The Charlotte News

Friday, December 31, 1948


Site Ed. Note: The front page reports that in China, Chiang Kai-Shek declared that his Government was ready to discuss ending the war with the Communists, but appeared to set up conditions which would prevent a settlement, including that the peace would not be detrimental to national independence and sovereignty, would contribute to the welfare of the people, that constitutionalism would be preserved and a democratic government maintained, the armed forces safeguarded, and the people's "free mode of living and minimum living standard" protected. Chiang concluded that without such a peace, the Government would have no choice except to continue the fight.

Chinese Communist radio broadcast an indirect rejection of the terms, though not quoting from Chiang's statement. Among other statements, it repeated its list of 45 war criminals, headed by Chiang.

There was no sign of the promised ceasefire by the Dutch in Indonesia. The Dutch had promised to end hostilities at midnight this night in Java and within a few days in Sumatra. Dutch leaders in Indonesia gave speeches not mentioning the U.N.-ordered ceasefire.

The House Armed Services Committee planned to investigate in the new Congress the false intelligence report rendered by the Air Force regarding the supposed planned attack of Scandinavia and possibly the U.S. by Russia the previous spring, which nearly led to a general mobilization, but for a contrary CIA report ordered by the President disagreeing with the other report.

The Senate was called into session this date by Senator Arthur Vandenberg for the last time during the 80th Congress. Similarly, Speaker Joe Martin convened the House for the last time in the Congress.

Good riddance...

The President held a strategy conference with Vice-President-elect Alben Barkley and Democratic Congressional leaders to plan his legislative program for the 81st Congress. Mr. Barkley had not gone to Russia to negotiate with Soviet leaders, as rumored. But the President said that he thought it good that the press continue to speculate.

The Tuskegee Institute in Alabama recorded only two lynchings in the United States in 1948. One victim was white, William Turner of Meriwether County, Georgia, and the other black, Robert Mallard of Toombs County, Georgia, the latter the result of an ambush by the Klan on November 20. A grand jury had indicted two men in the latter case on the testimony of Mr. Mallard's widow. Five white men and two black men were charged in the Turner slaying. Another Georgia case of a black man, Isaiah Nixon, was listed as "borderline" because only two persons, both white, were involved in the murder, not the required three. The murder occurred because of Mr. Nixon's insistence on voting in the Georgia primary after being told not to do so.

Law enforcement had prevented the lynching of 19 individuals, 14 of whom were in Mississippi. The instances of prevented lynchings are listed.

The high water mark for lynchings was in 1892, with 231 reported cases. Only one lynching had occurred in each of 1945 and 1947.

Floods were occurring in New York, New Jersey and New England, requiring evacuation of 500 persons from three New Jersey communities. Rainfall ranged from just over three inches to 4.5 inches during the previous 24 hours to 8:00 a.m. this date.

The Charlotte Man of the Year was Col. J. Norman Pease for his outstanding contributions during the year to civic activities, as chosen by previous men of the year since 1945 and the staff of The News.

Bing Crosby, for the fifth straight year, won the Motion Picture Herald poll for top movie box office attractions. He also won the British exhibitors' poll. Betty Grable was runner-up in the Herald poll, as in the previous year. Abbott and Costello came in third, out of the top ten for the previous three years. Gary Cooper, Bob Hope, Humphrey Bogart, Clark Gable, Cary Grant, Spencer Tracy, and Ingrid Bergman rounded out the top ten. Roy Rogers and Gene Autry topped the cowboy movie drawers.

Charles Mercer tells from New York of an outing at a nightclub on New Year's Eve to cost a couple $50. He recommends a $2 movie and drinks with friends afterward for $2, and then a good night's rest for free.

How about just a good night's rest? and maybe then there won't be quite so much damned violence in the world.

In Burlington, Wis., the Burlington Liars Club, Inc., held its annual contest of lies, won by a man from Patricia, Alberta, for his tale of 2,000 post holes and a nor'wester. The nor'wester was so strong, it seemed, that it had blown the 2,000 post holes out of the ground and the rancher who had dug them found them 126 miles away, a total loss, as they were so full of holes after the cross-country travel that "they wouldn't hold dirt out any more."

It was the first time that the contest had been won by someone outside the U.S. since its inception in 1929.

The previous year's winner out of San Antonio told of how a man knocked the eight ball from underneath a fly so fast that the fly fell on the table and broke its back.

Runner-up lies are related.

But the biggest whopper of all for the year, that of HUAC, was not even in the contest, rendering the whole thing a bit of a useless nullity.

Anyway, now they know how many holes it takes to fill an Alberta Hole.

Furman Bisher of The News reports from New Orleans that UNC star halfback Charlie Justice was sidelined with an illness akin to the flu on the eve of the Sugar Bowl which pitted the undefeated and once-tied Tar Heels against Oklahoma. He had been unable to participate fully in practice the previous day, but appeared lively and ate a hearty meal after suffering from stomach problems during the week. When he awakened the morning of this date, however, he had an intestinal disorder and nausea, in consequence of which he remained in bed.

Even with the All-American healthy, the UNC coaching staff, led by Carl Snavely, were figuring the game to be at best an even match-up, with reliance on passing and Justice getting free for a long run or two to carry the day.

Well, Charlie, we suppose we can readily empathize with your illness after watching our team's seeming reversion to last year's usual defensive performance, against Baylor a few evenings ago. We have recovered. But we hope that it does not portend similar illness for next year. We trust not. Too much holiday stuffing and not enough December conditioning? To look at it, one had to assume that Baylor was, by far, the number one team in the nation, as the Tar Heels handled much better Clemson defensively a mere 24 days earlier and at least gave its prodigious offense a fighting chance, which might have been more than just a chance but for Mr. Referee and his free-flying flag on that final onsides kick with a minute to go, which was legally recovered at mid-field and not properly negated by an offsides call by the man with knee problems, traveling too much that day probably down on Big Bend Boulevard.

Oh well... As in 1948, next year.

A list of the bowl games and the radio stations broadcasting each one is provided for your convenience for tomorrow, including the Sugar, Dixie, Gator, Orange, Rose, and Harbor.

Incidentally, we are sick and tired of corporate names stuck onto bowls as a giant finger sticking up out of the fruit or flowers or what have you, changing nearly year to year, such that no one can keep track of which bowl is which anymore. Get rid of them. Who wants to watch the "Taxslayer Bowl", the "GoDaddy Bowl", the "Franklin American Mortgage Music City Bowl", or the "Buffalo Wild Wings Citrus Bowl", for instances?

Go to hell, you redneck, self-promoting, Fascist corporatista, ruining college athletics and its true spirit. Who elected YOU? Take your unmemorable corporate names and slimy logos and stick them where the moon don't shine, right under center.

And don't propose to tell us that the money thus accumulated provides so many wonderful scholarships for the participating colleges and universities. For the level of scholarship at colleges and universities appears to have declined on a scale inversely proportional to the level of input of corporate America to those campuses, virtually taking them over, lock, stock, and barrel during the last three decades.

Stop selling your souls, colleges and universities, to these whores.

And maybe then, the institutions can take stock of themselves, return to sanity and independence in their academics and put true sport back into the college game, especially during the bowl season, rather than merely getting traditional powerhouses lined up to play one another for audience draws, based on trumped-up records from inferior competition during regular season and trumped-up rankings based thereon, resulting in the boring, lopsided games, hardly worth watching for more than a couple of series of downs, which just transpired in the last couple of days in 2015-16. It is utterly ridiculous and it all goes back to the corporate infiltration of college athletics, especially football.

Ditto for basketball, though not as bad because it is football which carries the load for financial input to the institutions.

What happened to the old college spirit? Did they buy it and place it on a cheap tee-shirt for idiots to wear?

On the editorial page, "Dutch Dynamite" tells of the Dutch anachronistically trying to retain their colonial interest in the Dutch East Indies in an age when colonialism was dying out, as led by the British in fostering independence in India. The Dutch had thus exposed themselves to worldwide condemnation for their "police action" against the Indonesian Republic.

In reaction to the attack, in India an "Asia for the Asiatics" bloc was forming. And Communist appeal to the nationalist movements in the Far East would be enhanced. Moscow Radio had already accused the British and Americans of "connivance" with the Dutch in the operation. The movement could ultimately lead to Russia becoming hailed as the savior of the Orient, debilitating U.S. policy in that region of the world. Thus, the Dutch action was not as they proclaimed it, "purely domestic".

The U.S. had taken the lead in condemning the action in the U.N., as violative of the 1947 Renville agreements establishing a truce between the Dutch and the Indonesian Republicans, agreements which Dr. Frank Porter Graham of UNC had been a principal in formulating.

It recommends that the U.N. should exert itself in condemning the action, lest it wind up as feeble as the moribund League of Nations.

"Christmas for All" tells of the Christmas season having been the best on record for charitable concerns in Mecklenburg County, with The News-sponsored Empty Stocking Fund delivering Christmas to 692 needy families, consisting of 2,074 persons, the Salvation Army providing for another 278 families, and civic organizations, for another 98. It congratulates all for spreading wide the spirit of Christmas in the community.

"Faithful Public Servant" laments the passing of W. E. Vest, who had been superintendent of the Water Department for 36 years until 1946. At the start of his tenure, there were only 3,000 water users in the city. At its conclusion, there were 24,000. He had performed his task admirably and would be missed.

"Opportunist at Work" tells of Robert Stripling, chief investigator for HUAC and headline hunter extraordinaire, having written a series of articles regarding his experience on the Committee, seeking to peddle them to newspapers through one of the larger syndicates. He would lose his job in the new Congress and was shamelessly trying to capitalize as much as he could on his prior role before the public forgot "The Great Spy Hunt of 1948".

There were no rules of ethics regarding persons in public life seeking monetary gain from their accumulated information after they left the public payroll, but good taste was expected from the American people. It suggests that it was a lesson which Mr. Stripling had not learned.

A piece from the Greenville (S.C.) News, titled "Debts and Income", favors sounder fiscal policy for the Government, with income more closely equaling expenditures annually.

Drew Pearson tells of the race between Tennessee Senator Kenneth McKellar, a reactionary Democrat, and Senator Millard Tydings of Maryland, a conservative, for the post of president pro tem of the Senate.

Senator McKellar had unfortunate lapses of mind when presiding over the Senate in the 1945-47 sessions. He had also slugged four newspapermen, including Mr. Pearson's associate Jack Anderson, set fire to a Washington hotel after falling asleep while smoking in bed, had two automobile accidents, and given $43,000 worth of Government jobs to his relatives in 1946.

Senator Tydings had voted against more FDR programs than any other Democrat and also did not evoke therefore a groundswell of support. Democrats hoped that Senator Joseph O'Mahoney of Wyoming would permit his name to go into the hopper for the position.

Senator Arthur Vandenberg wanted Senator Kenneth Wherry to step aside as Republican leader in favor of Senator Eugene Millikin of Colorado.

A major question was whether House Speaker Sam Rayburn would include two Dixiecrats on the Rules Committee, Gene Cox of Georgia and Howard Smith of Virginia. The membership of the Committee would determine whether the President's program would be able to get through the House, past the Rules Committee's pigeonholing capability.

Mr. Pearson notes that Mr. Rayburn could strengthen the Rules Committee by appointing Helen Gahagan Douglas and Chet Holifield of California, Hugh Mitchell of Washington, and others of their competency and liberality. The three GOP reactionaries on the Committee who were defeated in the election could also be replaced by GOP liberals such as James Patterson of Connecticut, Thruston Morton of Kentucky, Merlin Hull of Wisconsin, and Harold Hagen of Minnesota.

John M. Hightower tells of the President hoping to keep defense expenditures down to a level, at 15 billion dollars, which would not trigger the need for economic controls. He would nevertheless ask the Congress for standby controls which, barring a national emergency, would not likely be needed in the coming year.

Not all military leaders were in favor of a heavier rearmament program, for to do so and thereby trigger the use of controls could turn the people against rearmament, especially if there were no war.

The Joint Chiefs originally had brought in individual service budgets totaling 34 billion dollars, at which point Secretary of Defense Forrestal asked them to pare them down in light of actual world conditions and contingencies. They responded with a budget of 22 billion, to produce ideal security. The President and Mr. Forrestal then trimmed away another seven billion to reach the ceiling of 15 billion.

The result was a budget which, says Mr. Hightower, required a lot of juggling, meaning that the dropping of one ball could prove disastrous.

Marquis Childs tells of rebels at work in both major parties to wrest control from the old guard. Defeated Senator John Sherman Cooper of Kentucky blasted the reactionary GOP leadership for the Republican defeat in the election, expressing in the process the feelings of many Republicans. Senator Wayne Morse of Oregon wanted democratization of the rules of Congress, including abandonment of the seniority system to determine committee chairs.

The Democratic rebels had made less noise but were as determined to remove obstructions to democratic action. They wanted first to revise the rules governing the Rules Committee to limit its ability to pigeonhole legislation and keep it from a floor vote, as well as limit seniority rules to keep committee chairs away from recalcitrant, reactionary Southerners who would otherwise predominate.

It was likely that moderation would prevail under House Speaker Sam Rayburn and that some changes would occur, especially with regard to the Rules Committee's veto power. The Committee was to be chaired by Adolph Sabath of Illinois, a New Deal liberal.

A letter writer suggests a New Year's resolution to hold fast to old friends and to strive to make new ones, as the most valuable possessions a person could have.

A letter writer wonders whether the "church-going" town of Charlotte could be made a Christian town as well. She observes that women who attended church smoked and men in high positions drank. Others coveted another's spouse, rendering their Christianity, in her opinion, "null and void".

A letter from the chairman and Cubmaster of the Cub Scouts of Pack No. 5, Hawthorne Lane Methodist Church, expresses thanks to the newspaper for its support during the year.

A letter from Harnett T. Kane of New Orleans—whom the editors note was a distinguished author and historian, most recently of Bride of Fortune, anent the wife of Jefferson Davis—, compliments the newspaper on its 60th anniversary edition December 11, and, in the same edition, the editorial on Censor Binford of Memphis and his banning of "A Song Is Born". Mr. Kane says that he wrote a letter to Mr. Binford about the matter, as he was concerned about the ridicule the man was bringing to the South.

A Quote of the Day: "Miami police have concluded that a man found drowned in Biscayne Bay with his throat cut and a slab of concrete tied around his waist was murdered. It's wonderful the way they figure such things out." —Fort Myers (Fla.) News-Press

Another Quote of the Day: "When we contemplate the beauties, treasures and glories in our sweet potatoes, shrimps, scuppernongs, strawberries, pigs, turkeys, fatted calves, azaleas and oysters in South Carolina we believe that we could get along and be happy if the rest of the world would but leave us to our own devices." —Charleston (S.C.) News & Courier

Seventh Day of Christmas: Seven Swains a-Swooning in the Swammerdam.

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