The Charlotte News

Wednesday, October 19, 1955


Site Ed. Note: The front page reports from the U.N. in New York that the U.S. had pressed to rally wavering support this date for the Philippines in renewed balloting for the disputed rotating two-year Security Council seat, with diplomats believing that there was almost no chance, however, of beating out Yugoslavia, presently backed by both Britain and Russia. The U.S. was placing its prestige on a victory for the Philippines. A British spokesman denied reports that the delegation was openly campaigning for Yugoslavia, but several diplomats said that they had been approached regarding that support.

In Atlanta, Georgia Attorney General Eugene Cook charged this date that "subversion" was involved in the anti-segregation crusade of the NAACP, implying that he would have the organization outlawed from the state. He said that the real design of the organization was "to force upon the South the Communist-inspired doctrine of racial integration and amalgamation." He claimed that his statements were based on a long investigation by his staff and the staffs of Representative James Davis of Georgia and Senator James Eastland of Mississippi and that he would welcome the opportunity to prove them in a court. He made the statements in a speech prepared for delivery to the Peace Officers Association of Georgia, indicating that he wanted to make clear that "the issue involved is one not of race but rather of subversion." He claimed that the activities of the NAACP "and its local fronts pose a serious threat to the peace, tranquility, government and way of life of our state." He proposed to ask the State Legislature the following January to take "appropriate action" on "the subversive nature of these activities." He said that the organization had used the issue of segregation to "dupe naïve do-gooders, fuzzy-minded intellectuals, misguided clergymen and radical journalists to be their pawns." Representative Davis said that Mr. Cook had asked him for certain information from HUAC files and that he had furnished the information requested but did not remember the various names on the list. He said that he had not seen a copy of Mr. Cook's speech but was confident that it merely recited the facts taken from the Committee records. In New York, executive secretary of the NAACP, Roy Wilkins, said that the speech was "apparently part of a conspiracy by some Southern state officials to combat the U.S. Supreme Court's order to desegregate the public schools by charging the NAACP with being subversive. Mr. Cook knows the NAACP is not a Communist organization or a Communist-front organization."

In Point Clear, Ala., Governor Allan Shivers of Texas predicted to reporters, at the 21st annual Southern Governors Conference this date, that the Democratic convention in 1956 would not nominate Adlai Stevenson for the presidency but would choose a nominee acceptable to Governor Shivers and the South's conservative Democrats. He said that he expected solidarity in the South at the convention and believed that there was declining influence by labor and Eastern liberals within the party. He described Mr. Stevenson as an "extremist" who was identified with the Americans for Democratic Action, "which admits being one of the most extremist outfits you can find outside of being a Communist." He said that he had not been approached regarding the formation of a coalition aimed at giving the South a more powerful voice at the convention, but that it would not be unusual if those with mutual interests should work together, saying, however, that it would be "almost impossible" to organize a coalition of any size among Southerners with such divergent views. The Governor said that he had heard rumors that Mr. Stevenson would not run for the presidency but would instead seek a seat in the Senate, not identifying the source of the rumors. Senator Mike Mansfield of Montana said in Washington "it is a reasonable assumption" that Western and Southern Democrats might link forces behind a presidential candidate and platform, identifying Mr. Stevenson as the leading prospective candidate in the West and South.

In Chicago, state, county and city police this date performed the largest investigation of its type in 25 years, as they sought to solve the slaying of three young boys, whose naked, mutilated bodies had been found piled in a forest ditch. The murdered boys, ranging in age between 14 and 11, had been strangled and beaten, apparently on Sunday night, a few hours after they had set out from their homes to attend a downtown movie, their bodies having been discovered in Robinson Woods, just outside the city limits of Chicago. The coroner called it "the work of a madman" or a gang of older boys, theorizing from marks and dirt on the bodies that the boys had been held captive in "some filthy place", bound and gagged with strips of adhesive tape and then dumped in the forest. The oldest boy had been slashed across the head 14 times, probably with an ax or a hunting knife, according to police. The other two boys, brothers, had been hit on their faces with what appeared to be the flat side of a knife. The coroner's pathologist, who examined the bodies, said that strangulation had caused the death of all three.

Ann Sawyer of The News indicates that State Representative Arthur Goodman this date had called for the immediate resignation of the Goldsboro State mental institution superintendent following an accident in which seven black female patients had been seriously injured. He said that the guard who had supervised the loading of 72 women into a 1.5-ton truck ought be dismissed and that the owner of the truck should be charged with transporting people without a license and in an unsafe motor vehicle. The 72 women who had been crowded onto the small truck had, according to Mr. Goodman, been "treated worse than animals." An accident had occurred in which 30 of the 72 patients had spilled from the truck as it rounded a curve near Goldsboro, with seven of the women hurt seriously, suffering pelvic, thigh and leg fractures. The other 23 injured women had suffered cuts and bruises. At the time of the accident, the women were being transported to pick cotton. The owner of the truck, who was operating it at the time, had an operator's license but was not authorized to transport on a commercial basis. A Highway Patrolman said that the truck was overcrowded and that its siding which had given way was insubstantial.

In Charlotte, no arrests had been made early this afternoon by City police investigating the fire at the Boar's Head Restaurant on Monday morning, with detectives saying it had definitely been "incendiary" in nature and that the incendiary device had been clearly established, stating that the device consisted of a clock radio with wires connected to a hot plate which switched on the hot plate and ignited match heads which were embedded in pieces of a burlap bag, enabling the person or persons who had set the blaze to be some distance away from the scene by the time the mechanism began to work. He said that bits and pieces of the device had been found amid the rubble, and that inflammable fluids had also been poured onto the floor of the dining room of the restaurant. Police declined to comment on the results of a lie detector test voluntarily taken in Raleigh the previous night by the two brothers who owned the restaurant. The test had been provided in the SBI offices, and the SBI director said this date that the results would not be divulged, referring questions to Charlotte officials. In 1949, an incendiary bomb had been set off inside the same restaurant, with detectives indicating that the motive had been a grudge against one of the two owners regarding a business transaction, resulting in prison sentences for two men for tossing a white phosphorus incendiary bomb into the attic of the restaurant. The SBI must to awake and of certainty make haste to inquire right willingly of Hal, at very least, and, to be compleat in feature and in minde, also of Dames Quickly, Partlet and Centerfoil.

Also in Charlotte, the City School Board formally adopted a policy this date of not dismissing classes in the future for students to attend the Southern States Fair and the Piedmont Fair, the latter being a fair for blacks. The motion had unanimously passed after the member proposing the motion had said that he had learned from a high school student that early dismissal of classes for the fair meant that two classes, one in French and one in English, were not attended on that day and that he did not see why students should lose two hours of good instruction "for such as the fair offered". Board members said that they had received numerous complaints about the dismissal of students during the current year, but did not specify the nature of the complaints. Several letters from parents had recently appeared on the editorial page of the News, complaining of mistreatment of young people on the fair midway by fair personnel, ranging from being shortchanged on rides to refusal of refunds of money when shows were so late in their performance that people would leave.

Also in Charlotte, Coliseum parking facilities were scheduled to have their first big test the following week, and so two big improvements to the main lot had been made so that persons who would attend the Ice Capades performances would be driving on a lot well-illuminated with the same mercury-type lamps used on Independence Boulevard. There would also be individual spaces marked off in the lot so that approximately 2,000 cars could be parked on it, with others on a lot adjoining it. Officials had met this date to try to figure out the fastest means of getting into the parking area. Paint it orange.

Charles Kuralt of The News indicates that the 1956 license plates of North and South Carolina would be exactly the same color, though no one knew how that had occurred. The motor vehicles departments of both states had been aghast when a News reporter called to give them the news that both sets of plates would have black letters on an orange background, though the South Carolina tags, already out, had a little lighter orange color, but one would have to place the tags side-by-side to tell the difference. No one could immediately remember the last time the two states had duplicate license tags. North Carolina had abandoned maroon and silver tags in 1940 for the alternating orange-on-black, black-on-orange tags since. Maroon and silver? The metal shortage during World War II had forced the use of tiny tabs over the year dates of the old plates. In 1951 and 1952, North Carolina had gone to red-on-white and white-on-red tags because, as the story went, the Motor Vehicles commissioner decided to stop favoring the colors of Wake Forest College and give N.C. State a break. But when the Umstead Administration had come into office in 1953, there was a reversion to the old orange and black combination. South Carolina had used a cycle of four color schemes, all built around white, black and orange. In both states, the motor vehicles commissioners decided which colors would be used each year and there was no indication that the commissioners had talked the matter over to avoid duplication.

In Tarzana, Calif., actor John Hodiak had collapsed at home this date shortly after getting up to go to work and died of a heart attack.

In Los Angeles, a news vendor, who died on October 10 at age 67, had left an estate valued at $40,000. He had operated a newsstand at Fourth and Spring Streets for 53 years.

In London, Princess Margaret would dine this night with the Archbishop of Canterbury, the leading foe in the Church of England to the marriage of the Princess to Group Capt. Peter Townsend for the fact that he had been divorced, notwithstanding his hero status in the Battle of Britain during the War. Queen Elizabeth and other members of the royal family would also attend the dinner, but Capt. Townsend was not on the guest list. Because of the furore in the press and among the public caused by the prospect of the Princess flouting the laws of the Church, it was unlikely that the subject would be raised at the dinner, but it did not preclude the possibility of private talks about the matter.

On the editorial page, "Gray Must Be Allowed To Step Aside" indicates that UNC needed the courage, broad vision and executive finesse of president Gordon Gray, but at the current time in history, the mounting pressures on the institution made his absence increasingly difficult. It suggests that whatever the personal qualifications of acting president J. Harris Purks, he could not logically fill the void, handicapped by the tentative nature of his authority.

With the University system confronted with the serious questions of segregation, academic issues and the need for expansion of facilities in certain areas, the administration of the University lacked the services of a fully accredited president. Mr. Gray had offered his resignation the prior June, when he was appointed Assistant Secretary of Defense, but the University Board of Trustees had refused to accept it and instead granted him a leave of absence.

It urges that given the times and the need for a full-time president of the University, the Board should accept Mr. Gray's pending resignation and appoint a successor who could take up the full responsibilities of the office promptly.

"All Errors in Surveying Are Big" indicates that some of the surveying around Charlotte and Mecklenburg County was grossly inaccurate, according to the president of Professional Engineers of North Carolina in a statement to the local Planning Commission and to the County Commission, alerting the public to the dangers of faulty surveying, while working to improve the standards of the profession.

It indicates that state legislation might be necessary to provide effective legal safeguards against faulty surveying in the county, but for the city and the perimeter area, the legal machinery already existed, and the planning director for the city had announced his intention to utilize an ordinance providing that every registered subdivision plat had to provide the distance and bearing of every line. It finds that it was as it should be, even though there was every indication that the shoddy work was being done by a careless or unqualified minority of surveyors.

It advises citizens who needed surveying done to remember that cost generally was an index of quality and that there was no reason to believe that a cut-rate surveyor would give the customer any more than his money's worth, that a survey line just a few inches off could produce a court battle between property owners.

"Memory Smokes on Leaf and Vine" indicates that the Daily Tar Heel, in a piece reprinted below, had waxed nostalgic, and though it had two editors, believes the nostalgic one to be Edwin Yoder, who had been brought up in Mebane, where people knew about types of cigarettes unsung by auctioneers and testifying celebrities. Mr. Yoder had taken the reader to the corn patch to look for a suitable cob for a pipe and, while there, gathered silks for storing in a damp place until they were mild and pungent, ready for smoking in the pipe. He also told of keeping an eye open for rabbit tobacco and for a grapevine which, by November, would be brittle, hollow and ripe for breaking into ready-made cheroots.

It indicates that reminiscing with Mr. Yoder was fine and that perhaps they could tell him something about the fine quality of dried fig and cottonwood leaves which could be shredded between the hands or forced through screen wire and then rolled in brown paper. But it parts company with him when he recalled that "the sophisticates always had empty King Edward pipe tobacco tins" in which to store their grapevine smokes. "The royalty of our childhood was of a lesser rank and we always used Prince Albert cans."

"The Quarry" indicates intrigue surrounding the rock quarry off W. Tremont Avenue, that despite great municipal efforts in the past, it had still begun to smoke and blaze again. The fire chief had said that if people would stop bringing debris to it and they could properly exclude oxygen from the materials underground, the problem could be solved permanently.

It suggests that the validity of the contingency depended on whether the hole was not actually brimstone.

A piece from the Daily Tar Heel, the UNC student newspaper, titled "Depart from Cotton Picking, Charlotte", indicates that the Charlotte News and the Greensboro Daily News and their talented "editorial lyricists" had turned on the "torrents of recollection and tuned up to sing the melodies of young autumn. Of eating scuppernongs while a-cotton-picking, they sing, of swinging insouciantly through rural forests on vines, of sucking muscadines."

It expresses regret that it had come up "through the fields and streams after scuppernongs and muscadines had fallen from faddish days", but indicates that it could "still add its own misty songs to the neo-pastoral chorus." It says it could not understand why nobody sung the praises of the corncob pipes in season, that when creatively hewn out of the rough material of a dry cob, it could lend hours of pleasure, while corn silk was also present in the dry ear, although with a certain aridness about it which could be unpleasant. Another handy stock for the corncob was "rabbit tobacco", which grew close to the ground and needed no preparation this time of year, able to be stoked right into the new-made pipe.

Grapevines, broken down into handy smoking lengths, were also available by November.

"Depart from cotton-picking to eat your scuppernongs, Charlotte; take your muscadines, pit and all, Greensboro. For us, as for Thomas Wolfe, October was always the smell of burning."

Drew Pearson indicates that an Eastern newspaper editor had phoned him recently to ask why Senator Estes Kefauver of Tennessee was not popular with his colleagues and why he did not receive more support from the Democratic king-makers when he obviously had a strong following among voters. He says that the answer to the first question was professional jealousy, that about half of the 96 Senators considered themselves potential candidates for the presidency or vice-presidency and that none wanted to help build up a rival. When Senator Kefauver had probed the Dixon-Yates power contract controversy, Senate Majority Leader Lyndon Johnson, a dark-horse candidate, laid down the law to Senator Harley Kilgore of West Virginia, chairman of the Judiciary Committee, telling him that Senator Kefauver must not be chairman of a subcommittee to probe monopolies or otherwise the Judiciary Committee would not receive any funding. Senator Johnson obviously did not want Senator Kefauver obtaining headlines as a monopoly investigator, though the latter had been fighting big business and monopoly ever since he became a member of the House Small Business Committee, having thrown the spotlight on favoritism toward General Motors inside the Defense Department in 1953 and helped to force the cancellation of some G.M. defense contracts. Later, Senator Kefauver had obtained the chairmanship of another subcommittee to investigate Dixon-Yates, at which point Senator Kilgore wrote an official letter to Senator Kefauver, providing strict orders that he was not to probe Dixon-Yates for more than two days. But Senator Kefauver had gotten friends to work on Senator Kilgore and the two-day restriction was changed.

Whether other Senators liked Senator Kefauver or not, he had a rare combination of courage, political know-how and a Davy Crockett flair for the dramatic. Some Senators had great courage but did not get re-elected, while some had no courage and did get re-elected, but Senator Kefauver had the courage to stand up and fight for unpopular causes when he was almost alone and yet had the political know-how to get re-elected. A President had to have courage and also political know-how and so those traits constituted a good gauge for a presidential candidate.

Senator Kefauver had been the only Southern member of Congress who had the courage to vote for blacks on the test of cloture and the cutting off of debate on race questions. He was also only one of two or three Senators who saw the danger of former Secretary of the Air Force Harold Talbott's appointment in 1953, delivering a long speech against his confirmation. The Secretary had resigned in recent months over conflicts of interest, proving Senator Kefauver to have been correct. The Senator had been one of only five or six Senators to stand on the Senate floor and oppose the special resolution giving the President power to go to war and even drop the atom bomb over Quemoy and Matsu, the Nationalist-held islands off the shore of the Chinese mainland, a position which took great courage. He had also been the only Senator willing to ask embarrassing, penetrating questions of FCC chairman George McConnaughey, developing the latter's connection with the Bell Telephone Co. He had been one of the first Senators to crack down on Senator McCarthy, as far back as 1946.

Edwin S. Bergamini, News music critic, discusses the acoustics in the new Ovens Auditorium in Charlotte, indicating that the few events thus far in the facility had only afforded a partial idea on the quality, but the musical performances had provided a sample of impressions, principal among which had been a lack of sound volume, evident in the opening ceremonies of September 11, in which several groups had participated, with the next performance, by the Charlotte Symphony, having been reinforced by sound-reflecting baffles, though providing the same perception of insufficient volume. At the previous week's performance of the Boston Symphony, the backstage baffling had been further worked out such that the best projection so far had occurred by the 100-piece orchestra. Nevertheless, some audience members in both the balcony and parquet seats felt that they had not heard enough of the orchestra, that it sounded distant and muffled. From his seat in the third-row center downstairs, there was only a balance problem, not one of volume, receiving too much sound from the first violins, percussion and trumpet. The overall view was that if the Boston Symphony could not fill the hall, then it was questionable who could and if the sound was out of balance up front, the question arose as to what could be done about it.

Several players in the Charlotte Symphony had told him after the concert that from the standpoint of the acoustics on stage, it was a "players' hall" and they were grateful for the improvement over past seasons, when they had played in the Armory-Auditorium, which had burned down earlier in the year. They said that they could hear each other playing and thus make better "ensemble". The Boston Symphony Orchestra conductor, Charles Munch, found the hall "magnificent", but Mr. Bergamini stresses that what the players heard was not the same as what the audience heard.

He notes that the insistence on preserving Carnegie Hall and rebuilding La Scala, damaged during the war, to exact dimensions were critical to achieving proper sound. The capacity of Carnegie Hall was only a few hundred seats greater than Ovens Auditorium and Mr. Bergamini had sat in just about every location in the former hall and found the acoustics nearly always acceptable, though not always outstanding. The resident orchestra, the New York Philharmonic, had given concerts there since 1892 and over that 63-year period, with the greatest concentration of performances during the previous decade, certain structural alterations had been made on the stage and elsewhere, as well as giving the Philharmonic an opportunity to work out certain orchestral seating arrangements, with visiting orchestras often taking advantage of that experience.

He suggests that with some patient experimentation, the sound projection in Ovens might be improved, perhaps with an experimental evening, where chorus, soloists and players performed for acoustical experts, possibly before a volunteer audience. In addition to improved baffling and perhaps changing seats between the stage and the pit, plus possibly muting the air conditioning system which whirred over the music, the acoustics, which were good, might be improved, with high public interest suggesting the need to do it soon before a stigma of an "acoustic lemon" set in with the public. He observes that few halls were ideal at all locations but they needed to strive for highly acceptable sound from every seat.

A letter from the general manager of the Carolina Motor Club says that they had been greatly impressed with the series of full-page ads presented by Shell Oil Co., providing tests for drivers, that they were clear and effective. He says that the Club distributed about half a million safety posters annually dealing with all types of vehicle safety, and enthusiastically endorsed the humanitarian efforts of Shell.

A letter writer says that no one could make another person live a Christian life and be happy, that everyone had to make their own decision, that one could not serve the devil all week long and then go to church on Sunday and be a Christian, as Christ had records and the only happiness for people in the world was to live for Christ every day. She advises being kind to others, living a Christ-like life, never being too proud to help a poor sinner who needed one's help and never too proud to get down on one's knees and pray for others, that one left behind the funeral one preached "and when we come to the end of the way it is all over if you are not saved, but if you are Heaven is waiting. There is only one way and that we all know."

A letter from the president of the Mint Museum of Art in Charlotte expresses appreciation and gratitude to the Debutante Club and those connected with the Tour of Charlotte Homes for the efforts made on behalf of the Museum, hopes that the Museum would, in return, provide cultural services to the people in the same manner.

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