The Charlotte News

Monday, September 6, 1948


Site Ed. Note: The front page reports that in Berlin, Communist-led demonstrators broke into City Hall using battering rams. Two American correspondents inside the building were injured in fist fights. The object, as with the prior two recent demonstrations, apparently was to force the anti-Communist City Government to resign. The Soviet-controlled police made no attempt to halt the entry.

In Warsaw, the Polish Communist Workers Party began a purge of nationalist members who failed to adhere to Marxist-Leninist ideology, and called for a "class war" in farm villages throughout Poland. They assembled at the behest of President Boleslaw Bierut. The Vice-Premier and secretary-general of the party, who had backed the Yugoslav Communists, was purged and the President installed in his stead as secretary-general.

The State Department said that the Bulgarian Government had framed an American diplomat, the Vice-Consul of the Sofia legation, when he had been ousted from the country on a charge of spying. The Bulgarian Government charged that he had obtained important written espionage from two Bulgarians who were agents for American intelligence.

President Truman addressed about 20,000 people at 8:15 a.m. at Grands Rapids, Mich., this Labor Day, saying that Congress had passed no low-cost housing measure because Senator Taft had run out on his own bill, the Taft-Ellender-Wagner bill. He attacked the real estate lobby for its effort in sidetracking the provisions of the legislation calling for public housing and slum clearance. He advocated a price control law. Applause, it records, was only scattered. He then moved aboard his train to five other stops for speeches in Michigan. He had stopped at Harrisburg and Altoona, Pa., the night before.

His principal speech this day was in Detroit.

In North Jersey, 4,300 truck drivers joined 10,000 already on strike in New York. Stocks were dwindling in many stores, especially food markets, as a result of the strike.

In Switzerland, the Matterhorn apparently had claimed four lives of Swiss climbers who had been missing since Friday after they sought to reach the 14,780-foot summit without a guide.

In the Philippines, the continuing eruption of Mt. Hibokhibok for the sixth straight day had thus far claimed five lives and displaced about 29,000 of the 45,000 residents of Camiguin Island. It was feared that the volcano would emit poison gases.

In Amsterdam, Princess Juliana formally ascended the throne to succeed her mother, Queen Wilhemina, 68, who had just abdicated after 50 years. The ceremony saw the largest gathering of European royalty since the wedding of Princess Elizabeth of Britain the previous November.

In Charlotte, Red Cross workers continued on Labor Day to collect blood for the blood bank, with an announced goal of 11,700 donors.

In Cleveland, Maj. Richard L. Johnson, in an F-86 Sabre jet, failed to break officially the record of 651 mph set in a Navy research plane, though he had been unofficially clocked at 670 mph as an average on six passes of the field. But because of inclement weather, he flew off course on one pass and a camera jammed on another, disqualifying his run for the record. He said that he stood ready to try again.

The Bendix cross-country race to Los Angeles was still to come, vying for a $40,000 prize.

In Hollywood, stars turned out to raise money for a 100-bed wing of St. John's Hospital in Santa Monica, taking in $200,000 to $250,000 in conjunction with the Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey Circus on Saturday night. Greer Garson, Gary Cooper, Danny Kaye, Edgar Bergen, Keenan Wynn, Ed Wynn, Ronald Coleman, Frank Sinatra, Bing Crosby, Jack Carson, Dennis O'Keefe, Buster Keaton, Van Johnson, Betty Grable, Virginia Bruce, Elizabeth Taylor, Dianna Lynn, Audrey Totter, Lizabeth Scott, June Havoc, Ann Blyth, William Powell, Virginia Mayo, Lucille Ball, Celeste Holm, Margaret O'Brien, Sabu, Ann Miller, Maureen O'Sullivan, Lex Barker, Esther Williams, Robert Cummings, Rhonda Fleming, Carmen Miranda, Bob Hope, Dorothy Lamour, Burt Lancaster, Glenn Ford, Alan Ladd, Loretta Young, Peter Lawford, Irene Dunne, Claudette Colbert, Barbara Stanwyck, and Barry Fitzgerald all donned circus attire and roles to please the assembled patrons. You may read of each role each played. There will be a quiz later.

On the editorial page, "Labor Day" celebrates the day first begun in 1882 in New York by the Knights of Labor to celebrate organized labor. Now, it represented all labor. It was important, it ventures, to ask why we labor. It answers that while on one level, it was for basic subsistence, on another it was to serve the world. American labor had served the world during World War II to break the back of fascism and now was engaged in rebuilding the war-torn nations.

America should not look down its noses at other nations, it opines, because they had not matched the industrial achievement of the U.S. It was cause for pride, not complacency. American labor had to make the world secure. That was the goal when people would return to work on Tuesday. The U.S. had to show to the world that free enterprise meant a free people, free to choose the course of one's life.

"Wallace and the South" quotes from a piece from Harper's in 1869 by Major John William De Forest of the U.S. Army Freedmen's Bureau in Greenville, S.C., suggesting that sectionalism between North and South had to end to assure solidarity in the nation, that it was more beneficial for the South for it to be so. The passage, from page 340 of the second of the two above-referenced issues, had been quoted in A Union Office in the Reconstruction, recently published by the Yale University Press:When will this sectional aversion end? I can only offer the obvious reflection that it is desirable for both North and South, but especially for the weaker of the two, that it should end as quickly as possible. For the sake of the entire republic we should endeavor to make all our citizens feel that they are Americans, and nothing but Americans. If we do not accomplish this end, we shall not rival the greatness of the Romans. It was not patricianism which made Rome great so much as the vast community and bonded strength of Roman citizenship. Let us remember in our legislation the law of solidarity: the fact that no section of a community can be injured without injuring the other sections; that the perfect prosperity of the whole depends upon the prosperity of all the parts.

The piece finds the egging of Henry Wallace in the South to have been symptomatic of misunderstanding between the regions. The barrages were aimed at Mr. Wallace's views on civil rights and his decision to stay in the homes and hotels of black people during his Southern tour.

As Dr. Howard Odum of UNC had pointed out in a book published the previous year, the South believed it had been making great strides in race relations for some time, as violence had diminished and black participation in political, cultural and economic life was on the increase. But when coercive civil rights legislation was proposed, the Southern mind became defensive and the movement toward tolerance and fairness slowed.

It posits that eggs and tomatoes and the people who threw them were unreasonable, but that the unthinking idealist who proposed revolution rather than evolution was also unreasoning. Such a person was going against Major De Forest's "law of solidarity", which had to break down the wall of misunderstanding between the South and the rest of the nation.

It would be a lot easier if so many uneducated and undereducated Southerners so often did not behave as idiotic fools in search of a brain to share.

The issue is no more regional solidarity than it is race. It is a matter of thinking it through and seeing how idiotic it is to be prejudiced against anyone whom you have never encountered as an individual. It is, of course, sometimes in daily intercourse, quite easy to find from negative encounters in fact exemplars seemingly perfectly fitted to preexisting stereotypes of one sort or the other.

We must also bear in mind, however, that most of these stereotypical persons, though not always, are callow youth, persons with limited education, of poor background, or a mix of all three components in a dangerous cocktail. While exasperating, patience must be accorded them to enable slow learning at their slow pace.

So you might slowly ask the question, next time you encounter such a person, "" And make no sudden gestures as it agitates them unduly.

"Mr. Thomas and the Gecko" tells of Mrs. Wynford Vaughn Thomas, in her Kensington home in England, having seen a gecko bite her husband and screamed right at the screen. Her husband, a television broadcaster, did not scream, proceeded instead to pry loose the gecko's teeth from his finger. All the while, the episode was being broadcast live by a television crew from the London Zoo.

Mr. Thomas had gone to the zoo with his television crew to capture animal impressions, maybe a cockatoo or two. He was describing the sweet disposition of the gecko when it bit him.

It wonders whether the television camera would become the Pinkerton of the future, able to sweep nightclubs in search of the spouse claiming to work late and then broadcast the actual story to the other spouse, or enable an accused murderer to prove his presence instead at the races when the murder occurred, because his visage had appeared on the tv screen.

Would the overly ambitious sports fan "lose his sanity wrapped in a blanket" while watching the televised Duke-UNC football game or the Wake Forest-N.C. State affair or the Army-Navy contest?

You have no idea how prophetic you have waxed, 15 years into the future.

A piece from the Wall Street Journal, titled "Both Ends and the Middle", finds the President campaigning on the promise to bring prices down if elected. Vice-presidential nominee Senator Alben Barkley had said in Illinois that a Republican President would mean lower farm prices.

So, it concludes, that a Truman-Barkley Administration would see to it that farmers received high prices and consumers bought at low prices. "And happy days will be here—yet."

Robert Allen, substituting for vacationing Drew Pearson, tells of intimates of John L. Lewis whispering that he might soon retire. At 68, he was not in good health. His successor would be Tom Kennedy, UMW vice-president.

CIO president Philip Murray had been highly critical of the Progressive Party, as CIO voted to back the Truman-Barkley ticket. He said that those who were talking about civil rights were not doing much to help their cause in the South, that the CIO was the organization which permitted whites and blacks to join the same union, was doing more than merely talking about civil rights. Albert Fitzgerald of the United Electrical Workers, supporting Mr. Wallace, had opposed the endorsement of the President, but remained silent after the diatribe of Mr. Murray.

Walter Reuther, predicts Mr. Allen, would be overwhelmingly re-elected president of UAW.

George Meany, AFL secretary-treasurer, said that he had never voted Republican in his life and would not start doing so in 1948.

AFL president William Green, though 75, would not quit the position during this year. His re-election was certain. His successor would likely be either Mr. Meany or George Harrison of the Railway Clerks Brotherhood.

What about Mr. Blue? If not him, Mr. Holy would do.

Bill Hutcheson, head of the carpenters' union and an ardent Republican, was not invited to the AFL executive board meeting which endorsed the President. He was no longer head of the RNC labor division which he headed each quadrennial from 1932-44, probably because he had the previous year opposed Taft-Hartley.

Joseph & Stewart Alsop tell of more than a thousand Soviet occupation troops and civilians in Germany deserting each month for the American zone. That was so, despite the good chance that they would be caught by the Soviet secret police, killed if caught, and their families in Russia made to suffer. The best for which they could hope if they succeeded was a shadowy half-life without a country. Something over 13,000, 4,000 of whom were officers, including two generals, had followed this path during the previous year. About 3,000 were civilians. There were likely many more who were unknown and others who had deserted to the British zone or to Austria or other bordering countries.

For awhile after the war, an agreement was followed by the Americans to return deserters to the Soviets, thus to certain death. But that policy had been quietly abandoned except in cases where the Russians could precisely identify the person and specify where he could be located, a rare occurrence. The British had never returned the deserters and so desertion probably had been even higher to that zone.

American officials had learned that many of the deserters could provide valuable information, though many were simple peasants and workers.

The rate of desertion betrayed the fact that the Soviet system had been a dismal failure. The fact that the Soviet leadership was seeking to isolate the Soviet sphere was another such indicator. It did not mean that the Soviet system of leadership was crumbling, for there were thousands more who stayed for every deserter who left. But the system at its core was rotten.

Max Hall discusses the World Council of Churches declaration that the Christian Church should reject both Communistic and capitalistic ideologies. Charles Taft, brother of Senator Robert Taft, had sought amendment of the report to say instead that the Council rejected only laissez-faire or unregulated capitalism. The amendment was adopted.

The original concept of Adam Smith, that the free market should be the only regulation of capitalism, was no longer popular in Europe and increasingly was becoming unpopular in the United States.

It was unclear what the Council did favor. Dr. John Bennett, an American delegate to the meeting, who, along with Mr. Taft, was on the committee which drafted the report, said that it was "experimentation between certain limits", similar to the democratic Socialism being practiced by the Labour Government in England.

A letter from State Senator R. M. Kennedy of Kershaw County remarks on the July 17 front page article by Managing Editor Pete McKnight regarding DNC treasurer and State Senator Joe Blythe, finding Mr. Blythe both apologetic and incriminating. Mr. Kennedy had attended the Democratic convention in Philadelphia and says that he could understand the frustration Mr. Blythe felt for not having any input to party decisions. Mr. Blythe had claimed that he was not consulted by DNC chairman J. Howard McGrath when the decision was made to desegregate party headquarters staff. The "mongrel aggregation" of the DNC leadership had so transacted business, he suggests, for some time.

Secretary of the Army Kenneth Royall, from North Carolina, was likewise not consulted in the decision by the President to desegregate the Army. Mr. Kennedy appears to wonder why Secretary Royall had not determined to disobey the President's order.

Well, since that would be met, no doubt, by the President issuing an immediate demand for Secretary Royall's resignation, perhaps it is better for some low-ranking idiots in State Legislatures to shut up about things of which they know nothing and stick to local bread and buttermilk issues of which they usually know too much but nevertheless befitting their pay grade.

A letter writer says that there appeared to be a race ongoing between food supply and world population with population outrunning supply. He wants an extensive farm program undertaken in foreign countries and improved domestically.

A letter writer finds the tomato and egg throwers in Charlotte at the appearance of Henry Wallace the previous week to have been childish and denying of the basic right of free speech. They appeared not to take democracy too seriously.

As good New Dealers themselves, no doubt, they were simply making the political statement, however woolly of expression, that Mr. Wallace did not breakfast on grilled millionaire.

A letter writer finds "Dixiecrat" to have been a misnomer and one which should have never first appeared in print in The News, its origin owing to the practical need to shorten headlines, thus catching on with the press nationally. He thinks that the states' rights advocates were not confined to Dixie.

Perhaps not geographically, but in mind and spirit, certainly.

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