The Charlotte News

Thursday, February 17, 1955


Site Ed. Note: The front page reports that the National Education Association, through its executive secretary, William G. Carr, denounced this date the President's school aid program, pleading for "some genuine instead of token" Federal aid to provide adequate facilities for every school child. Mr. Carr, testifying before the Senate Labor Committee, said that the Administration's proposal, which focused primarily on aids to state and local financing rather than outright grants, gave the schools "much too little aid and much too much control". Senator Lister Hill of Alabama, chairman of the Committee, said that a full day of testimony by Secretary of Health, Education and Welfare, Oveta Culp Hobby, had failed to convince him that the President's plan was not "too little and too late". Secretary Hobby had testified the previous day that the Administration program would "enable the American people to form a working partnership using private, local, state and Federal dollars to build badly needed schools." The program focused on assistance to states and local communities in issuance of bonds when school districts could not sell them because they could not find commercial buyers at reasonable interest rates or because they were already fully bonded. The program also called for a three-year 200 million dollar fund for direct aid to school districts which could not be helped under the bond program. In an interview, Senator Hill said that he was not surprised at a statement made the preceding day by commissioner of education Samuel Brownell that the Administration had relied on New York bond brokers for technical financial advice, the Senator indicating that it reinforced his opinion that the Administration was oriented toward big business. The Senator was pushing a bill to provide for one billion dollars in direct Federal aid during the ensuing two years, with states matching that amount. Senator Irving Ives of New York, a Republican member of the Committee, said that the President's bill did not stand a chance as it was presently written, but that he favored some of its approaches.

The RNC this date unanimously ratified the selection of the Cow Palace in San Francisco as the site for the Republican national convention in 1956, to begin the week of August 20. Committeemen from Pennsylvania and Illinois expressed regret that the party could not meet in either Philadelphia or Chicago, the other primary contenders for the convention. The Democrats had already picked Chicago for their 1956 convention, to start either on July 23 or August 13. RNC chairman Leonard Hall headed the site selection subcommittee which had unanimously recommended San Francisco. He told the committee that the party could get the best television and radio coverage, according to advice, if the convention limited its sessions to one per day between the hours of 2:00 and 7:00 p.m., Pacific time. He said that such details, however, would be left to an arrangements committee which he soon would appoint.

In London, the British Government issued a white paper this date on defense plans which stated that the United Kingdom had the ability to produce thermonuclear weapons and that after fully considering all implications, it was its duty to proceed with the development and production of the devices. At present, it was believed that only the U.S. and Russia had the hydrogen bomb. Britain had previously detonated an atomic fission bomb.

In Las Vegas, it was reported that after three postponements, it was likely that the first of a series of atomic tests during 1955 would take place the following day, as the Atomic Energy Commission had stated the previous day that it had a "less sensitive" detonation ready in addition to the one which had been postponed since Tuesday because of continuing cloudiness and high winds and drizzles, which the AEC believed would pose a radiation hazard for the area.

In Baltimore, a tumbling wall of a burning downtown clothing store had trapped and apparently killed six firemen early this date, with two bodies having been recovered and four still missing. The fire in a three-story building had erupted the previous night and the cause had not yet been determined. Rescuers had to tunnel under the wall to reach the missing firemen.

In New York, stockholders of Robbins Mills turned out a heavy vote this date in favor of merging the company with American Woolen Co. and Textron, Inc., to be headed by the Textron chairman, Royal Little—a properly ironic name for a conglomerate CEO if there ever was one, except, perhaps, for his son, Chick. A central question, of course, was whether the Robbins bobbins would fit the machines of American Woolen and Textron. Time will tell…

In Raleigh, Motor Vehicles commissioner Ed Scheidt this date indicated his opposition to legislation which would require that members of the State Highway Patrol operate electronic speed detection devices in full view of passing motorists. The State House Judiciary Committee No. 2, before which the bill was pending, took no action on it. Mr. Scheidt had testified that during the previous year, the rising death rate on the highways had been reversed for the first time in six years, and he believed it was no accident, based on increased law enforcement efforts and use of so-called whammies, the speed-detection devices consisting of two hoses spread across the road in parallel, each triggering, in sequence, the start and completion of a specified distance to measure speed in between. He said that to require the patrolmen to have to operate the whammies in full view of the motorist would produce a game whereby the speeder could slow down while he crossed the whammy and then speed up again. He said it would condemn many people to death. A section of the bill would require patrolmen to provide motorists caught by whammies a five percent tolerance, a provision to which Mr. Scheidt said he had no objection because the patrol already allowed a larger tolerance. Another section would prohibit evidence obtained by the whammies from being introduced in court unless there was expert testimony that the whammy was properly installed, in good working condition and operated by a skilled person. Mr. Scheidt said that his only objection to that section was the "psychological effect", that the patrolman who brought a defendant into court presently already had to satisfy the court that he knew what he was doing.

Also in Raleigh, the availability of welfare funds for mothers of children born out of wedlock had caused no rise in illegitimate births in the state, according to the state welfare commissioner, Dr. Ellen Winston, testifying before a State House subcommittee. She said there had been no increase in the rate of illegitimate births during the previous 20 years, covering the time since the aid to dependent children welfare program had been established. She outlined objections to a bill designed to cut off welfare aid for dependent children to mothers of more than one illegitimate child, saying that the major objection was that it would cause the state not to qualify for Federal funds for the aid to dependent children program, the Federal funding providing 78 percent of the money for the program, while the state provided 13.1 percent and counties, the additional 8.9 percent. State Representative James Vogler of Mecklenburg County, the chairman of the subcommittee, said that the problem of illegitimate children being supported under the welfare program was the biggest point of complaint within the welfare program. But Dr. Winston said that the situation was not as bad as the public appeared to believe, as counties in the state which had a high proportion of children born out of wedlock had a lower proportion of children receiving aid to dependent children, demonstrating that county welfare boards were extremely careful in determining eligibility of illegitimate children. A similar bill had been killed by the 1953 General Assembly. Dr. Winston said that it would help matters if local law enforcement officers and courts would make a greater effort to locate fathers and prosecute them for nonsupport.

In Charlotte, a laboratory which was expected to cost approximately eight million dollars, would be constructed by the Celanese Corp. of America, ultimately to employ about 300 persons, to be located on a 114-acre site on Reid Road.

Ann Sawyer of The News reports of a game in Charlotte known to teenagers as "car hunting", becoming increasingly popular, with police and court officials saying that it had become one of the most dangerous pastimes. Three or four neighborhood boys would get together, roam the community looking for unlocked cars with keys inside or unlocked switches, then "borrow" the car without permission of the owner for joy rides. For the most part, the boys were not professional car thieves, just joy riders. They found residential areas to provide good hunting grounds. The judge of Juvenile Court urged automobile owners to make sure they took their keys out of their cars and locked their doors. Recently, four 15-year olds had been sent to training schools after participating in such joyriding for a few hours. The judge said that they had borrowed a Cadillac and their joyride had come to an end when they hit a telephone pole, throwing the occupants clear of the wreckage, but costing the owner thousands of dollars, after the Cadillac had to be sold for $400 as junk. Ms. Sawyer had checked 456 cars on Friday and Saturday nights, with the cooperation of the Police Department, and found six unlocked, with keys still in the ignition, with six more, all Chevrolets—as in the photograph—, found with an unlocked ignition. Under North Carolina law, joy-riding was termed "temporary larceny"—which, under the common law definition of larceny, that being the taking of personal property of another with intent to deprive the owner of it permanently, forms an oxymoron, but room had to be made for the modern automobile era, long after common law definitions had come into existence. And, of course, within the limits of the Constitution, state legislatures can do whatever they wish in terms of defining crimes outside the common law definitions. The common law simply provides a guide for statutory law and fills in with precedent where there is no governing statute.

Dick Young of The News indicates that members of the City Council had denied any secret meetings this date, stemming from published reports of such a meeting at a member's home on Tuesday night. An informal gathering of all of the members of the Council had occurred on Tuesday night at the home of member Basil Boyd. Other members this date explained that the meeting had been for the purpose of discussing the upcoming political campaign and that they had naturally also discussed the most important thing presently before the Council, the bond election to take place on May 3. Mayor Philip Van Every had not been invited to the meeting, but, according to Mr. Boyd, had already provided his ideas regarding the bond issues before leaving for New York to sign the bonds of the City's previous issues. The members were frank in their discussion about their agreement on the various bond proposals, from which Mr. Young quotes.

In Durango, Colo., a man who had sung the Ute Indian bear dance many times before, was unwilling to do so on this occasion, having been reared in the superstitious belief that ill fortune would befall the Ute who performed before anybody not his own kind. Friends had urged him to chant the ritual at a dinner for local officials, including non-Indians, working on the southern Ute tribe's ten-year rehabilitation program. The 62-year old rancher, son of a tribal sub-chief, had finally agreed and Tuesday night sung the traditional music. Four minutes after he had completed the performance, he collapsed and died, with doctors saying that he had suffered a stroke. If you live by superstition, ye shall also die by it.

On the editorial page, "Tools To Build a Better Community" indicates that the City Council had acted with wisdom and foresight regarding the decisions on the proposed 1955 bond issues, as most of the projects approved for submission to the voters on May 3 were substantial tools to meet critical civic needs. Water improvements, sewer extension and completion of the Auditorium-Coliseum complex were of great importance. Before approving the latter issue, the members of the Council had scrutinized the costs and trimmed the original $750,000 proposal to $698,000, closer to actual needs.

When the sensitive question of authorizing a proposed five million dollar bond issue for additional facilities at Memorial Hospital to accommodate black patients, the Council again had demonstrated common sense and good judgment, refusing to be stampeded into favorable action on the request until more precise information was available on what should be built and how it should be financed. The Council instead had authorized a public vote on a comparatively modest $250,000 bond issue for the collection of facts and figures, and the preparation of plans and specifications regarding the proposed addition.

The Council eliminated the proposed one million dollar Sugaw Creek project, which was dispensable given that a three million dollar addition to the Sugaw Creek disposal plant would be completed within a few months, at which point a law requiring diversion of industrial waste from the stream would go into effect. If that did not resolve the problems with the creek, then the matter should be reopened and additional measures studied.

If all of the proposed bond issues were to be approved by the voters, the city would still have a credit of about 3.5 million dollars against the limit of bond indebtedness imposed by state law, leaving the way open for other significant civic improvement.

"Order of the Day: No Smoking" tells of City Council member Basil Boyd clearing his throat and beginning to read from a long sheet of yellow notepaper: "'Make the Queen City the Clean City' is a slogan to which we should all subscribe." He then declared that the Council should reestablish a smoke abatement program in the city. Within five minutes, the Council, which had once viewed smoke abatement with alarm, approved the proposal. It finds it probably the most remarkable political somersault of the year, reminding that spring and election day were just around the corner.

Pressure for the proposal had been building for months, and during the week, the newspaper had published photographs showing Charlotte covered in a murky haze. The Chamber of Commerce and the League of Women Voters had stirred additional interest in the subject. The old smoke abatement program had died amid controversy in September, 1952. Council member Herbert Baxter, former Mayor, said that the City's smoke engineer had simply obtained a better job and had not been replaced.

Since the need was great, the action of the Council the previous day was welcome, and it hopes that City Manager Henry Yancey would be successful in obtaining a qualified person, who would be given authority and cooperation in performing the job. It also hopes that Mr. Boyd's formula for a successful program, education, common sense and enforcement, would be adopted.

"Expert" indicates that according to a "'copyrighted interview appearing in U.S. News & World Report, an independent weekly news magazine published at Washington'", stating parenthetically that the magazine insisted on that lengthy form of credit, a former Soviet secret agent had stated his views, with the headline above the story reading, "Knows Russia from Inside, Tells What Comes Next". Meanwhile, the obviously uninformed news analysts and diplomats, plus the Russian leaders themselves, were still trying to figure out what had gone on and what might be going on at present. It is reminded of Benjamin Stolberg's definition of an expert: "A person who avoids the small errors as he sweeps on to the grand fallacy."

A piece from the Christian Science Monitor, titled "The Bashful Male", indicates that in perusing the classified ads recently, it had run across one in which was stated: "I am not responsible for any debts and obligations of my wife…" It appeared as the same old prelude to divorce, until the writer reread it and realized that it had actually said: "I am responsible for all debts and obligations of my wife and more than happy to be the provider for a woman who … has made the past 21 years of loving kindness the nicest years of my life."

It asks whether the great majority of men were not grateful for their wives and happy with them, whether the male had to sue his wife or leave her, or hit her with a hammer, to make news, asking whether the fact of three stable marriages out of four was not of sufficient importance to make the front page. That was what the placer of the classified ad on the occasion of his 21st wedding anniversary had believed when he put it in the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, which said it was the first of its kind in 75 years.

It indicates that the American male was a shy animal who covered up his bashful ego with a show of brusqueness. He actually stood in awe of female cleverness and was willing to jump at her command, knowing that he would be lost without her.

It concludes that the placer of the classified ad had said what a good 50 million coy American males would like to say, but would cheerfully take a beating first.

Drew Pearson indicates that it had been 20 years since the high-powered public relations firm of Carl Byoir had been hired by the chain stores to try to offset the determination of Congressman Wright Patman and the anti-monopoly legislation which he had introduced and gotten passed, despite organized opposition. The Patman-Robinson Act, co-sponsored with Senator Joe Robinson of Arkansas, was now dead, but Mr. Patman was still in Congress, a little older, though just as determined and preparing to launch another battle against monopoly.

The House was cutting down on its probes in 1955, but one probe which Speaker Sam Rayburn was determined to have was an investigation of the current wave of mergers and discrimination against small business, with the Small Business Committee being chaired by Congressman Patman. In the Senate, the Democrats were willing to appoint Republican Senator William Langer of North Dakota as chairman of the new Monopoly Committee, but fellow Republican Senator Alexander Wiley of Wisconsin stepped in to block him, as Senator Wiley had greater seniority than did Senator Langer and so insisted that he come first on the Monopoly Committee. Thus, Senator Estes Kefauver, as the senior Democrat on the Committee, was left to chair it, but jealous fellow Democrats, wary of Senator Kefauver again garnering the spotlight as he had in 1950-51 with his organized crime investigation, leading to his becoming an early favorite for the Democratic presidential nomination in 1952, had been willing to have Senator Langer chair the Committee. In the end, Senator Harley Kilgore of West Virginia would be the chairman and thus would probe monopoly.

Meanwhile, Mr. Patman was already beginning to investigate monopoly regarding small business, indicating that the country was entering a new period of business expansion and that small business was not sharing as it should in that expansion, instead giant corporations becoming more profitable while smaller corporations were becoming less profitable, eventually forced to sell out. He warned that the eventual erosion of free enterprise could result if all business became a privileged monopoly, with opportunity for independent business gone, declaring it the duty of Congress to help all business, large and small. He indicated that they were not out to destroy big business, but that it should not be allowed to destroy free enterprise. He planned a searching inquiry into the role of lobbying and large-scale advertising in fostering monopoly. He indicated that about seven billion dollars was spent each year in the country on advertising, mostly by big business, almost equivalent to the cost of all the civilian functions of the Government. Large sums were also spent on lobbying to protect the selfish interests of monopolies. Mr. Patman indicated that the Committee was not against advertising, but believed that the American people were entitled to know to what extent advertising and lobbying contributed to the growth of monopoly.

C. B. Palmer, writing in New York Time Magazine, tells of the qualifications for being a father, as provided by several authoritative sources. The requirements included patience, sensitivity, imagination, good deportment, sound social attitudes, and love. In addition, he adds, stamina was required for roughhouse play, as well as being the family's economic security, protector of mother and children and final authority on everything. All of it, he finds, drove the young father to seek a boat to Acapulco.

He also adds, however, that the job could be fun, watching the child learn skills, while on the minus side could lead to reduction of the wife's attention to the husband, loss of liberty, unending responsibility, loss of privacy and quiet, and anxiety over proper development of the child.

Experts advised getting home from work before the children went to bed, to enable presence in the home to settle disputes and the like, as well as hearing news from them and so on. Lively play was better left for weekends. The father should also have time to himself. But he also should sometimes include the children in recreation time so that they knew what the father did when he was away. The same was true of taking the child to the place of work once in awhile. Working around the house, he should also involve the children in simple tasks of helping while they observed, such as handing father a hammer—hopefully, combining it with the piece from the Christian Science Monitor, not with which to hit mother over the head.

In all, the experts said that the job was not as intimidating as many fathers thought.

Gerald Johnson, writing in the New Republic, tells of Senator William Knowland of California and the military leaders calling for action to eliminate the menace of Communist China, calling to mind Alcibiades urging the Athenians to undertake the expedition against Syracuse in 416 B.C., when Athens had Sparta pretty nearly where the U.S. had Germany in 1955. General Nicias did not want war, just as President Eisenhower now did not want war, believing that after 15 years of war, Athens needed a rest. But while Sparta was down, Syracuse, just as Communist China now, remained undefeated. Syracuse was on the perimeter of the Athenian sphere of influence, as China was with respect to the U.S. But Alcibiades was certain that the task remained unfinished while Syracusan power remained unbroken, just as Senator Knowland believed at present regarding the Communist Chinese.

But Athens then learned the hard way that military power was effective in inverse ratio to the distance at which it was applied, as when the Athenian armies landed, they bogged down and were decimated, such that when a revived Sparta rose again, Athens had no power and was crushed.

Mr. Johnson hopes that the common sense of the American people would revolt before that process was carried too far in the present time. The Greeks had called the condition "hubris", the pride of power which ruined men and nations by undermining their judgment in moments of triumph. He posits that most Americans were still sane enough not to advocate imposing the country's rule upon the world by the power of the sword, but that Senator Knowland did not hesitate to talk of using economic power for that purpose, and pride of power was still hubris, even when it was based on economic power.

Robert C. Ruark tells of the current age being that of "all rightee", after passing through the era of "honey and sweetie". He finds it abnormal to hear an executive on Madison Avenue say "all rightee" for either emphasis or agreement. He indicates that the New York-Miami-Hollywood parlay had always been a sucker for a cliché, almost invariably effeminate in nature, and he wonders why.

The "sweetie" routine had been invented by the English in the early Somerset Maugham period, and had finally arrived in America via actors, with the English having once employed it as a term of endearment from mother to child, but Americans having taken it and beaten it to death—apparently wielding a hammer in the process.

His wife had once called everyone from the ragman to the policeman "Dear heart", until one day he had said to her: "See here, sweetie, off knock that dear heart bit or I shall personally snap your spine." Then she had said, "All rightee." And from that time forward, she had called everyone "honey", "dear" and "sweetie", but no longer "dear heart".

"Bit" had also gotten a large amount of usage, until becoming obsolete in favor of "natch". There had been a time when everything was considered "sensational", but now everything was "fabulous".

He concludes: "Well, sir, I for one don't use 'em, sweetie, even if they are fabulous, and now I got to do the goodbye bit. Well, all righteeeee!"

For those of today, these were iconic, awesome words, awesomer than iconicer, see, from back in the day, even backer than that, honey dear.

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