The Charlotte News

Monday, October 17, 1955


Site Ed. Note: The front page reports from Denver that the President would examine this date how things were going anent national defense, after having passed a few more important points in his recovery process during the weekend. Secretary of Defense Charles E. Wilson and Admiral Arthur Radford, chairman of the Joint Chiefs, were flying to Denver to meet with the President in the hospital, which would be his fourth hospital meeting with Administration leaders in a schedule of increasing official activity being permitted by doctors, with more scheduled meetings later in the week. For the first time since he had entered the hospital on September 24 following his heart attack, the President had been out of bed and sitting in an easy chair for 15 minutes the prior Saturday, and sat in the chair for a half hour the previous day. Attendants had lifted the President from his bed and back again. He received a report that there were new floods in the Northeastern states and regarding the Government's relief activities. Later, the President sent word through chief of staff Sherman Adams that all necessary steps would be taken in the stricken areas under the disaster relief laws to provide aid to the flood victims. The President had also been rolled out onto the open terrace near his eighth-floor room and was able to get 40 minutes of sunshine and fresh air, as First Lady Mamie Eisenhower sat with him. The President's physicians announced that daily cardiograms no longer would be taken because of the steady improvement in his condition, with the cardiogram on Friday having shown that his heart performance had "stabilized at a satisfactory level", apparently sooner than doctors had anticipated. Given the President's steady improvement, an Army Hospital heart specialist, who had flown to Denver from Washington a few hours after the heart attack, was returning to his regular post at Walter Reed Hospital.

The death toll in the rain and storms hitting the Northeast during the weekend had reached 38, with the sun breaking through cloud cover in New York City this date and in other areas, the New York Weather Bureau reporting in the morning that the worst was over. Army, Navy, Coast Guard, civil defense units, police and firemen had worked during the weekend in rescue and salvage operations, but their work was far from over. The American Red Cross said that about 6,900 families had been affected by the storm in Connecticut, New York, New Jersey and Pennsylvania. The three days of rainfall had ranged between 3.75 inches in New York City to more than 11 inches in Danbury, Conn., compared to a high of 17 inches in some areas during Hurricane Diane of the prior August 18-19. Officials said that deaths and property damage would be far below that caused by Diane, as people had been much more prepared this time and disaster teams had swung into immediate action. Wealthy Fairfield County in Connecticut was the hardest hit of the areas, with most of the areas hit in Connecticut having been spared by Diane. The storm had stalled over New England during the weekend, after having originated around Cape Hatteras, N.C., on Friday morning and then having centered over the New York metropolitan area by Friday night.

In Point Clear, Ala., Kentucky Governor Lawrence Wetherby had said in an interview this date that the odds were heavily in favor of the South voting solidly Democratic in 1956, picking Adlai Stevenson to win the nomination and the presidency if the President chose not to run again. Governors of 16 states were gathered for the Southern Governors Conference, scheduled to open officially the following day. Governor Wetherby said he could not find any sentiment present which was strong enough to bring about a defection such as that in 1952, which had cost the Democrats the loss of four Southern states, Texas, Tennessee, Florida and Virginia, to General Eisenhower. The Governor said that Adlai Stevenson was the strongest potential Democratic candidate in Kentucky, with Governor Averell Harriman of New York being the second choice, well ahead of Tennessee Senator Estes Kefauver. Whether the question of segregation would be discussed at the meeting remained to be seen.

In Toronto, Ontario, the Rev. Billy Graham's crusade ended the previous night with his declaration that "lots of lives have been changed" by his campaign. In four weeks of meetings in the Canadian National Exhibition Coliseum, 347,200 persons had attended and 7,288 had answered the evangelist's call to make a "decision for Christ", with about 27,000 attending on the final night in a pouring rain, 848 of whom had made their "decisions". Dr. Graham had left for Charlotte to visit his mother's home and there would meet his wife and drive to his mountain home at Montreat, N.C., where he would rest for a week or so.

In Anderson, S.C., a truck driver shot and killed his wife late the previous night, and a few minutes later, he and another motorist were killed in a head-on collision. The sheriff indicated that the man had gone to the home of his estranged wife, who lived with their three children and a son-in-law, and had turned over several insurance policies to his estranged wife, and he, his estranged wife, the son-in-law and his wife had visited a store where the man purchased presents for the three children who remained at home. Later that night, the son-in-law heard gunfire and ran from his bedroom to find the estranged wife of the man shot to death with four pistol bullets, and the husband departing the house. About 20 minutes later, according to the sheriff, the husband's car was heading down the wrong side of the road when it struck another car, resulting in his death and that of the driver of the other car. The "Highway Patrol" episode, "Reckless Driving", incidentally, to which we linked in the context of a letter to the editor in Friday's edition, actually did not air until this night or at least sometime during this week, depending on the market, and so would not have served to place ideas in the man's head about a car recklessly driven being comparable to aiming a pistol recklessly.

In Charlotte, firemen had called in at least five police detectives this date to investigate the cause of a fire which had seriously damaged the Boar's Head Restaurant in the wee hours of the morning, with the lead detective indicating that he was not at liberty presently to reveal any of the findings. Three fire companies had responded to the alarm, with a deputy fire chief stating that the roof of the kitchen of the establishment was falling in by the time the first company had arrived, the flames having been first reported by a Yellow Cab driver. The fire apparently had begun in the kitchen area, destroying it and spreading inside to dining areas. The story indicates that the fire recalled an April 19, 1949 bombing incident at the same restaurant, with evidence observed by firemen leading them to the belief that the fire had been deliberately set, after which the discovery had been made of a hand grenade-type white phosphorus incendiary bomb, which had been tossed through a ventilator shaft into the attic of the building. In June, 1949, three men had been tried in Mecklenburg Superior Court in connection with that fire, two having been convicted and sent to prison, and the third found not guilty.

Volunteer firemen in Charlotte appealed to the County Police this date, asking that curious persons who followed fire trucks and thus hampered firefighting operations be vigorously prosecuted, with an assistant fire chief stating that during the morning, an auxiliary tank truck could not get within three blocks of a fire in the Thomasboro section the previous night because automobiles of curious people had blocked the way. It so happened that they did not need the extra tank, but if they had needed it, according to the assistant chief, it could not have been utilized for the fact of the onlookers blocking the dead-end street. Blocking such access was a misdemeanor, punishable by a fine not to exceed $50 and not less than $10, or imprisonment not to exceed 30 days.

In Raleigh, Southern States Fair president, Dr. J. S. Dorton, had stated this date that he would close down any concession which did not treat patrons honestly at the following year's fair, having been prompted by several letters to the editor of The News, with people reporting that they had been short-changed or treated discourteously on the midway. Dr. Dorton said that with 250,000 people on the grounds, there were bound to be some complaints, but he wished that the people would complain before leaving the fair so that things could be cleared up immediately. He urged patrons to bring their complaints to the office the following year and asked the same of those presently attending the State Fair in Raleigh.

Julian Scheer of The News tells of a 91-year old tale of Confederate adventure and intrigue which could come to a dramatic climax off the North Carolina coast the following Sunday, as Cpl. Robert Marx, a young Marine Corps soldier and amateur diver, had breathlessly emerged from the floor of the Atlantic the previous afternoon with the prediction that they would retrieve General Robert E. Lee's sword the following week, as they were diving on the Confederate blockade runner "Fannie and Jennie", which, according to legend, had aboard a solid gold, jewel-studded sword of the General. On February 9, 1864, the Union Army had sunk the blockade runner just off the coast of what was now Wrightsville Beach, while the ship was en route to North Carolina from England, carrying gold for the Confederacy and the valuable sword, inscribed, "To R. E. Lee from his British sympathizers". The ship had been discovered beneath a pier off Wrightsville Beach and the divers had entered the vessel the previous day, finding cannons, cannonballs and some crockery embedded in the coral around the vessel, which had its main cabin intact. Divers had brought up souvenirs the previous day, handing them out to sightseers. The following week, hoisting gear would be mounted on the pier to raise the heavier materials, with the plan being to take apart the 200-foot vessel in search of the gold and the sword. Cpl. Marx had searched off Cape Hatteras for two years looking for the Union warship, U.S.S. Monitor, which he had found the prior July 18.

A story, continued in the editorial below, reports that there were 50 seriously ill children in Mecklenburg County receiving no care because their illness was mental and not physical. These psychotic children were 16 years of age or younger and were insane, not merely disturbed or feeble-minded. They remained in their homes, often contributing to their mental derangement, without receiving care. The number of psychotic children in the state was estimated to be several hundred, many of them remaining undiscovered. They could not be accepted to the Caswell Training School for the feeble-minded at Kinston. The State Hospital at Morganton had accepted a few, but was not equipped to do so and thus did not like to do so. It took an average of a year for adults to be admitted to that hospital. The UNC psychiatric center would admit some children for diagnostic purposes only, but there was no in-patient treatment, as was the case also at Duke University. Institutions such as Charlotte's Alexander Home had accepted some emotionally disturbed children, but not psychotic children. A fledgling proposal to establish a psychotic children's center at Camp Butner had not reached the planning stage, but officials hoped that one day there would be such a hospital at Butner which could treat 25 children at a time, a number so small, however, as to be hardly worth mentioning. No private institution within the state could accept such children and hardly any of their families could afford private treatment in any event. No welfare agency could afford to continue treatment of them and so the children simply grew up and waited until they were sent to Morganton, by which time, it would be too late to do anything for many of them.

On the editorial page, "No Doors Open to Psychotic Children" indicates that the news that there were psychotic children in fairly large numbers in the county and across the state, and that the state was not equipped to do anything about the problem, would come as no surprise to a handful of experts in the field, but that for most of the rest of the state, the report published on the front page and elsewhere in the newspaper this date was fairly startling.

North Carolina, along with the rest of the nation, had been slow to come around to the presently accepted view that mental illness was just as real as physical illness. People had been slow to understand that there was nothing funny about it and that it took hospitals, doctors and money to treat the mentally ill. It recounts that the Greeks of the Age of Pericles had apparently treated their psychotics with surprising understanding and intelligence, while the Pilgrims had apparently hanged their mentally ill as witches. The Twentieth Century's scientific advances had made important steps forward in psychiatry, but the society had not yet gotten its mentally ill out of the jails of the state and now it had been determined that the mental institutions were more inadequate than had been imagined, as there were no facilities for hundreds of psychotic and near-psychotic children who needed immediate treatment.

Dr. Gerald Caplan of the International Association for Child Psychiatry had told an international conference the previous year that it was extremely important that treatment of mentally ill children be started before age 6 because they did not have to treat the child, but rather the harmful elements of his or her emotional environment at that age. It finds the statement to make sense to North Carolina doctors but was just wishful thinking vis-à-vis the state, as the psychotic children in the state could not be treated for the most part when they were 6, or 10 or 12, forced to remain in the same "harmful emotional environment" in which the harm had been done, usually in their homes, waiting until they were old enough and there was room enough for them to go to the State mental hospitals at Morganton or at Dix Hill in Raleigh.

It indicates that trained personnel were in short supply and that it would take 40 experienced workers, according to estimates, to take care of 25 psychotic children. Money was also in short supply and while the General Assembly of 1955 had been more generous than usual, most legislators still had only a dim understanding of mental health needs. There were also not much reliable data available on the mentally ill and the study of psychosis among children was just beginning.

In Kansas, a wing for inpatient treatment of children had been recently added to the State mental hospital. In New Hampshire, a new residential treatment center was directing the most disturbed children back to their homes to live normal lives. In Massachusetts, the small children's psychiatric unit of the State hospital had been greatly enlarged the previous year.

Meanwhile, the psychiatric centers at Duke University and UNC were engaged in diagnosis and study of psychotic children, but there was a need for a treatment center, as had been proposed for Camp Butner near Durham. But the proposal was no nearer reality than it had been when it first was made several years earlier and it suggests that it would be several more years before it would open its doors to even a few children who would need its services. In the meantime, the problem of psychotic children showed no signs of diminishing.

"F. Y. I." indicates that the old house was gone from its place on Wedgewood Drive, but its trees had outlived it, with two black locust trees behind the persimmons, and a large oak, some big pines and a wood full of 'possums.

"We aren't recommending, nor admitting, trespassing, but should some stroller's feet follow ours, he may as well know it's too early for the persimmons and too late for the locusts."

"Accentuating the Negative in Utah" tells of Utah Governor Joseph Bracken Lee being generally against any situation which prevailed, against the income tax because he had forcefully announced that he would not pay it anymore because he was against foreign aid which consumed much of the tax money.

For two consecutive years, he had refused to proclaim United Nations Day and disapproved of tax support of cultural organizations, such as the Utah Symphony Orchestra.

He also frowned on the notion that the Republicans had to renominate the President, having said early in the year that he would vote for the right Democrat. He did not like the flashy gubernatorial mansion and was planning to swap it for a smaller house. He did not get along with professional educators, claiming that increasing school costs had not produced commensurate improvement in teaching quality. He was also opposed to closed sessions for public bodies.

It suggests that by turning those positions around, however, one could say that the Governor was a very positive man, that he would be for strict economy, isolationism, simple living, political independence, better teaching, and freedom of the press. But in the context of the times, it appeared that he was essentially negative, concluding that there was no moral to the discussion but that it was just wondering what constituted positive thinking.

A piece from the Randolph Guide, titled "Let's Move the Capitol", suggests that despite constant talk of moving the Government from Washington and placing it somewhere in the Midwest, closer to the geographical center of the country, it had never heard so much as a whisper about moving the State Capitol from Raleigh to some place more accessible for all North Carolinians.

The first state Capitol had been at New Bern during and immediately after colonial days, and it suggests that a mountaineer might reason that it should switch back and forth between the eastern and western parts of the state, just like the governors tended to alternate between regions of nativity.

It provides several reasons why some of the larger cities, such as Charlotte, Greensboro, Winston-Salem and High Point, should not become the capital, and indicates that Randolph County was the geographical center of the state and believes the county unique in that it was a blending of the western and eastern and piedmont sections, with both mountains and lakes and an equal balance between farms and factories. "We have a handkerchief factory to provide wipes for tear-jerking filibusters in the capitol halls and sheer nylons to appease the wives of the lawmakers. We have broom factories to make clean sweeps each election. We're already the geographical capital. When will they move the buildings?"

Drew Pearson tells of the Eisenhower Cabinet having provided to the President some quince trees for his Gettysburg farm as a gift for his 65th birthday, which Mr. Pearson regards as a thoughtful present, but suggests another gift, which could be donated by many Americans over a period of time, and would cheer up the President, the greater and continuing exchange of people between the U.S. and Russia as a means of winning the peace, as the President had proposed the previous July at the Geneva Big Four summit conference. Before that proposal, a group of Russian farm experts had arrived in the U.S. and a group of American farmers had gone to Russia in an exchange which helped to solidify good will between the two countries as never before since UNRRA or the first mingling of American and Russian troops at the Elbe River on May 8, 1945.

In addition, homebuilders, without any help from the Government, had brought over a delegation of Russian housing experts to the U.S. and were taking them on a friendly tour of American housing projects, certain to build good will for the future.

U.S. Ambassador to Russia Charles Bohlen had reported to the State Department from Moscow that the new Russian peace and friendship overtures had become so popular among the Russian people that the Kremlin could not now change that course without risking grave unrest at home.

Mr. Pearson recalls a luncheon with General Eisenhower in New York in spring, 1948, at which he had proposed a friendship train to Russia, to the same end of encouraging people-to-people friendship, and the General's reaction had been negative. Now, however, that concept was taking root. He thus proposes that the best and most lasting birthday gift which the American people could give to the President would be to become acquainted with the Russian people. He suggests that if the AMA would do what the homebuilders had done and arrange for reciprocal visits of doctors, and if the ABA would arrange for reciprocal visits of lawyers, if teachers, university professors, engineering societies, architects, service clubs, churches, women's clubs, all continued that notion, it would lead to an understanding which no ruler in the Kremlin could easily ignore.

He next comments on the hidden microphone placed in a Wichita, Kans., Federal jury room by University of Chicago Law School researchers, anxious to find out what went on behind closed doors among jurors. Attorney General Herbert Brownell, when he had heard about the matter, contacted a Federal Judge in Denver, Orie Phillips, Chief Judge of the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals, a Republican and good friend of the President, with Mr. Brownell wanting to start something which would react against the University of Chicago and against the Fund for the Republic, both of which had been critical of the Administration's security program. Mr. Brownell, however, had not known that Judge Phillips had approved the placing of the secret microphones, as the sitting Federal judge in the courtroom in question and the University of Chicago staff had refused to go forward with the experiment without the consent of Judge Phillips. Mr. Pearson quotes Judge Phillips at the annual conference of the Tenth Judicial Circuit in Colorado on July 7, saying that he had some doubts initially about the experiment but that after going over the safeguards which had been placed around it, had reached the conclusion that it could not do any harm and would provide some beneficial results, one being to demonstrate that juries generally did a good job, as well as providing guidance for instructing juries in the future, as the recording might demonstrate whether or not the jury had understood a particular charge by a court and whether it was in some way misleading.

Joseph & Stewart Alsop, in Chicago, indicate that at a fund-raising dinner of the Republican Citizens' Finance Committee in Chicago the previous Monday, Secretary of the Treasury George Humphrey had spoken, after which the Committee chairman, future Senator from Illinois Charles Percy, head of Bell & Howell, had given a party at which Secretary Humphrey met a select group of the larger Republican contributors. Mr. Humphrey stated that if the President did not run in 1956, he believed Chief Justice Earl Warren would be the strongest Republican substitute candidate, but admitted that the Chief Justice, who had repeatedly stated he would not be a candidate, would be hard to get.

The Alsops indicate that such a public endorsement of the Chief Justice was of great significance as Mr. Humphrey stood as being the behind-the-scenes boss of the Republican organization in Ohio, and all over the country, businessmen who formed the dominant Republican group looked to him for leadership and would follow his lead. Secretary Humphrey also had more influence with the President than any other man in the Administration except White House chief of staff Sherman Adams, who looked to Secretary Humphrey for guidance in political matters.

It was of utmost importance that he had bypassed Vice-President Nixon, who was quite available as a substitute presidential candidate, in favor of the Chief Justice, who was not, suggesting that Mr. Humphrey did not like the idea of a Nixon presidential candidacy, a view also likely shared by Mr. Adams. That meant that it would be unlikely that the President would give the nod to the Vice-President, even though the President liked Mr. Nixon. The fact that both Secretary Humphrey and Mr. Adams supported Chief Justice Warren meant that the President would likely intervene to try to get the latter to enter the race on the basis that he owed it to the nation. Moreover, there were few men whom the Chief Justice disliked and distrusted more than Mr. Nixon, and so he might be persuaded to enter the race for the nomination on that basis.

They point out, however, that Chief Justice Warren had refused to allow his name to go before the convention, had refused to say that if nominated, he would consent to be the nominee, and had stated that under no circumstances would he consider returning to active political life. They conclude, therefore, that it would be doubtful that the President could persuade him to run. The fact that Secretary Humphrey had chosen him as his preferred substitute candidate, therefore, did not mean that the candidacy would actually come to be.

Robert C. Ruark, in Palamos, Spain, has fun with the revealed fact by the new regime in Argentina, seeking to discredit deposed dictator Juan Peron, that he had a love affair with a 16-year old mistress, which had apparently begun when she was only 13 or 14, and to whom he addressed many love letters which had been revealed by the new regime to the press, in some of which he had called himself "Pappy".

Mr. Ruark says: "The tragedy of an entire country gone to rack because of a guy this silly is another matter, and is pathetic, not funny. So we will dismiss that aspect of it, and deal with old Daddy Browning Peron, the scourge of the kindergarten, plucking his peaches to ease his mind after a long hard day of stealing the poor man's money, and expropriating other people's newspapers."

He goes on in that vein, eventually adopting the nickname "Cuddles" for Sr. Peron, concluding: "The only thing Cuddles has got to worry about is who gets custody of the motor-scooter, when he's dead and gone, because at 16, Nelida figures to outlast him."

A letter writer thanks the previous letter writer who had taken issue with the prices being charged at the Southern States Fair and the way they treated children. She wants no free passes given out to schoolchildren under 12 years of age unless they were accompanied by an older person, says that she had a son who was 17 and a daughter, 16, and that they had told her the same story regarding poor treatment by fair personnel, her son reporting that he had put down 50 cents for a ride ordinarily costing a quarter and received nothing in return, had asked for his change and the ticket-taker had put up an argument about it being a "bum" fair and that someone had to help to pay for the losses. Her son and his girlfriend had gone to the fun house and the same thing had happened regarding the admission price. They then went to a church booth and asked for some change so that thereafter they had the proper change for each ride, having no more trouble. Her daughter had reported that when she and her date paid a dime to see the fat lady, she had asked for another dime and told them that if they did not have it, to get out. They had gone to the water show, about which they had some nice things to say, but found the attitude of the midway personnel to have caused them to go to the grandstands, and that when the daughter returned home, she stated that she was disgusted with fairs. The writer praises the exhibits, which she found very good, but wants something done about the fair midway and the way some of the personnel treated children.

Take them to the Auditorium if you want to imbue in them culture and a sense of fair play, maybe also to the Coliseum once they start having basketball games in there, as long as the youngsters are taught to ignore the occasional fights and technical fouls as part of the heat of battle.

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