The Charlotte News

Friday, March 11, 1955


Site Ed. Note: The front page reports from Taipeh that the Chinese Communists this date had fired 52 shells at the Nationalist Chinese island of Quemoy during a 25-minute period in mid-afternoon, according to the Nationalist Defense Ministry, the latter not indicating whether the defenders had returned fire. The communiqué stated that there were no casualties or damage from the fire, though it was the heaviest barrage from the Communists during the prior two weeks. Nationalist Premier O. K. Yui had declared that the Nationalists were determined to fight for both Quemoy and Matsu, with or without U.S. support. Two unconfirmed reports of newspapers stated that units of the U.S. Seventh Fleet and the Nationalist Navy had conducted maneuvers off Formosa between March 4 and 10.

In Atlanta, a new and definite strike ultimatum was given to Southern Bell Telephone Co. this date, after eight months of negotiations for a union contract had been renewed, with the district director of the Communications Workers of America stating that if the company would not agree to participate in arbitration and if continued bargaining could not deliver a satisfactory agreement before midnight the following Sunday, there would be a strike. The company was against a union proposal to arbitrate the remaining differences, primarily the company's demand that the new contract include a no-strike clause. Both sides indicated willingness to participate in negotiations day and night if necessary to reach agreement before the deadline. The company had stated several days earlier that it had offered wage increases totaling six million dollars per year, on condition that the contract include the no-strike clause. The company had rejected the union's proposal to refer the unsettled issues to arbitration, and the union had rejected the company's offer to grant the wage increases conditioned on the no-strike clause. The company insisted that the clause was necessary to protect the public interest.

In Charlotte, telephone company representatives and representatives from the CWA alike believed that there was nothing in prospect to avert the strike. There were approximately 1,720 CWA workers in Charlotte and the local union president estimated that 1,000 of them would strike at the appointed time if no resolution were reached. The company anticipated maintaining local and long distance telephone service even if the strike occurred, as supervisory employees and other non-striking workers would keep the lines open.

In New York, heavy trading on the stock market sent prices per share down 2 to 3 dollars per share and more. Boeing Aircraft was off by more than two dollars and Bethlehem Steel, by more than three dollars, while other losers were Youngstown Sheet & Tube, General Motors, Chrysler, Standard Oil of New Jersey, the Baltimore & Ohio Railroad, Western Union and Zenith Radio Corporation. The market had rallied the previous day, with gains reaching three dollars per share and more, following a sharp downward trend on Tuesday and Wednesday.

In Washington, New York financier Benjamin Graham told the Senate Banking Committee, studying the stock market, that there might be "grave danger" that speculation would go too far, urging the Government to move carefully toward doing something about it.

Tornadoes, high winds and drenching thunderstorms had hit the Ohio Valley this date, with winds registering up to 92 mph, and tornadoes causing heavy damage in parts of Indiana, Ohio and Pennsylvania. The Ohio River had reached its highest point since 1948. Dust storms reported in northern Texas, causing widespread loss of topsoil in the plains, sending wheat futures prices higher in Chicago's Board of Trade, had diminished this date. The dust storms extended over sections of Colorado, Kansas, Oklahoma, Nebraska, Missouri, northern Arkansas, in addition to Texas. Agriculture officials estimated that half of Colorado's three million acres of winter wheat had been ripped out. The Weather Bureau said that severe thunderstorms, high winds and possibly hail would be expected this date in Massachusetts, Connecticut, Rhode Island and New Hampshire.

In Bowdon, Ga., a brother and sister, ages four and two, who were playing hide and seek, smothered to death when they became trapped in a discarded icebox in a smokehouse in the backyard of their home. Their mother discovered their bodies when "something" had told her to look in the abandoned icebox, after she could not find them.

In London, Sir Alexander Fleming, 73, the Scottish scientist who had discovered penicillin, died this date at his home from heart disease. He had always ascribed the discovery of penicillin to "pure luck". He had won the 1945 Nobel Prize for physiology and medicine, shared with two coworkers in the discovery. He was knighted in Britain in 1944, in recognition of his work. He first produced penicillin in 1928, but did not devote his entire attention to it until World War II had increased the demand for antibacterial remedies.

In Raleigh, a bill was introduced in the State House by a State Representative from Person County to keep all schools of the state segregated, prohibiting the use of State funds for operation of public schools which were integrated. The Representative introducing the bill said that there were six or seven school superintendents who had responded to a questionnaire by indicating they were willing to eliminate segregation even before the implementing decision by the Supreme Court in Brown v. Board of Education, which had decided the previous May 17 that "separate but equal" schools could no longer pass constitutional muster under the 14th Amendment Equal Protection Clause. He said that under the bills pending before the Legislature, carrying out the recommendations of the commission appointed by the Governor to study Brown, it was possible for integration of public schools, and he viewed it as creating confusion and tearing down the state's school system. Apparently, he was not wearing his hood at the time he made the statements.

In Charlotte, the Coal Producers Committee for Smoke Abatement of Cincinnati, in a letter to Charlotte City Manager Henry Yancey, offered to assist the city in setting up a smoke abatement program.

Emery Wister of The News reports that Congressman John Blatnik of Minnesota, in town to visit Dr. Paul Sanger, said that Congress was presently "hammering out a very solid program" of legislation and that there would be no major conflict between the President and Congress, following the first conflicts on reciprocal trade agreements and proposed tax cuts. Mr. Blatnik had been a member of the OSS during World War II, spending eight months behind enemy lines in Yugoslavia, during which time, he had worked with Marshal Tito and the late Drajar Mihailovich, leader of Yugoslavia's underground forces during much of the war. He said that he thought Tito had followed an independent course permitting him to cooperate with the U.S. and other countries, a course which had enabled greater stability in the Near East and the Balkans, that no stabilizing troops of the U.S. had been necessary in the lands over which Tito had influence, finding him therefore a "good investment". He had been in Congress for eight years and was chairman of the Rivers and Harbors subcommittee and a member of the House Public Works Committee.

In London, the Air Ministry disclosed this date that a substance made from unripened grapes had been turned into a non-secret weapon for the Royal Air Force, the substance, glycolic acid, being used to repel the common cold. The Ministry said that its doctors had issued handkerchiefs treated with the acid to 256 men of one squadron at a training station, while untreated handkerchiefs were handed out to 256 men of another squadron, and after four weeks of the experiment, only 14 of the men with the treated handkerchiefs had caught colds while in the second squadron, 34 had developed sniffles. The only catch was that the glycolic acid, which was found in the leaves of the Virginia creeper, caused handkerchiefs to fall apart when laundered.

In Chesterfield, England, witnesses testified at an inquest this date that a farmer had hanged himself because he was distressed by the size of his income tax bill, with the police constable saying that he had arrived at the farm just as the mailman had delivered a letter notifying the decedent that he was entitled to a tax rebate.

On the editorial page, "Public, Picket Lines and Principles" indicates that the newspaper had a stake in the deadlocked contract negotiations between Southern Bell and the Communications Workers of America, as the newspaper regularly used telephones. The public also had an obvious vested interest in maintaining the operation of the telephones.

It informs that it had received a pamphlet, "In the Public Interest", issued by the telephone company and setting forth it knew not what, as it had not read it and did not intend to do so, instead choosing to rely on basic principles to interpret the current dispute. It finds that the first such principle necessary for all public utility labor contracts was binding arbitration, with due regard for the rights of both parties. The second principle was to outlaw strikes, which should be unnecessary as long as binding arbitration was available. A third principle, it finds, was a commitment by the contracting parties not to permit relations with any other party to invalidate their obligations to each other, such as a competing union picket line.

It urges that with those three principles embodied in public utility labor contracts, employers, unions and the public would be assured fair treatment without work stoppages.

"Unlocking a Judicial Logjam" endorses the plan of the Mecklenburg County Bar Association to establish a small claims court for cases involving claims not exceeding $3,000, thus relieving the Superior Court of so much docket load devoted to smaller matters. The cases would still be appealable to Superior Court, but the new court would speed up justice. Small claims courts had been tried in other North Carolina counties with great success and it urges the Mecklenburg County delegation to the General Assembly to put forth the proposal in the current session.

"The Quest for 'Purity' in Politics" tells of a movement afoot across the nation to induce state legislators to draft codes of ethics for public officials, thereby to achieve purity in politics.

It finds it akin to teaching a youth to read after entering college, that the student had no place in higher education unless having previously mastered reading, writing and arithmetic. Likewise, if a person did not know right from wrong, that person had no business in public office. It was the responsibility of the voters to weed out the amoral and immoral candidates. There was no need for a rule book of ethics, as society already had a moral code, expressed in the traditions of each of the higher religions, each of which sought to explain in final purity the concept of truth.

Henri Frederic Amiel had written that truth was the "secret of eloquence and virtue, the basis of moral authority; it is the highest summit of art and of life." Historian Will Durant had once stated that a statesman could not afford to be a moralist. It finds that politics and morality should not be treated separately.

"Mr. Brubeck vs. June-Moon-Croon" finds Dave Brubeck to be a curiosity in the commercialized music world, an uncompromising jazzman who had won enormous popular success, even within the June-moon-croon set, who followed Eddie Fisher, winning friends and influencing listeners.

A cover story in Time had helped his popularity, as had smart record promotion. But, it finds, the appeal was the result primarily of the "free-flowing, billowy freshness in the sound and concept of his music", as an audience at Davidson College had discovered the previous night. It was jazz with a new look, "delicate counterpoint, the supple and subtle alternations of chords and what critic Barry Ulanov has called 'the general atmosphere of musicianship, educated and dedicated.'"

It concludes that Mr. Brubeck, with the help of alto saxophonist Paul Desmond, was proving that tasteful American jazz could attract a wide audience, and might even lead American popular music out of its "cultural wasteland".

A piece from the Shelby Daily Star, titled "Popping Corn", indicates with alarm that the popping had been taken out of popcorn, that it was now possible to purchase a container of popcorn, enclosed and seasoned, which one then placed on the stove, and in three minutes the aluminum foil cover was removed to reveal a gallon of hot popcorn ready to eat. It finds it a very clever device, in keeping with the trend to remove work from the kitchen.

But it asserts that popcorn had a unique virtue in that its entertainment was in popping it, figuring out how much butter or vegetable oil to use and how much of it the guests would consume, adjusting the amount of salt to the group tastes and in deciding whether to eat it one kernel at a time or a lot at once. Moreover, there was the satisfaction in popping it oneself. All of that, the new contraption denied.

Don't worry. Jiffy Pop burns about two-thirds of the time and is horrible. We tried it a couple of times way back then and reverted to the regular popcorn popper and its sizzle. Many a fine basketball game was intervened by the popping of the popper at halftime. Now, you just go to the microwave and nuke it.

Drew Pearson examines the synthetic rubber situation, indicating that the Administration appeared determined to turn the rubber factories, at enormous expense to taxpayers, over to the big rubber and oil companies, which would occur automatically on March 26, unless Congress intervened. He provides "disturbing facts" which he believes Congress ought look at carefully, including a low stockpile of synthetic rubber reserve, which had dropped from the required 60,000 tons to only 38,000 tons, and would drop further to 28,000 by April 26. The smaller companies were being squeezed, the companies ordering 61,000 tons of Government synthetic rubber for March and 69,000 tons for April, while the factories would only produce 61,000 tons in March and 59,000 in April, with production dropping another 45,000 tons annually after the factories were sold, because General Tire and Rubber had not made a deal with the Government to buy a synthetic plant in Texas. The resulting shortage meant that smaller companies would not be able to purchase synthetic rubber after April. Only 22 tire companies consumed 72 percent of all synthetic rubber, and of those, the big four alone consumed 60 percent. But there were scores of other companies needing rubber for other purposes, which might not be able to purchase it after April 26, when the rubber factories were to be delivered by the Government into private hands.

Under the terms of the sale, private companies would pay the Government 260 million dollars for the rubber factories, which turned an annual profit averaging about 64 million. Thus, if the plants were retained by the Government, in the space of four years, they would make enough money to equal that which it was receiving for them, meaning that the big producers were actually paying for the factories out of their profits from them. While the best rubber factories were being sold, the Government was retaining the one which cost the most to operate, located in West Virginia, to be maintained on a standby basis because private industry would not purchase it. Meanwhile, the march of Communism into Southeast Asia, the chief source of natural rubber, continued.

CIA director Allen Dulles, brother of the Secretary of State, planned to resign soon because his son, who had been badly wounded in the Korean War, was not recovering as hoped and Mr. Dulles wanted to devote all of his time to him. General Lucien Truscott, presently in Europe, had been groomed to take his place, though for the time being it would be General Charles Cabell who would take over as director.

Parenthetically, General Cabell never rose above deputy director of the CIA, as Mr. Dulles would remain as director until after the failed Bay of Pigs operation in April, 1961, with President Kennedy asking him to resign the following November. General Cabell likewise was asked by the President to resign in January, 1962. General Cabell was the brother of Dallas Mayor Earle Cabell, who was Mayor at the time of the assassination of President Kennedy in November, 1963.

Former Senator John Sherman Cooper of Kentucky would become the new Ambassador to India, one of the most difficult and important jobs in the diplomatic service. Senator Cooper would later be re-elected to the Senate in 1956 after the death of Senator Alben Barkley in 1956, defeating Senator Barkley's interim successor, and would be selected by President Johnson in November, 1963 as the Republican Senator to serve on the Warren Commission, alongside Democratic Senator Richard Russell of Georgia and House members Hale Boggs of Louisiana and Gerald Ford of Michigan, plus Allen Dulles and John J. McCloy, chaired by Chief Justice Warren.

The Congressional Quarterly discusses the gradual disappearance of one-party states from electoral politics. The trend had been ongoing for some time and had continued in the midterm elections of 1954. In Oregon, for example, Richard Neuberger had become that state's first Democratic Senator in 40 years, and Edith Green, elected to Congress by 9,600 votes, became the first Democratic House member from the state in a decade. The Democratic share of the vote in Oregon in House races had been steadily increasing during the previous five elections.

Democrats were also making inroads in normally Republican northern New England and in the Midwest, also traditionally Republican. But Republicans were also making significant gains in the ordinarily Democratic South, resulting in close contests in areas which had once been regarded as safely "one-party".

Maine had elected a Democratic Governor, future Senator, 1968 vice-presidential nominee, and Secretary of State under President Carter, Edmund Muskie, by a margin of 22,400 votes, contrary to that state's tradition. The state's three House seats remained with the Republicans, but in the previous five elections, the Democrats had gained by nearly 15 percent in each of the three districts, where much closer races were being registered.

In New Hampshire, Republican Chester Merrow, a six-term House member, had won re-election by only 400 votes. And in Vermont, Republicans were pressed hard for the second time in two years to maintain a Republican as Governor.

In the Midwest, the Republican share of the House vote was less in 1954 than it had been in the previous two elections in Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota, Nebraska, North Dakota, South Dakota and Wisconsin. It was also down in Missouri, which, however, had a Democratic background.

Republican gains in the Democratic South had not been so extensive, as the party lacked grassroots machinery and had concentrated only on selected House races, making progress in Virginia, Florida, North Carolina and Texas, with Virginia in particular moving rapidly toward two-party status. In North Carolina, the President had won 46.1 percent of the vote in 1952 and had carried four of the state's 12 Congressional districts. Republican Charles Jonas had been elected in the Tenth District by 57.4 percent, a margin he maintained in 1954. In the Ninth District, the Republican vote had averaged 48 percent in the previous two elections. In 1952, the President had carried eight of Virginia's ten Congressional districts, four of which he carried by more than 60 percent of the vote, sweeping three Republican Congressmen into office with him, the first Republican newcomers from that state since 1928. One of those had lost his seat to a Democrat in 1954 by 1,000 votes, while the other two were re-elected. In Florida, the President had carried five of eight districts in 1952, three of them by more than 60 percent, with the Republican vote doubling from 1950 in House races, and in 1954, electing the first Republican Congressman from that state since the Civil War. In Texas, the President had carried 14 of the state's 21 Congressional districts in 1952, with the help and support of Democratic Governor Allan Shivers.

Robert C. Ruark tells of having read with fascination some ads for a firm which promised to win a person friends and popularity, plus business success, through instruction in the art of everyday conversation, indicates that he was thinking of taking the course. He finds that there was no real conversation anymore, just a series of monologues. He believes that daily conversation could be broken down into two basic categories, the He's and the She's, which he illustrates.

He concludes that his illustrations ought cover any necessary interplay between the sexes, that eventually the total conversation would boil down to "Hmmmm?" and "Yes, dear, I'm listening." He states that matrimony was saving on the vocal cords.

It's all the result of radio and tv, which presents itself in scripts as individual monologues back and forth, with constant one-upsmanship in play, with very little interplay of any consequence. What started out as pure entertainment eventually began to occupy the field as a replacement for meaningful human interaction, the run of the mine viewers and listeners being better parrots than thinkers.

E. S. Turner, in A History of Courting, indicates that the significant thing about the new morality ushered in by World War I was that though many a woman during the war years had "lost her name", she was not permanently ruined, as the "fallen woman", for the first time in history, was able to get up again and carry on. It even became a kind of joke, with a proposal made to erect a plaque on a famous London hotel "to the women who fell here during the Great War."

He states that courting, as distinguished from cohabitation, had become an activity stripped of protocol and deference. By the end of the war, the sight of six inches of female leg was still noteworthy, and many females could let down enough hair for them to sit on. It also appeared that women had begun to throw away the elements of femininity, cutting off hair, losing hips and flattening the breast. "...[R]arely had woman worn less armor against 'the rash hand of licentiousness.'"

A letter writer commends another letter writer of the prior Saturday, who had written that Southern Bell was advanced technologically, but living in an earlier era in terms of its treatment of employees. He says that if the strike planned for March 15 were to occur, it would affect many people other than the employees, and would be the fault of top management of the company, not the union. The company, he says, was insisting that the union sign a new contract with a no-strike clause in it, with the company contending it was the only matter still in issue. He believes that a no-strike clause would leave the employees open to any action the company would take henceforth in violation of an existing contract.

A letter from Henry Kamphoefner, dean of the School of Design at N.C. State, thanks the newspaper for its recent editorial supporting the new curriculum in products design within the School.

A letter from the chairman of the Mecklenburg Audubon Club thanks the newspaper for its publicity given the club.

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