The Charlotte News

Wednesday, May 12, 1948


Site Ed. Note: The front page reports that Secretary of State Marshall stated that if the Russians were serious about wanting to improve relations with the West, then there was urgent need for action through the U.N. But he ruled out the possibility of a bilateral conference to settle issues regarding other governments, as had been suggested in the Russian press the previous day. He said that the issues before the U.N. regarding the Soviet position in Korea and Germany had to be resolved before the U.N. He denied that Ambassador to Moscow Walter Bedell Smith had proposed such a conference or negotiation to the Soviet Government.

Foreign Secretary Ernest Bevin told Parliament, in response to a question posed by former Foreign Secretary Anthony Eden, that the Soviets and Communists were standing in the way of peace in the world. He said that holding a conference would not be useful until other ground was cleared regarding the differences between Russia and the West. He criticized the Russian press for publicizing Ambassador Smith's remarks.

Southern Senators, led by Richard Russell of Georgia, wanted the proposed draft bill before the Armed Services Committee to assure that whites would be in segregated units. The Committee had voted against it. The Southerners, including Senators Burnet Maybank of South Carolina, Lister Hill of Alabama, and Harry F. Byrd of Virginia, were threatening filibuster of the bill unless it were so amended on the floor.

News telegraph editor Bill Weisner had recently coined the word "Dixiecrat" in reference to the Southern Democrats revolting against the President for the civil rights program. The Associated Press then had picked up the word and put it on the national wire. The Baltimore Evening Sun, the Philadelphia Inquirer, and the Atlanta Journal had each mentioned it on their front pages. It was a hit with the headline writers of the newspapers for succinctly describing the revolters.

So, now you know where that word, which has become an established part of the historical lexicon from 1948, originated.

We would like to take license in hindsight to redub them, however, Dixiecrabs.

In Winston-Salem, Harold Stassen spoke to the convention delegates of North Carolina the previous day, saying that he was certain the Democrats would nominate the President. In the evening, he appeared at the Southside Park, a baseball field, and, after discussing other subjects, gave a terse reply to a question regarding Prohibition, saying only, "We found it would not work."

In Detroit, the CIO UAW workers at Chrysler, 75,000 strong, struck for a third round of wage hikes. The workers claimed not to be able to afford the higher food prices. The Michigan Governor invoked a state law to require the strikers first to hold a strike vote before walking off the job. The union claimed the new law did not apply to any union operating in interstate commerce, with membership outside the state.

A possible nationwide strike of long distance telephone operators loomed, albeit without a strike date set.

The CIO United Steelworkers adopted a resolution denouncing the Henry Wallace third party as Communist influenced, but did not yet endorse any presidential candidate.

Queen Wilhelmina of the Netherlands announced her intention to abdicate the throne toward the end of the following September in favor of her daughter, Princess Juliana. The Queen had been in poor health at age 68.

In Charlotte, retired Army Lt. General John C. H. "Courthouse" Lee spoke as executive vice-president of the St. Andrew Episcopal lay group to the annual convention of the Episcopal Diocese of North Carolina, regarding "What Laymen Can Do to Extend Christ's Kingdom".

He had been accused in a series of articles by Robert Ruark of giving privileges to officers and treating enlisted men poorly during his command in post-war Italy, but had been cleared of wrongdoing by the Inspector General. He responded to questions about the matter by saying he had never met Mr. Ruark and that when he took command, things needed to be done to remedy wrongs and he felt a good job had been done.

On the editorial page, "Fumbling on Chance for Peace" suggests that a real opportunity for Soviet-American peace had appeared to exist in the exchange between the Soviet Government and the American Ambassador to Russia, Walter Bedell Smith, as reported in the Russian press but denied by the President as denoting any change in policy. He had made it clear that no bid was being made by the U.S. to effect a settlement.

The piece finds practical roadblocks to any such conference. First, the President had consistently asserted since Potsdam in July, 1945 that any subsequent conference would need take place in Washington. Second, there was concern regarding domestic politics in an election year, with Republicans needing to be consulted at every juncture on foreign policy to avoid strenuous objection to any change. And if the President were successful in such a conference, the Republicans would lose their chief issue, the threat of Communism, with the potential result in the election that the President would win.

It suggests that the loss of opportunity for settlement should not be based on pride and loss of face. The refusal of the tacit Soviet invitation, opines the piece, appeared to be fumbling of the ball with the goal in sight.

"North Carolina's Revolution" tells of author, columnist, farmer and agricultural authority Louis Bromfield, after his tour of North Carolina, asserting that there was a revolution afoot in the South, most pronounced in North Carolina, regarding the creation of new industries and improved agriculture. The single-crop system of cotton was disappearing in favor of livestock, grass and diversification.

He had pointed out that in the South, agricultural income had increased from 200 million dollars to 800 million in five years. The old shabby look of the farms had largely disappeared.

The editorial favors that more Americans, writers, and Southerners follow the lead of Mr. Bromfield to look at the new frontiers in the South.

"Solving a New Look Problem" tells of a funhouse operator on Coney Island who hired models to wear longer and tighter skirts than was fashionable within the context of the New Look. He then turned up the airhose pressure to blow their dresses to expose their better legs than he had observed in previous years.

He was a midget, thus rarely was remonstrated with a slap, had been performing this stunt for twenty years, attracting male visitors to view the results.

The editorial sympathizes with the funhouse operator's plight in light of the shorter skirts fashionable and finds women to be getting more attractive daily.

A piece from the St. Louis Globe-Democrat, titled "Murder in Slang", tells of Professor James McMillan of the University of Chicago, a wordsmith, disagreeing with colleagues who lamented the passing of the English vocabulary into slang, was ready to sling the hash against the undug squaredom. If it felt good to say, it should be said.

The piece says that it was a "murrain on the pursey puss!" We agree with that, provided you can articulate it. "Louse up the labials." Well, now, wait just a minute. "Gabble in the groove." Okay, get down.

The piece finds it not surprising that a professor of language would finally throw in the sponge and "join the jerks".

Sumner Welles, former Undersecretary of State until August, 1943, again examines the change in Administration policy on the partition of Palestine, finds it inept, thinks it wise that the trusteeship proposal was shelved at the U.N. as it would have prevented resettlement for most of Europe's Jews and increased tensions in the Near East with the Soviets.

But the U.S. was now backing a British proposal fraught with the same difficulties. It proposed establishment of a neutral authority to act after the end of the British mandate on May 15. He finds it a sacrifice of Jewish rights for Arab support. If adopted, it would place the Jewish provisional government, to be established May 16, in defiance of a U.N. directive. The Soviets had said that they would recognize the independent Jewish state and so it would also pit the Russians against the Anglo-Americans.

It was another major mistake to support this plan and if the Jews were able to construct their independent state per the partition plan, it would be in spite of the British and American efforts and constitute a tribute to the strength and devotion of the Jewish people.

Drew Pearson tells of the Arab leaders meeting to discuss the invasion of Palestine, not trusting very much King Abdullah of Trans-Jordan, fearing he would promote his own Greater Syrian ambitions by annexing part of Palestine. Lending to this suspicion, he had met recently in Amman with his nephew, Abdul-Ilah, the regent of Iraq, and he was also believed to be making a secret deal with the British to afford Trans-Jordan a permanent corridor to the Mediterranean in the vicinity of Gaza.

The final invasion plans were concluded on April 23, with the army to be known as the Arab League Palestine Army of Liberation. It would consist of the Arab Legion with additional forces from Syria, Lebanon, Egypt, Iraq, and Saudi Arabia. Egypt and Iraq would also supply air units. King Abdullah would be supreme commander. The Grand Mufti of Jerusalem would oversee Abdullah.

D-Day was May 16, following the end of the British mandate and the start of the Jewish provisional government. The Arabs would also start their own provisional government.

The Arabs also agreed that if the U.S. stiffened its back in response, the strategy would have to be altered. The Arabs were reported recently to be concerned about the Jews' ability to arm and defend themselves, after the taking of Jaffa and Haifa.

The House had passed the statehood bill for Hawaii, but the Senate Interior and Insular Affairs Committee had defeated it 7 to 5, with two Republicans leading the opposition. The same two Senators, Hugh Butler of Nebraska and Eugene Milliken of Colorado, then booked a junket to Hawaii to investigate alleged Communism there.

Senator Charles Tobey asked Senator Harry Cain whether the Senate was going to commit hara-kiri by passing the Cain amendment on housing, making it less likely that the House would adopt the long-term housing bill which the Senate had passed unanimously. Senator Ralph Flanders injected the question whether it was not a commission of Harry Cain instead.

Congressman Bud Gearhart, chairman of the Ways & Means subcommittee considering the renewal of the reciprocal trade agreements, had agreed to limit discussions in the subcommittee to questions and answers, but then proceeded to deliver a prolix oration, prompting another subcommittee member to write out a reminder sign which he held aloft after fifteen minutes of speech to alert the chairman of his agreement.

Marquis Childs discusses the impasse on the joint Congressional Atomic Energy Committee regarding confirmation of the five re-appointments to the Atomic Energy Commission by the President, for the legislatively determined staggered terms of one to five years. Senator Bourke Hickenlooper, chairman of the Committee, had told a group of prominent atomic scientists his plan for compromise, to confirm the appointments for two years each, pending the outcome of the election, thus to avoid the impasse and not compromise atomic progress.

The AEC had angered many scientists and the South by announcing closure of the Oak Ridge, Tenn., plant and the intention to move the facility to Chicago.

The impasse had begun when the President failed to consult Senator Hickenlooper or any other member of the Committee on the five re-appointments. Senator Vandenberg, who had made possible the confirmation of the controversial appointment the previous year of chairman David Lilienthal, objected to the manner in which the President had proceeded and believed he was deliberately stirring an issue for the election year. There would be no way to enable confirmation without Senator Vandenberg's assent.

If the Committee passed the compromise bill, altering the length of the terms, and the President then vetoed it, it would leave the AEC in limbo until the following January. It was likely, therefore, that the President would go ahead and accept the compromise.

Samuel Grafton tells again of knowing a woodpecker, this one cynical and living in a row of Lombardy poplars, would come down to discuss with him public affairs.

Woody had told him that these were the good old days and that he should enjoy them. If the draft were approved by Congress, it would be a different country, he assured. Then there might follow the 30 billion dollar defense budgets and the Mundt law, requiring registration of Communists and Communist-front organizations, subjecting the membership to criminal prosecution for advocating the overthrow by force and violence of the Government, simply by the fact of membership.

Woody said that a conservative of 1948 wanted to change everything, radicals, to keep things the same.

He reiterated that these were the good old days and climbed up his tree again, backwards, with his head hanging down. When Mr. Grafton asked him for explanation, he said that he was practicing so that when they turned the country upside down, he would not notice it.

He laughed loudly and flew into the greenery.

For reasons only the initiated will fully understand, we here take a moment to pay our respects to two former head basketball coaches of the University of North Carolina, each of whom has passed away during the previous three months, Dean Smith and Bill Guthridge, Coach Guthridge just this past Tuesday night. Both coaches, combined, provided those of us who followed UNC basketball closely over the last fifty-three years many rich memories, even if they were vicariously experienced. They were shared directly with friends and family. Both were gentlemen and scholars in the best sense of those terms. They insisted by example that the same form of conduct be exhibited by their players, usually obtained those results. And that quiet but firm expectation had a way of transmitting itself to the student body during their tenures.

Back in the Ancient Times, before Time itself was recorded in most places, when the ball used in the game was a medicine ball, the court constructed of rough-hewn pine timbers, and the hoop barely sufficient in size to accept the ball, when there was no sissy three-point arc to make 20-point comebacks a routinized expectation, no hasty-clock to take half the strategy from the contest and make it too much akin to the hurly-burly of the society surrounding its modern incarnation, we, ourselves, had the good fortune to attend, a couple of times, the basketball camp put on each summer by Coach Smith and then Assistant Coach Guthridge, so got to observe from closer than the usual public vantage point both men in their normal habitat. Coach Smith was all business in those days, very nearly grim in demeanor, concerned—somewhat remarkable given that at the time he had just been to three successive Final Fours, only a pipe-dream for most coaches of the day, save John Wooden. Yet, it was plain that he was not content with that plateau. But also, it was equally plain that he was not willing to sacrifice his soul to reach higher goals.

Coach Guthridge always seemed to have a mild witticism floating through his mind, always bore on his countenance the appearance of a slight, pleasant grin, while taciturn of expression, every now and then giving up one of those inner moments to others in a quiet, laconic line of Midwestern wit. Both men were from Kansas, Coach Smith educated at the University of Kansas and Coach Guthridge at Kansas State.

The thing which we recall most vividly about Coach Guthridge was that by the second day of camp, something which we were informed he routinely did, he knew the name of every single camper under his guidance, probably fifty or more in number, and could associate, without hesitation, the name with the face of each. He even knew us by name and face. We were impressed.

Everyone knows of the many attributes and deserved accolades of Coach Smith through the decades. They have been amply recounted in recent weeks since his death February 7. But few appear to appreciate the accomplishments of Coach Guthridge, including even many who follow Carolina basketball. Besides being an integral part of the success of the program as its primary Assistant Coach from the 1968 season through Coach Smith's retirement at the end of the 1997 season, Coach Guthridge did something no other UNC coach has ever done, taking two of his three teams, before his own decision to retire after the 2000 season, to Final Fours, the first one, in 1998, a likely candidate, the second, in 2000, the most unlikely Final Four team in the history of the program, now spanning 106 seasons. His overall record in those three years as head coach was 80-28, a 74 percent winning percentage, the envy of any coach, including the 34-4 record of his first team, one of the top records in school history, shared or exceeded only by the national championship teams of 1957, 1982, 1993, 2005, and 2009, as well as the 1946 NCAA finalist and 2008 semi-finalist. We were sorry that he chose to retire after only those three seasons, as we believed a national championship was probably in the offing soon enough. But it was not surprising, as he was a proficient man, holding a master's degree in education, who did not appear very much to enjoy the spotlight. Coach Smith only tolerated it.

Both men brought to UNC a sense and atmosphere of progress without flash, competence, endurance and dignity, without compromise of either scholarship, which came first, or ultimate success on the hardwoods which, nevertheless, always took second place to that which was stressed, being at the University, first, foremost, and last, to get a higher education, a gift of lasting beneficence, more valuable than any material gift one will ever receive in life.

It is not an easy job to be a head coach of any sport at a major institution of higher learning, accustomed to success in the major sports, and, for better or worse, staking some great degree of its prestige and recognition nationally on that success. It was so by August 2, 1961 when Coach Smith, then Assistant Coach, took the reins at UNC after the request by UNC chancellor William B. Aycock and president William Friday that Coach Frank McGuire step down from his duties following implication of two of his players in a national points-shaving scandal of that time and resulting NCAA probation for a year, the last time the basketball program suffered such an indignity. Coach Smith, starting at a salary of $5,000 per year, half that which had been paid to Coach McGuire, then one of the top-paid college basketball coaches in the land, had to rebuild the program from scratch, limited as to scholarships in that first year, and, by 1964, was hung in effigy on the UNC campus for his efforts, valiant though they were, by that juncture. (Whether that experience, several years hence, led Coach Smith to clutch his necktie on an occasion coincident with a questionable call on the court, leading the referee to interpret the innocent gesture as a "choke" signal and charge him with a rare technical foul, no one will ever know.) The students wanted him fired after that 12-12 season in 1964.

Three years later, however, they had painted on the sidewalk the inscription, "Dream Team", his first of eleven to go to the Final Four, including four of his last seven teams. After 1967, no one ever seriously talked again of hanging Coach Smith, in effigy or otherwise, even if a few of the players here and there caused some level of consternation on occasion among the students and fans.

Whatever else it was or perceived to be, it was, of course, all in good fun. And both coaches kept that concept foremost before the fans, even if in a button-down collar approach to it. We still, however, think that before one of those Final Fours, we should have kidnaped...

Of all the many memorable games, however, during their coaching tenures, one still stands out to us, though few of those who follow the sport will recall it for its late hour and broadcast only over the radio waves, then held down by Bill Currie, the "Mouth of the South", and his sidekick, Jack "Phi Beta Kappa Key" Callahan. It was a 2:00 a.m. EST affair, by its end, in the Far West Classic in Portland, Oregon, against the University of Utah, December 29, 1967. We stayed up to hear it. By about 1:15, all appeared, to most normal folk, lost, with fourteen minutes to go and UNC trailing by 16 points, in those days, with no shot clock or three-point shot, considered an insurmountable deficit, to most normal folk. Even Bill Currie, normally buoyant in the face of the worst adversity, of which he had often been witness, sometimes in double shots, during his time as the voice of the Tar Heels, both in football and basketball, appeared to have given up hope. Even our papa, one of the aboriginal UNC fans, born the same year as the basketball program, back in times too ancient to recount, had fallen asleep in his chair. We, however, did not give up or go away. We knew that this team of 1967-68 would come back and win. And they did, 86 to 84.

We never have given up on any game since, including even the 23-point loss later that same year to UCLA and Lew Alcindor in the national finals—though we finally accepted that defeat by the last five minutes—, including that win over Duke in 1974, at which we were present as a percipient witness, trailing eight points with 16 seconds to go, still no three-point goal yet available to which to resort, nevertheless tying it and going into overtime to win. By then, we no longer cried or sulked for days on end over the tough losses, as we admittedly had after the triple overtime loss to Duke by a point on March 2, 1968, though anticipated vengeance would be denied opportunity of occurrence a week later in the all-important A.C.C. Tournament, after N.C. State managed, in that run-and-shoot affair of Friday night, to clip Duke's post-season hopes by a bucket, one of seemingly thousands in that game.

In any event, we shall miss both coaches and we offer kudos for a job well done, not just on the basketball court, but moreover in life and, especially, student life. Without the experiences shared with them before, during, and after our time at UNC, it would have been a remarkably different temporal passage, and, we trow, not nearly so much fun, even on the more rare than not occasions when their teams—our teams—failed of congruency with aspiration.

Requiescat in pace.

In the inimitable expression of Woody, after one of those amazing comebacks, "Unbelievable!" Yet, it did, and still does, exist. If there is a basketball court in the blue heavens, no doubt, these are two coaches presently placed in instructive charge, on a rotating basis, of the All-Heaven squad—if not in basketball, certainly in volleyball.

A letter from the secretary of the Myrtle Beach, S.C., Civitan Club tells of the club adopting a resolution thanking The News for its editorial of May 4, "Myrtle Beach Gets Ready", indicating that the newspaper carried as much Myrtle Beach local news as that of Charlotte for the fact of the many summer visitors to the seaside refuge.

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