The Charlotte News

Saturday, May 8, 1948


Site Ed. Note: The front page reports that the ceasefire in Jerusalem had been agreed to by both Arabs and Jews and went into effect this date without a shot being heard in the city. It was temporary to afford time for the U.N. truce commission, comprised of the U.S., France, and Belgium, to work out a permanent truce. For the permanent truce, Jews demanded free access from Tel Aviv to the Wailing Wall in Jerusalem and deportation of foreign Arab fighters from the city.

Egyptian volunteers had penetrated 30 miles into Palestine and reported having held their posts without casualties, with forward lines moving to aid the Arab defense against the Jewish attack at Iraq Suweidan, 30 miles north of Rafa on the Egyptian border. The reports were not confirmed by Jewish sources.

In Seoul, Korea, pre-election Red-inspired terrorism had occurred for the first time in the capital and the Russian commander of the northern occupation zone of Korea had announced the Russian intent to withdraw, expressly to force the American withdrawal from the southern occupation zone, both zones having been established after the war. Similar proposals had been previously rejected by the U.S. Twenty-four hours before the election, new acts of Red-inspired violence had occurred, having begun in Korea in February.

In Rangoon, pre-war Premier U Saw of Burma was hanged for having ordered the machine-gunning of seven Cabinet ministers the previous July 19.

Dr. Edward Condon, director of the Bureau of Standards, asked the Commerce Department and the President to make public the report by the F.B.I. on his loyalty, a report sought by HUAC but refused by the President. Dr. Condon had been labeled the chief security risk in the Government anent atomic secrecy for his supposed association with a Russian espionage agent. The House had recently voted heavily to support the HUAC request.

Conferences continued at the White House between the railroad operators, the three railroad brotherhoods threatening strike the following Tuesday, and John R. Steelman, albeit meeting with Mr. Steelman separately, as he found no basis yet for having them meet together. There was no sign of progress, blocked thus far by the iron wall of continuing discord by Lampon.

Harold Stassen said that he was stepping up his presidential campaign in the South. He claimed to have acquired the support of the majority of the Florida and Missouri delegations to the GOP convention.

He would speak in Winston-Salem the following Tuesday night. Be sure to attend. He could be the next President. In fact, the only real question remaining is who will be Veep.

The Second Assistant Postmaster General said that he doubted much could be done soon to remedy the sloth of airmail into Charlotte, found to be as slow or slower than regular ground mail. He said that it was the 30th anniversary of the establishment of airmail service in the country and that jet service would soon take over the routes, with the first such route to open during the following week from New York to Washington, cutting from 4.5 hours to 30 minutes the flight time.

Tom Schlesinger of The News tells of J. S. Trotter of Charlotte, a piano player, being, since 1935, a musical arranger for Bing Crosby. Mr. Trotter, affable and obese at 270 pounds, had come home to Charlotte to see his mother on Mother's Day, the first time they had united since the previous Thanksgiving, because Mr. Crosby was in Pittsburgh to see the Pirates, which he partly owned, causing rehearsals to be held in New York rather than the usual setting in Los Angeles.

In Winsted, Conn., a two-year old collie dog was scheduled to go on trial for his life on Monday night, with the Town Board of Selectmen acting as judge and jury. Over 20 citizens had signed a petition to destroy the dog, named "Laddie", on ground that it was vicious and dangerous. Others in the town had signed a counter-petition, agreeing with Laddie's owner that he was okay, rather suffering only from shell shock acquired after being exposed to a dynamite blast. Laddie was accused thereafter of biting a newsboy who delivered papers to the home. His mistress said that it was only a "slight bite". She said that Laddie had mistaken the plop of the paper on the porch for another bomb blast and dashed after the perceived perpetrator. Neighbors, however, said that Laddie was vicious by nature.

Truth be known, Laddie was just practicing, preparing himself for the journey south. Since that dynamite blast, Laddie, for some time, had a hankering to look up ol' black-souled fleet o' foot down there in Birmingham, believed responsible for that blast, figuring he was going to notch his collar one time, wring out that old cur's neck, just like any standard game-fowl Shylocklucker splayed in the barnyard.

On the editorial page, "Editors Explore North Carolina" tells of more than 400 newspaper people from 44 states starting from Pinehurst, N.C., on a six-day tour of the state, following attendance at the National Editorial Association convention. They were owners, editors and publishers for the most part, who had an active interest in community development.

The piece urges that these individuals could be goodwill ambassadors for the state in their home bailiwicks. They want them therefore to have a good time in their tour of the state.

Show them a good time...

"The Criminal Land-Robbers" tells of Dr. Malcolm Ross of the University of Miami informing the Southern Association of Science & Industry that most of the 800 million dollars spent annually on research went to institutions in the North and East.

All of the arable acreage was necessary to support the growing population worldwide and it urges therefore being a good custodian of the land. Gullies and bare banks were crimes against the children. They needed to be planted in clover or pines to keep them from eroding.

Whether a neighbor or corporation was responsible for such eroding land, they needed to be called to account.

"Are Bald Heads Wiser?" remarks on a claim by Noah Parsons in the Louisville Courier-Journal: "Crazy bald-headed men are scarcer than hen's teeth. I never knew but one bald-headed man to go crazy, and he wore a toupee. It was debatable whether he went crazy and bought the toupee, or went crazy by wearing it." He went on to contend that bald-headed men were affable, with a high sense of humor, and were cool-headed.

But Thomas Prather answered the claim with his own contention that he knew some crazy bald-headed men in his town of Somerset, Ky.

The editorial takes the side of the bald, saying that such men no longer were able to delude themselves into thinking that they were devastating to the ladies, the first step to sane thinking.

Well, sure, and such men also run hirsute males crazy with their insistence that old baldy there is the cat's meow receiving all the action for his level-headedness.

We say balderdash to all that. There are plenty of crazy bald men and plenty of crazy hirsute ones. The contenders apparently did not get out in the world very much or pay attention very closely to the photos in Life Magazine.

And how would the argument apply to women, pray tell? That the fact of there being few crazy bald women means...?

A piece from the Raleigh News & Observer, titled "They Are Twins", tells of the State Supreme Court granting a new trial to black defendants for systematic exclusion of blacks on juries which had either indicted or convicted them, while on the same day affirming the segregation law pertinent to public transportation.

It posits that too few had recognized the necessity of equal facilities to maintain segregation under the extant separate-but-equal doctrine, recognized at the time as Constitutionally acceptable under the 14th Amendment since Plessy v. Ferguson in 1896—a doctrine subsequently overturned in Brown v. Board of Education in 1954.

It suggests that the energy expended in trying to denounce or defend segregation could be more profitably turned to effort to see that equal treatment was fulfilled voluntarily.

Drew Pearson tells of the German war documents captured by the British anent Nazi deals with Arabs having not been made public, at the behest of the Defense Department, chary of embarrassing the Arabs. The documents showed that King Farouk of Egypt had furnished war secrets to Field Marshal Erwin Rommel when the British were backed up to the wall in Egypt in the summer of 1942. Former Minister-President Rachid El Gailaini of Iraq had received bribes from the Nazis. King Ibn Saud of Saudi Arabia also negotiated with Hitler.

He supplies a letter from German Ambassador Ettel to German Foreign Minister Joaquin Von Ribbentrop, dated March 24, 1943, in which he explains that King Farouk had expressed to him his support for Axis victory and stated that the rumors that Egypt was seeking rapprochement with the democracies were only a matter of expedience.

He next tells of Senator Harry Cain of Washington seeking to pass a substitute housing bill which ignored low-cost public housing and slum clearance to enable profits to private builders. Housing lobby-friendly Representatives Jesse Wolcott of Michigan, Ralph Gamble of New York, and Majority Leader Charles Halleck of Indiana had huddled with Senator Joseph McCarthy of Wisconsin to try to effect passage of the bill while House and Senate leaders on the other side were away, until Senators William Fulbright of Arkansas and Irving Ives of New York blocked action on it until the principal foes of the legislation could return.

He notes that House leaders were planning to block the Taft-Ellender-Wagner long-term housing bill in the Banking & Finance Committee of the House, chaired by Mr. Wolcott.

Detroit police had questioned former UAW president R. J. Thomas regarding the shooting of his rival, UAW president Walter Reuther, but nothing had come of the investigation.

Lee Pressman, former CIO general counsel, might become a third-party Congressional candidate in Brooklyn.

Marquis Childs tells of one more major piece of legislation on the agenda for the 80th Congress, that being to establish the relationship of the U.S. to the Western European Union. Senator Vandenberg, as chairman of the Foreign Relations Committee, would be the determining force behind it.

The drive in Congress to revise the structure of the U.N. to eliminate and at least reduce the veto power on the Security Council, as well to affirm the concept of world government, had two sources of support, those who were idealists and those who saw the move as an opportunity to drive Russia from the U.N.

Secretary of State Marshall had recently told the Committee that such a change would only pave the path to war, creating two rival alliances between East and West.

Senator Vandenberg and Secretary Marshall saw eye to eye on foreign policy and so the final resolution would be close to the Secretary's thinking, "copper-riveted, just as was the ERP, to insure the acid test of acceptance."

Senator Vandenberg also got on well with Congressman Charles Eaton, chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee.

Mr. Childs opines that the Republican convention could not afford to ignore Senator Vandenberg for his critical contribution to the establishment of bipartisan foreign policy.

Samuel Grafton asserts that the efforts of Congress to eliminate the veto power of the U.N. Security Council were futile, as the veto was integral to the original approval of the Charter. Even if Russia left the U.N., it would still exist in the form of Russia's armed opposition.

He predicts that it might take 25 to 50 years to abandon the veto by producing a world situation in which it would no longer be mutually desirable by the five nations which possessed it. But if it were eliminated presently, it would be permanent in its existence as the U.N. crumbled in consequence. Peace could no more be made in a few minutes than an onion in less than a summer. He wonders whether there was really a mandate for pressing forward to an immediate showdown.

He believes that most Americans would welcome an exploratory conference between the U.S. and Russia.

He says that he continued to consider the woman in Tennessee who had awakened after suffering for twelve years with encephalitis and whose relatives were taking care not to disclose too much too soon about intervening world events since 1936, as the world was too upside-down to explain it fully at once. The mandate was to make the world less topsy-turvy rather than pressing forward "into new continents of incredibility."

A letter writer urges affording the same space in newspapers to editorials seeking peace as those seeking to urge military build-up or war with respect to Russia.

A letter responds to the May 4 editorial accusing Senator Glen Taylor and former Vice-President Henry Wallace, running together as the Progressive Party candidates for Vice-President and President, respectively, of being hypocritical in the stand taken by Senator Taylor in Birmingham, being arrested and then convicted of disorderly conduct for seeking to use the black-only entrance to the Alliance Gospel Tabernacle—a meeting originally scheduled for the 16th Street Baptist Church, forced by the Birmingham police to be moved, presumably at the direction of Public Safety Commissioner Bull "Pants Down" Connor—where he was to speak to the Southern Negro Youth Congress.

The writer accuses the editorial of being "demagogical and opportunistic" in its treatment of the third party, covering up the "deceitfulness of race bias". He finds only ignorance in the careful distinctions made in the newspaper's editorials between the Karl Mundt-sponsored bill to require registration of Communist Party and Communist-front organization membership, which the newspaper opposed, as well as Taft-Hartley, which it opposed partly, and the racial segregation laws, for which it had, recently at least, voiced support while favoring equality of the segregated facilities.

He had found the newspaper until recently to be the most liberal and honest of the larger North Carolina newspapers. But not so in its more recent editorialization.

The arrest of Senator Taylor, he opines, was a frightening indication, aside from its race bias, of the growing intimidation against liberals all over the country.

He accuses the editors of lying in their teeth.

The editors respond: "Liberal McGirt [the author] is mighty liberal with his hard words."

Well, we have to agree to a point with Mr. McGirt on this one. Again, however, the editors did not have our benefit of 20-20 hindsight on Birmingham, which disgraced itself in the national media in the early 1960's and was probably a prime source for the hatred which spilled onto the streets of Dallas on November 22, 1963.

Had they been aware of the insidious Klansman mentality, if not Klansman in fact, which Bull Connor represented with his "nigger" talk and, more to the point, his dogs, firehoses and brutality, which undoubtedly gave license tacitly or with a nod-and-wink to the bombers of Birmingham, the editors might have reacted differently to what they regarded as a publicity stunt by Senator Taylor. Senator Taylor was quite sincere, courageous, and conscientious in what he did, as were Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., and the people of Birmingham, especially the children, in May, 1963, finally breaking the back of Birmingham's long history of segregation of public accommodations in the most time-honored manner, peacefully.

The News had praised Mahatma Gandhi at his assassination on January 30. A moment's reflection would have given to the editors the notion which inspired Senator Taylor and would later inspire Dr. King, at the time in 1948 an impressionable 19 years old.

Sometimes it is easier to appreciate fairness in the abstract from afar than it is to see it in one's own backyard, filtered as it is then by the talk of neighbors and friends, accompanied by the negative sanction of condemnatory looks or even ostracism of anyone who dares to step from the shadows to call cold attention to the continuing prejudices extant in a given community or region or country. That, plainly, deserved nothing less than death.

That Senator Taylor did not wind up dead in Birmingham may be from the fact of his cowboy-singer status protecting him from the worst feelings engendered in the good ol' boys of the Kloth.

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