The Charlotte News

Saturday, December 3, 1955


Site Ed. Note: The front page reports from Gettysburg that House Minority Leader Joseph Martin, after meeting this date with the President for 45 minutes, said that the President would seek a second term "for the world's sake", provided he received approval from his doctors. He said that those were his own views and that he had not discussed the question with the President. RNC chairman Leonard Hall, after meeting with the President the prior Monday, had said nearly the same thing. Mr. Martin told reporters that he hoped that Congress could pass a tax cut in the following year which would benefit "the so-called little fellow", but said that it would occur only if the budget could be balanced. He had met with the President at his temporary headquarters in the Gettysburg post office during the morning, a few minutes after the arrival of the President with two of his grandchildren, David, 7, and Barbara Anne, 6.

In Troy, N.Y., Dr. Wehrner von Braun, rocket expert and head of the guided missile development division of Redstone Arsenal at Huntsville, Ala., had declared the previous night that earth satellites could be adapted to carry crews, predicting that the first attempt would be made after the establishment of the first earth satellites, scheduled to be launched during the International Geophysical Year of 1957-58. Dr. Von Braun, who had played an important role in Germany's World War II rocket program, told a scientific meeting that the first small satellites would be followed by larger ones with better equipment and that soon thereafter, men would attempt orbital flight, with the task of projecting a crew into an orbit amounting essentially to replacement of the the relatively small rockets with larger ones.

A Justice Department spokesman said that information which had led to indictments against Matthew Connelly, former appointments secretary to former President Truman, and Lamar Caudle, former head of the criminal division and tax division of the Justice Department at different times under the Truman Administration, had been received "only recently". The two men had been indicted by a Federal grand jury in St. Louis on Thursday of conspiring to defraud the Government for financial gain through improper use of influence in a tax case against a St. Louis shoe manufacturer, convicted in 1951 of evading Federal income tax and fined $40,000. Both men had attributed the indictments to politics and denied wrongdoing in the matter. The spokesman for the Department said that they had been asked why the indictments had only been returned now, given the fact that there had been assorted tax scandal investigations since 1951, indicating that the information had only been received recently, but declined to be more specific.

In Washington, Harlow Curtice, president of General Motors, the previous day told the Senate antitrust and monopoly subcommittee, chaired by Senator Joseph O'Mahoney of Wyoming, that G.M. would offer documentary evidence the following week which would refute dealer criticism of the company's policies. Senator O'Mahoney said that the subcommittee wanted answers to numerous complaints made by dealers and still had a lot of questions to ask of the company executives. Some of the dealers had charged that they had been placed under excessive sales pressure, that dealership franchises were taken away arbitrarily and that they had been forced to purchase equipment they did not need. Mr. Curtice denied the charges, said that the documentary evidence would disprove the claims. Alfred Sloan, chairman of the G.M. board, also had testified the previous day, crediting the firm's development into the world's largest manufacturer to selection of key executives and managers. The subcommittee was studying G.M. as an example of corporate bigness—not in the sense of largesse. The hearings were adjourned until the following Tuesday, at which time more than a score of G.M. executives were asked to return for testimony.

In New York, the newly merged AFL-CIO this date faced an almost immediate struggle with leaders of the two major political parties for its support, as three of the potential nominees would address the organization the following week at its first merged convention. None of the speeches were labeled political but could be expected to reflect the attempts of both parties to woo labor support. The President would address the convention on Monday by telephone from his Gettysburg farm and Governor Averell Harriman of New York would address it on Tuesday, while Adlai Stevenson would deliver an address on Thursday. Originally, the President was only going to send a written message to the convention, but the telephone address had been decided upon on Wednesday, with top members of the organization taking it as a cue that the President was backing his Secretary of Labor James Mitchell, favoring a friendly approach to the unions.

In Montmedy, France, six persons had been killed and eight injured when a Canadian transport plane, flying soldiers home for Christmas leave, had crashed this date, with only three of those aboard having escaped without injury, the crash having occurred in Montmedy Forest, near the Belgian border in northeastern France, moments before it was scheduled to land at an airfield which was the headquarters of the Canadian No. 1 Fighter Wing, scheduled to pick up additional passengers there. The accident was believed to have been the result of fog, causing the plane to land short of the airstrip.

In Barnes, England, an electric train, packed with homeward bound theatergoers, had crashed into the rear of a standing freight train in the London suburb the previous night and burst into massive flames, burning 13 persons to death and injuring more than 50 others, two of the dead having been children and 27 of the injured reported in serious condition. Railroad workers and uninjured passengers had torn at the wreckage with their bare hands to rescue as many as they could and remove them to houses along the tracks. The fire had melted an asphalt roadway surface on a highway bridge above where the accident had occurred, heating the steel girders red.

In Enfield, N.C., three teenagers had been killed and four seriously injured the previous night when their automobile had collided with two Atlantic Coast Line trains at a grade-crossing. The 1956 Buick in which the two boys and two girls had been riding was hit by a northbound freight train, with the impact turning the car around and hurling it back in front of a southbound passenger train, causing the car to be dragged four blocks and to burst into flames, two of the injured teenagers having been badly burned after they were pinned in the wreckage. One of the three killed had been thrown from the car and run over by one of the trains, while another teenager killed had also been thrown from the car into a ditch. The driver of the car had also been killed.

Charles Kuralt of The News indicates that the mystery parakeet, as reported on the front page the previous day, which might have been the spreader of psittacosis to four members of a Charlotte family, may have been found, as a woman had stated this date that she believed the green parakeet which her five-year old son had lured into the house with breadcrumbs on October 1, about a month after it had escaped from the home where the outbreak had occurred, might be the suspect bird. The woman who made the report said that her young son had developed a cough since finding the parakeet, but had suspected no more than a bad cold until she had read the story of the previous day, which indicated that a cough was a symptom of psittacosis. He would be examined by the family physician this date and then might have X-rays performed at the Health Department on Monday. Another son was not displaying any of the symptoms. The woman said that they would get rid of the bird, though displeasing to her two sons, as they had lost a parakeet about a year earlier and hated the thought of losing another. Tweedle, for the time being, pending the diagnosis, would remain in its cage, but, according to the woman, regardless of the result, its days around the house were numbered. Health officials stated that a person infected was not a hazard to others as the disease was spread only from birds to humans through physical contact with the bird and not by humans. Buy yourself a Tweetie. Tweetie was a good bird, with no psittacosis, though maybe passing into the Great Bird Sanctuary beyond empirical divination from a little pneumonia contracted by having its cage on top of the refrigerator, but receiving a right and proper burial beside the back stoop in a little soap box in which fancy English soap had come at Christmas.

In Atlanta, angry Georgia Tech students conducted an all-night protest against Governor Marvin Griffin's statement, urging the University Board of Regents to take a stand against any bowl participation by Georgia colleges against opponents with black athletes, as Georgia Tech was scheduled to face the University of Pittsburgh in the Sugar Bowl, with Pittsburgh having a single black football player. Governor Griffin was hanged in effigy all over town and students had broken into the State Capitol and staged a 2:00 a.m. demonstration at the Governor's mansion this date. The Governor said that the demonstration had been orderly, just before leaving with his son, a student at Tech, for a south Georgia quail hunt. He said, "They hooted and sang and hanged me to a sour apple tree, but it was just a bunch of college boys having a good time and I never got excited about that." The State Secretary of State said that the demonstrators had smashed two ground floor doors and did some damage to the interior of the Capitol, and a lone guard, who was armed, had attempted to halt them by wrestling with a few of them but had not used his gun. A source close to the Governor said that Georgia Tech would be allowed to play in the Sugar Bowl against Pittsburgh, but declined to be quoted by name. The chairman of the Board of Regents had scheduled a meeting for Monday morning to consider the matter, but declined to comment further. Coach Bobby Dodd of Georgia Tech, who had also declined comment on the matter, would appear at that meeting along with the president of the institution, Blake Van Leer, also declining comment. The University of Georgia had plans to play Michigan and Navy two seasons hence, and Georgia Tech was negotiating to have a football game with a California school, apparently Southern Cal in 1961, all of which might be adversely affected by the Governor's message, even if the opponents did not have black players on their teams.

Harry Shuford and Dick Bayer of The News report that the Shriners had taken over Charlotte this date, with their annual parade along Trade and Tryon Streets and charity Shrine Bowl football game, pitting high school stars from the state against those from South Carolina, scheduled for Memorial Stadium during the afternoon, the proceeds of which would go to the Shrine Hospital for Crippled Children in Greenville, S.C. Thousands lined the streets for the parade, which had 36 bands, interspersed by cars carrying Shrine officials and guests.

In Moscow, Ida., a service station attendant would have called the police the previous night to report a theft but for the fact that the telephone had been stolen, while the attendant was working on a car. He had seen a man hurriedly carrying off something in a paper sack, which turned out to be the phone. At nearby Pullman, Wash., another man reported that a man had torn the phone from his service station wall, also. It was probably Benjamin Braniff, so that he would have ready access to a phone on his way to Santa Barbara to break up the wedding. The cops should be on the lookout for a pink and white 1955 Alfa Romeo.

In Atlantic City, a professor from Purdue University's department of animal husbandry told the American Society of Refrigerating Engineers the previous day that hogs could use air-conditioned pigpens because they did not sweat and thus, during times of "heat stress", there was a sharp decline in the rate of the pigs' growth. He said that experiments at Purdue had shown that refrigerated slabs in pigpens demonstrated that cool pigs gained three-tenths of a pound per day more than uncool pigs. The moral is that if you are a pig, at least be cool about it. But intermittent exposure to refrigeration is not a good idea for a parakeet, whether blue or yellow.

On the editorial page, "Labor Grows in Political Power" regards the merger of the AFL and CIO, indicating that the political significance of it would soon become apparent as Congress would reconvene in January of the coming quadrennial election year, during which the new organization would have ample opportunity to show how it would operate politically.

Senator Hubert Humphrey of Minnesota, who considered himself a shrewd political weatherman, predicted that the impact of the merger would be deeply felt throughout the country. UMW head John L. Lewis, the most rebellious labor leader in the country, said that the merger was effected by a "rope of sand". The piece regards the truth as lying somewhere in between, as organized labor had strengthened its political position through the merger, but its political power remained confined to the highly industrialized areas where union activity was the greatest, while in the South, labor's growing pains would be more severe and the organization would take longer to exert political influence.

It indicates that the 11 states comprising the so-called "Solid South" had passed the "right to work" laws, banning compulsory union membership, and that the merger could sharpen the antipathy in the South toward labor generally, as the effort to organize Southern workers advanced. The organization would undoubtedly increase efforts to elect its friends, including labor leaders themselves, and defeat its enemies, would undertake efforts at voter registration and encourage its members to vote to obtain the enactment of legislation favorable to labor, especially at the state level. The merger would also end the divided and sometimes conflicting efforts between the two major labor organizations, offering as example the AFL endorsement of Governor Goodwin Knight of California the previous year, while the CIO had endorsed his Democratic opponent, Richard Graves. Campaign spending would also no longer be separated between the two organizations, as the CIO Political Action Committee and the AFL Labor League for Political Education on occasion had found themselves trying to outspend one another in support of mutually desired candidates.

It finds, however, that the suggestion that the merger would produce a new political party was patently absurd and that it was even doubtful that the statement by former CIO president Walter Reuther, that the merger would produce a "fundamental realignment" politically which would impact the two parties along liberal and conservative lines, would come to fruition. The national Democratic Party was already the principal beneficiary of the support of labor, but the party's survival depended on its natural flexibility, ability to compromise between firmly held viewpoints of several regions and many groups, unlikely to discard those qualities and undergo any "fundamental realignment" to become a liberal party should it be unable to win as such, which, it posits, it could not. A labor party would emerge only if labor was completely foreclosed from achieving its goals within the framework of the present two-party system.

It indicates that, generally, the merger would produce an increase in labor's political potential and that an increase in its power would be dependent on a corresponding increase in its responsibility. Labor could not proceed alone any more than could big business as its future lay in serving the community interest as well as the shop interest, with the community being boss in any showdown.

It finds that J. Raymond Walsh of the CIO had stated the case in the Antioch Review more than a decade earlier, when he had said that he believed the greatest single object of organized labor would be graduation from the purely pressure group approach regarding problems of hours and wages, prices, and working conditions, to one of national leadership regarding the welfare of the country, that the day of the self-interest pressure group had past, that it was the time when no group could be secure in an insecure society, when the pragmatist worked for the security of his fellow man to secure his own.

"Hodges: A Year of Good Beginnings" comments on the report to the people of the state by Governor Luther Hodges, regarding his first year in office, being aptly addressed to "the stockholders" of the state, as it was a dry recitation of the events of the previous year since he had become Governor, ranging from his own accession to the office, in the wake of the death of Governor William B. Umstead, to the great destruction wreaked by the hurricanes of August and September, to the problems associated with desegregation. It finds that the speech had been distinguished mainly by the steady undertone of sincerity and devotion to the state which the Governor's personality better expressed than did his words.

It sees no reason for complaining about the low-key quality of the address, as the problems with which it dealt, preservation and improvement of the public schools, expansion of industry and increasing per capita income, would yield more quickly to careful planning and hard work than to mere exhortation. If the Governor had offered no convincing solution to the school problem, he had also not closed the door on one which could be developed in time, with restraint. The speech had reflected more the recognition of the problems and the need for a rational, nonpartisan atmosphere in which to solve them than it had the projection of an imaginative and inspiring program for the future. But, it finds, the Governor had demonstrated by his energy, grasp of the intricacies of government, attitude and political craftsmanship, that he could lead the state constructively, having made solid beginnings during his first year in office, as attested by his widespread popularity.

It concludes that the hardest test for the Governor and his leadership lay ahead, as did any realistic appraisal of his achievements thus far.

"A Young Bull for Sir Winston" suggests that Barbara Woodhouse of Hertfordshire, England, ought trade pets with Winston Churchill, as Mrs. Woodhouse, according to a story, wanted to find a home for a young bull named Conquest, whose lineage was not of sufficient quality to justify keeping him at stud and yet, wanting "the best for him," not wanting him butchered. Another item had informed that Mr. Churchill had a pet poodle named Rufus, which had a habit of "dancing excitedly" at the old warrior's side.

It suggests that for the sake of appearances, Sir Winston ought give Mrs. Woodhouse the poodle and take the bull for himself, as Conquest might not dance at his side but surely had a temperament and appearance better suited to Sir Winston. "We always thought the poodle was more a Chamberlain type of dog."

A piece from the Greenville (S.C.) Piedmont, titled "Pigs Is Still Pigs", quotes Dr. Samuel Johnson as having said: "Pigs are a race unjustly calumniated. Pig has, it seems, not been wanting to man, but man to pig. We do not allow him time for his education; we kill him at a year old."

The piece agrees that pig was not wanting to man, as it provided him ham, bacon, sausage, souse meat, liver pudding, spareribs, backbone, tenderloin, streaked meat, fatback and chitterlings. But whether man was wanting to pig was another question. The pig's life, while short, was carefree, being urged to stuff himself at all times, not required to pull carts, act as a watchdog, catch mice or perform any other farm chores.

It indicates that because of a heavy frost on the ground during the morning, the pig had come to mind, as the frost presaged colder days and the coming of the time when the pig would have to forsake his careless youth and face reality.

"Weep, if you must, for his fate. But if you weep, be consistent; eschew the ham, bacon, the sausage, the souse meat, liver pudding, the spareribs, the backbone, the tenderloin, the streaked meat and the fatback. Leave off, too, chitterlings. But that will be no hardship."

Drew Pearson tells of Atomic Energy Commission chairman, Admiral Lewis Strauss, having been "unbent a bit" following a national television program on which he had been asked about the now-defunct Dixon-Yates contract, which for months he had steadfastly championed, notwithstanding criticism from Congress, the TVA and even from inside the Eisenhower Cabinet. On the television program, Admiral Strauss had given a perfunctory answer, but afterward, while sitting in a relaxed mood among friends, had said that he wished he could have given a different answer to the Dixon-Yates question, saying in response to how he would have answered, that he would have said the contract was "connected with the earth satellite program," meaning, he continued, that he would like to "put the Dixon-Yates contract in the earth satellite and shoot it into outer space."

He next tells of the men who claimed primary credit for getting the President into a more receptive frame of mind having been White House chief of staff Sherman Adams, the "assistant president", and the "astute, genial" White House press secretary James Hagerty, the former having done what the President always thought could be done even before becoming President, handling practically all of the problems except uppermost policy, while the latter had stimulated both public confidence in the President's health and his confidence in his own health. Mr. Adams had largely fulfilled the President's private hope that the job of being President could be more like the job of being president of France, with a prime minister to handle legislative and other matters, having done so before the President had suffered his heart attack on September 24, but having done it "99 per cent" since the heart attack. Mr. Adams not only was assistant president, but was largely the Cabinet, correlating and coordinating with the body, and, with few exceptions, having them report to him. Even Secretary of State Dulles, who reported to the President directly on foreign policy, had been careful, while the President was recovering in Denver, not to take up too many major matters connected with the Geneva foreign ministers conference, which had taken place between October 27 and November 16, failing to reach any substantial agreements, with Mr. Pearson adding that it might have been better had he done so.

Mr. Hagerty was not only one of the most astute of public relations men ever to operate in Washington, but also had become the President's confidant and, to an extent, his appointments secretary, having had close contact with the President during his recovery time in Denver, more so than any other man, and, as much as had Mr. Adams, having controlled who had access to the President, while also watching every move made by the press and by the doctors to mold public opinion, his aim having been not only to create public confidence in the health of the President but also to create confidence in his own health. It was why Mr. Hagerty had become so upset at an interview provided by the Boston heart specialist attending to the President, Dr. Paul White, who had said there was more doubt than earlier expressed as to whether the President could ever recover. Mr. Hagerty had received credit for the postponement of January 1 as the date when the doctors would pass on whether the President could run again, though that date had been provided by Dr. White, who was then asked diplomatically to postpone it, which he finally did, though hesitantly, as shown by a transcript, passing the buck to the more politically minded Dr. Howard Snyder, the President's personal physician since his time in the Army. Dr. Snyder had said in the transcript that the President had to expose himself to the beginning of more strain than he had yet done before making the decision whether or not to run again, "which may bring him into January certainly," and possibly longer. Reporters had left believing that the answer was more political than medical.

Mr. Pearson next indicates that a big newspaper in a large city might seem not to have a heart, with its presses turning out pulp, headlines, and printer's ink with machine-like precision, but that recently, New Yorkers had gathered to salute the New York Daily Mirror for helping keep half a million kids off the streets in the biggest youth program of any American city, considered a necessity. Harvard University, completing a study of Soviet education, had found that Russia produced only two graduates of higher educational institutions for every five in the U.S., but had produced twice as many engineers, nine times as many farm experts and three times as many doctors. In contrast to the Soviet program, "producing cogs in a machine", the Mirror had been using its machines to produce papers in its far-flung program of basketball, swimming, track, and open fora, to produce human beings.

The Congressional Quarterly indicates that the 1956 Republican campaign slogan, "Everything is booming except the guns," might boomerang in 200 counties scattered across 27 states, included in the 19 major and 74 smaller labor market areas, which, according to the Department of Labor, were still suffering 6 percent or more unemployment—with trouble spots in North Carolina being Asheville, Durham, Fayetteville, Kinston, Mount Airy, Rocky Mount, Shelby, Kings Mountain and Waynesville. A Quarterly study had shown that a total of 79 Congressional districts were involved, 43 of which were held by Democrats and 36 by Republicans, with Republican incumbents in trouble.

It suggests that it helped to explain why the Administration would ask Congress for a 50 million dollar loan fund to help the so-called depressed areas of the nation and why Democrats would offer a plan of their own in that regard. Gains or losses in those districts could determine which party would control the 85th Congress.

It finds an example of the way political winds were trending to be South Bend, Indiana, where Representative Shepard Crumpacker, a Republican, had announced during the week that he would not seek re-election because he wanted "something more stable and permanent than political office." His district included four counties, two of which were classed as areas of substantial labor surplus. Mr. Crumpacker had won in 1952 with 54.5 percent of the vote, but only with 50.4 percent in 1954, having first won the district in 1950.

Unemployment across the nation had eased greatly since the 1954 midterm elections, when 51 of the 149 major labor market areas had been classed as having a substantial labor surplus. Total unemployment had dropped from an estimated 3.5 to 5 million down to 2.1 million persons. But 25 percent or more of the remaining unemployed were concentrated in the distressed areas, primarily in the coal and textile regions of the East, citing as example parts of 12 of Pennsylvania's 30 Congressional districts, all of West Virginia's six districts, and five of the 14 districts of Massachusetts.

Several Republican Representatives who had barely escaped defeat in 1954 had been among those pressing the Administration to inject Federal aid into those depressed districts. Senator Ralph Flanders of Vermont had said, when the Administration had announced its intention to offer a plan in January for such aid, that he was sorry that the political possibilities and human possibilities had not been recognized sooner by the Republicans.

The Quarterly, in its survey of the 79 districts with substantial unemployment, had found that in 31 of the 36 held by Republicans, the Republican share of the two-party vote had dropped markedly in many cases between 1952 and 1954, with 12 of the 36 having been won in 1954 by less than 55 percent of the vote, placing them as marginal districts where Democrats would have the best chance to gain in 1956. Of the 43 impacted districts held by Democrats, their share of the vote had increased from 1952 to 1954 in 24 of them, including four districts taken by the Republicans in 1954. Comparable figures were not available for 17 other districts where Democratic candidates were unopposed in one or both of those years. Only six of the 43 Democratic districts qualified as marginal, but among those were the four the Democrats had won from Republicans in 1954.

It concludes that whether that political potential was enough to push a Federal aid program through Congress in the next session remained in doubt, as the booming economy, of close to 400 billion dollars, would mean that a program to combat spot unemployment could fall on deaf ears. But politicians of both parties were alerted to the dangers of inaction.

A letter writer responds to a previous letter writer who had referred to the city's recent parade as a Christmas parade, complaining of the "shame that Charlotte does not ever respect our Lord and Savior enough to give Him honor and praise at Christmas," whereas, as the letter writer points out, the parade was actually called the Carolina Carrousel, not intended to be a religious celebration or in any way abusive to any religion. He believes it only incidental that one of the 50 floats, as the previous writer had complained, had anything to do with the church. He says that the "beautiful, magnificent, glamorous parade", including the float with the "'polygamist harem'", had been financed and sponsored by the most risk-taking group of people in the country, the merchants of Charlotte, hoping to obtain profits for their businesses from the coming holiday shopping period, so that they would not be saddled with inventory into the coming year. He says that the season of Christmas had been promulgated by A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens, and that Easter commemorated the "real mission of Christ on earth and His supreme sacrifice guaranteeing his followers eternal salvation", that the "glorious qualities of Christmas" belonged to those who made it a joyous occasion, and that the Carrousel belonged to the Charlotte merchants, adding that he was not a merchant.

We suppose that the previous writer would have preferred to see a big Jesus float in the parade, maybe accompanied by various Kraft cheeses on the side from which to choose, the Swiss being the most holy.

A letter writer indicates that since the death of FDR, the Democratic Party had been drifting downward, says that he does not believe Adlai Stevenson would be the party nominee again in 1956, despite many columnists appearing to think that he would be, as he was still following in President Truman's footsteps, and as long as such was the case, the party could never move forward again as people would pay no attention "to a man of Truman's caliber when he will give them hell one day, say all manner of disrespectful words about our vice president and then come out the next day in the paper and ask the people to pray for peace. What a character!" He suggests that the Democrats might win in 1960, assuming the President would elect to run again in 1956 and win, which he hopes he would.

A letter writer, the director of religious activities of the Charlotte Jaycees, writes an open letter to the citizens of Charlotte and Mecklenburg County, reminding that Christ was the reason for and the most important part of the Christmas holiday season, that some were taking the shortcut of writing "Xmas", wants to remind people to keep Christ in Christmas and not to use such an abbreviation.

A letter writer suggests that if the City were going to waste between $8,000 and $10,000 per year on a smoke control engineer, they should hire an additional engineer to control and put an end to the foggy, damp, wet, dreary days Charlotte had, that what was really needed were people in public office who would know when the burdens of the taxpayers were heavy enough and would stop waste.

A letter writer indicates that the people down South had been insulted long enough with "this gang carrying on their racial and class discrimination. We are not associated with them in any way. We have respect of our Constitution and its laws of civil rights." She urges action to be taken at once and the full penalty of the law imposed for their "defiance and violation of the law" by their racial and class violations.

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