The Charlotte News

Saturday, December 4, 1948


Site Ed. Note: The front page reports that the U.N. political committee voted 25 to 21, with nine abstentions and three absences, to establish a three-nation conciliation commission to resolve the Palestine conflict. The vote was so close, however, that the required two-thirds passage by the 58-member General Assembly was not assured. It rejected by a vote of 33 to 7 a Russian proposal demanding withdrawal of all foreign troops from Palestine. It also nixed a Syrian proposal to establish a commission to examine ideas regarding a single Palestine state. By a tie vote, it rejected another Syrian proposal for establishment of an international court of justice to rule on whether the Assembly could partition Palestine, as it had voted to do a year earlier, without first obtaining consent from a majority of Palestine's population.

In Berlin the following day, West Berliners would go to the polls to select their own city government, notwithstanding the Soviet blockade continuing in the city since latter June. The ballot consisted of a choice between three anti-Communist parties. The vote was seen as a referendum on the West, with a high turnout indicative of support of the three Western powers' efforts to oppose Communism in Berlin. Communists would hail a light turnout as a victory for their efforts to push the Western nations out of the city, contained within the Eastern sector. Communist attacks attempting to disrupt political meetings in the city had occurred all week. The Communists controlled eight city boroughs with 1.2 million people, while the West controlled twelve boroughs with a population of two million.

Off of Shanghai, a small ship, the Kiangya, which was designed to hold 1,186 passengers, had exploded and sunk, taking with it possibly as many as 3,200 refugees from Shanghai and Nanking fleeing the war conditions in China. The ship was believed to carry as many as 4,250 passengers. Speculation on what caused the blast included that the boilers may have become overextended by the heavy load, that sabotage had taken place by Communists, or that the ship had hit an underwater mine left over from the war. One survivor said that he believed it was sabotage as he had observed two junks passing near the ship just before the explosion and concluded that they might have dropped a mine or other explosive device in the water. Based on the estimate of losses, never finally determined, it was believed that the sinking was the worst sea disaster in modern history.

In Toombs County, Georgia, a grand jury was called to investigate the death of Robert Mallard, prosperous black man killed by a single gunshot wound to the head on November 20. His wife had claimed that they were stopped in their car by five or six robed white men not wearing masks, blocking the road leading to their home. She recognized one of the men and also the cars of two others, naming them in letters provided to Governor Herman Talmadge by Joseph Goldwasser of Cleveland, a member of the NAACP. After Mr. Goldwasser informed the Governor that Mrs. Mallard was afraid for her life to return to Toombs County to have warrants issued against the two named assailants, Governor Talmadge said that he would use the National Guard if necessary to protect Mrs. Mallard from violence.

In Gaffney, S.C., a bomb exploded at the home of State Senator George McKown the previous night. He did not discover the large hole in his lawn near the front porch of the house until the morning of this date. He and his wife had been awakened during the night by a loud noise near their large brick home but went back to sleep.

—What was that?

—Right, probably just the dogs again.

HUAC announced through chief investigator Robert Stripling that it would reconvene its hearings into the matter of Alger Hiss and Whittaker Chambers, after discovery of important documents which Mr. Stripling claimed would "show conclusively" the source of microfilmed State Department documents which had wound up in the possession of Mr. Chambers secreted in a pumpkin on his Maryland farm, plus more documents seized the previous night. Mr. Chambers had said that he hid the microfilm in the pumpkin so that Communists would not find it when they visited his Maryland farm while he was away.

That makes a lot of sense, unless the pumpkin was over a decade old or he never actually severed connections with the Communist Party as he claimed. It does make sense, however, as a gimmick to get the press interested in this ridiculous story from the pre-war past and distract attention from the President's recent electoral upset of the GOP.

He said that the documents came into his possession shortly before he decided to quit the Communist Party in 1938 and that he had secreted them in Brooklyn at his nephew's home, where they remained until recently, when they fell under the scope of a discovery request in a libel suit by Mr. Hiss against Mr. Chambers for having repeated on "Meet the Press" his protected accusations made before HUAC the previous August, that former State Department attorney Mr. Hiss was, during the mid-1930's, a Communist. After Mr. Chambers retrieved the documents from the nephew's home, he transferred them to the Maryland farm.

In connection with the libel suit, Mr. Chambers had made sworn statements in the office of his attorney during the week regarding the source of the documents.

Mr. Chambers had not in those earlier hearings, however, ever once pointed the finger, impliedly or expressly, at Mr. Hiss for spying, which the new accusations did—demonstrating to our mind conclusively that Mr. Chambers was little more than a driveling alcoholic in search of an excuse for living after being a traitor to his country and nevertheless rising, through partial obfuscation of the worst part of his past, if not his present, that of being a spy for the Communists, to become a senior editor at Time. He was a worthless piece of human scum.

Mr. Stripling said that Congressman Richard Nixon was expected to come to Washington hurriedly to handle the bulk of the continued inquiry before HUAC. Mr. Nixon had taken a boat to Panama—where, had he been possessed of 20-20 foresight, he might have remained—and would return by plane at the first available docking of the ship, probably Tuesday.

State Department officials said that they had not seen the documents allegedly from the State Department and thus had no comment.

In New York, a broken 20-foot water main flooded Times Square. Some subway passengers got wet between the 41st and 42nd Street stations.

No miracles this year, either.

George Berry, 65, president of the International Printing Pressmen's Union, died at his home in Tennessee. He had headed the union almost continuously since 1907. He had been assistant administrator of the NRA during the Roosevelt Administration. He had been appointed to the Senate from Tennessee in 1937, but was defeated in the regular election a few months later. A year earlier, he had entered a plea of nolo contendere to Federal income tax evasion.

In Charlotte, a young man, the son of a prominent doctor of Dillon, S.C., woke up in a railroad boxcar early in the morning of this date, having been beaten, his arm broken, his eyes bruised, and his mouth bloodied. He said that he was walking behind two men when they turned and jumped him, beating him into unconsciousness. When he woke up in a boxcar, he discovered he had been robbed of his hat, overcoat, shoes, and wallet containing $5 and valuable papers.

We think we know who did it.

In celebration of the 60th birthday of the newspaper, The News tells of the Opera House having been the center of Charlotte's entertainment in 1888. Most of the big shows of the time which had toured the country appeared in Charlotte at the facility. A troupe of glassblowers proved popular and remained as an act for awhile. Also appearing were the McNish, Ramza & Arno's Refined Minstrels, advertising "30—Smiling Black Faces—30"—which, we hasten to add, as we never saw this piece until this date in 2015, has nothing to do with the "30-30" which runs across the scroll of this website, though of which, should you have paid much attention, you will gather the meaning from the 60th anniversary edition of The News, extant here since latter 1999. Many things occur in reverse order here, including the present.

Estelle Clayton, star of "The Quick or the Dead", had appeared at the Opera House, staying at the Central Hotel.

Lotta was a big attraction in the play Pawn Ticket No. 210. Railroads offered special prices to those who wanted to journey to see her. The piece quotes from an 1888 report from The News on her arrival in town aboard her personal luxury Pullman coach. When the reporters interviewed her upon arrival, she was wrapped in furs, but a half hour later, after enduring the Charlotte sunshine, stepped onto the car platform to have a sun bath.

Furman Bisher reports of Rodney of Charlotte, harness-racing champion, being named "harness horse of the year" by the Trotting Club of America. Rodney had not lost a race during the year, dropped only one heat, in the Nancy Hanks trot at DuQuoin, Ill., to Victory Song, the harness horse of the year the previous year.

Well, aren't we just special, Rodney. Get in there and break a leg, kid.

He had won over Demon Hanover of Bethel, Conn., who had won the 1948 Hambletonian at Gothen, N.Y., the race in which Rodney had finished second to Hoot Mon in 1947. Knight Dream, winner of the 1948 Little Brown Jug, finished third.

We think that Demon clearly deserved the honor. If Rodney can't even beat the previous horse of the year and winds up second in the Hambletonian, what good is he? Put him to pasture. Send him to the glue factory.

But he is better than Knight Dream and his liquored-up victory.

In Yuma, Ariz., film producer Louis B. Mayer, 63, wed the 41-year old widow of radio producer Danny Danker. He had been divorced from his first wife the previous May after 42 years of marriage.

In Charlotte, a fire at F. H. Ross & Co. was attributed to the sun's rays shining through a gallon jug of alcohol, concentrating the rays on a cardboard carton which caught fire. A traffic accident, in which a pedestrian was struck by a car, was also attributed to Sol's streams blocking the view of the driver.

Something must be done about the sun.

The all-state high school football selections, started by The News in 1937, had taken place and 22 players from North and South Carolina high schools had been named by Steve Pappas of The News, with the aid of coaches across the two states. Turn to the sports section for the selections.

Speaking of football, we do not mind so much our team losing to the number one college team in the nation yesterday. But to have them deprived of the opportunity to tie the game in the last minute from mid-field on a legally recovered onsides kick, which was nullified by a false flag operation, the dissembling claim that one player was offsides on the kickoff, when plainly no one was, is intolerable. (It should be noted that notwithstanding a Clemson fan's valiant attempt at rationalization, there was no illegal formation by UNC, as plainly indicated by the limits of formation stated at page FR-63, Rule 6-1, Article 2-c of the 2015 N.C.A.A. football rules, and FR-34, defining a "free kick". As to reviewability, covered at page FR-108, Rule 12-3, Article 4, ambiguously worded subsection b, while initially appearing to permit a review of an offsides penalty on a kick, apparently only refers to the kicker, not the other players. Or does it? The answer may not come until Monday morning out on Route 66.)

Thus, we say to that official that it is a good thing your name is not Krupke, for otherwise wish ye the same holiday sentiment we would.

We also note that our team, at number ten, is the only one of the top ten teams in the final football playoff poll to be excluded from the New Year's Six bowl games, which include numbers 12, 16, and 18. What gives? That is the result of a bunch of money-hungry grubbers who have lost all sight of the meaning of college football over time, emblematic of that to which college football has through the decades unfortunately devolved, a semi-pro game.

In any event, we shall ride the turtle to the bowl game rather than the tiger.

And we don't give a damn, ESPN announcers, about the damned, stupid Clemson pizza party. Next time, keep your pizzas to yourselves.

Furthermore, N.C. A & T, one of two of UNC's division I-AA FCS opponents of which we heard so much, ad nauseam, during the season as indicative of a weak UNC schedule, wound up 9-2 and in the FCS top twenty at the end of the season. Where did Wofford and Appalachian State, Clemson's first two power opponents, wind up? Why aren't they in the playoff conversation?

Oh, they are included as two of those precious .500 or above teams. But who did they beat? Not to pick on those two schools, but we do not see too many power conference teams on their schedules.

We do have a question also. Why is former Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice on the playoff selection committee? Does that suggest that the college football playoff, in its second year, has acquired international implications in foreign relations? And if so, why are the Tigers number 1 and the Crimson Tide number 2?

Another false flag?

Next year, we demand, in the interest of fairness and balance, that either former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright or President-elect Hillary Clinton be included on the committee.

Also, as long as we are registering complaints, we must finally comment about one of the most obnoxious commercials we have ever heard, among the many, which regularly appears on the online broadcasts of North Carolina football games for at least the past two seasons. We forget the company who sponsors the ad for it is so annoying that no one would remember anything except the idiotic actress, screaming, "Auh, c'mon ref, terrible call," assaulting one's eardrums during the timeouts. Please, please, please, next season, dispense with that horrible, nerve-wracking ad. It's bad enough to have bad calls in reality without having some idiot on an ad screaming about a hypothetical call, having something sentimental to do with her father having taught her all about football, so that she becomes perpetually a tom-boy cheering on her own children on the field, obviously drunk at the time. Believe us when we say to you that this ad does not work to sell anything you might be selling. It rather suggests your company's complete lack of judgment. Remember that which should be the first commandment of the advertising world: Thou shalt not assault the listener or viewer just to get their attention.

We suppose that this particular ad might serve some alternate purpose, perhaps for the Government in conducting counter-terrorism investigations. By the third or fourth repetition, the suspected terrorist would likely confess to everything, including the sinking of the Lusitania, just to get the hysteric to stop screaming. It could also be used in sleep-deprivation experiments to test the limits of sanity, awakening the drowsy test subject every fifteen minutes. Perhaps, the sponsor has knowledge of the only antidote to the residual auditory image and is coercing the business of customers to find out what it is.

On the editorial page, "It's Up to the Doctors" tells of the AMA reacting to the proposal for Federal health insurance as opening the door to socialized medicine, not proposed by any public official. Many people agreed with the AMA that private insurance could solve the problems of adequate medical care, but there were reasons to doubt the premise. There were too few doctors in the country, especially those serving rural areas. There was too little protection of the public from medical malpractice. Medical costs were too high, especially for the middle class who had to pay for medical care from budgets already stretched to the breaking point by inflation. And there was an absence of catastrophic health insurance, which often caused the critically ill patient to have to mortgage his or her economic future.

It was in the public interest to solve these problems. It suggests that the AMA, more reactionary than its individual members, follow the North Carolina doctors in support of the Good Health plan, collecting money to build the four-year medical school at the University in Chapel Hill and for construction of rural hospitals and medical clinics throughout the state, restoring leadership in health advance to the medical profession.

"A Tough Problem Neatly Solved" reports of the dilemma faced by the Department of Motor Vehicles commissioner when assigning priority tags to top State officials, starting with No. 1 for the Governor and so on down the hierarchy. But some of the lower numbered officials, in positions 17 through 20, were upset at their lower rankings. So he set up a special designation system under which the seven-member Supreme Court, who had obtained plate numbers 10 through 16, now were instead "J-1" through "J-7", making the plate numbers 17 though 20 recipients happy.

It remarks that the system ought extend to other departments also, as tax collectors, who could have plates "TC-1", etc. But janitors, who would ordinarily enjoy plates "J-1", etc., would have identical plates to the members of the Supreme Court. It therefore suggests a euphemistic title for the janitors to resolve the conflict.

They could be called "State ubiquitous custodial craftsmen". But then the Highway Patrol might get upset and demand a means by which to combat the new proliferation of unduly suggestive license plate graffiti on State vehicles, such as by redesignating themselves "The North Wind".

"Mickey Takes a Ride" reports of Port of New York authorities finding evidence of filched powdered milk aboard an international airliner, showing that a rat had been aboard. It posed grave problems for quarantine authorities to prevent introduction of rodents of other countries. Many diseases could be so introduced to the country.

The piece finds in it, however, some element of humor, when reflecting on Mickey Mouse boarding a luxury airliner for a trans-Atlantic journey.

A piece from the Louisville Courier-Journal, titled "The Nemesis of the Mother Hubbard", tells of Isaac Ginsberg having supposedly put glamour into the house dress, which, if true, says the piece, was much appreciated. The typical house dress resembled something worn by Mother Hubbard.

A piece by S. F. Campbell, director of the State Employment Security Commission Bureau of Research and Statistics, tells of the changes in industrial composition and volume in the state between 1940 and 1947, only part of which was the result of the war.

Drew Pearson suggests that the military coup in Venezuela which led to the overthrow of popular President Romulo Gallegos was the responsibility of the State Department, for its double-dealing in the wake of a similar coup in Peru. After the Peruvian coup, the State Department had called together representatives of Colombia, Venezuela, Ecuador and Chile to determine whether to recognize the new regime. But before such a meeting could take place, the State Department formally announced that the U.S. would continue normal relations with Peru. Thus, the green light implicitly was provided for similar military coups in Latin America.

He relates the inside story leading to the Venezuelan coup.

In support of continued normal relations with Peru, the State Department cited the resolution of the Bogota Conference the previous April which provided for "continuity of diplomatic relations", a provision inserted at the insistence of dictator Juan Peron of Argentina. He questions why the State Department had promised to meet with the four Latin American countries regarding recognition of the new Peruvian regime if they intended to follow the Bogota Conference resolution.

He notes that the U.S. betrayal of Venezuelan President Gallegos, a friend to the U.S. who had traveled to Bolivar, Mo., at the invitation of the President to dedicate a monument to Simon Bolivar, was perceived by many Latins as a pattern in Latin America, already upset at the plan of Secretary of Defense James Forrestal to send arms to Latin American countries, leading to the military coups.

Two defeated GOP Congressmen were being sent to New Mexico to lead hearings into misuse of funds at the Los Alamos proving grounds.

The Richmond, California, Council on Inter-Group Relations was among the many groups sponsoring a Unity Day in honor of the President on January 20.

He last relates of a Daily Mirror newsboy in a New York subway proclaiming, "Read what Winchell predicts about Drew Pearson!"

Marquis Childs discusses Madame Chiang's visit to the United States to solicit aid for the faltering regime of her husband. As young Mei-ling Soon, she had come to the U.S. in 1908 to be educated along with her older sisters, as chronicled by Emily Hahn in The Soong Sisters. Her next oldest sister became Madame Sun Yat-Sen, wife of the founder of the modern Chinese Republic, who was at odds with the Chiang regime, favored the Communists in the civil war, but, in deference to her sister, rarely spoke out against Chiang publicly.

In 1927, Chiang had broken with the Communists when they determined to confiscate all property. But until that time, he had believed that China's future was best served by amity with the Soviet Union and adoption of a modified version of Communism for China.

Madame Sun, after a visit to Moscow, began to warn that the Kuomintang, the political party which Sun had founded, was in danger of losing the support of the workers and peasants, a drift, she predicted, which would ultimately weaken the Kuomintang.

Indeed, in the present civil war, the Nationalist soldiers were refusing to fight for Chiang, laying down their arms in great numbers and surrendering to the Communists, leaving many American weapons in the hands of the opposition forces.

Mr. Childs suggests that the West had much for which to answer in the ensuing debacle in China, for its zeal in pursuing only exploitative commercial interests in China. The war in China, first against the Japanese from 1937 through 1945, was always subordinated to the European and Pacific fronts. After Yalta in early 1945, there appeared a deliberate betrayal of the aspirations of Nationalist China. So, he concludes, there was little room for self-righteousness as Nationalist China fell to the Communists.

Joseph and Stewart Alsop find the President's proposed 15-billion dollar ceiling on defense spending in the next fiscal year to be in avoidance of the domestic economic policies he had staunchly and consistently favored, opposition to any tax cut other than for individuals while favoring the raising of corporate taxes, and support of emergency price and wage control authority. He had apparently been convinced by Secretary of the Treasury John W. Snyder and adviser Dr. John Steelman, both supported by Budget Director James Webb and chief economic adviser Dr. Edwin Nourse, that the spending ceiling on defense could avoid these other issues on taxes and controls.

But the result was that the Air Force expansion from 55 to 70 groups, badly needed, according to Secretary of the Air Force Stuart Symington, was going to be delayed in implementation, though authorized by Congress. Such, the Alsops posit, cut be disastrous in the face of the predicted development of the atom bomb by Russia by 1952.

The President could not realistically believe that the country would be strong, as the President had always insisted, after the gutting of defense. He had always shown "disinterested courage and simple patriotism", qualities lacked by deceased British Prime Minister Stanley Baldwin in the mid-1930's when he had England stand aside while Germany was allowed to rearm itself, ultimately bringing England to the brink of destruction.

The Alsops' piece is continued on another page, but may be read in its entirety here.

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