The Charlotte News
Tuesday, January 25, 1955
Site Ed. Note: The front page reports that Republican Congressional leaders Senator William Knowland of California and Congressman Joseph Martin of Massachusetts predicted this date speedy and overwhelming approval of the President's program for defense of Formosa, outlined in his special message to Congress the previous day. After a session at the White House, they said that the Chinese Communists might interpret weakness from any delay in passage of a resolution giving the President advance approval to make war if he believed it necessary to keep Formosa in the hands of the Chinese Nationalists. Mr. Martin predicted that the House would vote overwhelmingly to approve the matter later this date, indicating that thus far he knew of no member in opposition, and Senator Knowland said he expected an overwhelming affirmative Senate vote by Thursday at the latest. The House Foreign Affairs Committee had endorsed the resolution unanimously the previous night, 28 to 0, following a secret briefing by Secretary of State Dulles and Joint Chiefs chairman Admiral Arthur Radford. The two men also briefed Senators, and Senator Wayne Morse of Oregon commented afterward that the authority the President sought "could very well mean war", and Senator Walter George of Georgia quoted Secretary Dulles as having said "our entire position in the Western Pacific" was at stake in Chinese Communist threats to conquer Formosa.
A piece from the Associated Press comments that while the U.S. faced the greatest risk of war with Communist China at any time in the 18 months since the end of the Korean War in July, 1953, the President and Secretary of State believed that taking the risk afforded the best long-range hope for peace in the Far East. But, it says, it could be stated on "excellent authority" that both believed strongly in the probability of peace prevailing. It indicates that several events during the previous month had triggered the President's message, that the leaders in the new Democratic Congress wanted to know the full extent of firm American commitments in the area of Formosa, that the Communists had engaged in steady buildup of forces opposite Formosa, while Communist China had repeatedly stated its intent to conquer Formosa, that the Communists had displayed effective striking power in capturing the small Nationalist-held island of Yikiangshan the previous week, and that Chiang Kai-shek had appealed for U.S. aid when the Communists had increased their attacks on the Nationalist-held Tachen Islands nearby. The authority sought by the President the previous day would permit use of U.S. ships and planes to evacuate troops from the Tachens and other islands so that they could be regrouped to bolster Formosa's defenses, but that such operations would carry a serious risk of involvement with Communist fighters and shore-based artillery. His request went beyond mere redeployment in the event that it was necessary to hold some of the offshore islands for the defense of Formosa, with the President not drawing a precise line beyond which the U.S. would not act. Decisions already made in the National Security Council, however, had been more precise than anything the President had said publicly. He also sought Congressional approval for authority to order strikes, if necessary for the protection of Formosa, directly at Communist concentrations on the mainland, leaving no privileged sanctuary for the Communists, as had been the case throughout the Korean War regarding territory north of the Yalu River.
A report from aboard the carrier U.S.S. Yorktown, with the U.S. Seventh Fleet, indicates that ships and planes of the Fleet were standing guard this date in the Formosa Straits, alert to any attempts by the Chinese Communists to "liberate" Formosa, as Premier Chou En-lai had been threatening. The piece tells of a flight made prior to dawn from the deck of the carrier by a Panther jet, after three other Panthers had already taken off, with 12 others still on the deck preparing to launch within a few minutes.
Representatives Hale Boggs of Louisiana and Frank Karsten of Missouri said this date that a recent investigation into charges of election irregularities in the Ninth Congressional District of North Carolina had been unwarranted. They were both minority members of a House Special Campaign Investigating Committee, and their views had been published in the Congressional Record this date as a minority report to the majority report filed January 3. The majority report had urged Congress to give serious attention to the complaints. Incumbent Representative Hugh Alexander had defeated the Republican Williams Stevens in the election by about 5,000 votes, and the majority report had suggested that the state's absentee voting and registration laws needed revision. Messrs. Boggs and Karsten urged the State Legislature to make a thorough study of election laws in the state, but indicated that Congressional committees ought not concern themselves with matters properly left to the states. They said that the majority report and sundry press releases had created in the minds of voters of the district widespread misconceptions, and they wanted to set the record straight by indicating that in their opinion, neither the hearings nor the investigations had been justified.
In New York, uneasiness over the Formosa situation had caused most stocks to trade at lower prices this date, with losses running as high as between two dollars and three dollars per share. Steel prices, automotive stocks, copper, chemicals, and railway stocks were among those suffering the most, with some downturn also in aircraft stock. Bethlehem Steel, General Motors, Chrysler, Douglas Aircraft, Kennecott Copper and the Santa Fe Railroad all registered lower prices.
Relman Morin of the Associated Press, in the second in a series of articles about the stock market, indicates that money could be made in the market, but that also one could lose one's shirt, that a quick killing depended on the size of the investment, one's judgment and the reliability of information, plus countless other factors beyond one's control. He says that to be wiped out in the market would require that one be "unusually deaf, dumb and blind, but it's possible." He indicates that the "stock market" covered the New York Stock Exchange, the American Exchange, and the smaller exchanges across the country and in Canada, that it was a facility, highly organized for the convenience of the buyer and seller, and was a place where borrower and lender met, each with the idea of using money to create more money. A corporation needed funding and so it "borrowed" in the market. Investors with idle money who wanted to earn more than they could obtain in a savings account or through government bonds bought shares of stock in the company, effectively loaning the company one's money. Gains came in two ways, from dividends the company might pay on its earnings, and from the increased price of the stock based on the firm's success and the consequent desire for the stock by other investors. The stock market was also a state of mind, representing the sum of judgments and opinions, whims and hunches, hopes and fears, of millions of people, all seeking to gauge the future of thousands of business enterprises and buying or selling stock accordingly. People were seldom predictable and since the stock market was the focus of many opinions and emotions, it was also unpredictable. It reacted to events anywhere in the world, and so the element of risk could never be eliminated. Thus, a broker might recommend that one should avoid any risk, based on his or her financial position, and invest in government bonds. Mr. Morin indicates that there were market publications available which would provide information about the stability of American corporations, providing data which would help the individual investor determine whether or not a particular stock was a good investment and worthwhile risk.
In Plainfield, N.J., a grandmother stood in the window of a blazing tenement early this date and tossed her two grandchildren three stories to safety into the arms of a waiting policemen, before she fell back into the flames and perished. A man also had died in the flash fire. Seventeen others had jumped from the century-old three-story building or fled or were helped to safety in bare feet and night clothes in sub-freezing weather.
In Raleigh, a scheduled meeting of a State Senate rules subcommittee was postponed this date after it advised that it was not ready to make its report to the full committee, apparently delayed because of the question on recommended change of rules to allow all committees to hold executive sessions, except for final votes. A member of the subcommittee predicted that it would have a unanimous report by the following day, and would recommend that executive sessions of committees be held "in some form".
In Charlotte, Police Chief Frank Littlejohn, in a memo to City Manager Henry Yancey and members of the City Council, requested this date employment of 18 additional police officers to cover perimeter areas of the city, citing crime statistics in those areas as the basis for the need. At present, the force had 218 police officers with the power of arrest, but the chief indicated that the number was actually 208 because ten officers were past the age of effective service, with the force divided into three shifts, and that an average of eight men were on vacation and an average of five out sick or injured on a given day.
On the editorial page, "Outlook on Formosa Hardly Comforting" comments on the President's special message to Congress the previous day, seeking a declaration to permit operations necessary to protect Formosa and the Pescadores, indicating that he did not need to seek that permission and had not suggested any particular action which had not already been officially proposed and publicized. The country had several times indicated its intent to defend Formosa and the Pescadores, and so the intent of the President apparently was to obtain Congressional approval to back up his decisions and to warn the Communists once again of the peril which would accompany an invasion of Formosa.
It finds it a sensible move, that the most dangerous part of the present situation was the increasingly bellicose attitude of Chinese Premier Chou En-lai, who had vowed the previous day to "liberate" Formosa, producing a rather uncomfortable situation. Thus, the reaffirmation by the U.S. of its intent to defend Formosa might convince Chou that he had overreached, but on the other hand, wounded pride and nervous trigger fingers could lead to major hostilities.
It distinguishes the offshore islands close to mainland China from Formosa and the Pescadores, with Quemoy situated only five miles from the mainland. It indicates that the President had wisely overruled the Joint Chiefs and Secretary of State Dulles the previous fall when they had recommended retaliatory action against the mainland if Quemoy were invaded. It finds that it would be reckless to taunt the enemy right at his doorstep and doubly so, given that Quemoy was of no particular value to Formosa or the West. The President had not sought from Congress any authority regarding such offshore islands.
It suggests that withdrawal of the Chinese Nationalists from Quemoy might be a bargaining chip to obtain the release of the prisoners held by the Communist Chinese on claimed charges of espionage during the Korean War, that it would lessen tension in the area while also achieving an objective of the U.S. without sacrificing worthwhile territory. It finds that success of such negotiations had been enhanced by the U.S. position repeated with calm resolution by the President the previous day.
"A Newspaper's Statement of Principle" indicates that the previous Saturday at the North Carolina Press Association meeting in Chapel Hill, the Association had unanimously adopted a statement of principle, and because it succinctly expressed the conviction of The News, it reprints it in full, indicating, in substance, that the newspapers of the state, being conscious of their obligations and mindful of their own human imperfections, rededicated themselves to guiding principles of a responsible press in a free society, that freedom of the press existed in a democracy, not for power or profit or pleasure of an individual, but for the common good, that the right of the people to know could not be denied or diminished without endangering democracy, that the obligation of the press was to provide accurate, timely and complete information about all developments affecting the people's political, economic or social well-being.
And the lofty statement goes on, but candidly, we have trouble equating that with some of the stories which make it onto the front page of the newspaper, even if they present some form of mild entertainment.
The final test, the principles had stated, of every story, every headline and every editorial of every newspaper was whether it was honest, fair, and accurate.
Take, for instance, the newspaper's coverage each year on the front page of the Lying Contest, or the story the previous year, which had recently placed third in the features category as awarded the prior week by the Association, regarding the Beast of Bladenboro... So, to be perfectly honest and accurate in embracing current practices generally of newspapers of the time, it ought include a codicil which states that every newspaper ought have some fun, also, in which case lying or at least liberal speculation is acceptable, as long as it is literary or ironic, and reasonably obvious in its mendacity or lack of authoritative, conclusive source.
"Glencoe and A' That Forgotten" indicates that wherever there was a party, one could bet there was a Scot behind it, particularly on January 25, as Scotsmen would never spare the cost when there was a reason to celebrate, despite their reputation for being parsimonious. They started their New Year's Eve with their world-famous Hogmanay and annual tartan balls given by St. Andrew's Societies.
It indicates that the current night's special occasion was the 196th anniversary of the birthday of Robert Burns, and Scottish-Americans in Charlotte were celebrating at the Hotel Selwyn with a dinner, including a dish of questionable merit, haggis, always brought to the table accompanied by bagpipes. It had always thought the bagpipes were to take the diner's mind off the dish, comprised of minced lights, livers, suet, oatmeal, onions and pepper, all enclosed in a sheep's stomach.
Aside from haggis, Burns Night was a colorful, significant occasion for Scotsmen and it expresses happiness to see that it was being celebrated in Charlotte. It provided an occasion when MacDonalds would sit at the same table with their old enemies, the Campbells, and temporarily forget about the brutal massacre at Glencoe, for as Mr. Burns had said, "a man's a man for a' that."
A piece from the Greensboro Daily News, titled "Poor Joe", tells of Senator McCarthy becoming too quiet, that when his fellow Senators went to the White House for an evening, he just sat around brooding, wanting to go to the White House, too, even dreaming that it might one day become his house. A Senator who was snubbed by the President might even lose the next election, all because he had bawled out the President a couple of times, suggesting that the Senator believed it unfair. "And even his best friends wouldn't tell him."
Drew Pearson indicates that one of the most important facts revealed by Secretary of State Dulles during private talks with Senators had been that one U.S. warship had been strafed during the Communist air attack on the Tachens, that the damage had been negligible and, indicated the Secretary, he was certain that it was accidental and that the Communists had mistaken the U.S. ship for a Nationalist ship, especially because the Nationalist Navy was primarily comprised of surplus U.S. vessels. The Secretary had attempted to play down the incident in his talk with the Senators, consistent with his argument that he had been making to Joint Chiefs chairman Admiral Arthur Radford against aiding the Nationalist Chinese with protection of the Tachens. The primary issue, indicates Mr. Pearson, in the lengthy White House debates had been whether the U.S. would supply Chiang Kai-shek's troops on the Tachens, with Secretary Dulles concerned that such supply ships were certain to be bombed from the air, and if sunk, a hue and cry would be set up among the people to go to war, in the fashion of "Remember the Maine!"
Various wires were being pulled to kill one of the most potent probes of the previous Congress, into the Dixon-Yates utility combine contract with the Atomic Energy Commission, with the chief wire-pullers having been Old Guard Republicans, Senators Herman Welker of Idaho, John Butler of Maryland, and Everett Dirksen of Illinois, among others, plus moderate Republican Senator Alexander Wiley of Wisconsin, who had previously acquiesced in the monopoly probe, now leaning toward big business. The latter Senator held a key post as the ranking Republican member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, where he could throw monkey-wrenches into the anti-monopoly investigation. The big television broadcasters had learned that chairman Harley Kilgore of West Virginia would probe the trend toward television monopoly and were pressuring Senate friends to block the whole monopoly probe. Meanwhile, Congressman Wright Patman of Texas, who had pioneered some of the best anti-monopoly laws, was forming a small business committee which ought to do a good job for small business. Mr. Patman had the backing of Speaker Sam Rayburn and was a man who could not be stopped. He indicates that if the Langer-Kefauver-Kilgore group were blocked, Mr. Patman would exert extra pressure in the House to investigate.
The Navy had just purchased a new radar tube which could revolutionize the television industry and also contribute to the safety of air travel. It had been developed by Ross Aiken, a student of Dr. Scott Lawrence of California Tech, was a tube about 1.5 inches thick instead of the bulky 24-inch tube used in present television sets, the component which made present television sets so large. The new tube was so small that it could be hung on the wall and future television sets would probably resemble a picture in one's living room. (That is going too far, will never happen.)
Because of the size of current radar, only the largest airplanes had the space to carry them, but the Navy had now awarded contracts to install the new tubes in jet fighters, and because of their reduced size, future airplanes would be able to carry three radars, one so that the pilot could determine what was above him, one so that he could see what was below, and another to tell what was in front of him during night flying or foggy weather.
Marquis Childs tells of the implementing decision in Brown v. Board of Education being held up pending confirmation of Justice-designate John Harlan, nominated by the President the prior November 8, in the wake of the death in October of Justice Robert Jackson. The hope had been that confirmation would occur during the special session of the Senate following the midterm elections, meeting primarily for the sake of debating and voting on the censure resolution against Senator McCarthy. But the Judiciary Committee did not act on the nomination because then-chairman of the Committee, Senator William Langer of North Dakota, had been having a running feud with the Department of Justice and complained that no appointments to the Supreme Court had ever been made from North Dakota or certain other Western and Southern states, which he proceeded to name. Opposition to the nomination had been openly expressed by Senator James Eastland of Mississippi, as well as by some other Southern Senators.
The President had sent the nomination to the new Senate on January 10. Judge Harlan had been named to the Second Circuit Court of Appeals in New York a year earlier, and prior to that had been a lawyer in the firm in which former Governor Thomas Dewey was now a senior partner.
The unanimous decision in Brown the prior May 17, holding segregation in the public schools violative of the Fourteenth Amendment Equal Protection Clause, overruling the 1896 separate-but-equal doctrine of Plessy v. Ferguson as related to public schools for never having been realized in 58 years, had provided for further argument regarding implementation of the decision, inviting the 17 states directly impacted, including the four states with cases immediately involved in Brown, plus the District of Columbia, to submit briefing regarding implementation. The District case had been decided separately the same day because the Fourteenth Amendment only regards the states, and so the holding in Bolling v. Sharpe had been premised on the Fifth Amendment Due Process Clause. The decision to delay the implementation order was widely regarded at the time as wise, to afford a cooling-off period during which timing and method of implementation could be debated. Oral arguments had first been scheduled for the first week in December, and then indefinitely postponed pending confirmation of Justice Harlan—grandson of the lone dissenting Justice of the same name in Plessy.
Chief Justice Earl Warren was known to be anxious to have the full complement of Justices hear the oral arguments, given the revolutionary nature of the case.
Some Southern states were seeking legal ways to circumvent the decision, as South Carolina, Georgia and Mississippi had already adopted state constitutional changes to permit counties or school districts to abolish the public school systems. Such actions would be challenged in the courts and the matter would likely eventually go before the Supreme Court. A Justice who had not heard the oral arguments might then feel compelled to disqualify himself, and when there were only eight Justices hearing a particular case, it was possible that a four to four result could occur, which would work to affirm the lower court's decision and render the case without precedential value.
Both Senator Eastland, now the ranking majority member of the Judiciary Committee, and Senator Langer, now the ranking minority member, wanted to hold hearings on Judge Harlan's confirmation, which Senator Langer said he still opposed for the same reason as previously asserted, also commenting that he would oppose all nominations to the Cabinet and the Supreme Court until some of the states from which nominations had not previously come were finally recognized. In addition to his home state, he said that Florida, admitted to the union 109 years earlier, had never had an appointee either to the Cabinet or the high court.
But the real issue, indicates Mr. Childs, was Judge Harlan's attitude on integration, given the stance by his grandfather in Plessy.
William T. Polk, associate editor of the Greensboro Daily News and author of Southern Accent, speaks on the South and its furniture heritage in an excerpt from a speech at the dedication of the addition to the Southern Furniture Exposition Building in High Point. He first looks at the economic side of the furniture industry, indicating that High Point was the focal point of the greatest concentration of furniture manufacturing in the world. The South, within a 150-mile radius of Greensboro and High Point, manufactured approximately 47 percent of the wood bedroom furniture made in the country and 39 percent of the dining room furniture, with nearly all of the growth having occurred in the previous 30 years.
He attributes the growth to men, materials, markets and money. In the Old South, one was either born with furniture or did not acquire any, as one did not accumulate enough capital to purchase it, and so it was either inherited or not owned. The Southern furniture business had been born in hard times, during the Depression, because the South could make cheaper furniture than any other area. The furniture produced was often ugly and shoddy, but was within the means of many Americans who otherwise owned no furniture. As time passed, the Southern furniture manufacturers and merchants improved their skill and taste, such that the level of Southern furniture manufacturing now was high in both utility and beauty, and the region had become a center of fine furniture.
Manufacturers made furniture to make
money, but when that furniture took its place in the home, it moved
into the realm of emotions, love, pride and family history.
Parenthetically, we can indicate with virtual certainty that the desk in the
home of the Sheppard family, as photographed in evidence in the
murder case against Dr. Sheppard, came from a North Carolina
manufacturer, as our parents had the very same mahogany desk, which
sat in our living room from the earliest time we can recall, probably
purchased around 1940. Offhand, we would try to recollect that it was
from the Lane Company, which was actually in Virginia, but we are not certain of its manufacturer. In any event,
for decades it held much of the family memorabilia. And thus, we know
its design quite well. It was not, incidentally, in our household,
possessed of any ill omen, as no one, insofar as we know, has ever
died within its immediate vicinity, let alone been murdered. The little chihuahua, however, did suffer a heart attack one night in early 1963 about five feet from it. We actually
used it, quite uniquely so, as a writing desk for awhile when we were
in school. And, we used to watch the first-run episodes of "The Fugitive"
Mr. Polk indicates that a man's house, as Sir Edward Coke had said, was his castle, both for defense and repose, the place where he kept his household gods or his household goods, his furniture. The living room was a place for pride, the dining room, for sociability, and the bedroom, for love and rest. When furniture entered the home, it underwent a transformation, becoming part of the family, and vested with the personalities of the owners from generation to generation, thus becoming family heirlooms. The armchair was not just any armchair any longer, but it was grandpa's armchair, and perhaps, with children playing around it, had posed as Gettysburg or Iwo Jima. The dining room table had stored within it ineradicable memories of family gatherings. Even the kitchen furniture acquired an aura, quoting from Thomas Wolfe: "There is no spectacle on earth more appealing than that of a beautiful woman in the act of cooking dinner for someone she loves." Mr. Polk interjects that Mr. Wolfe had been a voracious eater and so was not joking about it. William Shakespeare had left his "second-best bed" to his wife, Anne Hathaway, and Charles Henry Webb, whom he notes might not have been happily married, perhaps had been opposed to beds when he had written: "Turn out the ale, turn up the light,/ I will not go to bed tonight./ Of all the foes that man should dread/ The first and worst one is a bed…/ In bed they died, and I'll not go/ Where all my friends have perished so./ For I've been born and I've been wed—/ All of man's perils come from bed."
Mr. Polk indicates that they did not sell his great-grandmother Maria's magnificent pineapple bedstead which had been in the family for 150 years, as prior to the general acceptance of hospitals, generations had been born and died on it. Wherever the family had gone, so had that bed, transported by an oxcart, covered wagon and mule train, to Tennessee and Texas, and then back to North Carolina by railroad, moving van or even airplane. He indicates that they would as soon sell a member of their family as that bed.
He looks to the future, the home of
the 1960's or 2000's, indicating that the home of the present, with
its radiant heat, deep-freeze, disposalls, dishwashers, electric
fans, radio, TV and telephones, would be a thing of the past by then,
a museum piece. He suggests that in the home of the future, one would
not know whether one were indoors going out or outdoors coming in,
suggests that the kitchen of the future would likely be atomized,
that food would be cooked on the table in a matter of seconds by
special rays—not completely without prescience—and would
be frozen to last for years. Intercommunication systems, by
walkie-talkie or even sittie-lookie, would save parents steps in
checking up on the girls and their dates. High-fidelity systems would
pipe soft music
A letter writer indicates that he had been reading in the newspaper during the previous few weeks about how black citizens had progressed during the previous 50 years, more than the white man ever had, according to some of the writers. But then, he says, the Supreme Court had ruled that there could be no segregation in the public schools, and now some in Charlotte had decided to spend thousands of dollars on the all-black Good Samaritan Hospital "because there are not enough beds for any sick Negroes after all the weekend cutting and shooting victims take them all, so the white hospital, the 'Mercy', makes room for Negroes over there and now they find it is going to cost a little money to go to the Mercy Hospital, so now the city and county governing heads may decide to build a $5 million-dollar addition on the Charlotte Memorial Hospital which is also for the Negroes." He suggests that five million dollars was a lot of money to the "poor old Negro who has never made enough money to pay any taxes", that it would take them another 100 years to pay their way or build a hospital. He then indicates, sarcastically, that "they all say" that the white man brought the black man to this country against his will, "so let the white man of today pay their way, while they live in alleys and drive new automobiles, drink beer and liquor every day of the week, cut, shoot and fight each other and pay police court fines. And they have the nerve to say the poor Negro doesn't have the chance to make the money that the white man does." He says that he knows a few hundred black people in Charlotte who made not less than $100 per five-day week. He again resorts to sarcasm and suggests that the other white hospital in Charlotte should also be given to "them". He wants to know what had happened to the white man of today, why it was that some of them, when asked about integrating the schools, did not wish to make a public statement. He indicates that he was sure that there were thousands more who would see to it that the people of the state would have the chance to vote on any law which had to do with children being sent to integrated schools.
That's right, let's have a vote to overturn the Constitution. Just throw it out in North Carolina, and if that don't work, vote it out in Mecklenburg County. That'll show 'em who ye are.
A letter writer, a captain in the Marine Corps, indicates that a recent editorial had made the point effectively for the need of a ready military reserve, that the father's comment about a fat, flabby and lazy individual, inspiring little confidence in the ability to be a "guardian of freedom" could be construed as a reminder to everyone that the quality of the reserve forces was as important as its quantity. He quotes President Washington as having once said, "To be prepared for war is one of the most effectual means of preserving peace." He concludes that the reserve forces of the nation, such as the Charlotte Marine Corps Reserve Unit, currently conducting a "Protect Your Freedom" recruiting campaign, needed and deserved the support of all persons who believed that a future of freedom was preferable to an eternity of slavery.
While it was a very different time, of course, when weapons were not so sophisticated and capable of traveling across oceans and continents, President Washington was also firmly against any form of standing army during peacetime, considered it one of the greatest dangers to liberty.
A letter writer from Raleigh, editor of the State College News Service, indicates that School of Design dean Henry L. Kamphoefner had informed him about the recent editorial in the newspaper praising the work of the School, and indicates appreciation for the newspaper's interest and support, says that they wanted to quote it in Statelog, a monthly news journal of N.C. State, which was distributed to 27,000 alumni, trustees, students, faculty members and parents of students.
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