The Charlotte News

Saturday, September 4, 1948


Site Ed. Note: The front page reports that the four military governors of Berlin met again this date, for the fifth time in five days, trying to effect a solution to the blockade crisis.

The Communists in Berlin formed a "three-party democratic bloc" to try to wrest power from the anti-Communists in the City Government. The Communists said that the Christian Democrats, the Liberal Democrats, and the Soviet-sponsored Socialist Unity Party would join the Communists in the move. The Communist press meanwhile assailed Germans in Bonn seeking to establish a West German government, calling the effort "high treason".

In Paris, Robert Schuman, who had not been able to form a new Cabinet after receiving majority support from the National Assembly to become the new head of the French Government and, in consequence, had resigned, withdrew his resignation and said that he would try again to form a government. The move was seen as an attempt to quell Communist Party action in taking advantage of the lack of a government, as more than 100,000 workers staged demonstrations seeking increased wages. M. Schuman had been Premier earlier in the year.

In Warsaw, Zygmunt Kaczynski, chief spokesman for the Catholic hierarchy in Poland, was freed 72 hours after his arrest by the Polish security police, following accusation of participation in "anti-state activities". It was the first time anyone so charged had been released so quickly, investigations usually taking a year or more to complete. Mr. Kaczynski would be kept under surveillance—just as the Hollywood movie community by the functional equivalent body of law enforcement personnel.

In Amsterdam, Queen Wilhemina, 68, abdicated the throne of the Netherlands after occupying it for 50 years, including her term of exile during the war. She turned over the crown to her daughter Juliana, 39.

Also in the Netherlands, an American sergeant died in the hospital after parachuting from his stricken B-29 the previous day when one of the engines failed during an exercise conducted by the British to test air defenses.

The World Council of Churches went on record officially as being against both Communism and unfettered capitalism. It also opposed those who fomented war and urged opposition to "terror, cruelty and race discrimination".

Thirty thousand natives of Camiguin Island in the Philippines were rescued from the erupting Hibokhibok volcano. It was the first eruption since 1871. No one had been killed and no Americans were believed to be in the area.

In Nashville, Henry Wallace, speaking before 5,000 people, became the object of another egg-thrower, albeit missing the target, hitting two photographers. It appeared, in fact, that the hurlers were actually aiming at the press more than at Mr. Wallace. Perhaps, they were actually backers of the candidate—not unlike those faux "protesters" who were on the audio scaffolding that time at the Nixon rally at Greensboro Airport in October, 1972, which we happened to attend just for the fun of it. The very vocal protesters, whose goat, as far as the crowd was concerned, was too easily gotten by the President, were playing Woodstock in miniature, no doubt, we glean from subsequent revelations generally, coached in the matter by one of the representatives of CREEP.

Mr. Wallace headed to Knoxville for the last appearance on his Southern tour, a speech before a black church. He said that despite the hostile treatment in some places, his faith in the South had not been shaken. He hoped that one result of his tour would be increased black voter registration. Whereas only 100,000 blacks were eligible to vote in the South in 1946, he indicated that 700,000 would be eligible in the fall, given the new voting laws pursuant to lower Federal Court and Supreme Court rulings banning discrimination in voter eligibility.

Some Southern Congressional candidates were attempting to have their names placed on both the Democratic and Dixiecrat tickets. DNC officials said that the party would not attempt to thwart the move but that any such dual candidates might be asked to give up positions they held with the DNC.

Dixiecrat presidential candidate Strom Thurmond said, in response to the demand that Dixiecrats resign their position as committeemen with the DNC, that it was "like the tail trying to throw the dog out of the kennel". He believed that the Northerners had bolted the Democratic Party, not the Dixiecrats.

DNC chairman J. Howard McGrath criticized RNC chairman Hugh Scott for having suggested the previous day that the President had not refused the endorsement of the Communist Party for the Roosevelt-Truman ticket of 1944, calling upon the President to say whether he had or had not accepted the endorsement. Senator McGrath called the statement a "blue-blooded herring", the "creation of the gentleman who once boasted that the Republicans are the 'best stock' and therefore 'should take over' the Government."

Congressman Scott had said that the President's labeling as a "red herring" the HUAC and Senate Investigating Committee hearings into Communist espionage by Americans, was an attempt to extinguish the investigations.

A strike had begun by 16,000 CIO oil workers on the West Coast, demanding a wage increase of 21 cents per hour. The companies had offered 12.5 cents. Western states would face a gasoline shortage from the strike within a few days, according to an industry statement. Harry Bridges, head of the International Longshoremen's and Warehousemen's Union, said that the strike would last four to six months. The President had stated that nothing could be done under Taft-Hartley to halt the strike as all regulations had been satisfied.

In New York City, the trucking strike continued.

A Gulf hurricane slashed through Southeastern Louisiana, battering New Orleans, during the morning hours. As it moved toward Mississippi, it was reduced to gale force winds of between 60 and 70 mph, hurricanes starting at 76 mph. There was no reported loss of life and property damage in New Orleans, protected by a sea wall, was slight. Some streets in the city were flooded after seven inches of rain had fallen the previous night. On September 19, 1947, water was driven in from the Gulf, flooding about 50 miles of Jefferson Parish, including a large residential area.

The National Air Race got underway at Cleveland. The Air Force, in an unprecedented entry, would seek through the F-86 Sabre jet fighter to break the Navy's record speed of 650 mph, set in a research plane. The pilot would be Major Richard L. Johnson, a one-time chicken raiser from North Dakota, who had flown 180 combat missions during the war in the Mediterranean. It was believed that the F-86 could reach 670 mph—which is about 600 mph faster than the F-85 with a tail-wind. Or maybe the latter was so fast, it circled the globe before you could even see it moving.

The Bendix cross-country air race was part of the three-day event. Paul Mantz—to be killed in 1965 during stunt flying for the film "Flight of the Phoenix"—had won the event in 1946 and 1947 but would use a different plane in 1948. Jacqueline Cochran, who had come in second in 1946, would fly again in 1948. She had not flown the previous year.

North Carolina Superior Court Judge Wilson Warlick, who had been appointed by the President to the Federal District Court but had not yet been confirmed, causing his appointment temporarily to be withdrawn until 1949, ordered the man accused of killing the 15-year old unwed mother to be held without bond and bound over for trial on the murder charge. His wife, who had originally confessed to the shooting and then recanted, claiming her confession had been made under duress from her husband, was also bound over for trial on the charge. No mention is made of the original co-defendant, owner of the house in which the murder occurred, originally arrested as an accomplice.

Dr. George Crane describes the case of Irene F. on the back page in his daily column on modern psychology.

We never heard of her. We feel terribly lost and ill-informed, indeed, panic-stricken.

On the editorial page, "Benes, Champion of Liberty" laments the passing at age 64 of former Czech President Eduard Benes after a year-long illness. He had resigned in June as President, in the wake of the February coup by the Communists. He deserved, it posits, to die happy, but probably died sad, given the turn in his country of late. He, along with Thomas Masaryk, had founded the Czech Republic in 1918 following the overthrow of control by the Austro-Hungarian Empire. Mr. Benes had initially been Foreign Minister while Mr. Masaryk was President. He had supported the League of Nations and traveled Europe extensively for 15 years in that capacity, was elected president of the 16th League Assembly.

In 1938, when the Munich Pact was signed and the Sudetenland was carved from Czech territory, he went into voluntary exile, five months before Hitler gobbled up the rest of Czechoslovakia. He had signed a twenty-year mutual assistance pact with Russia and had to watch the Russians slowly take over in 1946 when he returned from exile to be President. Communist Leader Klement Gottwald became Premier and slowly enabled the takeover which became final in February.

To Czechs, he was a symbol of liberty and security. It suggests that his passing might break the spirit of those who believed in democracy in the country, having already suffered the suicide of Jan Masaryk, son of Thomas, earlier in the year in protest of the Communist takeover. But likely, it finds, the Czechs would become stronger and Mr. Benes would lead them in death as he had in life.

"The Peckerwoods Take Over" refers to Louisiana politics, with Earl Long, brother of the late Governor and Senator Huey Long, having become Governor, and Russell Long, Huey Long's son, now having been elected Senator by winning the Democratic primary.

Huey Long had been assassinated in 1935. He used to tell the peckerwoods that he was just an old peckerwood, too. They were not hard to fool when told he was on their side as he quoted Psalms and snapped his galluses, sprinkling a few "ain'ts" and "y'alls" into the rhetorical mix. He had followed the pattern as had the late Eugene Talmadge in Georgia. It was a simple pattern, based on appeal to emotion, an important part of the politics of the South.

Education, radio and a more vigilant print press in the South would begin to interrupt the pattern, but for now it remained in certain areas alive and well, if tottering a bit. Russell Long had only beaten his opponent by a narrow margin. It concludes that the future was bright if still not yet realized.

"Bishop John Long Jackson" tells of the death of the Rt. Reverend, bishop of the Protestant Episcopal Diocese of Louisiana, having stirred a sense of loss in Charlotte where he had made many friends as rector of St. Martin's Church between 1914 and 1940, when the church grew from 140 members to 713 by 1937.

A piece from the Greenville (S.C.) News, titled "A Piedmont Builder", eulogizes Frank Cothran, industrialist of Charlotte who had died during the week and whose biography was presented the previous day in the editorial column as well as on the front page two days earlier. The piece states that Mr. Cothran's death was mourned throughout the area.

Robert Allen, substituting for vacationing Drew Pearson, tells of the Justice Department planning to crack down on four prominent lobbyists, one of whom had been significant in the effort to sidetrack the bill to remove the discriminatory tax on margarine.

A White House guard had recently detained Supreme Court Justice William O. Douglas when he tried to leave the White House by a side entrance after visiting the President.

Senator Edward Robertson of Wyoming had issued an invitation to Governor Dewey to come support him in his tough re-election bid. No response had yet been forthcoming.

Joe Borkin, ace former Justice Department official, commented on an unnamed crony of the President, saying that every time he opened his mouth, his shoelaces fell out.

First Lady Bess Truman and First Daughter Margaret were planning to be active for the President on the campaign trail. Mrs. Dewey and a son would also be campaigning for the Governor.

Henry Wallace lieutenants candidly admitted in private that they did not expect to carry a single state—an accurate prediction.

Representative Everett Dirksen, retiring from Congress, was a good bet for Secretary of Agriculture under President Dewey.

Mr. Dirksen, instead, would successfully run for the Senate in 1950.

Senator Joseph Ball was trailing Minneapolis Mayor Hubert Humphrey by eight points in the Minnesota Senate race.

Dave Beck, West Cost Teamsters leader, was planning to back the Dewey-Warren ticket. He was a friend of Governor Warren.

Phillip Mullen, member of the Mississippi Legislature, was waging a campaign in his state against race hatred.

India had embarked on a large military program.

The Pentagon had revealed that Chinese Nationalists and Chinese Communists, based on their claims, had each killed more of their rivals than both had in their armies.

A popular tourist treat in Washington's historic Harvey's Restaurant was smoked oysters.

The Army's new B-49 would enter production at one per week starting in November, replacing the B-36 as the most powerful plane in the world.

A favorite pastime of General Eisenhower was cooking.

The Senate chaplain, the Reverend Peter Marshall, said that while there was no politics in prayer, there should be more prayer in politics.

Marquis Childs, in Santa Monica, visits the family of Governor Earl Warren, a typical family, he finds. They had been spending the summer in a cabin near Santa Monica, with access to the beach.

Don't we all?

Beneath the charm of his family, Governor Warren was a shrewd politician. He understood that in the West, water was a core issue, necessary to sustain the phenomenal growth since prior to the war. It brought Governor Warren face to face with an issue many had accused him of ducking, the provision in the Bureau of Reclamation Act which limited each individual to 160 acres of irrigation from a Government project, 320 acres for a married couple.

In the Central Valley of California, large corporate landowners insisted that the limitation did not apply to them as they held the land before the proposed reclamation project.

Bank of America had been a strong opponent of the limitation, as had California Senator Sheridan Downey.

Governor Warren favored a water grid, similar to a power grid, to assure distribution as equitably as possible in all areas where water was required. He believed that there should be no arbitrary limit on irrigation and favored a compromise in the Central Valley. The defenders of the limit argued that a compromise would undermine all limits and lead to corporate farms maintained at taxpayer expense. Governor Warren did not side with Senator Downey in absolutely opposing the limit.

The Governor's stance on power was more clear-cut, believing that the Government should provide dams and distribute the power they created for the benefit of the public. He was quite aware that many in the Republican Congress opposed this approach.

The Governor was cautious and patient and it was unclear to what degree he would act on the beliefs he held. But, Mr. Childs opines, he would not be content to preside over the Senate as Vice-President and merely umpire the action.

Joseph & Stewart Alsop examine the candidates as they began the fall campaign for the presidency. Governor Dewey had surrounded himself with progressive Republican advisers. Future Secretary of State John Foster Dulles and his brother, future CIA director Allen, Congressman Christian Herter, future Secretary of State succeeding Mr. Dulles, and future Kennedy and Johnson National Security Adviser McGeorge Bundy, formed a committee on foreign policy. Congressman Everett Dirksen, future Senate Minority Leader during the 1960's, and Senator Henry Cabot Lodge, Jr., future GOP vice-presidential nominee in 1960 and Ambassador to South Vietnam under President Kennedy, among other diplomatic posts, were assisting Mr. Dewey in speech-drafting on domestic issues.

Mr. Bundy, they point out, had collaborated with Walter Lippmann in writing an as-yet unpublished work and had assisted with the autobiography of former Secretary of State and Secretary of War Henry Stimson. It was believed that his next assignment would be to modernize the Ten Commandments.

Mr. Dewey's choice of such progressive assistants did not bode well for the Republican Old Guard.

The campaign strategy was to make only ten or twelve key speeches, maintaining the high road the while and trying not to engage in tit-for-tat with the President. The extent to which the strategy would be maintained would depend on how well Mr. Truman appeared to fare.

The President's strategy was to crisscross the country, making whistle-stops along the way. His first major appearance of the campaign would be in Detroit on Labor Day, where an audience of 25,000 was expected to hear him, addressing primarily labor and the farmers, the core support for his campaign. Labor was dissatisfied with Taft-Hartley, knew that the President had vetoed it. CIO and AFL had formed a reluctant unity around him. Farmers were happy over high prices, even if the consumers were dismayed by them. The President's plans, however, would be governed by the DNC pocketbook which was ailing.

The Alsops comment that the financial disparity between the two parties was unhealthy and might require careful post-election study, presumably suggesting some form of public financing as had been proposed. They conclude that if the campaign went as predicted and Thomas Dewey were elected, then having an election in time of world crisis would not be so damaging as had been supposed.

A letter to the editor from A. W. Black comments on the eggs and tomatoes thrown in North Carolina at various stops at Henry Wallace, believes that the newspapers should not be criticizing the hurlers. It was, he says, Mr. Wallace who failed to understand mass psychology.

So if someone murders a person or assassinates a political figure out of disagreement with what they have to say, we suppose, Mr. Black, that it is the victim's fault for miscalculating the extent of response of the murderer or assassin, the magnitude of his or her insanity?

A letter writer from Detroit, saying he was against Mr. Wallace, finds nevertheless the treatment of him to run counter to Southern traditions of graciousness and chivalry. He suggests that Charlotteans ought be ashamed, that the treatment suggested that they did not believe in freedom of speech. The city, he ventures, was more foolish than Mr. Wallace.

A letter writer from Los Angeles, born in Abbeville, S.C., writes a letter to Governor Gregg Cherry expressing pride in North Carolinians for showing, in their rejection of former Vice-President Wallace, that they would not abide Communists. He suggests that their noses had been sensitive to a "rotten fish".

Exactly: HUAC.

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