The Charlotte News

Friday, July 9, 1948


Site Ed. Note: The front page reports that Arabs and Israelis resumed fighting in Palestine as the four-week truce ended. Tel Aviv was bombed and Haifa had its first air raid alarm since the end of World War II. Israelis counter-attacked and captured Egyptian-held villages near Majdal, south of Tel Aviv. They lost, however, two more villages to the Egyptians. Fighting had continued all of the previous night.

U.N. mediator Count Folke Bernadotte was still trying to get the two sides to agree to a 10-day extension of the truce.

The British and Americans in Berlin said that the Russian claim was untrue that the necessity of repairs to the only railroad line into Berlin had triggered the blockade. The Soviets had closed highways and waterways as well, claiming also that repairs were needed on the waterways.

Three Americans were killed while flying food and supplies to Berlin the previous day when their C-47 crashed twenty miles west of Frankfurt. Otherwise the airlift continued apace despite foul weather.

General Eisenhower again refused, for the third time, all efforts to draft him at the upcoming Democratic convention. His latest reaffirmation of the refusal was in a telegram sent to Florida Senator Claude Pepper. He said that he would refuse to allow his name to be placed in nomination, that continuing such efforts would result in embarrassment to all concerned. The latest refusal prompted two Eisenhower supporters, Jacob Arvey of Chicago and Mayor William O'Dwyer of New York, to fall in line behind the President. It was now questionable whether the anti-Truman caucus scheduled for the following night, in advance of the Monday start of the convention, would take place.

Mrs. Charles Tillett of Charlotte was likely to become the vice-chairman of the convention for the third straight time. Efforts were being made among Democrats to woo women voters.

Employment hit a record high of over 61 million, up 2.6 million from the previous month. Unemployment also rose to the highest level in a year, 2.2 million. The figures were attributed to the heavy influx of students to the job market for the summer plus a new high in non-farm employment.

Coal prices rose 85 cents per ton to compensate for the dollar per day wage increase to the bituminous coal miners.

Polio had an unusually high incidence in North Carolina, California, and Texas in 1948, but no nationwide epidemic was yet evident.

In North Carolina, 31 new polio cases were reported, bringing the total for the year to 468. Seven of the new cases were in Mecklenburg County. A total of 87 cases had been reported in the previous three days. Efforts to control the fly population with DDT were being undertaken to inhibit the spread of polio. The News had started a campaign to raise donations for the DDT spraying.

If the polio doesn't get you, surely the carcinogens in the cure will.

It was probably the President who flew in the flies to cause more cases of polio so that voters would remain home in November, on the theory that a low turnout would enable his election.

In Sault Ste. Marie, Mich., a bear carried away a three-year old girl from her forest home on July 7 and mauled her to death. After the bear believed responsible for the attack was killed, a veterinarian performed surgery on it to assure that it was the right one. It was.

If polio or the DDT doesn't get you, then the bears probably will, while you're just walking along minding your own business. And if those don't get you, the atom bomb surely will sooner or later, probably sooner, that is if some speeding driver in a jalopy doesn't first run you down before the bomb is dropped.

On the editorial page, "Truman's Duty to Boss Hague" discusses the invitation of Jersey City's Frank Hague to the President to leave the presidential race. He had said that he would cast the New Jersey delegation's votes for General Eisenhower, implying his continuing grip on New Jersey politics. Although the anti-Truman movement had been squelched at this point, the demonstration the previous week against the President by Democratic leaders pretty well assured defeat in November.

Ironically, the President was in such hot water with Democrats because he had followed the designs of the big city bosses who had made him the vice-presidential nominee in 1944 in an effort to put the brakes on the New Deal after FDR.

Now, with defeat assured, the Democrats might look to the period of the hair-shirt to come as good for the soul of the party, to enable it to establish a new look.

"Turn Light on War Profiteers" comments on the Justice Department representative's statement to the House Expenditures subcommittee that as much as 300 million dollars was wasted during the war on overcharges of freight rates to the Government by the four-man freight rate board whose membership had come from the railroads. In peacetime, as also indicated on the front page two days earlier, 100 million per year was being wasted.

Another witness before the subcommittee had stated that the Senate War Investigating Committee had overlooked some of the purchasing activities during the war of now convicted and sentenced retired General Bennett Meyers, that more graft could be uncovered. But the Committee appeared to be resting since the Meyers and Howard Hughes hearings of the previous year, suggesting that it was primarily interested in gaining partisan advantage, its failed attempt to connect Elliott Roosevelt to war contracts graft, rather than serving the public interest. It wonders where the Committee was when there apparently was so much more corruption to be uncovered, as revealed before the House subcommittee regarding the freight rates.

"Let's Give Our Jaws a Rest" tells of Bernard Baruch stating that anyone without definite responsibilities should not be talking about war. The piece believes the advice good. The insect and pest world seemed also to agree, as insects had flown into the intake of the diesel plant of Voice of America and locusts and ants had chewed the insulation off of the shortwave cables. Other damage had been done by critters as well. It concludes that just as keeping quiet might make the bill collector go away, so might it be with war talk.

A piece from the Norfolk Virginian-Pilot, titled "Listen to the Mocking Bird", tells of the mocking bird being fond of an audience and in captivity showing a talent for mimicry, while preferring song to mocking, always varying his notes. He was the American Philomela.

Drew Pearson discusses General Eisenhower and what he was really like, in answer to a great deal of mail on the subject. He had known the General since the Hoover Administration. Afterward, General MacArthur took him as his assistant to Manila where the two increasingly rowed and General Eisenhower, then a Lieutenant Colonel, was eventually sent home. It was a lucky break as he came to the attention of FDR as World War II approached.

Mr. Pearson's former writing partner Bob Allen had observed two months before Pearl Harbor, during the Louisiana maneuvers, that Colonel Eisenhower was one of the Army's "younger aces".

He describes the opinion of the publisher of the Abilene News in Abilene, Kans., where Dwight Eisenhower had grown up, regarding him as hard working, for the underdog, and wanting a better distribution of wealth in the country. He had admired William Jennings Bryan, the Democratic nominee for the presidency in 1896, 1900 and 1908. When addressing a local Democratic banquet in 1909, he had revealed that his father was a Republican but he intended, he said, to vote Democratic.

Mr. Pearson suggests that this first foray into politics, just before he left for West Point, would likely be his last.

Marquis Childs suggests that the search for a vice-presidential candidate willing to run with the President could prove difficult, given the inevitable loss ahead. The most likely choice was Senator Joseph O'Mahoney of Wyoming, to counterbalance the Warren candidacy's appeal in the West. Mr. Childs thinks Senator O'Mahoney would be the best candidate, both for 1948 and looking ahead to 1952. He had voted against Taft-Hartley, was Catholic, and would conduct an intelligent and forceful campaign.

Former New Dealer Tommy Corcoran had supported Justice Douglas for the vice-presidential nomination in 1944 but was now of the belief that he should wait until 1952 to seek the presidency. He believed that other than General Eisenhower, there was no Democrat with a significantly better chance than the President to win the election.

Joseph & Stewart Alsop tell of the leader of the French Communist Party having received much the same dressing down as had Tito in Yugoslavia, with much the same effect on the non-Soviet world as the Tito rebuke had on the Soviet satellites. But the French leader had given in, whereas Tito remained defiant. Moscow had told the French leader to mend his ways and cease his nationalism and anti-Soviet stance or he would be replaced. It would mean that other Communist leaders would understand that they had to maintain absolute obedience to the Kremlin. They would need behave in accord with Soviet policy and be ready to be an effective fifth column in the event of war. It appeared that Russia was consolidating its forces for a final showdown with the West.

A letter writer finds the decision by the Democratic convention sergeant-at-arms Leslie Biffle to have several police officers and private detectives in attendance in the galleries of the convention hall to quell any effort to form a groundswell for General Eisenhower to be contrary to democracy. He asks whether the newspaper was for the readers and the people, reminding that the people had voted for Kerr Scott for Governor despite endorsement by The News of his opponent Charles Johnson. He concludes, "Yours for better editorials."

The editors reply, "And yours for better letters."

A letter writer, the editor and manager of the Golden Rule Press and organizer of the Golden Rule Party, wants the Democrats to nominate Jonathan Daniels of the Raleigh News & Observer, for a brief time in 1945 FDR's press secretary, as the presidential candidate and Eleanor Roosevelt as the vice-presidential candidate. He provides his reasons.

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