The Charlotte News

Tuesday, October 18, 1955


Site Ed. Note: The front page reports that Secretary of State Dulles had said at a press conference this date that Communist China had formally raised the question of a high-level meeting with the U.S. to discuss outstanding Far East problems, that Communist China's representative at Geneva had brought up the question, along with its objections to the Western trade blockade. The Secretary made it clear that he opposed any such high-level meeting until the present lower-level talks in Geneva were exhausted. He said that the Chinese Communist and American special ambassadors, who had been discussing repatriation of civilians since August 1, had now turned to other practical matters on the agenda, in the context of which the Chinese ambassador had raised the question of a higher-level meeting, presumably at the foreign ministers level. The Big Four foreign ministers meeting at Geneva was set to begin October 27 and it was the last press conference the Secretary would hold before his departure for Europe on Friday. He would first go to Rome and then to Paris for sessions with the British and French Foreign Ministers prior to the start of the foreign ministers conference. In response to questions, he stated that he shared the view of Vice-President Nixon, who had said the previous night in a speech in New York that there was more chance for practical steps to ease East-West tensions at the foreign ministers meeting than at any other such meeting during the previous ten years, and that he anticipated substantial progress to be made toward unification of Germany. The Secretary also said that he planned to discuss at informal separate meetings with Russian Foreign Minister V. M. Molotov, the West's objections to Communist weapons shipments to Egypt and other Arab countries.

In Moscow, Noel Field's long missing foster daughter had been released from the Vorkuta labor camp and was in Moscow awaiting travel documents, permitting her to leave the Soviet Union, according to what the German-born foster daughter, 33, had told reporters this date. She said that she had been picked up by East Berlin police in 1950 while searching for her foster parents, then was held in solitary confinement for 2 1/2 years before being sentenced to death in January, 1953 as a spy by a Russian military court in East Berlin. She was the last member of the Field family to be freed by the Soviets, Noel Field, a former State Department employee, and his wife and brother having been arrested in Eastern Europe in 1949 as spies and previously released the prior fall, the brother, from Poland, and the couple, from Hungary. The foster daughter said that she had been eventually told that her sentence had been commuted to 15 years of imprisonment, at which time she was sent to the labor camp in the Soviet arctic. The date of the commutation had coincided with the arrest of Soviet secret police chief L. P. Beria, who had been subsequently summarily executed in December, 1953 by the new Soviet hierarchy coming to power in the wake of the death of Stalin the prior March. The release of the foster daughter appeared to be part of the general amnesty program presently underway in the Soviet Union and its satellites.

In Paris, reports of serious new Nationalist attacks in Algeria had reached the city this date, as the National Assembly gathered to decide whether to overthrow Premier Edgar Faure's Government. Rebel gunmen had ambushed a bus and its military escort in daylight the previous day along a main highway in northeastern Algeria, and five of the African armed guard and eight Europeans aboard the bus had been killed in the attack, with four other passengers, believed to be Algerians, missing. In another section of northeast Algeria, rebel riflemen held a town under virtual siege, with the insurgents shooting up a farm a half-mile from the town, after which they had begun firing sporadically at the town from the surrounding foothills. Sailors from a French cruiser had been rushed to the town to bolster its defenses, and surrounding farms had been quickly evacuated.

The Interstate Commerce Commission this date authorized an indefinite continuation of the billion dollar per year freight rate increases which it had granted to the railroads in 1952, ranging between 12 and 15 percent over the 1952 levels, which had been scheduled to expire at the end of 1955, until the ICC had canceled the expiration date, effectively keeping in place the new rates permanently, as had been requested by the railroad industry.

In Point Clear, Ala., 16 Southern Democratic governors, without a strong person to lead them and lacking a unifying issue, were groping for direction in the 1956 presidential campaign, as they met in the formal opening of the 21st annual Southern Governors Conference this date. One Governor, who asked not to be named, said that an effort was being made from Texas to organize a conservative Southern coalition which would be able to speak with authority at the Democratic national convention the following summer, and thus have a strong voice in the selection of the nominee and the drafting of a platform. The effort, according to the source, had thus far, however, been received with only "a cold reception". He said that such a coalition could not be ruled out. The New York Times had reported that Senate Majority Leader Lyndon Johnson of Texas was seeking to form a powerful central coalition within the party, which would enable Southern conservatives to force an open convention and avoid the automatic nomination of Adlai Stevenson, as well as to force the adoption of a moderate platform. The largest faction among the governors at the meeting would be loyal to the party and its nominees, with strong indications that Mr. Stevenson was the front runner for the presidential nomination. Governor George Bell Timmerman, Jr., of South Carolina represented a small number of governors who favored a third-party movement as a "strong possibility", while Texas Governor Allan Shivers, who had supported General Eisenhower in the 1952 election, advocated "an Eisenhower type" Democratic nominee, having stated his personal opposition to Mr. Stevenson as the nominee.

In a mangled article without a date line, though presumably occurring in North Hollywood, Calif., combined with the article about the Nationalist attacks in Algeria, a small plane had crashed into an apartment building, killing three persons and critically injuring two children. The dead pilot of the plane had been an heir to a New York banking fortune and had long been known as a pilot of fast planes, cars and motorcycles, having been a frequent headline-maker around Hollywood before moving to Las Vegas about seven years earlier. He had been twice injured severely in motorcycle accidents and still walked with a cane prior to the accident this date. The other persons killed had been in the apartment building, including an 18-year old married woman and a two-month old infant who had just been baptized two hours earlier.

Near Goldsboro, N.C., the side of a truck bed had given way on a curve this date, spilling 30 female mental patients onto the pavement, with five having been seriously injured. There had been 60 patients in the truck who had been standing at the time of the accident.

In Charlotte, employees of the burned out Boar's Head Restaurant were questioned this date by a Charlotte detective, as police continued an investigation into the cause of the previous day's early morning blaze, with some of the evidence found among the ruins having been sent to the FBI laboratories in Washington for chemical analysis. The police had also interviewed several carhops of the restaurant. The loss was estimated at between $40,000 and $50,000.

Also in Charlotte, smoke billowed from cracks in the ground in a score or more places at the old rock hole off West Tremont Avenue this date, an old problem which had resurfaced. A deputy fire chief said that the rock hole appeared ready to "blow its top", resembling Yellowstone Park in Wyoming. He said that more dirt was needed to cut off oxygen to the burning debris.

Also in Charlotte, City police traffic experts and executives of the Charlotte Kiwanis Club would meet the following day to form a plan to facilitate movement of automobiles in and out of the Coliseum parking lots when the Ice Capades show would open the following Monday night, with as many as 10,000 persons anticipated to attend the show. The Kiwanis Club was sponsoring the event. They need to set up quins to direct the in and out traffic.

In Hollywood, actress Jane Withers announced that she and singer Ken Errair would be wed the following Sunday on a yacht in Newport harbor. The former child star, 29, had been divorced from Texas oilman William Moss, Jr., the previous July. It would be the first marriage for Mr. Errair, 27.

In London, Group Capt. Peter Townsend called on Princess Margaret at Clarence House this date, soon after a Government Cabinet meeting had reportedly concerned itself with the romance, Prime Minister Anthony Eden having reportedly brought to an end the two-hour meeting called to discuss the goldfish-bowl romance. Queen Mother Elizabeth was at Clarence House when Capt. Townsend had arrived, but had departed five minutes afterward, Elizabeth being reported to be a staunch supporter of the match. Queen Elizabeth II, Margaret's sister, returned earlier in the day from a long Scottish holiday to face the rising uproar over the romance, the result of Capt. Townsend being a divorced man, a marriage thus forbidden by royal rules of protocol having to do with the longstanding relationship between the royal family and the Church of England, and all of that of which we, here, in America could or should, at least, care less, having fought the Revolution to be divorced from such royal nonsense.

In Memphis, a truck driver had entered a jewelry store and picked out a $395 watch, placed it into layaway, saying it was for his wife and that he would pay it out by Christmas. But that had occurred a little more than 11 years earlier and the watch remained in layaway, with the truck driver still trying to make the payments, which had thus far totaled $283.91, of which he had paid $2.50 during the current year. The normal layaway limit was about a year. But by the time of Christmas, 1944, his payments had totaled only $51 since the prior September when he had picked out the watch. The watch had, in the meantime, lost its market value. The store executive who agreed to keep the watch for him, said that every time she was about to give up, he would come in and ask that it be kept a little longer, making some additional payments, the time having passed when he could redeem his money. She said that she had not heard from the man since the prior January and believed he might be getting somewhat discouraged, but that they would continue to hold it for him, should he ever pay it out. His name was not Elvis, was it?

Near Madison, Va., the "Good Luck Service Station" had suffered break-ins by thieves twice during the prior four days, with the thieves making off with seven shotguns and rifles, a pistol and ammunition owned by the proprietor, a gun hobbyist. They had also taken a can of pork and beans. The Kid won't get away with it.

On the editorial page, "Prison Reform: Out of the Dark Ages" tells of an order forbidding the use of leg shackles in 84 of the State's 93 penal institutions having earned State prison officials no special halos, as the action had been long overdue. It indicates that the thought that such barbaric techniques had persisted so long in State institutions, and still remained in nine prison camps, was a sobering commentary on the march of modern penology in the state, and a reminder that progress since the era of chain gangs, floggings and hangings had been far too modest.

It urges that the State could not afford to move forward so slowly regarding matters of such importance, that the rehabilitation of human beings for life in a free society was a task worthy of the State's best and most enlightened efforts, and that unless the State was willing to accept the challenge fully, it might as well return "to the whipping post and iron gauntlets, and be done with it."

"William T. Polk & the Southern Scene" laments the recent death of Mr. Polk, associate editor of the Greensboro Daily News, who, it opines, had presented the South in authentic literary landscapes to 20th century readers, that in Southern Accent: From Uncle Remus to Oak Ridge, in his short stories, and his articles, essays and editorials, the South had emerged as big and as true as life. He had not presented it with the same rationalizations, convenient fictions, or hypnotic illusions which had been created by other writers, though also not robbing the region of its traditional trappings, its folklore or its links with a rich and romantic past. Those latter aspects had been presented in proper perspective, however, never allowed to disturb the focus of the picture.

He had analyzed the New South and had a keen understanding of North Carolina's racial difficulties, explaining them to many. He had found meaning out of chaos, attempting to make sense of the realm of human action and inhuman fate.

He had died in Washington on Sunday. "He was a scholarly editor, a writer of enormous perception, a fine gentleman." It indicates that while there were many excellent writers on the South, no editor of Mr. Polk's stature was replaceable or even comparable to another, and it would miss him terribly.

"Between Arab and Israeli: A Fuse" indicates that Arab-Israeli relations were like a hand grenade tossed into the window of the Western world, with the interested nations, including Britain and the U.S., able to hear the fuse sputtering but being afraid to seize the grenade and toss it out for fear that it might go off in their hands, and consequently stood around in seeming paralysis while the fire department was nowhere in sight, after Russia had lit the fuse by engineering the exchange of arms from Czechoslovakia to Egypt for Egyptian cotton.

It assumes that the purpose of the exchange was to enable the abolition of Israel, unless the West were to provide arms to Israel to enable military balance or guarantee its frontiers. It suggests that it was doubtful whether Egypt and Israel had the capacity to keep the peace absent outside restraint, as they were natural enemies and the circumstances dividing them were natural circumstances of war, with both being competitors for dominance in the Middle East.

Egyptian Premier Gamal Abdel Nasser spoke of the Communist arms he was to receive as being defensive in nature, but Cairo radio had said: "The day of Israel's extermination draws near. Thus we have decided and thus is our fate… There will be no peace on the borders because we demand revenge and revenge means the death of Israel."

Israel had wondered whether it could wait like a rabbit for the snake to get big enough to devour it.

The Russian strategy of arming and reactivating the Egyptian-Israeli hatreds had made it impossible for the West to sit on the fence much longer, as the U.S. wanted the friendship of both nations, but had to be prepared to sacrifice the friendship of Egypt or Israel for the sake of peace in the Middle East. It concludes that it appeared that the fuse would reach the bomb unless the West snapped out of its paralysis and put its foot down.

"Hark! The Sweet, Gentle, Kind Cat" tells of the American Feline Society having looked into the stomachs of 193 cats killed in highway accidents and determined that cats did not eat birds, only mice, rabbits, rats, table scraps, turtles, fish, grasshoppers, chicken, grass, herbs and hair. The organization obviously assumed that turtles, rabbits and grasshoppers were not so beloved as birds.

It offers, however, that birds were probably on the other side of the road where the dissected cats were crossing when speeding automobiles "mediated in favor of things feathered." It says that the AFS could say that cats did not eat birds until doomsday but it would continue to believe that they did and that it was all right because it was in their nature, as it was in the nature of people to relish bird meat of various sorts.

An Oxford University zoologist, according to a piece in Scientific American, had found that by fitting the lens of a flashlight with red gelatin, one could watch birds at night, having observed tawny owls nocturnally devouring wood mice. He had said that the analysis and publication of the resulting information would take a long time, and the piece says that it could wait, "until he takes a catnap anyway."

A piece from the Greenville (S.C.) Piedmont, titled "Tic in the Pulpit", tells of nervousness having played its part in history, with the shot at Fort Sumter, which had triggered the Civil War, having been a nervous one, and Napoleon having been nervous generally, causing indecision at Waterloo, where he was decisively defeated. Pontius Pilate had nervously washed his hands of the matter of Jesus.

It indicates that the Scots called it "nervish" and that it was an occupational disease with newspapermen, burglars and husbands who had a habit of dropping five dollars occasionally at poker, school teachers embarking on a new career and school principals, right after the new teachers had begun teaching, with parents having had it all along. It was calculated to make one fast-moving, fond of cigarettes, and averse to the cats tromping across the floor. "It is the finest excuse ever invented for not doing something you don't wish to do."

It relates that there had once been a minister in a small church who had a nervous tic, and when belaboring sin during a sermon, his tic had taken over, making him wink at his congregation, causing him to be the most popular preacher in the area.

The late O. O. McIntyre had been fond of telling a story about his first promotion, having been a cub reporter on a small newspaper in Ohio, where every morning, when he had reported to work, he would pass hurriedly the open door of the publisher, of whom he stood in dreadful awe, causing the publisher to make him city editor because he had "the git-up-and-git we need". It says that it was a fine story but that it had never happened.

It suggests that pipe smokers were commonly accepted as calm, contemplative persons who might become aroused a little if the house were to blow up, but it says that it was not so, that after years of abstinence, the writer had resumed smoking a pipe and was "still as twitchy as a witch with her broom on fire."

Drew Pearson indicates that Republicans were not talking about it, but that they were preparing for the hottest political year in U.S. history in the wake of the President's illness, with the first step having been to line up a team of "efficiency experts", a library of canned speeches and a 24-hour photographic service, with the efficiency experts touring so-called "marginal districts" where Republicans either had won or lost in 1954 by less than 5 percent of the vote. The experts, earning $10,000 per year plus expenses, were holding strategy meetings to teach local political leaders how to improve their precinct organizations and streamline their vote-getting machinery. The RNC had mass-produced canned speeches, film and TV-radio scripts for local candidates. Three photographers were on call, ready to develop pictures within 24 hours, and a weekly fund had been set up in the House-Senate radio facility to help Republican legislators pay for recording political broadcasts. He names the efficiency experts, each of whom was assigned to particular regions of the country. The purpose of the preparation was to elect a Republican Congress in 1956, while other experts would concentrate on the presidential campaign later.

He indicates that the most remarkable job of hiring the physically handicapped in the entire country probably had been by Howard Hughes in his Hughes Aircraft plants at Culver City, Calif., and Tucson, Ariz., with about 17 percent of those he employed being physically handicapped, including 150 amputees at Culver City, 100 wheelchair cases, 38 deaf mutes, four totally blind persons and 25 suffering from industrial blindness, in addition to other workers suffering from hidden disabilities, such as diabetes, cardiac troubles, arrested tuberculosis, epilepsy and muscular dystrophy.

Gilbert Millstein, in Boston, writing in the New York Times, tells of Andy Griffith opening on Thursday at the Alvin Theater in "No time for Sergeants", reviewing his life and career to date, starting with his venturing from his hometown of Mt. Airy, N.C., to UNC, where he intended to begin his studies toward becoming a Moravian minister, thus earning him the moniker "Deacon", graduating, however, with a major in music in 1949, with his rise to recognition having begun with his September, 1953, recording of "What It Was Was Football", originally performed in Greensboro for a Jefferson Standard Life Insurance Co. convention, after Mr. Griffith had conceptualized the presentation during a ride in his car from Chapel Hill to Raleigh—thus the piece becoming particularly timely for this Friday, November 25, 2022—the recording then distributed on a small label, Colonial Records of Chapel Hill, and subsequently heard by a representative of Capitol Records, which picked it up and gave it national distribution, having since sold 800,000 copies. He had then been booked early in 1954 for an engagement at the Blue Angel, a dimly lit venue of avant-garde entertainment on New York's East Side, where, according to the bookee, he had "laid several eggs every night for four weeks" before departing again for the South, where he played hotels and nightclubs in Dallas, Houston, New Orleans, Birmingham, Mobile and Panama City, Fla.

The prior December, he had read the novel, No Time for Sergeants, learned that it was about to be dramatized for television and then secured an audition for the part of Will Stockdale. He said that he could not "read worth killin' before people" and following the audition, after receiving a "thank you", was waiting around in the office anteroom when he began talking to a woman who asked him what he did and he said that he did nightclubs, whereupon she asked whether he sang, to which he responded that he talked and she asked him how it went, during which conversation, the Theater Guild office staff, attracted by his loud voice, came into the anteroom and he was thereupon given the part.

He told Mr. Millstein that when he was a boy, his father, foreman of a local chair factory, would arise to go to work at 6:00 a.m., and that everyone else would have to get up at the same time, and they would turn on the radio and listen to Lulu Belle and Scotty from Chicago, singing "Put on Your Old Gray Bonnet", the first song he had ever learned to sing. In the third grade, they had assembly once per week and each room did something, with his room not having planned anything on a given week, and so on his way home with a friend one afternoon, he told his friend that he would get up and do something, after which he had taken to the stage at the time of the assembly, placed his hands behind his back and sang two choruses of the song, "and they like to die"—meaning, in North Carolina patois, that they really enjoyed it.

During his school career, he courted girls, but mostly mutely, once dousing his hair in a bottle of rose oil for a girl, whose only comment had been, "Lordy, man, what have you done to your hair?"

As a result of assiduous attendance of musical comedies at the local movie theater, he had first developed a desire to play the ukulele, which he did, then the trumpet, at which he was frustrated, and finally the trombone, an example of which he had bought with money earned from working for the National Youth Administration, sweeping out the high school. A Moravian minister, whom Mr. Griffith regarded as the greatest single influence in his life other than his parents, then taught him how to play the trombone, gave him singing lessons and saw to it that he attended UNC, where he decided to pass up the ministry for music. (Mr. Millstein indicates that he entered UNC as a divinity student, but that would have been quite impossible as there is not and never has been a divinity school at UNC, though there is a religion department, the closest divinity school being either Duke or Wake Forest, the latter located in a suburb of the same name near Raleigh at that time. Perhaps, he had intended to transfer to one of the latter schools at some point.)

While at UNC, he met his wife, a graduate student from Converse College in Spartanburg, S.C. She had come in to audition for the choral club, according to Mr. Griffith, and he had waited around to get a look at her and "Lord have mercy, was she pretty. She asked for a match. I didn't say boo. I let her go home by herself. Two weeks and I didn't ask her for nothing. I was afraid if I asked a girl to walk her home she would say no, you can't walk me home. Two weeks and I didn't ask her nothing. One Saturday, I asked her to go to the movies. Somehow I got a hold of her hand. I never had such a flurry in my life. Next day I remember saying, 'How's about we being married?'"

He had also performed while at UNC with the Carolina Playmakers, and for seven years appeared during summers in Paul Green's outdoor drama, "The Lost Colony", in Manteo. Following college, both Mr. Griffith and his wife began teaching, he at the high school in Goldsboro and she at the Methodist Church there. Both of them got fed up with teaching and formed an act of odds and ends, which included dancing, singing, and guitar playing "and the rest is, as they say, history."

He told Mr. Millstein that he wanted to buy a house, two cars, purchase for his wife's family a house on the creek, have enough to eat, and build a basement in his own family's house, was not after a fortune, "but I don't want a man to do me. I don't frankly know what's going on, it's not real. I don't mean that. I know what's happened, but it's happened so fast. I want to work a long time. I want to get up in the morning and say, 'Hey, Barbara, I'm glad to see the day.' Well, I do! I like to do that. You don't do that every morning."

Marquis Childs tells of the object of the Fund for the Republic being "to advance understanding of civil liberties", as stated in its annual report. But however innocuous sounding its purpose, it had stirred up an extraordinary amount of emotional criticism, with its directors and staff being accused of a left-wing bias, of being pro-Communist, of supporting those who would undermine the Federal security program and with wasting the millions of dollars provided to it by the Ford Foundation.

The Fund had not hesitated to champion the right of dissent, the right of the individual, the rights of minorities, and doing so repeatedly, not just in a single instance where popular or majority prejudices were involved. About a third of its current expenditures were utilized in advancing the understanding of civil rights in the field of race relations, and after Brown v. Board of Education in 1954 and its implementing decision in 1955, and with the tension arising over integrated housing in some cities, that activity offended many who might not be aroused emotionally by its criticism of the security program. About a fourth of the money was presently being spent for an analysis of the Communist influence in the U.S. and for education in citizenship. That issue had drawn the hottest fire among critics of the Fund, accusing it of employing people who would come up with answers to fit the prejudices of the Fund's directors or staff members. Fund president Robert M. Hutchins, former president of the University of Chicago, had replied to that latter criticism in a recent speech, stating that the insinuation was so outrageous "that it must arise out of acute alarm on the part of those who make it. What are they afraid of? I can only conclude that they are afraid of the truth."

One of the most controversial studies authorized by the Fund had been regarding Congressional investigations, causing the Fund to be accused of seeking to interfere with the prerogatives of Congress. That study had been carried out by a special committee of the ABA and its recommendations had been adopted by the ABA at its convention of August, 1954.

One radio commentator had devoted the better part of 25 broadcasts and parts of 13 others to castigating the Fund. The Fund had paid for announcements following those broadcasts, asking listeners to write for copies of the Fund's annual report. More than 4,000 requests for the report had been received and of the nearly 250 letters commenting on the report, more than half had been favorable.

Mr. Childs suggests that it was perhaps all part of advancing the understanding of civil liberties in a time of widespread fear and uncertainty, but the directors of the Fund believed that they were getting such a disproportionate share of the criticism that it made it difficult to carry on a task they regarded as supremely important in the present time of troubles.

A letter from the president of the Mecklenburg Pharmaceutical Association comments on a recent article in the newspaper regarding the indictment of an employee of a local drugstore for violation of Federal laws controlling the sale of certain medications without prescription, but the article, he says, had not pointed out that the parties indicted for the violation were not licensed pharmacists, and the Association wanted to clarify the matter. He says that Federal and state laws which governed the sale of drugs without prescription were for the protection of the health of the public, and asks that people not ask a pharmacist to break the law by asking the person to sell medication requiring a prescription.

A letter writer responds to a previous letter about the practices of the midway personnel at the Southern States Fair, saying it was not the only year such conduct had been evident, that she had a similar experience the previous year when she had taken her children to the fair, where they were insulted, cheated, and had to pay for shows which they never saw, but that they had never sought their money back. She suggests that perhaps they would have gotten more out of a picnic at an amusement park. She indicates that she had spoken to a woman the previous year from some organization whose members had volunteered to take tickets on the day devoted to attendance by schoolchildren, and that the woman told her that many people had been waiting for a particular show put on for children with only one performance, and that many people had given up and left without seeing the show, without any refund being available. She said the woman was embarrassed that she had volunteered for such a business. She agrees with the previous writer that something ought be done about such practices at the fair.

A letter writer from Hamlet finds that the newspaper's plea for the preservation of the public school system in the state was "only another testimonial of yours pleading for integration of schools. When you hear a southern white man talk in favor of integration then you know that he has money to send his children to schools not mixed. You don't give one tinker's damn about poor white children. You say let 'em mix." He says that there was no price too high to pay to keep segregated schools, "but with newspapers like you and the Charlotte Observer it's simple and everybody should comply with the court's ruling. I say it's the most damnable ruling that has ever been put on the white man. Appomattox was as nothing compared with this hellish demand. My prayer is that it shall never be."

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