The Charlotte News

Tuesday, July 7, 1953


Site Ed. Note: The front page reports that Chinese Communist troops had intensified day-long assaults on two allied positions on the western front this night, as they attacked with some 6,000 men against weary U.S. and South Korean defenders. Front-line officers speculated that it was a forerunner of full division attacks. The enemy had attacked with about 3,000 men each against "Pork Chop Hill" and "Arrowhead Ridge", five miles to the southwest. Earlier in the day, infantrymen of the U.S. Seventh Division on "Pork Chop" and South Korean Second Division troops on "Arrowhead" had repulsed repeated attacks by the Chinese troops. Later attacks were described by front-line officers as suicidal assaults by the enemy, pushing the Americans and South Koreans momentarily back, to a point north of Yonchon. The allied infantrymen stormed back through ankle-deep mud and regained all of their positions, fighting with gun butts, knives and pistols. The front had been quiet for days because of rain until the enemy assault the previous late night, preceded by an artillery and mortar barrage. Since that time, the enemy had increasingly sent in more troops. It was the first enemy assault on an American position in nearly three weeks. Elsewhere along the front, there were reported 34 patrol clashes, mainly in the east-central and eastern sectors.

With the tapering off of the heavy rains, the Fifth Air Force was able to send aloft fighter-bombers, hitting the enemy's front lines this date with napalm and high explosives. Enemy positions near "Pork Chop" and "Arrowhead" were lit up with flares and bombed during the night.

Flooding from the 5 1/2 inches of rain which had fallen since Saturday night had caused an estimated 15,000 persons to be temporarily homeless, with more than 2,200 houses flooded and 430 others destroyed, mostly in the provinces southwest of Taegu, in the southeastern portion of the country. Sixteen Koreans were reported dead, six missing and 56 injured from the flooding.

Late this date, Communist negotiators called for a meeting of liaison officers in Panmunjom for the following day, causing speculation that they were ready to answer a U.N. proposal to sign the truce regardless of the cooperation of South Korea. The armistice negotiations had been in recess since June 28, following the release by the South Koreans of some 27,000 North Korean prisoners of war who had resisted repatriation. Meanwhile, an authoritative South Korean source said that efforts to gain the cooperation of South Korean President Syngman Rhee in accepting the truce would fail unless the U.S. developed a new proposal satisfactory to the President. President Eisenhower's personal envoy, Assistant Secretary of State Walter Robertson, had not met with President Rhee this date, only the third time in 12 days that they had not conferred. They would again meet the following day. Thus far, the talks had been deadlocked, with President Rhee insisting that if a post-armistice peace conference could not reach an agreement on a unified Korea within 90 days, the war would be resumed. Mr. Robertson had told the President that the condition could not be met. Reportedly, Mr. Robertson had offered the President a number of concessions, which had not been made public.

Senator Alexander Wiley of Wisconsin, chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, declared this date in a statement to journalists that President Rhee was "playing with global dynamite" and damaging the cause of world peace by his resistance to the Korean truce. He said that a military disaster in Korea could bring about a political disaster from which the U.N. might never recover. He also praised President Rhee for a "fine record as a spokesman for free peoples". Senator Wiley said that he was speaking only for himself and not the Committee or for anyone else. Senator William Knowland of California, the acting Republican floor leader in the absence of Senator Taft who was nurturing his as yet unpublicized terminal cancer, had stated on a Sunday television program that the present breach in relations might not have occurred had President Rhee been consulted more by the Truman and Eisenhower Administrations. The Senator said that there had been no reaction from either the White House or the State Department to his comment.

The Senate Agriculture Committee approved this date unanimously a multi-million dollar program of Government loans and aid for drought stricken ranchers and livestock operators in Texas and the Southwest. No fixed total was placed on the loans available, but Senator George Aiken of Vermont, chairman of the Committee, estimated that between 100 and 150 million dollars would be needed, in addition to about 16 to 20 million dollars presently available.

Speaker of the House Joseph Martin predicted, following a conference this date with the President, that the House Ways & Means Committee would approve a bill the following day to extend the excess profits tax six months, as sought by the Administration. The measure had been blocked by the chairman of that Committee, Daniel Reed of New York. Mr. Reed had agreed to a meeting the following morning after House leaders had gone over his head to the Rules Committee, which had voted to bypass Ways & Means and call the bill to the floor for debate. That course had been abandoned, however, when Mr. Reed agreed to a meeting of the Committee to consider other matters. Mr. Martin said that he expected the measure to be reported out of the Committee the following day.

The State Department directed its overseas Information Service libraries to put back on the shelves many volumes which had been removed during the recent purge of books by Communist and controversial authors. The Department, according to a spokesman, said that two master lists had been sent to approximately 189 foreign libraries, naming the books to be banned, lists which had not been made public, but which reportedly contained more than 50 titles. Up to this time, officials said that all copies of 300 or more book titles by about 18 authors had been removed from the shelves, and 11 authors' works had been banned. The present directive was designed to clear up confusion over ten previous directives. Senator McCarthy, who had been responsible ultimately for the book removal, had complained about the removal of Witness by Whittaker Chambers. The Senator had said in February that the libraries contained 30,000 Communist books and asserted that someone had been sabotaging the program. The previous day, the President had accepted the resignation of Dr. Robert Johnson who had taken command in the early spring of the Information Service. Senator McCarthy had repeatedly praised Dr. Johnson.

In Nairobi, Kenya, the British reported this date that their forces had killed 241 native terrorists and captured 193 suspects in an all-out offensive, transpiring between June 23 and July 5, against the Mau Mau, who were seeking to drive whites from Kenya. It was the largest such operation conducted by the British and their supporting black troops and police since a state of emergency had been declared in Kenya nine months earlier. Twenty-eight of the security forces had been killed in the operation. In all, more than 1,100 of the Mau Mau had been killed, according to British reports, since the start of the emergency. The British general assigned to destroy the Mau Mau warned that much still had to be done before they would be wiped out, that Kenya would have to have a larger police force for the colony to be secure.

In Brighton, England, a man was charged a small fine of two pounds the previous day for assaulting a housewife, while the two had been passing the time of day on her front stoop. Suddenly, the man, according to the housewife, told her that a wasp had just crawled down the neck of her blouse, at which point he felt from her waist upward, finding no wasp, wanted to extend the search, but, according to the woman, her decency told her that he could not go any further. After the man had departed, she stripped off her clothes but could not find any wasp, arousing her suspicion and prompting her to complain to the police, who arrested the man. His lawyer insisted that he was in fact searching for a wasp and that the woman had consented to the frisk. The man produced a dead bee, not a wasp, which he claimed had dropped from his coat after the search of the woman.

In New York, a one-legged man, 64 years old, had boarded a Pan Am World Airways plane by mistake on Sunday, bound for Germany from Idlewild Airport, having intended to fly to Puerto Rico. He landed in Newfoundland. When a stewardess asked him whether he would like a Manhattan or a martini, the man, whose surname was Martinez and who spoke only Spanish, thought he was being asked his name and so supplied it, at which point the stewardess gave him a dry martini. Twice subsequently he was asked the same question, gave the same reply and was provided the same drink. When the plane landed, he noticed that he was in a much cooler climate than San Juan, made inquiries and discovered his mistake. Airline officials put him up overnight at Gander, flew him back to New York on the first available flight and he had returned the previous day. Pan Am had planned to put him up in a hotel for a day, but he was afraid he would be forgotten and so asked to return to Idlewild, where he sat in a wheelchair and chatted with other Puerto Ricans, having dinner at the expense of Pan Am. The airline also notified his relatives in Puerto Rico that he was on his way but delayed. Finally, just before the previous midnight, he boarded a nonstop flight to San Juan. He had two sons in the Army in Korea and quipped as he boarded the plane, "This time they'll probably send me to Korea."

Were that to happen today, the airline no doubt would blame the passenger and, unless he could afford his own passage back to New York, would still be in Gander. But we have never flown Pan Am, and can only make our assessment based on other airlines' treatment of their passenger-cattle.

In Washington, Temple Bailey, author of novels, short stories and magazine serials, died the previous day in her apartment. Most of her writing was in romantic fiction, her first book having been Judy, published in 1907, and others having been Contrary Mary, Mistress Anne, Adventures in Girlhood, The Blue Window, Little Girl Lost, Glory of Youth, and Tomorrow's Promise. Ms. Bailey was in her 80's and a native of Petersburg, Va.

Tom Fesperman of The News tells of a bull having broken loose from its owner this date and charged through the middle of Charlotte, breaking a large plate glass window and injuring one citizen, while sending hundreds scurrying for cover. The chase went on for about an hour while a squad of police officers and a few volunteers tried to subdue the bull. One citizen who had chased the bull for a couple of miles, through Independence Square, was knocked through a florist shop window and was treated in the hospital for cuts and bruises but released about the time the bull was finally caught. More details of this harrowing episode in Charlotte's history, plus two pictures, are provided for your edification.

On the editorial page, "Hard-Pressed Reds May Change Methods" indicates that it was much too early and that too few of the facts were yet known to draw conclusions from the revolt in the Communist satellites, including East Germany, Poland, Czechoslovakia, Hungary, and other Communist-ruled countries. Whether it would turn into the most significant event of the decade in the Communist lands was not yet known, but at least it had that potential.

It reviews the revolts, starting with those in East Germany, where tens of thousands of workers had marched in protest against their Communist masters on June 17, had torn up Communist flags and blown up Soviet tanks brought in to maintain martial law. Strikes had been reported in Poland, where escaped Polish pilots claimed there was seething unrest. A currency reform which had wiped out the savings of many citizens of Czechoslovakia had been followed by mass strikes in the coal pits, and demonstrations had erupted in at least two cities. In Hungary, a party worker was demoted to make way for a new leader who promised to reduce prices of consumer goods. There had been food riots in Rumania, reports of armed resistance in Albania, and in China there had been evidence of a growing weariness of the Korean War.

While the usual Communist response of liquidating the dissidents had been practiced to some degree, the Communists had also introduced some of the reforms demanded by the people. Part of the East German Army had been disbanded and the soldiers placed in industries to produce consumer goods. The new Hungarian party leader had offered to restore some private enterprise. There had also been promises of increased distribution of food and other consumer goods, and industrialization to replace militarization.

During the Twenties, there had been a Soviet policy reversal in response to protests of Russians against the trend toward State Socialism, during which a limited return to capitalism was permitted for a few years, until the workers received more food and the authorities achieved better control.

It suggests that perhaps the Communists were altering their system, if not their ends, and that the return of the Communist officials who had been called to the Kremlin would show whether the new softened policy was simply an expedient to achieve order or would become a more permanent policy. Another possible change in the system would be from one-man rule to committee rule, in accordance with the pattern in Moscow since the death of Stalin on March 5. It suggests that it would be particularly interesting to note how China responded toward its one-man rule by Mao Tse-tung.

It concludes that it was therefore a good time for the West to publicize the benefits of freedom, and provide support to those peoples who were protesting the Communist system. As long as the Communists could not trust their own people, they would be hesitant to initiate an attack against the West, and the spark of freedom might be fanned into a flame which could engulf the "wicked rulers of the Kremlin when a propitious moment arrives."

"Beyond the Popsicle Payoff…." indicates that the small children who had limped out of the Granite Falls junior high school the previous day, with popsicles and lollipops as rewards for having received their shots in inoculation for a month against polio, had been too young for the most part to understand what it had been about. Their parents knew, and hope was that modern medicine would break the polio epidemic, which had afflicted 82 children in Caldwell County, one of whom had died. Officials in the county hoped to complete the inoculation of over 10,000 children who were under nine years old by the following night.

It hopes that the temporary vaccine would break the immediate epidemic and that, eventually, a permanent vaccine would be on the horizon.

That's a good idea. When the coronavirus vaccine becomes available, give everyone a popsicle and lollipop for being good little boys and girls and taking it, so that everyone else might be safe. If the nut on the radio out in Texas is willing to take it, give him a popsicle and a lollipop, too, provided he tells his "millions of listeners" that they should not be dumbasses and should go out and get it.

"The Delicate Balance in Congress" comments on the Congressional Quarterly analysis on the page of roll-call votes thus far during the year in the 83rd Congress, showing that the narrow Republican majority in the Senate meant that, without the aid of Democrats, any absenteeism or defection by a few could lead to defeat of the President's program.

It indicates that it was not an enviable position for the President, especially since he had come to office on a wave of personal popularity after promising many fundamental changes in the Federal Government. He could not impose party discipline with such a thin majority in the Senate. If he tried to do so, he would risk irrevocable defection of the Republican ultraconservatives and lose his majority completely.

It finds it to the great credit of the Democrats that they had behaved thus far in the Congress as a responsible minority, especially on foreign affairs. But with an election coming in 1954, it was to be expected that during the following year, they would be perhaps less cooperative. The President, therefore, had to deal with Democrats gently, resulting in less than dramatic leadership and also not building great public confidence in his ability to get things done toward fulfillment of his campaign promises. No other practical way of accomplishing his legislative program was apparent.

A piece from the Houston Post, titled "Grace Before Meals", indicates that the Texas Restaurant Association had decided to place on tables cards which contained the thanksgiving before-meals prayers of the Catholic, Jewish and Protestant faiths, each of which it prints. It suggests that it was a simple and wonderful thing to do, and that there was no shame to be attached to being seen thanking God for food, even in the setting of a restaurant. It comments that a great many had forgotten that fact.

Well, they don't deserve food. Throw them out in the street.

Drew Pearson indicates that a significant backstage battle over McCarthyism would be waged during the morning when the Government Operations Committee, chaired by Senator McCarthy, met behind closed doors to discuss its executive director, J. B. Matthews, and his statement in a recent issue of the American Mercury that "the largest single group supporting the Communist apparatus in the United States today is composed of Protestant clergymen." Mr. Matthews, formerly employed by the Hearst newspapers, had recently replaced fair-minded "Frip" Flanagan, who for many years had been the staff director of the Committee. Democratic Senators Henry Jackson of Washington, John McClellan of Arkansas and Stuart Symington of Missouri had demanded that Mr. Matthews be fired. They could be out-voted by the four Republicans on the Committee, but it was questionable whether all four would vote against firing him, as three were Protestants, Senators Karl Mundt of South Dakota, Charles Potter of Michigan, and Everett Dirksen of Illinois, with the chairman being Catholic.

Field Marshal Alexander of the British Army had urged U.N. supreme commander in Korea General Mark Clark to take the unusual step of arresting President Syngman Rhee if he continued to obstruct the truce. Lord Alexander, General Clark's superior during the Italian campaign in 1943-44, said that Britain would not have put up with President Rhee's defiance for ten minutes if he had been in charge of the negotiations. American military officers had considered the idea of replacing President Rhee with the chief of staff of the Korean Army, but President Eisenhower had overruled them.

Secretary of Defense Charles E. Wilson had begun using the term "Senator" derisively. In an off-the-record meeting of aviation moguls at Williamsburg, Va., the Secretary, after a short speech, had asked for questions from the audience, at which point former Air Force General Joe McNarney, president of Consolidated Vultee Aircraft, asked a critical question, to which the Secretary said he did not know who he was but that he sounded like a "Senator". He made a similar reply to two others who asked questions involving criticism. Mr. Pearson notes that the Secretary's attitude had drifted up to the Senate, where even Republican Senators were beginning to urge that the President find a new Secretary of Defense.

The discovery of the decomposed body of John Johnson, a black mail clerk at the Pentagon, in the trunk of his car, had cast suspicion on the manner in which Lee Harden, a trusted black guard, had been found dead at the bottom of a locked "security" elevator shaft two months earlier at the Pentagon, appearing to have been beaten up. But because he had been clutching the key to the elevator as if he had unlocked the door himself, he was declared a suicide. It was significant that Mr. Harden earlier had participated in a raid on some Government lockers during which he uncovered evidence implicating one Pentagon employee in the numbers racket. It was also believed that Mr. Johnson's murder had resulted from revenge involving the numbers racket. FBI and security police had been called in regarding the Harden case, to determine how an off-duty guard could have gotten into the elevator shaft. A Virginia State policeman had expressed the opinion that it was a lottery murder, but, nevertheless, his death was ruled a suicide. Earlier, a head Pentagon guard had been relieved from duty on the suspicion that he was shaking down the guards on payday. Some of the guards were taking bets on numbers. Mr. Pearson notes that it looked bad for Pentagon security police to have a murder committed under their noses, and suggests that maybe the Communists could operate under their noses also.

Congressman Robert Kean of New Jersey, leading the fight inside the House Ways & Means Committee to extend the excess profits tax for six months, as sought by the President, would stand to lose $20,000 if he were to win his fight, as he would have to pay an additional $20,000 on excess profits of his bank, $5,000 more than his $15,000 Congressional salary. He was one of the few Republicans inside the Committee voting against the chairman, Representative Daniel Reed of New York.

The Congressional Quarterly, as stated in the above editorial, indicates that the President had won most of the clear-cut tests regarding his legislative program in Congress during the first half of the year, but with close contests in both houses, he had needed the assistance of Democrats to achieve success. Generally, he had received strong support from fellow Republicans, but on a few roll-call votes, Republican absenteeism had placed the Democrats in the majority, and on others, enough Republicans had voted against the President to place the Democrats in the role of saving him.

The Quarterly had produced a scorecard on the President's 37 proposed programs to Congress, of which 11 had been approved, five had been passed by one or the other house, eight had been the subject of committee hearings, 12 had received no action and one had been rejected, that being the proposal rejected by the Senate regarding the President's wording of a resolution condemning Soviet enslavement of other peoples. There had been 88 record votes during the first six months of the Congress, with 49 in the Senate and 39 in the House.

The Quarterly scored 36 of those as tests of the Administration, with the President winning 31 of them, needing Democratic help on 23 of those, 11 of which related to the reversion of title to the states in the offshore tidelands oil. Eighteen of the 31 victories were in the Senate, and without Democratic help on 15 of those, the President would have lost. It lists those programs. Thirteen of the 31 victories were in the House, and eight of those required Democratic help for success, which it also lists.

James Marlow indicates that if the State Department would finally take a stand on the purpose of the U.S. overseas Information Service libraries, some of the confusion regarding the book purging therein might be removed. The country had nearly 200 libraries overseas, containing about 100,000 books, run by the International Information Administration, part of the State Department.

Five months earlier, Senator McCarthy had charged that 30,000 of those books were authored by either Communists or pro-Communists, demanding their removal, whereupon the State Department had begun to undertake the task. The Department issued at least ten directives to the overseas libraries on what books to remove and how to judge a book as either Communist or pro-Communist. A few had actually been burned, most simply removed from the shelves.

Mr. Marlow indicates that if the purpose of the libraries was to issue propaganda on behalf of the U.S. Government, then one set of guidelines might apply. But if the libraries were meant in the ordinary sense, as a place to inform mankind's thinking, whether the hateful idea or the benevolent one, the radical and revolutionary or the conservative, the authoritarian or the democratic, then another set of guidelines ought apply. To remove books because of their content or because of the identity of their author would be a form of intellectual tyranny in the latter type of library. But no one was pretending that U.S. overseas libraries fell into that category. The 1948 law which created the Information Service had stated its purpose as dissemination abroad of information about the U.S., its people, and policies promulgated by the Congress, the President, the Secretary of State and other responsible officials having to do with foreign affairs. Thus, they were special-purpose libraries in which pro-Communist books would have no place.

If the State Department admitted that purpose, he posits, the book-burning issue would disappear. No one contended that the Voice of America, a frankly propagandistic medium for the Government, should broadcast the propaganda of Lenin, Stalin, Marx or other Communist propaganda.

A letter from the president of the Ridgeway Bible Class of Caldwell Memorial Presbyterian Church indicates that the church had unanimously voted in favor of continuing the course of Bible teaching in the public schools.

A letter from Gaffney, S.C., responds to a letter published the prior Saturday, asking for a solution to the rhyming riddle of 1799 produced by mathematician Benjamin Banneker. He provides his answer and the means by which he reached it. It is wrong, as the answer, as we indicated, is four. He provides a new riddle, the answer to which is 4.3 at half past midnight.

A letter writer responds to a prior letter by a minister who was against all capital punishment, and specifically berated the system for having executed Ethel and Julius Rosenberg for providing the atomic secret to the Russians in 1944-45. He suggests that the writer and other writers who wanted to discuss capital punishment ought confine themselves to non-political cases as there were more such cases than the political ones involving capital punishment. He says that anyone could gripe without going to jail in the U.S., but could not steal, rape or kill without paying for their sins. He is disgusted at fellow Americans who wrote such letters knocking the Government and the American system. He does not like the fact that they were sympathizers for the Rosenbergs, "who have caused mothers and wives to cry until they die, even their own," referring to the suggestion that the Korean War had stemmed from the Russians having the atomic bomb—however remote that causation was, as it was not so much the presence of the atomic bomb but rather the perceived weakness of the South Korean Army to resist the North Korean invasion and the belief that the U.S. and the West generally would not come to the aid of South Korea, which had prompted the attack in mid-1950. Nevertheless, that was a justification for the execution of the Rosenbergs which became popular.

A letter writer indicates that as a Harding High School graduate, who had taken three years of Bible instruction at the school, she felt greatly blessed in her life as a result. She indicates that her classmates had shown a profound respect for her Protestant faith and the stand which she and other students had taken for studying the Bible as an elective. She looked forward to the time when her two children could study the Bible in the public schools.

A letter writer from Gastonia indicates that five years earlier, television had been "a blushing maiden chastely ill at ease in the company of others", but that now it was "a brazen hussy unashamed at having sold herself." He believes that tv had fallen in with "an army of two-bit hucksters, shills, barkers and talkers. They will have to get a better gimmick if they get my time."

Come on, look at the panoply of fare from which you have to choose, a veritable cornucopia of beaux arts. You can even view the test pattern for 15 minutes every morning as a form of zen to begin the day in a mindless state, and then watch the sign-off and the fuzz afterward, which is always pleasant and restful, as much so as listening to the ocean outside your window late at night during a beach vacation. You are being grossly unfair to defame a whole medium like that. Here, here's one you can watch from next month, sure to tingle your spine. We have a special contact at one of the networks to obtain advance viewings.

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