The Charlotte News

Monday, October 24, 1955


Site Ed. Note: The front page reports from Denver that the President was embarking on his busiest work schedule during the week since he had been stricken with his heart attack on September 24, with an increased list of callers, following an encouraging weekend of checkups and issuance of a declaration of unqualified support for Secretary of State Dulles in advance at the Geneva foreign ministers conference, set to start in three days. The President said that the Secretary would speak for him "with authority for our country" at the meeting, a significant expression of confidence given that Soviet Foreign Minister V. M. Molotov was in a compromised position and might even step down soon from his post because of an impolitic statement made the prior spring in the Communist magazine. Gabriel Hauge, the President's personal economic adviser, and Dr. Arthur Burns, chairman of the President's Council of Economic Advisors, consulted with the President at the hospital on economic problems. U.S. Ambassador to the U.N., Henry Cabot Lodge, Jr., was also scheduled to meet with the President this date. Dr. Paul White, the Boston heart specialist who had been seeing the President, stated that it could not be determined for another two or three months whether the President would make a complete recovery. He had been well enough the previous day to stand upright without aid and step onto a pair of scales, which showed that he had lost four pounds since entering the hospital. Press secretary James Hagerty said that the news was "all to the good."

Senators John McClellan of Arkansas and John Stennis of Mississippi had voiced their indignation after disembarking from a regularly scheduled Military Air Transport Service Constellation in Washington, which had returned them and 42 others from Paris, both indicating that they expected top Defense Department officials to provide an explanation for stories the previous week that they had declined to adjust their schedules to travel on regular flights. Senator McClellan said that if there was any intent to embarrass him, he positively refused to be embarrassed, that it was the Pentagon's mistake and no mistake on the part of the Senators. He said that he would seek an explanation from Secretary of Defense Charles E. Wilson, presently in Europe for the Big Four meeting, or from other top officials at the Pentagon. The plane which had been specially dispatched to return them from Madrid had stayed in Europe. Senator McClellan said that he was "completely mystified" by the Pentagon announcement that he and other Senators in Europe and the Middle East on inspection tours had demanded special planes, saying that the whole purpose of their use of Air Force planes was to save money. He said that they could have traveled by commercial airlines at Government expense, since the trip was purely for Government business, but that it was less expensive to travel on planes which the Air Force was flying anyway. The previous Thursday, the Defense Department had announced that it was sending two special four-engined transports to bring home Senators McClellan, Stennis and Dennis Chavez of New Mexico. The Pentagon had later stated, however, that "some misunderstanding" had arisen and that the Air Force had found that after the Senators had departed the U.S., the planes were not available to bring them back on the dates they wanted to return, that the Air Force had sought to change the dates but were told that the changes could not be made. Senators McClellan and Stennis said that they knew nothing of any attempt to change the dates. Senator Chavez remained behind in Madrid and planned to return later to the U.S.

In New Orleans, doctors had been urged this date to set their sights on housewives as a means of curbing overeating and overweight, as it was the housewife who shaped the food habits and practices of the nation, according to Dr. W. H. Sebrell, Jr., who was the former director of the National Institutes of Health and was now a research consultant for the American Cancer Society. In his address to the 28th annual scientific meeting of the American Heart Association, he said that being overweight was "one of the most serious health hazards of our times—at least 20 percent, perhaps as many as 25 percent, of all adults in this country today are overweight to an extent that may impair their health." He said that all obesity resulted from overeating, eating more calories than were needed for energy. He indicated that it was a common notion that to be big was to be strong and healthy, but that it was a misguided view which caused mothers to provide an excess of food to their children, insisting that it be eaten, and that habits of overeating were thus inculcated which persisted into adulthood. The doctor said that a lot of people erroneously placed reliance on drugs as a means of reducing weight, but that in the majority of those cases, the drugs, whether non-specific fillers, appetite depressants or metabolic stimulators, had relatively little and only temporary value since use of them tended to obscure the main problem, overeating. He said that drugs ought be used in obesity control only upon the advice of physicians. Give up the bucket of fried chicken and chocolate cake as a between-meal snack, fatso.

In Santa Ana, Calif., a sedan going downhill had broadsided an approaching oil tank truck-trailer the previous day, killing seven young Marines in the car, one of the worst highway accidents in Southern California history.

In Hamilton, Ontario, a paper company had increased its price of newsprint by five dollars per ton, effective November 1, according to the Hamilton Spectator. It was the second increase by a Canadian newsprint manufacturer, with a another company of Montréal having announced the same increase, also effective November 1, explaining that its production costs had risen sharply. The increase brought the price of newsprint to $131 per ton, delivered in New York.

Perhaps that might explain, to some degree, why there was never any mention in The News, even on an inside page, of the death in the September 30 automobile accident of actor James Dean, while there was room on the front page for the news out of California this date of the accident causing the deaths of the seven Marines, not that the latter should not have been mentioned or that it was inconsequential. The omission of the one and the inclusion of the other, when the News had been stressing automobile safety just prior to the fatal Dean accident, is just a curiosity. It is not as if the front page of the newspaper these days is loaded with all and only the news fit to print.

In Jackson, Mich., two brothers had gone duck hunting seven miles from a prison camp, when they spotted a man crawling through a field, who turned out to be an escaped convict from the camp. The brothers held him at gunpoint, hailed a passing State police car, and the man was returned to custody where he resumed serving his sentence of between five and fifteen years for armed robbery.

In Chicago, author James Michener, 48, whose books dealt with better understanding between East and West, had married an American-born woman of Japanese ancestry the previous day, with the ceremony performed by the pastor of the First Baptist Church of Chicago, the Rev. Jitsuo Morikawa.

In Charlotte, a man and his wife had gotten into an argument, and the wife had grabbed a baseball bat and hit him on his head, requiring two stitches to close the gash. In another case, a woman had told police that her husband had come home during the wee hours of Saturday morning and had awakened her by hitting her with a chair, breaking her right arm between the wrist and elbow, but she had refused to swear out a warrant against him. In a third case, a man told police that as he stepped from a car, he stepped into an open manhole, was treated at the hospital for injuries to both legs and his right knee.

Charles Kuralt of The News reports of Seaboard Railroad freight trains having started rolling through Matthews again shortly after noon this date, almost 24 hours after the two-train collision which had killed three trainmen and blocked the tracks, after wrecking crews had worked without respite through the night replacing the twisted rails and removing the demolished boxcars. The track was the Seaboard's main line from Charlotte to Raleigh. A company official said that the new tracks were temporary and that the full clean-up operation would take about a week. The Interstate Commerce Commission, the FBI and the Railroad were conducting separate inquiries into the crash. The trains had collided during the afternoon when a westbound freight apparently had left a siding ahead of schedule, plowing into the sixth car of the eastbound train, which was turning into another siding. The engineer of the westbound train and the conductor and fireman of the eastbound train had been killed, the latter having died when he suffered a heart attack after leaping from his engine when he saw the other freight about to hit the train.

Ann Sawyer of The News reports that the president of the Southern States Fair, Dr. J. S. Dorton, would be asked to pay for overtime of County police officers who had put in from 12 to 16 hours per day during fair week and another thousand dollars for the previous year's overtime. The previous year, the County had paid the bill and had not been reimbursed by Dr. Dorton. The County Board of Commissioners voted to resubmit the request for payment of the previous year's bill with the statement for the current year's bill, which had yet to be determined.

A short story indicates that if North Carolina did not mind the similarity of license plate colors in 1956 to those of South Carolina, then the South Carolinians would not mind either, according to the chief commissioner of the South Carolina Department of Motor Vehicles. He said that they did not want their people to pick out North Carolina people to arrest, that they should find such residence out after they caught them, and the similarity of colors would assure that non-discrimination.

On the editorial page, "An Outdoor Drama for Mecklenburg?" indicates that since the closing of "Shout Freedom", an outdoor drama about the Mecklenburg Declaration of Independence, hopes for a permanent outdoor historical drama had been held by many dedicated residents of the county and that the current year's "Voice in the Wilderness", the Presbyterian pageant, had only whetted their appetites the more. The previous weekend, at the annual dinner of the Mecklenburg Historical Association, the first outlines of a new plan for an outdoor drama had begun to take shape. No vote was taken but backing for the idea was frankly solicited.

It suggests that the proposal had merit and deserved thoughtful consideration by residents, that the county had a rich heritage and that its triumphs and tragedies in its early history were unique in the annals of America's struggle for independence, such as the Mecklenburg Declaration of Independence and the battles fought in and around Charlotte, all providing the raw material for exciting theater. It suggests that there was apparently an audience for such a venture, as more than 20,000 people had attended the free performances of "Voice in the Wilderness" over the course of four nights, whereas the entire 1955 season of "Horn in the West" at Boone had attracted 35,000 paid admissions. Summer entertainment in the county was lean, with the Symphony, the opera, Community Concerts and the choral society taking a three-month recess during that season. There was also talent available, notably LeGette Blythe, the Mecklenburg novelist and historian. Offers had also been made for financial support.

It concludes that every angle of the proposed project ought be scrutinized carefully and that if local sentiment for such an attraction was enough and if the proper business and artistic talent could be recruited, there should be such an outdoor drama locally.

"Insert 'Blah-Blah' & Let It Go at That" tells of Gabriel Hauge, one of the President's economic advisers, having told the Commonwealth Club of California recently that the nation was riding the crest of something called "Eisenhower dynamic conservatism", mentioning a political philosophy called "forward-looking Republicanism."

It wonders whether it meant that the country was in the midst of a period of liberalized conservatism, conservative liberalism, a cross between liberalism and conservatism, plain old-fashioned conservatism dressed up with a new name, or a new political concept entirely.

Mr. Hauge had not created the phrases, as Mr. Eisenhower had once promised the country a "dynamic, forward-looking" legislative program, but Mr. Hauge had probably been the first to use "dynamic" or "forward-looking" as special brands of latter-day Republicanism.

Many of the words being used in modern day politics were like that, laden with such emotions that they could not be pinned down as to precise meaning, with one semantics expert suggesting that whenever one was tempted to use vague phrases, such as "the democratic way of life" or "Western individualism", the person should simply substitute "blah-blah" and let it go at that.

Three observers might alternately refer to a fourth person as either "pig-headed", "obstinate" or "firm", the behavior described being the same, with the description ranging in general meaning from strong disapproval to approval. It finds that words had various shades of meaning to various people. "'Liberal' may be just another way of saying 'Communist' to one man and 'conservative' may mean 'fascist' to another."

It says that former British Prime Minister Clement Attlee had once said, "The peoples of the world are islands shouting at each other over seas of misunderstanding." It suggests that everyone might as well resort to the logic expressed in Through the Looking-Glass:

"When I use a word," Humpty Dumpty said, "it means just what I choose it to mean—neither more nor less."

"The question is," said Alice, "whether you can make words mean so many different things."

"The question is," said Humpty Dumpty, "which is to be master—that's all."

"Brave New Folk Art for the Few" indicates that sooner or later, all folk arts appeared to fall into the clutches of a self-conscious clique bent on making them mysterious, esoteric and only for the anointed few. It had finally happened to American jazz, a "casual kind of urban folk music that used to supply foot-tapping merriment for the millions." Now, a form of "serious jazz" had emerged to be nurtured by a set of professional caretakers who scorned the attention of the "great unwashed majority."

Nat Hentoff, usually an adroit critic and the co-author of Hear Me Talkin' to Ya, had complained bitterly in the latest issue of Down Beat magazine about "an unfortunate and unnecessary outgrowth of the public interest in jazz in the last few years," that an unprecedented number of national magazines and newspapers were writing about jazz and that the coverage was "astonishingly unintelligent and imperceptive."

It indicates that jazz, like most folk arts, was basically simple and that recent attempts to make it complicated and profoundly intellectual had been "slightly ludicrous". It cites as example the liner notes from a jazz trio's recent album: "'A' material consists of the juxtaposition of two opposed triad tonalities. The material for the succeeding sections is derived from section 'A,' using fixed scales. The jazz break is utilized in a new light, marking the ends of sections and having a cadential effect. The form, an analysis of which would be ABACA, resembles rondo form."

It concludes: "Seems the joint was jumping. Or was it? No matter. Give us the simple beat, the rough and ready phrase, the joyful innocence of unsophisticated harmonies. And never mind all those labored explanations of the opposed triad tonalities."

A piece from the Richmond News Leader, titled "Psychoanalyzing Our Verbena", indicates that it had seen in the newspapers that one of the local garden clubs would brighten its program with the psychoanalysis of the members' flower arrangements, deducing personality characteristics from the variety of flowers placed in a bowl and the manner in which they were placed.

It suggests that it was probably as reliable as phrenology, graphology or the reading of tea leaves, that extroverted tendencies could be found in giant zinnias, overblown dahlias and aggressively obnoxious peonies, with the introvert perhaps divined from sweet peas, larkspur, and a "tentative, obsequious" fern.

It indicates that there was a time when garden clubs concerned themselves with gardens, but now it appeared that gardening had been subordinated in many clubs to a docile subservience to the judges' demands. An arrangement was considered no good unless the height was 1 1/2 times the height of the container, with the small flowers at the top, the strong colors at the bottom, no flower touching the table and stems not showing through the crystal bowl. It finds it to be a lot of foolishness, that a glance at one of the great still lifes by the French impressionists would expose the fraud, and yet intelligent women surrendered to the "senseless and arbitrary system as if it were the order of a court."

It concludes that a visiting psychoanalyst would not learn much from flower arrangements, that what might appear as indication of the maternal instinct would "reflect only a stolid obedience to Rule 118-g, concerning the number of leaves that may be left on a stem."

Drew Pearson tells of William T. Burton, wealthy oilman, holding out on his 38,000 acres near Camp Polk, La., which the Army needed for its war games, thus holding up the largest Army maneuvers in history. Mr. Burton had once served three years in jail for income tax evasion and believed he owed nothing to the Federal Government, and so objected to having tanks, trucks and half-tracks on his land. He had told friends that he would give his answer to the Army this date or the following day.

In 1951, the Army maneuvers, called "Operation Longhorn", which had taken place in Texas, had been so disastrous to Texas farms and ranch land, with Army appraisers so niggardly in assessing the damage, that the people of Texas had refused to permit the maneuvers to take place there again. The General Accounting Office had made things worse by ordering all claims cut in half as an economy measure, and so when the Army asked for permission from Texans in 1954 to conduct maneuvers, they had refused. The Army had then made a deal with Maj. General Raymond Fleming, presently Louisiana's adjutant general, that Louisiana would turn over seven million acres for "Operation Sagebrush" during the current year, provided the Army would reopen Camp Polk on a permanent basis. The Army accepted the deal, but now Governor Robert Kennon of Louisiana was unable to deliver, thanks in large part to Mr. Burton. Approximately six million acres had been consigned to the maneuvers, but Mr. Burton, together with 121 other landowners, was holding out. When asked by Mr. Pearson, about the matter, Mr. Burton had said that just prior to World War II, he had been delighted to turn over his land to the Army and had even drilled some water wells for them when they could not find water for their camp. But he said that then they had sent their Army trucks to a lot of little people living in small houses and tossed them out, not paying them anything, leaving them no place to stay until he had raised cain about it. Then they had promised him $14 per acre for 20,000 acres of his land, and in the end, the jury had been instructed to fix the price at $3.50 per acre. Mr. Burton had also said that since 1948, the Government had been trying to condemn his mineral rights, and so he did not feel that they he owed them anything. Mr. Pearson notes that Mr. Burton had been reported to have purchased the land from the Government at only 15 cents per acre.

He indicates that if Mr. Burton did not give in, the Army would find itself in the position of having spent several million dollars moving troops to Louisiana and keeping them waiting for weeks, with no maneuvers. Either this date or the following day, Mr. Burton would propose to the Army that he would lease them his 33,000 acres for a year, provided they would agree to keep Camp Polk at full division strength of 30,000 men, and if that condition was met, after a year, he would agree to lease his land for 14 more years, provided he was certain that the Army would carry out its end of the bargain.

Marquis Childs tells of a secret committee of Democrats and Republicans having met to determine the qualifications for the candidates for the presidency in 1956, determining that the candidate must be between ages 47 and 57, have a heart and arteries, certified by a board made up of ten of the nation's leading specialists, to be strong enough to endure any and all stresses and strains, able to solve all the problems of the nation and the world, would never appear in anything less than a mood of smiling confidence, but also would never lapse into humor. He had to have a family but had to be ready to sacrifice their right or privacy to the purposes of publicity on all occasions, had to be totally telegenic, "combining the appeal of Burt Lancaster and Liberace with a touch of Marlon Brando for good measure." He also had to have a hide like a rhinoceros, "impervious to slander and calumny, the whispered canard as well as the direct attack."

He suggests that it was only a small part of the long list of specifications to which the Democrats and Republicans, canvassed separately, had agreed. But they had also agreed that no one fit the bill and that if he did, he would be Superman. It was possible that both parties might have to settle for a human being with all the strengths and weaknesses, vices and virtues of such.

For 14 years, the Democrats had been under the spell of FDR, for a variety of reasons, raised to a stature larger than life. The process had gone so far that he had been elected to a fourth term in 1944, though the outward and visible signs of illness and incapacity for high office should have been obvious.

During the previous three years, the Republicans had come under the spell of President Eisenhower, emerging in the same larger-than-life image, causing the party and a large segment of the American people to look to him for continuing miracles. From time to time, the President had remonstrated against that kind of concentrated hero worship, but his words had been politely disregarded.

Senator William Knowland of California, Minority Leader in the Senate, had stated recently that a bright smile and a good television appearance were perhaps not enough and that candidates should let the public know where they stood on issues. Senator Knowland, as a potential presidential candidate, had talked about the major issues, but in the present time of public relations experts and television makeup artists, that was the exception rather than the rule.

Robert C. Ruark, in Palamos, Spain, says that he was delighted to read that after a slight cultural lag, beginning in 1492, America had "seen fit to commence to begin to consider the bestowal of full citizenship on the people who own the joint." The Federal government had finally decided to get out of what it called "the Indian business" and encourage the gradual introduction of the Indian into society. The program would allow each state which owned a reservation-Indian "problem" to pursue its own policy regarding incorporation of Indians into responsible citizenry. Up to the present, the policy and funding had come from Washington, with the reservation occupying the position of feeble-minded orphans in an asylum, known as protecting the Indian from himself. But that was originally what moderns decried as "concentration camps", to get rid of the troublemakers. He says that when the Government pinched the Cherokee property, they were herded West, save for a few who wanted to stay in the Smoky Mountains.

The Indian Bureau was attempting at present to encourage the Indians to remove themselves from the reservation whenever possible or feasible and assimilate with the white "strangers who stole the country." That was called "relocation". Indians had shown a remarkable ability to blend with the population. "The red blood melds well with the white blood, and there is nothing really wrong with the full-blood as a coper with the times, if he has had any experience off his spotted pony and can learn to duck a taxicab." He says that all the "part-Injuns" whom he knew, especially those in Oklahoma and North Carolina, were prouder of the red blood than of the white.

"We, who have so proudly meddled with other peoples' colonies abroad, have been a long time coming to the assumption that it is impossible to maintain a tiny aboriginal minority—our Indian population is around 400,000—in the middle of a TV, atom-bomb, speed-of-sound life." He indicates that Indians assimilated when given a chance to start that process on their own experience level. "A Navajo herdsman makes a good cowpoke on a modern ranch, for instance—and his kids can go to school and not die of tuberculosis."

He concludes that through effort, American blacks had achieved great things in the country, despite starting out as slaves from the most savage country in the world, and that it was a little difficult to see why Americans had dallied until the present "with the process of civilizing the original owners of America to a point where they are willing to accept us as equals."

A letter writer describes two cars approaching an intersection, two blocks from Eastover School in Charlotte, one following the other at a safe distance, and that just before the first car had reached the intersection, a third car had come up from the rear, pulled out to pass, despite the fact that the first driver had been signaling for a distance of about 65 feet his intention to make a left turn, and the third car passed the lead car in the intersection. The driver of the lead car had seen the third car in his mirror and stopped in time to avert a collision. He finds that the third car's driver, a middle-aged man, had engaged in dangerous habits which made his green Chevrolet a deadly menace. He indicates that it was not enough to signal what one intended to do in traffic, that one had to look fore and aft before turning, that had it not been done in the case he relates, a middle-aged father, his daughter, and three neighbor children would have been injured while on the way to school.

A letter writer from Myrtle Beach, S.C., indicates that for several days he had been considering the matter of the quarrel between Egypt and Israel, says that Jews in Israel could not claim it as a fatherland because many of them had not lived in the Holy Land for a thousand years and that there was no Jewish race, only a religious belief, indicating that the Talmud guided many of the orthodox Jews. He says that Palestine was taken over financially and "with the sword" by the present rulers in what was "a most horrible example of land-grabbing ever perpetrated." The Arabs who had lived there, along with a few Jews, for a thousand years had been thrown out and valuable property had been taken from the rightful owners, "a generally nasty affair." He says that it had been financed officially by first, the League of Nations, the international Zionist organizations and other sources and backed up by Britain and the U.S., and that then the British had gotten cold feet and left the Suez, with the consequent resurgence of Egyptian strength and arrogance. He says that thus created situation apparently had been agreeable with the State Department. Now, if the Egyptians were to be armed by the Communists, then the U.S. was to furnish 90 percent of the cost of compensating the people who were robbed of their life savings and land in Palestine. He wonders why, since the U.S. had not stolen the land. He suggests that the Jews of the U.S. should put up the cash and settle the misdeeds of their homeland. "With the entire Middle Atlantic states bared to hurricanes and storms why should our national government further impoverish us to feed a bunch of jokers in foreign places. Better by far that the funds required by these usages be spent in our own nation and for our own people." He says that England, France and other nations had, for generations, been robbing the Arabs and Christians of the Near East for the benefit of others. He thinks it was time for it to stop.

He thinks a lot of things which are, for the most part, a bunch of "blah-blah".

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