The Charlotte News

Friday, July 16, 1948


Site Ed. Note: The front page reports that the U.N. Security Council the previous night had ordered the war in Palestine to end, giving three days to obey the ceasefire order or face U.N. force to bring it about. It ordered also an unconditional ceasefire in Jerusalem effective by this night and demilitarization of the city. The vote was 7 to 1, with Syria opposed and Russia, the Ukraine, and Argentina abstaining. The British said that they were not declaring in the resolution any fault by the Arabs as the aggressors in the conflict.

Israel was expected to comply, but the Arabs were not. Failure would lead to a decision by the Security Council to use either economic sanctions, diplomatic sanctions or international military force to enforce the determination.

Count Folke Bernadotte, the U.N. mediator, prepared to return to Rhodes in Greece to resume talks regarding a permanent solution.

Israelis attacked Cairo for the first time the previous night, precipitating angry anti-Jewish demonstrations outside Alazhar Mosque. Egyptians again attacked Tel Aviv by air. Iraelis smashed Iraqi resistance at Tireh, four miles south of Haifa, eliminating the last threat to the supply road between Tel Aviv and Haifa. Arabs admitted suffering 26 killed and 37 wounded and claimed hundreds of Jews killed in a Jewish attack on Nazareth. There was heavy fighting in western Galilee in the battle for Shajra, north of Nazareth, with Lebanese troops retaining the village after warding off Jewish attacks.

The United States Embassy in London said that two groups of 60 B-29's were en route from Rapid City, S.D., and MacDill Field in Florida to Britain for temporary duty to increase the European air forces under the command of Lt. General Curtis LeMay. They would be stationed at Waddington, Marham, and Scampton, England, all large RAF bases. About 30 B-29's were already present in Germany. The length of the rotational visits had been extended from three or four weeks to about three months.

The new jet fighters, the first to be deployed in Europe, were also slated to join the existing complement of 75 World War II fighter planes.

The Russians warned the Americans and British that Soviet fighter planes would be training in the air corridors through which the West was transporting supplies to Berlin during the hours of 7:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m.

Dang, we're gon' get us a war with them Rooskies yet. Who better to deliver it than Curt LeMay? We got 'em covered. Hit one of those buzzards and let's get it over with 'fore they get the atom bomb and hit us. Turnabout's fair play.

In London, the Council of Atomic Scientists Association announced that it had given up hope for effecting international control of atomic energy as long as the cold war persisted.

Soviet deputy foreign commissar Andrei Gromyko departed New York for Moscow this date, saying that he hoped that he would not return.

Sorry, but we have a feeling that you will be back.

Iceland was scheduled to receive ERP aid totaling 2.3 million dollars with eight more loans totaling 700 million to other unidentified nations under consideration by ERP administrator Paul Hoffman.

Angry Republican members of the 80th Congress said that in the special session which the President was calling for July 26, there might be investigations launched of the Administration.

Some Democrats, mostly Southerners, also voiced opposition. Senator Olin Johnston of South Carolina said that he intended to seek to have the Congress adjourn as soon as it convened. Such a motion would not be debatable. If the Senate approved the adjournment, it would have to reconvene in three days unless the House also approved the measure.

Senator Alben Barkley, vice-presidential nominee, backed the President's call of the special session, labeling it "courageous".

Governor Dewey made no comment on the call.

In Birmingham, dissident Democrats, rebelling against the civil rights plank of the party and the President's civil rights program endorsed by the plank, went forward with their plans to nominate their own Dixiecrat ticket, though admitting that they had no chance of winning the election. Some predicted the ticket would attract a solid Southern electoral bloc of 127 votes. Governor Fielding Wright of Mississippi led the group, having led the Mississippi delegation in walking out of the convention. He declared that their main purpose was to defeat President Truman and regain control of the party for "regular Democrats", claiming that the big city bosses had taken control at Philadelphia. Some of the Dixiecrats expressed hope to send the election into the House by preventing an electoral majority for either party.

A new poll conducted by Elmo Roper showed that the Dewey-Warren ticket was well ahead of the President, though taken between the conventions with the assumption that the President would be the Democratic nominee.

U.S. Steel and the Steelworkers agreed to an average 13-cent hourly pay raise, and in response, the firm also announced a price rise in steel to meet the added cost of labor. Steel workers presently earned an average of $1.55 per hour. The price rise ended U.S. Steel's effort to keep prices down by refusing to grant a third round of wage increases.

Ford announced a raise for 25,000 salaried employees.

In New York, Mel Ott resigned as the manager of the New York Giants baseball team and Leo Durocher, manager of the Brooklyn Dodgers, was named his successor. Burt Shotton, who had pinch-hit for Mr. Durocher when he had been suspended by Major League Baseball commissioner Happy Chandler the previous year and led the club to the pennant, succeeded Mr. Durocher who had been manager of the Dodgers since 1939. Mr. Ott had managed the Giants since 1942, having become a player at age 16 for the club in 1923. He would remain with the Giants in another undetermined capacity.

The Philadelphia Phillies dismissed manager Ben Chapman and named Allen Cooke as acting manager.

On the editorial page, "Truman's Call Is a Blunder" dreads the approach of Turnip Day, July 26, the date on which the President had called a special session of Congress to convene. The piece believes he had shown lack of restraint in so doing and that the Congress would likely resist the attempt at "government by the shouting crowd". Even the President's own party was not backing him and the special session would likely only increase the party rift so apparent at the convention. He appeared to be using the power only to present his legislative agenda to the people anew to try to obtain re-election.

"Tar Heels Stay with Party" tells of North Carolina having cast 13 of its 32 delegate votes for the President, representing a departure from the trend in Dixie, a departure which some might regard as desertion. Georgia, Virginia, Texas and other Southerners had voted for Senator Richard Russell, as had 19 of the North Carolinians, including delegation leader Senator Clyde Hoey. The North Carolina vote, it ventures, would have a depressing effect on the Dixiecrat convention in Birmingham set to begin the following day. The fact of non-unanimity in the movement suggested that a growing number of Southerners regarded the revolt as finished.

Senator Russell, himself, said he would not attend the meeting. Only the Alabama delegation and half of the Mississippi delegation had walked out of the convention, not the four predicted state delegations.

The delegates had voted 651.5 to 562.5 for the minority civil rights plank introduced by Mayor Hubert Humphrey, which endorsed the President's civil rights program, worse for the Southerners than the plank for which they had originally sought the floor debate to defeat, one not mentioning the President's program or any of the ten parts of it. The delegates voted 925 to 309 against the Dixiecrats' states' rights plank. The trend was thus running toward Federal assertion of power and against states' rights.

The North Carolina defectors from the revolt could be viewed not as deserters but rather as shifting the ground of the fight to within the party to enable the South to regain leadership of the party, recognizing that the region's isolation would only increase following the way of the bolters.

We note parenthetically a second historical mistake in the traditional way of examining the Dixiecrat revolt from afar in time. Not only did the bolters not walk out of the Democratic convention in direct response to the speech by Mayor Hubert Humphrey introducing the civil rights minority plank, rather after a months-long carefully planned strategy against the February 2 call for the civil rights program by the President, to which the adoption of the minority plank at the convention was actually only incidental, but also the walkout was not led by Governor Strom Thurmond of South Carolina and was not en masse by the Southerners. Rather, the actual walkout was limited, as indicated in the piece, to one and a half delegations and led by Governor Wright. South Carolinians were not involved. Governor Thurmond, however, had been a leading spokesperson for the Dixiecrat strategy in the months since the February 2 enunciation of the program by the President and the calling by the Southerners of the Florida meeting a few days later, and, of course, would be the presidential nominee of the Dixiecrats, with Governor Wright as the vice-presidential nominee. Through time, historians and commentators have managed to lose the details and attribute the walkout to Governor Thurmond in direct response to Mayor Humphrey's speech.

"Soliloquy for a Rainy Day" tells of city rain being different from country rain, the former being gray and gusty and the latter being clean and smelling fresh. The sound was different, too, more peaceful in the country.

Chicago rain was cold and hit as thin needles, sometimes almost horizontally blown by the wind. Miami had big, fat, very wet rain. El Paso had angry bucketfuls, turned on and off as a faucet. Seattle rains were cold and thin as those of Chicago, but steadier. San Francisco had invisible rain, peppering through the fog.

The editors obviously had only limited experience with the latter, as it will blow you off your feet in a deluge around Thanksgiving and onward at times, making sissy North Carolina rains, save in hurricanes, seem as child's play. You will also need an ark in winter, that is, when there is no drought. They probably visited in summer or early fall when there usually is no rain save a rare mild sprinkle of the type they describe.

It asks what kind of rain the reader liked, to take their choice.

If you have car trouble though on a North Carolina mountain and you have to walk ten miles down to the local village in it for remedy, it doesn't matter to you whether it's gusty and unpleasant or fresh and clean. It's still bone-soaking wet.

A piece from the Louisville Courier-Journal, titled "Here Comes Another Long", remarks on the Senate campaign of Russell Long, son of Huey. Earl Long, the brother of the assassinated Governor and Senator, was Governor of Louisiana. Russell was running on his father's reputation among Louisianans, claiming himself to be a defender of the common people against the powerful interests. He played to their suspicions held against outsiders and the fear of the unknown.

He would play all the angles including white supremacy, something his father did not do.

Huey Long had been a man of real ability and might have been a great leader were it not for his character flaws, using his great abilities to promote himself rather than Louisiana.

Soon, the piece concludes, the people could see whether Russell Long had the ability of his father and the character which he had lacked.

Drew Pearson tells of the Democratic Party dying at the convention in Philadelphia during the week. The President had refused to call in a surgeon for the patient, sat serenely confident in victory despite the contrary odds. Mr. Pearson says that he returned to Washington early because he could stand to see a person die.

Some highly placed U.S. civilian officials wanted General Lucius Clay to use force to break the Berlin blockade by using an armed food train with a contingent of engineers aboard for repairing any blown up tracks and the Elbe River bridge. Some officials believed that Russia would do anything to avoid war. General Clay did not agree and had rejected the advice, believing that once such a skein of events would be set in motion, it could quickly get out of control. He favored economic sanctions against the Russians.

Mr. Pearson notes that General Clay was a protege of former Secretary of State James Byrnes, a great believer in persuasion rather than force to accomplish things.

British Foreign Secretary Ernest Bevin had inspired the joint tripartite note from the Western powers to Russia in protest of the blockade. His advisers had formulated the draft and he then showed it to the French and American Ambassadors to Britain. The French rewrote the note in milder language, a version which the U.S. approved.

Home delivery of Coca-Cola had been suspended in Berlin because of gasoline rationing. CARE packages sold for 2,500 marks on the black market, a month's salary for a German white-collar worker.

DeWitt MacKenzie tells of all of Italy and much of Europe feeling the impact of the attempted assassination of Italian Communist leader Palmiro Togliatti. The Communist press demanded the resignation of Premier Alcide de Gasperi and wildcat strikes abounded in its wake. The immediate result was advantageous to the Russians, as Mr. Togliatti was a martyr even if he survived—as he would.

The French Communists charged that the shooting was a plot by imperialist warmongers and their agents.

The Communists would likely exploit the shooting as much as they could, short of provoking war. But they might start something they would be unable to stop. To take the risk of starting a revolution in Italy could backfire against the Communists.

Temporarily, the Togliatti matter had diverted attention from the Berlin blockade.

Joseph & Stewart Alsop, in Philadelphia, tell of the Democrats being bankrupt both politically and financially, most of the funds on hand being already obligated, leaving about $80,000 in actual spending money. The fat cats were not donating.

In 1944, most of the money was raised in a sort of continuous cocktail party in DNC chairman Robert Hannegan's New York hotel suite, where checks were signed in the bathroom, amid the plumbing. (At least they did not have a Plumbers' Unit for plugging leaks at the White House.) A large group of those 1944 contributors were now alienated over Palestine. Mr. Hannegan was in retirement. And the present committee had hit the large contributors first rather than keeping them in reserve until the end as in 1944. Those contributors were giving only a fraction of their earlier contributions.

A single tour by the President was estimated to cost over a million dollars. Added to that would be commercial airtime on the radio.

The Atlanta Constitution had reported that the big oil companies had supplied the money for the Dixiecrat convention in Birmingham. The implication was that the money was being provided in furtherance of the agenda to have the tidelands oil reserves turned back to the states for lease to private concerns, a position which the Truman Administration had actively opposed, opposition the Supreme Court had upheld.

The Associated Press reviews editorial opinion on the nomination of the President.

The Nashville Tennessean applauded the choice, saying that respect for the President had grown immensely for standing by his principles.

The Cleveland Plain Dealer saw it as emblematic of the disunity of the party that they chose a candidate not pleasing to any of the separate groups within it, possibly meaning the end of the party.

The Indianapolis Star found the ticket to be a reaffirmation of the New Deal, giving the people a chance to vote on the 16-year record. The fight over the platform, it ventured, had weakened the party and insured a Republican victory in the fall.

The Newark Star-Ledger said that the President emerged stronger and more popular from the convention than prior to it. Emerging from the party revolts had gone a long way to redeem him from the charge of lack of leadership.

The Baltimore Sun found the big city bosses' efforts to dump the President to constitute an episode of which no one could be proud, but in the debate on the civil rights program, the party had acquitted itself well in a democratic debate on the subject.

The Miami Herald found the Republicans to have placed emphasis on youth while the Democrats gave the nod to experience and older New Dealers. The President and Senator Barkley could make the case well for the sixteen years of Democratic rule, but the Dewey-Warren ticket likewise could attack it.

The Salt Lake City Tribune found that while the President had little chance of being elected, smear squads of other parties would be shamed or suppressed.

The Syracuse Post-Standard found that the President was entitled to the nomination as the leader of the party, that it was not his fault if the Democrats were not big enough to place their party first. It believed that the Truman-Barkley ticket would make a good team.

The New York Times posited that the Southerners battling over civil rights were taking issue with one of the more praiseworthy stands of the President during his term. Both the Henry Wallace third party and the Southerners would take votes from the President through no fault of his own leadership. He still had a chance, with independent voters having yet to make up their minds, though at long odds.

The Atlanta Journal found the courage the President had shown in his address while under bitter attack to have won new friends and recaptured those who were on the verge of deserting. Senator Russell's leadership of the Southern faction served to settle the Southern revolt in a democratic way.

The Mobile Press found the nomination an affront to the dignity of the South and a threat to the Southern way of life, that the civil rights plank was as anti-Southern as the Republican plank.

The Chattanooga Times found that the party would have sealed its doom had it rejected the President, even though he had little chance to win.

The Buffalo Courier-Express said that the American people would not elect Mr. Truman over the abler and more enlightened Thomas Dewey, that their greatest confidence in the President lay in the foreign policy, for which the Republicans were as much responsible as the Democrats.

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