The Charlotte News

Thursday, March 11, 1948


Site Ed. Note: The front page reports that the U.S. proposed to the U.N. "Little Assembly" a limitation on the five-power unilateral veto on the Security Council, urging exclusion from its purview all of the issues on which Russia had exercised the veto 22 times in the prior two years. Among the issues included in the proposal were admission of new members and whether specific questions are subject to the veto.

The President asked Congress to approve 55 million dollars in additional provisional aid for Europe pending ERP approval.

The House Foreign Affairs Committee discussed broadening of ERP to include military aid to Western Europe, to any place in which conditions resembled those in Greece and Turkey, recipients of 400 million dollars in military aid under the Truman Doctrine in 1947 and for which more had recently been requested by the President.

In Brussels, the five-power conference of France, Britain and the Benelux countries completed the editing of the proposed Western European Union treaty to form a mutual economic and military alliance—forerunner to NATO which would come into being the following year. The members had reportedly agreed that any original signatory could blackball a new member to the union.

In Jerusalem at the Jewish Agency building, a car bomb exploded in the courtyard, killing five persons and injuring a hundred. None of the casualties were top officials.

State Senator Joe Blythe of Charlotte had made it plain to DNC chairman J. Howard McGrath that North Carolina did not support the Truman civil rights program, already expressly opposed by Senator Clyde Hoey and Governor Gregg Cherry.

Senator McGrath called on the grass roots leaders of the party to provide ideas on how to advance the Truman candidacy, formally declared on Monday. The chairman of the Americans for Democratic Action, former OPA head Leon Henderson, asked the DNC executive committee to wage a determined fight for the President's civil rights program.

In several cities, Chicago, St. Louis, Denver, Dallas, Boston, and Pittsburgh, anti-MacArthur committees were being formed by veterans. The Harvard Crimson carried a full page ad the previous day with 57 signatures of veterans opposed to General MacArthur's candidacy for the presidency. A club had been formed for the purpose as well by U.C. veterans in Berkeley.

In Chicago, a Delta DC-4, bound for Miami with 13 aboard, crashed and burned on takeoff the previous night. Only one person survived. The crash occurred during a snow flurry. It was Delta's first accident since 1934.

A cold wave followed blizzards in the Midwest, through Kansas, Iowa, and Minnesota, extending cold weather and lighter snow into Missouri, Texas and Oklahoma.

In Asheville, N.C., the Highland Hospital, a mental facility, caught fire, killing nine persons the previous night. The fire erupted in the kitchen of the central building around midnight. The hospital was operated as a unit of the Duke University Hospital in Durham.

In Charlotte, the efforts to obtain admission to a mental facility of the eleven-year old girl, reported in The News in January, was finally beginning to pay off. The child, given to manic bouts which caused the health of her younger brother, suffering from rheumatic fever, to worsen, had been refused admission for years because of overcrowding of the mental facilities of the state. Admission to the Caswell Training School now appeared imminent.

A poll conducted by Elmo Roper, the results of which are on page 10-A, showed that Americans were not impressed by the performance of either the Democratic Administration or the Republican majority in Congress.

Have the American people ever been very impressed by the performance of the two major parties in power when so asked, save during a major war?

On the editorial page, "Masaryk's Blow Against Tyranny" comments on the suicide in Prague of Jan Masaryk, Czech foreign minister, finds his death to be his own way of telling the world that democracy in Czechoslovakia had been slain by another coup of the Communists. What had been questioned alternatively as either a quisling retention of power by Mr. Masaryk in the Communist-dominated Cabinet or a sign that things were not as bad as they seemed, now had its answer.

Thomas Masaryk, the father of Jan, had, with Woodrow Wilson, established the Czech republic after World War I. They wrote the Constitution in Philadelphia at Independence Hall and signed it. Jan Masaryk was a democrat of the same order.

It finds in his suicide one of the most powerful symbolic blows struck against Soviet tyranny to date. It asserts that it was designed to rally the Czech people against totalitarian aggression and, it predicts, would have a major influence on the people of France and Italy in the coming elections. It asserts that the death also ought affect the American election campaign, solidifying opposition to Henry Wallace and his naive desire for appeasement of Russia.

"All the Signs Favor Dewey" tells of the New Hampshire primary victory in favor of Governor Dewey suggesting him as the repeat candidate of the Republicans in 1948.

The next test would be in Wisconsin in early April, where General MacArthur would vie against Governor Dewey and Harold Stassen. The Ohio primary in May, in which Senator Taft would be pitted against Mr. Stassen, was of greater interest, as it was expected that the latter would weaken Mr. Taft's strength in his home state and potentially end his candidacy, probably pushing him into the Dewey camp.

With General Eisenhower out of the picture, the public opinion polls showed Governor Dewey now as the favorite among Republicans.

"No Longer a 'Country Town'" responds to a letter writer, whose letter appears on the page, upset about Charlotte being so labeled because he could say nothing to rebut the claim. But Charlotte was predicted by Southern Bell Telephone Company to have in 1961 a population of 220,000 and by 1966, 237,000. Such a population had to dispel the "country town" myth.

The letter writer asserted that the hiring of smoke abatement and traffic engineers were wastes of money and moves away from progress. The piece differs and asserts that had such experts been hired a decade earlier, many of the problems facing the city, as its traffic flow and parking issues, could have been avoided. It would be worse by 1961 with a much larger population, doubled since 1940 when it hit the 100,000 mark.

The piece promotes all of the civic planning on the board, for better parks and recreation facilities, and the rest, as long-range aids to future munificence with respect to the expanding populace.

As indicated, the 1960 population of Charlotte, according to the Census Bureau, would be 201,564, closer to the 190,000 projected for 1961 by Southern Bell in 1941.

A piece from the Richmond Times-Dispatch, titled "No Hiding Place", tells of the popular song "Bongo, Bongo" not being truthful regarding the contention of lack of civilization in the Congo, according to a Methodist bishop, just returned from Elizabethville in the Belgian Congo. He claimed as many incidents of civilization to be extant there as in Peoria. The same honking of horns and blaring of radios, talk of atom bombs and landlords, went on in Elizabethville.

The piece thinks it not surprising given the account of Wendell Willkie in One World in 1943. The world was now connected by mass communication facilities.

It hopes, however, that there were at least small enclaves in the jungle of the Congo who held out against the madness of civilization, and, if so, recommends that they remain there until at least after the U.S. election.

Drew Pearson tells of the dinner nearly four years earlier at which Senator Truman was selected to be the Democratic nominee for vice-president, with the knowledge firmly in mind that the President's declining health, evident visibly, would likely mean his death during the term. Present were Bronx boss Ed Flynn, Mayor Ed Kelley of Chicago, Mayor Frank Hague of Jersey City, and DNC chairman Robert Hannegan. Nearly the same coterie was meeting with the President at the White House during the current week to discuss his future. Their belief was that he could not win and that they needed to convince him of same, to get him to step aside and then find a suitable replacement.

Chief Justice Fred Vinson, Justice William O. Douglas and steel and shipbuilding magnate Henry Kaiser each had support, but only regionally, each equally unacceptable, respectively, to the North, South, and areas outside the West, labor, and small businessmen.

Congressman Frank Keefe of Wisconsin had put forth an anti-Jim Crow amendment within the Appropriations Committee, to withhold funds from state institutions which practiced segregation. Democrat Joe Hendricks of Florida was the most vigorous opponent. Other Southerners, including Representatives Albert Gore of Tennessee and Albert Thomas of Texas—the latter around whose honorary Houston dinner on November 21, 1963 President Kennedy's fateful Texas trip was scheduled—, asked that the South be given time to work out the problem on its own. In the final vote, all of the Republicans on the Committee voted against the amendment, save three and Mr. Keefe. Two Northern Democrats also voted for it. Twenty-five, whose names he provides, were opposed.

Elliott Roosevelt had discovered an unfinished manuscript of his father regarding John Paul Jones, on which the President was at at work at the time of his death. Mr Roosevelt was editing it for publication. The manuscript appears never to have seen the light of day and remains in the FDR Library at Hyde Park, N.Y. In 1920, the future President, who that year ran as the Democratic vice-presidential nominee with James Cox, submitted to Paramount Pictures a treatment for a silent screenplay based on the life of John Paul Jones, turned down for production.

The Army and Navy would ask the Congress in 1949 for about four billion dollars to develop jets.

Henry Grady of San Francisco would be the new Ambassador to China.

The Jewish War Veterans of America had determined to collect food and clothing for three Friendship Trains, slated for Palestine and Cyprus, where illegal European refugees to Palestine were taken by the British.

Marquis Childs suggests that it was time to examine the Republican Party's aspirations to the White House in the light of their performance as the majority party in each house of Congress. While Senator Vandenberg had sought to pilot ERP through the Senate with as few snags as possible, three other Republican Senators, William Jenner of Indiana, Kenneth Wherry of Nebraska, and James Kem of Missouri, were engaging in tactics which were slowing the process of passage. Senator Jenner, for instance, had recently mocked ERP as a "Haa-vv-ahd" plan for the fact that Secretary of State Marshall had proposed it the previous June during his speech at Harvard.

In the House, amendments were being offered which would also bog down the process, such as one to attach military aid to the ERP economic aid. Moreover, the House intended to take a ten-day recess toward the end of the month for Easter. The bill likely therefore would not pass the Congress before June and time was pressing in the meantime to prevent disaster in Europe.

Secretary Marshall had pleaded with the House leadership to speed up the process.

There was a growing perception in the country that the Republicans were as bankrupt as the Democrats, a conclusion which could still lead to public pressure to have General Eisenhower nominated by one party or the other, someone to whom the country could look for leadership.

Samuel Grafton suggests that it appeared that the Republicans would sneak through a victory in November because of the factionalism present in the Democratic Party. The problem, regardless, would be how to assemble a majority absent united liberal support behind either party.

In 1932 and 1936, the Republicans had sought to form a majority on a conservative basis but were soundly defeated both times. In 1940, they had nominated Wendell Willkie, a moderate with appeal to liberals. Governor Dewey had campaigned in 1944 with a distinctly liberal message.

Presently, in the previous two years, both parties had sought to root out liberals, the Democrats affording more comfort to them than the Republicans. The result was that neither party could assemble a majority in the upcoming election. The anti-liberalism campaign had given a forum to Henry Wallace.

The Democrats could reunite the Southern revolters with the national party but not with the President heading the ticket. The Republicans could not appeal to Northern liberals, and uniting with Southern conservatives would not likely sway the election, as FDR would have won without the South in each of his four presidential victories.

A letter writer, as an editorial of the day states, is upset at Charlotte being labeled a "country town" because he could not rebut the statement. He tells why.

We are not sure, incidentally, that having a large NASCAR museum prominent in downtown Charlotte helps to dispel that image, even with three-quarters of a million people presently living in the city. It is not the number of people in a given burg which provides the flavor of cosmopolitanism but rather the quality of the culture which is made manifest to casual visitors.

Gaudy presentations in cities provide a perception to the mind that the place is suffering growing pains and wishes to emulate only the neon flash of such traditional cities as New York, Chicago, Boston, Philadelphia, or San Francisco. But the cultural side of those cities has also long been established, and Charlotte, we opine, needs yet to do more in that department before it can properly join their rank. Art is a good place to start and Charlotte appears to be making headway in that area, long a needed part of North Carolina's culture if it ever expects to shed its reputation as a rural state with islands of cosmopolitanism, an honor primarily accorded traditionally only to Chapel Hill.

Education, of course, is the primary consideration in determining culture, and Charlotte has for some time held its own in that area, with Davidson and a growing UNC branch there. In such a large city, however, institutions of higher learning often get lost and need the strong supplement afforded by museums which advance the culture on a daily basis. A new North Carolina history museum to supplement the one in Raleigh and service the western portion of the state, with a new emphasis on the cultural and racial diversity within the state's heritage, for instance, would be a worthy goal.

As long as the largest part of the state's population, however, appears to view education as an opportunity to infiltrate with ideas more consonant with the general run of the mill, the indoctrination of "conservative family values" for instance, there remains a blind spot on the road to urbanity in the Tar Heel state. Urbanity, incidentally, we do not mean to suggest as consistent necessarily with urbanism and expanding population. Often, the two are inversely proportional.

But don't get defensive about it. Accepting criticism and applying it in a beneficial way is also an indicator of cultural advance. Being proud of being a redneck, as some people persist in being, is the hallmark of ignorance, the reason why, for instance, a racist chant is in the current news out of Norman, Oklahoma. Yet, no one in the nation need be too proud or point fingers too much toward that as an exception to the rule, only because this group of students was caught in a particularly awkward and damnable situation. The entire society always stands improvement and never ought rest on its laurels with too much flag waving and not enough inculcation of respect across the board in every community and every part of every community for the Constitution, the only common foundation on which we stand as a nation.

A letter from a night watchman thanks the newspaper for posting his want ad for $4.22, which enabled him and his wife to locate a suitable boarding house where both could reunite. He had written plaintively on the subject in a letter of February 17.

A letter writer wants to stop ERP, views it as a foolish waste of five billion dollars of American taxpayer money.

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