The Charlotte News

Monday, March 1, 1948


Site Ed. Note: The front page reports that the previous day in Rehovat in Palestine, southeast of Tel Aviv, the Stern Gang caused the explosion of three mines which wrecked three railroad sleeping cars, killing 27 British soldiers and injuring 33, in expressed retaliation for the Ben Yehuda Street bombing which had killed 54 Jews on February 22 in Jerusalem. A fourth mine had failed to explode.

Haganah claimed that British soldiers had arrested 24 Jews near Tel Aviv and turned them over to Arab mobs as retaliation for the bombings. A police source said that the Jews were taken by the soldiers at Mikve Israel and then released in all-Arab Jaffa.

Six Jews were killed near Tel Aviv during an ambush of an Haganah patrol.

In Haifa, eight hundred Jewish refugees from Rumania, Bulgaria, and Poland, were taken from a refugee ship and transported by the British to Cyprus.

A Jewish bus was attacked by Arabs, wounding two passengers in the Judean hills, and two other Jews were killed by snipers in Jerusalem.

In all, 67 persons were killed in Palestine on Sunday, bringing the total number of deaths since November 29, when the partition plan had been approved by the U.N., to 1,511.

At the outset of Senate debate on ERP, Senator Arthur Vandenberg urged his colleagues to pass the Plan before aggressive Communism threatened world freedom and led to World War III.

In Key West, the President, on vacation, refused to talk about his own candidacy in 1948 or specific foreign policy issues, but blamed the failure to obtain quicker resolutions to the foreign and domestic problems on the campaign. Former Democratic nominee in 1920, James Cox, who had run with FDR as the vice-presidential nominee, had visited the President the previous day and discussed the campaign, which former Ohio Governor Cox saw as similar to that of 1920, also the first after the world war, facing problems of domestic inflation and whether to join the League of Nations.

The ten Congressional aviation policy board members testified to Congress that civilization was "vulnerable to annihilation", recommended 35,000 new fighters and preparedness to spend ten billion dollars per year on air power necessary to maintain world peace. They favored a "Magna Carta of World Defense", to be adopted by the U.N., to whose inspectors modern weapons could be surrendered.

In Los Angeles, a moderate earthquake shook the area with the greatest force felt in the San Benardino Valley 40 to 60 miles to the east. A more severe quake had rocked Los Angeles on February 19.

In New York, a 20-year old woman was repeatedly playing "Civilization" on the jukebox over the course of an hour, to the annoyance of a seaman who then shot her and the bartender. The sailor seized a hostage and fled to the subway, before the hostage escaped, possibly also having been wounded. The sailor was then wounded during a subsequent shootout with police before his arrest. The two victims were in serious condition at Roosevelt Hospital.

The sailor did not like "Civilization". Bongo, Bongo, Bingo.

He has a defense. Just play that song for the jury for an hour nonstop.

In Wytheville, Va., the Sparta, N.C., Chief of Police was killed and two Highway Patrolmen riding with him seriously injured when the car in which they were riding hit a bridge abutment at around 2:30 a.m. One of the Patrolmen was not expected to recover. It was believed that they had been chasing a car suspected of hauling illegal liquor from Wilkes County into Virginia, an effort the two Patrolmen had been undertaking for some time.

General Eisenhower continued to lead the The News straw poll, with 111 votes, followed by Henry Wallace with 96 votes, Thomas Dewey, 94, Senator Arthur Vandenberg, 82, Senator Robert Taft, 64, and President Truman, tied now for sixth place with Senator Harry F. Byrd, each with 47 votes.

On the editorial page, "Charlotte's Protest Vote" finds Henry Wallace's second place standing in the straw poll to be indicative of his popularity in places outside the Bronx. It was the only surprise it found in the polling.

The angry remarks on many ballots regarding the President's advocacy of civil rights indicated the dramatic decline in his popularity of late. Yet, at least two of those ballots indicated support for Mr. Wallace, showing the confusion among voters. The phenomenon suggested that Mr. Wallace might become the beneficiary of protest votes against the President.

Mrs. Roosevelt had suggested that both parties work to remove the fear of inflation and war, the two things which most influenced American voters, lest the course of politics in the country take unexpected turns in years to come.

"Thanks to the Red Cross" urges giving to the Red Cross drive, with a goal of $99,500 locally and a national goal of 75 million. It explains the many services provided by the organization, from veterans' needs to disaster relief to collecting blood and providing for destitute children overseas.

"Judges Webb and Warlick" praises the 29-year career on the Federal bench of Judge E. Yates Webb, who had announced his retirement the previous week, effective this date. The decision was not unexpected. It gave the President a chance to name his successor, which a Democrat might not have after the coming election.

Superior Court Judge Wilson Warlick of Newton was being recommended by both Senators Umstead and Hoey as the replacement. The piece finds him well qualified.

Ultimately, Judge Warlick would be appointed to the bench, but not until early 1949, after the initial appointee, David Henderson, following a recess appointment, resigned prior to Senate consideration, presumably by prior agreement because of it being an election year and the consequent likelihood that confirmation of any appointment would be stalled in the Republican Senate prior to the election.

A piece from the Louisville Courier-Journal, titled "Mr. Young and 9,999 Others", tells of railroad magnate Robert Young having said that he would allow his name to be floated as a presidential choice, doing so, it offers, probably only to strike fear into his industrial comrades, as they would likely rather see FDR back in the White House than the progressive Mr. Young. But he was ill-suited for the presidency, opines the piece, as witness his statement that there were 10,000 men in business better suited for the job than any of those running.

The editorial regards the statement as nonsense, that being a good businessman did not provide a foundation for running the country. Dealing with Congress was very different from dealing with a board of directors, vastly more complicated. Most corporate executives would be lost at the task. Most of the professional politicians would be much better.

The advice, incidentally, is still quite valid. The Government is not a business and any fool who thinks it can be so run would quickly come in for a rude shock. The people run it, ultimately. When you complain, therefore, blank-face, about "the Government", look in the mirror.

Drew Pearson tells of a secret mission of 200 American military officers and technical sergeants leaving for Saudi Arabia to train the Arab air force and re-equip abandoned U.S. air fields. Behind the trip was an agreement with King Ibn Saud, under which he gave concessions to the Arabian-American Oil Co. The members of the mission would leave in civilian clothes and take circuitous routes to reach Saudi Arabia.

He next tells of having interviewed Eduard Benes, President of Czechoslovakia, when he was much younger, in 1923, as he articulated a desire to have a United States of Europe, an idea which might have prevented World War II, had it then been adopted. He had told Mr. Pearson that Czechoslovakia had to get along with Russia, its next door neighbor. Mr. Pearson ventures that he must now realize that it was not possible to get along with the Soviets.

The column chronicles several incidents of racial violence in the South since the President announced his civil rights program on February 2. In Jackson, Miss., on February 21, J.V. Williams, a veteran, was arrested on a charge of drunkenness in a black cafe, pushed out into the street by the arresting officer, and then shot in the hip on the pretext that he was trying to escape. Mr. Williams was then beaten in the street by the officer and several others. Eventually, he was taken into custody and placed in a police car.

Also in Jackson, on February 13, Lerow McGowan, a one-arm veteran, started to run when a police officer sought to detain him on a charge of drunkenness. He was then beaten until unconscious by several policemen and left in a pool of blood in the street.

In Kosciusko, Miss., on February 2, George Thomas was shot to death by a policeman who claimed that he had arrested the man for breaking into a white person's home and that on the way to jail, Mr. Thomas had sought to overpower the officer. The autopsy showed that Mr. Thomas was shot three times, through the arm, the lower body, and through the heart.

Also in Kosciusko, on the same day, Lucey Futch, another veteran, was taken by a mob and beaten, though, eventually, he managed to escape four days later.

Edward Tamm, formerly the number three man at the FBI, had been given a Federal judgeship in reward for his loyalty to Government service. But it demonstrated the difficulty the FBI had in retaining its trained personnel. Attorney General Tom Clark recommended the judicial appointment to the President. Mr. Pearson relates that some Senators had raised a protest.

The Greek Government had issued orders that pro-Communist rebels were to be shot, that no prisoners would any longer be taken, demonstrating the desperation of the situation in the country.

Former Congresswoman Chase Going Woodhouse of Connecticut would soon join the Wallace third-party movement.

Two Democrats led a move to ban newsreel coverage of Henry Wallace when he testified before the House Foreign Affairs Committee. Most of the Republicans had been in favor of giving him all the publicity he desired.

Joseph & Stewart Alsop tell of practical politicians speaking for the first time of the end of the one-party system in the South, resulting from the rebellion against the President's civil rights program. The Virginia Legislature's passage of a bill to allow presidential electors in December to cast their ballots for whomever they wished had especially opened the door in this direction. The device would enable Democrats in the South to continue to vote as Democrats while avoiding election of the national candidate.

South Carolina and Mississippi were expected to pass similar bills. The other Southern states might follow suit.

Senator Harry Byrd was reportedly slouching toward allowance of his name to be placed in nomination. The same was true of Senator Walter George of Georgia.

DNC chairman Howard McGrath had, on directions from the President, ultimately declined to offer the Southern Governors a tidbit in the form of a watered-down platform plank on civil rights.

The previous time that enabling legislation for the Fair Employment Practices Commission had come before the Senate, cloture of filibuster failed by only nine Senators, on a vote of 39 to 33, requiring two-thirds of the Senators present. To make trouble for the President, enough Republicans might change their votes to produce cloture this time. Such might also apply to the anti-lynching bill. Both bills had previously passed the House.

Industrialization, agricultural diversification, and the Rust brothers' mechanical cotton picker had already threatened the Southern traditional order, with progressive Southerners already appearing in the House.

The Alsops predict that the Virginia legislation might only hurt President Truman initially but would eventuate in separating out the progressive Southerners from the atavists.

Samuel Grafton tells of Margaret picking up a teaspoon of her flatware and finding it worn after only two years of use, with the base metal showing through the silver plate. She found it troubling that she and her husband had been married long enough to wear out a silver spoon. She suddenly thought that perhaps she and her husband would also begin to wear through the years before they could begin to get ahead.

Margaret's friend Ann arrived for tea. They had not seen one another for three or four months. Ann told her that she might be getting married and looked for advice.

Margaret went to the kitchen for the tea and pulled out two new spoons, initially placed them on the tray. But then she decided that they appeared too new, replaced them with the two worn spoons which she and her husband had used regularly. Their use made them appear experienced with prior teas. She placed them on the tray, smiled, and went to the living room where "the trembling girl" awaited on the sofa.

A letter writer thinks that the third-party candidacy of Henry Wallace would not necessarily hurt the Truman candidacy, as he would siphon off not only liberal and progressive Democrats but also Republicans. The people who voted for the Republican Congress in 1946 felt betrayed by the failure to bring down prices and relieve the housing shortage, as the Republicans had promised. He urges both parties to select serious candidates in 1948 to avoid protest votes going to Mr. Wallace.

A piece by Louis Graves of the Chapel Hill Weekly, in celebration of its 25th birthday, tells of no one being aware of the mark save Mr. Graves. And so he wishes the newspaper happy birthday and greets others, such as the people who provided service daily to the community in one form or another, to the police force and fire company, the utility workers, the clergymen, the printers, the post office workers, the gardeners, the milkmen, the architects, physicians, lawyers, teachers, and all at the University, to everyone else in Chapel Hill and Carrboro and surrounding suburbs.

He tells of a response by the editor of the La Plata (Md.) Times-Crescent, as reprinted in The New Yorker, regarding the newspaper business, summing up his own feelings on the matter. The Times-Crescent, on its 103rd birthday, had said that the entire process of getting the newspaper out on time every day, to provide news of which the readers likely already were aware, made the staff wonder whether it was worth the trouble to do it the following week.

Well, take heart, Mr. Graves. Look upon it this way. If you and those others in your business had not taken the trouble 67 years ago, we would not have anything on which to rely for history other than the rather prosaic, unreliable recounts afforded by hearsay and rumor, nothing in print, nothing on the record except that which might be gleaned from diligent research of documents and sundry official reports, laying in dusty corners of various repositories, seeming, by the very imposition of their stilted structures, to forbid all but the most dedicated to effect entry to their arcane, formidable, and, often, echoing-empty, spaces. But to understand which documents were significant to the past, we also need at our disposal newspapers and magazines to act as guides.

So thank you for compiling diligently the daily record of events. Even if no more than one or two people read them contemporaneously, they are set forth for posterity to glean therefrom a fair impression of the way life transpired each day in the past, a reminder always that, for all the changes, most of it remains pretty much the same, canalized by the human condition, impacted by nature and man in much the same way, even if altered somewhat by various technological impingements, which, in time, as always, will become antiquated and replaced by other "modern revolutionary inventions" which never live up to their publicity and do little, in the end, but take up space and complicate more than simplify existence.

Take, for instance, the silver teaspoon...

We note, incidentally, that, as four years ago, we shall fall behind by a day, it being leap year, here, in 1948, and not where you are, in 2015. We shall catch up with you again a year from now. Don't do anything naughty in the meantime during that pre-leap day ahead.

As we come to the week, five weeks or so hence, when occurs the sesquicentennial of both the end of the Civil War and the assassination of President Lincoln, we shall skip a day to be in synchronization with those dates, and then fall back again the following week.

Framed Edition
[Return to Links
Page by Subject] [Return to Links-Page by Date] [Return to News<i><i><i>--</i></i></i>Framed Edition]
Links-Date -- Links-Subj.