The Charlotte News

Wednesday, March 2, 1955


Site Ed. Note: The front page reports that the President, at his press conference this date, said that the Western world had enjoyed all along a great lead over Russia in development of hydrogen bombs and atomic weaponry, and that it would be pointless to speculate on how long that lead might prevail, that he did not know. He had been asked to comment on the statement in Commons by Prime Minister Churchill the previous day that the U.S. had "many times" the hydrogen bomb strength of the Soviet Union, but that the Soviets would be in a position within 2 to 4 years to launch a full-scale nuclear attack against the U.S. The President indicated that there came a point, when a nation had enough of a supply of a particular weapon, that it was questionable whether it was important to acquire more. Regarding additional matters, the President laughed off attempts to discover whether he would seek re-election in 1956, laughing at a question which quoted Senator Barry Goldwater of Arizona as stating that the Republicans probably could not win in 1956 without the President as their candidate. He also had no comment regarding a statement by Vice-President Nixon the previous day that he hoped the President would run again. He also said that it was not to be taken for granted that he would attend the Republican convention in San Francisco in 1956.

At Yucca Flat, Nev., Atomic Energy Commission scientists called off a nuclear test this date, saying that weather conditions were unacceptable for it, indicating that there would also be no detonation the following day, but that it might be rescheduled for Friday morning, provided weather conditions changed in the interim. A small nuclear shot had been fired from a 300-foot tower at the proving grounds the previous day. The flash was observed in five states within a radius of 475 miles, despite the test being of a lower magnitude device. The atomic cloud dispersed over an area of nearly 200 miles, but no radiation fallout was reported outside the test site. The AEC said that the device had been designed by its Livermore, Calif., laboratory, and had a yield of several kilotons, a fraction of the yield of standard atomic bombs.

Senator Herman Welker of Idaho said this date, after listening to testimony of Harvey Matusow, the former Communist, turned paid professional witness for the Government against Communists, that he believed "the gentleman is interested in money". He said that the press would be more enlightened after the Senate Internal Security subcommittee had taken testimony from the publishers of Mr. Matusow's book, False Witness, and from others. The subcommittee was inquiring into Mr. Matusow's recanting of his previous statements and testimony, having admitted that he had repeatedly lied during his time as a paid Government witness in the trials of convicted Communist leaders. Senator James Eastland, chairman of the subcommittee, said that he believed there was a case for the Department of Justice involved in the testimony, alluding to the potential for a perjury indictment. Mr. Matusow stated that he believed he had probably obstructed justice by taking the divorced wife of Representative Alvin Bentley of Michigan to Nassau in the Bahamas in 1952 at a time when a Senate Elections subcommittee wanted to question her regarding its probe of the finances of Senator McCarthy. Later, she and Mr. Matusow were twice married and twice divorced, and he said that his former wife had told him that she had given Senator McCarthy $70,000 instead of the $7,000 alluded to in the Elections subcommittee report. He had also stated the previous day during testimony that he had invented "a stringless yo-yo" but refused to say, invoking the Fifth Amendment privilege against self-incrimination, whether its manufacturer was a Soviet or Communist firm. He also would not tell newsmen how the yo-yo worked, saying it was a trade secret.

In Mount Pleasant, N.C., three prisoners had walked away from the Cabarrus County prison camp the previous day because prison guards were forbidden by law to shoot misdemeanants. A guard had been discharged the previous week from the camp for shooting a prisoner in an escape attempt. The superintendent of the camp said that two of the prisoners had told a road gang guard that they would be seeing him, and then proceeded to walk off through the woods, not even bothering to run. A third prisoner had escaped from one of the road gangs earlier the previous day, walking up on the bank and off through the woods, and when the guard hollered at him, had turned around and looked at the guard and just walked off. They had a failure to communicate.

Dick Young of The News indicates that whether the Charlotte Memorial Hospital Authority could issue its own bonds to finance a planning program for additional facilities for black patients was being investigated this date, after the City's bond issue was withdrawn in the wake of a statement by the bond attorneys that State law forbade the issuance of a bond for merely planning a project, as the bonds would potentially have no value if the project, itself, never came to fruition. He indicates that a special bond election for $190,000 for the Spastics Hospital was assured of inclusion on the May 3 ballot.

In Superior Court in Charlotte this date, eight of the principals who had been involved in the previous week's store-breakings entered pleas of guilty. All of them were young, most of them teenagers. Two adults charged with receiving stolen goods from the break-ins entered not guilty pleas. The case against one of the adults was dismissed after insufficient evidence was presented to show that he knew cigarettes he had allegedly purchased had been stolen. The other defendant was to have his case heard before a jury early during this afternoon. A third adult accused of receiving stolen property entered a plea of guilty.

Emery Wister of The News indicates that the Weather Bureau considered March to be a spring month, even though spring did not officially begin until March 21. Thus far, spring temperatures were prevailing, with a high of 70 this date in Charlotte and a low of 48 during the morning being predicted.

On the editorial page, "The Target and the Temptation" indicates that the Social Planning Council proposals for new facilities to be added to Charlotte's Memorial Hospital to accommodate black patients should not be allowed to rot, just because New York bond attorneys for the City had found that it was without legal authority under state law. It indicates that the Legislature should now provide an enabling act for the $250,000 bond for the purpose of funding the planning for the facility, not its actual construction.

The need for the facility was great and would become only greater in the future, and the time to act on it, it indicates, was therefore the present. The Social Planning Council and the City Council had taken good faith steps to try to arrange for the bond issue to appear on the May 3 ballot, but now it had been taken off because of the legal advice regarding its lack of statutory support. It urges municipal authorities not to lose any time in seeking alternate means of meeting the community responsibility for the medical care of its black citizens.

"Sunnier Prospects for Orderly Growth" finds that the perimeter zoning and subdivision control legislation passed on Monday by the General Assembly had been a major contribution to the health and welfare of metropolitan Mecklenburg County, providing the City-County Planning Commission badly needed tools to provide for orderly growth of the community.

Previously, the absence of controls over peripheral areas of the county had produced multiple problems, with unplanned growth resulting in nuisance. But planners could now avert many such situations.

"Sex Deviates: Research, Then Action" tells of the opposition within the psychiatric community to a bill pending in the General Assembly to divert sex deviates into mental hospitals for treatment, where indicated by psychiatric examination, rather than incarcerating them. The opposition was based on the inadequacy of mental hospitals to care for sex deviates and the lack of trained personnel for the purpose.

It also indicates that there was too much uncertainty within the treatment techniques and procedures to form a law to meet the problem, that the legislators did not have at their disposal the factual data or experience necessary to frame such legislation.

It suggests appointing a committee of research sociologists, psychologists and psychiatrists to delve into the matter and assemble the known evidence and information, determine an hypothesis and then test it. It finds that recommendations coming out of that process would have the stamp of authority.

"The Clean, Fresh Smell of Unity" indicates that the new tax discount schedule for both the City and County was the most touching display of political friendship since a kind of "coexistence" policy had begun to develop in the executive offices of both bodies months earlier. The burden now shifted to Mecklenburg County's legislative delegation, and it urges them to draft the necessary State legislation to enable the new tax schedule to become law.

"Acid Test" tells of Governor Luther Hodges speaking on tv to the people of the state this night, indicating that it would be an important speech as it occurred during the heated debates in the General Assembly regarding taxes and other major issues. It finds that the Hodges Administration had been hard-working and confident, sure in its dealings with the Assembly, and success could be measured somewhat by the tack taken by the Governor this night, which it regards as the first real measure of him as a politician.

A piece from the High Point Enterprise, titled "Red-Faced Dept.", tells of a story sent out over the wires by the Associated Press stating that the fishing trawler Lorella was nicknamed "Lucy" because of its big catches. It turned out that it was an error and the nickname of the ship was actually "Lucky".

A local reporter in a neighboring city had inquired by telephone of a prominent Presbyterian on the selection of a new president for the seminary at Richmond, and subsequently, the churchman was surprised to find that his quote had been mangled, printed as the "poor sinners of the Presbyterian Church" supporting the seminary, when he had actually said that the seminary was supported by "the four synods of the Presbyterian Church."

It suggests that such errors might be the result of sloppy work or failure to check facts, or poor editing or proofreading. But it also finds it surprising that there were not more errors in newspapers and magazines. It tells of a familiar quotation around printing offices: "He who makes no mistakes does nothing. He who makes too many loses his job."

It tells of "faculty wives honor husbands" turning into "faulty wives" and "debtor nations" having come out in print as "detonation", after one of its own reporters had taken a wire report over the telephone.

Drew Pearson tells of the concerted effort by the White House, starting with chief of staff Sherman Adams, to lobby members of the House against supporting Speaker Sam Rayburn's $20 per person tax reduction. (The editors note that the Senate Finance Committee had killed the measure by a nine to six vote after Mr. Pearson had written this piece.)

The reason the White House was so adamant about the opposition was that the measure was tacked onto the Administration tax measure to continue the corporate and excise taxes, set to expire on April 1, central to the Administration's tax plan. Thus, if the President were to veto the $20 per person tax reduction, he would also be vetoing his own tax plan. Thus, Mr. Adams was busy on the phones trying to switch votes in Congress against the measure.

Mr. Pearson relates that during the early part of the President's term in 1953, he had very warm personal relations with Mr. Rayburn, until the President started blaming Democrats for the failure to balance the budget, at which point Mr. Rayburn made one of his infrequent speeches, heavily criticizing the President for his slam against the Democratic Party. That afternoon, the White House phoned Mr. Rayburn and invited him to a breakfast the following morning with the President, wherein the President started by indicating that he thought they were friends, to which Mr. Rayburn replied that they were, but that under the American system of government, loyalty to party was more important than friendship, and he was not going to allow the Democratic Party to be unfairly criticized.

The Congressional Record provides a House floor speech by South Carolina Congressman L. Mendel Rivers regarding the recent comments by actor Paul Douglas, that Greensboro, N.C., "stinks" and that the South was the land of "sowbelly and segregation", thoroughly castigates Mr. Douglas, indicating that he had been among the leading anti-Nazis in 1939, equating them with Communists.

He equates Mr. Douglas with the character of Captain Queeg, whom he had been playing in "The Caine Mutiny Court Martial" touring company until it was canceled because of the boycott of Southerners following the comments. Mr. Rivers finds the boycott laudable.

He concludes: "Mr. Speaker, long after Paul Douglas has returned to the vile dust from whence he sprung, my land and my people will continue to hold the great promise it now has. We all will continue to progress despite those who, like Paul Douglas, would remake us and our land. Despite the political decisions of the Supreme Court, the executive orders of Presidents, and the unconstitutional acts of the Congress of the United States, despite all these, the land of the magnolia, the honeysuckle, the camellia, and the warm and genuine hospitality will continue to attract all Americans."

The day the South could be called your land is the day we jump in the ocean and drown.

Robert C. Ruark, still in Madrid, indicates that he would rather not be an actor or a director of a motion picture, having been dragged by a crony to the filming of "Alexander the Great", directed by Robert Rossen, being made in Madrid. He had never had occasion to see a film being made and came away from the experience quite disheartened, convinced that all actors did all day was to stand around on their tired feet waiting for the director to instruct the extras and for the camera and lighting crews to get the scene just right before finally shooting it. He finds it the most boring of all experiences.

"Somehow I naïvely thought that movies just got born, like babies, and showed up intact at the neighborhood house.

"There is one thing, though, if the Russians attack they will not find us unprepared. We got a powerful lot of horses, helmets and long, sharp sticks, and if Alexander the Great could conquer the world without Hollywood, then Bob Rossen's got his conquest bagged."

A Pome appears from the Atlanta Journal, "In Which Is Contained A Small Observation Concerning The Eating Habits of Some Southerners:

"Natives sometimes fall in fits
If they cannot get their grits."

If you think it cuisine adrift,
You have not experienced the creamy grits uplift.

A letter writer wonders how the world could hope to be rid of communism, wars and other things which plagued the free world if it did not start at home in Mecklenburg County, suggests cleaning house, wonders why the Police Department wanted more men and more pay, when one could see patrol cars parked in front of the bus station or elsewhere, sitting idle. He says he had seen patrol cars pick up women who undoubtedly worked for the Department. He also wants to know why the Fire Chief wanted a new Buick so badly. He wants the City Council cleaned up at election time so that perhaps the children in grammar school would not come home and ask if there were Communists working in the City Government.

A letter writer finds that the President's "Back to God Campaign" was the only solution to the problem of peace in the world, that as long as there was prejudice between blacks, whites and Indians, there would be no peace. She says that God was not pleased with the current state of affairs and she urges Charlotte to "'Go back to God.'"

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