The Charlotte News

Friday, February 25, 1955


Site Ed. Note: The front page reports from Taipeh that Nationalist China had abandoned this date Nanchishan Island to the Communist Chinese, the Nationalist Defense Ministry indicating that the evacuation had been carried out without U.S. assistance and with no interference from the Communists. It refused to divulge the number of troops involved, but the regular garrison plus guerrillas on the island had totaled around 5,000 men. A spokesman for the Ministry said that the fortifications on the island had been destroyed before the evacuation ended and that all supplies and equipment had been brought to Formosa. The entire civilian population of the island, about 2,000 people, had chosen to leave rather than be brought under Communist Chinese rule, and all had arrived safely in Formosa. Spokesmen for the Nationalist Government had insisted to the end that the island would be defended. The decision to abandon it had been precipitated by the refusal of the U.S. to aid in its defense. The U.S. regarded the island as having strategic value to the Nationalists as a radar post from which to observe Communist air and sea movements along the coast, as well as having considerable psychological value to the Communists for the purpose of propaganda to suggest evidence of Communist invincibility in the Far East. The island was located 140 miles north of Formosa and 23 miles from the Chinese mainland, and had been the northernmost anchor of the remaining Nationalist outpost islands. It followed by less than three weeks the evacuation of the Tachen Islands, 200 miles north of Formosa. The civil war front now moved into the Matsu complex, 100 miles northwest of Formosa and 20 miles from the mainland. Other than the Matsus, the Nationalists held only Quemoy as an outpost island. Meanwhile, Nationalist warplanes continued their attacks on Communist vessels between Nanchishan and the Tachens.

The compromise bill to increase the pay of members of Congress was prepared the previous day in conference and appeared ready for quick approval in both the Senate and House, calling for an increase from $15,000 to 23,750 for the legislators, splitting the difference between the $25,000 voted by the House and the $22,500 voted by the Senate, as well as approving the $7,500 to $10,000 increase in the salaries of Federal judges. It was expected that the President would sign the bill.

In the House showdown vote on the Democratic proposal to cut individual income taxes by $20 per person the following year, both Republicans and Democrats expressed uncertain hope of victory, with the Democrats appearing to hold a slender margin over the Republican opposition. Democrats conceded that they might lose between 15 and 20 of their 232 members on the vote, most of the defections being Southerners, while Republicans said that between six and twelve of their 203 members would vote for the measure. The bill was combined with a provision to continue the corporate and excise tax rates for an additional year, set to expire on April 1, resulting, if not extended, in the estimated loss of three billion dollars in revenue. The individual income tax reduction was estimated to cost two billion.

In Birmingham, Ala., the trial continued of Albert Fuller, accused of murdering A. L. Patterson the prior June, shortly after the latter had won the Democratic primary for State Attorney General, having campaigned on a platform of cleaning up vice in Phenix City, opposite Fort Benning, Ga., and thus a lure for soldiers seeking gambling and prostitutes. The chief prosecutor in the case said that he expected to call only three additional witnesses, which would make 45 in all. Two other defendants, Arch Ferrell, former prosecutor in Phenix City, and Si Garrett, former State Attorney General, were also charged in the conspiracy to murder Mr. Patterson. A courthouse janitor had identified Mr. Ferrell the previous day as the man he had seen leaving the scene of the slaying at a gait "between a fast walk and a run". But the defense counsel was able to elicit from him the admission that he had first stated to investigators that he did not know the man he had seen and that he had repeated that version to officials for several months. He claimed on redirect examination, however, that the reason for his inconsistent statements initially was that he was scared because Mr. Fuller was at the time still the chief deputy sheriff and Mr. Ferrell was still the chief prosecutor.

In New York, a 20-year old youth had been rescued this date from a narrow airshaft, down which he had plunged nearly 12 stories 12 hours earlier, begging in pain to get him out of the location, as police emergency personnel battered at walls of the shaft between the first and second floors to try to extricate him. He indicated that his arms and legs were numb and he believed them broken. After three hours of effort, the police rescue personnel were able to free him. He told police that a companion who wanted to burglarize the office and storage building had forced him at gunpoint to jump through a skylight on the roof of the building which they had reached via the fire escape, but instead of landing on a floor underneath the skylight, he had fallen down the airshaft, at the bottom of which, he became stuck between some pipes and the airshaft wall. Police said that they were doubtful of his story, saying there was no one with him at the time and that he had provided conflicting versions of how he became involved in the predicament. They quoted him also as admitting that he had a police record. Looks like he got the shaft all the way around.

In Raleigh, a point system, under which habitual violators of the motor vehicle laws could have their driving privileges suspended, was proposed this date in the State House, a bill which was supported by Motor Vehicles commissioner Ed Scheidt, who would be authorized under the bill to determine the precise point system and how many points would be allowed until a suspension occurred. A drunk driving law was also introduced which would make blood-alcohol tests admissible in evidence, and create a presumption of being under the influence of intoxicating liquor if the test showed .15 percent or more of alcohol in the blood, would create a presumption of not being intoxicated if it registered .05 percent or less blood-alcohol, and in between those two levels, would create no presumption. Three State Senators introduced a bill to make it illegal to operate a motor vehicle at such a slow speed as to impede the reasonable and normal flow of traffic.

Austin Adkinson, Associated Press correspondent, in the second of a series of articles regarding the recovery of the Carolinas beach towns from Hurricane Hazel of the previous mid-October, indicates that on the positive side of the aftermath of the hurricane, it was likely that much of the new and rebuilt housing would be sturdier and more storm-resistant than that which had been destroyed.

In Boston, a subway porter was robbed of 80 cents, the porter recounting that the robber had approached him with a dog which looked as large as a Shetland pony, telling him to drop everything and give him all of his money, after which the dog snarled, and the porter handed over his loot. A police search of the area had failed to find the robber or his large dog. Ay, remember the porter, or be thou the damned, inexecrable dog, e'en from the gallows did thy fell-soul fleet.

On the editorial page, "Untangling Charlotte's Traffic Snarl: No Single Solution to the Puzzle" tells of two reporters, one on foot and one in a car, having raced one another for five blocks during the late afternoon rush hour to see who would beat the other, proving that pedestrians had the better of the race. It observes that Charlotte traffic was bad during any daylight hour, but that at certain periods during the morning and late afternoon, it became "a snarl of horn-honking, bumper-to-bumper congestion."

It finds that it would only become worse as the population of the city grew and wonders whether the "traffic knot" could be untied. The City traffic engineer, Herman Hoose, believed that it could be, by placing parking restrictions during peak hours on Trade and Tryon Streets and opening up extra lanes for heavy through-traffic. But it finds that his solution would create another problem with parking in midtown during the peak hours.

It recounts that legal efforts to restrict parking on public thoroughfares had begun in 1812 when a British court had held that no one could make a stable of the King's Highway, that decision holding that a stagecoach parked for an unreasonable length of time, in that case 45 minutes, constituted a public nuisance.

It finds that a complete ban on downtown parking was an extreme form of restriction, and would be drastic even when enforced during certain hours. But it had been successful elsewhere, such as in a 56-square block area of uptown Philadelphia.

It concludes that there were two approaches for Charlotte to provide adequate midtown parking facilities, leaving it to private enterprise or having the City provide the parking. It indicates that Greensboro officials had seized the initiative, providing metered, City-operated offstreet parking lots throughout the business district, with the result that shopping was no longer the chore it had once been in Greensboro. It indicates that there was no single cure for the problem and that Mr. Hoose's plan would not solve the overall problem, that it would take many measures combined, both public and private, to do so.

"A Little Bit of Brotherhood" indicates that in Charlotte, a man handy with a wrench had helped his neighbor fix a leaky faucet, while in the county, a busy young mother had offered to care for the child of a busier young mother.

Meanwhile, Governor Luther Hodges spoke calmly and reasonably about race relations, offering a positive program to improve them, as a white and a black minister decided to exchange pulpits and a white employer decided to hire a black person for a position previously denied to those of his race.

A Gentile had stopped short of using the word "kike" and began to reflect on the fact that Christians worldwide were members of a minority religion also.

A labor leader and an employer discussed and differed on issues, then shook hands, each respecting the other.

It finds that all of those instances were examples of brotherhood during the current Brotherhood Week, that what was important and good was when each person daily extended a hand to their neighbor and offered a little better brotherhood.

"The Ape Man to the Rescue" tells of Gordon Scott, the 11th man to play Tarzan in the movies, having visited Charlotte recently and appeared as a perfect specimen of American manhood, brawny with bulging muscles. It finds it somewhat refreshing in the day of television supermen, space travelers and atomic explosions, that the Edgar Rice Burroughs popular hero still had a place on the screen. It suggests that one would have thought that with the advent of nuclear cannons and jet propulsion, Tarzan would have been relegated to its place in history, but finds it probably a good thing that it was still around, as Tarzan might come to the rescue of the confused world and "chase the forces of evil from the jungle which the planet has become."

A piece from the Greensboro Daily News, titled "Appropriate Solemnity", finds a highly educated English sportswriter reporting on a cricket match to be delightfully soothing reading, especially when compared to the American counterparts, as the British sportswriter dealt with the sporting event as he might an international crisis.

It provides an account of a sports report presented in the Manchester Guardian by Neville Cardus in a dispatch from Sydney, after Australia had collapsed during the most recent test matches. He stated: "Australia is in an unprecedentedly poverty-stricken state. The older men are losing touch, the younger men are scarcely gifted enough." It suggests that it might have been suspected that Australia, itself, was teetering on the brink of disaster, with the old men out of touch and the young men not quite bright.

It also observes that there was not the tension of American sportswriters at World Series time, that the English seemed to regard sports writing as not quite gentlemanly, but it made for relaxing reading in such strenuous times. It again quotes from the account of the Australian cricket match, and indicates it never did find out what Australia's troubles had been, as the writer had dozed quietly off long before finishing the reading of the page, "at peace with the world."

Drew Pearson continues his report from the previous day regarding the Justice Department dismissing the indictments against five grain dealers in Galveston, Texas, for having defrauded the Government of 1.7 million dollars in wheat subsidies on adulterated wheat, some of which was not deemed fit for human consumption, though they had marketed it as such. As he had recounted the prior day, the orders had come from Attorney General Herbert Brownell after Governor Allan Shivers of Texas, who had supported General Eisenhower during the 1952 presidential campaign, had lunch with the President three weeks prior to the dismissal of the indictments, with no one in the Administration being willing to comment on the matter. The corporation for which most of the five men worked had already pleaded guilty, and Mr. Pearson wonders how the corporation could be guilty without the individual officers and employees who arranged the deal being guilty.

In a nearly identical case out of Fort Worth, another grain company which had mixed its own grain with that belonging to the Government had two of its officers plead guilty and fined $20,000, sentenced to three years in prison. The only difference appeared to be that in the Galveston case, the son of one of the principals was a close friend of Governor Shivers and was his highway commissioner, having managed his gubernatorial campaign for re-election in 1954.

The Portuguese Foreign Ministry replies to News publisher Thomas L. Robinson's query as to where matters presently stood in the dispute of the prior year between Portugal and India over the territory of Goa, about which Mr. Robinson had inquired the prior fall during his tour of Europe. It indicates that when armed bands from the Indian Union had forcibly occupied the Portuguese territories of Dadra and Nagar Aveli the previous July, world public opinion had condemned the attack. The two territories were completely surrounded by Indian territory forming part of Daman, one of the districts of Portuguese India—as shown by an accompanying map. It had been proved that authorities of the Indian Union had connived in the attack and that the true significance and implications of the event had escaped no one. Thus, Portugal had received invaluable support of many types from numerous friendly countries. Seeing its maneuver exposed, it goes on, India had decided not to continue the risk of compromising its avowed pacifism before the world and so ceased the attack.

It indicates that for the first time in recent years, an aggression had been successfully checked in its course by public opinion and that the acute part of the crisis appeared over, though Portugal continued to be prevented from effectively exercising sovereignty within the two territories as the Indian Union had cut all communication between them and other Portuguese territories in the Hindustan Peninsula, not even allowing observers from a third country to visit as had been requested by the Portuguese Government the prior September.

The threat of aggression still hung over the free Portuguese territories of Goa, Daman and Diu. The India Union was tightening its economic blockade against them and seeking to create difficulties for their inhabitants, persecuting the citizens of Goa who dared to proclaim their loyalty to Portugal. In derogation of the principles of international law, Indians in official positions had formally denied Portugal's sovereign rights, and the Indian Union tolerated within its borders the organization of groups proposing to "liberate" the three Portuguese territories. The vast majority of the inhabitants of Goa wanted nothing to do with the Indian movement and had reaffirmed their loyalty to Portugal. They had possessed their freedom for about 500 years, as had all of the other Portuguese, and they did not wish to be "liberated" by the Indian Union.

Robert C. Ruark, writing from Madrid, says that he had to come to Spain to get a haircut because his New York barber was too busy, and had begun in consequence to marvel at what the airplane had done for travel, recounting his flight from New York to Madrid on TWA in a matter of hours. He also recounts other international travels he had taken during the previous year and concludes that it was easier to fly to Madrid for a haircut than to go crosstown in New York in a taxi in the rain, provided one could find a taxi.

Ernest Hemingway, in the introduction to Men at War, an anthology of war stories chosen by Mr. Hemingway, indicates that when going to war as a boy, one had a great illusion of immortality: "Other people get killed; not you." Then when one became badly wounded the first time, that illusion was dispelled. He relates that when he had been severely wounded two weeks prior to his 19th birthday, he had a bad time until he figured out that nothing could happen to him that had not happened to all men before him, that if they had done it, so could he, and that the best thing was not to worry about it.

He says that he was very ignorant at 19, had read little, remembering the feeling of having a permanently protective talisman after a young British officer, whom he had met while in the hospital recovering from his wounds, had first written out words for him from Henry IV, Part 2, Act III, Scene 2, which he quotes: "By my troth, I care not: a man can die but once; we owe God a death … and let it go which way it will, he that dies this year is quit for the next."

A letter writer indicates that since the report of the study of the black hospital facilities and services for the area, conducted by the Social Planning Council of the United Community Services, had been released to the City Council and Board of County Commissioners, he wished to comment on it, quoting from the Social Planning Council's report that the task of providing hospital facilities for 54,000 citizens of the community was beyond the capabilities of private, charitable or religious organizations and was, in any event, a public responsibility, further indicating that the facilities for black citizens were inadequate and of poor caliber. He cites two letters to the editor, one published June 6, 1953, and the other, January 20, 1955, which he had written previously regarding the inadequacy of the facilities, and says he was not proud of the facts that were shown by the study, urges that immediate steps should be taken to eradicate the problem.

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