The Charlotte News

Monday, June 28, 1948


Site Ed. Note: The front page reports that the Western allies were flying food and supplies into Berlin after the Russians the previous week had interrupted rail and autobahn traffic into the city and cut off food supplies on Thursday from the Russian zone, the latter accounting for a third of the food in the Western zones. A total of 120 planes were expected to fly during the day from the U.S. zone into Tempelhof Airport to supply the U.S. Army post in Berlin and the most urgent needs of the Germans in the Western sectors. The British had sent six more food barges into Berlin after four had arrived during the weekend. Twenty-three other barges were en route without effort by the Russians to impede them. A fleet of C-54 Skymaster planes was set to arrive in a few days from America to expand the airlift. Austerity regulations in the American zone were in effect, with rationing and a ban on parties and other recreational activity.

The new separate currency between East and West Berlin had caused a small riot in which seven people were trampled and injured while seeking to exchange their old marks for the new currency in the Russian zone. Crowds were dispersed by use of fire hoses.

In Prague, the Cominform charged that Yugoslav Communists, including Marshal Tito, had taken an anti-Soviet position, and urged a change of leadership in the country. The Cominform labeled the Yugoslav leaders Trotskyites. It was the first time that one of the nine Communist-bloc nations of Eastern Europe had criticized another since formation of the Cominform. Yugoslav representatives had reportedly refused to participate in a meeting of the Cominform in June and they were effectively then read out of the Communist organization.

The Army reported that it was likely that between 225,000 and 250,000 young men between 19 and 25 would be inducted during the first year of the draft. The first call in September would be relatively small. Total troop strength would be limited by Congressional appropriations to 790,000 at least until July 1, 1949. Draft quotas would apply to the entire population and would not be segregated by race, whereas during the war, blacks were drafted on the basis of the black population, about 10 percent of the total.

In Fukui, Japan, a major earthquake destroyed the city, 200 miles west of Tokyo and possibly had caused heavy loss of life, with an estimated 300,000 to 400,000 dead, injured, or homeless. Only three of 37,000 buildings were left standing in the city of 85,000 population. Included in the destruction was a crowded railway station and an occupied theater. The apparent epicenter of the quake was in the city. Tokyo and Osaka felt the shake but had no damage.

In New York, heavyweight champion boxer Joe Louis, who now described himself as a "former boxer" following his knockout on June 25 of Joe Walcott, said that he would not make up his mind on the presidential race until after the Democratic convention was over, but was definitely not for Henry Wallace.

In Gastonia, N.C., a cat emerged from a bundle of soiled clothing at the Furr Laundry.

Near Dunn, N.C., a man, by whom a sixteen-year old girl claimed to have been abducted and held captive in the swamp for a month, was apprehended this date. He said that she went with him voluntarily into the swampland of Beaver Dam Township in Cumberland County, where he claimed they lived as man and wife for the month. He said that the only thing he had done was to whip her to get her to come home. The girl said that he enticed her to accompany him into the swamp under the promise of marriage, but that none had occurred. They had lived to a large extent on berries and wild fruit. The police had been searching for the young man with bloodhounds. He said that he had intended to turn himself in but had not gotten around to it when he was caught. He also said that he would marry the girl if necessary to make things right.

Whether he made his statement with the alliterative flourish suggested by the headline is not illuminated.

In Charlotte, W. Irving Bullard, 67, nationally known manufacturer and civic leader, died on the morning of this date following a two week illness after suffering a stroke at Myrtle Beach, S.C. Besides being chairman of Bullard-Clark Co., he had invented in 1944 Plyweld, the plastic picker-stick. He was also a renowned speaker on financial and industrial subjects. He had been an editor on the Wall Street Journal, mayor of a town in Connecticut, and vice-president of the Boston Chamber of Commerce before coming to Charlotte, where he had been a member of the City Council. The Mecklenburg County Council had awarded him at one point the coveted Silver Beaver.

The Saturday run-off in the Democratic gubernatorial primary had been won by Kerr Scott, 52, over Charles Johnson. Mecklenburg County voted for Mr. Johnson, but by only 360 votes. The first primary in May had been won by Mr. Johnson in Mecklenburg by 4,200 votes, a third of those cast.

In Frankfurt, Germany, Lana Turner's illness turned into the flu, following a week of entertaining the troops in Heidelberg. She would be confined to bed for a week. Get well soon.

In Charlotte, the thermometer topped 90 degrees for the fifth straight day, with a predicted high of 96. Thunderstorms were predicted the following day after intermittent storms the previous day had afforded some morning relief, dropping the mercury to 72.

Snow's going to be deep. Better get your earmuffs and rubbers out.

On the editorial page, "Our Next Governor—Kerr Scott" tells of the run-off primary of Saturday going to Kerr Scott over State Treasurer Charles Johnson, the early favorite who had won the first primary by 8,000 votes with less than a majority, necessitating the run-off. The victory of Mr. Scott was decisive. While the newspaper had endorsed Mr. Johnson as the more experienced of the two, it says that Mr. Scott would make an able Governor—the result in November being a foregone conclusion in the one-party state. As Commissioner of Agriculture for eleven years, Mr. Scott had been a vigorous, efficient administrator.

He had pledged support for teacher pay increases, including a $2,400 minimum salary, reduced numbers of students per classroom and equalization of pay statewide. He had also promised continuation of the state health program, improved rural roads, equal taxes on cooperatives and other businesses, plus elimination of the sales tax on restaurant meals.

The platforms of the two candidates were nearly identical and the campaign in its last days had devolved to mutual attacks for being machine politicians. Mr. Scott promised a shake-up at high levels in State Government, starting with the Highway Commission.

Governor Scott, after serving the term limit of four years, would go on to be elected to the Senate in 1954, but would die in 1958 before completing his term. His son, Robert Scott, would be elected Governor of North Carolina in 1968.

"Acid Test for Foreign Policy" speculates on the foreign policy which would occur in a Dewey Administration, with John Foster Dulles, in all probability, as Secretary of State. Mr. Dulles had taken a large role in formulation of American policy in Germany, had attended the London Conference of Foreign Ministers during the winter regarding the future of Germany. Secretary of State Marshall had been trying at that conference to obtain approval from the Soviets for a unified Germany while Mr. Dulles was trying to convince the other European nations to favor German partition.

During the conference, he traveled to Paris to see General De Gaulle, who expected to come to power soon in France. General De Gaulle assured him that he would stand with the U.S. in setting up a separate Western Germany.

The Russians broke up the conference and the U.S. had proceeded with the plan for separation, with the Soviets then retaliating with their plan for a separate Eastern Germany, refusing an invitation to join the plan to which the West had agreed, internationalization of the Ruhr and a central German government.

The Russians were now pressuring the West to leave Berlin, prompting the British Cabinet to convene two special sessions in twelve hours.

Whether the West could avoid war while remaining in Berlin was a question. Whether a divided Germany could produce anything beyond chaos was another.

Thus far, therefore, the Dulles foreign policy, which had been followed on Germany, was not working out well and did not harbinger a salutary world environment under a Republican administration with him as Secretary of State.

Mr. Dulles, of course, would become Secretary of State under President Eisenhower in 1953 and retain the position until his death in 1959. He is credited as the father of the strategy of "brinksmanship" with the Communists, that is calling bluffs to the point of nuclear confrontation. The Quemoy and Matsu crisis in 1958 between the Chinese Communists and Chinese Nationalists on Taiwan was one such example, nearly leading to use by the U.S. of nuclear weapons, which the Red Chinese did not then possess. The Cuban Missile Crisis in October, 1962 during the Kennedy Administration has been cited as another and perhaps the best example of the brinksmanship strategy.

"Our Good Fire Fighters" finds the appointment of the Assistant Fire Chief to head the Department to be a good choice to continue the efficiency developed under retired Chief Hendrix Palmer for 21 years.

Drew Pearson names the six Republican Congressmen of the House Rules Committee who voted against the Taft-Ellender-Wagner housing bill, to hold it in committee and not allow it to get to the floor. It had passed the Senate and the House Banking and Currency Committee. Chairman Leo Allen of Illinois had led the effort to defeat it.

Freida Hennock, the first woman ever appointed to the FCC, was confirmed by the Senate at the last minute before the convention recess. She had been able to convince the Senators of her credentials with frankness and courtesy.

Deputy Commissioner of Education E. B. Norton was resigning his post because of what he saw as the rapid rate at which the Federal Security Agency was taking over the administrative functions of the Education Commission, deciding matters without adequate discussion.

Joseph & Stewart Alsop, in Philadelphia, tell of a new form of Republicanism having emerged in the convention of the previous week with the nominations of Governors Dewey and Warren, both of whom were progressive and modern-minded. The presence in the Congress of many conservative Republican leaders, as Representative John Taber of New York, had obscured the growth of the party in this different, more modern direction.

Senator Henry Cabot Lodge, Jr., had believed until the very day the convention began that the forces of Governor Dewey and Senator Taft would be so even as to produce a convention deadlock out of which would likely emerge Senator Vandenberg. But Senator Taft turned out to be much weaker than anticipated. Yet he came out of the convention with heightened stature for his showing of good character and sportsmanship.

The small coterie of powerful Taft backers had proved not up to the match with Governor Dewey's astute team. The choice of Earl Warren as vice-presidential candidate showed good leadership by Mr. Dewey. Governor Warren was opposed to the special interests. Governor Dewey as President, they predict, should enjoy the same extended control of Congress which FDR had from 1936 to 1938.

A Dewey-Warren administration would be conservative but, they assert, it would be intelligently conservative.

Marquis Childs, in Philadelphia, discusses Thomas Dewey as the consummate manager, an exponent of the "managerial revolution", who was necessary to re-establish unity in Washington with the Congress.

Senator Vandenberg had told Mr. Childs five months earlier that he could not run for the presidency as he was needed in the Senate. With Mr. Dewey in the White House and John Foster Dulles as Secretary of State, he would be able, he had said, to continue in his role of leadership on foreign policy on Capitol Hill. If the convention had offered him the nomination, he would have taken it, but that rarely ever occurred.

During the primary campaign, Mr. Dewey had taken a conciliatory tone on the West Coast and then turned to attacks on the New Deal in Oklahoma. His staff explained that the latter approach was mandated by the need to acquire votes. During the general campaign, Mr. Childs posits, the Dewey team would be laboring under no such necessity. He asserts that the country could benefit from a positive campaign and would respond to it, rather than the attack on the past as had characterized some of the convention rhetoric.

A letter writer thanks the newspaper for its editorial, "Misguided Protest on Draft", which had found the 200 Protestant clergymen who had written a letter of protest against the new draft law and urged young men not to comply with it, to be engaging in a misplaced effort, that seeking to establish peace so that a military solution would not need to be employed was the better approach for the churchmen. The letter writer suggests that Mary Pickford's title for her book Why Not Try God? was apropos to the occasion.

A letter from failed Republican Congressional candidate in 1946 and 1948, P. C. Burkholder, comments on a June 23 editorial anent the confused GOP foreign policy. He thinks that the Republicans could not determine adequately what they should do until they achieved power at the White House. As usual, he attacks the New Deal for its war mongering.

A letter writer asks for a special prayer for those in authority in the country to make the right decisions. He finds Scotch and soda to rule in Washington politics and thinks that prayer is needed that they might see through the alcoholic haze in which they dwelled, tantamount to Ninevah. "Individually, unitedly, we must pray or perish."

A letter writer thanks the newspaper for its support in making a success of the Oxford Orphanage Benefit Baseball Game, sponsored by the Masonic bodies of Charlotte, which had taken place on June 18.

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