The Charlotte News

Friday, December 16, 1955


Site Ed. Note: The front page reports from the U.N. in New York that the General Assembly would enter its sixth round of voting this date to try to break the deadlock over a disputed Security Council seat, with only hours remaining before the session would adjourn. The U.S. had again pledged its support for the Philippines to fill the seat, while Communist Yugoslavia, backed by the Soviet Union, was tied with the Philippines following a record 29 ballots. It was believed that a compromise choice might emerge by nightfall. Both sides had claimed that the addition of 16 new member states would swing the trend in their favor, and both sides had confidence that they had the necessary two-thirds majority for the decision on the remaining Security Council member. Informed sources said that Britain, which had been backing Yugoslavia for the seat, had proposed Sweden as a compromise choice, but the U.S. had insisted on sticking by the Philippines. Informants said that the U.S. opposed Sweden on grounds that its recognition of Communist China would play a role in the growing battle over whether to admit Communist China to the organization in place of Nationalist China. Italy and Austria had also been reportedly suggested as new members of the Council, but a number of diplomats were known to oppose giving such a high post to a new member. Negotiations over the matter had become urgent during the previous two weeks as delegates feared that if the Assembly adjourned without filling the seat, the 11-nation Council could not function without full membership and would thus be rendered out of business until the next Assembly session. The U.S. had sought to resolve the problem by proposing a plan of rotation, calling for election of the Philippines during the next year and Yugoslavia the following year.

Senator Estes Kefauver of Tennessee announced this date that he would run for the Democratic presidential nomination in 1956, saying that he would enter as many state primaries as time and money would permit. The 1952 nominee, Adlai Stevenson, had already announced that he would enter five primaries and Senator Kefauver was expected to meet him in some of those. Governor Frank Lausche of Ohio had announced that he would be a favorite son candidate and Governor Averell Harriman of New York had stated that he was an "inactive" candidate, meaning that he would not run as long as his friend, former Governor Stevenson, remained in the race. Senator Kefauver had announced that he would run in the June 5 California primary, where a slate of delegates for Mr. Stevenson was expected also to be on the ballot. Mr. Stevenson would also be entered in the Minnesota, Illinois, Pennsylvania and Florida primaries.

In Minneapolis, Richard Tenneson, who had once renounced America for Communism, returned to the U.S. this date and a reunion with his mother, who had never abandoned faith that he would return. He had been met by his mother and the two smiled and embraced, exchanged whispered greetings, then walked arm in arm to meet his 12-year old twin sisters, at which point Mr. Tenneson, 22, broke into a broad smile for the first time. He had returned from China on Tuesday via Hong Kong after refusing for two years to repatriate following his capture during the Korean War, which had ended in July, 1953. He had refused during an interview in Seattle to explain why he was returning, saying that he believed all of the Americans in China would someday return, though not explaining that statement either. He said that his mother had not really played any part in causing him to make his decision to return. He had said in Seattle that he wanted to return to Minnesota to get back to farming and be left alone.

In Jackson, Miss., State Representative Jimmy Morrow said this date that he would ask the State Legislature to prevent the Rev. Alvin Kershaw, a minister who was also a jazz expert, from speaking at the University of Mississippi. Mr. Morrow said that he would introduce the resolution early in the legislative session, beginning January 3. The previous day, the Board of Trustees of Institutions of Higher Learnings had adjourned without taking action on the speech, with Mr. Morrow saying that his only recourse now was to seek action from the Legislature. The Rev. Kershaw, from Oxford, O., was an Episcopal minister who had won $32,000 on "The $64,000 Question" for his knowledge regarding jazz. He had said after the program that he might give part of his winnings to the NAACP to fight segregation.

In Raleigh, the North Carolina Advisory Committee on Education said this date that it believed it could submit a report soon which would "not require any child of any age to be forced to attend a mixed school against his will." The Committee, in a brief report to Governor Luther Hodges, said that the report would "strengthen the assurance of the preservation of our public schools". The chairman of the Committee said that they anticipated issuing the report shortly after the beginning of 1956. The preliminary report to the Governor said that detailed reports had been made at a recent meeting in Rocky Mount by the Committee staff, following a trip to Georgia, Mississippi, Louisiana and Virginia, where they had investigated conditions.

Also in Raleigh, Raymond Hair, former Wake Forest College student serving a prison term for second-degree murder, likely would be released on parole prior to Christmas, according to an official of the State Paroles Board. A native of Fayetteville, Mr. Hair had been convicted in the Wake County Superior Court in April, 1950 in the shooting of Roy Coble of Oakboro on the Wake Forest campus during the Christmas holiday season and had been sentenced to between 25 and 30 years in prison, although having been granted in the meantime two commutations which reduced his sentence to between 15 and 20 years. He worked in the Central Prison hospital.

In Portland, Ore., a blind man and his sister-in-law were charged early this date with bombing a large department store as part of a $50,000 extortion plot hatched eight months earlier. The two were charged with injuring persons and property by explosives and bond was set at $75,000 each. The bomb had exploded in a men's washroom in the 12-story store, the largest in Portland, on April 15, with a few persons having been hit by flying debris but without serious injury. A note had demanded $50,000 on threat of another bombing taking place the following day. The payoff attempt had failed and the store had been closed the following day, without a bomb being found. It had then reopened without further incident. A police detective said that the two arrestees had admitted the plot, stating that they had lost their nerve and did not attempt to contact the payoff man. The detective said that a tip that a blind man and a woman had been seen near the washroom just prior to the explosion had led the detectives to the blind man, a father of five, whose only income was State aid for the blind. He had admitted making the bomb from 12 sticks of dynamite and, with the assistance of his sister-in-law, writing the extortion note and planting the bomb after she had led him to the washroom. His sight had been lost in a chemical explosion 19 years earlier and he could distinguish only between light and dark. He had worked for awhile as a door-to-door broom salesman and had once hitchhiked to New York, where in 1947, he had been on the radio program, "We, the People". He operated a private chemical laboratory for two years but had gone broke and closed the business ten days prior to the bombing.

In Oakland, Calif., a former airman had died the previous day from burns suffered when a gasoline-drenched bedroom was set ablaze, and a woman with him was in critical condition.

In Hollywood, Dorothy Bernard, 61, and Paul Harvey, 71, two of the theater's best-known character actors, had both died the previous day of heart attacks.

In Atami, Japan, the U.S. Navy had landed again and the operator of a hotel and aquarium said that he had just about had it, as the landing had cost him the front door to his aquarium, some furniture and the sweet disposition of his favorite dolphin. He said he had run the hotel and aquarium for the previous five years and the same thing had happened repeatedly whenever the Navy landed. The previous night, about 30 American sailors, in a festive mood, had been waiting for launches to return them to their destroyer escorts in the bay when it started to rain, at which point the sailors had broken down the front door of the aquarium to get in. While employees cowered in a corner, the sailors had amused themselves by throwing tables, chairs and six rowboats at the dolphin, which was not hit but had lost its playful disposition. The owner said that it was a bad business, because the dolphin was one of his best attractions.

In Louisville, Ky., a bandit had entered a diner with his hand in his pocket, demanding money from the cash register, and a waitress said to him, "If you want the money, get it yourself." The robber then did so.

In Long Beach, Calif., a person who was supposed to pay a traffic fine of $10 had slipped in a one dollar bill, which the clerk of court had not noticed when the fine was paid because at its corners it appeared to be a $10 bill, as the person who paid the fine had snipped one corner off of four $10 bills and pasted them on the corresponding corners of the one dollar bill. Be on the lookout for four cornerless ten dollar bills and report it immediately to Sgt. Joe Friday, as the person may be armed and dangerous.

The cold trend across the nation continued this date, with temperatures reaching below freezing during the morning across the Southeastern coastal states and parts of the Gulf region, with it being 30 degrees in San Antonio, Tex., and 31 in Mobile, Ala. Temperatures had dropped by more than 20 degrees the previous day in many sections of the East, with similar declines reported in the Southern Plains and northeastward from Texas over the middle and lower Mississippi Valley, the Ohio Valley and lower Michigan. Temperatures this date were again below or around zero in many cities of the Midwest as well as in the North. Snow and snow flurries had fallen during the night and early morning from northern New England to the eastern Great Lakes region and southward into the Appalachians. At International Falls, Minn., the temperature was six below zero, while at Key West, Fla., it had reached 67.

In Charlotte, the low for the following day was forecast to be 15, following this date's low of 21 degrees. It was the ninth straight day during which the temperature had dropped below freezing in Charlotte during the mornings, with it averaging slightly more than three degrees below normal for December. The highs in the afternoon, however, were getting a little higher, with the previous day's 56 being the highest since the 57 degrees recorded on December 6, though it was forecast to be no higher than 35 this date and possibly 42 or 45 the following day. Cold, clear, windy weather was predicted for both North and South Carolina this date and the following day, with some chance of rain along the coast during the weekend.

On the editorial page, "Zoning: The Vacuum Must Be Removed" tells of the basic groundwork having been developed by the City Council for orderly growth in the 90 square-mile area of Charlotte's perimeter by adoption of a zoning ordinance prepared with professional guidance by the City-County Planning Commission, that when the ordinance would go into effect, a growth pattern would be established which could not be disturbed without the consent of the Council on advice of the Planning Commission.

It finds the action welcome, though the Council, it opines, had erred in approving some of the 29 pre-adoption amendments, some of which represented bad zoning per se, but involving insignificant acreage in relation to the total area regulated by the ordinance.

With the groundwork thus laid, it suggests that the Council needed more complete knowledge of the design and that it should collaborate with the Planning Commission more closely to fill that vacuum to avoid backfires in implementing the new zoning machinery.

"Blind Drivers and Dead Children" remarks on the recent accident in Charlotte in which a schoolteacher had fatally struck a child as the boy tried to board a school bus, with the school teacher indicating that she had been blinded by the sun striking her windshield at an angle and because she believed the bus was still moving. The piece reminds that during winter mornings, windshields became frosted with ice and a low sun pointed right into the driver's eyes, while streets tended to be slick.

It says that the County police dispatched cars to trail school buses every morning and spent weeks every year on their "Live and Let Live" program in schools outside the city. The fault was not with the police or with the season, but rather with motorists not being enough attentive. It urges motorists to take the time to clear their windshields of ice before starting on their journey, and to use the defroster and wait long enough for it to warm up before departure, that if a route into town led directly into the rays of the sun, then the motorist should take another route. The same was true of icy streets. It suggests that taking such precautions would ensure that a person did not strike a school child while boarding a bus.

"How To 'Be Different' for Christmas" finds Ogden Nash to have been correct when he had written: "Roses are things which Christmas is not a bed of them."

"It's not that the season isn't as fraught with merriment as it ever was. It is. It's just that preparations are more complicated and require more of the shopper's blood, sweat and tears. For instance, you are told that you can't just go out and buy a tie for Uncle Ben and a nice handkerchief for Aunt Minnie and a doll for little Eva. Oh no. Now, you've got to be different. You've got to show originality. You've got to exhibit a fertile imagination."

It then proceeds to suggest what such an imagination entailed, such as a five-foot high cutout of Marilyn Monroe or a meter to test the strength of whiskey or a Geiger counter set complete with claim stake for the male, or perhaps, for the female, an apron decorated with "Housework Is Hell", "I Hate Housework" and "Don't Kiss Me Now, I'm Busy", or jeweled ice caps for luxurious hangovers, etc., or for pets or children, as the "it" might reference, a toy crocodile which ate its companion fish, and the like.

It indicates that it was the most imaginative of all, having bought a tie for Uncle Ben, a nice handkerchief for Aunt Minnie and a doll for little Eva, a doll which did not even cry.

But the little girl over in England wanted from Father Christmas a doll which wheezes—at least that's what Father Christmas heard, though her specification might have been susceptible to another interpretation. For whoever heard of a doll which wheezes? Doll manufacturers usually do not produce asthmatic dolls. Father Christmas—or perhaps the censorial BBC—hurried her on along in any event, apparently just in case she was about to wheeze.

A piece from the New York Times, titled "Simplicity of Winter", tells of the need for winter for various reasons, which you may read. All we know is that in most regions, it tends to be rather colder than the remainder of the year, much darker, and much wetter, either from cold rain, freezing rain, ice or snow. It tends to be a messy season, therefore, for adults, even if, on occasion, affording a nice respite for children from the labors of school, at least until one reaches college, at which point one must attend classes and examinations, regardless of a foot of snow on the ground, as we once had to trudge through on a bitterly cold morning in December, 1973 at UNC—but we got an "A" on the exam and in the course, which covered the history of the New Deal and the Fair Deal. If we had flubbed it, we would have blamed the snow, not to mention the ongoing distractions of the Nixon Administration, falling apart daily at the seams at the time, but instead, the snow seemed to have an exhilarating impact, probably enabling wakefulness of the mind immediately upon stepping into the 15-degree or colder morning air with our compadres, on the trek up the hill to the campus, and so all was copacetic.

All of that has little to do with the editorial, but we get tired of trying to summarize seasonal representations and other such matter which often, too often, appears on the page and is little more than filler. Here's a hint: everyone knows what time of year it is and there is little point in trying to make it seem better than it is or worse than it is. It is. Go out and shoot some baskets in the snow with a football and figure it out.

Drew Pearson tells of the Republican Congressional leaders who had met with the President during the week having agreed that he never looked better or acted better. Most of them had not met with him since before his heart attack on September 24 and had come to Washington with their fingers crossed, confused by the optimistic statements of RNC chairman Leonard Hall regarding his health, in contrast to Dr. Howard Snyder's not so optimistic statements of late, urging the President to slow down his schedule. Some of the Republicans believed that the delayed medical report had been an effort to stall for time to prevent conservative Republican candidates from entering the race for the presidency, should the President decline to run again. Those who had seen the President during the week still believed that to be the case. Whether he would run again was not discussed at the meeting, but the President had shown no visible signs of fatigue during the meetings regarding legislative matters, though following Dr. Snyder's advice to take a nap during a prolonged lunch break of 2 1/2 hours.

The Pan American Union had received a phone call from the State Department's office of protocol during the visit of the Uruguayan President, Batlle Berres, indicating that Secretary of State Dulles would not be able to attend the official reception held by the OAS for the Uruguayan President. The explanation was that the Secretary could not be out after 9:00 p.m. A reply from the Pan American Union indicated that the Uruguayans would be very upset, as President Eisenhower could not be present either. When asked by the Secretary's assistant why they were holding the reception at night rather than in the afternoon when the Secretary could be present, it was explained that it would make the schedule too crowded, as they had previously held a reception for the President of Guatemala in the late afternoon and evening and when Justices Felix Frankfurter and Harold Burton had arrived at 6:30, 90 minutes after the start of that reception, they had asked where the receiving line was, only to find out that the President of Guatemala had already retired to dress for dinner. Nevertheless, Secretary Dulles did not attend the function for the President of Uruguay, with Vice-President Nixon and his wife attending instead.

The State Department had also informed that Secretary Dulles would not stay for a lunch given in honor of the Uruguayan President by the OAS, that he would attend for 20 minutes, deliver a speech and then depart, with his wife staying for the luncheon. The Secretary, who had emphasized prior to the start of the Administration that Latin American nations would "not be taken for granted", had in fact only read his speech and then departed prior to the luncheon.

Walter Lippmann tells of the President's personal physician, Dr. Howard Snyder, and his White House physician, Col. Mattingly, having made it plain at a White House press conference the prior Saturday that it would be up to the President, not the doctors, per se, to determine whether he would be able to run for a second term, with the doctors indicating that they believed he should wait until some future time, perhaps in February, before making that decision.

Meanwhile, Senators William Knowland of California and Styles Bridges of New Hampshire were urging an earlier decision, in January, so that, if he decided not to run, other candidates could enter the race.

Presumably, the inner circle around the President believed that were he to announce his retirement, there would be at once a struggle over the successor and that such a struggle might go against the Republicans in the general election, with the greatest weakness of the Administration perhaps being that there was no self-evident successor to whom Eisenhower Republicans and independents could gravitate.

Mr. Lippmann indicates that the primary question was whether those around the President were using the postponement of his decision to prepare a successor if needed or whether they were wishing so hard to have the President run again that they did not dare tempt fate by thinking of him not running, and that if it was the latter, they were taking too much risk at too poor odds.

The absence of the President during his illness was making a big difference, even though the Cabinet and inner circle could sustain on the basis of bureaucratic inertia with the policy set in motion previously by the President, but were unable to make real progress during that time because the President was not there to provide full guidance. There had been no press conference for four months, because of the Congress having been in recess for about a month and a half prior to the President's September 24 heart attack. And it appeared unlikely that the President's doctors would soon approve of him holding a press conference, as they viewed it as among the most demanding of the President's chores.

Doris Fleeson tells of Senator Estes Kefauver of Tennessee getting ready to announce formally his candidacy for the Democratic presidential nomination this date—which, as the front page reported, he had done. He would have rough primary fights against Adlai Stevenson in Illinois, Oregon and California, possibly Florida. He would also enter the first primary in New Hampshire on March 13, a primary which he had won in 1952 against former President Truman, who had not said at that juncture whether he would run again. Mr. Stevenson at the current time did not anticipate challenging Senator Kefauver in New Hampshire, despite the psychological value of an early victory there. But Senator Kefauver's supporters were in charge of the state party machinery in New Hampshire and were eager to get his campaign off to a brisk start. The Stevenson supporters believed that since the Senator had shaken the hand of nearly every voter in that state, a small state with few delegates, there was no sense in contesting it and risking an early defeat.

Mr. Stevenson had already filed petitions to enter the Oregon primary and so he would face off against Senator Kefauver there. It was also indicated that Governor Averell Harriman of New York might be entered in the Oregon primary, even though he did not seek to do so, himself.

Senator Kefauver had just returned from California, where he had been assured of his grassroots strength from 1952. With one minor exception, California's Democratic leaders had declared for Mr. Stevenson, in an admitted effort to freeze out Senator Kefauver and avoid an intra-party fight which might injure unity in the general election campaign. The Senator, however, was confident that he would not be frozen out in California and thought that he would be done as a candidate if he permitted himself to be bluffed. It was apparent that the fight would be rough in California as the name-calling had already started, which was displeasing to the DNC, which hoped that the fight between Governor Goodwin Knight, Vice-President Nixon, and Senators William Knowland and Thomas Kuchel on the Republican side would instead be the main bout in California. There was a risk that Senator Kefauver would exhaust himself in the California fight against Mr. Stevenson, causing unpleasantness to attach to his candidacy even if the Senator's supporters and not the Senator would have the blame.

Senator Kefauver anticipated entering the Wisconsin primary, where presently it appeared Mr. Stevenson would not, although Mr. Stevenson's supporters said that it remained undecided.

The second primary of the season, in Minnesota on March 20, had been earmarked by Mr. Stevenson because Governor Orville Freeman and Senator Hubert Humphrey had led the party in endorsing him the previous month. But Senator Kefauver was hearing from his friends about a grassroots campaign there and those friends were urging him to challenge Mr. Stevenson in the state. Other friends of Senator Kefauver, however, wanted him to bypass Minnesota and devote himself to the Senate, but those who were counseling him to enter the primary had developed sources of funding and so might win the argument.

The group supporting Senator Kefauver had urged that he did not have too much time to make his pitch, especially if another Democrat were to be elected in 1956, who would then be expected to serve two terms, or until Senator Kefauver was 61.

Senator Kefauver, incidentally, would die at age 60 of a heart attack in August, 1963, and former Governor Stevenson, after serving as U.N. Ambassador under the Kennedy Administration and the Johnson Administration, would die, also of a heart attack, in July, 1965 at age 65.

A letter writer responds to the three letters published on December 10, the first, fourth and fifth letters of that date, which had made disparaging remarks about the Supreme Court decision in Brown v. Board of Education, with one also enigmatically criticizing the Court for its 1896 decision in Plessy v. Ferguson as well, this writer stressing that there were three branches of the Government which had been established by the Founders after experience had inspired thinking men to establish a "noble monument of government", which governs lightly while promising citizens protection from oppression. He says that the U.S. was a republic and not a democracy because there was no nationwide popular vote to decide each issue as it arose, as it would be impracticable and dangerous. (He is actually distinguishing representative democracy from direct democracy, a common misperception. The nation is a democracy.) He believes the republican form of government, with its three branches co-equally balanced, was holding the nation together well under a system of checks and balances. "Would the racists among us have our government changed to a fascist or Communist regime just because the recent Supreme Court decisions do not agree with or help bolster their prejudices?" He advises in particular J. R. Cherry, Jr., that might did not make right, regardless of the size of the majority. He advises Waldo Jones of Myrtle Beach, another of the regular letter writers who had his letter published on December 10, that his "brand of fuzzy-thinking and confusion-spreading" was out of date and that no one would listen to it, even among those who believed in segregation. He reminds also that the Supreme Court had not decreed that a person had to love his fellow man, a concept which could not be legislated in any event. He thinks that it was not wrong, however, to remove laws which forced the two races to be segregated and asks whether, if, as some proclaimed, it was natural for the two races to be segregated, it was therefore necessary to legislate segregation. There was but one species of man and there should be the freedom to choose to associate with people in accordance with their individual merits without laws intervening.

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