The Charlotte News

Saturday, July 4, 1953


Site Ed. Note: The front page reports that the President's emissary to Korea, Assistant Secretary of State Walter Robertson, trying to effect cooperation from South Korean President Syngman Rhee in his vow to fight on in spite of the truce if it were to leave Korea divided, told newsmen this date that the date's session with President Rhee, the eighth in nine days, had been helpful in reaching a satisfactory solution, but would not say whether the two had reached any form of agreement which would break the deadlock, preventing the truce terms, already agreed upon between the U.N. Command and the Communists, from being signed and implemented. Meanwhile, General Sun Yup Paik, South Korea's Army chief of staff, said that he and his Army fully supported the President and would fight on alone if so ordered. South Korea's Foreign Minister, Pyung Yung Tai, told newsmen that President Rhee had not altered his demand for a 90-day time limit on the post-armistice conference, after which, if it failed to unify Korea, the war would be resumed, a demand which Mr. Robertson had flatly rejected, according to a high U.N. source. Peiping radio, the voice of Communist China, continued to blast President Rhee for his opposition to the armistice, and for his release some three weeks earlier of the 27,000 North Korean prisoners of war who had expressed desire not to repatriate to their Communist homeland. Extra U.N. guards had been posted around the remaining 8,000 North Koreans who did not wish repatriation, to prevent further escape or attempt by the South Korean military forcibly to enable their escape.

Along the front, U.S. troops celebrated July 4 with thunderous barrages of artillery, mortars and tanks all along the 155-mile front, shooting into Communist positions starting at midnight and continuing throughout the day. South Korean troops, who had lost "Lookout Mountain" to the enemy on Friday, made no new efforts to retake the hill this date. At "Sniper Ridge" on the central front, the Chinese had suffered about 100 casualties during a five-hour probing attack against allied positions, as the U.N. defenders repulsed the attack with machine guns and grenades. On both sides of "Finger Ridge", allied troops fought briefly with the enemy on Friday night.

The Air Force reported that not a single U.S. Sabre jet had been shot down during the week in aerial combat, whereas the Sabres had claimed 23 MIG-15s destroyed, one other probably destroyed and two damaged during the same period. Six allied aircraft were lost through other causes over enemy territory, including two Sabres.

The Defense Department reported that the new list for the week of 157 new U.S. casualties in the Korean War included 34 dead, 95 wounded in action, 15 missing, one captured and 12 injured by activities unrelated to the war.

Senator Taft this date said that he expected Congress to reject the President's request for authority to send Government-held farm surpluses to allied nations. The Senator said that those on the agriculture committees and from agricultural states were opposed to the plan, that they had their own plans about handling the surpluses. He suggested that the request by the President had actually been a request to separate the farm surplus problem from the foreign aid bill. Senator Hubert Humphrey of Minnesota had sought to attach the President's request to the foreign aid bill, causing bipartisan opposition leading to its defeat. Democrats generally criticized the President's request as seeking a blank check and being a give-away of more than three billion dollars worth of farm commodities presently held by the Government under the price-support program. Senator William Knowland of California, who was handling floor leadership duties while Senator Taft was tending to his health problem, supported the President's request but opposed adding it to the foreign aid bill.

In Budapest, after the surprise ouster of Premier Matyos Rakosi, a veteran Communist who had headed the Communist regime since the prior August, the Hungarian Parliament this date elected a new Government, proposed by the Hungarian Presidium and approved by the members of the Parliament, to be headed by Imre Nagy, who had been one of the five Vice-Premiers in the previous Cabinet. The new Premier had been closely attached to Russia, having fought in Russia at the outbreak of the Revolution in 1917, and after returning to Hungary and being expelled from the Social Democratic Party, had joined the illegal Communist Party, to which he remained loyal.

In Miami Beach, the new president of the National Education Association said that the "book burnings" by the State Department in its Information Services libraries overseas was just a fringe issue, of no great importance to the majority of educators.

In New York, seven boxers pounced on an elderly couple at a nursing home the previous night and savagely mauled them, biting their woman owner, proprietor of the nursing home, and a handyman who had gone to the aid of the couple, before 17 armed policemen intervened, firing 25 shots, killing one of the boxers and capturing four others. A female boxer and her offspring remained at large. The couple were taken to Queens General Hospital, where the woman's condition was described as critical and that of the man as poor. Police indicated that they did not know what had incited the attack by the boxers, but that they might have become excited by a chance wave of the man's cane.

In Sylva, N.C., the one-eyed mountaineer sought in the shotgun slaying on Thursday of a local sheriff, when the latter tried to serve a warrant on him for an assault on a woman with a half-gallon fruit jar full of corn liquor, surrendered peacefully the previous day to an armed posse, after he was found lying in a mountain laurel thicket, with a jug of whiskey in one hand and a loaded shotgun in the other. An inquest into the death of the Sheriff was scheduled for this night. A posse, utilizing bloodhounds, had for a day combed the rugged mountain terrain for the suspect before discovering him, after he had been declared an outlaw Thursday night.

In Lenoir, N.C., medical personnel and volunteer workers arrived in Caldwell County this date to prepare to administer gamma globulin, as an inoculation for about a month, to 10,800 local children, to arrest an outbreak of polio which had struck 82 children, with six new cases reported the previous day and one this date. As a precaution by parents, few children were in the streets. Four clinics, operating 12 hours per day, would administer the inoculations, supplied by the National Foundation for Infantile Paralysis. Thus far, one 12-year old girl had died from polio. Most of the cases had been reported since June 17, when only 26 cases had been on record. Eleven of the 81 patients had been placed in iron lungs. A similar program of inoculation had been conducted in Montgomery, Ala., where 30,000 children had received the temporary treatment, in an effort to curb an epidemic there, after 85 cases of polio had been reported.

In Raleigh, Harvey Barfield, a South Carolinian convicted in Columbus County's Klan flogging trials of the previous year, had been freed by the Paroles Commission the previous day, after he had been convicted of assault and conspiracy in the case in May, 1952, sentenced to two two-year terms to run concurrently.

In Raleigh, Governor William B. Umstead still had given no indication of who he might appoint to succeed deceased Senator Willis Smith. Speculation around the State Capitol had begun to center on State Senator John Larkins, who had long been active in Democratic Party circles in the state and had been a leading supporter of the Governor's Administration during the 1953 General Assembly session. He was one of 70 persons who had been endorsed by individuals and organizations as a possible successor to Senator Smith.

Generally across the nation, Americans celebrated July 4, with traditional fireworks. The President went to Camp David in Maryland, planning to do nothing other than to rest. He had proclaimed this date a national day of penance and prayer, urging fellow Americans to pray for God's help in solving the grave problems confronting the nation while rendering thanks to God for watching over it. Vice-President Nixon would deliver the principal address at Independence Hall in Philadelphia, where celebrations would include readings from the Declaration of Independence. U.S. Eighth Army commander in Korea, General Maxwell Taylor, said that his forces drew strength from "knowledge of the determined support of our citizens at home." Pledges of continued warm friendship came to America from India and Pakistan, and other well-wishing foreign nations and leaders, including President Tito of Yugoslavia and President Luigi Einaudi of Italy.

Perhaps, the Vice-President spoke at Independence Hall about his liberal and expansive construction of the First Amendment, with regard to freedom of the press. (It is noteworthy, as a sidewinder, that Appellant Time, Inc.'s counsel in the afore-linked case, was the son of U.S. District Court Judge Harold Medina, who presided over the trials of the reputed top American Communists in 1949 on charges that they had violated the Smith Act, ferreted out to some degree for the Justice Department by HUAC when Mr. Nixon was a member, and, indeed, the escapees, in actuality, had broken out of Lewisburg Penitentiary in Pennsylvania, where, at that time, Alger Hiss was serving time for his perjury conviction, orchestrated by Mr. Nixon in 1948. There are some other interesting intersections to be explored on that one, but we shall defer until later on...)

Roy Coffee, by the way, is ubiquitous.

Deaths during the two-day holiday weekend, starting at 6:00 p.m. the prior evening, were running at a near normal rate, with 11 persons having lost their lives in traffic accidents and 15 others in other types of violent accidents, including two drownings and two from miscellaneous causes. The National Safety Council had advised that 40 million motorists would be driving during the holiday period ending at midnight Sunday, and estimated that unless drivers showed special care, 290 persons would likely be killed. During the three-day holiday the prior year, 366 persons had been killed in traffic accidents, and the death toll from all violent accidents had reached 543, including 202 drownings, two fireworks fatalities and 73 other deaths from miscellaneous causes.

On the editorial page, "A Lesson for This Day" examines the current threat to the nation's liberty so as to enable combating it. It finds the major threat to U.S. liberties, as proclaimed in the Declaration of Independence, to be Russian Communism, but that there was also widespread misunderstanding of the precise nature of that threat.

It indicates that Communism was a politico-economic ideology, which should hold no allure for Americans in 1953, as it had during the period of the great Depression. The dogma had been thoroughly discredited and its falseness exposed. Yet, there were vast areas of the world undergoing economic hardship and even near starvation, thus becoming susceptible to propaganda that Communism would solve their problems by collective organization accomplished through the State. It posits that such an ideology could not be defeated with guns or butter, but only with a better ideology.

Russian Communism was a constant threat in terms of espionage and subversion in both the U.S. and abroad. The job of countering such espionage was that of professionals, who, if they had occasionally failed in the past to plug loopholes in the system, were doing well at the job in 1953.

The greatest threat was posed by Russian imperialism, backed by armed force, not only to the liberty of the United States but also regarding its very survival as a nation. While the tactics might change from time to time, based on perceived advantage by the Soviets, the ultimate goal of world conquest remained constant. The only deterrent to such conquest was for the free world to stand united in armed strength. Any alliance had weaknesses and the Russians stood ready always to exploit those weaknesses when they became evident. It urges that the U.S. had to maintain its armed forces as strong and its alliances working in cooperation, or otherwise the country faced disaster.

It concludes that the "God-given liberties proclaimed in the American Declaration of Independence" were too vital to the full development of the human race to permit them to be crushed by Russia or subverted and diminished by agents thereof working from within. That, it seemed to the editors, was the lesson to impart on July 4.

"FBI Agents Deserve a Break" indicates that FBI special agents were, with few exceptions, either lawyers or certified public accountants, specially trained in investigative work. Given their training, they received a relatively small salary, $5,500 annually, going to $5,625 after one year and possibly advancing, after two years, to $5,940. Occasionally, the work was dangerous and the hours were irregular, with an average of ten hours per day, the additional two hours to the standard eight-hour workday being described by the Bureau as "voluntary overtime", a phrase which director J. Edgar Hoover employed with pride. But many agents used the phrase cynically, saying that the idea of "voluntary overtime" was nonsense, as there was nothing voluntary about it, that they had either to put in the overtime work or be passed over for promotion. Within the previous few days, several such letters from agents or former agents had appeared in the Washington Post, which reported receipt also of phone calls to the same effect.

It indicates that it did not know the feelings of the local FBI agents on the matter, but had heard several agents from other parts of the country bitterly protest such a system. It finds that the Bureau was not completely to blame for the extra time, as it had been saddled with extra duties in recent years, including the routine investigation of Government personnel or potential employees for loyalty. The agents had a legitimate beef, as they, like everyone else, enjoyed their free time. It suggests that the Bureau would be well served to regard "voluntary overtime" with concern rather than pride, and that it should urge Congress to divest some of the extra tasks it had placed on the FBI, or authorize enough money for it to train enough personnel so that each agent could work normal hours. Another alternative would be to authorize overtime pay for the agents to render the extra time truly "voluntary", and, in the process, improve agent morale.

"Good Guess" indicates that late in 1950, the State Municipal Roads Commission had reported on its lengthy study of the relationship between roads and streets in the state, expressing the belief that the State could share some highway funds with the towns and cities to construct and improve municipal streets. But State highway officials were reluctant to share funds with the towns and cities and so did not share in the optimistic forecast of the report that the highway fund, in 1949-50, had reached 83 million dollars, up from 37 million a decade earlier, and would, with the 1950 one-cent increase in gasoline taxes, soon exceed 100 million dollars.

Highway officials had refused to accept that estimate at the time as anything more than "optimistic". But during the current week, the new Revenue commissioner, Eugene Shaw, reported that highway fund revenues for the 1952-53 fiscal year had been just short of 100 million dollars. It concludes that it was another case of well-placed confidence in the essential soundness of the North Carolina economy.

A piece of from the Chicago Tribune, titled "Tweet Tweet, Yourself", is not rejoinder to the present occupant of the White House in 2020, but rather comments that a bunch of birdwatchers in England and other countries had determined that the lark was the first bird to rouse, stretch itself, and sing. It had, at 3:00 a.m. in England, justified the line:

"Hark! hark! the lark at heaven's gate sings
And Phoebus 'gins arise!"

It comments that such an hour was too early for Phoebus and anyone else other than a lark or birdwatcher.

The society of birdwatchers had a disparaging word for the sparrow, the last bird to arise, getting up when it felt like it. But, it says, in defense of the sparrow, its song would never compete with that of Caruso and it probably had the good sense to know the fact, that with the advent of the motorcar, it had no compelling reason to arise early. The sparrow was much more an object of envy than the lark, which did not know what to do with itself during the early morning hours after it arose, and so just sang. "Most commuters and straphangers would settle for his deal, even if they had to endure the sneers of the bird watchers."

Drew Pearson tells of the Mayor of Philadelphia having invited him to broadcast his weekly tv program from Independence Hall the following day, from the table on which the Declaration had been signed 177 years earlier. When Thomas Jefferson had rented a room in the home of a German bricklayer just across the street from the Hall, in which he labored for 18 days on the draft of the Declaration, democracy had been considered as deplorable as slavery and a lot more dangerous. Men in that time were not considered as equals and the right to vote was held only by property owners. The signers of the Declaration were thus considered radicals and sometimes received angry stares as they walked the streets of Philadelphia.

There had been no rejoicing at the time the Declaration was signed and the Liberty Bell did not actually ring until four days after the signing, on July 8. Everyone understood that the Declaration would be considered treason to the Crown, and that if anyone supporting it were caught, they would be hanged.

Yet 56 founding fathers signed the document, "the most far-reaching since the days of Christ."

Mr. Pearson wonders whether America had lived up to the promise of the Declaration and whether Americans would sign it again in 1953. Two years earlier, the Madison Capital Times in Wisconsin and the New Orleans Item had circulated petitions experimentally among crowds on July 4, asking them to sign the same resolutions contained in the Declaration and the Bill of Rights, and out of 112 people solicited for signatures, 111 had refused to sign in Wisconsin, and 26 out of 34, in New Orleans. Those who refused had labeled the documents communistic or said that the FBI ought to check into the matter or that their family was with the Government and that signing such documents might get them into trouble. One man, reading the phrase, "whenever any form of government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the right of the people to alter or abolish it", remarked that it sounded Russian to him. Those who refused, concludes Mr. Pearson, did so out of either ignorance or fear or both. Many had not taken the trouble even to read the words on which the republic was founded.

August Dietz, a printer in Richmond, Va., had, at his own expense, printed several million copies of the Declaration and distributed them at less than cost, for a nickel apiece, to the schools of the nation, to help remedy that ignorance. The Sertoma civic clubs and other service organizations had helped him, and, believes Mr. Pearson, it might be a good time to prepare for a new drive to make everyone aware of the words of the document.

He believes that the other ground for refusing to sign two years earlier, fear, had increased in modern times. In the 1690's, the witchcraft trials and burning of witches in New England had transpired, based on alleged crimes of thought. Catholics had been stoned in the streets of Philadelphia for like crimes in earlier times. The 56 founding fathers who signed the Declaration on peril of their necks had abhorred such things and sought to set standards which would prevent them into the future.

But they would be shocked to learn, suggests Mr. Pearson, that a Senate committee, with similar subpoena power over Americans presently as that which the British had enjoyed over the colonists, was presently demanding to know what books were present on State Department Information Service library shelves abroad, including the targeting of such radio commentators as Elmer Davis and Raymond Swing, such a great jurist as the retired Judge Learned Hand, and such a devoted pastor as Dr. A. Powell Davies. The founding fathers, he goes on, would be grieved to learn that a committee had reached into the churches to probe such a devoted churchman as Bishop Bromley Oxnam. He wonders whether Senator McCarthy would have demanded that Common Sense and other pamphlets by Thomas Paine, which roused the colonists to revolution, also be burned. He wonders whether Benjamin Franklin would have been able to get by with his advice to his fellow signers: "Gentlemen, we must all hang together, or most assuredly we shall hang separately."

He points out that great strides had been made since the signing of the Declaration, that, collectively, the signers had shrunk from taking any stand against slavery, eliminating Thomas Jefferson's courageous insertion therein to abolish it, it having taken a bloody Civil War and recent decisions by the Supreme Court to begin to attain the goal which Thomas Jefferson had sought of equality for all.

He concludes that those 56 signers of the Declaration had not been honored by certain Senators of late, that it had been the tyranny of the British masters over the colonies which had inspired those words, providing for the right to be free from illegal searches and seizures. He wonders what they would have thought about the burning of the books in the Information Service libraries and the "fettering of official minds" in 1953.

To those silly, ignorant protesters in the streets in 2020, fearful of freedom, who would desire to pull down statues through vandalism or eliminate memorials to Thomas Jefferson, on the superficial knowledge that he owned some slaves at Monticello in Virginia 200 years ago, you need to put down your smart phones for several days and sit with some authoritative old books, not by modern revisionist historians, or certainly not from the loosely researched, superficial rantings and ravings one often finds in articles in Wicked-pedia, and think for a change outside the box or the flat screen on the wall of your cave. You appear as a bunch of zombies running around with your heads cut off, not knowing which direction to follow, not knowing, in your self-righteous relativism, who is right or wrong, and thus winding up believing in anything which anyone tells you of the moment, thus appearing quite silly and quite ignorant of history as it transpired in its original context, not even familiar with the basics which most well-educated elementary school children learn and imbue within themselves by the fourth or fifth grades. Such children imbue it within themselves because it makes good sense, in relation to the people of the world around them who have no kindred principles to imbue within themselves, not because they are spoon-fed some dogma.

You in the streets, royalists engaged in looting and lawlessness and destruction of the property of others, be it statuary or broken shop windows, obviously spent too much time during those early elementary years with your stupid, little smart-phones playing video games to be too much concerned with learning of this nation's or any other nation's history. Take that thing, stamp on it about 3,000 times, and then throw it in the lake. It does not serve you well. It may be the Devil incarnate, for the Devil is that which confuses.

Joseph & Stewart Alsop indicate that two weeks prior to the announcement in Pravda of the death of Joseph Stalin on March 5, the death of a Maj. General Kosynkin, of whom no one in the West had heard, was announced as an "untimely death", having been, according to the statement, commander of the Kremlin guard. No one in the West would have attached any particular significance to the death had it not been for the subsequent death of Stalin and the widespread suspicions caused by his death and the subsequent end of the prosecutions of the doctors charged with plotting the deaths of high Soviet military officers, as well as the reversal of many other Stalinist policies. It appeared that an important faction in the Kremlin had not only disagreed with Stalin, but had feared that they, too, would become his victims.

From those facts it was deduced by a number of students of the Soviet Union that General Kosynkin had died while trying to protect Stalin from plotters against him. L.P. Beria, as head of the secret police, had the means and apparent motive to arrange such a death. Just a few days after Georgi Malenkov was chosen as the new Premier, the ground under him began to slip, beginning with the exposure of the doctors' plot, sponsored by Mr. Malenkov. Those close to him were then attacked and liquidated. The Communist Party Secretariat was reorganized and the governments of Georgia, the Ukraine and Latvia were purged, with shifts in the official party line, all blows to the standing of Mr. Malenkov, whose name all but vanished from the Soviet press. While his power appeared to decline, the policies and supporters of Mr. Beria appeared to gain traction. As it was Mr. Beria who was suspected of eliminating Stalin, so, too, was he suspected of pushing Mr. Malenkov into the background. By the previous week, it was even rumored that the latter was dead.

Yet, the Moscow press had stated recently that the whole leadership of the Soviet State had honored the prior Saturday evening's performance of the opera, Dekembristy, at the Bolshoi Theater, a list of the attendees having included at its head Mr. Malenkov, but not Mr. Beria, suggesting that the latter was now in trouble.

The Alsops insist that they were not, by that summary, intending to disparage the speculation of observers of the Soviet leadership machinations, that it was probable that Stalin had been murdered and there was little doubt that the other Soviet leaders had been busy undermining the power of Mr. Malenkov. It was even possible that Mr. Beria's non-appearance at the Saturday opera might have significance. They were intending only to express the extreme fluidity and doubtfulness of the present situation in Moscow, as the riots and uprisings had occurred in East Germany recently, as well as in Czechoslovakia and other satellites prior to that. The Soviet doctrine was that the system, itself, was never to blame, that individuals were always at fault.

Marquis Childs starts by saying that the bells which pealed in Philadelphia after July 4, 1776, to announce independence from Great Britain, had echoed throughout the world and through time to the present, a fact sometimes not realized by Americans. Each year in Aslborg, Denmark, for example, July 4 had been celebrated in Rebild National Park, land given to the Government by Danish-Americans on condition that the celebration of America's Independence Day be marked annually. The observance had become a major attraction, with about 40,000 people attending each year and the flags of the 48 states being raised alongside the American flag and Danish flag. In 1953, Paul Hoffman, the first administrator of the Marshall Plan in Europe and one of a half-dozen leaders in the movement to draft General Eisenhower for the presidency, delivered one of two principal addresses, with the other by Eric Ericksen. Mr. Hoffman's speech would remind Europeans of what freedom had meant to America in opportunity, as well as in intellectual and spiritual development. Mr. Childs quotes from the draft of Mr. Hoffman's speech, written before he had departed New York. He had said that he was astounded to find that, with the general number of college graduates increasing at the rate of six times the increase in the population, the percentage of black students enrolled in higher education was greater than that of the British, French and Czechs.

Meanwhile, Europeans were willing to believe the worst about America, as the European press reported every detail of statements made by Senator Joseph McCarthy.

Mr. Childs concludes that the optimistic American, Paul Hoffman, who believed in the benefits of freedom and productivity, provided "a healthy antidote to the pessimism and defeatism that colors the attitude abroad and to some degree here at home."

A letter from the legislative director of AMVETS comments on an editorial from June 20, "Veterans First, Citizens Second", which had indicated that high-pressure veteran lobbying had defeated a proposal to give the Veterans Administration authority to look behind the pauper's oath necessary for admission to VA hospitals with non-service connected disabilities. He says that the national organization of AMVETS had stated that the VA could look behind the oath to curb abuse in the system, and so supported it. Hearings were to be held, he indicates, before the House Veterans Affairs Committee on July 8, at which time the organization would elaborate its position.

A letter writer offers a math problem created in 1799 by a black mathematical genius named Benjamin Banneker, a correspondent in those times with Thomas Jefferson, a problem presented to his white friend George Ellicott as a riddle set forth in rhyme, which the letter provides, and which you can read for yourself and seek to figure the answer. The writer concludes that he hopes it did not give the reader as much trouble as it had given him. An author who wrote the biography of Mr. Banneker said that the people around Baltimore and Annapolis had worked on the problem all winter and failed to solve it, until Benjamin Hollowell of Alexandria published the answer.

We do not wish to spoil your fun and so shall not inform you that the answer is four.

A letter writer congratulates the newspaper on spreading its readership into the Smokies, where he lived, in the area of Roan Mountain, where his neighbors were of "pure American stock". Nearby was Glen Ayre, remindful to residents of their Scotch Highland ancestry. He says that according to history, they shot straight and, he was beginning to believe, saw straight in all things American. If one found a Democrat, he was the best Democrat in all the land, "fearless, friendly and forceful." If a mountaineer became one's friend, he was a fast friend. They disliked war and the mountain isolation had made them somewhat isolationist on American policy. They were stoic, brave, and laconic in their speech, but the writer finds that among them there were future Sam Houstons and Sergeant Yorks.

Unbelievable as it may seem, for the first time seemingly in ages, not one of the letters published this date dealt with the controversial topic of Bible teaching in the public schools of Charlotte, following a resolution by 26 Baptist ministers in the community urging the City and County School Boards to discontinue the program, a welcome relief from that overworked topic on which all sides had more than their ample say during the prior 24 days since the proposal by the ministers first hit the front page on June 10. But, perhaps, we are not out of the woods yet. We shall see. As much as it might seem like it on certain days, we do not read ahead. We simply are in possession of a fine crystal ball.

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