The Charlotte News

Friday, June 25, 1948


Site Ed. Note: The front page reports that in Berlin, the Russians stopped food shipments from the Soviet zone of the city to the Western zones, about a third of the food supply. Food had already been blocked from the Western zones into the Western sectors of Berlin. Food reserves would last a month.

Thomas Dewey became the Republican nominee for the presidency the previous night on the third ballot, after falling 33 short of the required 548 for a majority on the second ballot during the afternoon. The third ballot was unanimous after Senator Taft threw his support behind Mr. Dewey and the other candidates followed. Indiana's Charles Halleck, House Majority Leader, had, on the second ballot, thrown that state's 29 delegates behind Mr. Dewey to start the bandwagon rolling toward the majority. The vote on the second ballot had been 274 for Senator Taft and 149 for Harold Stassen to Mr. Dewey's 515. At that point, it became clear that it was all over but the shouting. Senator Raymond Baldwin of Connecticut then gave Connecticut's 19 delegates to Mr. Dewey and teamed with Senator Irving Ives of New York to obtain the votes from Michigan, committed to Senator Vandenberg, and of California, committed to Governor Earl Warren, to give Mr. Dewey the necessary majority, and the other delegations fell into line to make it unanimous.

This date, the convention in the morning nominated and selected by acclamation Governor Warren as the vice-presidential candidate on the ticket. (To allay suspicions, that is not Jacob Leon Rubenstein standing to his left and behind him on the podium as he accepted the nomination.) Governor Warren was the only nominee for the vice-presidency. He had delivered the California delegates to Governor Dewey at around 6:00 p.m. the previous evening.

The convention then ended at 12:30 p.m.

The delegates departed in high spirits, believing that they would surely win in the fall, for the first time in 16 years.

The President signed the draft bill into law the previous afternoon.

Army Secretary Kenneth Royall ordered that recruiting be stopped forthwith for the National Guard, as enlistments had climbed above requirements in an effort to avoid the draft by way of exemption for service in the Guard. Once the draft bill went into effect at midnight the previous night, the exemption had expired.

John L. Lewis and the UMW signed an agreement whereby the soft coal miners would receive an additional dollar per day in wages, thus averting the prospect of a July 6 strike.

North Carolina gubernatorial contestants in the Democratic primary run-off, Charles Johnson and Kerr Scott, provide their respective statements to the voters. Mr. Scott, who would be the winner, suggested that the political machine would finally be eliminated by his election and reminded that 60 percent of the voters in the first primary had voted against the machine. Mr. Johnson favored better roads and schools, a better health program and more aid for the elderly, removal of the sales tax on restaurant food and a well-rounded agricultural program. Both candidates claimed victory.

Polls would be open from 6:30 to 6:30. Vote early and often.

Tom Fesperman of The News tells of some war veterans from Ohio, Pennsylvania, Indiana and elsewhere touring their old Army training center at Morris Field near Charlotte, finding their old barracks serving as housing for veterans. One of the visitors is depicted wearing a helicopter beany cap. You might get one of those for a dollar to wear while you ride around in your Cadillac.

The mercury hit the high nineties in Charlotte for the third straight day. The record for the date was 98, not yet reached. It was 97 in Columbia and Myrtle Beach, S.C. Be sure to wear your mittens and drive carefully on the bridges.

On the editorial page, "Dewey's New Look for 1948" finds Governor Dewey, 46 years old, different from 1944 when he had also been the GOP nominee. His Republicanism was more significant than four years earlier as he was now more aligned with the party philosophy, which had decidedly swung toward internationalism under the Senate leadership of Arthur Vandenberg since the end of the war. He was progressive, that tendency stemming, however, not from liberalism but responsible conservatism. He was, above all, an efficient administrator and could unite the Republicans behind the Vandenberg foreign policy.

It finds his campaign to have displayed thus far a genius for organization and qualities of leadership. His acceptance speech the previous night had been promising of bigger things for Mr. Dewey and his party.

"The Draft and the Peace" comments on the letter on the page from Reverend J. Charles Reichard of Charlotte to the 200 Protestant ministers who had protested the draft and urged noncompliance. The piece agrees with Reverend Reichard's objection to that approach and his favoring instead working for peace so that the draft would not be necessary. The Protestant clergymen who had protested, it finds, would only weaken the security of the country and ultimately harm the cause of peace by undermining the institution of the draft.

"In 'A Smoke-Filled Room'—Phew!" finds the phrase "smoke-filled room" to be overworked at the Republican convention just concluded. The usage had been coined in 1920 when Warren G. Harding was nominated. Journalists, it thinks, ought become more creative and eliminate the stock phrase. With women entering the political arena in prominent roles, it might be more prudent, it opines, for journalists to find a "perfume-filled room", to frustrate the free advertising otherwise provided to the cigar industry.

A piece from the Christian Science Monitor, titled "Operation Democracy", discusses the adoption of several towns in Europe by American towns, which included letter-writing campaigns, carrying on long-distance games of chess, and exchange of political views between mayors. There had been so much participation that "Operation Democracy" had been set up in New York to coordinate the activities.

It appeared as the fulfillment of the vision of Walt Whitman who had belonged to universal humanity in the Nineteenth Century. The piece provides lines from his "Salut au Monde": "Health to you! Good will to you all, from me and America sent! ... I have looked for equals and lovers and found them ready for me in all lands." It suggests that as long as that type of optimistic vision prevailed, rather than looking for objects of charity, there would always be a response from the peoples of the world.

A short piece without a by-line provides a biographical synopsis of Thomas Dewey's career.

Drew Pearson, in Philadelphia, provides several notes on the GOP convention, including the fact that blacks had picketed the convention for the reason that the Republicans had killed the President's civil rights program.

Governor Warren, he suggests, was the best of the candidates, but had no advance buildup. To become the nominee, one had to have glamour and money and be willing to engage in horse-trading in the smoke-filled rooms where the nominations were decided. Before the convention was over, part of the prospective cabinet had already been determined in exchange for delegate support.

A Chicago banker alleged that there was bigamy among some of the candidates. Mr. Pearson does not relate who it was or whether any particular candidate was so identified.

Mrs. Dewey was asked whether her husband's mustache tickled, to which she had no comment. The mustachioed Mr. Pearson suggests that she might have said: "A kiss without a mustache is like an egg without salt."

Whether he was inspired to conjure that thought by the last sentence of Governor Dewey's acceptance speech, we cannot say. Honi soit qui mal y pense.

Parenthetically, Mrs. Worthington Scranton, hostess of the convention, as referenced at the end of Governor Dewey's speech, was the mother of William Scranton, Governor of Pennsylvania from 1963 to 1967 and GOP presidential candidate in 1964, running as the moderate alternative to Senator Barry Goldwater, the eventual nominee.

Senator Taft had left for the convention 30 minutes after arriving home following the conclusion of the last Senate session the previous Saturday night. Upon arrival in Philadelphia, he was confronted by Bill Hutcheson of the Carpenters Union, who declared that the GOP could nominate anyone but Mr. Taft. Then John L. Lewis said essentially the same thing, save that he was for Speaker Joe Martin. Then the big "Taft for President" banner fell on the Senator's head while he was being photographed shaking the trunk of Little Eva, the GOP elephant. Mr. Pearson concludes that Senator Taft was one of the nicest guys in the world but one of the unluckiest.

He says that it had been a great show and the Elks would be coming to town the following week, after which the Democrats would arrive for their affair.

The Reverend Charles Reichard, pastor of the St. James Methodist Church in Charlotte, responds to the 200 Protestant clergymen who wrote a letter protesting the peacetime draft, urging non-compliance. Reverend Reichard tells them that they were performing a disservice to the young men of the country, encouraging them to undertake action which could land them in jail. Instead, he urges that they join with other Americans in working toward peace rather than compromising national security in the meantime and sowing the seeds of confusion among many young people.

James Marlow, in Philadelphia, tells of Thomas Dewey winning the Republican nomination through the efforts of campaign manager Herbert Brownell and advisers J. Russel Sprague and Edwin Jaeckle, all New York lawyers who had also run his campaigns in 1940 and 1944.

Squads of Dewey supporters were assigned to each of the 48 delegations, as many as five to each state. They operated as pros at garnering delegate support.

During the recess before the evening session after the first two ballots the previous day, Governor Warren, Harold Stassen, and Senator Taft had a conference to determine what they would do on the third ballot, with Governor Dewey only 33 short of the 548 needed to nominate. Senator Taft had conceded that only Governor Dewey could win on the third ballot and so he declared that he was withdrawing and directing the Ohio delegation to vote for Mr. Dewey. After he did so, the other candidates followed suit and so the third ballot was unanimous for Governor Dewey.

A letter writer favors Charles Johnson over Kerr Scott in the run-off primary for Governor the next day. Mr. Scott would win.

A letter writer insists that the United States was a "Christian nation" and inveighs against banning the Bible from the public schools. He asks who was sovereign, the people or the Supreme Court.

Try to take a gander at the Constitution sometime and realize that no one is requiring you not to adhere to your religious beliefs in the public schools. The Constitution, however, prevents, in the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment, the Government, i.e. the public school system in this instance, from establishing a religion by proselytizing, inculcating particular religious beliefs. The public schools are open to all people of all faiths or without. We do not have a test of adherence to Christian faith or any other faith or faith at all before entry to the doors of the public schools, any more than we do at the doors of the courthouse for access to the courts or the voting booths for exercise of the franchise. That would be kind of silly and despotic, don't you think?

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