The Charlotte News

Thursday, October 13, 1955


Site Ed. Note: The front page reports from Rabat, Morocco, that France had finally given the U.S. permission to fly the American flag over the 17th Air Force headquarters, the French, sensitive about their sovereignty over the protectorate, having been reluctant for months previously to permit it. Rabat was the major command post in the system of U.S. airbases and attached installations in Morocco, with the bases technically being French-American, but having been built largely with American funding and being manned by 12,000 Americans. When the Nationalists guerrilla action against the French had become more threatening some weeks earlier, officers said that the French had suggested flying the American flag over some of the smaller and more remote installations, but had remained reluctant to permit the colors over the 17th Air Force headquarters. The subject had come up the previous night at a dinner given by President General Pierre Boyer De Latour Du Moulin, who gave his consent to raise the flag, but insisted that the French flag be hoist next to it.

Near Marrakech, Morocco, two unidentified passengers had killed the driver of a bus on a road 45 miles south of the city the previous night and had managed to escape before the vehicle had fallen into a 200-foot ravine, killing nine passengers and seriously injuring 16 others aboard. The passengers had been Moroccan and the driver, French.

In New York, former President Truman this date accused the American Legion of going "haywire" in wanting the U.S. to quit the U.N. Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization, UNESCO. A resolution adopted by the Legion by an overwhelming voice vote at its Miami convention the previous day had urged Congress to abolish the U.S. commission for UNESCO. Mr. Truman, a member of the Legion, told reporters, during his usual early morning constitutional, that the Legion did not know what it was talking about, that they had gone haywire during the previous three or four years and did not know what they were doing, that their own committee had said that the resolution should not be urged. He said that they were a "fine bunch of kids" who had fought for the welfare of their country, most of them having known what they had been fighting for, but having now forgotten. When asked what he meant by the use of the term "haywire", he had responded that the Legion had no business getting into politics, that its constitution indicated it should remain out of politics, but that there were "a bunch of new fellows in charge" who had not read that constitution, that they were "nice fellows, and they'll get over it soon." As indicated in the caption of the photograph accompanying the story, Mr. Truman said that the Cow Palace in San Francisco, by the end of the 1956 Republican convention at the site, would be the "Bull Palace"—not the only time it would be so... The former President and his wife were spending a week in New York.

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit unanimously affirmed this date the convictions and prison sentences of the four Puerto Rican Nationalists who had shot up the House of Representatives on March 1, 1954, wounding five members, all having recovered. The Court upheld the refusal of the District Court judge to order a psychiatric examination to determine the mental competency of the defendants to stand trial, and his refusal to submit to the jury the question of whether the defendants had been sane when they fired the shots into the crowded House chamber while it was in session. The three male defendants had received indeterminate prison sentences of between 25 and 75 years each, the sentences of 5 to 15 years on each count of assault with intent to kill running consecutively and the sentences on the assault with a dangerous weapon counts running concurrently therewith, while Lolita Lebron, said to be the leader of the group, received an indeterminate sentence of between 16 years, eight months, and 50 years, the jury having convicted the male defendants on five counts of assault with intent to kill and five counts of assault with a dangerous weapon, but had convicted Ms. Lebron only on the deadly weapon counts, resulting in the disparity in sentences.

In Crane, Ind., Marines this date searched the last of a five square-mile area where a three-year old boy might have wandered, while officials said that kidnapping appeared to be the likely explanation for his disappearance, following 30 hours of searching through the previous night without finding a single clue, after starting the search within 45 minutes after the boy had been missed on Tuesday. The boy's father had concluded that someone had driven by and taken his son away. He had last been seen playing with two other children his own age across the street from his parents' home.

In Raleigh, Governor Luther Hodges said this date that his proposed "local option" plan for school districts in dealing with segregation "would put into the communities the authority to run their schools the way they want to or not to run them at all if they choose." He told a press conference that he was not prepared to say anything else, or discuss the details of the proposal, that it was being studied by the Advisory Committee on Education and he hoped that the Committee, as there was no necessity for haste, would take sufficient time to consider it thoroughly, along with all other suggestions made regarding the subject, before reaching final decisions and detailed recommendations. The Committee, set up by the 1955 Legislature to study and advise regarding segregation problems, had issued a report the previous Friday saying that it was studying "abolition of the public schools and the organization of private schools perhaps by local option in specially troubled communities." It had said that it regarded it as a final step only if all else failed to produce "a tolerable situation". State Attorney General W. B. Rodman had said in a speech the previous Friday night in Durham to a pro-segregation group that he had been authorized by the Governor to say that the local option idea was "designed to permit communities … faced with an integration problem … to close the public schools if they wish and to try other methods of educating their children." He had also said that the Governor's previous press conference remarks on the plan had been misinterpreted by some newspapers.

Governor Hodges this date also reaffirmed his support for Adlai Stevenson to become the Democratic presidential nominee in 1956, but did not indicate his own political plans, whether he would run for the gubernatorial nomination—North Carolina Governors at the time ordinarily not permitted by the State Constitution to succeed themselves, but in the case of Governor Hodges, having succeeded to office by the death of former Governor William B. Umstead the previous November, eligible to run for another full four-year term. The Governor said that he understood that some reporters believed he would make an announcement this date, but that it was news to him, indicating that Democrats ought have their eyes set on the job of winning the presidency from the Republicans, that it could be done best by avoiding any fights at the convention the following summer. He noted that a newspaper survey had shown that the majority of North Carolina delegates to the 1952 convention presently favored Mr. Stevenson, and he described him as "very intelligent, patriotic and honest," with good ties with North Carolina—Mr. Stevenson's sister living at the time within the state with her husband. He added that his praise of Mr. Stevenson should not be taken as derogatory of any other person who might seek the nomination.

The Governor also announced the creation of a Long Range Hurricane Rehabilitation Project, to seek ways to minimize damaging effects from future hurricanes, to be carried out in connection with the State civil defense agency and financed by $27,000 of State funds. The plan, according to the Governor, had been praised by Federal Civil Defense administrator Val Peterson as promising benefits for other states in addition to North Carolina. He said that the Project had been developed by two professors at UNC and that its work would be performed by a director and a staff of experts chosen by the two professors and employed by the State civil defense agency. The Governor also announced that Agriculture Secretary Ezra Taft Benson had approved of an emergency feed grain program for the eight coastal counties which had suffered damage in Hurricanes Connie and Diane in mid-August, and Ione three weeks later, with 30 claims having been submitted for 2.5 million dollars worth of damage to property. The Governor said that with the October 15 anniversary of Hurricane Hazel's destructive visit to the state in 1954, 33 applications for 1.75 million dollars in Federal aid for damage to public property had been submitted, and that of those, 28, totaling 1.5 million, had been approved.

In Charlotte, one of the largest and most significant single contracts in the history of commercial aviation, providing for the sale of 25 DC-8 jetliners to Pan American World Airways, had been announced this date by the general manager of the Charlotte division of the Douglas Aircraft Co., Inc., the contract calling for an expenditure of more than 160 million dollars. Delivery of the planes was to be made at the main plant of Douglas in Santa Monica, Calif., beginning in December, 1959, the planes to be the most advanced type of jet transports, capable of crossing the oceans and continents nonstop at speeds averaging more than 550 mph. The contract was signed between Juan Trippe, president of Pan Am, and Donald W. Douglas, president of Douglas.

In Los Angeles, a woman reported to local police officers that she had been driving her family car with her 10-month old son to Los Angeles from New Mexico while her husband had been following her, driving a pickup truck with a house trailer attached, that she had stopped for gas near Las Cruces, but that her husband had continued on, expecting her to catch up with him, that before she could, she reached an intersection of four roads and had not picked the same one which her husband had chosen. Shortly after she had called police, they received another call from her husband, wondering if they had any information about his wife, and the family was quickly reunited. That's a relief, because we feared it might become one of those alien abduction stories out of Roswell.

In Ahoskie, N.C., Ms. Foote and Mrs. Shue were both nurses on the staff of the Roanoke-Chowan Hospital. Perhaps, eventually, they will go to work for a podiatrist's office, or might be employed as spokespersons for odor absorbent pads for footwear.

On the editorial page, "Optimism and a Crowded Boulevard" tells of the continuing traffic problems regarding entering and exiting the new Ovens Auditorium off Independence Boulevard, that officials had proposed that the traffic situation prior to the concert on the prior Tuesday night by the Boston Symphony Orchestra had been good and that in the future, would get even better, based on the notion that the longest jam in distance, about a half-mile, had been relatively short in duration, that the public had a lot to learn, as there were alternative, unused routes and that patrons should stagger their times of arrival at the parking lots, plus there being two additional parking lot entrances on the drawing board, to be constructed as soon as the right-of-way was obtained. The conclusion had been that the situation was "satisfactory" at present.

It disagrees with that conclusion and some of the reasoning, that mere satisfaction had no place in handling traffic as that meant the end of action on the matter, and official satisfaction would not soothe the irritation of patrons caught in long traffic jams, even if relatively brief in duration. It was also not in the nature of people to stagger their arrival times for an evening of entertainment—even if some might stagger to the entertainment, depending on its nature. It suggests that the rose-colored glasses which officials had donned were not yet apropos to the situation, especially when attractions at the new, adjacent Coliseum would double or quadruple the crowd attending the Auditorium concert on Tuesday.

"A Footnote Interspersed with Coughs" tells of City-County Health officer Dr. M. B. Bethel having issued a generalization that flew in the face of his contention that the flu had not reached epidemic proportions in Charlotte, as he admitted that "something is in the air".

It hopes that he would not be offended by its observation that the city did not have an epidemic while many individuals did, being stricken with eye, ear, throat, stomach, lung, nerve and nostril issues "in a manner productive of surliness and demanding of sympathy, Kleenex and unceasing kindness." It finds it important that those who suffered understand that their suffering was known, and asks the doctor to pass the nosedrops.

"Boots & Saddles but No 'Swan Lake'" tells of opponents to subscription television being supported by commonsense principles, that such a form of television would flimflam the U.S. public into paying for the privilege of looking at its own television sets. CBS president Frank Stanton had said that no one could be so naïve as to believe that popular programs would be broadcast free if they could be broadcast for a fee.

It indicates that it would be fine if subscription television could deliver some cultural attractions not presently presented, for those whom the pay-tv advocates called "the literate minority", but it does not see the concept ushering in a renaissance of the arts, citing the classical illustration that if a million families were willing to pay a dollar each to see a "first-run" Western movie and 100,000 people would pay two dollars each to see a ballet, there would be no ballet.

"They Got Old Davy—Now for Dan'l" indicates that after Davy Crockett had been exposed as a fraud, researchers were training their aim now on Daniel Boone, it being suggested among the top biographers that he was a lousy shot. In addition, historians were looking into Lewis & Clark, Nathanael Greene, Francis Marion, Thomas Paine, John Smith and Wild Bill Hickok.

It finds it suddenly to be open season on demigods, with no one any longer safe, that debunking of popular heroes by historians and historical writers had been described in a recent guide to American history by six Harvard University professors as "mass murder of historical characters". The study had suggested that the historian "is not to assume that tradition is necessarily false; or that everyone who has treated his subject before was either fool or knave."

It finds the criticism cogent, reminds that American history had been the target of such debunkers during the roaring 20's, and that they were now at it again. They were suggesting that Washington, Jefferson, Patrick Henry and the Adamses, along with other founders had only been colonial politicians who finally had their way because England had been too busy elsewhere in the world to care. They had labeled Lexington, Bunker Hill, Kings Mountain and Saratoga as minor guerrilla skirmishes, unworthy of designation as battles for independence and suggested that General Washington was an unmannered aristocrat with false teeth which did not fit.

It tells of it being fashionable among others to say that history, like truth, was purely subjective, a reinterpretation of the past viewed through the lens of prejudices and passions of a particular historian. Both the debunkers and re-interpreters were unwelcome interlopers to the academic scene, as both misled and distorted.

It posits that it was the duty of the historian to satisfy intellectual curiosity to know what had happened in the past and why, but that the person should maintain balance, commonsense and "a decent respect for the opinions of mankind", as the Harvard history professors had suggested, with popular feelings not being unnecessarily attacked nor heroes needlessly insulted.

A piece from the Wall Street Journal, titled "Indian Country", tells of the poor Indian possibly winding up rich if things were to continue the way they were going, should the Supreme Court agree with lower Federal courts regarding Indian rights. A case presently before the Supreme Court involved an award of 1.2 million dollars to the Otoe and Missouria tribes, whose chiefs claimed, pursuant to a 1946 law, that their ancestors had been cheated in the 1880's when a treaty had given the white man title to some four million acres of land in the Missouri Basin, the law authorizing the Indians to renegotiate the treaties if they believed that they had been signed under duress or fraud, or if the Indians had been underpaid. Thus far, about 250 claims involving more than half of the total acreage in the nation had been filed.

Government lawyers indicated that the grant of an additional quarter per acre to the two tribes could result in forcing re-purchase of hundreds of millions of acres, should the Supreme Court uphold the lower court rulings. The Government said that the price might go as high as a dollar per acre, which the piece quips was much higher than the $24 with which Peter Minuit had purchased Manhattan Island, though again quipping that some New York Dutch believed that the latter had been the one cheated, taxes and transportation being what they were.

It indicates that if Indian claims sounded bizarre, the Government defense sounded even more so, with the contention being that the Indians had held occupancy of the continent but that any payment to them had only been a gift, since they had possessed no property rights. The lower courts had agreed with the two tribes, that the land belonged to them originally.

"We don't know who scalped whom in those early land trades and we wouldn't think of suggesting how the Supreme Court ought to decide the case the Otoes and the Missourias have brought to Washington. But we do suggest if all the government has to do is to add two bits to 1880 prices it will get off pretty lightly, considering what inflation since has done to wampum."

The Supreme Court, incidentally, had, on October 9, denied the petition for writ of certiorari, with Justice Hugo Black expressing the opinion that the case should be dismissed as not involving a Federal "case or controversy" necessary to invoke Federal jurisdiction and Justice Stanley Reed voting to grant cert., meaning that the Court of Claims decision stood, affirming, as supported by substantial evidence, the Indian Claims Commission's findings, on some of which the Indians had appealed, and remanding the Commission's findings and decision on offsets, as appealed by the Government, for further proceedings in accordance with a decision in another case decided in 1954.

Drew Pearson provides some quick looks at history which affected the lives of millions of Americans, the first being that British Prime Minister Anthony Eden, when he had been Foreign Secretary, had been recuperating from his illness two years earlier when he had gone to Greece, where the late Marshal Papagos, friend to both the U.S. and Britain, had sought to talk to him about Cyprus, the British base which the Greeks wanted turned over to themselves. Mr. Eden had replied that the question of Cyprus was a purely internal matter concerning only the British Empire and refused to discuss it. The Premier confided to friends that he had never been so hurt in his life, and that after the rebuff he removed the check from the restless Greek nationalists on Cyprus to let the chips fall where they may. Since that time, Cyprus had been seething.

The second look was to the breakup of the Napoleonic Empire, when Czar Alexander I of Russia had negotiated a deal whereby Russia received a large section of the Greek islands extending toward Cyprus, intended as the first Russian step toward obtaining Turkish and African territory along a sea which Russia had coveted far more than the Baltic. Russian strength along the Mediterranean would have jeopardized the British Empire in the East and the French Empire in North Africa, and so one day, when Czar Alexander was looking the other way, Metternich had sneaked the Russian-Greek islands from Russian hands and since that time, until 1947, they had continued under the watchful eye of Britain.

A third look was to the hundred years and more which had since passed, until in 1946, the British, trying to balance their budget, had wanted to cut down on military expenses, and Winston Churchill had suggested to President Truman the idea of taking over British commitments in Greece, pointing out that the Russians were seeking to communize Greece through Communist Yugoslavia, that it would be fatal for Russia to get a toehold in Greece, that Russia under the Czars and Russia under the Communists had not changed in its territorial ambitions, and that Russia wanted to spread through the Bosporus, through the Greek islands, to the warm waters of the Mediterranean. The President had seized on the idea and from it had come the Truman Doctrine. The U.S. had spent billions in Greece and Turkey, had trained the armies of both countries and virtually dictated the appointment of Marshal Papagos as Prime Minister. In the end, Yugoslavia had ceased its attempt to communize Greece and had even talked favorably of joining Greece and Turkey in NATO. The area had become one of the strongest bulwarks against Communism, making the Truman Doctrine appear highly successful.

The fourth look was to 1953, when Secretary of State Dulles had pulled the U.S. Ambassador, Jack Peurifoy, from Greece, after the latter had cemented Greek-American friendship. But because he was a Democrat, he had to go. Meanwhile, the Cyprus agitation which Prime Minister Papagos had unleashed after Mr. Eden had snubbed him, had reached white heat. Simultaneously, Secretary Dulles had made a deal with Foreign Secretary Eden that he would side with him on Cyprus at the U.N., provided Mr. Eden would support the U.S. in barring Communist China from the U.N., a dubious deal, but, nevertheless, when the vote on Cyprus had come up at the U.N., the U.S. had voted against it, causing bitter anti-American resentment in Greece.

Meanwhile, relations between Greece and Turkey had worsened, culminating in brutal riots against Greeks in Istanbul, with the Turkish police looking on while Turks desecrated Greek churches, broke into Greek shops and beat up Greek nationals. In its wake, Secretary Dulles had sent identical notes to both Greece and Turkey, telling them to behave, expressing no sympathy for the Greeks but treating both sides the same, though there had been no rioting in Greece against Turks, causing anti-American bitterness to flare again.

Now, Greece had pulled its troops out of the NATO maneuvers and the mayor of Volos, rocked by an earthquake, had just been royally received in Moscow, with talk being that Greece would withdraw from NATO and join neutralist Yugoslavia, named as the best friend of Greece. The new pro-American Premier of Greece, Constantine Karamanlis, had been referred to as a "quisling" because he was friendly to the U.S.

John Steinbeck, writing in the Saturday Review, in a piece retitled by the News editors, "Strange Case of the Dog Who Disbelieved in People", originally titled, "Random Thoughts on Random Dogs", relates of a very wise man who had recently written that the domestication of the dog was as important to early man as the use of fire, and proceeds to chronicle the development of the relationship between man and dog. It is better read than summarized, including the strange case of "T-Dog".

Robert C. Ruark, in Palamos, Spain, begins by asking: "If Jane has zilch sloogles, and James has zumzi sloogles, how many sloogles have they got together?" We were going to say zumilchi, but he says that the answer is gerf. He tells of the equation being the product of a new educational system being tried in Dearborn, Mich., with "zilch", "zumzi", and "gerf" substituting, respectively, for one, two and three, and "sloogles" being apples, because an educator decided that using apples and oranges was too distracting from the problem for children, with the nonsense words stressing the abstract nature of the problem. Oranges were "quins".

He says that if any teacher had ever posed to him such a problem, he would have "stalked home and reported that Miss Zilch had flipped her sloogle, and please, could I go somewhere else to school." (His parents might have responded that gerf times zumzi plus zilch being his age, he certainly could not and should return and shine more sloogles or perhaps take a quin to the teacher so that he or she could suck its juices during lunch.)

He says that apples had been especially helpful to him in learning fractions as his teacher had cut one accordingly, and then one ate the apples, "thereby retaining the bulk of the lesson, whilst simultaneously adding healthy roughage to the system."

He says that when his music teacher brought up the concept of so many beats to a measure, he, being a country kid, thought of a measure as a round oaken basket with an iron strip around the rim, with which one fed the cows oats, and so when the teacher had never produced either beets or measures, he lost interest in music.

And he goes on in that vein, knocking the new system, until he seeks the pardon of the reader as dinner was ready and they were "having sloogle pie with ice cream, and I intend to have zumzi helpings, maybe gerf, if there's enough to go round."

Mr. Ruark, while attending UNC, must never have taken symbolic logic, the foundation of which is based on the concepts adapted by the Dearborn system, even if not, in our experience, ever utilizing sloogles or quins for syllogistic proofs.

A letter from the chairman of public relations for the North Carolina March of Dimes, writing from Chapel Hill, indicates that polio was not yet licked, that many millions of dollars would still be needed to carry on the fight to total victory, that the largest obstacle they faced in the coming year was the notion that polio had been beaten by the Salk vaccine, a type of thinking which could do untold harm if not dispelled. She indicates the need for help more than ever in the coming year during the March of Dimes campaign.

A pome from the Atlanta Journal, "In Which Is Outlined An Objective Devoutly To Be Sought!

"When you're gone will people say,
'I'm glad that fellow passed this way?'"

Probably only if his eau de cologne remained,
In lieu of a skunk's faux, cloned refrain.

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