The Charlotte News

Saturday, December 17, 1955


Site Ed. Note: The front page reports from Paris that Secretary of State Dulles this date had pledged American support to the European nuclear energy pool, according to diplomatic informants. He had also pledged American support for a new drive for European union, during a series of talks with leaders of a movement to pool resources for the production of peaceful industrial power from nuclear plants, the President's so-called "atoms for peace" program, which he had unveiled before the U.N. in December, 1953. The Secretary had said that the Congress would most likely amend the nation's Atomic Energy Act to permit the export of fissionable matter and secret know-how to a European pool, but that it would probably not allow such exports to individual countries. The diplomatic source said that his final conference this date before returning to Washington had been with West German Foreign Minister Heinrich von Brentano.

In Gettysburg, the President had undergone an exhaustive heart examination this date by Dr. Paul White of Boston, one of the preeminent heart specialists in the world, and the outcome could determine whether the President would seek a second term. Both the President's personal physician, Dr. Howard Snyder, and Walter Reed Army Hospital's Col. Thomas Mattingly were called in to assist at the examination, having been treating the President since his heart attack on September 24. The last check by Dr. White had been on November 7 while the President remained in Denver during the first phase of his convalescence, and he had reported that his progress at that point was fine, but that with increased activity, something different could develop, that they could tell more after another month or so. His primary point had been at that time that the President ought strike a happy balance between avoiding too strenuous exertion and too much inactivity, as "idleness breeds unhappiness and is bad for the health."

Associated Press reporter John Scali indicates that top Administration officials were reported to be drafting an increased foreign aid request to Congress consisting of nearly five billion dollars for the coming fiscal year, about 2.2 billion dollars more than Congress had appropriated during the previous session for the current fiscal year. The informant said that the new program was partly in answer to Russia's tougher anti-Western policies and would be divided between military assistance, about three billion, triple the amount which Congress had approved for the present fiscal year, and economic aid, consisting of about 1.9 billion, around 300 million more than the present year's appropriations for that purpose. It would be the largest foreign aid request in four years and would reverse the recent trend toward lower foreign aid spending. Both Secretary of State Dulles and Foreign Aid director John Hollister had predicted publicly that the following year's foreign aid appropriation would continue at about the same level as the current year, 2.7 billion dollars. Several Congressional leaders had said, after a foreign aid briefing at the White House the prior Tuesday, that they understood that the Administration's new request for funding would amount to around 2.8 billion. Some members had said that even that amount was too high. Government officials had reported several days before the White House meeting that the Administration had agreed on a figure of about 2.7 billion. In explaining the new, higher total, officials who had helped draft the preliminary request said that the major part of it was the three billion dollars for weapons shipments overseas, which had not been finally decided upon until the middle of the current week. The President could still change the program before his formal request would be made in a message to Congress on January 17, but the officials who had spoken about it said that they expected no major changes. The bulk of the increase, they said, was from normal long-term planning aimed at continuing existing economic, military and technical aid projects and that some of the added appropriations were needed to replace weaponry which had previously been provided to allies by the U.S. as long earlier as 1950 and had, in the interim, become obsolescent. The source also indicated that part of the increase should be expected by Congress as it had reduced the previous year's request for aid by about 700 million dollars, despite vigorous protests from the Administration.

In Nicosia, Cyprus, British troops this date had seized six members of a gang of Greek Cypriots who had killed a British officer in a raid on a police station during the night, following a chase by troops of the fleeing attackers who were stopped in a car and found to be carrying revolvers, a rifle and automatic weapons, one of those arrested having been the son of a prominent Famagusta citizen. The British officer who had died in the raid on the police station was the 11th British serviceman killed since October 26. A British soldier and a young Cypriot girl had been injured the previous day when a bomb had been thrown into a street in Limassol.

In Buenos Aires, Argentina, unofficial but usually reliable sources had reported this date that the provisional Government of General Pedro Aramburu had smashed a vast "trouble-making" plot and arrested about 500 suspects after a conspiracy was discovered which had as its design more to embarrass the regime than to foment revolution. The provisional Government had made no announcement, but the sources said that the raids and arrests, started the previous day, were continuing and that the plotters had been planning sabotage, strikes, setting of fires and other such maneuvers. The informant said that the plot was stimulated by Peronistas, supporters of exiled former El Presidente Juan Peron, now in Paraguay, and that it had begun in La Plata, a key city about 35 miles southwest of the capital, where several former members of the Peronista provincial police had reportedly been arrested, with the arrests then spreading to other parts of the country. The Government had seized material gathered by the plotters, consisting primarily of instructions for coordinating the plot, most of those arrested having been civilians linked with El Presidente's former regime, with some military and police elements also involved. (The Peronistas must be more clever, less literal-minded, perhaps instead of simple written instructions, use abstract paintings and abstruse literature as a means of intercommunication about their plots and ploys, thus if caught, affording plausible deniability with a shrug of the shoulders. Just ask the American Vice-President, who is studying the whole concept.)

In Mashpee, Mass., two men had burned to death and three persons had been injured early this date in a fire at the historic Attaquin Hotel, the blaze having erupted in the wee hours of the morning and spreading to an electric transformer outside the building, preventing the local fire alarm from sounding. Help had been summoned from Falmouth, Otis and Cotuit. Only five persons had been in the hotel at the time and the damage was unofficially estimated at $50,000.

In Ottawa, four persons, a mother and three of her five children, had died this date in a fire which had swept through a two-story frame dwelling on the west side of the city. The fire had occurred in the early morning, and the father of the family had rushed from the building, screaming that his whole family was in there, having attempted to re-enter before a neighbor held him back.

In Beaumont, Tex., four elderly women had burned to death when fire had swept through a ten-room frame nursing home, the third instance in Texas in less than 24 hours of four or more persons having died at one time. Four children had died the previous night in a gas explosion in McAllen, and five persons had been killed early this date in a head-on traffic accident near Belton.

In Raleigh, State Attorney General W. B. Rodman had mentioned in an interview the previous day the possibility of Governor Luther Hodges having to call a special session of the North Carolina General Assembly to deal with the school segregation issue, having said that he would speculate that such a special session would, eventually, probably be called before the 1956-57 school term, the next scheduled biennial session not to start until January, 1957. Meanwhile, the chairman of the Advisory Committee on Education, studying the segregation problem, said that it would be impossible to say whether his group would make recommendations which might require legislation, indicating that it might or might not, that some of the things under consideration by the group would require legislation. Mr. Rodman had indicated that he hoped that there would be unanimity of opinion as to the means to accomplish the desired result of maintaining separate schools in the state.

Let's have a vote on whether or not t' throw out the Constitution, lock, stock and barrel.

In Paris, artist Salvador Dali had driven to Sorbonne University the previous night in a black and white Rolls-Royce limousine filled to the roof with fresh cauliflower, and then had delivered a lecture which touched on rhinoceros horns, sunflowers and cauliflower, a talk sponsored by the International Center of Esthetic Research, attended by about a thousand noisy students, 40 or so photographers and a sprinkling of figures from the French capital's intellectual and society circles. Sr. Dali had said that the object of his lecture was to present a "delirious case" for how he painted rhinoceros horns, then sunflowers, when copying the Louvre's 17th century masterpiece, "The Lacemaker", by Dutch artist Jan Vermeer De Delft. He said that the story had gone back to his ninth year in the Spanish town of Figueres, where his father had a reproduction of the painting in his study, and one day, feeling an excruciating pain in his elbow from breadcrumbs on which his arm had been resting, he got the idea of the needle in the hand of the lacemaker in the painting. At about that time, he had come into possession of a rhinoceros horn walking stick, which led to his painting of rhinoceros horns when copying the painting by Vermeer. He said that the resulting curves had caused him to switch his copy to sunflowers and that now he was considering cauliflower.

Below freezing temperatures had stretched into sections of the Southeast this date, including northern Florida, as the cold spell continued across the nation from the Rockies to the East Coast. Cross City, Fla., recorded a low of 24 during the morning and Miami reported a low of 49. Up to 9 inches of snow had fallen in Missoula, Mont., and 8 inches at Billings. It was five below zero at Minot, N.D., a drop of 14 degrees from the previous day, while Casper, Wyo., fell 21 degrees to 13.

In Charlotte, the temperature had reached a seasonal low of 16 degrees during the morning this date, but the Weather Bureau said that a warm air mass moving toward the area would bring temperatures above freezing for the first time in ten days, with a high this date predicted to be 45, dropping back down to 32 during the night, before rising to 53 on Sunday, with Monday's predicted low to be 42. During the cold spell, Charlotte's temperatures had been under those of many Northern cities, with Chicago having a low this date of 22, Milwaukee, 21, Seattle, 32, and Boston, 23. Mount Mitchell in the western part of the state recorded a low of 12 during the morning, with three inches of a previous snow remaining in that area.

In South Norfolk, Va., a grimy little mixed-breed sat shivering in the doorway of a store the previous day, with his head turning as if on a swivel to attract attention from each passerby, begging to be carried into the warm store. A small boy whose clothes were shaggy, had been standing in front of the gaily decorated display window, shivering as well, and a Norfolk Virginian-Pilot reporter watched as the boy saw the mixed-breed shivering, ran to him, lifted him into his arms and said, "You'll be my Christmas." The mixed-breed responded by licking the boy's cheek, and both stopped shivering and wandered off together.

A photograph shows a mangled 1954 Ford, having been crunched by a bus while parked. Somebody's going to have to do a lot of bodywork on that one to bring it back to its showroom condition.

On the editorial page, "The Governor and the 'Patriots'" tells of Governor Luther Hodges, at his weekly press conference, having been asked his opinion of the "Patriots of North Carolina, Inc." and having made a hedged and ambiguous reply which was interpreted as an endorsement of the organization and its proposal of a private school plan for the state.

It questions, however, whether the Governor was really endorsing the organization, it having been clear only that his statement demonstrated a general confusion of ideas, having said that he believed, "if properly directed", the organization could be "quite a force for good in this problem", and that he had no evidence that it was not properly directed. He said that they had a strong organization with a well-organized campaign on the other side, referring to the NAACP, which the Governor had previously denounced for its demand for immediate integration of the schools.

It finds that the Governor had thus managed to say that the Patriots could help solve the school desegregation problem while equating the organization with the all-or-nothing demands of the NAACP, which he opposed. He had also said that the Patriot organization should be "moderately handled" while also saying that he was not suggesting that they should not have a "vigorous point of view, a fighting point of view."

He said that the Patriots had some "good people" in it, including many recognized community and civic leaders. It indicates that the group had not advocated sacrificing the public schools, but that some of its leaders had, and that in its statement of principles, it had placed the principle of preservation of segregated schools above that of preservation of the public schools and had clearly raised the implication of a private school plan.

State Attorney General W. B. Rodman had warned that North Carolina could not assume that school segregation could be continued in private schools supported by public funds, without such a plan being struck down by the Federal courts. And the Governor had said that a plan which would end the public schools would be a "last-ditch and double-edged weapon" which could result in "appalling ignorance, poverty and bitterness."

It concludes that it was not certain what the Governor had been trying to say at his press conference, that it may have been to try to steer the Patriots away from the extremist role he apparently believed they occupied, but that it was clear that the confusion and contradictions in his statements lacked the mark of leadership and cast some doubt on his dedication to preservation of the public school system, a system without which, in his own words, there would be "appalling ignorance, poverty and bitterness."

"Sen. Kefauver Hits the Hustings" agrees with the statement of the Senator the previous day, in announcing his candidacy for the Democratic presidential nomination, that the party needed a choice of candidates. It finds it also an especially good thing that the Senator would become the primary rival to Adlai Stevenson, because in 15 years in Congress, the Senator had demonstrated that he was a constructive and energetic public servant and proved himself also popular with the voters, having accumulated as many as 362 delegate votes at the 1952 Democratic convention before being trampled by the Stevenson bandwagon.

His signature coonskin cap, which he had begun wearing in 1947, when his foe, boss E. H. Crump of Memphis, had said that Congressman Kefauver reminded him of a deceptive "pet coon", to which Mr. Kefauver had replied, "I may be a pet coon, but I'll never be Mr. Crump's pet coon." It indicates that judging by his voting record, he would never be anybody's pet coon.

In 1952, he had campaigned into the teeth of former President Truman and Representative Sam Rayburn, and his voting record in the 1955 session of Congress demonstrated that he had voted with little regard to how his party members cast their votes. He was fond of speaking out on civil rights, labor policy, farm policy or just about any issue without waiting to see what others said about it, an independence of mind which endeared him to many voters.

It finds that the questions about him were whether his certainty of purpose was accompanied by a comparable breadth of vision and whether his political soul was broad enough to encompass all issues and problems, domestic and foreign, which he would encounter as President, whether he was "a big enough man for the job". It offers that the public would receive answers to those questions when the Senator hit the campaign trail.

"Is Christmas Just for Children?" indicates that someone had asked whether Christmas was for children only and whether it was not also for older folks, that the person making the inquiry did not feel neglected but was just wondering about the perspective of the season, that age did not dull the impulse for joy and merriment.

It indicates that there were no statistics available on neglect of the aged at Christmastime and it does not venture a guess as to how many such persons were able to feel its magic, but believes the magic was there, "eager to be stirred with kindness and thoughtfulness. What we are sure of is that our caller—older than 50, he said—has the magic of the season within him, and it is brightly astir."

Louis Graves, writing in the Chapel Hill Weekly, in a piece titled, "What Is 'Aging'?" tells of there being a great difference of opinion about the question, as heard in conversation and read in newspapers and magazines. Most newspaper reporters were young, and to them, a man or woman who had reached around age 50 appeared old and tottering on the edge of the grave, communicated in their writing, with the words "aging", "aged" or "old" often applied to persons in that age group.

He indicates that Phillips Russell and he had lived in New York not long after the turn-of-the-century and were saying recently that when they spoke of having seen Buffalo Bill, Mark Twain or Grover Cleveland, younger people looked at them in wonder, as if they had spoken of being eyewitnesses to the battle of Saratoga or Cornwallis's surrender at Yorktown.

Mr. Russell had lived near Washington Square, close to the home of Mr. Twain, on the corner of Fifth Avenue and Ninth Street. One night, during a blinding snowstorm, he had found Mr. Twain peering up at the houses and swearing volubly because he could not see the numbers on them, and Mr. Russell had guided him home. When they parted, Mr. Russell was invited to call on him any morning between 10:00 and noon.

Mr. Graves says that he had never talked with Mark Twain but had seen him at public gatherings on which he was sent to report.

Buffalo Bill and his Wild West Show, including Annie Oakley, had come to Madison Square Garden every year, and every time he had seen the show, he was thrilled as if he had never seen it before.

Grover Cleveland had become one of the trustees of Equitable Life in the early 1900's, after leaving the Presidency in 1897, and would come over from his home in Princeton to their meetings, being a familiar figure in the Equitable building corridors and on nearby streets, where Mr. Graves and Mr. Phillips were walking back and forth on various assignments. One night, he was assigned by the New York Times to report on a party given by the New York City Bar Association in honor of the former President, and had found it a jolly occasion in which the President was in a joking mood. Not long afterward, former President Cleveland had died, in 1908 at age 71, and Mark Twain had died in 1910 at age 75, while Buffalo Bill had died in 1917 at age 71.

He concludes by indicating that the 120th anniversary of the birth of Mark Twain had occurred on November 30, 1955 and was celebrated by comments in the literary journals and newspaper book review columns.

Drew Pearson tells of bipartisan harmony having prevailed at the President's meeting during the week with Republican and Democratic Congressional leaders. The President, who normally poked a little fun at both sets of leaders, had done so again, with Senator Lyndon Johnson and Secretary of State Dulles during the course of the three-hour meeting. The Secretary had given the Congressional leaders a lengthy, detailed report on conditions in Europe, the Middle East and the Far East, also reporting that "every conceivable effort" had been made and would continue to be made to free the 19 remaining Americans held as prisoners by the Communist Chinese. He had also said that Russia's post-Geneva policy of offering economic and military aid to needy countries had presented as many problems for them as it had for the U.S. and its allies, as the Soviets might overreach themselves in the process. He said that the U.S. would counter the aid if the countries to whom it was offered appeared to be in danger of becoming Communist. The Secretary specifically criticized what he called the "open and blatant Russian effort to penetrate the Middle East." When he was asked about Communist activity in Southeast Asia, Secretary Dulles replied that the situation was still troubled some but that he believed it was better than it had been a year earlier.

At the end of the presentation, the President quipped that with all of his travels, somebody ought give the Secretary a license to be an aviator.

The President had taken a ten-minute break at the halfway point of the meeting and did no wholesale hand-shaking of the 50 persons present, indicating that he would like to have done so but that it had been barred by his doctors.

He said to Senator Johnson that it was good to see him, that they were members of the same club—indicating those recovering from heart attacks, the Senator having suffered one on July 4.

The President urged a greater propaganda effort overseas, finding the "battle for men's minds" to be the most important prospective battle.

Congressman Wayne Hays of Ohio, during his recent tour of Russia, had visited one of the Soviet's showplace collective farms and found it considerably below American standards in sanitation, modern equipment and housing, though the dairy and beef cattle looked about the same as that which was typical on an American farm. He had told the farm manager that he had some of the same breed of Holstein cow on his farm in Ohio, with the manager having thought that they were native Russian cows, Congressman Hays having corrected him that they had originated in Denmark, the farm manager, however, insisting that they were originally from northern Russia.

The Congressional Quarterly discusses the expected announcement the previous day by Senator Estes Kefauver that he would be a candidate for the Democratic presidential nomination in 1956, indicating that the Senator never appeared dismayed by long odds. In 1948, at the time of his first Senate race, he had abandoned a safe House seat he had held for nine years to challenge the Senate candidate of Memphis boss E. H. Crump, and his gamble had paid off, winning the election with the help of political amateurs recruited mainly from his University of Tennessee classmates.

In the Senate, he had continued on the same course which he had followed in the House, being strongly internationalist, generally pro-labor, and testing the limits of Southern liberality on civil rights issues, while always defending TVA. He had pushed his pet plan for a closer union between NATO members and was active in the fight for stricter anti-monopoly measures. His general voting record during the previous six Congresses, as measured by the Quarterly, had shown him backing bipartisan majorities three-fourths of the time and voting with the Democrats on party-splitting issues ninety percent of the time.

In 1955, during the first session of the 84th Congress, the Senator had voted on the record 94 percent of the time, with his on-the-record votes having ranged between a low of 76 percent in the 82nd and 83rd Congresses to a high of 97 percent in the 80th Congress in 1947-48. The Quarterly had determined that his bipartisan support was 61 percent in 1955 and had varied between 72 percent and 81 percent during his time in the preceding Congresses. In backing the Democrats on party-splitting issues, he had ranged between 89 percent and 95 percent in previous Congresses, but had dropped to 73 percent in 1955.

He had supported the President's stance 50 percent of the time in 1955 and had opposed it 33 percent of the time. During the previous Congress, the Senator had backed the President 26 percent of the time and opposed him 40 percent of the time.

In 1955, the Senator had supported the President on 20 foreign policy questions and opposed him on five. He favored limiting the President's authority in the defense of the Formosa area, had been opposed to the mutual defense treaty with Nationalist Premier Chiang Kai-shek, had wanted to repeal the "peril point" provision of the reciprocal trade agreements, and had been opposed to building the atomic freighter. He had voted with the President on seven domestic issues and against him on 12.

On 26 party-splitting issues, the Senator had voted with the Democrats 19 times, against them three times, and was absent for three such votes. He had split with the majority of the Democrats in voting against increases in wheat and cotton acreage and for a 420 million dollar increase in military assistance to foreign nations.

Senator Kefauver's legislative record had been overshadowed by his role as the first top-ranking politician to become popular via television, starting with his 1950-51 itinerant organized crime probe, which had attracted a nationwide audience. The result had been to send some underworld figures to jail and it made Senator Kefauver a personality known to every household, winning him friends everywhere except within certain important parts of his own party, where some Democrats who were defeated in 1950 had blamed their defeat on the Senator.

During the 1952 presidential primaries, Senator Kefauver had turned his television reputation and a vigorous handshaking campaign into 13 of 15 primary victories against varied competition, his first victory having been in New Hampshire, defeating President Truman, who had not yet made up his mind whether to run again, and probably losing Mr. Truman's support in the process. By the time of the summer convention, he had accumulated 275 delegate votes and led the field on the first two ballots. His supporters had worked closely with those of Averell Harriman in writing a party "loyalty oath", requiring delegates to back the party nominee in the general election, and had unsuccessfully sought to enforce it. In the end, however, Mr. Harriman had supported Governor Stevenson, who was backed by President Truman and much of the regular party organization.

The piece indicates that Senator Kefauver's primary victories and convention defeat in 1952 largely defined the problem he would face in 1956, that he could not win the nomination in the relatively few primaries, and there was little evidence that the party regulars had softened their opposition to him.

He did have certain political advantages, one being his wife Nancy who was a veteran, successful campaigner, along with their four young children. He was still identified in the public mind with the good fight against crime, juvenile delinquency, baby "black markets" and other acknowledged evils. The controversial Dixon-Yates contract, now canceled, which would have enabled the building of a private power plant by the Arkansas utility which would have supplied power to West Memphis, Ark., to make up for power of TVA provided to its nuclear facilities at Paducah, Ky., and Oak Ridge, Tenn., had helped to keep the Senator's name before the public while he had chaired a special subcommittee investigating the contract and the way in which it had been formulated, eventually hastening its demise—though that had finally occurred when the City of Memphis agreed to build the power plant, itself.

A letter writer indicates that readers of the newspaper were likely impressed by the heroic rescue of Mickey the cat from a 75-foot high tree the previous Monday night via flashlight, but he indicates that the events leading up to the rescue had not been so heroic. The tree from which the rescue was effected was in front of his house and he and his family had discovered the cat early on Sunday afternoon and called the Humane Society, not receiving an answer, calling two other organizations and being told that they either had no facilities for handling the rescue or that their policy was not to do so. They had then discontinued their efforts until Monday morning, at which time they again called the Humane Society and the person answering the phone had advised that it had no facilities for rescuing the cat. They had then called two local tree companies but they had declined on the basis of company policy, despite the offer of payment for their services. Meanwhile, the cat remained stuck in the tree, crying and cold. On Tuesday morning, they realized that the cat was no longer in the tree and initially believed that something untoward might have occurred, until on Wednesday morning they had read in the newspaper, (apparently, the Charlotte Observer, not The News), the heroic tale of the rescue, replete with a picture taken by two of the organizations which they had contacted earlier and been told it was not within their policy to handle such situations. It had led him to question whether the service organizations in Charlotte which performed charitable functions did so in all instances or only when there was the possibility for publicity.

A letter from the president of the League of Women Voters states that the organization, after detailed study of the City and County schools and the City and County Departments of Health, had determined that they favored the consolidation of each of those functions. She indicates that study of other departments were as yet incomplete and so the League had not yet taken a stand as to the consolidation of those.

A letter writer finds that the Bible had the answer to what the South should do about segregation, that chapter 2, verse 13 of the first book of Peter said: "Submit yourselves to every ordinance of man for the Lord's sake." He says, however, that the Supreme Court decision caused the need to teach children of God's condemnation of mixed marriages, as he finds in Nehemiah, chapter 13, verse 25, which condemned marriages between Jews and Gentiles, while Deuteronomy, chapter 32, verse 8, stated that God "set the bounds of the peoples", and Acts, chapter 17, verse 26, declared that God "determined their appointed seasons, and the bounds of their habitation." He asks why, if God had not intended for people to stay red, yellow, black and white, he had made them that way.

But, if God set the bounds of everyone immutably, what the hell are we doing on the North American continent in the first place?

A letter writer comments on the editorial, "Industrial Waste: An End to Patience", wonders why the City should not publish the names of the delinquent firms and keep publishing them until they qualified for removal of their names by satisfactory compliance with the waste ordinance.

A letter from Donald Charles, chief of the Fire Department, expresses appreciation to the newspaper for its editorial, "Fire and Fuel: Always Dangerous", indicating that they were greatly concerned about the number of recent fires caused by defective flues and carelessness in the use of fuel oil, and that the editorial would help to remind people of the need for vigilance.

If your feverish flu flew up the flue to set the roof afire, what would you do? Fan the flames or clean the creosote? The life of Father Christmas depends upon the correctness of your answer.

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