The Charlotte News

Friday, April 2, 1954


Site Ed. Note: The front page reports that members of the Senate Investigating subcommittee, designated to investigate the dispute between the Army and Senator McCarthy, had said this date that they would ask the newly appointed counsel for the investigation, Samuel Sears, for fresh assurances that he could be fully impartial in his role, after it had surfaced via the Harvard Crimson, the student newspaper, and from news clippings that Mr. Sears, a Boston lawyer, had made statements two years earlier supportive of the Senator in his bid for re-election from Wisconsin, despite having assured Senators in his testimony that he had never taken any public or private stand one way or the other regarding Senator McCarthy or McCarthyism generally and could be impartial in his role. Newspaper clippings also showed that Mr. Sears had said at the time that he believed Senator McCarthy had "done a great job" and would continue to do so "as he drives the pinks and commies out of government." Senator Charles Potter of Michigan said that he would ask Mr. Sears to reflect on his prior utterances in praise of the Senator and determine anew if he still felt that he could be impartial, saying also that he had no reason to doubt that Mr. Sears would be impartial. Senator Henry Jackson of Washington, also of the subcommittee, echoed those remarks. Mr. Sears told newsmen that he felt he had not done anything which disqualified him for the job.

In Hanoi, it was reported that thousands of fresh Vietminh troops had smashed into a French outpost about a mile northwest of the center of the besieged French fortress at Dien Bien Phu, and that the French had launched a heavy counterattack supported by tanks, attempting to regain the position. Other Vietminh forces attacked the fortress from the southeast in a pincers movement aimed at the heart of the barbed-wire, below-ground enclosure. The French high command in Hanoi said that the Vietminh, attacking with a division from the northwest, while two others attacked from the southeast and east, had overrun two outposts in the northwest sector, but that a French counterattack had driven the rebels from one of those while another counterattack was underway to push the Vietminh from the other. The high command said that the rebels were suffering "heavy losses" in their wild charges at the barbed-wire barricades. The rebel forces driving from the southeast had reached the first line of barbed wire, and French heavy machine gun, tank and artillery fire had mowed down rebels charging wildly at the barricades, as they hurled grenades and high explosives in long bamboo poles in an effort to blow up the barriers and break through. The seriousness of the situation was reinforced by the fact that the Vietminh, in attacking from the northwest, were using one division against the French Union defenders, who for four days and four nights had been without rest or sleep, depending on parachuted supplies to block the rebel assaults.

The Census Bureau reported this date that unemployment had increased by 54,000 in March, to a total of 3.7 million, the smallest monthly increase in the previous six months. The Bureau said it suggested that unemployment was stabilizing. It was the highest unemployment figure, however, in four years, since the 4.1 million unemployed in March, 1950. The lateness of Easter this year, not taking place until April 18, was blamed in part for the lack of more improvement in the March employment figures, but officials said that they were nevertheless encouraged.

In Washington, former Air Force chief of staff, General Hoyt Vandenberg, died this date at age 55. He had been a patient in the Army's Walter Reed Hospital since the previous October, admitted for observations and checkup. The Air Force declined to state the nature of his illness but private physicians who had attended him in a 1952 surgery said that it had found that he was suffering from cancer of the prostate and that subsequent malignancy had spread to his hips, spine and other bones. He had been chief of staff of the Air Force under President Truman, from 1948 until his retirement the previous June.

Also in Washington, Babe Didrikson Zaharias helped the President open the 1954 cancer fund-raising drive the previous night, giving him a few pointers on his golf game along the way. She had been diagnosed with cancer the previous year and there had been talk that she would never be able to play golf again, but a few months after surgery, she was back playing the game. At the White House, she and Mrs. Eisenhower watched as the President passed a pellet of radioactive cobalt, used in cancer research, by a Geiger counter, generating an impulse transmitted by wire to Times Square in New York City, where it illuminated a 70-foot crusader's sword, the symbol of the American Cancer Society, signaling the start of the drive to raise 20 million dollars.

In New York, AFL-ILA longshoremen, under police protection, successfully entered the luxury liner pier stronghold of the striking ILA "Pistol Local" this date, the second consecutive day that the AFL members worked pier 84 during the 29-day old ILA waterfront strike, and the first time without violence at the gates. Despite a line of jeering pickets of the ILA, 110 AFL longshoremen were rushed by police in trucks onto the pier to work an Italian liner, Vulcania. Some 300 police officers were stationed outside the pier to head off any attempt by the ILA to keep the trucks from entering. One ILA member refused to move and swung at a police officer, resulting in his arrest on a charge of disorderly conduct. The New York-New Jersey waterfront commission the previous night had rejected an offer by the striking ILA to end the walkout if the commission would provide amnesty to 65 ILA members who had been blacklisted for criminal records. The ILA had been banned from the AFL for failing to clean out its racketeering elements, and the new AFL-ILA was then formed as a competing union for representation of the longshoremen.

The President signed a bill this date giving to North Carolina 4,750 acres of Federally-owned land at Camp Butner, near Durham. Representative Thurmond Chatham of North Carolina, who would introduce the bill, said that the land had been used by the National Guard for training purposes and that the state expected to continue to use it for that purpose.

In Elizabeth, N.J., a tractor trailer truck struck a bridge abutment and burst into flames moments after the driver, from Charlotte, was pulled from the cab. He was initially thought to be seriously injured but was reported during the morning to be in satisfactory condition. A passing motorist saw the crash and pulled the truck driver from the cab. The truck was demolished. After the accident, a burning pole set a nearby house on fire, and a fireman fighting the truck fire was knocked to the pavement and hurt when the trailer's gas tank exploded. The front part of the house was damaged slightly by flames.

Lucien Agniel of The News tells of the arrival in Charlotte at Municipal Airport of former Governor Adlai Stevenson, the Democratic presidential nominee in 1952. He promised to have something to say about Senator McCarthy when he would speak this evening at the state Democratic rally at the Armory Auditorium. Governor William B. Umstead and Charlotte Mayor Philip Van Every, plus other local and state Democratic leaders, were present to greet him. When asked by reporters what he thought about the hydrogen bomb, he said "Horrors," and that he would have something to say about it during his speech, which would be carried locally on WBT radio and WBTV. Plans to have the talk broadcast via CBS had to be dropped because of prior network commitments. Several radio stations across the state would also carry the speech. Lt. Governor Luther Hodges, who, following the death the following November of Governor Umstead, would become Governor, would be on hand, along with other state Democratic leaders for the speech.

The entire fourth grade class from nearby Paw Creek School were also present to greet Governor Stevenson and, as he was about to enter the black Cadillac of Governor Umstead at the airport, he was approached by a breathless young woman who passed by police and said, "Mr. Stevenson, I'm Anne Leete from Paw Creek School and these are my fourth graders," gesturing toward 25 children standing behind her, asking him if he would say something to them. Mr. Stevenson turned, waved at them and said, "Hello, children, how are you?" A reporter had pointed out that an informal poll of the class taken before the landing of Governor Stevenson had found it predominantly Democratic, and one little girl spoke up saying that there was one exception, pointing to a freckled-faced boy, whom she said was a Republican, to which Governor Stevenson remarked, "There's still hope for him."

Hey, what did he mean by that?

At the Hotel Selwyn in Charlotte, the campaign organizers for former Governor Kerr Scott, running against incumbent interim Senator Alton Lennon in the upcoming Democratic senatorial primary, were making plans for the day. The state campaign manager, future Governor Terry Sanford, was asked whether they had a campaign manager for Mecklenburg County, to which he shook his head that they did not yet, but would see if they could arrange it in the ensuing few days. Mr. Scott arrived with his inevitable long cigar preceding him into the room. He and his lieutenants were a little apprehensive about the dinner plans for the night, with the former Governor saying that somebody had called and said that he was supposed to eat at the Barringer Hotel, but that he had an invitation which said he was supposed to go to the Hotel Charlotte, where he said they appeared to have "right good vittles" and so he expected he would go there. He said he understood that he, Senator Lennon and a third candidate in the race would each have five minutes to speak. They looked forward to being able to take advantage of the drawing power of Governor Stevenson.

In Greensboro, a six-year old member of a church group had answered the leader's invitation to lead the youngsters in prayer by stating, "Lord, I pray that the schoolhouse burns down so we won't have to go tomorrow and…" When things calmed down, he responded to instruction of the leader to deliver another prayer, in which he asked for forgiveness for his first one. But the first one was the one which was sincere and honest.

On the editorial page, "Trade Policy Needs Bipartisan Support" indicates that the President's foreign trade policy, as outlined in a special message to Congress, had been moderate, progressive and sound. But it indicates that whether he would be able to convince Republicans in Congress to pass it was another question. Protectionism had been a Republican Party policy for decades and its allure had been enhanced by 20 years of opposition to the Democrats' reciprocal trade agreements policy. Until 1953, House and Senate Republicans had approved those agreements only three times, in 1943 during the war, and in 1948 and 1951. The previous year, Republicans had voted for a one-year stopgap extension of the agreements pending completion of a study of foreign trade by a Presidential commission.

The President's message had largely followed the recommendations of that commission, as he stressed the need for curtailing foreign economic aid, encouraging investment abroad, facilitating currency convertibility and expansion of trade, seeking a three-year extension of the agreements and modification of the Buy-American Act, plus authority to adjust tariff rates downward by a small percentage each year on a wide variety of products. He had also endorsed an expansion of nonstrategic trade between East and West.

The Congressional obstacles to passage of the trade program were considerable, with the chairman of the Senate Finance Committee, Senator Eugene Millikin of Colorado, being for high tariffs and having dissented strongly from the recommendations of the commission, on which he had served. The House Ways & Means Committee, chaired by Representative Daniel Reed of New York, with the next Republican ranking member being Representative Richard Simpson of Pennsylvania, thus had two leading Republicans who took exception to many of the recommendations of the commission. Representative Simpson had reportedly prepared a bill which would provide generous tariff protection to American industry. Thus, Republicans in Congress were in key positions on tariff legislation and were not in sympathy with the President's approach, a dilemma which Herblock pointed out with his cartoon this date.

The President had not consulted with the Democrats before sending his message to Congress, despite the fact that he would need the help of the Democrats to get the program passed.

It concludes that trade policy, as with national defense and foreign policy, needed bipartisan support in such crucial times and if the President had any real hopes of getting the trade policy through Congress, he would need to enlist the help of the Democratic leadership.

"A Great Tar Heel Is Coming Home" indicates that former Comptroller General Lindsay Warren was coming home to North Carolina, after serving in that position from 1940 through 1952, before which he had served three terms in the North Carolina General Assembly and then 15 years in Congress, where he had been twice elected Speaker pro tem and as acting in Majority Leader. He had been a partisan Democrat as a legislator, but had put politics behind him when he became the Federal watchdog over Government expenditure. In that latter position, he had fought against waste wherever he found it, pitting himself against virtually every Government agency and usually winning.

Former President Hoover had argued that his General Accounting Office had too much power, but Mr. Warren had ultimately won the argument.

It indicates that part of his success was the result of his firmness in stepping on the toes of both sides of the political fence. Former Secretary of Agriculture Charles Brannan had suggested that it was politics behind Mr. Warren having upbraided him for failing to act promptly against grain manipulators. Wealthy holders of lucrative Government contracts also felt his wrath, as did the Maritime Commission, the Atomic Energy Commission, the Reconstruction Finance Corporation, TVA and Congress. Through his position, he had saved the Government millions of dollars and untold sums and hours by introducing better business methods.

He was returning to Albemarle to his home, described colorfully in the Greensboro Daily News, from which the piece quotes, and suggests that it would be a pleasurable retreat for anyone, wishes him a long and enjoyable retirement there, as he richly deserved it.

"A Thought" suggests to the calendar reformers that it might be wise also to rearrange the seasons, with five months having weather like that of this day, then one month of hot weather, followed by five months of balmy October days and one month of ice and blizzards. While it would play havoc with agriculture, it did not hurt to dream.

"A Capsule Report for Mr. Stevenson" summarizes the situation in the local Congressional District, in case Governor Stevenson, during his visit to Charlotte, had not had time to read the newspapers. It tells of the District in recent years having been infiltrated by a lot of Republicans from up north, that some of the local Democrats had done so well during the 20 years of Democratic rule in Washington that they decided they were Republicans, at least insofar as the presidential and Congressional races. The Democratic Party machinery had gotten bogged down, with the result that Republican Representative Charles Jonas had been elected in 1952, and the President had received 86,223 votes to Mr. Stevenson's 59,919—despite the state being won by Governor Stevenson by 54 to 46 percent.

It suggests that Charlotte was the most appropriate location for missionary work by the Democratic leader because it was the center of those ailments which beset the party. It notes that some of the supporters in the community, who had supported General Eisenhower for the presidency, were seeking tickets to the dinner for Governor Stevenson this night, while the phrase, "It's Time for a Change", was being heard occasionally once again, with one thrifty resident of the county hanging onto and polishing his "Stevenson for President" button.

A piece from the Greensboro Daily News, titled "Add: Educational Notes", indicates that the dean of the school of education at N.C. State, J. Bryant Kirkland, had announced that the school would offer ten professional courses in its spring term, for the special benefit of elementary and secondary teachers living within commuting distance of Raleigh. He explained that academic credit earned by taking the courses might be used to meet certification renewal or advanced degree requirements. It lists the courses to be offered, which included such things as principles of guidance, occupational studies, course-building in vocational agriculture and philosophy of agricultural education, then wonders where they were in "this continuing argument over certification, subject matter vis-à-vis techniques and methodology, present investiture of the powers of certification, coordination of schools of education with public school systems, its needs, purposes and responsibilities and factors which enter into the teacher shortage and curricular [studies to preclude] Hawaii from statehood?" (We are assuming the bracketed phrase in lieu of "clude".)

Drew Pearson indicates that only two women in the history of the country had been regularly elected to the Senate, Hattie Caraway of Arkansas and Margaret Chase Smith of Maine, but now it appeared that there might be a third, with Congresswoman Edith Nourse Rogers having told friends that she had decided to run for the Senate from Massachusetts, contesting fellow Republican, Senator Leverett Saltonstall, who had a good record in the Senate but faced tough opposition among the Irish voters of Boston. Republican leaders were concerned about the possible run as Senator Saltonstall was considered one of the most vulnerable Republicans in the fall, and Congresswoman Rogers would give him a tough primary fight, particularly in the Boston area, where, as chairwoman of the Veterans Committee, she was much liked by the veterans. Republican leaders believed that the best way to get her to join the primary race would be to pressure her not to run against the Senator, that one of the reasons she was considering the run was that she was upset about the heavy-handed pressure from Republican leaders in Congress to get her to support the President's tax bill. Republican leaders had threatened to jettison veterans' aid bills which she had sponsored were she to vote to recommit the tax bill to committee, and had warned that she might regret it in still other ways if she persisted in her opposition to the tax bill. Republican leaders in Massachusetts could gerrymander her district, and a bill had been introduced in the Massachusetts Legislature sometime earlier which would cause her district to lose 14,000 Republican voters, pigeonholed in the end by Governor Christian Herter and other state Republican leaders, about a week before the House had voted on the President's tax bill. But, after Congresswoman Rogers voted to recommit the bill to committee, the redistricting measure in Massachusetts was suddenly revived, in obvious reprisal for her vote. That had caused her to suggest to friends that she might enter the Senate race.

Father Robert Hartnett, editor of the Jesuit publication America was one of various distinguished Catholics who disagreed with Senator McCarthy. Protestant clergymen had criticized the Catholic hierarchy for not taking a stand against the Senator and his tactics, but recently, Father Hartnett, who was invited to speak at the friendly Sons of St. Patrick in Chicago, declined to do so because the Senator was to be present on the dais and he said that he would not be seen on the same platform with him. But then, when Father Hartnett arrived at another location to speak instead, he was surprised to find that Joe McCarthy was also a featured speaker at that dinner and was about to withdraw, until it was explained that there was another Joe McCarthy who was the exact opposite of the Senator politically.

Secretary of Health, Education and Welfare, Oveta Culp Hobby, had lit two cigarettes while testifying before the House Interstate & Foreign Commerce Committee despite two prominent "no smoking" signs in the Committee hearing room, which apparently she had not seen.

Congressman Leo Allen of Illinois frequently put in 12-hour workdays, shuttling between the House Rules Committee, which he chaired, and his other office maintained for Illinois constituents. He was also on the joint leadership committee, which met weekly with the President, and he often presided in the House chamber as Speaker pro tem.

James Marlow indicates that in mid-March the dispute had been hot for five days between Senator McCarthy and the Army, regarding the alleged solicitation by Roy Cohn, on behalf of the Senator, of favors for Private G. David Schine, a former unpaid Investigations subcommittee aide, the denial of same by Mr. Cohn and the Senator, and their counter-charges that the report by the Army was designed to "blackmail" the Senator into dropping his investigations into Communists within the Army. Since then, things had been in a lull after it was initially determined that the Investigations subcommittee would investigate the dispute, having spent its time looking for a temporary lead counsel for the investigation. Eventually, the subcommittee had just settled the previous day, unanimously, on Samuel Sears, a Boston Republican trial lawyer who collected gold toothpicks as a hobby and had been president of the Massachusetts Bar Association three times.

But, after initial questioning for 45 minutes of Mr. Sears and the unanimous approval, some of the subcommittee members had developed doubts and wanted to question him further, after it was reported through newspaper files and the Harvard Crimson that Mr. Sears had spoken out publicly more than once in favor of Senator McCarthy, albeit not in the previous two years, while having told the Senators on the subcommittee that he had never spoken out one way or the other on the Senator or on McCarthyism generally. The Crimson quoted Mr. Sears as having said that the Senator had done a "great job" and that the loss of him to the Senate, were he to lose the 1952 re-election campaign, would be "a blow to the United States".

Two members of the subcommittee, Senators Henry Jackson of Washington and Charles Potter of Michigan, said that they would ask Mr. Sears to review his past statements and determine whether he still felt, as he had testified, that he could be impartial in his job. Two other members of the subcommittee, temporary chairman Senator Karl Mundt and Senator John McClellan of Arkansas, said that they doubted anything which had occurred two years earlier could be taken as suggesting a prejudice in Senator McCarthy's current dispute with the Army. All three Democrats on the subcommittee, including Senator Stuart Symington of Missouri, said that they were unaware that ten days earlier, Mr. Sears had expressed to Senator Saltonstall of Massachusetts and Representative Laurence Curtis of Massachusetts an interest in the job as counsel for the investigation.

Since March 16, when the subcommittee decided to conduct the investigation, Senator McCarthy had talked of the matter as if it was a dispute between Mr. Cohn and the Army's counsel, John G. Adams, rather than having anything to do with him.

Robert C. Ruark was thinking about all the child stars and singers, athletes and prodigies, who had their lives ruined by early exploitation, such as child actor Jackie Coogan, Baby Rose Marie, and the more recent crop of child actors, Jackie Cooper, Deanna Durbin and Shirley Temple. It seemed to him that every mother in the land whose child had less than two heads was praying that "Little Horrible will be another Bobby Breen or that Little Obnoxious will be a Shirley Temple."

Even in sports, eager parents sought to mold their children when the "poor brat" was just a toddler. He imagines that Bob Feller, when he was young, or Mickey Mantle, might have wanted to do something else than to play ball, such as becoming an artist. He regards the commercial exploitation of a child to be horrible, as it robbed the child of his or her childhood. "These awful little lispers on the air and on recordings today, with their Cadillacs and agents and lawyers and special tutors, have been coldly filched of about the only perfect period of a lifetime—childhood." Once they went out of fashion, they spent the rest of their lives in "frustrated anticlimax". Then they went bald or got fat or started drinking, as their lives had largely been lived before they had begun.

He suggests that in some other lands, children were treasured, taught manners and made to mind, included in the family as a friend and equal with hours of companionship. They were taught to be polite to elders, to eat and to sleep on schedule, and he regards it as not being an imposition any more than adequate schooling. He indicates that there were many child labor laws on the books in the United States to control work hours and study hours, but that none seemed to be applicable to the robbing of a child of normalcy so that "the old lady can sport a mink coat."

A letter writer thanks reporter Donald McDonald of the newspaper for his Saturday report on local pedestrians, indicates that she had been brushed by drivers more than once when crossing the street with the traffic sign.

A letter writer thanks the newspaper for its editorial of March 27 on motorists turning into pedestrians crossing the street and recommending reciprocal courtesy, as well as complimenting the piece by Mr. McDonald.

A letter writer from Marion discusses the letters which had been written to the newspaper in favor of the tactics of Senator McCarthy, trying to paint him as a hero or a martyr, of which she says he was neither. A story a couple of weeks earlier on "Studio One", "Thunder on Sycamore Street", had reminded her of the McCarthy controversy, and she describes that story, hopes that the vindictive neighbor in the teleplay, against a man who had just been released from prison, would soon be the role occupied by the Senator, suggesting, in that event, that justice and democracy were still alive and working and that those who had responded to McCarthyism had been made to realize that there were different ways to do a job, but that it was done best when done honorably.

A letter writer from Pinehurst indicates that two weeks earlier, Governor Stevenson, in an address to a gathering of Democrats in Miami, had appealed to the President to take a firm stand regarding Senator McCarthy, to show that he, not the Senator, was the leader of the Republican Party and the country. The writer indicates that everyone in the Republican Party then wanted to reply to the Governor, indicative of the fact that he had touched a raw nerve. Vice-President Nixon was assigned the task of rebuttal, and had delivered a television address which the writer finds to have been mainly a repetition and confirmation of what Governor Stevenson had said in Miami. The President had described Governor Stevenson's remarks as "nonsense", but the writer says that the Governor never talked nonsense. Since that time, the President had been trying to put Senator McCarthy in his place, and had appealed to the divided Republican Party to come together, securing passage of his tax measures in the House by a narrow margin. The writer finds Governor Stevenson remarkable and that the Republicans and Democrats would do well to take his advice as a pattern and guide on policies, good for the whole country and the world.

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