The Charlotte News

Friday, July 23, 1948


Site Ed. Note: The front page reports that General Lucius Clay, American military occupation commander in Germany, told select groups from the House and Senate that Americans would remain in Berlin and that he did not expect war with Russia over the matter. He then returned to the White House briefly to say goodbye to the President before returning to Frankfurt.

Governor Dewey met with General Eisenhower at Mr. Dewey's farm in Pawling, N.Y., to discuss the Central European situation. The following day, Governor Dewey intended to meet with Senator Arthur Vandenberg and Mr. Dewey's foreign policy adviser, John Foster Dulles.

As the Progressive Party convention got underway in Philadelphia, former Vice-President Henry Wallace told a press conference that he would not repudiate any support given to him "on the basis of peace", including that of Communists. He admitted that Communist support was hampering his candidacy. He distinguished his aims from that of the Communists, saying that he wanted to see thrive in the country "progressive capitalism", not the Russian social experiment.

Charles Howard, a black attorney from Des Moines, would deliver the keynote address for the convention this evening. The platform committee was headed by Dr. Rexford Guy Tugwell, former FDR brain-truster. The platform included a plank to end the Marshall Plan and the Truman Doctrine. The nominations and acceptance speeches would occur on Saturday.

In Van Wert, O., two former convicts met police at a roadblock and engaged in a gun battle, leaving one of the two dead, following a two-week crime spree which had involved the murders of seven people. Two police officers were wounded in the exchange. The second man surrendered without firing a shot. Reportedly, he told police that the two had done the murders, but later he told reporters that while he heard the shots in the seven killings, his companion had done the shooting. The largest manhunt in Ohio history had been launched for the pair.

In Charlotte, a six-year old English girl was killed while walking to the corner grocery store to buy candy, when a car struck her at the noon hour. She had come from England only three weeks earlier. A bystander said that she had run in front of the approaching car, which was traveling at a slow speed.

Tom Fesperman of The News tells of the filthy conditions, including a dead cat, pictured, besetting the Sugaw Creek neighborhood. He asked a woman who complained of the cat to move it and she said that she was afraid of dead cats. It lay at the foot of the steps leading down to the yard in front of one of the apartments. It had been there awhile. A large dead rat lay three feet away. Flies abounded and there were no screens on the windows.

It was not unique, he says, even better than some other housing in the city. He concludes that it was no wonder that the incidence of polio had dramatically increased.

Two former members of the Al Capone gang, "Cherry Nose" and "Little New York", were arrested in Chicago by U.S. marshals for parole violations. "Twinkle Toes" and "Big Boston" remained on the lam with the worst of the gang, "Dead Cat" and "Fat Rat's Flies".

The latest poll of Elmo Roper, on page 3-A, showed that angry Southern Democrats might give their votes to Governor Dewey in reaction to the President's civil rights program. That made a hell of a lot of sense.

On the editorial page, "'Excellent' Chance for Peace" finds the President's assessment of the prospects for peace to hearken imminent cooperation between the U.S. and Russia, coming closer to a realization that neither could be forced from Germany or Berlin without a war, which neither side wanted or for which either was prepared.

The statements of the President and Secretary of State Marshall, that all efforts at diplomatic settlement would be exhausted, dampened the talk in some American circles, including American military personnel and officials in Germany, that force would be the best solution to the crisis. The lack of assurance that America would provide military support for such a venture also lent to the tremulous response by Britain, France and the Benelux countries. The turn to moderation had been influenced by the concern of the Western allies that they were too weak to make a forceful stand.

The whole experiment in trying to set up a separate Western German government appeared to have failed, as neither the European allies nor the German people liked the American plan. The plan had precipitated the Russian blockade of Berlin from the West. Nothing except chaos would follow without a working agreement in Germany between the West and Russia.

Events had demonstrated that the two great rival powers had overreached themselves and created an excellent opportunity for diplomacy.

That's a relief. We thought for a minute there might be a divided Germany, with a tension point in a divided Berlin for forty years or so to come.

"Truman on the Price Spiral" remarks on FDR kingmaker Jim Farley believing that the President had a definite chance of being elected in November, that he had improved his case with the voters by calling the special session of Congress.

The piece tends to agree, observing the upward spiral of inflation occurring in the previous few days. The President had made it incumbent upon the Republicans to address the issue. But the Congress had made it clear that it would not legislate anew controls. So, inflation was working for the President in this instance. His program would look to the average citizen as being better than nothing, that which the Republicans had offered thus far.

The cost of living index had increased from 133 to 177 in the previous two years since OPA controls were abolished at the behest of the 79th Congress.

The latest round of wage hikes, inflationary in the premises, causes the piece to wonder whether the Republicans had not discounted the President and inflation for too long.

"Dream of a Winter Day" recounts of a cold, gray day in January when the mind wandered to summer with birds singing in the sunlight amid the elms and oaks. The mind did not care how hot it might get. Summer was the only time of year.

With the temperature soaring in Charlotte for the previous several days, it concludes, "Guess how we feel today."

Well, you have to tell us. We don't know. What do you think, we read minds?

All the leaves are brown and the sky is gray. We went for a walk on a summer's day.

A piece from the Christian Science Monitor, titled "New Name for an Old Foe", takes issue with the students of American Indian history who contended that the proper translation of Tasunke Wit-ko was "Spirited Horse" rather than Crazy Horse. Calling him by the former appellation would not call to mind the same color and life.

Emphasis had shifted from the "heroes" to the "villains" of the Battle of the Little Big Horn, leading to the start of a memorial in the Black Hills of South Dakota to Crazy Horse.

It quotes from a poem by Archibald MacLeish on the Sioux warrior.
Do you ask why he should fight? It was his country...
But after the Tongue there were no herds to be hunting:
He cut the knots of the tail and he led them in:
He cried out, "I am Crazy Horse! Do not touch me!"
There were many soldiers between and the sun glinting...
Yes, it is all in the name—the pathos and the desperation,
the tragedy and the savagery, the hint of how His heart would be big with the love he had for that country
And all the game he had seen and the mares he had ridden.

It concludes that Crazy Horse had made the country richer for his "spirited" defiance.

James Marlow discusses the new draft law and registration for it, set to start August 30 for those born after August 30, 1922.

If you are confused about it and do not know whether you need to register, then read his piece for further direction.

But get there early, because we have a feeling that there will be a long line outside.

Drew Pearson finds the Russians losing out in most of Europe, making the Berlin crisis the more dangerous for the fact of Russian desperation. He lists troubles in Rumania, Bulgaria, Poland, Czechoslovakia, and Italy, in addition to Yugoslavia. The Politburo needed a moral victory in Berlin to keep these satellites in line.

General Eisenhower had shed tears in the presence of Administration court jester George Allen as he took himself out of the running finally in the presidential race. The General thought that he was being used for political purposes and the Republicans, he believed, had nominated a good ticket. Also, some of his closest military friends urged him not to get involved in politics as it would compromise every military request for funding out of Congressional fear that they might be promoting a political candidate.

Mr. Pearson believes that if the Berlin crisis had become more acute a week earlier, General Eisenhower might have been drafted by the Democrats.

Eleanor Roosevelt, before the convention, had sent a long wire asking Justice Douglas, the President's first choice as his running mate, to accept the Democratic nomination for vice-president. James Roosevelt asked the Justice to run for the presidency.

The President intended to clean out all of those from the DNC who had opposed his nomination.

The President was irked at military aide General Harry Vaughan, did not want him to come to the convention in Philadelphia with the President.

In addition to Clark Clifford, Judge Sam Rosenman and Undersecretary of Interior Oscar Chapman had urged the President to call the special session of Congress.

Marquis Childs discusses the Progressive Party and Henry Wallace's dilemma with regard to the Communists who were backing his candidacy. The prosecution of the twelve indicted Communist leaders in America would force him to make a decision whether to credit the cause of the Communists claiming persecution before the law.

The national committee of the Communist Party issued a two-page statement in the wake of the arrests, saying among other things that the reason for the prosecution at this time was that the Democrats were worried over the growing support for the Progressive Party and thus were seeking to brand the Communists as criminals. The Communists had taken the credit for starting the Wallace movement.

Mr. Wallace, he assures, was not a Communist and never had been, and the increasing affinity of the Communists for the Progressives increasingly bothered him. He had stated informally in New Hampshire that he hoped the Communists would establish their own party and candidates, that while it would cost him 100,000 votes, it would gain him three million.

There was speculation that Mr. Wallace might withdraw from the race, but upon being questioned about that prospect, he had responded, somewhat dourly, that he would stick out the campaign.

Whether the Communist cry of persecution would draw sympathy from a large segment of the American people was yet to be determined. Increasingly, persons having nothing to do with Communism were becoming concerned at the hysteria sweeping the land, as chronicled by Bert Andrews of the New York Herald Tribune in his recently published book, Washington Witch Hunt. HUAC was taking the stance that a person was guilty until proved innocent and engaging in smear tactics which prejudiced any subsequent prosecutions.

The Government would have to prove conclusively that the Communists advocated overthrow of the Government by force to obtain convictions which would stick through the appellate courts. The indicted Communists would do all they could to portray themselves as martyrs, ignoring the fact that they routinely subverted the law.

But millions of Americans believed that discrimination prevented them from receiving a fair deal and, while not Communists, they might become attracted to Communism and to the third party should they perceive that there was no other way out.

DeWitt MacKenzie finds it ironic that as the twelve Communists were being indicted, the question had arisen as to whether certain U.N. personnel representing Communist governments were spying in the U.S. with impunity, protected by diplomatic immunity, as charged by two State Department employees earlier in the week, the knowledge and existence of which was denied by Secretary of State Marshall.

There was a widespread belief that wherever there was a Communist, he immediately began to engage in subversive conduct at the pleasure of Moscow. The indicted Communists denied conducting any subversive activities or taking orders from Moscow. If it were true, it would make the American Communists unique.

The Smith Act was passed in 1940, making it unlawful knowingly and willfully to advocate the overthrow of the Government by force. The Russian type of Communism, he concludes, therefore had no legal rights in the U.S., any more than organized crime of the Al Capone variety.

A letter writer questions the use of the City prohibiting children from attendance of movies and other public gatherings to prevent the spread of polio when mothers would drag their youngsters uptown in droves. In front of the Kress dime store the previous Saturday, he notes, there had been 40 or 50 small children in queue for the buses. He counted fourteen getting on one bus, conducive to the spread of any number of diseases. He favors breaking up that sort of thing.

A letter writer praises the Jaycees for reporting on the filth and disreputable character of Charlotte's alleys, restaurant garbage cans, rat and insect breeding spots, etc. Indecencies such as pitching trash out of windows should have ceased, he says, in 13th century Venice.

"Why is it necessary that the horse run away before the stable door is locked?"

He urges realization of cooperative effort to keep the city clean, for not everyone could afford to flee a pestilential city.

The author of this letter, incidentally, Leon Gutmann, a native of New Jersey, founded, after service as a captain in the Army during the war, Gutmann Galleries, a prominent Charlotte antiques and art dealer for many decades. Mr. Gutmann also was president for a time of the North Carolina Association for Crippled Children and Adults, as well as being active or an officer in many other civic and cultural organizations.

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