The Charlotte News

Friday, March 5, 1948


Site Ed. Note: The front page reports that Southern Senators had informed Rhode Island Senator J. Howard McGrath, DNC chairman, and Secretary of Labor Lewis Schwellenbach, a former Senator from Washington State, that only the withdrawal of President Truman from the race could heal their infringed pride from the President's suggestion to Congress that it pass a civil rights program. They also said that the offer of Senator McGrath to dilute the civil rights plank to its 1944 version would be fine but not enough.

In Columbia, S.C., John McCray, editor of the black newspaper, Lighthouse and Informer, asked Governor Strom Thurmond to investigate the burning of two or possibly three crosses in the vicinity of black homes in West Columbia, occurring March 2.

The Jewish Agency, through Dr. Abba Hillel Silver, told the U.N. that the Agency was determined to go ahead with the creation of a Jewish state in Palestine even if the U.N. was incapable of enforcing the partition plan passed by the General Assembly on November 29.

Haganah reported that 30 Arabs were killed and many wounded the previous night in a clash with Jews on the plains of Sharon, between Tel Aviv and Haifa. The fight erupted after Arabs attacked the Jewish settlement of Magdiel on the Tel Aviv-Haifa Highway. As the orange growing season in the Sharon area was coming to an end, observers believed it would become a major battleground between Arabs and Jews.

The Commerce Department refused to provide a subcommittee of HUAC with subpoenaed records of the Commerce Department loyalty board's investigation of Dr. Edward Condon, head of the Bureau of Standards, accused by HUAC of being the "weakest link" in atomic security for his having supposedly associated, knowingly or unknowingly, with a Soviet espionage agent.

In New York, ten men were charged with grand larceny in the theft of millions of dollars worth of merchandise from Railway Express. The police had investigated the ring for eight weeks prior to the arrests. The ring had been spotted when $1,000 worth of dresses were stolen from a truck in the Bronx two months earlier. Drivers would pull their trucks into neighborhood garages where part of the loads were then switched to other trucks.

In Trenton, N.J., an eighteen-year old boy and his three "bodyguards" were arrested for an unsuccessful attempt to kidnap the bookkeeper of the youth's estranged father. One of the bodyguards had tipped police to the plot because he did want to be involved in a murder.

Near Greenville, Miss., thirteen crewmen of a 180-foot towboat were dead or missing after it rammed into a bridge and quickly sank in the swollen waters of the Mississippi River. Thirteen others had survived.

The President returned from his trip to Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands and his vacation in Key West, met with his Cabinet for the first time in three weeks.

In Hollywood, the trial separation of actor Donald O'Connor from his wife ended after only five days, with the couple reconciling and Mr. O'Connor moving back into the family home. They had just had a spat.

In Charlotte, a new smoke abatement engineer was appointed by the City Manager.

In the final tally of The News straw poll, General Eisenhower won with 679 votes to 450 for runner-up Henry Wallace. Governor Dewey had 354 votes, Senator Vandenberg, 212, Senator Harry F. Byrd, 194, Senator Robert Taft, 164, and President Truman, coming in a distant seventh, had 122 votes. Others receiving votes included former Secretary of State James Byrnes, with 101 votes, former Minnesota Governor Harold Stassen, 97, General MacArthur, 56, Governor Earl Warren, 37, and Secretary of State Marshall, with 32.

Fully 439 telephonically recorded votes for General Eisenhower, and 223 for Mr. Wallace, had been registered in the four-hour period the previous evening during which The News opened its telephone line to the public for voting. Of the 2,588 votes cast during the previous eleven days, 1,145 had been received during the call-in period.

There is something very fishy about these results.

In the quarterfinals of the Southern Conference Basketball Tournament the previous day and night in Durham, N.C. State defeated William & Mary 73 to 52, North Carolina beat VPI 61 to 40, Davidson got by Maryland 58 to 51, and Duke nipped George Washington 54 to 51. Duke would meet Davidson and North Carolina would play N.C. State this night in the semifinals. Keep your fingers crossed.

On the editorial page, "Senator Hoey Speaks for Peace" tells of Senator Clyde Hoey of North Carolina having made an eloquent speech on the Senate floor in favor of the Marshall Plan. He said that Russia was suspicious of the U.S. and not assured of itself, that if it had the same resources as the U.S., it would use them to subjugate the world and could not understand why the U.S. did not share the same goal.

He viewed ERP as the most practical means of demonstrating America's peaceful and democratic intentions.

"A Good Time in Charlotte" tells of Charlotte being on the march to progress, as exampled by the effort of the Jaycees to establish training for retarded children to make them suitable for admission to the public schools. The Chamber of Commerce had approved a program to advance the community with cultural events. The City Council had undertaken a study of traffic problems in the city and the School Board was planning for expansion of educational facilities.

"A Contest for Thurmond Chatham" tells of Bob Duncan, a Stokes County publisher, having entered the Fifth District Congressional race to oppose Thurmond Chatham, of Winston-Salem, chairman of the board of Chatham Manufacturing Company. The seat was being vacated by retiring John Folger. It was likely that Mr. Chatham would win and appeared well qualified for the position.

A piece from the Atlanta Journal, titled "Hard Work Pays Off", tells of the Milwaukee Journal reporting that the young man who wanted to get ahead should stick with a single company. Only 15 percent of executives in Wisconsin were selected from outside the company. Another prerequisite was versatility, knowing how the company worked from top to bottom.

Drew Pearson tells of Wisconsin Representative Frank Keefe, the Congressman who had grilled admirals two years earlier on their preparedness before Pearl Harbor, having become, counter-intuitively, a humane advocate for better health care. He had scolded the U.S. Public Health Service for not asking enough in their budget to publicize a new means of preserving children's teeth by treating them with sodium fluoride. It could be painted on the teeth about four times between ages three and thirteen, and, thereafter, most children could forget about going to the dentist. The Health Service said that the reason the formula had not been given to dentists was that there were too few of them to do more than emergency dental work. Even dental assistants were in short supply.

The whole process each time took only a minute to perform, after cleaning of the teeth. A gallon of the solution, enough to take care of the school age population of an ordinary sized community, cost five cents.

General Eisenhower's perfect teeth were attributed to the sodium fluoride in the water where he had lived as a boy, in Denison, Texas. Some areas of the Dakotas and Southwest had too much fluoride in the water, causing the teeth to be mottled. The Health Service was experimenting with putting the right amount of sodium fluoride in the drinking water supplies. Increasingly, city water supplies were becoming polluted. About a hundred million people lived in communities in which eight million dollars needed to be spent to improve the water supply and sewage disposal.

The U.S. had the lowest death rate in its history, with ten of every thousand people dying in 1946. Infant mortality was at an all time low also, at 35.1 per thousand. The lowest rate was in Arkansas, at 26.4, and the highest, in New Mexico, at 81.2. Tuberculosis had dropped from the chief cause of death at the turn of the century to seventh. Heart disease was the number one killer. The incidence of polio was increasing. Viruses were getting worse. Typhus was also on the rise.

Marquis Childs finds HUAC's suggestion of disloyalty of Dr. Edward Condon, head of the Bureau of Standards, to be another example of a witch-hunt by the Committee, its case being built entirely on the facts that he talked to the wife of the Polish Ambassador and to two or three employees of the Soviet satellite embassies. The report of the subcommittee had found that the former counselor to the Polish Embassy had purchased 270 books about atomic energy published by the Commerce Department.

He finds the matter childish, as the publication in 1945 of the Smyth Report, released with the consent of Manhattan Project head Maj. General Leslie Groves, had revealed the "secret" of the atomic bomb to those who understood physics. The fact had recently been underscored by University of Chicago chancellor Robert Hutchins in an article in American Magazine. There was no more atomic "secret".

Moreover, Dr. Condon's loyalty had been checked by the Department of Commerce loyalty board and found to be above reproach, after hearing all the evidence on the matter of his associations. The HUAC subcommittee had not asked Dr. Condon to appear. The loyalty board had found that Dr. Condon spoke openly his political views, which inevitably were not those of HUAC chairman J. Parnell Thomas of New Jersey—who would soon go to jail.

It raised the question whether a person, in or out of Government, was to be denied the right to speak and advocate views contrary to those held by the most narrow conservatives, pinheads by any other name.

Dr. Condon was being smeared for having been appointed in 1945 by then Secretary of Commerce Henry Wallace and for being the object of a smear in a small portion of the press. Mr. Childs finds that to make the allegation against Dr. Condon without first allowing him to be heard was to render the country as the enemy it professed to despise.

Samuel Grafton again provides definitions, this time for "Practical Politics", the art of computing how many county chairmen were on your side, at a time when voters wanted as their candidate a non-professional politician as General Eisenhower; "The Healthy Society", a daring society, in contrast to the decadence characterizing America, despite the country's intrepidity in fact; "Secret Diplomacy", that in which great questions were resolved between nations while the press remained outside; "Open Diplomacy", a process in which the President remained outside with reporters, without meetings; "Deflation", the downturn of a major economic cycle, during which the consumer had no money to buy the cheaper products; and "Vindication", that obtained at the polls when the other side was split and your candidate was attractive and right.

A letter writer addresses an open letter to Senator Clyde Hoey, in which he expresses dismay that Dr. Frank Porter Graham was president of the University while obviously being a Communist.

Whatever you want to believe, pal. Take it and shove it.

A letter writer complains of the speed of the younger set and their "moral corruption and free-lovism" practiced in the booths, on the dance floors, and in the parked cars in which riotous living was taking place. He favors a religious revival to combat the corrupt lovism.

A letter from the director of the Charlotte Mint Museum thanks the newspaper for promoting the need for the change of the Number 9 bus route to accommodate younger riders to the museum. The City Council and Duke Power had approved the route change to bring the bus route within closer proximity to the museum.

A letter writer finds the case of the Charlotte child who was mentally deficient and not admitted to a State facility for overcrowding, while her brother suffered from rheumatic fever, to be a blot on the State of North Carolina. The story had been told in The News during mid-January and, in response, the State had assured admittance of the child within a few weeks.

A letter writer compliments "Truman, Wallace, Roosevelt" of February 28, as a nicely condensed compendium of political facts. But it is better, by far, to say "compendia" than "one of the most condensed compendiums". If you had taken Latin, you would know that.

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