The Charlotte News

Saturday, February 19, 1955


Site Ed. Note: The front page reports from Taipeh that Chinese Nationalist pilots had reported sinking 15 motorized, armed Communist Chinese junks and damaging five others this date in the second day of heavy air and surface strikes against the Communists. The Nationalist Air Force reported that its planes had caught the Communist craft near the Taishan Islands, 120 miles northwest of Formosa, which the Communists apparently were trying to build up. Twenty-three of the ships had been sighted in the same area where the Nationalist Air Force and Navy had claimed to have sunk 21 Communist ships and a submarine the previous day. The communiqué said that all of the Nationalist planes had returned safely and there was no mention of opposition by Chinese Communist planes. Another communiqué reported that Nationalist planes had heavily bombed the Taishans the previous night and possibly destroyed one warship, apparently the same claim made in a late communiqué the previous day. The Taishans were within striking range of the Nationalist-held island of Nanchisan, considered strategically important, along with Quemoy and Matsu, among the Nationalist-held islands off the mainland. Nationalist intelligence had known a day in advance that a 14-ship convoy would move troops and supplies southward from Wenchow Bay the previous day. That had given the Nationalist Navy time to move its northern fleet into position to attack the Communist Chinese ships. At dawn on Friday, the Nationalist ships were cruising in choppy waters of the East China Sea, out of sight of the mainland, but in position to intercept the Communist flotilla. The action began when they encountered the eight Communist landing craft, guarded by two destroyer escorts and four gunboats. The Nationalist Navy claimed that within an hour, they had sunk at least seven landing craft and possibly three gunboats. The surviving Communist craft had fled toward nearby harbors, with the Nationalist warships in pursuit, at which point Nationalist fighter-bombers arrived from Formosa to join the action. The commander of the Nationalist fleet estimated that Communist Chinese casualties had exceeded 1,000 dead.

Senator Sam Ervin of North Carolina said this date that he supported the President's decision not to tip the Chinese Communists in advance as to whether the U.S. intended to defend Quemoy and Matsu, saying that you could "not satisfy the appetite of a blackmailer by paying him more blackmail". Senator John Sparkman of Alabama, a member of the Foreign Relations Committee, said, however, that if the Administration really intended to defend the outpost islands, then the U.S. should make that intention very clear to the Chinese Communists. The two had spoken in separate interviews after Senator Alexander Smith of New Jersey had told the Senate the previous day that continued free-world control of the Nationalist-held outpost islands close to the mainland was part of a "very clear and necessary deterrent to any aggressions by Moscow-supported China." He stated subsequently that he had wished that Secretary of State Dulles had been "more specific" in stating as much in a New York speech the prior Wednesday, the Secretary having said that the U.S. would not defend the Chinese coastal islands "as such", but implied that the U.S. would fight if the Communists should attempt to take the islands as a staging area for conquest of Formosa. Senator William Knowland of California, the Minority Leader, told a press conference in San Francisco the previous day that Secretary Dulles had taken a "firm position" on defending Formosa, the nearby Pescadores, and "such other areas" as might be considered vital for their defense. He said that he believed it was now clear that the U.S. would resist any Communist attempt to overrun Quemoy and Matsu.

The President's request for new tariff bargaining powers, approved the previous day without change by the House after a bitter fight, moved this date toward quick consideration in the Senate, with Senator Harry F. Byrd, chairman of the Senate Finance Committee, indicating that he would begin hearings shortly following a meeting of the Committee the next Wednesday to consider the matter. An amendment offered in the House, which would have curbed the President's powers, had been defeated before the bill passed by a vote of 295 to 110. Democrats had supplied the biggest bloc of votes for the bill, as Republicans had favored the amendment by 119 to 66, as well as the final measure by 109 to 75, with Democrats voting against the amendment decisively and for the final bill by a vote of 186 to 35. It would extend the 20-year old Reciprocal Trade Act three additional years and provide the President additional power to reduce tariffs by 5 percent per year during that time, in return for concessions on U.S. shipments abroad. In addition, the President could lower all duties above 50 percent of the value of the goods down to that level, and could cut by 50 percent the duties on articles imported in negligible quantities. One veteran Democrat in the Senate, who supported the bill, had told a reporter that there might be some trouble in the Senate, because Senate rules permitted unlimited introduction of amendments, enabling industries such as coal and pottery, which desired further tariff protection, to concentrate their efforts, with the amendments in the House having been limited. Senator Byrd said that he was not committing himself completely to the bill but said that he had supported the reciprocal trade program in the past.

In St. Louis, Chief Justice Earl Warren of the Supreme Court told an audience at Washington University this date, commemorating its second century convocation, that controversy over teaching in and conduct of the nation's colleges and schools had demonstrated an effort to curb freedom of speech, that were the Bill of Rights to be voted on currently, it would still be ratified, but not without provoking great controversy. He said that other symptoms of erosion of free speech were the suspicions attached to defense lawyers representing unpopular clients, doubts about the rights of individuals to invoke their privilege against self-incrimination under the Fifth Amendment, and invasions of the First Amendment freedom of the press. He did not fix blame on any one group or individual but rather attributed it "to the entire body politic; to the suspicion, hatred, intolerance and irresponsibility that stalk the world today."

In Las Vegas, the first of a 1955 series of nuclear tests had again been postponed from dawn this date by scientists because of continuing high winds, which they believed might pose a radiation hazard to the area. The test had been postponed since the prior Tuesday. The test might proceed the following day, but the weather forecast did not appear good. The previous day, a much smaller device was detonated from an airplane above Yucca Flat, detonating at about 1,500 feet and heard in smaller communities to the north and west of the test site, but not heard or felt in Las Vegas, 75 miles away. Observers classed it in the small test blasts of 15 kilotons or less, smaller than the August, 1945 Hiroshima bomb of 20 kilotons.

In New York, two telephone company workers, suspended from their jobs, had been arrested this date after a district attorney's investigation discovered an undercover wiretap hidden in a Manhattan apartment, believed to have within its range several important telephones, providing the wiretappers with the opportunity to conduct widespread blackmail and compromise security. One employee was a telephone tester and the other made connections between subscribers' telephones and central exchanges. The district attorney said that he had determined that only a few telephones were within the range of the tappers and that he would present the detailed facts the following Monday before a grand jury, which would ultimately determine whether there had been a violation of the law. Senator Irving Ives of New York said that "a grave danger of security leaks" was indicated by the operation, and urged a Congressional investigation based on reports which he had received suggesting that there was a chance of eavesdropping on interstate conversations. Later, Senator John McClellan of Arkansas had announced that his Senate Investigations subcommittee was already checking on reports that the telephones of Government officials in Washington were being tapped. There was no indication that the arrested men had anything to do with that tapping, the district attorney having indicated that the New York case appeared to be only local in nature.

In the area of Anchorage, Alaska, hope was faint this date for finding any survivors of a Navy patrol bomber and its 11 crewmen who had disappeared a few miles from Anchorage on Thursday night. A day-long search by 55 planes had failed to discover any trace of the missing plane the previous day.

In Albuquerque, N.M., TWA reported that one of its planes with 13 passengers and three crew members aboard was 90 minutes overdue on a flight to Santa Fe, 70 miles away, indicating that the plane might have landed somewhere but that the airline was not aware of where that might be, that they were still looking for it. The Weather Bureau said that a rugged mountain range along the route of the aircraft had been obscured from base to summit by scattered snow flurries and clouds.

In Belvidere, N.J., after psychiatrists had testified that a female defendant did not know right from wrong, a county judge the previous day found the woman insane and dismissed a murder indictment against her for having set a fire which had killed her eight-month old son on February 7, the fire having been set in his crib.

In Denver, a motorist who contended that a man who had collided with his car had left the scene of the accident, showed a movie in court which corroborated his story, showing the other motorist standing beside the damaged vehicles, shaking his head and then walking away. The court fined the absconding motorist $150.

In three Rocky Mountain states, Colorado, Wyoming and Montana, snow was still falling in the winter's worst blizzard thus far, edging eastward early this date, leaving behind five known dead and 17 injured. Snowplows had broken through to release the remaining 25 persons who had been reported missing on U.S. Highway 30 in southern Wyoming, where a Greyhound bus had stalled with 19 passengers aboard plus the driver, as well as another six persons in a station wagon.

In Charlotte, a City police officer was hospitalized in serious condition after his three-wheeled motorcycle had been struck by a car during the morning. He had suffered a concussion and possible skull fracture, plus abrasions on both legs, a cut on his nose, and was in shock. The driver of the car was charged with reckless driving, after a witness told police that the driver had run a red light just before the accident.

On the editorial page, "Consolidation: A Plea for Reason" tells of it being time to consolidate the City and County tax offices, a move which had been considered and dropped in 1953. The consolidation would eliminate duplicated facilities and thus render cheaper service.

Winston-Salem and Asheville were among the Southern cities which had consolidated their tax department satisfactorily, so much so in Asheville that the Asheville Citizen had commented that most of the citizens had forgotten that the consolidation had occurred.

It indicates that consolidation was a worthy goal and was worth working for, without so much bluff and bluster in the process.

"One Small, Inexpensive Step" indicates that while combining the City and County tax departments, the County Commissioners could make a contribution to the spirit of unity the following Monday by endorsing the new discount schedule approved the previous week by the City Council. It provides some details on the subject, of which we are certain you will wish to read assiduously.

"Ira Wyche Williams" laments the death of the longtime advertising manager of The News, who had died the previous day after a prolonged illness, having been in the position between 1929 and 1949 before his retirement at age 65. Doc Williams, as he was affectionately called, had been a North Carolina farm boy who had made good, with boundless vigor and friendliness. He drove those under him, but never asked of anyone anything more than he, himself, was willing to do, was impatient of slackness because he did not tolerate it in himself and believed in giving full value received and then a little more. He had a high regard for honor, loyalty and good faith.

When he had retired, his colleagues and friends at the newspaper believed that given his good health and love of life he would have another 20 years or so. But, it finds, that in the lack of his earlier vigor, he might not have been Doc Williams, "a man to whom life was a joyful gift".

A piece from the Richmond News Leader, titled "Hurrah—in a Way—for Hazel" finds that Hurricane Hazel of the prior October might yet come in handy, if the reader happened to have a tree which had been blown down by it, as it would be deductible at tax time. For reasons it did not pretend to understand, the Internal Revenue Service allowed taxpayers to deduct from personal income tax the estimated value of a tree lost through hurricane or other disaster. One had to calculate the fair market value of the missing tree, taking into account such things as proximity to the owner's home, whether it was well-formed, whether it was one of many trees or one standing alone, how old it was and so on. The IRS provided a table of tree values prepared by the National Forest Service and if the lost tree was 10 inches or more in diameter, it had to be regarded as beyond replacement, providing a table of the NFS values for trees over 10 inches in diameter, as well as one for smaller trees, based on dollars per inch of height.

It finds that in accordance with the tables, a 10-inch tree lost in Hurricane Hazel was just as useful as a tax deduction as one-third of a baby, as the tree would permit deduction of $22 per inch of height. It indicates that there were numerous trees which had fallen in the Richmond area and so the IRS might wind up losing a fair amount of revenue from the deductions, indicating that they were all the size of Chickahominy bass—"thi-i-i-s wide!"

To be entirely consistent, should not dependency deductions be based on the height and weight of the dependent? Or would that encourage too much gorging at meals to enlarge the deduction? though there would be an offset for the amount of food thus consumed and its cost.

Drew Pearson tells of the President having just had a bad headache regarding an air route between Seattle and Hawaii, and about to have one over a route to Alaska as well. Part of the problem was the current White House system of staff work, whereby the President, following the general staff system of the Army, took the recommendation of his staff without knowing much about the facts behind the recommendation.

The Civil Aeronautics Board had recommended that Northwest Airlines continue its present operation between Seattle and Hawaii in competition with Pan American Airways, and that Northwest be given a permanent license to fly the great circle route over the Arctic to Tokyo. The decision against Pan American, the pet airline of both the Truman and Eisenhower Administrations, had automatically gone to the White House for confirmation, at which point Secretary of Commerce Sinclair Weeks moved in, together with Undersecretary of Commerce Robert Murray, despite the latter having just submitted his resignation, and both recommended that the President reverse the CAB findings and rule for Pan Am.

Trusting the two men, the President did so, ruling that Northwest Airlines could no longer fly the route between Seattle and Hawaii, leaving Pan Am to fly it without competition. He also refused to provide Northwest a permanent route over the Arctic to Tokyo, thus opening the possibility for Pan Am to get that route later.

When the news had broken, Senator Hubert Humphrey of Minnesota phoned Governor Orville Freeman, the new Democratic Governor of Minnesota—later Secretary of Agriculture under President Kennedy—, and requested that the Minnesota Legislature pass a resolution demanding that the President follow the advice of the CAB, which the Legislature then did.

At the same time, various Chambers of Commerce of Northwestern states served by Northwest Airlines, planned a trip to Washington.

Simultaneously also, Senator Humphrey telephoned White House chief of staff Sherman Adams and told him that the President's ruling would jeopardize one of the most important enterprises in the Northwest, that he should be better informed before reversing experts at the CAB, who had been studying the question for months. The Senator asked for an appointment to see the President, but was told that he could not possibly see him for about a week.

But as protests began to roll in to the White House, Mr. Adams hastily called Republicans for a conference two days later, on February 5, a Saturday, when the President ordinarily was away from the White House. Mr. Adams, however, knew that the following Monday, mayors of Minneapolis and St. Paul, plus Governor Freeman and several Chambers of Commerce would be descending on the White House and so to head them off and take the lead away from Senator Humphrey, the President held the emergency meeting with Republican Senator Edward Thye of Minnesota and Republican Congressman Walter Judd of that state. At the meeting, the President complained that he had not been provided all of the facts and had been told that Northwest Airlines had received a greater subsidy than Pan Am, information based on an outdated report and no longer the case, as Pan Am's total subsidies were greater than that of any other airline.

Mr. Pearson indicates that the President then completely reversed himself and ruled for Northwest, as originally recommended by the CAB.

Vic Reinemer, associate editor of The News, addresses whether the State should restrict the sale of inferior brake fluid, which broke down under the intense heat of braking at high speeds. He indicates that one out of 50 cars had faulty brakes, although not the cause of all accidents caused by poor brakes, the other cause being faulty brake fluid. He goes into detail on the subject, indicating that Minnesota and New Jersey had legislation forbidding the sale of fluids not conforming to the standards of the Society of Automotive Engineers, SAE, and concluding that such fluids should be eliminated from the market by legislation, urging the Legislature to do so and that in the absence of such legislation in the state, motorists should ensure that their brake fluid was in conformance with those standards.

Of course, for many decades, the Department of Transportation, or DOT, ratings of brake fluid, typically 3 and 4, and more recently, 5 and 5.1, have been in place to show conformance to certain testing standards of brake fluid for different types of brakes, based on the auto manufacturer's requirements for the particular vehicle, as specified in the owner's manual or available online if the manual is lost. So, this issue is no longer a problem, especially as almost all brakes on cars since the 1980's have been power or power-assisted, and usually two-wheel or four-wheel disc brakes, the latter generally providing better stopping power than drum brakes because the pads grip both lateral sides of the disc, whereas drum brake shoes rub only the inner circumference surface of the drum.

For those who do not understand how hydraulic brakes work, it is a simple matter. When one presses the brake pedal, a rod, similar to a shock absorber, presses into a cylinder, depressing brake fluid which flows from a reservoir coupled to the master cylinder through a circuit of small pipes and hoses to the slave cylinder at the pedal and then out from there through a circuit into a brake cylinder at each wheel which, in turn, presses pads on either side of the brake disc inward against the disc or, in the case of drum brakes, presses shoes outward against the outer circumference of the drum, grabbing the wheel to stop it with friction, the pads or shoes having a wear material bonded to one surface which prevents metal from scraping metal, the sound of which is indicative of the need for new pads forthwith. A mushy brake pedal indicates either a leak in the hydraulic system or air in the system, in need of bleeding, or very worn pads or shoes, and should be addressed immediately. Some drum brakes can be adjusted to an extent to compensate for wear to restore full braking in certain cars, while they are self-adjusting in others. Disc brakes automatically adjust to wear, though pedal travel will gradually increase as the pads wear. While there may be variation in the quality of brake fluid to some degree, which might impact corrosion of internal brake parts, there is none of the type available in the U.S. any longer which would compromise safety in the manner of which this piece spoke in 1955.

Air brakes on large trucks work on the basis of an air compressor, with air instead of hydraulic fluid exerting the pressure through the lines ultimately to the brakes, the system normally leaving the brake in the braked position, in case of failure of the system, and when the air is applied, releases the brake, so that the foot pedal serves to cut off the air when depressed and turns it on when released, the opposite of the hydraulic system.

You can also, of course, use the old foot-dragging method in a pinch, if all else fails, you know, like Fred Flintstone. But don't blame us for the result when you are at the bottom of the ravine and half your foot is gone.

A letter writer compliments Robert C. Ruark for his piece appearing in the newspaper on February 11 about Arrow, Inc., and the American Indians, finds that it was high time that someone took enough time and interest to write about them. She says that traveling through the Navajo reservation, she had seen the worst kind of poverty she had ever witnessed, starvation, tuberculosis, insufficient medical care, insufficient schools and not enough of anything. Women were required to walk miles to carry a bucket of water. The people lived in huts of the poorest construction. And yet in talking to them, she had found them intelligent and without malice, though having sorrow in their eyes. One white tourist had said to her that the Indians soaked tourists for a trinket, to which she had replied that it had to be remembered that they learned how to do it from their "big white brothers". She says that she knew many Indians and had never had nicer people in her home. During World War II, her home had been open to servicemen of all walks of life and among them had been many Indians, from whom she had learned much about how to be humble and kind. She had a very good friend who was an Indian boy, brilliant and in college, who had won an essay contest conducted by a newspaper in a large Western city, but was disqualified for the prize after it was learned that he was an Indian. She finds that not to be the American way. During her time touring the Navajo reservation, she had talked to an Indian mother who had two daughters, one of whom had attended the white man's schools, leaving the reservation thereafter to learn the white man's ways, then returning home, drinking alcohol, smoking, and applying makeup. Sadness came over the mother's face when she said that all the good she had taught her was gone, that she had changed and was unhappy. Both of her daughters had since died, but she said they were better off. The writer wonders why the Indians were denied schools, adequate medical care and even , wondering why the treaties were still being broken. She did not want it to become a topic of propaganda for the Communists, as was segregation. She indicates that if it had not been for the Indians being present when the Pilgrims had arrived in 1620, the country might not be. She had conducted correspondence with Will Rogers, Jr., regarding Arrow, Inc., and found that Mr. Rogers had done a lot for the Indian. "Ira Hayes has given his all for a country that failed him and his people."

A letter writer from Myrtle Beach, S.C., comments on the same piece by Mr. Ruark, finding also that it was a fine story and "all too true". He indicates that the state of Virginia had a small mixed-blood tribe, the Pamunkeys, who were treated shamefully, had to live a marginal existence and were proud and self-reliant. In eastern North Carolina, there was a group of Indians around Pembroke, whom some thoughtlessly referred to as "Brass Ankles", of whom the writer knew many imminently and found them "fine folk", but who were nevertheless treated shamefully. (The writer refers to the Lumbee, thought by some researchers to be descendants of the original Croatan who may have taken in the starving English settlers of the Raleigh colony on Roanoke Island on the Outer Banks, the so-called "lost colony", vanished when the supply expedition returned from England in 1590 after being away for over two years.) In the western part of the state, there were the remnants of the Cherokee, who had escaped the bloody trek to the Far West. He urges that given the opportunity, they made fine artisans, craftsmen and farmers, and where their education had been advanced enough, became professionals. Their general wealth, however, was far too low for the good of the state, and at present, attempts were being made to break into the reservation holdings and sell them for private use. In South Carolina, they had several pockets of Indians and those of mixed racial blood, also treated with contempt and acrimony. He indicates that he was part Choctaw and proud of it, that some of his ancestors had stood on the beaches of Alabama and Mississippi, shooting arrows at the Spanish explorers, and many had escaped the enforced migration to the West by hiding in the homes of white people. He indicates that he could continue, state by state, to list Indian tribes, says that they were not second-class citizens and only needed a square deal from the white man. He and several others had come together to form Southern Indians Limited, and hoped to aid Indians across the country who were "treated worse than a mad dog by their white brethren, especially so in the Southwest and West." He finds that the white man had invaded the Indians' land and had stolen, raped, cut and burned the Indians in their homes, and so wonders why the Indian should have loved the white man. Treaties had been made but the "bloody piratical colonists" had stolen the land before the ink was dry. He says that in many cases, Indians who visited the white man's forts had been seized or their women seized and sold as slaves, that the whole Wachesaw Tribe, a branch of the Waccamaws, had been seized in the early 1600's by slavers who had gotten them drunk on rum and sent them to Jamaica where they died, with the result that next to nothing was known about that tribe. The Seewees, or Seewahs, on Bulls Bay had been so enslaved, diseased and debauched that they had voluntarily left the area, had, according to story, gone to sea to complain to the English king and were there drowned. The remnants left behind had joined tribes to the north of what was now the Santee Cooper Lake Murray. He indicates that society expected Indians to serve in the armed forces, but then did nothing to aid their plight, that men were sent among them who often were disinterested bureaucrats and expected health and happiness among their wards. He finds it time to revise and rebuild the methods of caring for and aiding the "true American: The Red Man."

Framed Edition
[Return to Links
Page by Subject] [Return to Links-Page by Date] [Return to News<i><i><i>—</i></i></i>Framed Edition]
Links-Date Links-Subj.