The Charlotte News

Monday, March 21, 1955


Site Ed. Note: The front page reports that Senator Homer Capehart this date had declared that a 1949 pamphlet by John Kenneth Galbraith, the Harvard economist who had testified before the Senate Banking Committee in its "friendly inquiry" regarding the stock market, and whose testimony some had claimed had triggered the recent downward trend in stock prices, had praised Communism, and that the Senator would demand that Mr. Galbraith be called back before the Committee so that he could be questioned on his philosophy and thinking. Mr. Galbraith, recovering from a broken leg, had replied that the pamphlet in question had actually warned of the dangers of Communism and that Senator Capehart knew that fact at the time he had made his claims on an NBC television program the previous day. The Senator had also claimed that the inquiry was actually a political attempt to "harass" the Administration, while chairman of the Committee, Senator J. William Fulbright of Arkansas, had accused Senator Capehart and the Administration generally of injecting politics into a non-partisan search for facts on the record-setting stock market and whether it portended a crash from over-speculation. A Democratic member of the Committee, Senator Paul Douglas of Illinois, had been asked on another NBC television program the previous day whether the hearings were turning into a "political football", and he had replied that Senator Capehart was doing his best to make it so.

Benjamin Fairless, chairman of the board of U.S. Steel, was slated to testify before the Committee this date, and the scheduled public hearings were set to end on Wednesday.

Senator Styles Bridges of New Hampshire stated this date that he had taken steps to aid Republican speakers wanting to use the record of the Yalta conference of February, 1945, released the prior week by the State Department, to criticize Democratic candidates. The Senator said that he had instructed the staff of the Senate Republican policy committee, which he headed, to compile information from the record for use by Republican speakers. He said that by studying mistakes of the past and trying to avoid them in the future, the country could be helped. Senator John Sparkman of Alabama said that it was all right with him if the Republicans wanted to comb the Yalta papers for political material, that he was sure they would not find any of the dynamite they so confidently hoped to explode, that in the past, prior to the record having been published, they could make all kinds of charges about the Yalta conference, but that he believed they would now be limited by the record in making their claims. Because of complaints abroad, primarily from Britain, regarding the publication of the record, the State Department was taking another look at the possibility of withholding records of the 1945 Potsdam conference and the 1943 Tehran conference, publication of which had been favored by Senator William Knowland, the Minority Leader.

In Glasgow, following a blizzard, it was sunny, as the Rev. Billy Graham began his new crusade in Scotland this date, to last six weeks. He would preach in Kelvin Hall this night, which held between 13,000 and 14,000 persons, and it was anticipated that it would be full, with people overflowing into the streets. The Rev. Graham was alone in his hotel room most of the day, preparing with about 100 religious books his prayers for the crusade. He attended, unannounced, two Glasgow churches, one a Presbyterian church where he witnessed a baptism with a sprinkling of water, the evangelist believing in total immersion for baptisms. His Scottish sponsors said that it demonstrated his plea to lay aside small deviations of practice for the United Evangelistic Effort. He had been consistently preaching not to emphasize differences but rather agreement among religious sects of the church. The previous night, he had spoken briefly at a Presbyterian church, where several hundred worshipers prayed for the success of his crusade. Scottish newspapers devoted many columns to the crusade this date, with the Daily Mail indicating that "millions now listen to the boy who once talked to the alligators", referring to his telling of practicing oratory on reptiles in the swamplands of the South. It referred to him as "the man who has tackled religion with the fervor of the Biblical prophet and the slide rule of the scientists." The newspaper said that the evangelist should not be confused, however, with the message he was trying to deliver, that he was only the instrument for it, and that there was danger of "prefabricated excitement" spotlighting him as a person rather than the Bible. On the whole, however, it approved of the extraordinary methods of promotion, which had startled many Scots, finding that if the intention of the movement was fulfilled, then the arguments regarding its strange methods would "fade to nothingness", as "even the foolish things of the world can be chosen by God to confound the clever, and the despised things, to circumvent the pride of man."

In Springfield, Missouri, an American Airlines plane, searching through darkness and rain for a landing field the previous night, had crashed in a pasture two miles north of the Springfield airport, killing 12 persons and injuring 23. The plane carried 32 passengers and three crew members, with the pilot being the only crew member to survive. There had been a flash at the point of the crash, but no fire. The sheriff, who arrived at the scene, said that he heard the call of a woman and found her sitting on the ground, and was finally able to make out the plane in the darkness. An injured passenger, 15, said that there was a "terrible vibration" prior to the crash. He said that he followed instructions, of which he had read earlier, to place his head between his knees, and did so when he felt the vibration, and the next thing he knew, he was lying on the ground about 15 feet from the plane. A woman who lived near the scene reported hearing an explosion just before the crash.

In New York, the chief prosecution witness in the trial of Mickey Jelke, margarine heir accused of inducing two women into prostitution, continued her testimony this date under cross-examination by the defense for the third successive day, saying that she had not sought to obtain her own apartment while she had been living with Mr. Jelke in 1951, stating that she had intended to stay with Mr. Jelke until she found her own apartment. She had also testified that she had not sought to find a job during the first three weeks she had lived with Mr. Jelke and had not done any work for an employer during that time, that it was Mr. Jelke who had supported her, buying her clothes and the like. She said, upon questioning, that she felt embarrassed about receiving support from Mr. Jelke when there was no legal relationship between them, but said that she had done nothing about it. She said Mr. Jelke had suggested that she open a bank account in 1951 and save her money, and so she had done so, but that he wanted her to save the money for a trip to Miami, where he had gone, as she had testified the previous week, and where she was supposed to follow when she had gotten enough together to make the trip. She said that he had refrained from taking her with him because he feared prosecution under the Federal Mann Act, making it a felony to transport a female across state lines for immoral purposes. She said that Mr. Jelke had often asked her whether she still had money in the bank. She said that she drew checks from the bank account for her mother but could not recall how many, that she maintained her checkbook in the apartment where Mr. Jelke could see it.

Dick Young of The News reports of Emily Bellows having submitted her resignation as a member of the City School Board this date, because, she said, she had received no public support for re-election and that it was "futile to work alone for a type of education which no one in Charlotte cares enough about to support publicly." The Rev. Dr. Herbert Spaugh, chairman of the Board, said that he would reluctantly offer the resignation letter to the Board for approval, praised Mrs. Bellows for being faithful in the performance of her duties and for being conscientious in assuming any responsibility the Board had asked of her. Board members were hesitant to act formally in accepting the resignation and some wanted Mrs. Bellows to reconsider.

Julian Scheer of The News reports on the widening issues associated with Providence Road, as had been previously examined in the editorial column. Get that thing widened to about 50 feet and get on the road.

On the editorial page, "Wasteproofing Public Assistance" indicates that it was dreary commentary on modern civilization to be necessary to compel people by law to support their aged and infirm parents, but that it appeared to be the case in the state, as Mecklenburg's Senator F. J. Blythe had introduced a measure to make it a misdemeanor, punishable, in the discretion of the court, for a person over age 21 to refuse support of needy parents when the children were able to do so after reasonably providing for their immediate family.

It finds the purpose of the bill to be sound, with the only question being whether it was strong enough. Most states already had such responsibility laws on the books, and when properly drawn and enforced, they could be a positive step toward improvement of the administration of public assistance. But, it notes, the enforcement provisions of the laws in many states were weak.

In New York, for instance, there had been a grand jury investigation in Clinton County a few years earlier, which found that many people had been receiving public assistance while their children earned $6,000 to $7,000 per year as they contributed virtually nothing to their parents' support. In Oregon, reports supplied to welfare officials from income tax returns submitted in 1953 had disclosed that hundreds of persons were potentially liable under that state's relative responsibility laws for the support of their parents who were receiving public assistance.

It indicates that any new legislation in the state which would provide for such responsibility ought be made airtight, including fixed schedules for contributions which would have to be made by legally responsible and financially able children on behalf of welfare recipients or would-be recipients. It finds that such a properly drawn compulsory support law would make a significant contribution toward eliminating waste in the welfare program of the state.

"A Lid for a Box of Fears" indicates that the President's appointment of Harold Stassen as the special assistant for disarmament the previous week had two-fold significance, that it ought demonstrate to the doubtful nations of the world that the U.S. attached enough importance to the desirability of promoting permanent peace to create a Cabinet-rank position for the job, and that its creation ought enable the U.S. to have ready for presentation, at any opportune time, definite plans and blueprints for complete or partial disarmament. The West had been caught unprepared too many times by Soviet proposals for disarmament, which had been proposed with patent insincerity, as never embracing international inspection to assure compliance.

It suggests that it might appear paradoxical that there was a new Cabinet-level post for disarmament while the country continued to spend billions annually for development and manufacture of weapons of mass destruction. But, as had been pointed out by former Air Force Secretary Thomas Finletter in his recent book, Power and Policy, all nations, in the interest of self-preservation, would have to surrender their arms and develop some sort of international law enforcement mechanism under which no nation would dare play the role of aggressor.

It posits that both of the apparently opposing positions were valid, that the U.S. had to maintain its military potential as long as there was the threat of aggression, while at the same time, it had always to be working on a plan to close "Pandora's box of war". For without that plan, there would be nothing left but fear, a fear which would only increase, "until a handful of us will wake up some stormy morning to find it too late for plans."

"The Case against Spring" indicates that spring had arrived this date in the early morning hours and that it was not entirely happy about the fact, as spring was the only season which could not be trusted.

Poet e.e. cummings had written that "Spring is like a perhaps hand ... arranging a window." It finds the sentiment apt, as spring was tentative, which it finds bothersome. It was not sweetness, sunshine, flowers, robins and a young man's fancy, as the lore had it. It lists several things, including spring allergies, mud, floods, plowing, planting, weeding, tornadoes, cramps, house guests, beetles, cankerworms, rashes, etc., as aspects of spring which were not enjoyable. Furthermore, it suggests, a sleet storm might be lurking around the corner as well. (Don't say that. We have related before that 30 minutes prior to the beginning of the UNC vs. Utah national semifinal game in the NCAA basketball tournament of 1998, a sudden and harsh sleet fell for about an hour, in an area where it hardly ever sleets, and somehow we knew at that moment that UNC would come out cold and lose the game, even if the game was not being played very close to our locale at the time, which was also far removed from North Carolina in both instances. And our sneaking suspicion proved quite accurate, unfortunately. So, we have been hoping ever since that during the NCAA tournament, the hailstorms will relent, at least around our location. So far, so good. For it is the case that, for many years, we have been aware that our personal mental state during the tournament often produces good or ill results for our team, depending on our feeling and the surrounding environment, whether you wish to credit that or not. It is completely subjective and therefore not subject to empirical verification probably, but, nevertheless, quite true. Often, it is a somewhat surreal experience—as during the last ten minutes of the second half against Baylor last week, of which we have not spoken and shall speak no more, as the result was the important thing. Our papa, after all, was born just six months prior to the start of the first season of UNC basketball, and so there must be something to it. Anyway, keep the weather on the warm and fair side, and all will be copacetic.)

The piece concludes that people felt terrible, not better, in the spring, as they had too many frustrations, that they felt better in the fall when all the frustrations were behind them. The season also came equipped with such terrors as April Fool's Day, puppy love, bee stings, chickenpox, lawn-cutting, prickly heat and occasional snow blindness. It rests its case.

Who wins today?

A piece from the Richmond News Leader, titled "Vive La Difference!" indicates that according to a piece of fairly incredible news which had just come across its desk, the French woman had just been measured for the first time via a scientific study on her proportions. Suzanne de Felice was responsible for the study, presenting her thesis before the Faculty of Scientists, after studying 140 subjects out of her desired sample of 400, relating that every peasant woman they had approached had violently refused to participate.

Her conclusion was that the average French woman was pretty well "stacked", not a surprise, it indicates, as any G.I. of World War II could attest. The average height was determined to be 5'3.75", with 40 percent of the women taller than 5'7", that average weight was about 122 pounds. She had a long torso and long arms, but shorter legs than American women, with her waistline being about 26 inches, her hips, about 36.5 inches. Legs, measured from the hip bone, were determined to be 35.5 inches in length, with a calf of 13 inches. She was found to be short-headed but with a long face of rounded contours, a high, wide brow and wide mouth of two inches. Seventy percent of the women were found to have light-colored eyes and only about 10 percent had dark brown eyes. Hair color was determined to be 44 percent black or dark brown, 39 percent light chestnut, and only 15 percent ash or golden blonde.

The average French woman was also found to have a rather large chest.

The measurements filled a 350-page book. It expresses the hope that Mlle. De Felice would receive her doctorate or whatever she was seeking as a result of the study, but it finds that the varied findings were in pleasant contrast to the glum prediction of an American artist recently that American women were headed for the "New Unlook", whereby all of them would look exactly alike. It expresses the view that it was unlikely to occur, and clearly was not occurring in Paris. "Vive la France. And vive la difference, too!"

Drew Pearson tells the backstage story of how and why the State Department had gone ahead and published the record of the Yalta conference of February, 1945, notwithstanding the objection of Prime Minister Churchill, who had participated in the conference along with FDR and Joseph Stalin. Friends of the Prime Minister indicated that it had almost broken his heart to have the record published. As Mr. Pearson had noted in his column on September 25 of the previous year, the Department had been working on that record for some time, after Republican leaders, Senators William Knowland of California and Styles Bridges of New Hampshire, had led the effort to pass a $112,000 appropriation for the purpose of making that record public prior to the midterm elections of the prior November. But when the documents had been sent to London to obtain Prime Minister Churchill's approval, Foreign Secretary Anthony Eden had cabled Secretary of State Dulles shortly before the convening of the Bangkok conference, that on behalf of Mr. Churchill, he was asking that the Yalta records not be published. He asked to confer on the matter with Secretary Dulles when they met in Bangkok, and at that time, Mr. Eden explained that the Prime Minister had regarded World War II as the crowning achievement of his long and illustrious career and that the records of Yalta had shown up some of his errors, which Mr. Eden had sought to rectify. The records also contradicted some of the historic decisions for which Mr. Churchill had taken credit in his multi-volume memoirs. Mr. Eden thus questioned Secretary Dulles as to why it was necessary to break an old man's heart. Mr. Dulles agreed and remarked to his State Department colleagues subsequently that Mr. Eden had been so cooperative in risking his political neck by supporting the U.S. on Formosa policy that the Secretary could not deny that favor. Mr. Dulles, upon returning to Washington, conveyed that view to Republican Senators, and, though they maintained that the documents ought be released, they prepared privately to accept the decision of the State Department not to do so.

But at that point, Carl McArdle, Assistant Secretary of State for the press and personal public relations man for Mr. Dulles, provided a copy of the Yalta record to the New York Times, on the excuse that eventually it would be leaked to right-wing Senators, perhaps to Senator McCarthy. Shortly after that leak had occurred to the Times, Senators Knowland and Bridges had lunch with Mr. Dulles and told him of the fact, to which he had replied that he was "aghast". Other officials of the State Department said, however, that Mr. Dulles was aware of Mr. McArdle's actions and that the latter could do nothing without the knowledge of the Secretary.

The Yalta record conflicted with the memoirs of Mr. Churchill regarding his claim that he had nothing to do with the concessions given to Stalin to obtain Russia's cooperation in the war against Japan, which Mr. Churchill claimed had been an American decision. But the Yalta record showed that it was Mr. Eden who had vigorously opposed concessions to Russia, and a summary of the British-American meeting at Malta, just prior to the Yalta conference, stated that in the view of Mr. Eden, should the Russians decide to enter the war against Japan, they would make the decision because they considered it in their interests that the Japanese war should not be successfully finished by the U.S. and Britain alone, and that, therefore, there was no need for an offer of a high price for Russian participation, that if the Americans and British were prepared to agree to Russian territorial demands in the Far East, there should be obtained a good return in exchange.

Also in his memoirs, Mr. Churchill had taken credit for killing the idea of dismemberment of Germany, but the Yalta records showed that it was actually Mr. Eden who had done so, by shunting the question of dismemberment of Germany to a council of foreign ministers to be held after the Yalta conference, thereby giving time for tempers to cool.

Mr. Churchill had also expressed favor for the big powers against the little nations in setting up the framework for the U.N., whereas to the present, the smaller nations had been the great bulwark of peace, while the Russian veto on the Security Council had nearly stymied the work of the organization.

Mr. Pearson indicates that those were some of the problems created for Mr. Churchill by release of the Yalta record, which could have been delayed until after his death. All it had done was to cause glee within the Communist press. In Communist China, the New Evening Post, for instance, had declared: "The disclosure is not good for Churchill or the British government. The tune played between London and Washington is not so harmonious."

Henry Steinhauer, professor of German at Antioch College in Ohio, writing in Antioch Notes, tells of a "cold war" ongoing for several years in the American classrooms, between the educational progressives and traditionalists, the latter questioning both the philosophy and results of progressive education. Unfortunately, he notes, the traditionalists had been joined by a contingent of unwanted allies from the marketplace, not so much opposed to progressive education as to education in general, or at least anything which went beyond teaching rudimentary skills necessary for earning a living.

Putting aside the latter group, the progressives claimed that they had brought about revolution in American education by achieving utility and prescribing knowledge for effective living in modern American society. They had also achieved democracy in education, with every member of the society having a right to such education as could be absorbed, viewing the old curriculum as being too remote from real life and too exacting intellectually for the mass of young people, causing them to develop a hatred for learning. In addition, the old academic curriculum had developed only the intellect, and the progressives viewed it as more important to educate the emotions and instill proper attitudes in a growing mind, with the new education teaching people rather than subjects. They also viewed education as being an original exploration by the student rather than passive assimilation of knowledge and attitudes, and that it was the business of the teacher to elicit from the student the proper motivation under which learning occurred, not to try to instill it through corporal punishment, as in earlier times.

The traditionalists claimed that those methods sounded good on paper but had proved themselves during a generation of trial as being invalid, producing a population which had graduated from school unable to perform the basic operations in the basic disciplines of language, literature, history, and mathematics, as they spoke glibly about the great social and political problems which confronted civilization at present.

The professor interjects some of his own experience in teaching in Canada and the U.S., finding that modern education had resulted in a type of English being used in the U.S. by sales clerks, radio announcers, doctors, journalists and university professors, which was inferior to that of their counterparts in Britain and Canada. He expresses shock at some of the abuses of English by students and mature journalists, finding that his students appeared unable to master the elements of a foreign language, despite teaching methods having vastly improved since his days as a student.

He also finds the proclamation by the progressive educators that learning was fun to be a salutary fiction in the early stages of the educational process, luring children into learning, but eventually resulting in the pupil realizing that real learning was not fun, but hard work. While there was pleasure to be experienced at the results of academic achievement, the learning, itself, was a highly painful experience. Yet, newspaper ads continued to proclaim that it was fun to paint, to write, or to play the violin like Jascha Heifetz, in 12 easy lessons. An imaginative journalist had reported that an American general had learned to speak seven languages fluently at odd moments in between the fighting during the Korean War. While the progressive educators had been determined for a generation to make education fun, the pupils may have had fun, he observes, but had obtained in the process little education worthy of the name, such that when they got to college, they were still looking for fun, and too often obtained it.

He says that one of his students recently had ended a paper on the Divine Comedy with the statement: "If the story were to be modernized to make the reading easy and understandable by replacing Dante's characters by personalities of the present day and recent past, it might well become fairly popular." Another student had related to him that he could not learn German because he had a "mental block" against classical methods of teaching, and when the professor had asked him what he meant by "classical methods", he had replied that he could not assimilate grammatical jargon.

The traditionalists sought to raise academic standards and restore the basic disciplines of earlier curricula, which he finds to be the medicine which contemporary education needed, even if not sounding as interesting as some of the progressive tenets. He suggests that while even the bitterest enemies of the country would not accuse it of laziness, if several more decades of painless education were practiced, the horrors of Huxley's Brave New World and Orwell's 1984 would be upon the society.

He indicates that the ensuing few years would afford society an opportunity to put into practice a more rigorous standard of achievement in secondary and higher education, as the increase in enrollment of young people would cause masses to clamor for more education. It would be beneficial to insist upon respectable academic standards for them, and if they could not meet those standards, to supply some substitute which would make the student a useful member of society, but not enabling that student to graduate from high school or college, should education continue to have any meaning.

Gerald Johnson, commenting on WAAM in Baltimore, indicates that the previous week, the Post Office Department had halted delivery of Russian newspapers to Americans except to those of a very restricted class, most of whom were government officials. He says that it meant nothing to him intellectually, as he could not read Russian, but meant a great deal to him politically, because it reminded him of the frantic efforts of John C. Calhoun and his followers during the mid-19th century, who had sought to prevent the Post Office from delivering abolition newspapers in the South prior to the Civil War.

The policy of trying to stifle thought had led to ruin at that time, and all of experience taught that it could never lead to anything else. It was his opinion that it was leading to ruin at present, that there was no safety in ignorance, that what one did not know would hurt the person because if one knew, one could get out of the way. He finds it more true than ever in the modern world that freedom of inquiry and knowledge developed the only mind which had a chance of devising the means of protection of itself against the evils which were mounting against free society.

A letter from the executive secretary of the American Cancer Society responds to a letter written to the newspaper recently by a woman who said that she knew a man suffering from cancer who was not eligible for charity and yet could not meet his financial obligations. This writer indicates that on each of the three occasions when the particular cancer victim had been in the hospital, the bill had been paid by the Charity Hospitalization of Charlotte and Mecklenburg County, a tax-supported department of local government. Five local physicians had been called by the patient and his family since the onset of his cancer, and in each instance, the physician had responded to the call, with one of the physicians having charged five dollars for a home visit, but telling the family that whenever the patient's drug supply was exhausted, to notify him and that, without additional charge, he would phone in a prescription to the drugstore. Moreover, the patient's operation for diagnosis of the cancer had been done without charge, as had X-ray treatment. She indicates that the Welfare Department had stated in the newspaper on March 17 that the patient was eligible for admission to the North Carolina Cancer Institute in Lumberton, for incurable cancer patients, established by and receiving support from the American Cancer Society, but that the patient in question had refused to go to the Institute. (That there is right over yonder crossed the road, where we used to go get Cokes of a summer Sunday afternoon, as a break from the swamp, wherein we normally habituated.) She indicates that the local Cancer Unit had not received a request from the patient or from anyone acting on his behalf, although one of the functions of the Society was to provide aid within the limits of ACS policies and to advise and refer people to proper sources for services which it could not provide. She indicates that she had confirmed all of those facts and believes that it fairly showed that the community and its agencies did feel responsibility for the needy and provided accordingly.

A letter writer indicates that it was a new dawn in Charlotte when a newspaper gave front-page publicity, space which could not be purchased, playing on the intelligence of the Park & Recreation Board, as well of the people of Charlotte by trying to pawn off a white elephant claim on the Board, referring to the offer of a building to replace the fire-destroyed Armory Auditorium a year earlier. He says that the offered structure was in the heart of Charlotte and was in a location which had proven to be a financial success, close to all sections of the city, then says that no one was going to fall for that white elephant story, especially not the Park & Recreation Board.

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