The Charlotte News

Tuesday, February 24, 1948


Site Ed. Note: The front page reports that at the outset of the U.N. Security Council debate on whether to create an international police force for Palestine, the United States pledged full support of the partition plan, approved by the U.N. the previous November 29 and scheduled to be implemented by the following October. The pledge included use of an international peace-keeping force if the Security Council deemed it necessary to maintain order in the Holy Land. Chief U.S. delegate Warren Austin, however, stated that force could not be used to enforce a political settlement or to enforce the partition plan. Force could only be used to maintain the peace.

In Prague, twenty Czech security police officers armed with rifles and bayonets entered the headquarters of the Social Democratic Party, in furtherance of the attempt by the Communists to take control of the country. After a search, the police remained as a "defense guard". The Government said that a similar force was on duty at the Communist Party headquarters.

In Washington, four Southern Governors, Strom Thurmond of South Carolina, Gregg Cherry of North Carolina, Beauford Jester of Texas, and Ben Laney of Arkansas, vowed to use whatever means necessary to block the President's proposed civil rights legislation. They had just met with DNC chairman, Senator J. Howard McGrath of Rhode Island, to discuss the matter. The Senator told the Governors that the civil rights program would not be withdrawn by the Administration, and assured them that the President had no intention of setting up any FBI-type police force to interfere with Southern segregation, as the rebelling Southerners, notably Senator Richard Russell of Georgia, had read into the President's request that a special civil rights division be set up in the Justice Department with agents trained to enforce civil rights. Senator McGrath said that this group would be aimed at stopping violence in labor disputes. He offered a re-wording of a proposed plank in the Democratic platform regarding civil rights.

After the meeting, the four Governors expressed their continued objection to the direction of the national party, stating that it had deserted the principles of government upon which the party was founded, i.e., from their perspective, "states' riiiights".

Senator Wayne Morse of Oregon stated that the Republicans could go fishing and still win the November election, given the Southern revolt and the third-party candidacy of Henry Wallace.

Southern Governors asked Southern members of Congress to back a plan endorsed by the Governors Conference to establish regional schools for graduate study, to afford facilities to minorities. Senator Olin Johnston of South Carolina favored introduction of legislation jointly for the purpose in the 15 Southern state legislatures.

In Birmingham, the KKK demanded by telegram that the Anti-Nazi League of New York stay out of Alabama. The League had asked Governor Jim Folsom to revoke the Klan's charter in the state—as the State of Georgia had done in 1947, a move begun in 1946 by progressive Governor Ellis Arnall, albeit completed with a twist under his successor, Governor M. E. Thompson.

Henry Wallace told the House Foreign Affairs Committee that peace required a new approach to Russia and that new faces were needed in the executive branch to implement such a policy. He again asserted his belief that the Marshall Plan would carry the country along the road to war.
The former Vice-President engaged in repartee with Committee members regarding who would be the new faces, Republicans or members of the Progressive Party. Mr. Wallace's new running mate, Senator Glen Taylor of Idaho, sat at the Committee table during the hearing.

The House passed the one-month temporary rent extension bill to afford time for further hearings on a 14-month extension. The Senate was expected to act quickly on the measure.

The President directed Attorney General Tom Clark to send FBI agents to inquire of the sixteen leading steel companies as to why they had raised their prices by $5 per ton the previous week, to determine whether there was any illegal agreement between the companies in so doing.

In Colorado Springs, a seventeen-year old boy admitted to police killing a thirteen-year old friend by bashing in his head.

In Pocahontas, Ark., a butane explosion leveled five business buildings, believed to have killed one man.

In Lancaster, S.C., the testimony was completed in the case of the former Waxhaw, N.C., police chief, accused of murdering a local constable of Lancaster. The former police chief claimed that the constable and a deputy sheriff fired the first shots in a gun battle which left the constable dead and the former police chief and deputy wounded. The deputy had his right arm amputated from the shooting. He testified that he and the constable had sought to arrest the former chief for suspicion of murder in the deaths of two black men in Waxhaw.

On the editorial page, "Revolt Puts South in Dilemma" tells of the President intending not to retreat from his stand on civil rights, that he could not do so politically without a loss of face far worse than any resultant damage in the South.

A large number of Southern Congressmen had stayed away from the protest in Washington and Senator Harry F. Byrd had told the membership to hold their fire and bide their time to see how the program would play out in Congress.

The final answer would depend on how many Republicans would support a Southern filibuster. Given that passage of the civil rights bill would produce a split in the Democratic Party and benefit the Republicans, the piece thinks it likely that the Republicans would vote for cloture and allow the bill to pass.

While on this subject, we note in passing a footnote: In 1967, then New Orleans District Attorney Jim Garrison, in his investigation and prosecution of Clay Shaw for participation in the conspiracy to assassinate President Kennedy, contended that several circumstantial coincidences, in addition to eyewitnesses, established a connection between Lee Oswald and Jack Ruby. One of those was the phone number PE8-1951, a phone number appearing both in Oswald's address book, as established by Warren Commission Exhibit 18, p. 40, and in a phone log of Jack Ruby's calls of June 10-11, 1963, Exhibit 2308. (According to longtime Lyndon Johnson assistant, Clifton Carter, the original plans for the trip to Texas were set on June 5, 1963 at the Cortez Hotel in El Paso, in a meeting attended by President Kennedy, Vice-President Johnson, and Governor John Connally.) Mr. Garrison, in a television interview at the time, did not relate the identity of the holder of that telephone number. It was, as subsequently determined at the time, KTVT-TV in Fort Worth, as set forth by Oswald in his address book at page 43, albeit misstated therein, possibly a product of his known dyslexia, with transposed call letters, "KVTV"—then, in turn, misinterpreted by the Warren Commission to be "KUTV"—following which were the words from a Russian song, "Polyushko Polye", or, in English, "Little Field".

The television station in question, incidentally, was not that which covered the President's Fort Worth breakfast on the morning of November 22, 1963, at which, peculiarly, was made mention by the tv announcer, at the 6:45 mark of the broadcast, apparently reading from a script to pass the time awaiting the arrival of the President and First Lady, the name of Leon Czolgosz, self-dubbed "Fred Nobody", assassin of President William McKinley in 1901. That station was KRLD-TV. The reference and its timing becomes more than passing strange when one realizes that Warren Commission witness Sylvia Odio testified to having been introduced to Lee Oswald as "Leon" Oswald. And again, perhaps even more so, when is factored in the ostensible compliment paid to President Kennedy by Time and Life publisher Henry Luce, that he could not understand how the President found so much time to read so voraciously and attend to his duties as President, suggested by Mr. Luce observing on the President's desk the 600-page volume by Margaret Leech, In the Days of McKinley.

What does it all mean? As Mr. Garrison suggested, that is for you, the jury, to determine. We only relate the facts of this particular coincidence a little further, with the advantage over 1967 afforded by the internet. But we do not suggest that it necessarily detracts from the weight of Mr. Garrison's evidence as marshaled in 1967, even if not susceptible then, by the limits of available technology, to fuller exposition. If your tendency is to laugh, then actually become a lawyer and try a case sometime. Then, perhaps, you will not be laughing. Any old fool can be an armchair gen'ral and lead the fit across the field. Think and research before you laugh. It is always best to maintain uppermost in one's mind when researching any form of aberrant human behavior, especially the ultimate crime, murder, and, moreover, the murder of a President in broad daylight, that the thing will be obfuscated in layers of absurdity and apparent nonsequitur, while also hidden in plain view, provided one's perspective is properly adjusted to an understanding of the impelling mindset behind the crime.

The last two verses of "Polyushko Polye" are translated:

The wind disperses your brave songs
Across the green field.
Songs of the past,
Leaving them alone with your glory
And right at the end, on a dusty road…

Field, my field, has seen so much misfortune.
It was drenched in blood,
The blood of the past.
Field, my field,
My wide field

"Timely Advice from Washington" informs of Assistant Secretary of War Gordon Gray, of Winston-Salem, having stated that the country had neglected its defense since the Founding and could have avoided participation in a couple of wars had it not done so. In 1783, George Washington had proposed a plan not unlike the President's, including universal military training. The latter, posited Mr. Gray, was required to assure the security of the country and provide for readiness in case of military emergency.

Mr. Gray had been part owner of The News for the previous year.

"New Party Worries Old Timers" tells of warnings coming from Republicans that the third-party effort by former Vice-President Henry Wallace would be formidable and produce problems for both parties in the fall. RNC chairman Carroll Reece expressed the belief that splinter politics could result, similar to that in European countries.

The third-party movement could produce a split which would clearly define the liberal-conservative schism in the country, and many conservatives thought that would be a good thing. But the enthusiasm for it was diminishing among Republicans as they viewed the public dissatisfaction evident with both the Administration and the Republican Congress, as brought to the fore by the Bronx special election of the previous week.

If the Southern revolt were to continue, causing defeat in November of the Democrats, then then it would likely result in a permanent division between the liberal and conservative wings of the party. That would set the stage for establishment of a new party formed of liberals from among both Democrats and Republicans.

A piece from the Washington Post, titled "Curtain in Japan", tells of journalists in Japan strongly objecting to censorship imposed by General MacArthur and his order of an unlawful raid on one newsman's home, as well as his sending of letters to the newspapers of nine correspondents intended to compromise their relations with their employers.

The piece finds an Army investigation warranted, either to clear General MacArthur of the allegations or establish the fact and determine what changes were needed, with an eye toward the broadest possible policy to assure openness to the press.

Drew Pearson tells of Governor Dewey being likely to swing his support to Senator Arthur Vandenberg in a deadlocked Republican convention between Senator Taft and Governor Dewey. Those close to Senator Vandenberg, however, insisted that he did not want the nomination, considered that it would be too much for his health at age 64. His wife was also ill. But still the inside betting was that he could get the nomination and would accept it in a deadlocked convention.

The denial by the military brass hats that they were spending public funds to promote Universal Military Training was belied by the facts, as evidenced in the distribution of several thousand copies of the UMT Pioneer, the UMT training center newspaper at Fort Knox, beyond the camp itself.

The Republicans greeted with glee the victory of American Labor Party candidate Leo Isacson in the Bronx special election.

The President was upset when informed by Democratic House Whip John McCormack that the Veterans Administration was facing another sizable reduction in personnel for lack of funds. The President wanted the V.A. to put in a deficiency request to Congress and have a showdown on the matter.

The President had decided to provide to the press his own view of what had caused the commodities market to turn downward, following a briefing by his Council of Economic Advisers, rather than simply reading the Council's report to them, which his aides believed might suggest the President's lack of working knowledge on the economy.

Speaker Joe Martin recently stated in confidence that he believed that the Marshall Plan might wind up costing 60 billion dollars and bankrupt the country, in which case, it might as well be ceded to Russia.

Senator Harley Kilgore of West Virginia was working to establish a supreme court for military court martial cases.

Joseph & Stewart Alsop examine the hypothesis held by many observers that Senator Vandenberg might win the Republican nomination in a deadlocked convention between Senator Taft and Governor Dewey, with Harold Stassen throwing his delegates behind Senator Vandenberg. They suggest that the daydreamers who held to this notion were not well enough organized to bring about a draft movement at present. Moreover, Senator Vandenberg, himself, was not compliant, held no ambition to become President. By convention time, however, things might change. The deadlock also had to develop before such a draft movement could manifest itself.

Samuel Grafton finds the Democrats in disarray after the loss of the Congressional seat in New York to American Labor Party candidate Leo Isacson, backed by Henry Wallace, and the refusal of the Southern Democrats to attend the Jefferson-Jackson Day dinner. The President was no longer sure he could carry New York or some of the Southern states. The former condition was remarkable as the President had made more liberal statements during the previous six months than FDR ever had during such a compressed period. And by doing so, the President had lost support in the South.

FDR had consistently quarreled with liberals on various issues, but he always had a core of support which President Truman lacked. Consequently, President Truman had to overcompensate with liberals to win their confidence. The President appeared to be in trouble everywhere.

It augurs that President Vandenberg would take the oath of office in January.

A letter from the president of the Charlotte Christian Council tells of the county-wide campaign for overseas relief having been successful, and thanks the community for the support of the drive sponsored by the Council.

A letter writer says that while he had no brief for regular correspondent to The News, P. C. Burkholder, failed Republican Congressional candidate, he found some of the New Deal policies which he criticized to be worthy of the attack and suggests a debate between Mr. Burkholder and some of those who had written to the newspaper critical of him and his viewpoint stated in prior letters.

A letter writer responds to the letter of Mr. Burkholder of December 11, 1947, in which he had stated that he would run again for Congress in 1948. On September 27, 1947, he had labeled former President Hoover an "ass" for allowing himself to be used by the Democrats to lend credence to the Marshall Plan, as he investigated conditions in Europe for the President.

The author says that he had voted for Mr. Burkholder in 1946, but that any bright Democrat could make him look ridiculous, even in the eyes of Republicans.

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