One Thing, It's Another" points out that while the world wheeled on and fighting continued in Greece, Palestine, and China, and the U.N. debated what to do about it, in Stafford Springs, Conn., a small skunk had gotten his head caught in a salad dressing jar, discovered by a State Policeman who then shattered the jar, whereupon the skunk ran away without emitting any defensive spray.

It ought to conclude that would it were that all policemen were so reasonable. But instead, it waxes philosophic and says that reality had thus been brought home.

"Or, to put it more simply, if it ain't one dern thing it's another."

A piece from the Shelby Daily Star, titled "Draft Rejections", informs that the finding that 72 percent of the 24 and 25-year olds who had reported for pre-induction physicals had been found unfit for the draft to be not so bad as it sounded. For those who had served in the previous wars were exempt, meaning that many of those in this older group had already been called up during the war and found unfit. Selective Service director Lewis Hershey said that the rate of rejection was about what he had expected. The piece expresses relief.

Drew Pearson looks at newly elected Senators, starting with Bob Kerr of Oklahoma, former Governor of that state, succeeding multi-millionaire oil man Edward Moore who had retired. Mr. Kerr was, himself, a wealthy oil man. But Senator Moore had been a mouthpiece for the big corporations while Mr. Kerr remained down to earth and of the people, not forgetting or forsaking his humble beginnings.

Former Senator Guy Gillette of Iowa was returning to the Senate. He had sought to expedite the synthetic rubber production so needed during the war, but left to lag by Secretary of Commerce Jesse Jones. FDR had sought to purge Senator Gillette in 1938 but failed. He was against food profiteers, for soil conservation, reclamation and rural electrification.

Mayor Hubert Humphrey had been elected to the Senate from Minnesota, defeating incumbent Joseph Ball. He had strongly backed Henry Wallace for renomination for the vice-presidency in 1944, had refused even to vote for Senator Truman at the time when unanimous acclamation was called for by the chair after Mr. Truman's nomination was apparent.

A year later, Mr. Humphrey became Mayor of Minneapolis and immediately set up a Council on Human Relations, making the ideal work. At the 1948 Democratic convention, he had introduced the strong civil rights plank, dividing in the process the convention from the Dixiecrats—who had already determined to split from the party as early as February, right after the President announced his civil rights program, suggesting the timing of the walkout at the convention to be more show than reality. The Dixiecrats nevertheless poured money into the campaign of Senator Ball in retaliation.

Mr. Humphrey had "the breathless personality of a youth on a roller-coaster" with the "busiest tongue in politics" and the "vocal endurance of a phonograph". But he was also a man of action, not just words. He had brought a truce between management and labor in Minneapolis and had coalesced diverse forces to fight effectively a polio epidemic which had gripped that city.

He had taught classes in politics at MacAlester College before entering politics.

He would seek a position on the Education and Labor Committee.

Mr. Humphrey later became known as the "happy warrior" in the Senate, where he became Majority Whip after failing to capture the 1960 Democratic presidential nomination, then was elected Vice-President in 1964, and capped his career with the close loss to Richard Nixon for the presidency, his chances having been severely curtailed by the nagging coattails of the Vietnam War, associated with the Johnson Administration and hence Mr. Humphrey. Mr. Nixon capitalized on a promised "secret plan" to end the war. The Democratic Party also was again deeply divided in 1968, over civil rights and the war, reeling still in the fall from the assassinations in the spring of Dr. Martin Luther King and Senator Robert Kennedy. Mr. Humphrey would, however, return to the Senate in 1971, where he served honorably until his death from cancer in 1978.

Mr. Pearson next describes new and former Senator Matt Neely, 74, of West Virginia, who had served three previous terms in the Senate, was colorful and a crusader for strict Federal mine inspection. He had defeated reactionary Senator Chapman Revercomb.

Joseph & Stewart Alsop, after their proper wearing of the proverbial hairshirt for a couple of days, return to ask collectively on behalf of the pollsters and professional pundits how they wanted their crow cooked. For their part, they reiterate that they preferred it fricasseed.

They suggest that the people of the country were considerably more to the left than previously supposed. For the President had been more leftist in his rhetorical orientation during the campaign than had FDR in prior years. President Truman had laid into big business as his predecessor never had. Nor had FDR promised specific reforms beyond anything popular with other politicians, as had Harry Truman.

The record of the 80th Congress, against which the President consistently railed, had been his greatest strength, especially in the farm states, based on the Congress having cut the funding of the Rural Electrification Administration at the behest of the power lobby. In the urban areas, his criticism of Taft-Hartley, which he had vetoed, struck a major chord.

The assumed Republican stronghold in the Midwest farming belt could no longer be taken for granted by the GOP. The President carried each of those states handily, offsetting the loss of four Southern states and New York.

While prosperity in the country may have helped the Democrats, it would be patronizing to the voters, they suggest, to stress this issue too much over the more substantive issues of the campaign.

The voters demonstrated that they knew what they wanted by their choices in the Senatorial contests, rejecting all of those Republicans who had been in lockstep with the most conservative or reactionary aspects of the 80th Congress: Curley Brooks of Illinois, Joseph Ball of Minnesota, Edward Robertson of Wyoming, and Chapman Revercomb of West Virginia.

Only a couple of Congressmen who had previously been isolationist in orientation recognized the changing attitude of their constituents sufficiently to forestall the tide of discontent. One was Harold Knutson of Minnesota, who had been the chairman of the House Ways & Means Committee during the 80th Congress. He had, in the last days of the campaign, endorsed the Marshall Plan. But most were blind-sided by the change in orientation in the country. The type of domestic agenda endorsed by the National Association of Manufacturers, favorable to big business, and the isolationist foreign policy favored by Col. Robert McCormick of the Chicago Tribune were now as appealing as "red-hot vegetarianism".

Such was the answer to those who were blaming Thomas Dewey's high-road campaign for the defeat. The 80th Congress was a handicap he could not overcome.

After a "heavy meal of crow", the Alsops refuse any longer to make predictions, stating only that the President returned to Washington for another four years without owing any individual anything except grudges. His only debt was to the American people collectively.

The editorial, incidentally, runs to the next page, unavailable, but its remaining paragraphs may be read here.

Hal Boyle, on that same page, examines the bad puns "springing up like dandelions" since the election, such as "Give a candidate enough Roper and he'll hang himself." Well...

Marquis Childs, also returning from a couple of days of contrition, admits that he and the other pundits had been wrong, "completely and entirely"—everyone except Harry Truman.

The fatal mistake, he posits, was their reliance on the polls. The mistake of Gallup was nearly as bad as the 1936 straw poll by the Literary Digest which predicted on the eve of the election a win for Alf Landon over FDR, when the result had been the largest electoral landslide to date in U.S. presidential elections.

Other than the President, only Jack Kroll of the CIO PAC had come anywhere close to predicting the outcome. He had claimed that the election would be so close that it would be pushed into the House for final decision. (Mr. Childs leaves out, however, Mr. Bean.) Similarly, UAW leaders in Michigan had become aware of a groundswell of labor support in the latter days of the campaign, which ultimately turned on its head the predicted outcome of an easy victory for Governor Dewey in that state, his boyhood home.

Yet, regardless of any other offered reason, only one reason could be positively asserted for the outcome—Harry Truman. He had almost accomplished the matter singlehandedly, with endurance and persistence rarely seen in American politics.

Undersecretary of Commerce Oscar Chapman had been especially helpful to the President in the campaign as a strategist. He had acted as the advance person for the roadshow, bringing out the crowds for each visit. But even he had not allowed himself to believe that the shift of opinion in the country would be adequate to change the final verdict.

Former Secretary of Interior Harold Ickes also deserved commendation for making up with the President and going to bat for him, bringing good humor to the campaign in its closing days.

Mr. Dewey had told Mr. Childs two weeks before the election that his formidable task was to convince voters, educated to vote Democratic for the previous 16 years, to switch to the Republican Party. Thus, he had not appeared to take his victory for granted, even as Mr. Childs and the other pundits had believed it to be.

He finds the GOP removed from reality, as the advisers had brought Mr. Dewey information which turned out to be completely wrong. It was, he concludes, a party "in bankruptcy". He finds the measure of its complacency and ignorance to have been expressed quintessentially by the selection as RNC chairman of "charming Philadelphia stuffed shirt", Representative Hugh Scott.

He suggests that while the experience had been chastening to those who had predicted the easy Dewey victory, it would also prove so ultimately to the victors, who would now have to live up to expectations produced by the "Truman miracle".

A letter writer wants the Spirit of God returned to the world in the "grim and terrible hour of humanity's last chance".

A letter writer from Maxton, near Lumberton, congratulates the newspaper for its election coverage in the November 2 edition.

A letter writer endorses the spirit expressed by another writer on November 2 regarding the failure of the community to meet the goal of the Community Chest drive. The previous letter had expressed condemnation.

A letter from the president and secretary of the Department of Classroom Teachers of the North Carolina Education Association expresses thanks for the newspaper's support of their effort to improve public instruction.

A letter from the general chairman of the Azusa Grotto Gayeties of 1948 expresses thanks to the newspaper for helping the show to succeed.

A letter from two "lonely sailors" in Adak, Alaska, solicits letters from girls, ages 17 to 21, and urges also the exchange of snapshots and postcards.

Their addresses are included, should you wish to respond.

"The Cheerful Cherub" of the Pennington Gap (Va.) Powell Valley News provides a little verse:

"Details blind me to my life,
I'm simply living in a maze;
I'm busied so with this and that
I hardly see myself for days."

Slow down, and phrase better,
Worry not on the details
Or the precision of dead letters,
Lest from the tracks ye derail.

Or, from the trails ye detract,
Whichever subduces the infrangible fetter.

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