The Charlotte News

Thursday, September 2, 1948


Site Ed. Note: The front page reports that during the third straight day of discussions between the Big Four military commanders in Berlin, the anti-Communist city government demanded a voice in the deliberations, certain to face veto by the Russians. The anti-Communists wanted an end to the blockade and restoration of a unified city administration under the elected government, guarantees of protection for the city assembly against Communist demonstrators who had broken up recent city government meetings, and guarantees of restoration of freedom of travel between Berlin and all four occupation zones. No official statement had emerged from the talks. General Lucius Clay, American military commander, appeared grimmer than following the previous two sessions as he emerged from the talks.

Oksana Kosenkina, the Russian teacher who had jumped from the third-floor window of the Soviet consulate in New York to escape her "cage", turned down an offer by the consulate to pay for her bills during her extensive recovery at Roosevelt Hospital in New York. The consulate had sent a check for $250 to the hospital but Ms. Kosenkina had instructed the hospital not to cash it. The hospital had complied with her request, though she was without funds.

The Air Force disclosed that at least ten U.S. bombers, including five B-29's, one of which had been shot down by Soviet planes, were seized by Russia during the war with Japan. The other four Superfortresses had run out of fuel over Soviet territory. The crews were interned. The shooting down of the B-29 occurred August 29, 1945, 20 days after Russia had declared war on Japan. Two Yak fighters pretended to be friendly to the B-29, directing it to land as it carried supplies to Korea. When the pilot saw that the runway was too short, he refused and one of the Yaks fired a shot across his nose. He then directed the plane to head home, at which point the Yaks pursued and shot it down off the coast of Korea. Six of the crew bailed out and the remainder rode the crippled plane to a landing, were then held by the Russians for two days before being released with an apology for the incident. A Russian engineering officer examined the downed plane in the presence of one of the American crew and appeared quite familiar with its design. The Russians used the B-29's to reverse engineer their own version of the plane.

Secretary of the Army Kenneth Royall indicated his support for General MacArthur's no-strike policy for Japanese workers, a policy being criticized by the Russians.

On the West Coast, longshoremen quit work and prepared for a strike regarding increased wages. Harry Bridges, president of the International Longshoremen & Warehousemen's Union, predicted that the strike would last three months. The strike would affect 16,000 longshoremen and 500 ships. Military freight would not be affected. In Seattle, a Federal District Court judge ended the 80-day injunction against the strike after the statutory time limit had expired and a vote by the membership to have the strike had been conducted, per Taft-Hartley.

The trucking strike in New York began to choke off supplies of the city but most residents had not yet felt the results.

Before a House labor sub-committee, the CIO secretary-treasurer testified that the CIO United Electrical Workers Union had fired many anti-Communists and that some employers had found it easier to get along with Communists. He said that if the Congress would leave the union to its own devices, it could clean its own house.

The deportation hearing concluded on Alexander Stevens, implicated before HUAC by Whittaker Chambers as the leader of the national Communist underground during the 1930's while under the name "J. Peters". The presiding inspector at the hearing took the matter under submission.

The GOP claimed labor support in all sections of the country for the Dewey-Warren ticket. They did not mention the recent endorsements by CIO and AFL for President Truman.

In West Frankfort, Ill., a gang of toughs was reported to have stoned the Progressive Party Senate candidate, a professor at Northwestern University. He was reportedly struck by ten stones.

Henry Wallace canceled three appearances in Alabama when police enforced segregation ordinances. The Alabama chairman of the Progressive Party was hit by a barrage of eggs at Birmingham.

Mr. Wallace spoke to a non-segregated audience of about 300 in Vicksburg on the Courthouse lawn. There were about 50 black citizens in the audience. There were no demonstrations. He had breakfast at Edwards, Miss., at a black junior college.

Jackson, Miss., turned down a request of Mr. Wallace to speak from the Capitol steps. Governor Fielding Wright, vice-presidential candidate of the Dixiecrats, appealed to the residents of Mississippi to treat Mr. Wallace courteously.

He would next proceed to Monroe and Shreveport, La., before touring Arkansas.

In Thomasville, N.C., four children, ranging in age from three months to nine years, perished in a fire at their log home on a farm. The mother had been up late tending to a sick child and arose to light an oil cook stove, then inadvertently fell asleep and awoke with the home ablaze.

In Winston-Salem, officials of the Piedmont Natural Gas Corp. met with officials from Charlotte and 21 other Piedmont Carolinas chambers of commerce to discuss support for a thousand-mile natural gas pipeline from the Gulf Coast of Texas and Louisiana to Danville, Va. It would pass through the Charlotte area.

In Charlotte, Frank Cothran, internationally-known industrialist, died at age 70 after several weeks of illness following a stroke. He had held several positions with the Duke interests and been president of the Piedmont & Northern Railway and the Durham & Southern Railway.

City officials of Charlotte planned a homecoming for Chunk Simmons, Olympic bronze medal winner in the decathlon.

In Hollywood, police investigators said that the arrest of actor Robert Mitchum and three others in a raid on a home, in which it was alleged that three of the four, including Mr. Mitchum, were smoking marijuana cigarettes, was only the beginning of a clean-up campaign in the movie capital. A sergeant of the police force said that investigators had been watching Mr. Mitchum for eight months before the arrests. They were after the suppliers as well as the users of the marijuana and other narcotics. Other prominent actors and actresses, as well as other persons associated with the movies, he said, were under surveillance.

RKO announced that Jerry Giesler, prominent Western criminal defense attorney, would represent Mr. Mitchum. The four had been released on $1,000 bails. The studio urged the public to maintain an open mind on the matter. Three completed films of Mr. Mitchum were yet to be released.

On the editorial page, "Juvenile Delinquency" tells of the phrase coming into vogue in the mid-Forties as the war drew to a close, with "zoot-suiters" and "Victory girls", the latter falsifying their ages to gain entry to dives, trying to attract soldiers, the former assaulting passersby in dark streets. While an active campaign against it had done much good, juvenile delinquency still thrived.

In Charlotte the previous week, reports emerged of an organized racing club of teenage boys, many too young to have licenses. They would gather at night and race down country roads two or three abreast.

Juvenile delinquency had shown a slight rise in Mecklenburg County, though perhaps the result of stricter enforcement. Truancy was the foremost violation brought before the court.

Youth Month nationally, sponsored by the Motion Picture Exhibitors, urged by Attorney General Tom Clark, was a drive to raise awareness of the problem.

The piece urges that parents had to open their eyes to the problems and find ways to avoid the tendencies in their children. Churches, schools and law enforcement each had to do their part as well.

"You're Welcome, Williamsburg" tells of North Carolina playwright Paul Green having produced a successful outdoor pageant at Williamsburg, "The Common Glory", rivaling "The Lost Colony" , performed each summer since 1937 at Manteo. Mr. Green had said that his ancestors had come from Virginia.

But now Virginia wished to claim Mr. Green, the only Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright in the region.

While the polio scare had harmed business of "The Lost Colony" during the summer, attendance had picked up in the last month and it finished its run in good shape financially. Mr. Green had done so well by his home state that North Carolinians did not begrudge lending him to Virginia.

"Mockingbird Melody for the Yankees" tells of the mockingbird's annual departure for the North. It was with sadness that the editors read of it in a pamphlet of the Smithsonian Institution. But it was with generosity that the songbird left the South and gave its song to the North each annual passage. It suggests that the South should greet the opportunity to share with open arms, just as when it gave to the nation fried chicken, greens and many other Southern dishes, or the current fashions which owed their origins to the Southern belle.

So, it bids to the mockingbird, "go", with the blessings of the South.

A piece from the Raleigh News & Observer, titled "Tree or Forest", tells of a Buncombe County Superior Court Judge finding that an overlord of the rackets worth over a million dollars was present in the county. It had been reported that in Winston-Salem, Greensboro, Durham, Charlotte and even Raleigh, tickets could be purchased for the numbers rackets and sports betting pools, and that there were thousands of suckers who played them daily.

In some places, it was said that these rackets also ran liquor and women as well numbers and bets.

It suggests that other judges and law enforcement officials in other counties might do well to follow the lead of the Judge in Asheville.

Robert Allen, substituting for vacationing Drew Pearson, tells of Eva Peron of Argentina being eager to visit the U.S., in the hope of building her own political ambitions to succeed her husband Juan as dictatrix. But Washington had not issued an official invitation. She was embarking on a publicity campaign to try to get support for the tour by appealing directly to U.S. opinion. She was, to that end, broadcasting via shortwave a radio speech to the U.S. anent old-age pensions, sponsored by her Social Assistance Foundation, to which everyone in Argentina gave generously, from school children up, to achieve good standing with her highness. An example of the Social Assistance offered by the Foundation was the provision to each of the three Argentinian Olympic gold medal winners a new, completely furnished home, though masked as personal gifts from Evita.

The Greek Government was upset at the $10,000 to $12,000 salaries being paid to Greek mission officials, out of line, they said, with local employee salaries and U.S. salaries. The money came from the U.S., not Greece, and one of the problems facing the Government was to tax more extensively the wealthy of Greece and reduce the chaff on its Government payroll.

The Senate and House Appropriations Committees were investigating the large sums Holland was spending on military operations against the newly created Indonesian Republic, while Holland received 400 million dollars in ERP aid. They were spending a million dollars per day on a blockade of Indonesia. The Dutch were resisting the efforts of Indonesia to sell tin, rubber and other materials to the U.S. outside the Dutch cartels. The Congressional Committees wanted to know whether ERP money was involved. The Dutch claimed that no ERP money was involved but they also claimed that they were broke and thus were seeking 400 million dollars in loans from the World Bank after already receiving 195 million. ERP administrator Paul Hoffman was also looking into the matter.

The diary of Nazi propaganda minister Josef Goebbels, who committed suicide with Hitler at the fall of Berlin in late April, 1945, had netted thus far to the U.S. Government $300,000.

Britain's Princess Margaret would visit the U.S. the following year.

The Office of International Trade within the Commerce Department had authorized the export of over seven million ball bearings to Czechoslovakia, one of Russia's leading munitions producers.

Joseph & Stewart Alsop discuss the Joint Research & Development Board headed by Dr. Vannevar Bush, investigating the defense establishment for the Hoover Commission on Government Reorganization, examining the costs of defense and how to enable allocations to be more efficiently spent.

The accuracy of aerial bombardment had assumed a new significance which few had noticed. In the atomic age, only one or two bombs were necessary per target, rather than the saturation bombing of the late war. The absence of accurate maps of the Soviet Union made the prospect of bombing in a future war difficult. The JRDB wanted top priority to be given accuracy in bombing. But the Air Force was making only a limited effort toward realizing this goal.

The menace of the German Type 21 long-range, high-speed, radar-proof submarine was significant, as the Soviets were said to have 250 in service while the U.S. had no equivalent. The effort to develop anti-submarine equipment and tactics was regarded as inadequate.

The JRDB had not been permitted yet to make an adequate critique of the Navy's controversial 60,000-ton carrier. It had to operate fairly close to enemy shores to effect launching of bomber aircraft at inland cities. But the big carrier, and its substantial supporting flotilla of ships, would be especially vulnerable to enemy submarines. Thus, none but Navy planners favored it.

There was also a large disparity in the price of defense in America compared to that of other countries.

That which was needed, they posit, was strong Presidential leadership to insure that the country got the most defense for its money.

Marquis Childs, in Los Angeles, tells of the fringe element being attracted to the Progressive Party in sufficient numbers that they might determine the election in California as between the Democrats and Republicans. But third party interest had waned and even party leaders were curbing estimates of how many votes they would get. In California, estimates had been limited to 1.3 million votes out of four million to be cast. But impartial observers put the figure at no more than half a million, probably fewer.

One of the reasons for the decline was the popularity of Governor Warren in California and his presence on the Republican ticket. Support of the President was at best lukewarm among Democrats. But also fewer Democrats were likely to stay away from the polls than was predicted a few months earlier. Defections to Henry Wallace had dissipated.

Also, the reports in the press of Communist domination of the Progressive Party had caused declining support.

Still, the size of the Wallace vote on election day could become a surprise as many who feared to express support openly might switch their preference in the privacy of the polling booth.

Mr. Wallace would return to California in October for six days. His visit in the spring had produced large crowds, most of whom paid to see him. The President and Senator Barkley would also spend at least six days in California.

There was no great enthusiasm evident for either the Republicans or the Democrats. Most people were preoccupied with the struggle against inflation and lack of housing. But they did like Governor Warren.

A piece by Davis Lee, publisher of the Newark Telegram, a black newspaper, comments again on race relations in the South, as he had in a previous piece the prior week. He offers that the present civil rights controversy had created a good deal of bitterness, as no other single issue had in recent memory. He finds the President's program to have been stimulated for political reasons, to garner black and Jewish votes, and to have split the parties down the middle and made enemies of black and white friends.

He says that his previous editorial had not encountered anything among black civil rights leaders other than agreement until it appeared in over a hundred white publications, at which point black leaders hit the ceiling. He had suggested that race riots in the South would be stimulated by the anti-lynching legislation proposed.

He continues to oppose the program as an invasion of personal liberty. He says that there were plenty of blacks with whom he would not want to sit down in a restaurant, invite into his home, or even ride with on a bus or train.

He believes that without the aid of the Southern white population, blacks could not reach the top in education, agriculture, politics or economically. The black man had to assume the responsibilities of citizenship. There remained too much illiteracy, ignorance, superstition and prejudice among blacks despite great strides forward. Southern whites, he finds, understood this fact.

Blacks needed to be taught literacy and pride in being born black, and that color was no barrier to success in the Deep South any more than in New York City.

Southern blacks had an economic edge over their Northern counterparts because conditions in the South had forced blacks to do business in the black community, creating black businesses. He believes that the South was capable of resolving its own race problems.

He thinks it unfair to blame a state or region for poverty conditions besetting white and black alike.

He refers to a series of articles by Ray Sprigle, regarding the author's posing as a black man in the South for 30 days, in which he disclosed horrors and indignities suffered, eagerly read by Northern audiences, many set for for a second civil war and ready to establish a new underground railroad.

He says that he had spent considerable time in the South as a real black man and had not ever suffered as Mr. Sprigle had. If he looked for only the worst in the South, he suggests, he would find it. But he could also find examples of the same in the North. Recently, a story appeared in his newspaper that several blacks had been sold to whites in Michigan at $30 apiece. Another told of the Klan operating in New Jersey. The previous week, six black men were convicted in Trenton and sentenced to death for the killing of one white man, though testimony established alibis for some of the defendants.

In contrast, Sandy Magee in Mississippi had been convicted of murder and sentenced to death, only to have the State Supreme Court reverse the verdict three times and finally, on a fourth appeal, reduced the verdict to manslaughter.

There could be no harmony among the races, he concludes, if the truth was to be distorted.

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