The Charlotte News

Friday, September 3, 1948


Site Ed. Note: The front page reports that German press under British license in Berlin had said that the Russians were making arrangements for lifting the blockade which had begun June 24. An American transport official stated, however, that there had been no indication by the Russians as to when they intended to reopen rail traffic to Berlin from Helmstedt and the East-West canal system. He also said that the Russians would not receive any coal from the Ruhr for their industries in the Eastern zone until the blockade was lifted.

The Big Four military commanders were preparing to meet again in the fourth day since meetings began to try to resolve the blockade. Informants said that a snafu had developed on whether marks should be exchanged one to one with Western currency, as the Russians wanted, or the Western contention adopted, that one Western mark was worth at least four Eastern marks.

In Prague, former Czech President Eduard Benes died at age 64 following a prolonged illness resulting from a stroke a year earlier. He had resigned as President the previous June. A coup had taken place the previous February in which the Communists took over the Government. Soon afterward, Foreign Minister Jan Masaryk had committed suicide. Mr. Benes had helped to found the Czech Republic in 1918 with Thomas Masaryk, father of Jan. Mr. Benes had resigned as President also when Adolf Hitler forced the Munich crisis regarding the Sudetenland in 1938. He returned to Czechoslovakia in 1945 after voluntary exile in the U.S., Britain and Russia during the war. He signed a mutual twenty-year assistance pact with the Russians in 1943.

In Paris, Premier-designate Robert Schuman, having on Tuesday received majority support from the National Assembly, quit trying to form a new Government as he had been unsuccessful in attracting members of a new Cabinet because the prospects disagreed with his economic policies. Followers of General Charles DeGaulle hoped that the crisis was force new elections. M. Schuman had been Premier until being succeeded by Andre Marie earlier in the year before M. Marie's resignation the previous Saturday.

A B-29, one of 90 taking part in a mock air battle testing Britain's defenses, was abandoned by its crew after it developed engine trouble over the Netherlands.

In Washington, Capitol police arrested a nude 30-year old woman, described as an attractive brunette, on the fourth floor ledge of the Senate law library. She resisted briefly before police could cover her. Before they took her into custody, she tossed a dollar bill, some small change, and the contents of her purse to the ground. When she had been told by a Capitol bookbinder who saw her on the ledge that it was against Capitol rules to be on the roof of the Capitol, she said that she was just taking a sunbath. At the time, she was taking off her clothes.

She got life.

Pollster Elmo Roper said that voters were interested in foreign affairs as the candidates, except Henry Wallace, were prepared to focus only on domestic issues. A poll found that only 29.8 percent of respondents believed that a President should be good at handling domestic matters, whereas 49 percent said that he should be adept at foreign policy. Secretary of State Marshall and Senator Arthur Vandenberg of Michigan were given most of the credit for the country's bipartisan foreign policy. Only 2.2 percent believed Governor Dewey responsible and 9.4 percent, the President. Secretary Marshall got credit from 43.1 percent of respondents and Senator Vandenberg, from 21.4 percent.

Henry Wallace departed Shreveport, La., the previous night as two eggs hit his plane while youths sang "Dixie" and jeered him. His car had been splattered with half a dozen eggs in Shreveport, though not hitting Mr. Wallace, and tomatoes had been thrown at him in Monroe. In a radio address in Shreveport, he said that he was hated by some because he believed in human freedom and because it included equality for blacks. He said that the South did not gain from race prejudice. "There is a long chain that links unknown hoodlums in a North Carolina or Alabama mill town with men in cutaway and finely tailored business suits—men who are found in the great centers in New York and Boston—men who make a dollar and cents profit by setting race against race in the far way South." He then headed for Little Rock, Arkansas.

RNC chairman Hugh Scott demanded that the President say whether he accepted the endorsement in 1944 by the Communist Party of the Roosevelt-Truman ticket. Congressman Scott said that the President was trying to "snuff out" Congressional investigations of Communists by calling the inquiries "red herrings". He wondered whether there was a working agreement in 1944 between Senator Truman and the Communists and whether it had ended. The President had reaffirmed the day before at a press conference that the investigations were red herrings to distract from inflation and other important domestic issues.

HUAC postponed until September 15 further spy hearings to resolve the Alger Hiss and Whittaker Chambers controversy as to who was telling the truth. In fact they would resume the following Wednesday and Thursday in executive session, focusing again on the mystery of the Model A Ford and its Babbittry.

Who's on third?

The truckers' strike in New York was spreading, with about 10,000 drivers and helpers idle, comprising half the city's trucks. Deliveries of food and other necessary items had been curtailed. Some smaller, independent stores continued to receive stock from non-striking drivers. It appeared certain that the strike would continue through Tuesday.

The NLRB asked a court in New York City to enforce its recent order against the CIO-National Maritime Union using a hiring hall, as it effectively violated Taft-Hartley by constituting the banned closed shop.

A very severe earthquake struck the previous night about 7,900 miles from New York, according to the Fordham University seismologist. The direction was undetermined. If you live there, we hope you made it.

In Cramerton, N.C., a man who was buried under three feet of dirt for twenty minutes before being rescued was calm when he emerged, asking for a cigarette. The cave-in took place at a mill. He had been able to get some air because there were large clods which covered him. He said that the only thing which had worried him was that they might use a pick to dig him out.

A Gulf hurricane was expected to hit the Cajun country in South Louisiana the next afternoon or night. It was unknown as yet how far northward it might penetrate. The storm had 35 to 45 mph winds, reaching as high as 75 mph, hurricane force.

On the editorial page, "F. H. Cothran, a Kindly Gentleman" tells of Mr. Cothran, industrialist who had just passed away, having been, among other things, an editor of the Piedmont & Northern Railway magazine which he published as the railway's president. It quotes one of his editorials advising that time was money and that every minute of spare time could be put to good use. His editorials generally were about thrift, honesty, ambition, hard work and love of country. He was especially interested in young people.

He had begun his engineering career in 1899 and rose to prominence constructing mines, designing railroads, and building large power projects. He had developed much of the Duke Power system.

He was a voracious reader and well informed on a variety of subjects. He believed in the South and promoted diversification of Southern industry and the application of scientific method to agriculture.

It concludes that he did not waste his time on earth and was held in affection and esteem by those who knew him.

"Queens' Evening College" tells of the need for a night school for adults at Queens College in Charlotte. The school's administration had answered the call and was preparing to meet that need in the fall.

Southwestern University at Memphis and the University of Louisville had piloted such successful programs.

It supports the Queens College effort as contributing to the betterment of the adult populace in the area.

"The Lure of Lost Loot" tells of the search ongoing along the Gulf Coast for the hidden treasure of pirate Jean Lafitte, who had begun his existence in New Orleans as a blacksmith after immigrating from France. He fought on the American side in the War of 1812 because the British had insulted him. He had given considerable aid in defeating the British.

Following the war, he continued his piratical ventures and eventually fled to the Yucatan Peninsula of Mexico where he died after six years of exile. It was said that his lucre was buried somewhere on the Gulf Coast.

It doubts that the treasure would ever be found, just as it doubts that a rainbow existed with a pot of gold at its end, just as it doubts that anyone ever gets something for nothing.

A piece from the New York Times, titled "Mr. Wallace Makes an Offer", tells of Henry Wallace telling an audience in Durham, N.C., the previous Sunday that he would offer a real states' rights program, whereby the South would be delivered from its economic bondage to Wall Street and absentee industrial captains. He proposed advancing a billion dollars per year to the South for four years to develop industry and agriculture. The money would be raised by taxing the profits made from Southern labor in farming and industry by the absentee captains.

The piece believes the plan made no sense economically as the South had been doing well in recent years. The plan would also deter outside capital from investing and such investments had their benefits.

But, it posits, it made no sense to talk in terms of economics to Mr. Wallace as he had to find a plausible moral basis for his plan, accomplished by calling it "states' rights". It finds him practicing demagogy. It adds that every good citizen deplored breaking up his speeches with protests. Logic was the best answer and logically he had answered himself.

We don't know about the aptness of the charge as applied to Henry Wallace, but it was certainly apropos to Alabama Governor George Wallace by 1963.

Robert Allen, substituting for vacationing Drew Pearson, tells of the Newport, R.I., meeting of the Joint Chiefs having only superficially resulted in an accord. Privately, the Navy and the Air Force still had not resolved which service would be the primary strategic bombing force. Defense Secretary James Forrestal ordered them to stop quarreling and they had ostensibly obeyed. But underneath the apparent rapprochement remained the bitter contest.

The Air Force believed that Secretary Forrestal as a former Navy man was partial to the Navy. They cited the fact that a plan suggested by Rear Admiral Dan Gallery to make the Navy the dominant strategic bombing force was being quietly implemented even though denied in the press while the Secretary of the Navy had reprimanded Rear Admiral Gallery for making his proposal publicly.

After the meeting at Newport, Secretary Forrestal talked to Governor Dewey regarding whether there would be "continuity of policy" in running the Defense Department in a Dewey Administration. Governor Dewey did not commit to reappointment of Mr. Forrestal.

Two elderly women attended a Senate hearing on Henry Kaiser's acquisition of a surplus Government steel plant in Cleveland. After listening intently, they inquired of the counsel for Kaiser when the hearings would get to Alger Hiss.

Supreme Court Justice William O. Douglas had been barred from the airwaves the previous Saturday night. Originally, he was scheduled to speak to the Montana Bar Association and was told there would be 4,000 persons in attendance and that the speech would be broadcast. But when he arrived, he found that the meeting had been switched to a hotel dining room accommodating only 250 people and that the broadcast had been canceled at the behest of Anaconda Copper Company which had threatened to withdraw a $500 contribution to the Bar Association if Justice Douglas's speech were broadcast. Notwithstanding, he went ahead with his speech, regarding the duty of the legal profession to uphold freedoms of speech and press.

President Truman was having his portrait painted by a Polish artist, Tade Styka, who had painted many leaders, such as Georges Clemenceau and Marshal Foch. The artist said that the President was an "accommodating subject".

American military occupation commander in Germany General Lucius Clay had authorized the transportation of Jewish displaced persons to the German border for migration to Palestine if they desired. He believed it was humane and would reduce occupation costs. The State Department, however, demanded that he lock them up in the camps, effectively returning them to concentration camps. The reason was that the British Foreign Office was refusing to allow any Jewish immigration to Palestine from the British sector. More than 12,000 displaced persons were being held illegally by the British in Cyprus behind barbed wire and many more thousands had been locked up in the British sector of Germany. The British were doing so to appease the Arabs.

The Palestine truce did not bar Jewish immigration unless the persons were undergoing military training. But since the truce went into effect, the British had done everything they could to prevent immigration to Palestine.

General Clay had warned the Administration that any ban on immigration could cause disturbances on the displaced persons camps. Parts of families had already gone to Palestine and thus interrupting the migration would cause separation of families.

Marquis Childs, in Denver, finds the people in the West not appearing concerned about the Soviet conspiracy to take over the country, which one would gather, from the headlines and the hearings before HUAC, was uppermost in the country's consciousness. Nor was there any danger evidenced that the people would turn to Communism in any significant numbers.

HUAC, he ventures, reflected on the country, itself, in suggesting that it might fall prey to Communism. Mr. Childs thinks that chairman J. Parnell Thomas and the other members of the Committee ought get out in the country, away from Washington, and see firsthand the people and hear how they thought, worked and played. The conspiracy advocates had developed the Red scare but the ordinary people appeared not to feel it. The Communist network, to the extent it existed, had not succeeded in undermining the faith in the American system possessed by the great masses of the American people.

Part of the harm was to undermine belief in basic American freedoms. For if one witness could, on hearsay and undocumented claims, come forward and accuse someone of disloyalty in the public forum, basic liberties on which the country was founded were being compromised.

He says that he did not doubt that there was a Soviet espionage network in the country, just as one had been uncovered in Canada in 1946. But that had been accomplished by a Royal Commission issuing a report after in camera proceedings, keeping those who were not directly implicated out of the report and the public mind. It made its recommendations for prosecution and the accused spies were prosecuted for espionage.

In this country, the FBI had always been a respected investigatory body until the HUAC hearings. Now, people wondered whether the FBI had been doing its job. If the FBI needed greater power, he suggests, then it ought be provided. Perhaps, a royal commission was necessary in the United States, he suggests, to get at the facts. But, he reiterates, it would be good for HUAC members to travel in the country and see and hear the people. It would destroy their apparent illusion that America was about to fall to Communism.

Max Hall discusses isotopes, a new word and concept to most Americans who were not scientists. He explains that it was a variant of an element with a different atomic weight from the principal element of which it was an isotope, based on variation in numbers of neutrons in the nucleus of each atom bearing the same number of protons. At the time, there were 96 elements and more than 800 isotopes.

He offers as example carbon in the lead of a pencil containing two isotopes, C-12 and C-13, present in all carbon occurring in natural form. Scientists could produce artificially C-10, C-11, and C-14, each of which was radioactive, that is emitting rays which could be measured by instruments. Radioactive isotopes were truncated to "radio-isotopes". Each of the elements had radio-isotopes either naturally or artificially produced.

Cyclotrons had been producing radio-isotopes since before the war. The atom bomb project had produced significant amounts for the first time as byproducts of the materials used for the bomb.

Isotopes were beneficial in acting as tracer elements to study physical reactions and treat diseases in humans. They were used in botany to study plant life and how fertilizers pass through plants, to make agriculture more efficient. The isotopes also produced rays to treat diseases. One such isotope of iodine was being used to treat thyroid gland problems, as iodine was naturally attracted to the gland and could be used to treat the diseased area when the isotope's rays were directed to it.

A letter from the pastor of the Thomasboro Baptist Church comments on the August 31 editorial "Beer & Wine to the Bootleggers", finds it remarkable that a person as smart as the editor could be so dumb on beer, wine, and liquor. They were all causes of drunkenness and licentiousness. He believes that safety of human life from drunken murder was worth more than millions of dollars in blood money.

A letter from the superintendent of the Charlotte District of the Methodist Church thanks News reporter Tom Fesperman for providing an article on the beer and wine referendum in Gaston County the previous week. He thinks that Mr. Fesperman had done a fair job of presenting the facts of both sides of the argument.

A letter writer thinks that the demonstration against Henry Wallace in the state the previous several days, involving loud taunts and throwing of eggs and tomatoes, should cause thinking and intelligent people to hang their heads in shame. He had never witnessed such conduct previously. He finds the conduct anti-democratic, opposing of free speech. He finds it remarkable that such conduct had taken place in Charlotte at the Wallace rally on the Courthouse steps. He also chides the protesters for wasting eggs and tomatoes when people in Europe were, in some cases, desperate for adequate food.

He predicts that the American people would elect Mr. Wallace President.

Who's on second?

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