The Charlotte News

Monday, March 28, 1955


Site Ed. Note: The front page reports from London that British Foreign Secretary Anthony Eden had disclosed to Commons this date that Britain, the U.S., and France had already begun discussing arrangements for a Big Four meeting with Russia, that the U.S. was ready and eager to discuss the future of Germany and Austria, disarmament issues and a European security system with the Russians, now that the French National Assembly had ratified the treaties establishing an independent, rearmed West Germany. Mr. Eden had answered a question from Labor Party member Arthur Henderson, saying that the British had already consulted their allies regarding "the methods by which we can go ahead" toward arranging the Big Four talks. He said that Britain had proposed that the allies follow a procedure of consultation which would include meetings of officials, then perhaps meetings of foreign ministers, and if all went well, meetings probably at "other levels" as well, not elaborating on what he meant by the latter phrase but the implication having been that it would include the heads of state. It had long been assumed in Britain that Mr. Eden, as soon as he would take over the position of Prime Minister from Winston Churchill, would quickly arrange a meeting with President Eisenhower. He reminded Commons that he had made a pledge two weeks earlier that once the London and Paris treaties regarding West Germany were ratified, Britain would want to meet with the Soviets on the principal problems blocking a European settlement between East and West, with the German and Austrian treaty settlements, an effectively controlled world disarmament program, and a continental security system, presumably in the form of mutual East-West nonaggression pledges, being the subjects of such a discussion.

In Seattle, the wife of a couple who had been involved in a crash-landing on Saturday of a Pan American World Airways plane in the Pacific Ocean, said that she did not know it was her 80-year old husband who had been dragged into a life raft, covered with oil, that she had lifted his head up and laid it in her lap so that he would not lie in the water on the bottom of the raft, that he had opened his eyes and smiled weakly, asking if it was his wife. At that point, he had groaned and then died with his head in her lap. He was one of four who had died in the crash-landing of the Hawaii-bound plane on a quiet sea 25 miles off the Oregon coast, with his 75-year old wife having survived, along with 18 other passengers and crew members. The pilot had been forced to ditch the plane when one engine was wrenched from its mounting and fell into the sea, with no explanation yet provided for the occurrence. The other three dead passengers had been swept by a relentless current and wind which had driven them from the three life rafts, their cries being audible to the survivors until they grew weaker and more distant. The survivors said that all had remained calm when the pilot ordered them to get to their seats and to prepare to ditch, which then occurred less than ten minutes later.

In Lincoln, Neb., a day-old prison rebellion at the State Penitentiary continued, as three prisoners considered "dead weight" by their companions had been sent to the warden's office this date, while nine others still held two guards hostage in the maximum-security building. Governor Victor Anderson said, after interrogating one of the three prisoners, that the two guards had not been harmed and were sleeping. Twelve of the prisoners had taken the two guards hostage early the previous day, and they had been without food since that time. Power was cut off to the building so that the prisoners could not listen to the radio and know every move being taken by prison officials. The Governor said that the men were not planning to escape and that prison authorities believed that the prisoners had some type of homemade knives. He also informed that the cutting of power had cut off the heating system, but that there were plenty of blankets to keep the prisoners and guards warm. He said that prison authorities would continue their strategy of simply waiting for the prisoners to act first.

In Detroit, four days earlier, a seven-year old girl in the second grade had greeted a friend and then headed toward her school building 100 yards away, but had never reached the school, prompting a search for her by thousands of police officers, Boy Scouts and other volunteers, combing a 120 square mile area on the populous east side of the city and neighboring suburbs, not finding a trace of the little girl. A police inspector suggested that she must have been kidnaped, but had no leads on reasons or suspects. No ransom notes had been received and nothing that the little girl had with her had been found. Despite thousands of tips, many prompted by newspaper and other rewards totaling $8,100, police had found no one who could remember seeing the child after she had spoken to her friend at a busy intersection near the school. Two men were questioned on Sunday and then released.

Near Concord, N.C., a resident of Charlotte was killed almost instantly in a collision between his automobile and a truck on Route 49 during the morning, and a passenger in the car was critically injured and taken to a hospital. The two men had been en route from Charlotte to Raleigh on a business trip at the time, with the deceased having been the district manager for Westinghouse Electric Corp. for the Carolinas. A State Highway Patrolman said that the truck was two feet over the center line of the road and that the car had left skidmarks for 50 feet prior to the collision, the uninjured truck driver thus being held on a bond pending further investigation.

In Raleigh, legislators expressed the hope that the 1955 biennial session of the General Assembly could be completed by May 1. We hope so. Enough damage has been done for two years.

A record-shattering spring cold wave had caused more than 50 million dollars worth of damage to orchards and crops and had taken at least three lives in the South the previous day, virtually wiping out the peach crop in seven Southern states and ruining early vegetables, fruits and nuts in many sections. Somewhat warmer weather was in sight this date, but it did not bring any satisfaction to farmers counting multi-million dollar losses. The cold air had swept down from Canada and the Great Plains into the South on Saturday, and there was little the growers could do about it. Some had frantically lit smudgepots in their orchards, while others simply prayed. The Fort Valley Ministerial Association, located in the heart of the Georgia peach district, had conducted services asking for God's help, mercy and guidance. One woman had frozen to death near her Knoxville, Tenn., home shortly after the temperature had fallen to a record spring low of 14 degrees, while a 30-year old crippled man had died from the cold in Birmingham, after falling out of his bed in his unheated room, and a 38-year old man had been found dead 18 miles east of Wytheville, Va., apparently having frozen to death. Potatoes, strawberries, tung nuts and vegetables were among the ruined or badly damaged crops in the South. Horticulturists said that it might be several days before the full extent of the crop loss was known. Record low readings for March 27 were reported from New Orleans. In the Northeast, snow fell, with 15 inches recorded at Syracuse, N.Y., and the New York State Thruway had been closed for a 240-mile stretch, with 55 mph winds whipping snow into drifts as deep as 12 feet and cutting visibility to zero. A snowstorm across Ontario and Québec was called the worst of the year, as 60 mph winds pushed 13 inches of new snow into 12-foot drifts. Both the wind and the cold moderated this date, after 18 fatalities had been recorded as a result of the winter storm in Indiana, four in Illinois, three in Michigan, three in New York, two in Florida, two in Ohio, four in North Carolina, and one each in Missouri, Alabama, Tennessee and Virginia.

The weather where we are in 2022 continues to be fair and warm, basketball weather.

On the editorial page, "The Shameful Neglect of a Problem" indicates that two articles the previous week on the front page by News reporter Harry Shuford had provided the opinions of the local Domestic and Juvenile Court Judge W. I. Gatling and of the special commission, chaired by future Governor and Senator Terry Sanford, on its report to the Governor and the Legislature on the same subject, both finding the overcrowded conditions at the State training schools, especially the two facilities for black boys and black girls, appalling, affording no room for other offenders to be admitted, leaving the condition that juvenile offenders were returned to the streets where they were committing other crimes, there having been no deterrence or rehabilitation efforts in the meantime.

It opines that it was shameful for the state not to establish more and better training schools, as juvenile offenders, when they learned that they could not be placed in such facilities, developed disdain for the court's authority and therefore of law and order, which could last into adulthood. The cost to the taxpayer for each adult offender was high, and spending some extra dollars on juvenile corrective institutions would thus be a wise investment in the long-run. It wonders how the community and the state could ignore the old, proven principle, "An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure".

"Shed a Tear for Timothy Tar Heel" indicates that in North Carolina, the question of tax-conscious citizens was whether they were paying more than their fair share of the growing cost of government, suggests that if ability to pay was the criterion, the answer was in the affirmative, as bolstered by a statistical package prepared by the North Carolina Citizens Association—which it proceeds to explain in some detail.

After providing a table of the Southern states, showing per capita taxes paid, rank of each state among the states regarding per capita taxes paid, and rank among the states in per capita income earned, it concludes that while North Carolina was not quite in the fiscal predicament of Louisiana, which was third in per capita taxes paid and 40th in per capita income earned, it was clear that North Carolina was still a comparatively poor state with a heavy per capita tax load.

"Nixon: Most Likely To Succeed?" indicates that the plaudits being applied to the Vice-President by the President had some Republicans worried, almost as much as the President's weekend excursions to Gettysburg, that it appeared the President might be giving Mr. Nixon a green light for running in his stead for the presidential nomination in 1956. He had recently stated that the Vice-President had "courage and honesty which have earned him the respect of all who seek a better and stronger America". Mr. Nixon, himself, had added to the suspicion when he proclaimed that "someday … we have to have a presidential candidate strong enough to get the Republican Party elected", meaning one other than the President.

It posits that if the President decided not to accept a draft nomination for a second term, he might like to pass it on to the Vice-President, but, meanwhile, was making a marked man of Mr. Nixon, enabling party stalwarts with ideas of their own about the presidency to team up to knock down the growing reputation of the Vice-President before it was too late. It finds that there were many Republicans who were not happy about the type of campaign speeches which the Vice-President had made in the midterm elections campaign of 1954, and given their controversial nature, believed that the President's praise of Mr. Nixon was excessive.

It suggests that tradition might be the strongest foe to the Vice-President, as no occupier of that office had acceded directly by election to the Presidency since Vice-President Martin Van Buren in 1836, succeeding President Andrew Jackson. The office had been the "trap door to obscurity for many a party warhorse." Others had used the office to make raucous attacks on their Presidential superiors, but Mr. Nixon had thus far neither receded into obscurity nor bucked his boss on any major issue.

That which some political writers had referred to as "the Throttlebottom tradition", those Vice-Presidents who had receded into obscurity, was represented by such forgotten persons as Daniel Tompkins, William R. King (a North Carolinian who had actually died less than a month after receiving the oath of office in Cuba, where he had gone for his recovery from tuberculosis, being Vice-President to President Franklin Pierce, but, in any event, not having had time in office properly to become forgettable), Henry Wilson, Levi P. Morton and Charles W. Fairbanks. But there had also been Vice-Presidents who had risen to fame, including John Adams, Thomas Jefferson, Theodore Roosevelt and Harry Truman. Vice-Presidents Jefferson, John C. Calhoun, Millard Fillmore, Hannibal Hamlin and John Nance Garner had well-publicized fights with the Presidents under whom they served, with Vice-President Chester A. Arthur having once complained that "President Garfield has not been honorable nor square nor truthful. It is hard to say that of the President of the United States, but it is, unfortunately, only the truth,"—that necessarily having been stated in the opening months of the Garfield Administration, the President having been fatally shot in July, 1881, by a disgruntled Republican office seeker, Charles Guiteau, and dying the following September.

President Woodrow Wilson had said of the vice-presidency: "The chief embarrassment in describing it is that in saying how little there is to be said about it one has evidently said all there is to say."

In concludes that Vice-President Nixon did not fit any mold of the past, but that it did not necessarily mean that he was destined for greatness or the White House.

He would have been served far better personally, after his loss to Senator John F. Kennedy in the 1960 presidential election, to have returned permanently to the practice of law and given up his hunger for politics, perhaps receding to obscurity, but such obscurity being better than permanent notoriety, ensconced forever in American history, despite the occasional apologist and delusional historical rehabilitator, as the first President to be forced into resignation by certain impeachment and removal otherwise from office in a trial in the Senate, there having been at the time, in early August, 1974, according to the assessment of Republican Congressional leaders imparted to the President, no more than about a dozen Senators prepared to vote for his acquittal on the House Judiciary Committee's pending article of impeachment charging obstruction of justice, premised primarily on the notorious June 23, 1972 "smoking gun" tape, ordered disclosed by the unanimous Supreme Court decision on July 24, 1974, in which Mr. Nixon agreed with his aide Bob Haldeman for him and John Ehrlichman to contact assistant CIA director Vernon Walters and get him to ask CIA director Richard Helms and FBI acting director L. Patrick Gray to stop investigating the five-day earlier Watergate break-in of the Democratic National Headquarters, as it would open up the entire "Bay of Pigs thing" with the Cubans arrested for the burglary—implying blackmail of the White House to avoid revelations of secrets regarding the "Bay of Pigs thing", with large payoffs to the burglars to buy their silence before grand juries, to avoid disclosure of their connection with the Committee to Re-Elect the President, having also been discussed in other taped conversations with the President.

A piece from the Baltimore Evening Sun, titled "Violation of Privacy", tells of the Army Quartermaster Corps planning to issue to the Army tents with windows. It indicates that ordinarily an Army tent provided a cover for cots, and after a night out, the weary soldier would often lie on the cot until he was caught, with someone standing watch and crying "attention!" in a loud voice upon the approach of higher authority, or being otherwise apprised of the approach when a visitor had to first fumble around with a noisy tent flap before entering.

But with windows in the tent, that would foil the ability of the soldier to take his rest, with blackout curtains serving only to arouse suspicion on the part of a superior. It wonders therefore where a soldier would go, "when the spirit doesn't move and the eyelids hang low".

Drew Pearson relates of the backstage story behind the White House having initially disagreed and then subsequently agreed with Senator Walter George of Georgia regarding his proposal for a Big Four conference of the heads of state, finding it indicative of the jumbled way in which important steps toward world peace were sometimes taken. The Senator had been thinking for some time about the necessity of such a conference, after losing a son in World War II, and telling friends privately that there was no alternative to war except through diplomacy. To that end, he had received an assurance from Secretary of State Dulles that after the defense pact with Chiang Kai-shek was ratified, the Secretary would work for a cease-fire in the Formosa Strait area. Accordingly, the Secretary went to the Far East to discuss peace and a cease-fire, but returned warning of war and recommending defense of the Nationalist offshore islands of Quemoy and Matsu. At that point, Senator George was disturbed, not liking the direction of U.S. foreign policy, and so, privately, discussed with Secretary Dulles the prospect of a Big Four conference and received some encouragement, albeit noncommittal. Friends of the Secretary said afterward that he had in mind only a foreign ministers meeting and not one for the heads of state.

The Senator had also discussed the matter briefly with the President, in the course of registering a complaint about the publication recently of the report on the February, 1945 Yalta conference, on the latter topic, the Senator believing that it would make it difficult to hold more international conferences in the future, stating that such conferences were necessary if the world was going to make any progress toward peace, indicating that a Big Four conference could be held at present, given the recent change in Soviet leadership. The President had agreed, as he usually did when he talked to Senator George.

Thus, Senator George had been somewhat surprised that, following his public statement, Senator William Knowland had issued a statement from inside the White House, indicating that the President was against the proposal. A few minutes afterward, advisers to the President realized that the statement by Senator Knowland had effectively permitted a slap-down of Senator George, who was not only powerful but held control over the fate of the Democratic tax bill as a member of the joint conference committee between the House and the Senate, where his vote could determine a victory for House Speaker Sam Rayburn's bill to lower individual tax rates by $20, opposed by the Administration. The Administration was indebted to Senator George for getting the Formosan resolution passed, and so the President had partially reversed himself, and at his press conference the following day had said that there was no place on earth to which he would not travel or chore which he would not undertake if he had "the faintest hope that it would promote the general cause of world peace", aligning himself more closely with Senator George's proposal than with the opposition to it registered by Senator Knowland. Mr. Pearson adds that whether or not the President would ever attend a Big Four conference remained to be seen.

Only the White House squirrels knew for sure—and you, too.

Changing Times examines kites, indicates that some believed the Greeks had invented them, while others credited the invention to the Chinese, who had flown them for centuries, as had Americans, notably Benjamin Franklin and innumerable small boys. The most popular were the plain ones made of two or three crossed sticks, but there were also more elaborate box kites.

Among their more practical uses were to start lifelines to ships in distress and to carry suspension cables across rivers, for weather observation and for taking military reconnaissance pictures, in World War II serving as aerial gunnery targets for U.S. troops.

In an earlier time, children had made their own kites, using a nickel bundle of strips from the cigar-box factory, paper and string from the store, and paste made of flour and water from the kitchen. Now, children bought ready-made kites, but the art of making them had not been lost. It provides detailed instructions for putting together the popular two-stick version.

An open space was needed to fly the kite, where one would run into the wind, while the child held up the kite at one end of the field, letting the child take over the string once it became airborne. If the kite were suddenly to dive to the ground after getting into the air, it was possible that the string was attached too high on the bridle or that the tail was too short or that the kite was lopsided, the same being true if it were to spin, dive or weave once it became airborne. If it went up fine and then started losing altitude, it recommends pumping, walking backward while pulling the kite string toward the string-holder in long, sweeping motions, forcing the kite to rise again, letting out string possibly to coax it to go higher.

It recommends not using wire to fly a kite and not to fly it near power lines or in a thunderstorm, noting parenthetically that it was a wonder that Benjamin Franklin had not been electrocuted during his famous experiment with the key during a thunderstorm. It also urges not climbing trees, poles or onto rooftops to retrieve a kite, to avoid the potential of a bad fall, that the best option then was to buy or build another one.

Just use your common sense and go out and fly it. You don't need instructions.

Walter Pritchard Eaton, a temporary resident of Chapel Hill, writing for the Pittsfield, Mass., Gazette, located near his home in the Berkshire Mountains, indicates that early in his professional life, he had become involved in the outer regions of musical criticism, explaining that he knew nothing about music but that there was so much going on in the musical world of New York that a music critic could not possibly attend all of the operas and concerts and so wanted a reporter to keep tabs on them, one who knew so little about music that the person would not be tempted to butt in on the critic's province, making him the ideal man for the job.

In that capacity, he sometimes looked in on the Manhattan Opera House, matinee and evening performances, the Metropolitan matinee and evening performances and at concerts at Mendelssohn Hall and Carnegie Hall, almost never being tempted to write more than the bare report.

A young violinist had played at Mendelssohn Hall and he had been so fascinated by him that he remained in his seat for the entire recital and had written a flowery review, angering his boss for both the insubordination and having "stultified the paper". The critic said that he would have to go to the violinist's next recital to set the record straight. He had gone and later towered over Mr. Eaton's desk, glaring at him "with all the malevolence he could summon to his sweet old German countenance, and thundered, 'God damn it, you were right.'"

He relates that the young violinist was now a summer resident of the Berkshires, Fritz Kreisler.

The late Virginia Woolf, writing on January 4, 1929, in A Writer's Diary, wonders whether life was very solid or very shifting, saying that she was haunted by the two contradictions. "This has gone on forever; will last forever; goes down to the bottom of the world—this moment I stand on. Also it is transitory, flying, diaphanous. I shall pass like a cloud on the waves. Perhaps it may be that though we change, one flying after another, so quick, so quick, yet we are somehow successive and continuous, we human beings, and show the light through. But what is the light? I am impressed by the transitoriness of human life to such an extent that I am often saying a farewell—after dining with Roger for instance; or reckoning how many more times I shall see Nessa."

A letter from J. R. Cherry, Jr., comments on an editorial regarding the release of the report on the Yalta conference, finding that the newspaper's "subtle attempt to rationalize and soft-pedal the abominable concessions of Roosevelt to (Stalin) at Yalta was a nice try, but it simply won't stand the spotlight of the incontrovertible facts of history." He goes on quite a way in his typical right-wing Republican vein, ignoring the while the actual context of the Yalta conference, that prior to the development of the atom bomb the following July, the only prospect for conquering Japan and ending the Pacific war was via land invasion, which the military experts had estimated would cost the lives of 100,000 Americans, based on the war experience of the various landings on the other Pacific islands in retaking the Philippines—not to mention untold thousands of lives of Japanese, both civilians and soldiers—, as Tojo and his warlords, as well as Emperor Hirohito, had vowed to fight to the last man, if necessary, to defend the homeland. Thus, not to have the alliance with Russia in the Pacific theater was believed, with good reason, at the time to be suicidal on the part of the U.S., as Russia could provide an approach from the northern islands, forming a pincer on Japan and perhaps triggering early surrender. That Russia, after having been a major sine qua non force in the European theater against Germany, would wait until August, right after the detonation of the Hiroshima and Nagasaki atomic bombs, before entering the Pacific war, could not have been predicted by President Roosevelt or by Prime Minister Churchill at the time of the Yalta conference in February, 1945. Thus, the supposed "giveaways" by FDR to Stalin in terms of Pacific concessions were no more than after-the-fact myths conjured by Republicans preying on the naïve and uninformed among the populace, years after the fact. Mr. Cherry merely adopts that party line and runs with it.

A letter writer from Birmingham, Ala., advocates for Federal regulation of milk, stating that in some restaurants, milk was below the standard in butter fat content, tasting more like skim milk or watered-down content, that the processors skimmed the cream off, which was then sold to the Government to be stored and to deteriorate, while the taxpayer subsidized that process. He indicates that little children were not getting, therefore, the full nutritional value from the milk purchased by their parents, and that those parents would stand by "a champion for good judgment in milk regulations", adding a P.S. that pure cream for coffee was a thing of the past in most restaurants.

Vote according to your preference in cream content.

A letter writer from Monroe indicates that he was a teenager without a criminal record, suggesting that the fact might shock and disappoint many of the readers, as most of the teenagers around his town were "really nice kids". He indicates that being a teenager automatically put two strikes on a person, that if the teenager broke a window, he received great newspaper coverage and was labeled a juvenile delinquent, but if an adult broke a window, he simply paid for it and all was forgotten. Many people talked about "slanguage" of teenagers, but he views it as not being harmful, and that all teenagers through the years had adopted different types of slang, that the current teenagers were using such terms as "cool", "crazy", "gone", and "mad", and it was only modern slang which people found horrible and outrageous. Adults also looked down on the music which teenagers liked, rhythm and blues, with adults complaining that it was loud, offbeat and just plain sorry. He tells of the national Hit Parade including among the top six songs "Earth Angel", "Ko Ko Mo", "Sincerely", "Hearts of Stone" and "Tweedle Dee". All of them, he says, were rhythm and blues songs, and though they might be loud, offbeat and sorry, they were certainly popular. (We never thought of "Tweedle Dee" as R&B, but we digress.) He says that teenagers might not be perfect little angels, but believed that adults were making something over nothing, that there were teenagers standing on the street corners, others swearing like troopers, but that on the whole, they were human, too, that only the very few messed things up for all of the others. He suggests that many teenagers got into trouble because they had nothing else to do and that it was the duty of adults to provide recreational programs to keep them off the streets. He believes that adults had nothing about which to worry if they would just look on teenagers as humans, too.

Well, this is why we have "March Madness" or, now that it is April, better expressed as "Spring Madness", not so much for the players, but rather to keep the fans from going overly crazy during the winter months and wreaking havoc in their surrounds, knocking out windows and breaking down doors, which many, at least in some locations, do anyway when their team wins the big one or loses it, as the case may be. You may find that sort of psychotic reaction in Lexington, Ky., but never in Chapel Hill, as likely will be once again proven, regardless of the outcome tonight, sometime later this date. We cannot speak for Lawrence, Kans., but assume that the staid Midwesterners will also remain sane in their drowning of sorrows or celebration, whichever may come to pass. We have our ideas as to which locale will be the happier, but we shall remain mum for the sake of diplomacy, as there are many old connections, as we have pointed out in the last couple of editions' notes, and earlier, between the University of Kansas and the University of North Carolina basketball programs through the years since 1957. May the better team tonight win tonight. And may the losing team return to the finals next year for redemption.

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