The Charlotte News

Wednesday, October 5, 1955


Site Ed. Note: The front page reports that former First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt, visiting Charlotte, had told reporter Julian Scheer of The News that the President's illness was one from which he could expect full recovery and that the American people and people throughout the free world needed to realize that fact. She said that the situation was different from President Woodrow Wilson's stroke in 1919, rendering him unable to speak, provide advice or make decisions. She said she understood the problems facing First Lady Mamie Eisenhower, that she would have to keep her husband at the right pace and ensure that he perform a minimum of work until he had recovered. She said that the President's illness had an unfortunate effect on the world situation, with people trying to carry out the President's policies but holding back until receiving word from him to proceed. Mrs. Roosevelt was present in Charlotte for two talks on the U.N. this date. Regarding the departure of France from the U.N. General Assembly recently because of the Assembly's decision to debate the Algerian demands for independence, she said that the U.S. would have felt likewise about debate on its treatment of Hawaii and Alaska, that France regarded the matter as domestic and internal and that their departure was only an attempt to dramatize their feelings.

In New Castle, Ind., eight persons had been shot this date in a battle involving an estimated 5,000 sympathy demonstrators outside the strike-plagued Perfect Circle Corp. foundry, with one person having possibly been killed in an unconfirmed report to police. Three of the victims wounded by gunfire, one seriously, had been non-strikers, and five of the strikers had been wounded by police firing into the plant. The interior of a house near the plant, used by police as headquarters, had been broken into and all of its furnishings destroyed, with rocks and bottles breaking all windows also in the guardhouse at the plant's main gate. The Ingersoll Steel Plant of Borg-Warner Corp. had reported that only a small fraction of its 550 workers had reported to work this date, with the demonstration blamed on Perfect Circle's firing of 35 workers on Tuesday, primarily because of a picket line disorder eight days earlier, when 55 pickets had been arrested on rout charges, defined as the gathering of three or more persons performing an illegal act for a common purpose. The firings had included top officials of the UAW local. The plant had been reopened on September 27 after city police had arrested the 55 pickets. The strike was presently two months old and settlement appeared to be at least another month away. The NLRB was considering petitions for decertification of the UAW at the Hagerstown and Richmond plants of Perfect Circle.

In Tokyo, the Japanese Communist Party was welcoming back stray members, but they would not return, as a news service reported this date that the party was featuring a "new look", inviting back members who had been discharged for failing to keep up with the party line since the end of the war.

In Wichita Falls, Tex., it was reported that more rain had fallen this date, increasing the danger from flooding streams, which had already inundated 150 blocks of the city and forced more than 500 people to flee their homes. Rising flood waters over the town were estimated at between a few inches to as much as six feet in depth. The Wichita River was currently at 20.8 feet and officials expected it to crest at more than 22 feet, with the flood stage not indicated. More than 5,000 acres of farmland were under water.

In Charleston, S.C., police reported a body floating near the Ashley River Bridge this date, following the crash of a tanker into the western span of the drawbridge, but that it was not known whether the body had any connection to the crash. The span was hanging in the river, and commuters had experienced problems as a result, as the bridge connected U.S. Highway 17, representing the only connection between Charleston and West Ashley, short of a 50-mile detour via Summerville.

In West Newton, Pa., a runaway truck the previous day had hit a freight train, causing nine freight cars to be flung from the Baltimore & Ohio tracks, crushing the truck like a tin can and demolishing two buildings. The truck driver and four others had been killed. Three of the derailed rail cars had contained explosives, but did not blow up. When the truck hit the train, it had its horn blasting and was headed down a steep hill, indicating that its brakes had failed. A businessman had stated that the accident would have resulted in more injuries and potential death had practically everyone not been indoors looking at or listening to the last game of the World Series.

John Porvik, chief of The News proof desk, who had been on vacation in his hometown of West Newton at the time of the accident, provided a report on the tragedy, indicating that he had heard the impact of the accident at his home a mile away from the scene, but thought that it was merely the rumble of freight cars being shifted, had gone to the scene after hearing of the accident, found the two buildings demolished and out of the debris, had observed one body recovered, the owner of a fruit market contained in the buildings, and another body, the daughter of a restaurant owner, who had been the reporter's high school classmate. People were milling around seeking to establish the identities of the other bodies, fearful that they might be members of their immediate families.

In Staley, N.C., the State Highway Patrol reported that a head-on collision had occurred between two automobiles the previous night, killing six persons and injuring one other critically. Investigation of the cause of the accident was continuing. A patrolman said that both cars had been destroyed and that there was blood all over the highway, with bodies scattered about.

In Charlotte, the chairman of the executive board of the Good Samaritan Hospital, a black hospital operated by the Episcopal Church, had said this date that the finances of the hospital were in satisfactory condition and that officials did not intend to close the hospital. Officials of the hospital had met the prior Monday with the Board of County Commissioners in a closed session and commissioners had subsequently told a reporter that the hospital official had told the Board at the meeting that the hospital was in desperate financial straits and might have to close by the following June. The hospital official this date said that the stories carried by the Charlotte newspapers the previous two days had contained many erroneous statements and implications. He said that the Board had made no contributions toward the financial support of the hospital, that the only contributions had been in partial payment for the cost of services rendered to indigent patients of the county sent to the hospital by the Welfare Department, and that the services presently provided by the hospital were more extensive and better than at any time in its history.

Also in Charlotte, a large traffic jam which had occurred on the opening night of Ovens Auditorium, would not be repeated when auditorium parking facilities were completed, according to officials this date. Charlotte Symphony attendees had been stuck for as much as a half hour in a long, slow-moving line of cars on Independence Boulevard the previous night. The next feature at the Auditorium would be this night, when Polgar the Hypnotist would perform, and the City traffic engineer said that the experience of the previous night would enable conditions to be better this night. Hypnotize them to move along.

On the editorial page, "Highways & Prisons: Unholy Alliance" indicates that few political puzzles had been so difficult to comprehend as the strange relationship between prisons and highways in the state, a relationship which was illogical and improper. A few steps were being taken to divorce the two and it posits that they should be encouraged.

The next General Assembly session in 1957 ought be prepared to take the action necessary to separate the two agencies permanently, positing that the state had been very backward in that matter as the only state in the country which provided to the State Highway Commission the entire responsibility for operating and financially supporting the prison system. The system had dated back to 1931, when the state assumed responsibility for the county roads, at the time also taking over the county prison systems. At that earlier time, there was an old tradition in the state that convicts should be engaged in construction and maintenance of public roads. But the relationship should have ended, it ventures, long earlier, as in recent years, mechanization of roadwork had increased to the point where the use of prison labor was no longer economically sound. Moreover, roadwork did not rehabilitate prisoners.

Penologists indicated that there was a need for providing useful work to prisoners to condition them for life in free society, but putting them to work on road gangs, while eliminating idleness, contributed little to rehabilitation. Penologist Dr. Austin McCormick had strongly recommended against the prison-road system after making a survey of conditions in the state in 1950. The state prison advisory council took a similar position.

In April, 1954, then-Lieutenant Governor Luther Hodges had said that the state had to decide whether its prisons did not belong to the highway department and that the State wanted to rescue the bulk of people who were in prison camps and mental hospitals. When he became Governor, Mr. Hodges had not been so emphatic, indicating that he favored separation but suggesting a delay until studies could be made of the costs involved. The previous November, in a study of the highway problems in the state, a New York engineering firm had said that the full cost of operating prisons should not be imposed on the Highway Fund and that if the practice of using prison labor on the highways continued, only a select number of convicts ought be used instead of burdening maintenance and improvement activities with a surplus of men, which was not an economic practice with highly mechanized road construction.

The 1955 General Assembly only provided for a survey to determine the advisability of separating the two departments. The survey was underway and making progress, according to State Prisons director W. F. Bailey. It urges that the effort continue to convince the 1957 General Assembly to make the change.

You know what the problem is.

"At the Fair, a Steel Hen and Egg" indicates that the jet plane and guided missile being exhibited at the Southern States Fair were called "special attractions" in a story about the opening of the event, and that it was glad to see them so described, though it would not regard them as a specialty over "a jar of golden peaches dotted with cloves or a black-nosed calf or even a petulant Poland China". The designation did, however, keep the ugly weapons separate from the traditional exhibits at the fair.

It indicates that the fair did not have to offer anything special beyond fair weather and air crisp enough to carry the smells of hot dogs, cotton candy, popcorn and candied apples, and the sounds of a barker and a pipe organ. Nostalgia drove the fair. But in the modern age, with concerns over atomic warfare, the jet and missile also had a place on the midway, as they were the fruit of effort, just as the flowers and needlework being exhibited.

"If only that missile was merely a firecracker for the grandstand show, could be fired and then forgotten when the sparks stopped falling out of the night sky."

"Next Year: Here" indicates that in congratulating the Brooklyn Dodgers on winning their first World Series, it was reminded that "next year" for Brooklyn fans had finally arrived after seven straight failures in previous World Series competition, the previous five against the Yankees, as "the Bums finally slew the dragon and ended baseball's stickiest enchantment. The Bums are dead! Long live the Dodgers! At least until next year."

No offense was intended to Queens, as that was then and this is now.

A piece from the Richmond Times-Dispatch, titled "How To Breed Pedigreed Mosquitoes", suggests that anyone could breed several interesting species of mosquitoes in their backyards without effort, simply by leaving a few dishes, tin cans or garbage can tops around to catch the rain, or in failing to drain a low spot where rain water accumulated. Within 48 hours, the 40 to 300 eggs deposited by a mosquito would then turn into larvae, becoming pupae within a week, and two days afterward, there were many more mosquitoes, bloodthirsty and intent on mating and producing more mosquitoes.

The project had its drawbacks, as neighbors would complain, as would the health department, but if those liabilities were not troubling, there were other things about which mosquito raisers needed to be concerned, that of the 1,700 or so species, about 175 belonged to the Anopheles, one-third of which were carriers of human malaria, the disease which had killed many colonists in early Virginia. Others of that species infected their victims with encephalitis, "sleeping sickness", and filariasis, infestation of the bloodstream by millions of parasitic worms which were microscopic but deadly en masse.

Another mosquito, known as Aedes Aegyptae, spread yellow fever in the hot, humid regions of the Americas, and was at home in the warmer regions of the U.S.

Mosquitoes did not die with the coming of frost but went into hibernation, some species surviving months of being frozen stiff, emerging in the spring and breeding wherever there was stagnant or polluted water.

It hopes that after imparting those facts, people would check their yards for any stagnant water, spray cellars and garages with DDT or some mixture containing dimethyl phthalate, which would kill them instantly. It indicates that if a person insisted on having a rain barrel to catch soft water free from chemicals, the person could protect against mosquitoes by putting small fish, such as Fundulus or Gambusia, into the barrel, as those fish lived on mosquito larvae.

Drew Pearson indicates that relations with Egypt and the Arab states were even worse than they appeared on the surface, with the latest developments including the expulsion of the American air attaché, Col. Gilbert Erb, under circumstances which suggested that Egypt had a dangerously resentful attitude, based on the latter's remark in private conversations that he thought the Israelis had probably shot down two Egyptian planes instead of the two planes having collided in midair, as the Egyptians had claimed. Because the colonel had remarked that it was unlikely that the two planes had collided and indicated that the Israelis were trigger-happy anyway and probably had shot them down, he was declared persona non grata and asked to depart Egypt.

Another such incident involved George V. Allen, the special envoy of the State Department, carrying a much sterner warning for the Egyptians than had been indicated, instructed by Secretary of State Dulles to tell Premier Abdul Nasser that the powerful Israeli Army was prepared to begin attacking in the event that Communist arms were delivered to Egypt, with the Israelis having the force to take Cairo in short order.

Another incident involved a proposal to dump the large U.S. cotton surplus on the world market as an economic reprisal against Egyptian cotton, a proposal which was gaining support, as Southern Congressmen had been urging Secretary of Agriculture Ezra Taft Benson for some time to undertake such an action, not as a move against Egypt but to dispose of the cotton surplus. Now that Egypt was determined to buy Communist arms, the proposal had gained new advocates.

A fourth such incident was that the former executive director of the RNC, Douglas Whitlock, had become the top lobbyist for the Arab League in Washington. While it had no effect on the international situation, it had not helped the domestic political situation, as Mr. Whitlock continued to be high in Republican circles. He had been the chief organizer of the Eisenhower campaign train during the 1952 campaign, and as recently as the previous month, had addressed the Republican state committeemen in Washington at the special school set up by RNC chairman Leonard Hall to prepare for the 1956 campaign.

Doris Fleeson discusses the "Sherman Adams coup d'état", as Washington was calling the calm assumption of White House responsibility by the President's chief of staff. Mr. Adams was in Denver consulting with the President and deciding what he should see. Insofar as domestic routine went, the assumption by Mr. Adams of responsibilities would serve the Administration well, as he had much more experience than most people realized in acting as a White House umpire, as it had been the calculated strategy to persuade the President to run again by keeping as much work as possible from his desk. But in the field of foreign policy, Mr. Adams could be of very little effective help, leaving Secretary of State Dulles on his own for awhile and for the first time.

During his training, when Mr. Dulles was working as a symbol of bipartisan foreign policy in the State Department during the Truman Administration, when Dean Acheson was Secretary of State, the late Senator Arthur Vandenberg had fronted the policy for the Republicans, meaning that for Mr. Dulles it had been a relatively carefree time, as he was not held responsible for his input and positions.

When he became Secretary of State, he did so under a President elected by a landslide, causing the President's name to be safe shelter for his official family to a degree not even enjoyed by FDR's first Administration. None had profited more than Mr. Dulles, about whom many important Senators had misgivings, thinking him thoroughly political, but had been restrained by their reliance on the President personally. Mr. Dulles had also another advantage, that the new Administration had followed essentially the Truman foreign policy of containment, forcing doubtful Republicans to go along with the President, and Democrats to support their own policy. The President had been inspired by Senator Walter George of Georgia, chairman of the Foreign Relations Committee, to bring that policy to a climax at the Big Four summit conference in Geneva the previous July.

Educated opinion in Washington was that there was very little energy remaining in the foreign policy conceptions with which the postwar crisis regarding Soviet imperialism had been met and overcome, as the past was losing its momentum at the precise time when the President needed to relax, at least temporarily, his secure grip on the world's imagination.

The challenge to the Dulles-led State Department was to break new ground and offer fresh and positive approaches to the problems at hand, with Cypress shaking the Greek-Turkish alliance, France mired in North Africa, impacting the U.N., conflict taking place in the Middle East, threatening the West by the fact of Soviet offers of arms and technicians in Africa, and the future of NATO being uncertain. Secretary Dulles, however, could rely on the continued help and cooperation of Senator George.

Robert C. Ruark, in Palamos, Spain, suggests that the smell from the Far East, as he remembered it from 20 years earlier, was "vaguely flavored with rotten fish." He regards the Japanese as being right back where they had been in 1935, as were the Germans, and he does not care for it, after having been involved in the fight in World War II as part of the Navy. He indicates that he had no occupation duty after that war and thus did not develop any affection for the enemy "via the embraces of geishas or fräuleins" and made no money in the black market in the conquered countries. He imagines that several million Americans who had acquired no honorable wounds, no big medals, nor any ripe experiences other than fear and boredom, felt much the same way.

"But when I see that the Japs are beginning to under-price us out of business with their cheap imitations of our things, and are slapping taxes on American businessmen in Japan so huge as to drive out the foreigner, my pigeon chest swells and my temples begin to throb." He regards the taxes as ridiculous, even if the U.S. had not won the war and benevolently repaired Japan and its economy. An American businessman operating in Japan making $6,000 per year, with three dependents, had to pay half of his salary to the Japanese Government, and if he had stocks in America, they were also taxable in Japan, with the Japanese Government roughly aiming to acquire 65 percent of all of that income. He finds the entire attitude to be a repetition of the arrogant super-nationalism which had resulted in the attack on Pearl Harbor in 1941, while the Japanese pair of diplomats in Washington continued to negotiate with Secretary of State Cordell Hull, without disclosing any hint of the impending attack, causing the latter to become properly incensed.

He regards the West Germans as getting rich and militaristic all over again, "goose-stepping their Volkswagen all over Europe", regarding it as a return to 1935, "when haberdashery was largely brown, and toothbrush mustaches popular." He finds that all of the German cars were on Spanish roads and that Germans were populating the Spanish beaches, including his beach, where he had stated sarcastically to a group of Germans that they might as well use the bath facilities and perhaps stay for dinner, to which, without surprise, they had replied by thanking him in German.

He recalls how many Americans had died or were seriously inconvenienced financially to make the world safe for the businesses of Japan and Germany, supposes that Rotterdam and London were more spacious at present as a result of the "slum-clearance program the Luftwaffe employed. The bones in the old Arizona possibly are grateful for their expensive crypt, because the climate at Pearl Harbor is always benign and lovely, and not everybody can afford a battleship for a coffin." He says that he never expected gratitude from two nations known for arrogance "and a tendency to make lampshades out of their relatives", but that he would have expected more lip-service respect for the "openhanded, non-vindictive conquerors. And, after all, it's only been 10 years since we lost the war."

A letter writer indicates that as soon as the Government began releasing their new plastic weather balloons, sky watchers became excited, reporting observations of flying cigars, crowns, comets, winged mushrooms, and even a flying chamber pot. He wonders when the Government was going "to put all these boobies in their hatch or at least issue glasses". He thinks the Air Force was to blame for letting the flying saucer craze get started, mishandling the early reports and then allowing irresponsible members of the press to twist the real facts into sensational-sounding stories, such that there were Martians under every bed. He says that the so-called saucers were either hallucinations or misinterpretations of real objects and that newspapers ought refuse such stories until the whole thing blew over.

He has obviously never visited Pahrump, where even the coffee is flavored Martian.

A letter writer from Gaffney, S.C., responds to a piece by Harry Golden, and possibly to a previous letter writer, both of whom had regarded blue laws, preventing the sale of certain items or the operation of certain businesses on the Sabbath. He thinks that a law which would bar worldliness or attempt to stem it could not be a bad law, even though no one could force people to serve the Lord. He indicates that when the writer had said that the Bible forbade work and not play on the Sabbath, the Bible was talking about performance of music as play.

A letter writer from Wilmington asks whether the present "soft" policy toward Russia was an advance or a dangerous mistake and whether the summit meeting between the President and the Russians in Geneva in July had been a turning point, and if so, toward what. He says that while the U.S. had come away from the conference empty-handed, the Russians had achieved the advantage of demonstrating to the world that the U.S. was going to do nothing to help free millions of helpless people presently held as vassals by Russia, that its status quo would be protected. He also believes that the results had been a blow to NATO and that it had given the Russians knowledge that they would have all the time they wanted to consolidate their present holdings, as well as receiving assurances that they would obtain trade and such other help as might be needed to get them out of their current economic predicament. He believes there was also obtained a protective climate developing for the Communists in the U.S. He objects to the constant increase in Federal spending, enlarging the debt and stimulating dangerous inflation, as well as the tendency toward centralization of power, taking it from individuals, overlooking that human liberty could be preserved for individuals only by individuals, themselves.

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