The Charlotte News

Monday, January 10, 1955


Site Ed. Note: The front page reports that the President this date, in a special message, asked Congress for power to make a "moderate, gradual and reciprocal cut in tariffs by as much as 15 percent, stating that the country's interest required a foreign economic program which would stimulate economic growth in the free world, based on the principles that economic strength among the nation's allies was essential to U.S. security, that economic growth in underdeveloped areas was necessary to reduce international instability from Communist penetration and subversion, and that an increasing volume of world production and trade would help assure U.S. economic growth and a rising standard of living. The President had asked the Republican-controlled Congress the previous year for a three-year extension of the reciprocal trade agreements, but the Congress had provided only a one-year extension. Additionally in the message, the President asked for simplification of customs administration and procedure to eliminate "unwarranted delays" hampering commerce, that there be a reduction by 14 percent in the tax rate paid by corporations on income derived from foreign branches until the funds were removed from the country where earned, plus study of use of tax treaties by recognizing tax concessions made to foreign capital by other countries. He also urged continuation of the technical assistance program abroad and review of the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade, along with 33 other countries, with an eye toward reducing trade barriers.

At the U.N. in New York, Secretary-General Dag Hammarskjold and Chinese Communist Premier and Foreign Minister Chou En-lai were said to have ended this date their conferences in Peiping with a jointly expressed hope to maintain continued contact, no mention, however, having been made of the purpose of the mission by the Secretary-General, to negotiate the release of the 11 U.S. airmen and other U.N. personnel imprisoned in Communist China for alleged espionage during the Korean War. The joint communiqué said that the talks had been useful and that the two men hoped to continue the contact established during the meetings. The total time of the meetings had been 13.5 hours and this date's final meeting was the fourth, lasting an hour and 15 minutes. The full text of the communiqué is provided. The U.N. had passed a resolution in December condemning the imprisonment as a violation of the terms of the Korean War Armistice of July 1953, providing for return of all prisoners of war to their desired country of repatriation, and urging the U.N. to take all necessary steps to obtain the release of the airmen and other U.N. personnel.

In Taipeh, Formosa, at least 66 Chinese Communist warplanes bombed the strategic outlying Tachen Islands this date, the largest Communist Chinese air raid against Chinese Nationalist territory to date, and the Nationalist Chinese Defense Ministry said that the two Russian-built planes had been shot down. It said that more than 300 bombs had been dropped by the planes but that most of the bombs had fallen into the sea. It stated that two other planes escorting the fighter-bombers had been heavily damaged by antiaircraft fire initiated from the islands, located 200 miles north of Formosa. It said that the Communist Chinese planes had flown more than 100 sorties, with the initial attacks coming in four waves, destroying more than ten houses and inflicting a number of civilian casualties. The planes apparently had originated from bases in Shanghai.

The Organization of American States called an emergency meeting this date to hear Costa Rica's complaint that its neighbor, Nicaragua, was planning to invade Costa Rica. Nicaragua in the past had ridiculed such charges and this date a spokesman at the Nicaraguan Embassy in Washington said that President José Figueres of Costa Rica was always "seeing ghosts and hearing noises under his bed." The OAS was comprised of representatives of the 21 Latin American republics. A meeting called for the previous day had been postponed because of the absence from Washington of Nicaragua's ambassador to the U.S. He told newsmen in Houston the previous night that he would present "many facts" at the meeting and "refute the allegations". President Figueres and El Presidente Anastasio Somoza of Nicaragua had been exchanging accusations for months, each charging the other with responsibility, respectively, for an assassination attempt on El Presidente Somoza the previous April and an attempt to overthrow the Government of Costa Rica the prior July, both of which attempts had failed. Costa Rica's charges included that seven military transport planes of the Venezuelan Air Force had arrived in Managua the previous Friday, with Nicaragua claiming that the planes were manned by Air Force cadets on a good will and training mission, and had returned to Venezuela the following day.

In Raleigh, members of the North Carolina General Assembly returned to session this date after a weekend at home during which many had sounded out opinion on the tax and spending recommendations presented to the Legislature by Governor Luther Hodges the previous Thursday. State House Speaker Larry Moore of Wilson said that the legislators had gotten off to a quicker start the previous week than in the past and appeared more serious, determined to get the job done. The president of the State Senate, Senator Luther Barnhardt of Cabarrus County, agreed that they were moving along faster than in the past and getting down to business, expressing confidence that it would not be a long session.

In Newark, N.J., a company had developed lights for speakers in legislatures and schools which said "go" via a green light in front of the speaker, "get ready to stop" via an amber light when there was one minute left in the talk, and "halt" by way of a red light, and for those who ignored the lights, the device had a buzzer which told the speaker to sit down.

Near Wilmington, N.C., five men from South Carolina were killed this date in a collision at around dawn between an automobile and a tanker truck. A member of the State Highway Patrol said that it appeared that the tanker truck had been flagged down to turn left off the roadway by the driver of a parked truck and that the car then struck the truck as it was making the turn.

In Charlotte, a Spur service station operator on Independence Boulevard reported to police that a man had struck him on the back of the head with a hatchet and then robbed the station of $75 in cash plus a five-dollar check at around 5:30 a.m. this date, the man having initially walked into the station to ask for directions to the restroom. The wound to the man's head required five stitches. A description of the man is provided in case you see him. Two other assaults had taken place over the weekend.

In Mecklenburg County during the weekend, four rural mailboxes were reported to County Police and to the office of the U.S. Post Office Inspector as having been destroyed by fire cracker explosions, constituting a Federal offense. There was also other damage reports during the weekend to the County Police regarding damage to lights and cement ornaments on the grounds of a river cabin and damage to a fence around another property.

In Patuxent River, Md., the Navy lieutenant bringing home his newly adopted 17-month old baby girl had departed Naples the previous day with only a dozen remaining diapers on his journey to the Maryland Naval Air Station, having started from Athens, Greece, where the adoption was formalized. He said that he had just enough diapers left to complete the journey and that it had been touch and go until the current morning, but that "in a few more hours it would have been go". The military transport plane carrying the lieutenant and the infant had been grounded the previous night in French Morocco in North Africa because of bad weather. He and his wife, who lived in Houston, had sought to obtain an adoption in the U.S. but found the waiting lists too long and so resorted to the foreign adoption.

In Baltimore, a 10-year old girl charged into her home early Sunday to report that there was a turkey on the porch, while her 19-year old sister suggested drowsily that she take her "nonsense" elsewhere. But her 21-year old brother took a look, confirmed that there was a large bird on the porch and suggested that it might be an owl. The mother said that whatever the bird was, it belonged in the zoo and not on her porch, and so she telephoned the zoo, unable to get a response, and then telephoned the police, ultimately requiring five policemen, two squad cars and a paddy wagon to trap the bird, which turned out to be a pheasant, now housed in the jail cell of a police station while the police searched for its owner.

On the editorial page, "Goodby to Gothic and Williamsburg" indicates that in six years, the N.C. State College School of Design had built a solid international reputation for itself and for North Carolina architecture in general, having emerged as the South's great champion of an indigenous architecture, withstanding the "silly rantings" about "modernism" and "functionalism" in contemporary design.

In recognition of its achievements, the State Department had selected the school as one of seven major institutions to prepare an exhibition on architectural education for circulation in Europe and Latin America. Experts had also hailed the school as "one of the leading architectural training centers in the U.S.", providing also other such plaudits.

It suggests that there had been too much nonsense spoken and written about architecture of late, discussion which was reckless abuse and broad generalization disguised as logic and thus virtually worthless. As long as Frank Lloyd Wright believed that Le Corbusier's designs were not architecture at all but rather "aesthetic exercises" and M. Le Corbusier believed that Mr. Wright's work was "architectural fingerpainting", others could hardly be expected to practice tolerance.

All modern buildings had to "function" but that did not mean that there was no room for imaginative expression in architecture. The architect was free to discover new forms, new integrations of space and volume, with comfort and utility able to coexist with beauty.

Mr. Wright had insisted that there ought be as many styles of houses as there were individuals. He also maintained, on a practical level, that a house with "character and integrity" stood a good chance of growing more valuable as it grew older, while a house in the prevailing mode would soon be out of fashion, stale and unprofitable.

It finds that adherence to transplanted traditions of the past, such as Gothic school buildings in North Carolina, or the Williamsburg style, did not solve fundamental problems of shelter for the region where they were most popular. The dean of the N.C. State School of Design, H. L. Kamphoefner, had called the Williamsburg Restoration "a catastrophe … casting a shadow on the progressive development of indigenous architecture for the region."

It suggests that the design of good buildings perfectly suited for the state was the aim of the School of Design and its imprint had already been felt in the state's school building program. Through the cooperation of private architects, the State Board of Education and the School of Design, North Carolina children had been saved from drafty, cumbrous buildings which once replaced the little red schoolhouse, with the new schools providing pupils more sunlight, more warmth in winter, more fresh air in spring and autumn, and more physical inducements to learn. The state's architecture was slowly being revitalized and, it suggests, some day, "fadism and eclecticism" would disappear and the "devitalized and sterile forces" would be defeated, the challenge for North Carolina architecture at present.

Speaking from our own experience, setting aside the purely functional architecture of our elementary school, constructed originally in 1956, razed in 2006 to make way at the same site for a modernized structure, the UNC chemistry building, the first part of which was constructed in 1971 and opened in early 1972, was regarded at the time as probably the most hideous State building extant and possibly ever to that point constructed, with a close second emerging the same year on the campus with Hamilton Hall, the social sciences administration building, with its "gun-port" windows seemingly ready to take aim at all passersby (looking far more imposing in its original state, before the tree grew up pleasingly obscuring most of its harsh imposition on the eyes)—that type of functional and hideous, tomb-like architecture by no means having been limited to UNC or to North Carolina State buildings, a late Sixties, early-Seventies type of graveyard fetish with the bland and hollow, the gray and nondescript, the punishingly walled off mind, extending at least into the Eighties, remindful on the exterior of a perfect vision of how a prison ought look in the midst of a Kafkaesque nightmare, not the least influenced by Dali or even Dada, though perhaps by McNixon, awaiting arrest for some political offense resulting inevitably in consignment to a Soviet gulag somewhere in remote Siberia.

But, as we have recounted before, insofar as the chemistry building at least, we make room for differing tastes in architecture, for during a campus tour which we were once providing to a young prospective student and his parents, from the North somewhere, perhaps New Jersey as we recall, they had little comment regarding the many older, ivy-adorned architectural exemplars, not "icons", represented on campus, effectively yawning at their appearance, not the least impressed by our copious, yet terse enough description of their history, but found adoring praise for the new chemistry building as a glorious achievement in the new plastic arts involving molding of concrete to an aesthetic cipher, its non-presence to the point of invisibility apparently giving its aura of impressive show. You decide for yourself by taking your own virtual tour of the campus from our above-referenced two starting points, not far apart, not possible in those earlier times, but sure to communicate the desire through time for blending the melange of the old and new, while also demonstrating the stark chafing at times of the new with the old, perhaps, in the end, as a whole, suggesting an over-arching theme reflective of the various stages of development of the campus through many generations of students and professors, beginning in 1793, if not always in a mode of verity, or vérité, or veritas, as the case might be, to the times extant of each edifice's creation, at least ironically so, as could be said also of McNixon, a kind of non-denial denial collective form of architecture.

The piece, incidentally, appears to suggest, consciously or unconsciously, a farewell to Duke University's campus architecture on the one hand, and that of the new Wake Forest campus in Winston-Salem, not even complete in 1955, on the other, the latter having derived, however, from the old Wake Forest campus near Raleigh, whether being good, bad or indifferent, we make no value judgment, as they lend historical variety to the overall scheme which can become quite as monotonous as the muddy rivers of the state appear from the air, but that is a function of nature, not the state's fault or that of its rivers.

"An Evil Omen in the Fiscal Sky" indicates that increasingly, major American cities were looking at the income tax as a convenient device to rescue municipal finances from deficits. It stood as a grim warning to Charlotte residents watching their revenue needs grow as the population grew, and was an unhappy omen for fringe area residents as well, who earned their salaries inside the city but lived outside the area subject to city taxes.

Seven major cities had adopted municipal income taxes since 1939, and most of the ordinances adopted followed the same pattern, according to The American City, that all of them taxed nonresidents for work done or services rendered within the city and of the family breadwinner who lived in the city but worked in a nearby community. They required employers within the city to withhold taxes from employees and to submit the withholdings to the city tax collector at specified periods. All major cities set a flat rate of taxation and none provided for a graduated rate. Most levied a one-half percent rate. A growing number of small cities were also adopting municipal income taxes.

It urges that such a last resort form of taxation ought be avoided if possible.

"What Happened to Fulbright's Idea?" reminds that Senator J. William Fulbright of Arkansas had suggested in 1946, after the midterm elections resulting in a Republican House and Senate, that President Truman appoint a Republican Secretary of State and then resign so that control of the executive would pass to the Republican Party. Marshall Field had endorsed that idea in the Chicago Sun-Times and many Republicans had supported it.

President Truman had suggested that Senator Fulbright was an "over-educated Oxford son-of-a-bitch".

But no one had suggested that the plan be followed in the current instance of the Congress, under control of the Democrats while a Republican occupied the White House. It suggests that perhaps the country had entered another era of good feeling, which might last another month.

A piece from the Christian Science Monitor, titled "American Diversity", suggests that Americans traveling comfortably in the country and visitors from abroad might touch down in the big cities, stay at sleek hotels, gaze into the glittering department store windows, and observe that America was all the same. But it questions whether those people were aware that in Kentucky, green beans were cooked with bacon and with milk in Maine, that house ceilings were calcimine in Massachusetts but papered in Iowa, that New Englanders cooled off on the piazza on a warm evening, while Alabamans did so on the gallery, etc.

Observant travelers had long been aware of such things but they had to venture outside the metropolitan areas to learn them.

The late Dr. Howard Odum of UNC had provided scholarly definition to obvious but somewhat vague evidence that America did have regions and that each of those regions had a culture of its own worth knowing and preserving. It finds that his contributions to improvement of racial relations and other problems of the South may have been as great, but that he was likely to be best remembered for quietly and unintentionally blasting the myth of American uniformity.

Drew Pearson tells of the President's talks with intimates regarding his political future, with the consistent thread being that he did not wish to run for a second term. He also stressed that the Republican Party had to build a new liberal organization with new leaders. He talked of policies similar to those of Presidents Roosevelt and Truman regarding foreign policy. He mentioned such a man as new Senator Clifford Case of New Jersey as the type of Republican who was needed to run for the presidency. He said that he was not disappointed in the midterm elections because the two men he wanted most to see win had been Senator Case and Representative Jacob Javits of New York, who had successfully run for State Attorney General, both liberal Republicans. Friends of the President pointed out that he had the same problem which FDR had with the Old Guard Democrats, having to sidestep such people as Jim Farley, boss Ed Flynn of the Bronx and the other professional politicians by organizing independent political committees, such as that under Fiorello LaGuardia. Likewise, the President had sidestepped the regular RNC by reinvigorating the Citizens-for-Eisenhower committee, confiding to one close friend that he was thinking of making James Murphy, head of that committee, the new chairman of the RNC, having never been happy with Leonard Hall as RNC chairman. Friends said that he became eloquent when describing his ideas for building friendship abroad and for proposing more liberal domestic policies, but was running up against roadblocks from his own supporters.

For instance, Harold Stassen and Secretary of State Dulles had worked out a new "Marshall plan" for Southeast Asia with the support of the President, but when Mr. Stassen had announced it at a press conference, Secretary of the Treasury George Humphrey had telephoned him from Brazil, excoriating him in harsh language. As soon as the Secretary returned from Brazil, he effectively blocked the proposal, in consequence of which, there would not be any such program. Instead there would be the same kind of aid which the U.S. had provided in the past in Southeast Asia, but no farsighted, long-range program as that which had been successful in rebuilding Europe after the war.

Senate conservative Republicans also were blocking attempts to rejuvenate the party. The two Senators proposed as chairman of the Senate campaign committee were Barry Goldwater of Arizona, and William Jenner of Indiana, both friends of Senator McCarthy.

At the same time, the President favored conservatives rather than liberals for jobs. For instance, Senator James Duff of Pennsylvania, who had been the first Republican Senator to voice support for General Eisenhower and was considered one of the top Eisenhower supporters in Congress, was seldom consulted and obtained few patronage jobs. In contrast, Senator Edward Martin of Pennsylvania, a member of the anti-Eisenhower, pro-Taft wing of the party, got most of the patronage jobs despite not always voting with the President.

Freshman Senator Richard Neuberger of Oregon had expertly chastised Vice-President Nixon at the Women's Press Club dinner recently, prompting the wife of Senator George Malone of Nevada to walk out in a huff because of his comments that politics should be based on issues, "not on character assassination", prompting general applause except from Vice-President Nixon, who had gone into Oregon along with eight Republican Senators and personally delivered some of the worst character attacks on Mr. Neuberger during the campaign. When the new Senator said that no election was worth winning if it meant abandonment of the Sermon on the Mount and the Ten Commandments, the Vice-President, sitting nearby, was getting red in the face. The Senator said that he hoped they would not begin accusing George Washington because he had once trusted the traitor, Benedict Arnold, prompting Mr. Nixon to squirm in his seat and turn even redder. He said that he wanted to thank one man who had come into Oregon to campaign hard against him while campaigning squarely on the issues rather than on personalities, that having been Senator William Knowland. Without mentioning the name of the Vice-President, Senator Neuberger had "spanked him about as neatly and as soundly as anyone could be spanked."

Stewart Alsop indicates that despite the warm feelings among the members at the start of the 84th Congress, there were likely to be a few predictable battles. First there would likely be a major row about foreign policy in Asia, as Admiral Arthur Radford, chairman of the Joint Chiefs, was dissatisfied with the Administration's Asia policy, as was Senator William Knowland, who would raise the matter with the Admiral when he appeared before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.

Second, there would be a dispute about the reduction in ground forces, with Army chief of staff General Matthew Ridgway scheduled to testify on that matter before the Senate Armed Services Committee, where the General was expected to register his disapproval.

Third, there would be a dispute about tariffs between the protectionist bloc of Republicans who had declared war on the President's reciprocal trade program.

Fourth, on the domestic side, there would be a continuing row about the Dixon-Yates private utility contract with the Atomic Energy Commission, as the Democrats believed it presented an issue on which to run in 1956.

Fifth, there would be a dispute about the security program.

There would be other disputes as well, with no one expecting Senator McCarthy to recede into obscurity, having been so discredited that the only way he could grab headlines being through assaults on the Administration, which were therefore to be expected.

The disputes which would take place would likely help the Democrats and hurt the Republicans, but the prospect was not as cheering to Democrats as might be expected, as the Democrats were no longer seeking to capture control of Congress but rather to recapture the White House in 1956. They would therefore hope to present the Republican Party in the worst possible light, which would reflect adversely on the President. But few Democrats believed that anything which might occur during the session would significantly harm the President. Their effort to defeat the President was a baffling problem, because the President was doing a good job, as even Mr. Alsop's nine-year old son had recently indicated through his new Christmas present, a toy press.

Marquis Childs tells of the Senate Democrats having rejected a proposal to amend the rules so that unlimited debate could be curbed by a rule of cloture, a rejection in the interest of harmony between Northern and Southern Democrats, the Southerners favoring current filibuster rules. The proposal to change the rule had been put forth by Senator Herbert Lehman of New York, who had been a consistent advocate of a change in the rules to prevent filibuster. Filibuster had been used through the years to block legislation involving fair employment and pertaining to segregation in the South.

Theoretically, when a new Senate met on opening day, new rules could be agreed upon by a simple majority vote on a motion from the floor, which was not ordinarily subject to unlimited debate. But Senate Rule 22 assured such unlimited debate, permitting filibuster.

Senator Hubert Humphrey of Minnesota was the chief opponent of a showdown on the opening day despite being one of the most ardent civil libertarians in the Senate. He had argued that since the motion had no chance of passage, its only purpose would be to create old party divisions and believed it was counterproductive to do so just to please the "civil liberties groups". He said that the maximum number of votes the Democrats could obtain for the change would be 22, and likely not that many, as the previous year they had gotten only 17 affirmative votes when they had tried to eliminate the filibuster.

The NAACP, the CIO and the ACLU had been actively advocating such an opening-day move to change the rules, putting great pressure on all of the Senators, but especially on Northern Democrats to undertake it. The desire to preserve harmony, however, signaled a more conservative trend in the Democratic Party.

Senator Humphrey had reminded that they had been united on many issues in the previous session, for instance on the censure of Senator McCarthy, as well as on the efforts by Northern Democrats to prevent the confirmation of Albert Beeson to become a member of the NLRB because it was charged that he had not severed his connection with his own company for which he had been labor relations director, with the final vote for confirmation having been 45 to 42 along straight party lines.

Several of the new Senators were asked about their position on the cloture rule and one or two said that they would go along with the change if it were proposed, but support was so feeble that after the meeting, Senator Lehman reluctantly decided against offering an amendment to Rule 22, which required a two-thirds majority vote to end debate. The Senator would not discuss what had occurred in the closed session but it was obvious that he was disturbed by what many believed should be a policy of harmony at any cost.

Doris Fleeson indicates that the White House had met Wolf Ladejinsky's price for dropping his embarrassing fight against Secretary of Agriculture Ezra Taft Benson, who had fired him as an attaché in Tokyo on security grounds. Mr. Ladejinsky wanted more than a comparable job, insisting on a full security and loyalty clearance before accepting a post in Vietnam in the Foreign Operations Administration.

He was a major example of the Democratic theory that the Eisenhower loyalty program was being systematically warped into a modern version of the old spoils system. Both Democrats and influential Republicans had raised great protest with the White House over the matter, forcing the Administration effectively to reverse the stance of Secretary Benson. While the President was willing to admit in the case that Mr. Benson had been wrong, Mr. Benson had refused to admit it, despite the State Department and now FOA having passed Mr. Ladejinsky on security grounds. Mr. Benson had conceded at a press conference that reasonable men might differ regarding the matter but he still believed he had the facts, though he had yet to meet Mr. Ladejinsky.

Ms. Fleeson indicates that the matter had a familiar ring to those accustomed to being heard when former President Truman defended his cronies to the bitter end.

Mr. Ladejinsky had worked for the Agriculture Department for 19 years, earning great praise and the confidence of a variety of politicians and Government officials, including General MacArthur. He had initially been fired without a hearing, on the basis of the opinions of two newcomers to the Department, whose word Mr. Benson had accepted completely and still did. He was leaving the Department without a single generous word or gesture from Secretary Benson, despite his long service. At the press conference, Mr. Benson had never gotten around to any form of praise of Mr. Ladejinsky as a faithful government servant accused by indirection of being capable of treason.

A letter writer indicates that he would go along with Governor Luther Hodges in his recommendations for a major overhaul of the sales tax, but believes that he should go much further than the proposals reported on January 6 and 7, that there were too many institutions exempted from the sales tax, including local and state governments, churches, hospitals, colleges and numerous other organizations. He believes that whoever made a purchase should pay sales tax regardless of their status, resulting in a lot of additional revenue for the state.

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