The Charlotte News
Wednesday, March 11, 1953
Site Ed. Note: The front page reports, via Forrest Edwards, that rain, snow and clouds restricted the Korean War to scattered small raids and patrol fights this date. U.S. Sabre jets encountered no enemy jets and all other allied warplanes had been grounded. The previous night, 14 B-29s had pushed through heavy weather and dropped high explosives on a combination officers school and supply dump ten miles north of Sinanju on the west coast.
The U.S. Eighth Army said that enemy casualties for the week ending the prior Saturday had been 1,380 killed, 920 wounded and four captured, about 300 more casualties than the previous week.
The Army issued a draft call for 53,000 men in May, the same number sought during the months of February, March and April. It would bring the total drafted men earmarked for service to 1,414,430 since Selective Service had resumed in September, 1950, following the start of the Korean War on June 25, 1950. Since the previous May, only the Army was drafting, after the Marine Corps had discontinued use of the draft after drafting 81,430 men. The Navy and Air Force had depended entirely on volunteer enlistments.
In Wiesbaden, West Germany, two U.S. Air Force pilots said this date that they had made no attempt to fight back when two Communist MIG-15s from the Czechoslovak Air Force had attacked them without warning inside the U.S. zone of Germany, shooting down one of the jet fighters. One of the pilots declined to say why they had refused to retaliate. At the Pentagon, the Air Force said that it knew of no directive or instruction which would have prevented the pilots from answering the question. Dr. James Conant, the U.S. High Commissioner in West Germany, said the previous day that he was confident that the Air Force would know in the future how to deal with such incidents, taken to mean that U.S. pilots would return fire against invading planes over U.S.-occupied territory in the future. The Air Force was not completely equipped in Europe to cope with the fast Russian-made jets, with only one of six fighter wings in Europe equipped with Sabre jets, which had been beating the MIG-15s in Korean combat. The other five units had the slower F-84 fighter-bombers. The State Department said that U.S. Ambassador George Wadsworth had protested to the Communist regime in Prague regarding the incident. It had been the first time that Communist aircraft had shot down an American plane over U.S.-held territory, and produced great alarm in Western Europe, where the governments were awaiting signs of future policy from the new Soviet regime under Premier Georgi Malenkov. The pilot of the plane which had been shot down parachuted to safety. The other plane was not hit, the pilot having having fled from the attack, which occurred 7 to 10 miles inside the U.S. zone of West Germany, near the Czech frontier. Both pilots said the plane which had been shot down was hit without warning. The Pentagon said that American pilots were expected to return fire, if possible, when attacked, and that upon finding a Communist plane inside U.S.-controlled territory, were supposed to order the pilot to land at the nearest U.S. airfield, failing which, to compel obedience by gunfire. Senator Ralph Flanders of Vermont said that the U.S. ought give the Czechs the benefit of the doubt on this particular incident, but that two incidents would constitute a trend and three would be a certainty, making it necessary to show strength in response. Senator Alexander Wiley stated that the Communists were trigger-happy, and Senator John Sparkman said that the incident looked serious.
At the U.N. in New York, the U.S. charged this date before the General Assembly, through U.N. Ambassador Henry Cabot Lodge, Jr., that Russia's bosses had embarked on a policy of imperialism, not because of fear of aggression by other countries, but because of fear of their own people. He said that the Soviet Union had lost the respect of the world because of its policy of "violent words and violent deeds", at which the Assembly applauded loudly. Ambassador Lodge rejected the charges of Russia's Andrei Gromyko that the U.S. was doing everything in its power to prolong the Korean War and had committed atrocities in the war. Mr. Lodge reminded that the U.S. Army which Mr. Gromyko sought to smear was the same which had stood beside the Russian Army in defeating the Nazis in Europe during World War II. Earlier, British Foreign Secretary Anthony Eden had called on the Communist bloc to agree to the Indian Korean plan, adopted overwhelmingly by the Assembly the prior December, to permit Communist prisoners who did not wish to return home to stay behind. He said that World War III need not break out and encouraged continued support of the U.N. as a place to settle the differences between nations without war.
A Senate Internal Security subcommittee heard testimony from Dr. Harry Gideonse, president of Brooklyn College, anent "organized subversion" among the nation's schools and colleges. Since the previous fall when the investigation had begun, six members of the faculty of Brooklyn College had refused to reveal to the subcommittee whether they had ever been members of the Communist Party, while another testified that he was not presently a Communist, but refused to say whether he had been a member in 1940-41 at the time of a New York State legislative investigation of Communism in the schools. A subcommittee statement said that six of those seven faculty members had been suspended by the College, and that one had resigned the day before he testified pursuant to subpoena. All had invoked the Fifth Amendment privilege against self-incrimination. The previous day, a faculty member who described herself as a former Communist Party leader, testified that Communists had penetrated both the New York State Department of Education and the New York City Board of Education, saying in a written statement to the subcommittee following the hearing that she had been referring to employees and not Board members. She did not provide names or specify the time period. In Albany, N.Y., Dr. Lewis Wilson, State education commissioner, had told a reporter that he could say without reservation that to his knowledge there had never been anyone in the department who was known to have been connected with the Communist Party. A spokesman for the New York City Board of Education said that they had dismissed 23 employees and suspended eight others in recent years as subversives or for refusing to say whether they had been Communists, and that the effort to weed out subversives was ongoing.
Representative Franklin D. Roosevelt, Jr., this date asked the House to remove Representative Harold Velde of Illinois as chairman of HUAC, based on "the admittedly false and reckless charges" Mr. Velde had made against Agnes Meyer, his threatened investigation of Communists among clergymen, and the fact that Mr. Velde had acted in both instances without consultation of fellow members of the Committee.
A House Appropriations subcommittee this date indicated that eight Cabinet officers in the Truman Administration had been listed among a group of Federal officials who allegedly had abused the Government's annual leave program "to fatten their own purses". The list included former Secretary of Agriculture Charles Brannan, former Secretary of Commerce Charles Sawyer, former Secretary of Defense Robert Lovett, former Secretary of Interior Oscar Chapman, former Secretary of Labor Maurice Tobin, former Postmaster General Jesse Donaldson, former Secretary of State Acheson, and former Secretary of the Treasury, John W. Snyder, listing the amounts received by each for accrued leave as "severance pay", ranging from nearly $7,000 down to $2,500. No accumulated leave was listed for former Attorney General James McGranery, the last Attorney General of the Truman Administration. The report said that Congress had never intended accrued leave to be settled on a cash basis, though the Cabinet members believed that they were accepting that to which they were entitled. The subcommittee indicated that converting leave into cash amounts violated the intent of Congress, which was to provide leave to improve employee morale and efficiency by providing adequate vacation.
A bill sponsored by Congressman Daniel Reed of New York to neutralize the 11 percent tax increase occasioned by the Korean War, by providing a 10 percent tax cut starting on July 1, appeared likely this date to face a test vote in the House in mid-April, according to Congressman Reed, who intended to force a vote on the floor if the Rules Committee did not act by April 15. He could demand a vote on the bill at any time, but if he did so, it would be subject to amendment, and rather than allowing for that possibility, he had requested the Rules Committee to protect it with a special rule, a request twice rejected by chairman Leo Allen, who said that he did not intend to change his ruling unless the Federal Treasury indicated that the tax cut could be withstood.
In New York, the Coast Guard reported this date that 28 crew members of a tanker which had broken up some 400 miles southeast of St. John's, Newfoundland, during a storm, had been rescued, but that eight, including all of the officers and the captain's wife, were missing. The tanker, under charter to the Gulf Oil Co., and operated by a Greek firm, had caught fire and exploded three days earlier, the cause of the fire not being immediately explained.
In Raleigh, the State Senate Judiciary Committee 2 this date issued a favorable report on a proposed automobile inspection measure to allow safety inspections by private garages, with chairman H. Pou Bailey not revealing how individual members of the Committee had voted, stating that the vote was 6 to 4 in favor of the bill. A State Senator on the Committee challenged the chairman on the point, contending that a formal vote ought be taken as with any other measure. The previous Friday, Mr. Bailey had ordered the press to leave the hearing, a request met with great protest, so as not to embarrass members before they had a chance to discuss the measure with their constituents. The previous vehicle inspection law, passed by the 1947 General Assembly, had run into public criticism because of long lines at the inspection stations operated by the State, leading to its abrogation in 1949.
State Representative John Umstead of Orange County introduced a bill to remove the State's prisons from control by the State Highway Commission, to place them under a new State Prisons Department, to be run by a five-member commission and a prisons director, the commissioners to be named by the Governor for six-year terms and the director, by the commissioners.
Prime Minister Nehru of India was sending a 15-year old elephant, named "Hope", as a gift to the children of Communist China, according to a Foreign Ministry spokesman this date.
In Hollywood, Robert Mitchum and his wife had embarked on a trial separation, with Mr. Mitchum having moved into an apartment while hoping for early reconciliation, according to RKO Studios. The couple had been childhood sweethearts and had three children, and the cause of the problem was not provided.
On the editorial page, "For an Emergency, a Compromise" again deals with the Firemen's Retirement Fund, indicating that the City Council the previous day had heard 2 1/2 hours of talk and had gone more than halfway toward a workable compromise regarding the fund. If you wish to know more about that compromise, you may read the piece.
"Better Than No Zoning Bill at All" indicates that County Commissioner Sam McNinch had indicated he was satisfied with the county zoning bill as presently drawn, and the piece agrees. If you wish to know more about this hot issue and be among the au courant, you may read the piece.
"The Editorial" provides a quote from the late William Allen White, longtime editor of the Emporia (Kans.) Gazette, that the editorial was "more than a mere literary impulse", that it should be "a free expression upon the news or the tendency of the day, written briefly and bravely by a wise, kind-hearted man", that "bitterness, bias and fear" had no place in an editorial, making for "weakness, no matter how much they bluster…" He had also said that a newspaper had the obligation to print only the truth as fast as humanly possible and to comment upon the truth as candidly and as kindly as humanly possible, never "forgetting to be merry the while, for after all, the liar and the cheat and the panderer are smaller offenders than the solemn ass."
"How Silly Can You Get Dept." asks whether one felt under the weather, with shortness of breath, or was worried about gaining weight, says that if so, not to go to the doctor but rather to the photographer and have him take a picture and send it to the doctor so that a diagnosis could then be provided. It finds this new diagnostic technique, while sounding preposterous, to have been employed with a straight face by Nashville doctors at the request of the Nashville Tennessean, seeking a medical profile of the new Soviet Premier, Georgi Malenkov.
Six of the 15 physicians interviewed said that he might have a "glandular experience", a cardiac condition, or Cushing's disease, possibly ripe to blow a fuse under pressure, with a life expectancy in his 50's cut by 40 percent for his weight of 250 pounds on a 5'7" frame.
Little was known about the new Soviet leader in his own country, let alone abroad, and it regards as "the ultimate in poppycock", the assessments rendered by these doctors, pointing out that Winston Churchill, at 78, was stout, but still running Britain, commenting that some said also the U.S. That was so, despite his inordinate intake of cognac and nicotine. G.E.'s president, Charles Wilson, former Defense Mobilizer, was "beet-faced" and yet was many years older than Mr. Malenkov. Senator Pat McCarran, at 77, had a "pompous paunch".
It suggests that Americans were again trying to wish their way into a better world, finds it too early to make an assessment of the new Russian leader, compliments the nine other Nashville physicians who maintained a sensible silence on the matter. It criticizes the Tennessean for producing the story, distributing it to the Associated Press, and also the newspapers, including The News, which had carried it.
A piece from the Raleigh News & Observer, titled "What Uncle Sam's Men Do in N.C.", indicates that Civil Service Commission figures showed that 27,146 residents of the state worked for various branches of the Federal Government, 18,496 of whom worked outside the Post Office Department. Of those, 2,747 worked for the Veterans Administration and 11,505 for the Defense Department, leaving 4,244 who collected taxes, tended to agricultural programs, health, welfare, labor, parks, FBI, foreign affairs, Federal courts, weather bureaus, air safety and narcotics.
It figures therefore that those who worked at the business of past and future wars amounted to 14,352 of the total 18,496 Federal workers in the state. (The arithmetic actually adds to 14,252, assuming no typographical errors, but we do not wish to appear as a solemn ass and so assume that the piece found another 100 such workers somewhere in the figures.)
A. Z. F. Wood, Jr., writing in the Daily Tar Heel, the UNC student newspaper, tells of some of the jargon used in sports writing. Since most sports writing has just been canceled for the remainder of the spring of 2020, you may read it on your own, for nostalgia.
Examples: "What is a football player? A gridder." "What is a football? A pigskin." "What does the gridder do with the pigskin? He carries the mail or lugs the leather." "What is a touchdown? That's when you hit pay dirt." "What is a football coach? A mentor." "What do you do when you score a basket? Ripple the nets."
You can see that it is all very complex. But he does not answer the question as to the derivation of the term "snowbird", which appears to have fallen into disfavor many years ago in reference to uncontested, fast-break layups in basketball. Apparently, it derives from the notion that the snowbird appears alone on the snow. But does the snowbird steal? And why does it have to be a snowbird as opposed to any other sort of bird or even a bull? Couldn't you just as easily say that the player scored on a cuckoo or an uncontested bullshot? And why did sports commentators stop using the term "snowbird"? Inquiring minds need to know.
Incidentally, since we are fond of pointing out ironic coincidences both between historical events and between historical and current events, we should note that the prior Thursday night, March 5, 1953, in Raleigh, UNC, under coach Frank McGuire in his first season at the helm, lost to N.C. State in the first round of the Southern Conference Tournament, 86 to 54, the last such tournament in which the eight original Atlantic Coast Conference schools would participate before forming the latter league during the spring of 1953. We point it out because that game represents the largest margin of defeat of a UNC team in any post-season conference tournament in the 110 seasons of the school's basketball program. It remains so, but only barely, as on the night of March 11, 2020, UNC lost to Syracuse by 28 points, 81 to 53, a team which UNC had beaten at Syracuse on February 29, 92 to 79. The margin is, however, the largest margin of defeat of any UNC team in an A.C.C. Tournament game since joining the A.C.C. in the 1953-54 season, previously having been 26 points to Duke in 2001.
fact that the final score in 2020 was eerily close to both the losing margin
and score of the 1953 game, the last Southern Conference game UNC
ever played, suggests, we suppose, that ghosts still walk the earth,
in some manner at least, either by residual memories or otherwise, whether malevolent or friendly being dependent on tendentious affinity to either Blue or Orange
We recognize, however, that it is probably a bit easier for those of us who follow with some passion UNC basketball, those of us who were born with Carolina-blue blood, to accept those decisions this season with a degree of equanimity than perhaps those of other schools, who were going to advance in both the A.C.C. Tournament and the N.C.A.A. Tournament, the latter foreclosed to UNC this season by dint of their overall record, which did not reach expectations but which we regard as a growing process, to serve next year as a constant reminder and spur on the team's way to the national championship, to combine with the football team's national championship. You watch. We not kid.
To all the teams and schools, players and fans, we simply say that there is always next season and we hope that all of the eligible players will return to school to complete their education, which, at the end of the day, is far more important than athletics and earning millions of dollars while still in one's teens or early twenties. Perhaps, if there is any lasting lesson to take from this noisome virus, it is that it took an international health crisis to bring home those greater priorities, provided, of course, society may learn that lesson and return stress where it belongs for college students, to their academic excellence and not athletic prowess to the exclusion of education, the purpose of admission of any student to an institution of higher learning, the opportunity of a lifetime to obtain a quality education, not as a preparatory course for the NBA or NFL.
One other saving grace, probably, in the cancellation of the N.C.A.A. Tournament is that we now will not be beset in 2020 by those awful, redundant, cornball commercials of one sort or another, which proliferate during March Madness and condescend to viewers older than about five. We like Spike Lee movies generally, and we find Laurence Fishburne to be usually a very fine actor, and Charles Barkley is usually a very entertaining sports commentator; but come on, do we really need another phony commercial where Coach K appears to be in the same scene with the other three, while actually having been filmed separately in some studio probably in Durham, with either a still or stand-in of the right rear of Mr. Lee's profile stuck in for a measure of authenticity? Stop patronizing the viewers with such nonsensical, cutesy-wootsy stuff for kindergarteners. Here's a hint, Mr. Advertising Man: The average viewer of the N.C.A.A. Basketball Tournament went to college somewhere or will go to college somewhere in the future, and their educational level is therefore generally higher than kindergarten. The N.C.A.A. Tournament is not the Super Bowl.
Larry, keep up the good work in the movies. And, despite pestilence, famine or flood, the games will still proceed in our imaginations
Drew Pearson tells of Eric Johnston, currently head of the motion picture promotion and censorship office, probably having been the only American ever to have had lunch with new Russian Premier Georgi Malenkov, when Mr. Johnston, as then-president of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, had visited Moscow in 1944. Mr. Johnston had found him to be a man with a handshake like a sponge, who disliked the West and sat through the entire luncheon almost without saying a word. He had never been out of the Soviet Union, was half-Russian and half-Tartar, and had almost no association with non-Communist foreigners. Mr. Pearson notes that the most notable event of the luncheon had been a drinking bout between U.S. military attaché, Maj. General John Deane, and a Russian general, in which General Deane had managed to drink the Russian under the table, causing two Russians to drag the latter from the room feet first with his head bumping the floor.
During a conference between Mr. Johnston and Stalin, it had been disclosed how much other Politburo members depended on the dictator for making decisions. Initially, Stalin had sat glowering behind his desk, doodling with a pencil and answering questions in monosyllables, obviously unhappy to be interviewed. When Mr. Johnston, seeing a doodle of a woman doing contortions, asked him what he was drawing, asking whether it was Miss America in distress, Stalin had responded, "No, why?" to which Mr. Johnston replied that he was in distress, himself, that he had been invited there as a guest of the Russian Government but found himself treated as an intruder. At that point, Stalin put the pencil down, glowered at Mr. Johnston and finally said that he was a rude old man, that there had been a time when he was pleasant, but now he had problems with the Soviet Army, Soviet production, and the Soviet Air Force. He also said that Foreign Minister V. M. Molotov could afford to be pleasant because he did not make decisions, that Stalin made them for him. After that exchange, Stalin had become relaxed and pleasant and answered all of Mr. Johnston's questions, demonstrating an amazing knowledge of industrial production in other countries. When Mr. Johnston had asked him what Russia intended to do with its new steel output after the war, Stalin had replied that they would make automobiles, that whereas Russia had only made 350,000 per year prior to the war, the U.S. made five million per year and so had a great headstart, which Mr. Johnston corrected as four million per year, only to have Stalin insist that it was five million, a discrepancy which Mr. Johnston later checked, finding that Stalin had been correct when including both trucks and automobiles.
The President had told a luncheon of 21 Congressmen, following his return from Augusta, Ga., after his three-day golfing weekend recently, that the less said about his golf game, the better. He said that he had two pars and thought that he was doing pretty well, but then scored an eight on each of the next four holes. He said that it was, nevertheless, "a delightful rest". One of the President's golfing partners, John Hay Whitney, a famous sportsman, told the President that he had a horse, named "Straight Face", running in the rich Flamingo stakes at Hialeah, Fla., the same day and that the horse had won a record purse of $116,400. The President said that Mr. Whitney had heard the news when he returned to the clubhouse, but that it had not excited him, causing the President to conclude that he had a lot of money.
After the luncheon with the Congressmen, there had been a moment of suspense, when it was discovered that a pearl-studded sword, given to the President by Queen Wilhelmina of Holland, was missing from its place in the upstairs living room. General Wilton Persons, the President's legislative adviser, was dispatched to hunt for the sword, finally finding it in a lower floor room where its box was being repaired. The President appeared relieved, saying that the sword was the real thing, that the pearls were natural, not cultured, and that he had insured it for $50,000.
Roscoe Drummond of the Christian Science Monitor seeks to answer a question which had arisen in the wake of the Congressional investigation of institutions of higher learning and the public schools for infiltration of Communists and Communist sympathizers, as to whether Congress had authority to make such investigations, given that private schools and colleges were completely independent of government and that public schools were under the authority of state and local governments. The question had been raised not to prevent investigation but to determine which arm of the government, whether Federal or state, should accept responsibility for the investigation.
Historically, Congress had the right, as upheld by the courts, to investigate any area of policy or action over which it possessed the right to legislate, and to compel testimony in furtherance of those investigations. That provided wide latitude for Congress to investigate, but also placed a boundary on the power. Congress had investigated corruption in the Federal Government because it had the power to authorize money for the executive branch to spend. Congress had investigated Communists in the Government because it had the legislative authority in all of those fields. It had investigated Communists in labor unions because, through Taft-Hartley, it had legislated against Communists and labor unions, requiring a non-Communist oath by officers for their union to partake in NLRB collective bargaining.
The question boiled down to whether the investigation of Communists in the schools, which included the HUAC investigation in the House and the investigation by the committee chaired by Senator William Jenner in the Senate, was undertaken to prepare legislation related to the public schools. That would suggest injecting the Federal Government into the administration and conduct of the public schools, which were considered to be the exclusive province of the states, perceived as contrary to the basis on which the new Administration had been elected, to steer away from Federal domination in deference to state and local governments in areas historically within their purview.
Some witnesses appearing before these committees had asserted their Constitutional rights to refuse to answer certain questions, and Congress would likely be requested to cite those witnesses for contempt of Congress. Under those circumstances, Congress was running a risk of being unable to protect its investigative powers when used too loosely. The courts had supported the right of Congress to cite witnesses for contempt on the basis that Congress had to have free rein to ask searching questions preparatory to legislation.
The Congressional Quarterly examines the loans made in North Carolina between 1935 and 1951 via the Federal Housing Administration, which had insured 34,365 loans amounting to $197,803,000. The FHA had been created in 1934 as a self-sustaining agency whose operations were financed by income from its insurance programs. By the end of 1952, FHA had insured property improvement and home construction loans totaling more than 29 billion dollars, its record year having been 1950, when it insured about 4.3 billion dollars in loans, with 3.2 billion in 1951 and 3.1 billion in 1952. The largest FHA program was for home mortgage insurance, in which it had insured mortgages worth about 18.5 billion dollars during its existence.
The piece goes on providing numerous statistics related to FHA and the Public Housing Administration in the nation and North Carolina, concluding that at the end of 1952, PHA owned or supervised 3,239 active projects with 718,547 housing units, 72 of which, with 11,549 units, were in North Carolina. Of those, 59 were low-rent public housing projects with 9,097 dwelling units, compared to the entire nation and its territories, having 2,125 such projects with 436,793 dwelling units. Since 1940, PHA had administered various emergency housing programs, such as war housing to meet the needs of defense workers. In North Carolina, there were nine such war housing projects with 1,953 units at the end of 1952.
A letter writer from Morganton has a few words to say about the automobile inspection law, believes that the state had a good inspection law passed in 1947, which had made the writer safety conscious, costing him about $40 in 1948 to bring his 1938 Hudson up to standards, having to replace clouded glass and a worn front wheel assembly, worth the cost in better visibility and steering. He suggests that the problem with the original law, the long lines at the inspection stations, could have been resolved by giving priority to vehicle owners with a deadline to meet. He knew of a Model A Ford owner who never was able to have his car inspected in 1949 because of a lack of priority, whereas owners of new cars obtained inspection stickers quickly.
A letter writer from Chapel Hill tells of a child's world containing many small things, a favorite toy, a playmate, a pet. She indicates that crippled children, however, were not free to play and exchange ideas with their parents and friends. She suggests contributing to the annual Easter Seal campaign presently being conducted in Charlotte, with the greater share of every dollar, 91.7 percent, going to the crippled children of North Carolina, and the remainder to support a nationwide three-point program of research, education and direct services.
A letter from three soldiers in Korea, of the Anti-Tank Company, 7th Marines, 1st Marine Division, indicates that they were from North Carolina and had found mail slacking off after they had been in Korea for awhile, wanted very much to hear from anyone in North Carolina, "especially young ladies". Their address is provided, should you be a young lady and desire to write them. Presumably, if you are either not young or not a lady, forget it.
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