The Charlotte News

Tuesday, February 1, 1955


Site Ed. Note: The front page reports that at the U.N. in New York, the Security Council postponed this date discussion of a possible cease-fire in the Formosa Straits, awaiting the response by Communist China to the Council's invitation to the Communist Chinese Government to send a delegate to join the debate, the invitation having been communicated by U.N. Secretary-General Dag Hammarskjold the previous night following the Council's vote, in which the U.S. had assented along with eight other members, to take up New Zealand's request for debate on "hostilities in the area of certain islands" off mainland China, and to invite the Communist Chinese to participate, as well to delay until after that debate consideration of the renewed Soviet demands for immediate withdrawal of U.S. armed forces from the area of Formosa and for Nationalist China to surrender their presently occupied offshore islands to the Communist Chinese. U.S. Ambassador Henry Cabot Lodge, Jr., made it clear that his agreement to the proposal did not change the U.S. position of opposition to membership in the U.N. for Communist China or its refusal to recognize the country diplomatically. He said that the Russian proposal was a "preposterous cold war fraud." Nationalist China's delegate voted against the invitation and also opposed addition of the Soviet resolution to the agenda, abstaining on the vote setting debate on the New Zealand proposal for a cease-fire, which he termed superficial. The Council then recessed until the Secretary-General heard from the Communist Chinese regarding the invitation. A radio broadcast monitored from Peiping had said nothing of the invitation this date, but said that New Zealand should withdraw its proposal for arranging a cease-fire and that the Council should instead pass the Russian resolution. It repeated the vow of the Communist Chinese to "liberate" Formosa, the Pescadores and the offshore islands, again asserting that "interference" with those attempts would not be tolerated. It also said that only the U.S. withdrawal would ease the tensions in the area.

Fred Hampson of the Associated Press reports from Taipeh that fresh fighting on the sea and in the air had occurred this date around the Tachen Islands, while the U.S. and Nationalist China debated the future of the offshore islands. An American source had said that the finishing touches were being placed on an agreement in Washington, clarifying the status of the offshore islands. The Nationalist Chinese Defense Ministry said that four Nationalist planes had clashed with Russian-built MIG-15 fighter jets during daylight hours this date, and had returned to base after successfully carrying out their missions, indicating that two of the planes had dive-bombed and strafed Communist targets on the newly-captured Yikiangshan Island, starting many fires, despite heavy Communist antiaircraft fire from that island and nearby Toumen Island, five miles away. Another Defense Ministry announcement had said that four Communist warships had shelled Nationalist-held Yushan Island, 30 miles northeast of the Tachens, and had then fled under strong return fire from the defenders.

In Port of Spain, Trinidad, Princess Margaret would shortly arrive this date for her first visit to the new world, planning a month-long tour of the Caribbean. Her plane had taken off from London the previous day and, after a 13-hour flight across the Atlantic, had stopped for refueling at Montréal before proceeding toward Trinidad. Trinidad's Governor, Sir Hubert Rance, said that the island was showing tremendous enthusiasm for her visit, with the city bedecked in thousands of streamers, banners and flags. Flags and bunting decorating the airport, however, had been mysteriously torn down on Sunday night, despite a 24-hour police guard, with authorities declining comment on the incident as workers restored the decorations.

In Amsterdam, N.Y., 11 children and the father of five of them had perished in a fire which destroyed a ten-family tenement early this date, with five other persons injured, one critically, the fire having been caused, according to police, by an overflowing oil stove. An undetermined number of persons had fled in their nightclothes into a snowstorm and sub-freezing temperatures, with police and firemen helping several to escape.

Near Chuckatuck, Va., six children, ranging in age between three and 14 years, had been burned to death when a fire had trapped them on the second floor of their frame home the previous night. The father said that he was awakened by a roaring noise after everyone had gone to bed, and that the flames had cut him off from the upstairs when he sought to investigate. The mother was working a night shift at a local plant. Firemen theorized that the fire had started from a wood-burning heater.

According to the Associated Press, 46 persons, most of whom were children, had lost their lives during the week in fires occurring in six states, which the story lists.

In Raleigh, the State House Judiciary Committee No. 1 this date withheld action on a bill sponsored by the Mecklenburg County delegation, aimed at protecting children from sex deviates and providing psychiatric treatment for them. After the Committee had heard from a police officer in charge of juvenile and sex cases in Charlotte, the Committee chairman said that the matter would be postponed until other authorities could testify. After hearing of the testimony this date, a psychiatrist from UNC had stated that he wanted to be heard. The officer testified that Charlotte was becoming a mecca for sex deviates and that the way the law was set up, they could not do anything to them, with cases usually resulting only in a conviction for misdemeanor assault and a 30-day sentence. He said that the proposed legislation was more for the protection of the individual and society rather than punishment. It would provide for incarceration and treatment of sexual psychopaths, rather than just confinement to a jail. Persons convicted of taking any "immoral, improper, or indecent liberties" with a child under age 16 would be sentenced to between one and 20 years in state prison, and the prosecutor could file a report with the Superior Court clerk if there was evidence showing that the defendant was a sexual psychopath, that when such a statement was filed, the judge could then appoint two qualified psychiatrists to examine the defendant and, following a hearing, were the defendant shown to be a sexual psychopath, the court would commit the person to one of the State hospitals for treatment. The Charlotte police officer said that in 1953-54, 187 persons had been convicted of perverse sex acts in Charlotte and that during the previous year, there had been 230, including three the previous day, the latter three including an oil executive, a person with a respectable position with the State and a member of the Army Criminal Investigation Division. He said that persons involved in the crimes were not the usual criminal element, but included doctors, lawyers, ministers and businessmen, plus other respected members of the community. He said that persons from as far away as California, which had relatively stringent laws on the subject, had migrated to Charlotte—apparently because of the lax laws on sexual deviancy. How about police officers? Aren't there any perverts among them? You seem to have left them out. Maybe they are not considered "respectable" members of the community in Charlotte.

Helen Parks of The News reports of Methodist women in the Southeast having been working to implement the Supreme Court decision of the prior May 17 in Brown v. Board of Education, according to a South Carolinian who had spoken at the annual meeting of the Southeastern Jurisdiction of the Woman's Division of Christian Service, meeting this date in Charlotte. It was announced that a report of progress by the Methodist women regarding racial segregation would be submitted within a few months to the U.N. committee on discrimination and that a supplement would soon be published to the 1951 publication, States' Laws on Race and Color, by the Division, compiled and edited by Pauli Murray—who had been refused admission in 1938 to the UNC graduate school based on her race and the State Constitution forbidding integration of public schools, prompting the State to establish for the first time a graduate school at the North Carolina College for Negroes at Durham, to comply with the 1938 Supreme Court decision in Missouri ex rel. Gaines v. Canada, the precursor case to Sweatt v. Painter decided in 1950, and eventually to Brown regarding public schools generally, the latter overruling the separate but equal doctrine, the NAACP having refused to take Ms. Murray's case because she was a New York resident and therefore not subject to Gaines, which forbade refusal of admission of resident in-state black applicants to a state-operated white law school when no other substantially equal state-operated facility was offered to black applicants within the given state. The delegates voted this date to accept a charter of racial policies presented by the presiding officer the previous night, calling for special guidance toward the integration of all groups into the life and work of the church.

On the editorial page, "Our Best Wishes, with Regrets" indicates that Dr. James A. Jones had become synonymous with Christian leadership in the community after serving for 15 years his church, the community and his denomination, now accepting the presidency of Union Theological Seminary in Richmond, Va., where he would direct the training of young Presbyterian candidates for the ministry.

It indicates that in 1939, he had taken over the pastorate of the influential Myers Park Presbyterian Church, when membership was at 950, by the end of 1954, having risen to 2,136, requiring the addition of another church to hold them, such that Dr. Jones preached two identical sermons each Sunday.

It provides other details of his work in the church and in the community, indicating that it selfishly regretted his decision to leave, but wishes him well in his new endeavor.

"Health Aid for Those Who Need It Most" finds the President's proposed reinsurance program, announced in a special message to Congress the previous day, to be sensible. It explains that under the program, the Government would put several million dollars in a fund for reinsurance, and the health insurance companies could then pay premiums into the fund, in return for which, they would be reimbursed for most of their losses incurred in extending coverage to new and needy groups, for whom detailed actuarial studies had not yet been developed.

It indicates that the plan was not socialized medicine but instead would negate some of the primary arguments for socialized medicine. The President, in putting forth the program, had recognized the inadequate preventive and control programs in the mental health field, asking for more aid to state and local health programs, as well as a new program of mental health project grants aimed at improving the quality of care in mental institutions. He also proposed grants for an expanded training program for registered nurses, practical nurses, and public health trainees, Federal matching of state and local funds for the medical care of public assistance recipients, Federal insurance of mortgage loans for construction of health facilities, and increased contributions to public health programs and the World Health Organization.

It finds that much of what he had proposed was not new, having proposed the reinsurance program also to the previous Congress, which did not approve it. It indicates hope that the new Democratic Congress would share the President's conviction that a few pennies for health ought be spent along with the dollars for defense.

"Onward, Upward" tells of an appeal appearing recently on the front page of the Washington (Pa.) Patriot, which ran: "DO YOUR PART! Keep America ever strong. Give to the Sewer Fund today!"

"Let's Make It Veni, Vidi Video" tells of the Soviet Union assembling a team of muscle men who could surely out-run and out-jump Americans in the next Olympics, portending a great loss of pride for Americans, should the Soviets wind up beating the U.S. athletes in the 100-meter dash or high jump, about which most Americans cared far more than the loss of face in the truces in Korea and Indochina-China.

It proposes a solution to the problem, sending scouts to the television sound stages around the country, wherein amateurs were participating in all manner of track and field events on the television variety shows, which one could see on any given night. If they could be coaxed away from the cameras and into Olympic sports, it ventures, the battle cry at the next Olympics would be, "Veni, Vidi Video". "And America will bring home the bacon." Plus, it suggests, television would become vastly improved by the move.

A piece from the Richmond News Leader, titled "Captain Queeg Discovers the South", tells of actor Paul Douglas, who was portraying Captain Queeg in a road company presentation of the play, The Caine Mutiny Court-Martial, having said that the South "stinks", as quoted by the Greensboro Daily News, but then later having corrected himself by saying that he did not include the entire South in his statement, only Greensboro.

The piece suggests that it was nevertheless insulting to the entire South as Greensboro occupied a prominent position in the region, for one being the birthplace of O. Henry, though he had at an early age removed to New York. Editors had thus suggested that Mr. Douglas might find himself less of a box office success in Southern theaters than he had previously been, but it suggests that such was not the view of the News Leader, as a reporter had posed the question to Mr. Douglas as to what he thought of the South or Greensboro, and Mr. Douglas had merely obliged with his answer. He had done so with the forthrightness which made up whatever rugged charm he had as a screen personality, in the style of Captain Queeg, and the reporter should have known better than to have asked such a leading question. Furthermore, his response had been consistent with the criticism which many editors had from time to time made of their native region.

It suggests that the South get over its intense self-consciousness which made it want to know what outsiders and every celebrity from other places thought about the region. It indicates that it was not really very interested in knowing what Mr. Douglas thought about the South, and that if a reporter was silly enough to ask him, no one should be silly enough to take offense, as it was a free country.

Carl Goerch, writing in The State magazine, relates of the history of the North Carolina General Assembly, indicating that the present Assembly was quite different from that of 20 or 30 years earlier, with the silver-tongued orators of earlier years now gone, as well as the rough-and-tumble debaters, the politically powerful individuals who had been able to form cliques and pass or defeat pieces of legislation, and the State Senators and Representatives who, by their speech, attire and habits, could be classified as rugged individualists.

He continues with detail of earlier legislators who operated in that vein—including Tam Bowie, Swift Galloway, Pete Murphy, and Hot Stuff Ward among Democrats, plus Turner Grant among Republicans—undoubtedly few, if any, of whom you have ever heard. But if you have a special interest in the esoterica of the North Carolina Legislature, you can peruse the somewhat lengthy article.

Drew Pearson tells further of behind-the-scenes development in the Far Eastern crisis, having written of same the previous day, indicating that some of the developments showed why Senators were worried about providing too much authority to Joint Chiefs chairman Admiral Arthur Radford, who had favored a preventive war with Communist China, and despite the fact that the President was being very careful thus far to keep control of the military in his hands. For the Senators also worried that the President, though a sincere believer in peace, could be an extremely bad chooser of men, believing he should have thought twice before allowing Admiral Radford to sweet-talk him into believing Chiang Kai-shek could retake the Chinese mainland, during a refueling stop at Iwo Jima in December, 1952 during the return from the President-elect's promised trip to Korea made during the campaign. Admiral Radford was so intent on aggressive action in the Far East that he had asked the Marine Corps commandant for the breakdown of Marine units and landing craft available for the area, Marine landing craft only used to place invading or reinforcing troops ashore. When the President had heard about it, he became quite angry. Although the Admiral believed that the showdown with China ought be peaceful, he also believed that there should be a definite showdown and that if it could not be peaceful, he was not opposed to risking war to have it.

A dangerous Far Eastern complication was the presence of U.S. "observers" on about 30 of the offshore Nationalist-held islands, and if any of them should be killed by Communist Chinese bombing raids, war tension would mount. Mr. Pearson points out that thus far, the Communist fire had been accurate, with the occupation of Yikiangshan Island the previous week having been executed in heavy seas and with deadly artillery fire, showing that the Communists were skilled in modern warfare.

The President welcomed the proposal by New Zealand to arrange a cease-fire in the Formosan situation, but if it were to backfire, the President wanted to invite other U.N. members to join in patrolling the Formosa Straits, referring to it privately as a "police action", a term which former President Truman was criticized for using with regard to Korea.

The invitation from the Communist Chinese to allow relatives of the 11 imprisoned American airmen, accused by the Communist Chinese of engaging in espionage during the Korean War, had been originated by U.N. Secretary-General Dag Hammarskjold, not Premier and Foreign Minister Chou En-lai. Mr. Hammarskjold was upset with Secretary of State Dulles for vetoing the proposal, after Chou had gone along with it, even appearing to be willing to release each prisoner as the prisoner's wife or mother came to visit. But the State Department was now denying visas to the relatives, prompting Secretary-General Hammarskjold to provide U.N. visas to any relatives who wanted to visit their imprisoned kin in Communist China.

A letter from Charles Crutchfield, executive vice-president of the Jefferson Standard Broadcasting Co., responds to an editorial the previous Friday regarding the company's approved petition to the City Council to rename Henry Street to Jefferson Place, on which the company would locate its new broadcast facility, also approving the street number 1, despite the block being numbered in the 1800's. He indicates that the Charlotte Observer, albeit to a lesser extent, had also criticized the effort. He attaches a letter, reprinted below his letter to the editors, to City Council member Herbert Baxter, which he had sent on January 24, supporting the requested change. He asserts that the editorial had been unfair to the Council by suggesting that in their effort to please a large Charlotte company, they had forgotten their obligation to the people, suggesting that the letter to Mr. Baxter would clarify that such had not been the case. The attached letter provides justification for the change of name, in case you are interested as a Charlotte resident, offering, for instance, that when the property had originally been purchased by the company, Henry Street was only a line on the map awaiting actual creation of a street.

We suggest that one thing is quite clear, that if someone with the surname Jefferson had sought likewise to change the name of their street to Jefferson, they would have been roundly laughed out of the City Council chamber, unless they happened to be the only family living on the street in issue and no other lots were available on which to locate improvements in the future. Moreover, Mr. Crutchfield ignores the implied gravamen of the complaint by the editorial, as expressly adduced in a recent prior editorial, that duplication of street names in the city potentially caused confusion and delay when the fire department and police department were attempting to respond to emergency calls, potentially resulting in preventable injury, loss of life and damage to property.

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