The Charlotte News

Tuesday, March 22, 1955


Site Ed. Note: The front page reports that Republican Congressional leaders, following their regular weekly meeting with the President, stated this date that he opposed a top-level conference of the Western powers with Russia at the present time. Senator William Knowland of California, the Minority Leader, told journalists that the President believed that there should first be some specific evidence of Soviet good faith before he would be willing to meet with the new Premier, Nikolai Bulganin, and that such a conference should not take place in any event until after the Paris agreements, providing for rearming of West Germany, were fully ratified. He and House Republican Leader Joe Martin of Massachusetts said that on those grounds, the President opposed the proposal of Senator Walter George of Georgia, chairman of the Foreign Relations Committee, that a top-level conference of the major powers occur as soon as possible. Senator Knowland said that the President had already stated several times that the Soviet Government could demonstrate such good faith through agreements on an Austrian peace treaty, unification of Germany and unification of Korea. But, he added, there had been no such indication thus far.

Senator Albert Gore of Tennessee writes of the new nuclear-powered submarine, the Nautilus, indicating that its depth of dive was secret, but that when he, along with 11 other members of the Joint Committee on Atomic Energy, sailed overnight the prior Sunday aboard it and it plunged to a depth in excess of 300 feet, it gave him and the others "nervous twinges". Its speed was also secret, but it had given him the thrill of a lifetime to break all prior speed records aboard a submarine. The food they had eaten had been cooked by atomic power and the water they had drunk was distilled from ocean water by atomic energy. That same energy not only drove the submarine, but lighted, heated and air-conditioned it. All power for all purposes was exclusively from atomic energy. He indicates that though he had been involved in atomic legislation for more than a decade, the voyage was his initiation into the atomic age. He says that he believed his colleagues were equally nervous, judging by the looks on their faces. When he had entered the reactor room, he noticed that Senator John Pastore of Rhode Island had taken a quick glance at his radioactivity indicator attached to their coat lapels, which he believed was out of curiosity, for he had looked at his own earlier. His gauge had never registered more than two points, but Senator Clinton Anderson of New Mexico had registered the highest after the tour, at ten points. There was no danger, however, as a person could easily absorb 200 points on a warm day. They could harmlessly place their hands on the nuclear reactor, even though they were only inches from deadly radioactivity. He could feel its thrust on the submarine's propeller as he did so. They visited the other compartments of the submarine, were informed that the living quarters were better than on any other such vessel, and after about 2 1/2 hours of touring it, returned to the central compartment to exchange views and josh each other about their nervousness, as well as make inquiries of Rear Admiral Hyman Rickover, who was entitled to more credit than any other single person for development of the Nautilus. They then had atomically-cooked turkey, which was delicious, and, afterward, observed the submarine being put through its paces, with the throttle open.

The Federal Power Commission asked this date that Congress take away its power to set the price for natural gas sold by producers to interstate pipelines, as enunciated by its chairman, Jerome Kuykendall, appearing before the House Commerce Committee, examining legislation to exempt gas producers from Federal regulation. The proposed bills would override a 1954 Supreme Court ruling that the FPC should set the wellhead price of gas destined for interstate commerce. In 1950, Congress had enacted a bill sponsored by Senator Robert Kerr of Oklahoma, declaring that the FPC had no power to regulate independent gas producers, with some critics of that bill having said it would cost consumers a half billion dollars per year. Speaker of the House Sam Rayburn of Texas had argued that the Kerr bill would not raise the price of gas at all, but when the bill passed the House by two votes, Representative Charles Dingell of Michigan had shouted: "Horse thieves." President Truman had subsequently vetoed that bill, but later chairman of the FPC, Mon Wallgren, appointed by President Truman, had decided that the Commission did not have the power to regulate independent gas producers, a position which the Supreme Court had decided the previous year, by a 5 to 3 holding, was not consonant with the enabling legislation for FPC.

In Las Vegas, it was reported that 2,000 Marines had practiced war this date in the face of the sixth detonation of a nuclear device during the 1955 atomic test series, this detonation having occurred from atop a 500-foot tower, described as a junior grade atomic explosion. The Atomic Energy Commission announced that the Marine maneuvers had proceeded as scheduled, with plans having called for the Marines to take shelter in trenches several thousand yards from the point of detonation and then move cautiously toward the blast area at the Yucca Flat test site, about 75 miles from Las Vegas. There were 115 aircraft taking part in the maneuvers as well, including 28 Marine helicopters and 22 Marine jet fighters. A larger test had been originally scheduled for this date, but weather considerations caused it to be postponed in favor of the smaller detonation, accompanied by the military maneuvers. The detonation had shaken Las Vegas and its flash was observed as far away as Los Angeles, San Francisco and Phoenix.

The Army this date indicated its support of women in uniform, against what it called a widespread and sometimes vicious campaign of slander during World War II, publishing an 800-page volume on the story of the formation and development of the Women's Army Corps, forming a part of the Army's official history of World War II. It said that the Army had not always understood the WAC, its needs and temperament, and the many other things which man "being the son of woman, should have known but did not, much to his continued embarrassment." The history had been written by a WAC staff officer during the war, Mattie Treadwell, presently assistant director of the regional office of the Civil Defense Administration in Dallas. It recounted obstacles which had to be overcome, both within and without the Army, by the first WAC director, Oveta Culp Hobby, now Secretary of Health, Education and Welfare. Early problems dealt with uniforms and with medical examinations based on male anatomy, with the greatest detail in the volume devoted to the battle against what had begun as a strictly gossip and rumor campaign, but had mounted by 1943 into a full-fledged movement to accuse the WAC's of wholesale immorality. Army intelligence agencies had found that some of the reports had been based on actual incidents, but involving women wearing uniforms similar to those of the WAC's, that large numbers of prostitutes in Eastern cities, who had referred to themselves as "victory girls", had purchased and worn dresses so resemblant to those of the WAC's that it was difficult even for Army personnel to distinguish between them. A lengthy investigation had shown that among people who spread the false rumors had been male Army officers, who had resented WAC's in principle, and who feared being replaced in comparatively soft assignments by them. Some wives of soldiers overseas and jealous civilian women had also been found to be responsible for transmitting the rumors.

In Honolulu, it was reported by the Navy that a Navy transport plane with 66 aboard, including a crew of nine, had crashed into a mountain in Hawaii, about 29 miles from Honolulu on the west coast of Oahu, early this date, and there had been no survivors. At the time of the crash, the weather had been low overcast and it was raining heavily. The plane had taken off from Hickam Field, adjacent to Pearl Harbor, the previous day and was four hours and 26 minutes eastbound toward Travis Air Force Base in northern California, when it turned back because of engine trouble. The plane had been originally stationed at Moffett Naval Air Station, near San Jose, Calif. Washington officials said that since January, 1951, the Pacific division of the air transport service had carried over a million passengers and crossed the Pacific more than 40,000 times without a passenger fatality. The dead passengers on the flight included 20 Air Force personnel, 16 from the Navy, 19 from the Army and two dependents of military personnel.

In McAlester, Okla., the county attorney announced this date that a physician, 34 years old, had confessed to killing his wife and three children the previous Thursday. The four had been found dead in their blazing home on Thursday morning, and the physician had originally stated that he had gone to Oklahoma City for a medical meeting and then had spent the night in Norman. He was charged with murder of his wife, but there was thus far no indication of charges regarding the children. The socially prominent physician was arrested the previous day at the home of his mother in Henderson, Tenn., and waived extradition to Oklahoma. After his arrest, he had initially stated that he could not do such a thing and proclaimed his innocence. About three hours after his arrest, he had opened the door of an automobile and leaped into the path of another automobile, while traveling at 50 mph east of Memphis. The driver of the other car had swerved to the shoulder and stopped, with the physician's head resting on the pavement between the wheels. He had suffered a severe scalp wound and abrasions on the face, arms and legs and X-rays were being taken to determine other injuries.

In Spoleto, Italy, an explosion nearly 1,000 feet deep in a lignite coal mine this date killed at least 24 miners and injured 16 others, with first reports indicating that none had been trapped in the blast. The apparent cause had been accumulated coal gas, with it occurring just as the day's second shift was starting work.

In Charlotte, a 20-year old man had fallen from the 17th floor of the Liberty Life Building, his body discovered early this date on the roof of a two-story annex at the rear of the building. He had been employed by a waterproofing company with its offices in the building, and was said by the coroner to have been dead between 10 and 12 hours prior to the body being discovered in the early morning. Police said that all indications were that his death was by suicide, but that no one had actually seen him leap from the fire escape onto which he had walked after being taken to the 17th floor the previous night by an elevator operator, telling the operator that he intended to go to the company office, but immediately walking toward the fire escape. Police were also not discounting, however, the possibility that he may have been swept from the fire escape by high winds prevailing at the time.

Also in Charlotte, a low of 30 degrees was forecast for the morning, as cold air from Canada poured through the mountains to eliminate the first signs of an early spring, with the temperature already starting to drop by early afternoon, after reaching a high during the morning of 67. No major change was expected until after sunset. The cold air was expected to impact dogwood trees and azaleas, and potentially peach growers. Winds were reaching up to 47 mph around the city. Snow flurries were expected in the mountains.

Here in 2022, it is four down and two to go... The weather forecast is smooth sailing, with red skies at night for the weekend, after light blue skies, not dark blue, during the day. Next Monday is anybody's guess. We are not in Kansas anymore, but rather in New Orleans, a two-time past favorite of the Tar Heels.

We extend a note of friendly advice to our friends across the way, down 15-501: "Redemption" is for something occurring in a prior season, planting the seeds of the inexorable necessity for which, such as when your team loses the overtime potential for a national championship, in the peach-picking contest, on a last quarter-second picked basket by the half-brother of a member of your team, finding the zig-zag redemption the following season, in the next annual national peach-picking contest. It is not for something which occurred, without question, fairly and decisively, a mere three or four weeks earlier, down on the farm. That, instead, is wishing for simple, unadulterated vengeance, upon which the gods of the peaches and oranges do not look favorably for its contrarietal nature, offending the one which says, "vengeance is mine". You should understand that basic precept from within Methodism. Look to your divinity for serenity—as well as propinquity and consanguinity.

On the editorial page, "UNC Trustees: Don't Bolt the Door" indicates that State Representative John Umstead's bill to bar members of the General Assembly from membership on the UNC Board of Trustees had gone too far, establishing an unreasonable restriction on the opportunities for educational statesmanship and not solving the fundamental problem of how the trustees ought be chosen. Packing the body with legislators would be improper, but some legislators had been valuable members of the Board in the past, and there was no sensible reason for disqualifying them from service.

The question was whether the individual was qualified for Board membership on the basis of personal fitness, ability and interest in education, and the General Assembly, as a body, had the necessary skill and impartiality to select such individuals, even if there had been many able people overlooked or shoved aside to make way for petty politicians. As long as the Legislature made the selections, there would always be the temptation to use seats on the Board as patronage and logrolling devices politically. It suggests, therefore, that perhaps the Governor might be able to make the selections more satisfactorily, being more removed from the legislative scene.

It concludes that the state needed a better approach to the manner in which it selected the Board, but that the Umstead plan was not the solution.

"Mr. Knowland and the Big Stick" indicates that Senator William Knowland, the Minority Leader, had put forth no new ideas in his speech in Charlotte the previous night, but had polished some old ones and restated them with determination and adroitness. They sounded, however, like those of an earlier era, characterized by the "big stick", power politics and gunboat diplomacy. That school of thought had begun to wear thin after the detonation of the atom bomb on Hiroshima in August, 1945, it having then become apparent that the common enemy confronting all of mankind was the ignorance and confusion in man's heart.

The U.N., while being somewhat frail, was the strongest thing the world had at present on which to rest hope for peace and the survival of civilization. If it was weak and unsound because it offered a forum for the nation's enemies, then the basic concept of the town meeting was also unsound. The U.N. was not perfect and perhaps it was "weak", as posited by Senator Knowland, but it at least offered a place in which to talk over global problems, rather than fight about them.

"The Loan at Excessive Interest" tells of the veterans' bonus still echoing around the state, as the General Assembly wrestled with the current biennium's fiscal policy, and it suggests that if the legislators had any doubts about how burdensome a state bonus could become, they might thumb through the U.S. Commerce Department's compendium of State Government Finances for 1953.

That latter volume had stated that at the end of 1953, the total long-term debt outstanding from all the states was 7.5 billion dollars, of which about 1.6 billion was outstanding debt incurred in paying the veterans' bonuses in 19 states. That debt was higher than the total of the outstanding long-term debt listed for any of the six other state functions. The outstanding total debt for bonuses was higher than the total debt from state toll facilities.

The most recent compilations of the Tax Foundation, Inc., had found that the estimated cost of cash bonuses in the 21 states which had them for either World War II or Korean War veterans was 2.6 billion dollars, with Pennsylvania having the largest amount, at 430 million, and New York second, at 400 million.

It concludes that North Carolina could not afford such an outlay, and because veterans, themselves, to a great extent, would have to pay for a bonus program in the long-run, it would amount to little more than a loan at excessive interest.

"Accent on Investor Confidence" finds that investor confidence in the stock market, sending it to record levels in recent weeks, was well justified and that, while it would not keep rising indefinitely, nothing which the Senate Banking Committee would do in its "friendly inquiry" would cause investor confidence to wane.

A piece from the Washington Post & Times Herald, titled "Hell 'n' Damnation", tells of being increasingly irked by what appeared to be a concerted plot to "cutify" and "ickify" American language during the previous year or two, such that in a very short time, the dialect of Booth Tarkington's Lola Pratt would be standard Americanese.

It indicates that its favorite irk for a long while had been directed against the names of packaged cereals, but that they were only intrusions on the language, not actual corruptions of it. Particular ire was directed against the decapitation and decaudalization of the conjunction "and", substituting apostrophes at each end for "a" and "d", as in pork 'n' beans, sugar 'n' spice, or even fever 'n' ague, finding the appeal to men to buy rock 'n' rye to be a call to revolution. It cites several such examples on Washington menus, such as ham 'n' eggs, liver 'n' onions, ribs 'n' kraut, steak 'n' kidney pie, concluding "hell 'n' damnation".

It foresees the contraction leading to future editions of the modern classics being titled "Lavender 'n' Old Lace", "Pride 'n' Prejudice", "War 'n' Peace", or "Of Time 'n' River", and the title of the newspaper, itself, eventually being truncated to the "Washington Post 'n' Times-Herald".

You have not even gotten to "rock 'n' roll" yet, about a year or so farther down the line, at which point your hope to preserve the language intact will be all but lost, though perhaps somewhat rekindled, if only for a short while, with the entry of the British to the fray in early 1964.

Drew Pearson again addresses the monopolistic practices of the four major rubber companies which had purchased the synthetic rubber factories from the big oil companies, and then had sold tires through the service stations of those oil companies, as had been investigated by the Federal Trade Commission during the latter stages of the Truman Administration. The practice had made it hard for any manufacturer of tires outside the big four to sell their product, resulting in the FTC investigation. When the Eisenhower Administration had come into office, the son-in-law of Harvey Firestone, Charles Willis, had joined the White House staff, becoming the right-hand man to chief of staff Sherman Adams, while Mr. Firestone, a major supporter of the President, was often invited to the White House to attend the President's stag dinners. In the meantime, Edward Howrey, attorney for Firestone before the FTC, was appointed chairman of the FTC, while another attorney for Firestone before the FTC, S. Chesterfield Oppenheimer, was appointed co-chairman of the Justice Department committee in charge of rewriting the antitrust laws. The result was that the FTC investigation of Firestone and the other major rubber manufacturers disappeared and was now dead. Mr. Howrey, during his confirmation hearings, had promised the Senate that he would not participate in matters dealing with his former client, Firestone, but, Mr. Pearson asserts, no doubt he had. Charles Willis had been reaching into the FTC, putting in new staff personnel while easing out the old trust-busters of the Roosevelt-Truman era, just as he had also reached into the Federal Communications Commission, the Interstate Commerce Commission, and the Civil Aeronautics Board.

Congressman Sidney Yates of Illinois had testified regarding those matters, showing how the sale of the synthetic rubber plants by the Government had created an even tighter monopoly, such that the independent rubber companies would not be able to purchase synthetic rubber for their frequently being a shortage of it and production would now be controlled by the big four tire manufacturers and their oil company partners, not rationed, as previously, by the Government. Mr. Pearson again points out, through quotes from the testimony of Congressman Yates, how the sale of the Government's wartime-owned synthetic rubber factories to the major rubber companies was compounding the already existing monopoly.

A letter writer responds to a previous letter writer of March 17, who had asked for readers to provide insight into the origin of the word "barbecue", this writer indicating that American Cooks, by Cora, Rose, and Bob Brown, had stated: "The real barbecue in North Carolina, known as 'cue', whether referring to the occasion or the food, is a pig roast. Baby porkers are fattened … killed, sawed open down the backbone from 'barb to cue' (beard to tail), and cooled for a day."

That's a lie. As we said, it all started on a ranch out in Texas, the Bar Q B, owned by a former football player.

A letter from the News food editor, Trippi Wisecup, responds to the same letter, saying that the Encyclopedia of Food indicated that the word came from the Spanish "barbacoa", which was a framework on posts placed over fire on which to dry smoked meat, a gridiron for roasting whole animals. "The Secret of Creole Cooking" indicated that it was the second oldest form of cookery, after broiling. After the caveman's taste progressed from raw to broiled meat, they had discovered woodland herbs, roots and berries, adding to the savor of the meat.

A letter writer from Augusta, Ga., responds to the same letter, indicating that barbecue was Georgia's contribution to culinary art, that it had been introduced into the other Southern states after the Civil War, but was properly a Georgian dish.

A letter writer responds to the same letter, indicating that barbecue had its origins, in terms of its perfection, in eastern North Carolina, and Charlotte barbecue stands utilized those techniques.

A letter writer from Myrtle Beach, S.C., notes a sign in every Federal office, forbidding employees of the Government from engaging in political matters, as proscribed by the Hatch Act. He finds it to be a violation of the Constitution which should be checked to avoid becoming a dictatorship. He finds it inconsistent with allowing citizens to pay $100 or more to have a seat at a Lincoln Day Dinner or a Jackson Day Dinner. He indicates that during Hurricane Hazel in Myrtle Beach, a Federal radio plant had been shut down and abandoned when the power failed, because the Civil Aeronautics Administration, in charge of it, had ordered the emergency electric generating plants drained of oil and gasoline and forgotten, as an economy measure. The employees did not dare talk about it or they would get fired, but he says he was going to talk about it.

A letter writer finds that an article in the newspaper of March 15, titled "Old Age Law Called 'Bad'", with comments by State Senator B. H. Winters, should receive serious consideration by those on the State Senate Public Welfare Committee, and he agrees with the State Senator regarding his views on the state's lien law.

A letter writer objects to the City Council and the Mayor continuing to heap taxes on the citizens, suggests that the residents had been foolish to approve the bond measure to build the new Coliseum and Auditorium complex, which he indicates would never be self-supporting and would be a burden on the people for years to come, regards them as "white elephants" and that the money used to build them could have been better spent on a new hospital for black residents. He finds that the proposal to fund a study for construction of a wing to Memorial Hospital for black patients would do no good as they would not figure the cost correctly, just as they had not been able to figure the costs on the Coliseum and Auditorium, and had to ask for more money. He suggests that they needed good businessmen on the City Council and a strong one as mayor, urges people in the city to urge good men to enter the race prior to the municipal elections.

A letter from the president and corresponding secretary of the Presbyterian Hospital Auxiliary expresses appreciation for the feature story on February 26 in the newspaper regarding the activities of the Auxiliary, which had been organized more than 30 years earlier and was composed of representatives of all of the Presbyterian churches in Mecklenburg County. In addition to pictures, parties, seams and sodas as projects, they held sales to provide household necessities, using the proceeds for benevolent work.

What are seams?

We now understand. Some of the lingo they throw around becomes rather abstruse, when not further elucidated as to context. We thought they were perhaps being ultra-hip, you know, seams 'n' sodas, like a pony.

A letter writer from Winston-Salem indicates that he had lost all respect for the newspaper when he had read a letter advocating for a veterans' bonus, published March 12, that to print such nonsense was a waste of good space in the newspaper, that the only thing the state owed the writer was treatment. He says that he was one of three brothers who had served in the Navy, and another brother had been classified in the draft as 4-F after having made three trips to Raleigh to seek to enlist in the Navy. He says that they were all proud of their service and that the only thing they wanted from the state was lower taxes, which they could not hope for if they had to pay for a veterans' bonus. He indicates that he had served 18 months in the Pacific aboard an LST and so knew about the sweat and blood to which the prior letter writer had referred, suggests that he move to another state, which would be an improvement for North Carolina.

This epistle, no doubt, is exemplary of what is meant by the phrase "brothers in arms".

A letter writer says that she had been reading in the newspapers of alibis regarding segregation based on traditions and opinions, that the country was not run by traditions or opinions, but by law. President Roosevelt had made it clear when he led the country, that no person or group of persons had any law or authority over any person or group of persons which enabled them to deprive the other of their civil rights, liberty or freedom.

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