The Charlotte News

Saturday, April 24, 1948


Site Ed. Note: The front page reports that General Lucius Clay, military governor of the U.S. occupation zone in Germany, stated that the U.S. was entitled to use the air corridor linking Berlin with the Western occupation zones, based on the prior four-power agreement. He also stated that the agreement prohibited formation flying and military maneuvers in the corridor, which presumably included fighter escorts. The Russians were considering restrictions on the corridor but had not yet imposed them. The Russians thus far had also refused Western invitations to hold a conference to discuss the Russian restrictions on roads, railroads and air traffic.

Secretary of State Marshall returned to Washington from the Bogota Pan-American Conference, prior to its conclusion, to attend to unspecified important matters.

In Athens, naval units from the Gulf of Corinth had joined a battle against 600 Communist-led guerrillas west of Lidoricki.

The acting Secretary of Commerce, William Foster, refused to turn over the records of the investigation of the loyalty of Bureau of Standards director Dr. Edward Condon, as demanded by HUAC on the basis that he was the prime Government security risk on atomic energy for his alleged association with a Soviet espionage agent. The House voted 300 to 29 to support a resolution demanding the report. Mr. Foster acted in response to a March 13 order of the President to all executive agencies to refuse such subpoenas of reports of loyalty investigations conducted routinely of Government employees.

Secretary of Defense Forrestal accepted a compromise plan of the Senate Armed Services Committee whereby UMT would be combined with a temporary draft to avoid separate training and that the UMT be conducted only for six months rather than twelve as previously proposed, after which the UMT trainees could enlist in the National Guard.

Five Navy fliers forced to abandon their bomber in the Atlantic, arrived aboard ship in New York this date. The twin-engined Neptune aircraft sank two minutes after the crew ditched it following engine failure. The crew were in good condition. The plane was piloted by a lieutenant from Salisbury, N.C.

The Mayor of Kansas City, Clark Tucker, assured that there would be a complete investigation of claims of police brutality in the break-up of a union hall meeting of members of the striking United Packinghouse Workers the previous day, which had resulted in eleven persons being hospitalized after the entry by 70 police officers wielding batons, claiming it to be on order to get tough with the strikers.

Harold Stassen, campaigning in Ohio for the primary ten days hence, said that he disagreed with Senator Taft, that David Lilienthal should be reconfirmed for head of the AEC. Mr. Lilienthal was nominated anew for a five-year term, having served out his first two-year term, along with the other four members of the Commission.

In Ionia, Iowa, a tornado killed five persons and injured ten others.

In Chapel Hill, a UNC coed had collapsed on the steps of McIver Dormitory the previous afternoon and, after suffering convulsions in the dormitory lobby, died while en route to the University infirmary in a taxi. Cause of death was under investigation by the Orange County Coroner.

Nancy Brame Dumbell of The News tells of a teacher at Harding High School being elected the president of the Charlotte Teachers Association.

In Bismarck, N.D., a thief who had been stealing women's panties from clothes lines behind the nurses' home at the hospital was caught red-handed by the local newspaper photographer, enlisted for the cause by the police. The culprit surrendered, pleaded guilty to disorderly conduct and received 30 days in jail. He admitted taking the panties for the previous year, though the purpose was not provided. Perhaps, there was an active black market in the area for used panties.

In Ada, O., an express company employee opened a crate supposedly containing one cat but found also six kittens, added a charge for 12 cents worth of milk.

On the editorial page, "American Test in Housing" finds short-sighted those Congressmen and businessmen who were opposing the Taft-Ellender-Wagner long-term housing bill for its provision to construct 500,000 units of public housing as sponsoring "socialism". Such a plan, it finds, was necessary to enable low-cost housing for the poor, the absence of which produced social unrest. The drive for socialism increased when private business did not undertake its duty so to provide adequate housing for the poorest members of society, whether at home or abroad.

According to Senator Robert Wagner, co-sponsor of the bill, most of the recent rioters in Bogota had come from the slums. Senator Taft, another co-sponsor, was not one to encourage Government competition with the private sector, but recognized the need for the bill to encourage the construction of 15 million units by 1958.

"More People, Less Courtesy" comments on the suggestion by Dr. Wilson Gee of the University of Virginia that Southern hospitality was quickly becoming a thing of the past, that the Southerner was becoming more critical of those whom he met on a casual basis.

The piece agrees, thinks it a function of the greater level of education in the South, though not necessarily indicative of better education.

The change had been coming before the late war, with fast-growing cities making strangers less recognizable than in the past as a cousin or relative of someone in town.

Nevertheless, the difference from the Northern cities remained pronounced, it finds, and the people of those cities had become increasingly callous along with those of the urban South.

It recommends as a test, riding a bus north, assuring that the driver and passengers, even with Jim Crow effective south of the Mason-Dixon line, would be more affable than northward.

"Under the Sea and in the Air" finds the elderly probably wanting to stick around just to see what would happen next, spots in two unrelated news items the curious. One involved four oil wells being drilled in the Gulf of Mexico by owners who claimed that the Supreme Court case holding that California tidelands oil belonged to the Federal Government, did not apply to the Gulf.

The other item involved the State Engineer in Nevada wanting to seed the clouds with dry ice to produce rain, which was claimed by private land owners as being above their land, rights to which water they had under law, the State Engineer contesting that the law, on the books for 35 years, applied only to the water at ground level above the ground as opposed to that below the ground. The clouds, he found, were interstate in character and thus belonged to the Government.

A piece from the Christian Science Monitor, titled "Baby Sitting: New Mode", tells of the invention of Maj. J. L. Wood, who had served during the war with a tank destroyer outfit, that of the amplifier for babysitters so that they could monitor several babies in remote locations at once and then rush to the aid of each in need of succor as the alarum went forth at the gates of mercy. It views it as posterity's challenge to man's inventiveness.

James Marlow of the Associated Press discusses the coal strike and what John L. Lewis obtained from it beyond another substantial fine for himself and UMW, as well as over $100,000 in lost wages for the month that the strike persisted. He won the sought pension plan, providing for $100 per month for retired miners over 62 with 20 or more years in the mines, who had retired subsequent to May, 1946 when the welfare and pensions fund went into existence. But the fund had lost around four million dollars during the strike, based on the ten-cent per ton royalty paid by most of the operators.

And he had turned down a better plan before the strike, one which would have granted the same pension payment to those over 60 with twenty years in the coal pits and retired since July 1, 1942. Also, the owners were seeking to block the pension plan adopted by the board of trustees of the pension fund.

Drew Pearson tells of the results in the Italian elections being a people-to-people victory, as thousands or millions of Americans communicated directly to relatives and friends in Italy, urging a vote for democracy. He says that his impression during the previous November and December as he followed the Friendship Train through Italy was that had the election then been held, the Communists would have won. The Friendship Train, the idea for which he had given birth the previous October, had, he believes, communicated to Italians who their real friends were. Ambassador James Dunn had promoted well the arrival of American food shipments to Italy and the State Department had sought to provide Trieste to Italy, taking away the force of Soviet propaganda.

Italian-owned radio stations in New York, WHOM and WOV, gave Italians the opportunity to speak to their relatives and friends.

He provides detail of persons actively involved in the campaign to orchestrate the letter-writing and radio broadcasting efforts, which he had first suggested in his column.

He congratulates Joseph Brandt, president of the Henry Holt Publishing Co., for suggesting a Friendship Train of books to be sent to Europe, not only from donations of American citizens but from the unsold nonfiction about America produced by American publishers.

Stewart Alsop, still in Rome, finds that the defeat of Communism in the elections of the previous Sunday and Monday had not been accompanied by a concomitant strengthening of neo-Fascism, that the stage was set for a healthy revival of democracy, and that there was no heady intoxication evident from the success. The leaders of the Government had noted that a large minority, 30 percent of the vote, had been led by hardship to support the Communists, and that they intended to work to win over this minority.

Mario Scelba, Minister of the Interior and regarded as the second most powerful man in the Government to Premier Alcide De Gasperi, had articulated such a program. He was head of the police and they had maintained order, if sometimes using rough tactics to do so. But the elections took place in relative tranquility and non-Communists cast their votes even in Communist-controlled towns.

Had forty percent of the electorate voted for the Communists, it would have meant the inability to form a non-Communist Government and resulting chaos. That ten percent of the Communist support was turned to the anti-Communist parties during the last six weeks before the election and had been significant, yet not enough to indicate a decisive and permanent victory for the anti-Communists. The issue was whether the new Government could transform Italian society to eliminate the hardship which drew the most depressed members into the Communist camp.

Land reform in southern Italy needed to be undertaken along with determined measures of social and economic reform otherwise.

Marquis Childs discusses Henry Wallace, operating his campaign out of the remaining brownstone mansion in New York on lower Park Avenue, finds him speaking in the same ponderous cadence which he had used as Vice-President and Secretary of Commerce, but having recently changed his position on Russia, attacking unsavory aspects of Communism in his latest book, Toward World Peace, seeking to find a middle ground between Communism and Fascism.

He continued to refuse any possible support of the Democrats, even if they were to nominate the liberal Justice William O. Douglas or General Eisenhower, as the party itself, he found, was dedicated to war.

Mr. Wallace remained a symbol, appealing especially to Communists and fellow travelers, and it was difficult to discern to what degree he embraced that symbol or whether it was simply the collateral baggage of being a committed idealist. He had the drive of a politician and had changed his views often on matters since coming to Washington as Secretary of Agriculture in 1933.

He would soon leave on a tour of Iowa and Kansas, as well as of the West Coast.

A letter writer remarks on the police roundup of local bootleggers by ABC agents, as reported on the front page of April 21, finds it remarkable as flying in the face of assurances of the advocates of the ABC-controlled liquor system, that it would eliminate bootlegging and reduce drunkenness.

The editors respond that there had been a sharp reduction in bootlegging, as arrests for same had gone down to 19 in the current raid from 71 in the previous raid of December, the most recent coming after three months of undercover operations. An increase in number of arrests for drunkenness in the city during the first six months of the ABC system, effective the previous September, was possibly the result of increased police efficiency in making such arrests, as well as the increased number of visitors to the county.

A letter writer thanks the newspaper for the four articles by representatives of the local unit of the United World Federalists a week earlier and wishes more such pieces, including one or more on the International Trade Organization.

On April 26, 1865, Confederate General Joseph E. Johnston surrendered to Union General William Sherman at Bennett Place outside Durham, N.C., the last major surrender of the Civil War. The terms of surrender offered by General Sherman had originally been more lenient, had to be revised per orders from Washington.

To the north, in Port Royal, Virginia, John Wilkes Booth, earlier on the same date, was cornered in a barn on Garrett's farm and shot through the neck by a soldier peeking through the wood slats as the barn burned after being set on fire by the soldiers to force the exit of Booth, died about three hours later.

Fifty years ago yesterday, on Sunday, April 25, 1965, Vice-President Hubert Humphrey spoke at Bennett Place to commemorate the centennial of the surrender.

It did not, incidentally, take place on April 27, a Tuesday. We know, for we were there, a very pleasant spring afternoon. General Sherman tipped his hat and said hello. Gen'ral Johnston was in foul humor and only grimaced.

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