The Charlotte News

Saturday, April 17, 1948


Site Ed. Note: The front page reports that the Security Council of the U.N. adopted the truce resolution before it, ordering a stop to the fighting in Palestine. But there was no indication by Arabs or Jews that it would be obeyed. The final vote occurred at 2:19 a.m. following five and a half hours of debate. Russia and the Ukraine abstained, making the final tally 9 to 0 in favor of the resolution. Russia continued to favor the partition plan. Russia wanted an order that armed Arab bands be directed to depart from Palestine and that political activity be banned.

The truce ordered an end to military activities, violence, terrorism, and sabotage, as well as bringing into Palestine armed bands and fighting personnel, plus weapons and other war materiel, as well to cease all political activity.

The Jewish Agency political department head, Moshe Shertok, stated that the truce would not succeed unless the U.N. sent a commission to Palestine. The Council voted not to do so, failing a seven-vote majority by two votes, including abstentions by the U.S. and Britain, and omitted any enforcement provision.

Italy was preparing for its critical elections the following day to assure that exercise of the franchise took place unfettered. Police sought hidden caches of arms in Rome, Naples, and other cities. Rumors indicated that Communists would try to intimidate voters. The polls would open at 8 a.m. and close at 10:00 p.m., would again be open on Monday from 7:00 to 2:00, in case you want to rush over there from Charlotte and cast your ballot. For the Chamber of Deputies, a person had to be 21 to vote, and for the Senate, 25. There were 99 parties in the election, with 47 presenting candidates. Choose wisely.

The new Economic Cooperation Administration, responsible for coordinating and administering ERP aid, declared that it would send a total of 20.4 million dollars worth of food, coal, and other supplies to France, Italy, and the Netherlands, in addition to 37.9 million approved earlier in the week for the three nations. Italy would receive 8.1 million of the additional money and France, 11.3 million.

In Vienna, the Russians lifted all travel restrictions on the road leading from the city to the British airport inside the Soviet zone, but all auto traffic was still being stopped, albeit without continued checking of passenger identification as previously had been the case in recent days. The Russians the previous night ordered a halt to British air traffic into Vienna, but the British stated that they would ignore the directive.

In Greece, the Army was reported to be pressing a spring offensive in the central part of the country, with 20,000 to 30,000 troops moving in on three sides of the guerrillas in the Ghiona and Vardoussa mountains, said to hold about 4,000 fighters. Fighting also continued in the Drama area around the Bulgarian border. Many actors were involved in that part of the conflict.

In Mexico, a Communist plot to wreck all telegraph lines was discovered, and the usual suspects, it was assured, would be rounded up immediately.

In Cincinnati and across the Ohio River in Newport, Ky., flood waters had threatened 10,000 residents, requiring eight to ten feet of sandbags to be placed along a 2,000-foot embankment. Two teenaged girls had drowned in a rowboat and two young boys had died earlier as an indirect result of the flooding, while rescuing a wild duck.

Senator Taft favored repeal of the discriminatory tax on margarine.

John L. Lewis demanded that the Government recommend withdrawal of the previous court order directing him to end the coal strike, as he had already called for its end the previous Monday, with approximately a third of the miners still off the job because of the pending contempt citation against him and UMW, set to be adjudicated the following morning by the Federal Court, following a court trial earlier in the week.

In Charlotte, one man was convicted under the State law banning possession of slot machines for possession of pinball machines. Two other men received prayers for judgment with no fines and hence no convictions. The first man had filed an appeal and whether the other two were included is unclear from the report. One other defendant failed to appear. The defense claimed that the pinball machines did not fall under the slot machine prohibition.

The North Carolina Education Association adopted a resolution calling for a special session of the General Assembly to increase teacher pay, seeking the minimum to be fixed at $2,400 per year, with additional benefits also sought.

NCEA Bible teachers adopted a resolution that they should continue teaching the Bible despite the recent Supreme Court ruling which held that religious instruction was prohibited in public schools under the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment. They would await further clarification of the ruling—being unable to read it themselves, not being altogether familiar with the English language, obviously more attuned to ancient Hebraic texts.

A new Association president was elected to replace outgoing R. L. Fritz, who had survived a turbulent year after indictment and acquittal on a charge of misappropriating school funds to keep the Hudson School, of which he was principal, open with short staff by paying unauthorized overtime to teachers. His teaching certificate had been revoked by the State Board of Education following the charges, but was reinstated after the acquittal. He had been fortunate to have as his attorney Sam J. Ervin.

Emery Wister of The News tells of the Leading Embroidery Co. of North Bergen, N. J., having purchased for $65,000 the Calvine Mill Village in Charlotte, which included 29 houses owned by H. B. Meiselman of Charlotte, located on N. Caldwell and Brevard Streets. The Choate Rental Company handled the transaction.

Well, that's nothing. We own all of Baltic Avenue and have four houses on it, so far, with a nice silver race car in the driveway of one.

A mill plant would employ 300 persons to make tobacco cloth while another would expand from 300 to 350 employees making print cloth.

We would like some reams of the tobacco cloth for our little shop in New York City. We have not decided, however, on the pattern and will ask that you hold our order until we make that determination based on the coloration of the shop itself, the accouterments for which have yet to be selected.

In San Francisco, a sea lion had stuck its head though a floating toilet seat on the beach at the Cliff House Hotel, was named by patrons "Buster". At first, the other sea lions avoided Buster, probably because he had been drinking all the night before, but then came around to nibble at his new collar. It hampered his ability to swim fast for food, but the SPCA said that they could not figure a way to get out to Buster to remove it.

A boat might work, with a scuba diver aboard. Or, maybe a giant crane anchored in a thousand cubic foot block of concrete buried in Golden Gate Park, that is if the five million dollar price tag on that six-month project would not be prohibitive.

On the editorial page, "Executive Branch in Turmoil" comments on Air Force Secretary Stuart Symington having gone over the head of even the President, as well as Secretary of Defense James Forrestal, to appeal successfully to Congress thus far to have the Air Force expanded to 70 groups, in lieu of the temporary draft and universal military training with a 55-group Air Force. The House had overwhelmingly passed the measure, with only three nay votes. Now, the matter was in the Senate.

The difference represented a strategy by the Air Force of long-range bombing capability from 2,000 to 2,500 miles distance, while the contrary strategy of the Army and Navy was to secure bases closer to the target, more mobile but also less secure.

That the services differed in their approach to Russian superiority in airplanes and army divisions ready for combat was not so disturbing as the disunity, promoted by partisan differences in the Congress, which was thus displayed in the newly merged armed services.

The matter was now before the Senate Appropriations Committee and would likely remain there for awhile.

The primary problem was that the incident had shown that the President was having problems with his own appointees in the Executive Branch going over his head.

"Farm Outlook Continues Bright" tells of the director of the N.C. Extension Service finding in the foreign aid program and the domestic demand for farm products a prospect for growth in North Carolina farming in the coming year, as he had elucidated in a trade journal of Wachovia Bank.

"Wild Man of Cumberland County" seeks to understand what was making the "wild man" of that county, as reported in the Fayetteville Observer, scream and yell in the woods.

It poses that it could be John L. Lewis, "social revolutionists", the outlook on taxes, the New Look among women, right and left-turning cars which almost run down pedestrians crossing on the green light, sailors suffering in their tight pants, scrambled eggs "extended" with milk or water, the microscopic portions served in restaurants, radio commercials, the stylish apartments of the secretaries in the movies, Henry Wallace, locating a place to live, sticking to the budget, the differences between liberal Republicans and conservative Democrats, and the excessive wrappers on candy bars.

It solicits other nominations.

How about curmudgeon editors who have not quite gotten with the program? But that one about the candy wrappers is interesting.

That's okay. We have the benefit of sooth, for awhile down the road. We shall view it instead as a kind of relay race.

A piece from the Franklin (N.C.) Press, titled "Stupid and Disgraceful", finds it stupid to have wrecked the automobile of a union organizer in Macon County in North Carolina, and left a threatening note, that such only produced a martyr and set back the hope for cooperation between labor and management, made the effort to organize labor in the county the more determined.

The persons who did the deed violated free speech rights and rights to protection of property, both sacrosanct in America. While no one was hurt and the property damage not significant, some even viewing the action as serving the organizer right, it would not be so charitably perceived had he been a non-union citizen of the county.

The next step would be a personal attack on an individual for the views he or she held, then a lynching. The action needed to be punished.

Speech, no matter how disagreeable, repugnant, or even hateful, is always protected. Do you see why that is?

Drew Pearson tells of the B-29 maneuvers by the Air Force over Great Britain, that it had demonstrated that American super-bombers could slip by the equivalent of the Russian defenses. Air Force chief in Europe Lt. General Curtis LeMay had arranged with the British Royal Air Force to have the mock mission sent against British interceptors and its radar net, as formidable as that in Russia. Most of the B-29's got through to the target without detection by the radar. Altitude had been the key, with the B-29's flying at 35,000 feet above the feet of those below attached to the ground. The Air Force was thus convinced that the Rooskies could never stop a high-flying mission, especially as their defenses were spread over thousands of miles, compared to the relatively tightly knit defenses of Britain and Western Europe.

It notes that General LeMay performed the experiment without approval from Washington.

Yeah, that's what we like, a Man who is not afraid of the wimpy, limpy-wristed President and vacillating, indifferent Congress, is willing to assert the best foot of American Individualism right into the Rooskies' faces. Let's elect him President, and all our worries will be over and we can kiss our past Goodbye.

General MacArthur's supporters were trying to revive his flagging political fortunes, claimed that he was not licked after his drubbings in Wisconsin and Nebraska. They hoped that he would fly to California and initiate a triumphal back-platform train ride to Washington and there address a joint session of Congress.

Oh, that will come, but not yet... First, the General has to start a little war out there in Korea with them Chinese Communists. For old soldiers never die, they just fade away, unless the headlines of war keep them in the country's hearts and minds today and tomorrow, as well as yesterday, the day before. Nobody needs a mothballed general.

Alert War Assets Administrator Jess Larson had gotten the President to block the sale of 30 locomotives to Finland on the ground that they would wind up in use by the Russians.

Bronx boss Ed Flynn, who had helped to put Senator Truman on the ticket in 1944, was sticking with the President in 1948, a major story, as he had consistently criticized the President. Behind it was likely the desire to have continued patronage, greasing the political machine. His law firm, which handled a lot of Wall Street litigation, also had managed to get two friends appointed to the SEC by the President.

The UMW had not had real elections for years, as other unions such as UAW. To break up the dictatorship of John L. Lewis, a law was needed which would allow miners to petition the NLRB to hold district elections or national elections for the union leadership. It would keep Mr. Lewis more honest in his dealings with the miners and the nation for which they mined the coal.

Joseph & Stewart Alsop tell of a stop-Stassen movement having been formed in the Taft and Dewey camps, immediately in the wake of the victory of Harold Stassen on the previous Tuesday in Nebraska, his second primary victory in a row after the previous week being victorious in Wisconsin, with the backing of Senator Joseph McCarthy. The Stassen camp was planning to reign victorious again, in upset bids in Senator Taft's native state of Ohio and in Oregon. At that point, they would be riding high for the nomination at the GOP convention in Philadelphia in June.

Senator Taft and Governor Dewey would likely unite in the effort. A decisive win in Oregon could yet save the Dewey campaign while even a favorite-son win in Ohio would not save the candidacy of Senator Taft, who was already finished. In the event of the final two Stassen wins, defections to him from both Messrs. Taft and Dewey would begin rapidly among informally committed delegates in non-primary states, especially in the South. Nevertheless, if Taft and Dewey combined forces, they would still present a formidable combination at the convention. Yet, Senator Taft, representing the isolationist wing of the party, would have difficulty throwing his support to the more modern Dewey-Vandenberg wing of the party. Governor Dewey would have the same problem in reverse.

The final lesson to be gleaned from the two recent primaries, including the poor showing by General MacArthur, was that the old, pre-T.R. form of Republican politics was dead. There were many conservatives who wished to vote for a Republican, but they wanted to do so without pretending it was 1908, when William Howard Taft was elected President.

Samuel Grafton again looks at the three years since the death of FDR, finds it perhaps not coincidental that by drifting away from his policies, the nation had drifted into perilous waters with respect to the Soviet bloc, whose peoples had stood in awe of FDR during the war, audiences before newsreels in the Balkans having shouted their affections to the image of FDR on the screen.

The problem facing Americans in the 1948 election was to try to find someone who was an equivalent substitute. Yet, FDR was not being promoted to the world as a symbol of America. Mr. Grafton asserts that were it the case, there would likely be a Congressional investigation into it. It was bad not to have a national symbol to promote abroad, but even worse to have one and be afraid to use it. Even in the commemorative speeches on the unveiling of the statue of President Roosevelt in Grosvenor Square in London, there had been disclaimers issued to the effect that FDR was regarded in the U.S. with mixed opinion.

Fortune was not generous in providing the country with such an international symbol. It was best to use that which had been granted. But, Mr. Grafton says that he was too much a realist not to understand that the anti-New Deal Republicans would not rush to embrace such a concept. Nevertheless, a new climate had to develop before peace and understanding could occur across the globe. And so he tosses the concept to a new generation that it might create such a climate.

"At least we can hope that when the day comes when we shall be ready for the right symbols, we shall not have to look for them; we shall find we have had them right along."

Mabel Bacon provides the third article in the series of four elicited by The News from the Charlotte unit of the United World Federalists, examining the role of Russia in a prospective world government, favored by the organization. It wanted the world government formed with or without Russia. But the effort, she urges, needed to be made to try to convince Russia that joining such a world government would be mutually advantageous and would not be weighted toward Russia's enemies.

Yeah, yeah. Dream on...

Let us all seek to have consensus among more than 2.5 billion people, and teach the world to sing via a new Coca-Cola, by then, needing to organize 3.7 billion. But first, organize, if you will, your block party in Charlotte.

A letter writer from Beech Nut Bait Farm tells of the arrival of the first wood thrush or swamp robin he had recorded since 1934. It was his favorite bird and also, he says, that of John Audubon. The wood thrush was a ventriloquist, he says, in the vein of Charlie McCarthy and Edgar Bergen.

He provides the times of annual arrival of the bird at Beech Nut Farm from April 17, 1934 through April 7, 1948.

Wait just a minute here. You just told of the arrival of the first wood thrush you had recorded since 1934, and then you turn right around and claim it had been arriving annually since that time. What is your problem? Why would you rely on someone else's recordations of the arrivals annually of the swamp robin when you were not percipient thereto at Beech Nut Farm?

On Wednesday, April 19, 1865, the funeral cortege moved the casket bearing the body of President Lincoln from its resting place on the elaborate catafalque in the East Room of the White House, where it had lain in State since the previous Monday night, and wherein the funeral ceremony was held on the 19th, to the Capitol, where it would again lie in State for two days within the Rotunda, providing the people a chance to view the late President before the beginning of the long two-week train ride back to Springfield, Illinois, a place he had not visited since coming to Washington to assume the Presidency in latter February, 1861. He would there be entombed on May 4.

Noah Brooks, a journalist who became a close acquaintance to the President in Springfield in 1856 and continued to see him intermittently during the White House years, recounted the President's fondness for the theater in one of several articles regarding his recollections of the President, published after the President's death. He told of his having attended at one point with the President a performance of Edwin Booth in The Merchant of Venice at Ford's Theater, sitting in the box immediately below the one in which the President sat on April 14, 1865. The President, remarking somewhat bemusedly of the "red-legged, pigeon-toed chaps" performing in the play who—perhaps remindful of the Dream play within the play—apparently thought they were not players therein, stated that he preferred to read the tragedies and attend only the comedies of Shakespeare, had preferred to stay home on this occasion and read of Venice were it not for the performance of Mr. Booth. He enjoyed, however, individual performances, as John McCullough portraying Edgar in King Lear, which he also had seen at Ford's with Mr. Brooks, thanked the actor personally after the play. What he thought of the actor portraying the steward to Goneril in that one was not reported by Mr. Brooks.

But the President had not appreciated one actor whose temerity exceeded his humility after they had struck up a casual correspondence following the President's expression of gratitude for an acting performance, the man, to the President's consternation, then seeking from him an appointment as consul to London.

The President told Mr. Brooks on the dreary, drizzly afternoon of April 14 that he would have preferred to skip the play that night, after General Grant, for whom the outing was planned, had to leave Washington for New Jersey, but that Mary had insisted that they go to Ford's so as not to disappoint the public who expected the attendance from the advance publicity appearing in the newspapers. The President told Mr. Brooks that he would have liked to include him in the party attending the play, but that Mary had already found a substitute for General Grant and his wife.

To his stunned horror, Mr. Brooks heard the news of the assassination attempt and mortal throes in which the President then lay, from his landlord the following morning at dawn. After gathering himself, he entered the streets to find throngs of tearful and occasionally angry mourners wandering aimlessly, until the death knell tolled at 7:30, announcing the President's passing.

Mr. Brooks, in an article appearing in Harper's Monthly of July, 1865, related of an incident, often recounted, regarding Mr. Lincoln at his home in Springfield, told to Mr. Brooks just after the President's re-election in 1864:

"It was just after my election in 1860, when the news had been coming in thick and fast all day, and there had been a great 'Hurrah, boys!' so that I was well tired out, and went home to rest, throwing myself down on a lounge in my chamber. Opposite where I lay was a bureau, with a swinging-glass upon it"—(and here he got up and placed furniture to illustrate the position)—"and, looking in that glass, I saw myself reflected, nearly at full length; but my face, I noticed, had two separate and distinct images, the tip of the nose of one being about three inches from the tip of the other. I was a little bothered, perhaps startled, and got up and looked in the glass, but the illusion vanished. On lying down again I saw it a second time—plainer, if possible, than before; and then I noticed that one of the faces was a little paler, say five shades, than the other. I got up and the thing melted away, and I went off and, in the excitement of the hour, forgot all about it—nearly, but not quite, for the thing would once in a while come up, and give me a little pang, as though something uncomfortable had happened. When I went home I told my wife about it, and a few days after I tried the experiment again, when [with a laugh], sure enough, the thing came again; but I never succeeded in bringing the ghost back after that, though I once tried very industriously to show it to my wife, who was worried about it somewhat. She thought it was 'a sign' that I was to be elected to a second term of office, and that the paleness of one of the faces was an omen that I should not see life through the last term."

The President, with his usual good sense, saw nothing in all this but an optical illusion; though the flavor of superstition which hangs about every man's composition made him wish that he had never seen it. But there are people who will now believe that this odd coincidence was ''a warning."

The President liked music, among the songs which held his favor being "Auld Robin Gray", "Mary of Argyle", "Annie Laurie", and his favorite, "Twenty Years Ago".

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