Site Ed. Note: The front page reports that about 50
Democratic Congressmen from eleven Southern states formally declared
war on President Truman's civil rights program, pledging cooperation
with Southern Governors opposing the proposal. The group was chaired
by Representative William Colmer of Mississippi. Not all members of
Congress from each state were present at the meeting which led to the
declaration. Only one Congressman from Virginia attended. Former
Speaker of the House Sam Rayburn of Texas was absent.
RNC chairman Carroll Reece said that the President's call,
made at a Jefferson-Jackson Day dinner the previous night, for the
common man to rally for battle behind the forces of progressive liberalism, the Democratic Party, against the "privileged few", the reactionary party of Alexander Hamilton,
had represented only an effort to beg for Henry Wallace and his supporters to
return to the fold of the Democratic Party.
Despite not attending the dinner for fear of being seated
"next to a Negro", the wife of South Carolina Senator Olin
Johnston attended a tea at the White House given by First Lady Bess
Truman. Mrs. Johnston had led the boycott of the dinner, held at the
Mayflower Hotel, by the South Carolina delegation, all but about ten
of the 45 South Carolinians having refused attendance. Governor
Strom Thurmond and his wife had likewise canceled their
It was obviously quite alright in the Governor's mind to
engage at age 22 in miscegenation with a 16-year old Negro maid and
to father a child of the momentary union, a youthful indiscretion.
But to have to sit down next to one of them at a dinner was
absolutely intolerable. Taking maybe a few table scraps out to them in
the barn would be an acceptable demonstration of Christian charity
for a white Southern gentleman of the Governor's stature to extend,
but not to break bread with any. The Governor was progressive but
only up to a point.
Florida Senator Claude Pepper, when informed that a
Congressman was proposing him to be the Democratic vice-presidential
candidate, stated that there were better qualified candidates than
he to carry the message to the people that the Democratic Party
stood for the ideal of the ordinary man against the privileged few.
In Prague, three outspoken anti-Communist members of
Czechoslovakia's Cabinet resigned, constituting the first open break
in the country's postwar republic formed in April, 1945. The
coalition Government was headed by Communist Premier Klement
Gottwald. The three resigning Cabinet members had provided an
ultimatum to the Premier to desist in his efforts to purge the
security police of non-Communist members. The Social Democrats had
joined the revolt against Communist efforts to dominate the
Government in the coming elections.
Non-Communists were planning not to attend a peasant group
demonstration set for February 29 and a trade unions congress as
they believed the events were part of the Communist plot to maintain
pre-election turmoil in the country.
The President gave a long report to Congress on the work of
the U.N. in 1947, finding it was making headway despite Russia's
refusal to cooperate in its decisions, such as by refusal of Russia
and Poland to participate in the U.N. watchdog commission on the
Greek borders, the Ukraine's refusal to sit on the commission to
unify Korea, and rejection by the Slav group of nations of the
creation by the General Assembly of the permanently meeting "Little
Assembly", the political committee, to transact business when
the General Assembly was out of session. The document stated also
the persistent use of the Russian veto on the Security Council as
problematic, as well the labeling by Russia of the U.S. as a
warmonger in its Turkish-Greek policy and the Marshall Plan. Only on
Palestine had Russia agreed with the West.
The President asserted that strengthening the organization
was a cornerstone of American foreign policy. The organization had
chosen to undertake the major problems confronting the world in
trying to restore order postwar rather than sitting on the
The House Foreign Affairs Committee expressed to Secretary of
State Marshall the desire for General MacArthur to return from Japan
to advise the Committee on the Chinese and Far East situation, to
provide an assessment on the President's request for 570 million
dollars for one year of aid to the Chiang Government to promote
During a rally before 8,000 people in Miami, Henry Wallace
urged that the U.N. control Middle Eastern oil to lessen the chance
of war. He charged that the Truman Administration policy on oil was
designed to protect the big oil companies and that the men in power
had waged psychological warfare against the people.
CIO president Philip Murray pleaded not guilty to charges of
violating the Taft-Hartley Act by engaging the labor organization in
political activity through support the previous summer of a
Baltimore County Congressional candidate. The matter was intended as a test
case of the provision of the law banning such political activity by
unions, to determine whether it violated the First Amendment.
Larry Eldred of the A.P. reports that the consumer could
purchase more for the dollar than a month earlier but not as much as
a year earlier and considerably less than prior to the war in 1941,
when ham was 21 cents per pound, margarine, 8.5 cents, butter and
beefsteak, 33 cents (if, that is, you wanted to butter your
beefsteak), and tomatoes, seven cents a can. Now that was living,
back in 1941.
But now, based on Chicago advertisements by the major food
chain stores, beefsteak was at 69 cents, down a dime from a month
earlier, against 55 cents a year earlier and 39 cents in February,
1946, when price controls remained in effect. A can of tomatoes was
13 cents against the same price a month earlier, 23 cents a year
earlier, not advertised in 1946. Butter was at 83 cents, the same as
a month earlier, 76 cents a year earlier, not advertised in 1946.
Margarine was 39 cents, 41 cents a month earlier, 43 cents a year
earlier, 23 cents in 1946. What about the ham?
In Rowan County, a man was arrested for the monkey wrench
bludgeoning of his estranged wife and her parents near China Grove.
The three were in fair condition.
Mayor Herbert Baxter of Charlotte said that he would write
the School Board, urging institution of a political science course
in the City's high schools to promote good citizenship. He had been
impressed by the need for same expressed at the annual U.S.
Conference of Mayors from which he had just returned in New York.
A 68-year old California mining engineer, not Herbert Hoover,
sailed a backyard built yawl more than 1,900 miles from San
Francisco to Hilo, Hawaii, without a radio. The trip took 52 days,
sailing eight hours per day since departure on December 27. During
squalls, he took down the sails and made himself comfortable below
deck. He said that nobody but a crazy man would sail the Pacific in
January, but on beautiful days the journey had been enchanting.
It was yawl's doing that he left and got there.
Charlotte City Manager Henry Yancey, the previous week, had
sent out letters to smoke engineers around the country, inquiring of
interest in the position for the City, but so far none had
On the editorial page, "Bronx Strengthens South's Case" comments on the special election in the Bronx Congressional race,
resulting in election of Leo Isacson of the American Labor Party,
backed by Henry Wallace, and the determination by some South
Carolinians to stay away from the Democratic Jefferson-Jackson Day
Dinner in Washington on the basis of the President's civil rights
By staying away, the Southerners tended to appear to foist
their stance on other states, in derogation of the states' rights
principles for which they plumped. On the other hand, it showed that
they were serious in their opposition to the President's program and
would bolt the party should the Administration not see reason.
The results in the Bronx election showed that the President
had only a slight chance to offset the Wallace appeal to minorities
through concessions to the left.
The piece finds that both matters in combination suggested
that the Administration ought reconsider its civil rights proposals.
Wisely, the President would resolve to let the Dixiecrats go
where they may and to stick to his guns on civil rights.
"The Promise of Brotherhood" comments on
Brotherhood Week, sponsored by the National Conference of Christians
and Jews, and the absurdity in the premises that brotherhood had to
be learned. But, upon reflection, on looking at the divisions in
India, China, Europe, Palestine, and in the United States, the
concept appeared valid that brotherhood did require learning,
despite it being a founding principle of the United States. The
world's best hope lay in the notion that brotherhood could be
"U.S. Must Act in Palestine" posits that the
obligation to assure implementation of the partition plan in
Palestine lay primarily with the United States for its leading role
in supporting it. Force would be necessary to provide that
Even prior to the previous November 29 when the plan was
approved, it had been evident that a police force would be necessary
to supplant the British when they abandoned their mandate in mid-May
and to supplement that force in the meantime.
The viability of the U.N. was being jeopardized by the
continuing violence in Palestine, responsible for the loss of 1,200
lives since approval of partition. The U.S. would have to make the
attempt to enforce the plan, despite the hazards, or abandon the
U.N. and Palestine, an unthinkable surrender of leadership.
A piece from the St. Louis Globe-Democrat, titled "The
Phooey Look", comments on the new look in men's hats, which had
turned out to be no more that narrowing of the brim a little, to
2.25 inches. All it did was to accentuate any flaws in appearance
otherwise maintained in shadow by the wider brims, such as "to make our squint appear squintier, our double chin chinnier and our gableearseerier." The piece thinks
that the designers of women's hats could do something positive for
the men's varieties.
Drew Pearson addresses an open letter to Senator Homer
Ferguson of Michigan, chairman of the subcommittee investigating
commodities speculation, with particular emphasis on the grain and
cotton speculation of Oklahoma Senator Elmer Thomas based on his own
speeches on the Senate floor impacting prices. Mr. Pearson had
revealed the speculation conducted by surrogates for the Senator
since 1933. Senator Thomas had written to the subcommittee that he
did not wish to be bothered further on the matter, that he had
revealed all of the information necessary.
At the same time, the column reveals, one of the Senator's
long-time friends was transacting a deal on the dried-pea market,
appearing to have been based on inside information that the
Government intended to buy 6.5 million bags of peas. The man
constructing the deal was a regular at Senator Thomas's office and
had been a broker for the Senator in the commodities market.
The trader had made a killing in goobers.
Republican Congressman Clifford Hope of Kansas and Democratic
Congressman Stephen Pace of Georgia were debating the parity program
on the House Agriculture Committee when Representative Norris Cotton
of New Hampshire spoke up to say that "faith, hope, and
charity" in the Bible now meant "Pace, Hope, and parity."
Joseph & Stewart Alsop discuss the decision facing
President Truman on whether to favor the use of force via an
international police force formed by the U.N. in Palestine to
enforce the partition plan when the British evacuated in mid-May. He
had favored formation of a bipartisan committee to study the matter
and report back in 60 days with a recommendation. But advisers told
him that the situation could not wait 60 days for decision and that
no one on Capitol Hill would wish to share the President's
responsibility in making it.
He would have to determine whether to commit perhaps 30,000
American troops to the troubled Holy Land as the backbone of any
U.N. force. An adequate force could not be formed by contingents
from the smaller nations. For the U.S. not to form the heart of the
force would mean that the vacuum would be filled by Russia. The
British currently had 90,000 troops in Palestine.
Such a force would require national mobilization. The
suggestion of a force comprised of volunteers was not practical as
it would take eight months for adequate training of such a force and
would still carry the unpopular consequence of committing American
troops on foreign soil. It was feared that sending American troops
would arouse fierce opposition in both the Congress and among the
people, with racial antipathies surfacing in backlash.
Part of the problem in Palestine had derived from the
President's failure to commit troops earlier, based on his hopes
that the predicted consequence of Arab revolt against partition
would not be realized. Had the commitment been made earlier, the
present violence, the Alsops posit, would not be taking place.
The Administration appeared likely to lift the embargo on
arms sales to Palestine, provided the U.N. Palestine Commission so
requested. But such a move would not fulfill the Commission's
recommendation for an international police force or act as an
Marquis Childs again discusses the Atomic Energy Commission,
focusing on its campaign to educate the public on the revolution
brought about by nuclear fission. The Commission's goal was to
overcome the fear and mystery accompanying it.
Secrecy within the AEC remained tight and the FBI worked
closely with the Commission to assure that secrecy was maintained.
If it had not been for that groundbreaking effort, our cars
today would not be powered by nuclear reactors instead of the old
internal combustion engine and your home heating from the reactor in
your basement would instead be provided by one of those old, clunky
mechanical furnaces. The marvels of technology have once again
solved all of man's problems for centuries to come. Why there were
even climate-change models suggesting that some form of global
climate change might have taken place by now without the miracle
supplied by clean and safe nuclear energy in every home and
automobile on the road today.
Praise the lord and pass the ammunition.
A letter from a director of the Duke Power Company addresses the
proposed changes to the bus routes in Charlotte to better
accommodate riders, especially those young riders wishing to reach
the Mint Museum of Art. He asks that residents address a postcard to
the City Manager stating that the museum's request for the changed
routes was reasonable and necessary.
A letter writer from Shelby says that some of the things
stated in letters from P.C. Burkholder, failed Republican
Congressional candidate, got crosswise in his craw. Mr. Burkholder's
opposition to Social Security was one such thing. Republicans
supported it and while some money would be lost along the way, the
country did not abandon Government operation of the postal service
because there were a few crooked postmasters.
Moreover, the Republican Congress had not repealed any major
New Deal legislation.
He wants "Mr. B." to let President Roosevelt rest
in peace and The News to start charging regular advertising
rates for printing PCB's regular letters promoting his own coming
campaign for Congress.
A letter writer comments on the heading attached to a
previous letter he had written. The title added by the editors was
"Truman Loses a Vote", to which he responds that the
President had not lost his vote based on white supremacy, the
subject of his prior letter, but rather on a "two-world"
foreign policy which could only end in world war, which would likely
this time end everyone with it. He suggests that only FDR could lead
the country back to a one-world concept. Such a person could not be
plucked out of the air.