The Charlotte News

Monday, February 28, 1955


Site Ed. Note: The front page reports from John Scali of the Associated Press that U.S. officials had reacted coldly this date to a roundabout suggestion by the Chinese Communists that the U.S. send an unofficial mission to Peiping to discuss the 15 imprisoned American fliers and general tensions with Communist China, with the State Department officially declining comment beyond saying that it knew nothing about the proposal. Premier U Nu of Burma said in Rangoon that he had passed the suggestion to Secretary of State Dulles the prior Saturday during a meeting with Mr. Dulles. The latter was presently in Indo-China and had not cabled anything to the Department regarding the suggestion, an indication that he did not attach any significant importance to it. Officials in Washington took the view that it was another Communist Chinese trick to involve the U.S. in face-to-face discussions, with the U.S. attitude being that there was nothing to discuss regarding the case of the American fliers, as they were being held in contravention of the Korean Armistice terms of July, 1953 and should be freed immediately without the need for conditions or further talks. They also indicated that the matter was being handled by U.N. Secretary-General Dag Hammarskjold who had already made one trip to Peiping regarding the matter. Both the President and Secretary Dulles had stated previously that they were looking to the U.N. to free the prisoners, as they had been part of the U.N. fighting force in Korea. Some U.S. officials had seen the Communist Chinese willingness to discuss "tensions" as well as the prisoners as an effort to link the two matters, with the officials stating that there was no connection between them.

In Hong Kong, officials this date generally credited the Chinese Communists with thorough brainwashing of an American man and woman who had been released after 3 1/2 years of close detention. The two had arrived by train in Hong Kong from Peiping the previous day and both told U.S. consulate officials and the press that they had spied for the U.S. and praised the "wonderful treatment" they had received from the Chinese Communists, saying that the Chinese people loved peace. The woman said that her husband was still imprisoned in Peiping because, she said, his crime was more serious than hers. The couple had gone to China in 1948 as Fulbright scholars. The man released along with her had studied at Harvard and the University of Chicago, and been a medical student in Peiping. He said that he had once been a reactionary but now realized how wrong he had been and had deserved everything he received from the Chinese Communists. Parents of the two both indicated that they believed brainwashing had taken place.

Elton C. Fay of the Associated Press reports that the Navy expected to have the first of two guided-missile-firing cruisers ready for anti-aircraft duty with the U.S. Fleet the following July, and the second, later during the year. It would presumably make the Fleet the first of any world power to possess operational guided-missile bearing ships. Britain had announced the previous week that it intended to begin building a fleet of such warships, but it was likely to be some time before they would become operational. In 1946, the Navy had announced that the uncompleted hulls of the 45,000-ton battleship U.S.S. Kentucky and the 27,000-ton battle cruiser Hawaii would be built into guided-missile bearing ships, whereupon conversion work had been started and then halted within a year because the Navy had discovered that development of practical guided missiles was at that time too far in the future. That had changed in 1952 when the Navy resumed the project actively, choosing the cruisers U.S.S. Boston and Canberra for the conversion work. The ships would use the Terrier guided missile, which had been in mass production for more than a year, fired from launching racks.

In Taylorsville, N.C., it was reported by the police that they were continuing efforts this date to identify the body of a young woman who apparently had been struck and killed on a highway the previous day near the town, with the police holding two men for questioning after they had attempted to abandon their automobile, with both having been quoted by the sheriff as saying that they had seen the woman cross Highway 90 early the previous day, but denied that their vehicle had struck her.

In Raleigh, trustees of the Consolidated University this date gave their approval to a plan under which black farm and home agents would attend a three-week "refresher course" during the following summer on the campus of N.C. State in Raleigh, as recommended by N.C. State chancellor W. Carey Bostian. The vote of the trustees was 57 to 15. Those who had opposed allowing black farm agents to attend the refresher course along with white farm and home agents had contended that the move was a beginning toward a breakdown of segregation within the Consolidated University and, ultimately, the public schools. Among those opposing the move was John W. Clark of Greensboro. Those favoring the move said that it had nothing to do with college or school segregation, that black workers would not be housed or fed on the State College campus while attending the refresher course. Well, that's a relief. Otherwise, the whites might get the black cooties and, first thing you know, start becoming black.

For those who cannot read, Supreme Court Justice-nominate John Harlan, still awaiting Senate confirmation, is pictured wearing a mask to protect himself from the cooties being emitted by Southern segregationists in his direction.

Emery Wister of The News indicates that word of Charlotte's 4.5 million dollar auditorium and coliseum complex had spread to the Pacific Northwest, with four men representing the Exposition and Recreation Commission of Portland, Ore., having come to Charlotte to inspect the new complex, presently nearing completion. They had found it beautiful, according to the chairman of the commission, as echoed by the three other men, saying that the buildings were as fine as any they had seen in their travels around the country, and also asserting that they did not believe that too much was being spent on them, as they would be in use for the ensuing 35 to 40 years—actually, still in use, though not as primary facilities any longer, 67 years after they opened.

Ann Sawyer of The News indicates that a new tax prepayment period, as requested by the City Council, would be given a two-year trial by the County Commissioners, having agreed this date that 1955 county taxes would become payable at a two percent discount in September instead of in August. She explains further the matter, in case you are concerned about it—as well you ought to be if you have not paid your 1955 county taxes.

On the editorial page, "L'Affaire Harlan: The Big Stall" indicates that Southern Senators had not distinguished themselves as statesmen by using Supreme Court Justice-nominate John Harlan of New York as the basis for their resentment over the Brown v. Board of Education decision of the previous May 17—Judge Harlan's grandfather of the same name having been the lone dissenter in the original Plessy v. Ferguson decision of 1896, which formulated the doctrine of "separate but equal", overruled in Brown for never having accomplished its aim of separate but equal facilities in 58 years, leading only to ad hoc case-by-case litigation regarding the standard not having been satisfied in particular instances.

The Judiciary Committee of the Senate had only gotten around to confirmation hearings the previous week, despite Judge Harlan having been nominated to the Court the prior November, in the wake of the death of Justice Robert Jackson in October. During the interim, Southern Senators had been busy raising objections to the nomination on flimsy grounds, hoping that the longer the appointment could be delayed, the longer they might delay the implementing decision in Brown, with its oral arguments having been delayed since December so that a full Supreme Court complement of Justices could hear it, as desired by Chief Justice Earl Warren. It finds such dilatory tactics to be without any validity and the product of a strategy of desperation and despair, as, ultimately, the implementing decision would occur.

It finds that the objections to Judge Harlan which had been voiced included that he had been a Rhodes Scholar, that he was inexperienced on the bench, having been appointed by President Eisenhower early in 1954 to the Second Circuit Court of Appeals, and had been a member of the advisory board on Atlantic Union. Senator Olin Johnston of South Carolina had raised the specter of Judge Harlan possibly placing the U.N. above the Constitution. It finds all the charges too vague and meaningless to merit thoughtful consideration, that Judge Harlan appeared well suited for the high court, having been an eminent member of the New York bar and having been confirmed to the U.S. Court of Appeals. It urges his confirmation without further delay, so that the Court could get on with its work.

"Faulty Brake Fluid Shouldn't Be Sold" indicates that serious questions had been raised about faulty brakes and particularly brake fluid standards, as a contributing cause too many traffic accidents. It suggests that Motor Vehicles commissioner Ed Scheidt and the General Assembly should do some investigating of the matter, given statements made by many safety officials and automotive experts, whose comments had been reported on the editorial page on February 19 by associate editor Vic Reinemer.

Some automotive experts contended that over half the brake fluids on the market were dangerous because they might not function in extremely hot or extremely cold weather or after prolonged subjection to heat from braking. The National Safety Council had said that it believed that poor brake fluid would constitute a hazard and had engaged in efforts to raise its quality. Such efforts had raised standards in Minnesota and New Jersey, with Minnesota having passed a law requiring all brake fluids to meet the standards set by the Society of Automotive Engineers, and the motor vehicles commissioner in New Jersey having set similar standards.

It finds that some consumers would naturally purchase the cheapest product on the market, and that some manufacturers produced and some jobbers handled inferior, admittedly dangerous products, unless forbidden to do so. It thus urges Mr. Scheidt and the legislators to investigate and then, if needed, prohibit the sale of the potentially dangerous brake fluids within the state.

"The Awful Art of Tail-Swallowing" indicates that some North Carolina war veterans were seeking a bonus, as had the World War I veterans marching on Washington in 1932. The bonus had a strange political appeal and the veteran deserved certain special considerations.

But, it finds, in such delicate financial times for the state, a bonus would injure about as much as it would help the veteran in the long-run, as it would have to be paid largely by the veteran, himself. Moreover, veterans had to satisfy high mental and physical standards to enter the service and enjoyed preferences and opportunities in employment for having been veterans. About half of the earned income in the state was already going to veterans, and being borne by the veterans, themselves.

It thus urges North Carolina veterans to direct their attention to more urgent goals, such as the needs for continuity of employment, more security in old age, and a lasting peace, positing that those would bring him more long-term happiness than a bonus for which he would have to pay, in part, himself.

A piece from the Plainview (Tex.) Herald, titled "Grandma's Cure", tells of some of grandma's cures having been good, excluding such things as snakeroot. But molasses and sulphur and soda and aspirin had worked.

There were two about which it had questioned their efficacy, sassafras and sarsaparilla, but about which many people swore anent their salutary qualities. It says it did not believe that sarsaparilla would provide all the alterations of which some believed it capable, but did put stock in some authoritative explanations that it might gradually change a morbid state to one of health. Sassafras, it was said, could help thin the blood and aid other human systems in the springtime.

It says that it never had taken molasses and sulphur but liked to imagine that it had because it had heard so many people talk about it. It had drunk the aromatic tea made from sassafras and believed it might have some merit as it had been dispensed by the author's highly intelligent and efficient grandmother, but does not concede anything regarding its help to the blood or its concomitant operation in earlier times, blood-letting. The dictionary said that it was a diaphoretic, meaning that it increased perspiration, but, it notes, hot lemonade, ovaltine or a hot toddy would do the same thing. It adds that a glass of hot milk would work wonders.

It finds that while grandma's cures were good, they could not compare to vitamins or modern antibiotics. It suggests that perhaps lye soap had been the best of grandma's remedies, better than "china berry salve".

Drew Pearson tells of Senator Estes Kefauver and other Senators having inquired of John McConnaughey, nominated as chairman of the FCC, regarding his clientele as a big utilities lawyer, since the FCC would oversee regulation of the telephone companies and other utilities, as well as issuing broadcast licenses to radio and television stations. Senator Mike Monroney elicited from him the admission that he had once represented Ohio Bell and Cincinnati and Suburban Telephone Co., paying him about ten percent of his income. He had also represented other telephone, power and gas companies, over whom the FCC would exercise regulatory control. Mr. McConnaughey, however, had denied any such representation of AT&T affiliates in earlier closed hearings when he was not under oath, despite Ohio Bell being a subsidiary of the company and the other companies being under the jurisdiction of the FCC. Furthermore, he had represented them regarding the same issue presently before the FCC, whether the telephone companies could base their rates on original cost of equipment or the higher replacement cost as advocated by the companies. He had insisted, nevertheless, that he could do an impartial job as FCC chairman.

When he said he had never represented anyone before the FCC, Senator Kefauver responded that it did not matter whether he had represented them before the FCC but rather that he had represented them before the Ohio utilities commission to secure rate increases, which he admitted. He had no explanation for his tardiness in revealing his prior representation of the companies, when Senator Kefauver asked him about it, saying only that it was now in the record.

Robert C. Ruark, in Madrid, tells of the new Castellano Hilton in the city, dubbed the "49th state" for its heavy U.S. patronage, where one heard Spanish only occasionally, more usually English English and American English, French, Danish and German, plus Japanese and Chinese. Most of the Americans were Air Force and Navy types, with some Embassy personnel, some construction people, plus movie-makers and promoters. There were also "weirdos", for instance, one woman who thought she was Bette Davis and sought to hold a press conference to prove it. The next day, he had met an exotic-looking woman in the bar and she asked him to guess who she was, to which he replied, "Cleopatra," to which she had responded, "You're right, but so few people guess without my giving little hints."

One could see Orson Welles in an astrakhan coat smoking a cigar, but he rated no attention. Meanwhile, people from New York, Washington, Rome, Paris or London strolled through the lobby.

He states that he liked the gag about it being the 49th state, but found it more aptly to resemble the U.N. "And to think that a few years ago there was nobody here but just us Spaniards."

A letter writer, a medical doctor, from Monroe responds to a letter writer from Phoenix who had written regarding deer tongue leaves and where to locate them for mixing with her father's smoking tobacco, indicates that several years earlier while on assignment with the Federal Public Health Service headquartered in Brunswick, Ga., his duties required that he travel in rural areas of three counties along the Georgia coast, and that during that time he became acquainted with deer tongue leaves, found that the natives of the region harvested them, dried them and then sold them through commercial channels, explains that it grew wild in the woods, was gathered by the natives, dried on housetops or scaffolds and packed in burlap bags, then sold in that form to various cigarette manufacturers to blend with their tobacco. Thus, he suggests writing to the Chamber of Commerce or the Mayor of Darien, Ga., or Brunswick, and that they could probably help her locate the deer tongue leaves.

Or you could just shoot yourself in the head.

A letter writer responds to the same writer, indicating that he had once used deer tongue leaves in his pipe, having purchased it in an herb shop in Statesville.

A letter writer responds also to the same letter, indicating that deer tongue leaves grew wild in Florida, where her father had obtained them in Lake County about ten years earlier, suggests writing to the State Experiment Station in Gainesville, the State Farm Bureau in Tallahassee, or to the county agent of Lake County. She indicates that deer tongue had a vanilla odor and flavor and suggests that perhaps imitation vanilla extract came from it, but does not know.

A letter writer responds to the same letter, also recommends seeking it in central Florida.

A letter writer responds to the same letter, with much the same advice as the first letter writer of this date.

This is becoming almost as hot a topic as segregation had been the prior May and June.

A letter writer from Cheraw, S.C., indicates that the Administration was promising and preaching a balanced Federal budget and relief for taxpayers, while the President had asked Congress to increase its own pay, along with that of Federal judges. He finds that fine but wonders how the country would ever balance its budget. He suggests that there were millions of people with large families living on less than a country sheriff's salary, having to pay their own mileage to and from work. He thus finds it unfair to be asked to pay that of members of Congress, while some of those officials opposed a reduction in individual taxes by $20 per person. He warns the President and members of Congress that the following year would be a quadrennial election year and that the people were getting wise to some of the deception, that the politics was showing through.

A letter writer responds to an editorial of February 17 regarding the upcoming bond issues to be decided in May, finds that its description of one of the bonds for $250,000 as being "modest" and resulting only in a small individual cost, betrayed perhaps the affluence of newspaper editors and members of the City Council. He says that his earning power had been "shot to hell" during the Eisenhower Presidency and that he had not received a pay adjustment for inflation in four years. He thinks that spending a quarter of a million dollars for a study for a project which was not even assured of final public approval, the hospital addition for black patients, was anything but "modest" and was wasteful.

The editors respond that the Social Planning Council study committee had estimated the cost of the additional facilities for Memorial Hospital to be three million dollars, that architects customarily charged a fee of 6 percent for plans and specifications, which would mean approximately $300,000, with the Council having authorized only the $250,000, adding that it would be the people and not the Council who would decide whether the bonds should actually be issued.

A letter writer seeks to rebut a previous letter writer regarding the latter having been ticketed for parking on the left side of the street in front of his apartment where there was no curb, saying that there was no difference between parking on the left side and the right side of the street, that in both cases, the parked car deprived other drivers of a lane, finding the practice dangerous. He also objects to parking in front of mailboxes while stopping momentarily to mail letters, urging that the police "feed the kitty" when finding such dangerous driving habits.

A letter writer responds to an editorial of February 21, which had advocated replacing the State Capitol, providing a description of it from the diary of the Reverend William Marshall Kennedy, his grandfather, when the latter had visited Raleigh on December 14-15, 1852, having said that he had seen "the grandeur of beauty of that prosperous city, [Raleigh]" and that the "proud Capitol stands a monument to the pride and greatness of our state", that when he had seen its dome and its stony columns, he could only exult in his own heart and rejoice that he had been born an American citizen. The writer says that he had visited the Capitol the previous week and found it to possess a stately beauty from a distance, but found it inadequate on its interior for present use, agrees that a new building was required.

Whether the writer was subconsciously inspired, in his finding the State Capitol dome "stately", by "The Rime of the Ancient Mariner", we shall leave to Orson Welles to decree belatedly.

A letter writer indicates that she had been reading in the newspapers regarding juvenile crime, finds that teenagers and children were what they were because of what they were taught and the example of others which they followed. She says she had been associated with youngsters of all ages, found that they had to feel sexy, drink so that they could be sociable, believed that it was smart to lie and steal or swindle to cover for the gang, and that if one did not play ball and squealed on the gang, the gang would beat up the squealer. She concludes that, according to the beliefs of many young persons, it was old-fashioned to have morals, to be honest and truthful.

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