The Charlotte News
Saturday, March 5, 1955
Site Ed. Note: The front page reports that the Senate Banking Committee, chaired by Senator J. William Fulbright of Arkansas, disclosed this date that they were investigating about 20 instances of large stock market profits made quickly from tips and rumors, some of which had come through radio and television commentator and columnist Walter Winchell on his television show. The American Stock Exchange president, Edward McCormick, had testified the previous day that those who had followed a tip of Mr. Winchell regarding an oil company in 1953 had lost more than two million dollars in less than an hour and a half. In another instance in the prior January, a tip from Mr. Winchell on a Venezuelan oil company had triggered the largest trading volume in the history of the stock market, 357,000 shares traded in a single day, with those who had invested as a result of the tip having lost money, potentially much more had market officials not artificially held the opening price down. Mr. Winchell said in New York that he was not interested in either of the companies or in any stock, directly or indirectly, urged investors to study stocks and companies closely before investing, stated that his entire investments were in government bonds, that no investment should be made unless one were prepared to hold it for 20 years. Senator Fulbright said that the Committee had no plans at present to call Mr. Winchell unless other witnesses testified that there was a connection between those who had profited on the transactions and the columnist-commentator. Mr. McCormick said that the Committee would be provided the names of traders and their brokers who had taken part in trading in the particular stock a week before Mr. Winchell's tip, resulting in a jump in sales to 170,000 shares, following a week in which the average trading was about 20,000 shares. The Committee would also obtain a transcript of Mr. Winchell's television broadcasts regarding both oil company stocks.
In Edmestown, N.Y., a fire at a nursing home took the lives of three persons, with seven patients having been rescued. The operator of the nursing home had died while trying to rescue her boy. Another son from a previous marriage, much older, had survived.
In Pahoa, Hawaii, two rivers of lava, fed by two half-mile long fissures and lava fountains erupting 500 feet into the air, had moved closer to the sea this date, leaving in their wake an estimated two million dollars in damage. Cane fields, timber and at least nine homes had been buried in the lava, rendering a village of 70 homes a ghost town. The lava flow could reach the sea this date. The volcano had been erupting for five days.
The U.S. Weather Bureau in Pittsburgh said that the Ohio River would crest at one foot above the 25-foot flood stage, but that damage would remain minor and that no flood threat existed within the immediate Pittsburgh area, the flooding resulting from thunderstorms of the previous two days.
In Birmingham, Ala., in the trial of Albert Fuller for the murder of A. L. Patterson, assassinated the prior June shortly after he had won the Democratic primary to become the new State Attorney General on a campaign platform of cleaning up vice in the notoriously corrupt Phenix City, opposite Fort Benning, Ga., Mr. Fuller, the former chief deputy sheriff of Phenix City, testified this date, describing Mr. Patterson as his personal friend and denied any connection with his murder. He said that he had supported Mr. Patterson in his campaign for State Attorney General and had been criticized for it by other officials in Phenix City. He had also campaigned on behalf of Mr. Patterson. He had been earlier convicted of taking a bribe to allow a bawdy house to operate against the law, and was the first of three co-defendants, including the former State Attorney General, Si Garrett, and the former prosecutor in Phenix City, Arch Ferrell, who would be tried for the murder.
In Green River, Wyo., an ex-convict who had killed two men and wounded two others, had been shot to death the previous night in a house where he had menaced a woman and her two children. As he staggered and fell down dead, he had yelled, "I'm dead, dammit—come and get me." Oh, he should not cuss that way.
In Chicago, top medical men were hoping to find a cure for a 15-month old female suffering from a rare bleeding disease, with doctors having ruled out hemophilia. The disease had killed her sister and also afflicted her brother and mother. The girl appeared to be quite healthy and happy in her padded crib. But bleeding could start from no apparent cause, with a nose bleed having drained as much as a third of her total blood capacity in just one day. She had shown no signs of the disease until she was seven months old. Her 17-month old sister had died a year and a half earlier from a bowel hemorrhage, and her six-year old brother had received 53 blood transfusions to replace blood which had seeped into his bowels, joints and muscles. Her mother and her mother's two sisters suffered to a lesser extent from the same malady. Unless a cure could be found, the infant faced a lifetime of having to receive blood transfusions, with the ever-present possibility of hidden internal hemorrhage.
In Spartanburg, S.C., it was reported that Southern Railway passenger and freight service between Washington and Atlanta was operating normally this date, after a week-long walkout of more than 1,000 carmen ended late the previous afternoon, following a meeting of union and management officials.
In Raleigh, both houses of the Legislature would meet on March 31 to accept a portrait of the late former Governor and Senator Cam Morrison of Charlotte. The portrait had been painted by Boris Gordon during recent years and was being donated to the state by the daughter and son-in-law of Mr. Morrison. The Council of State would decide where and when to hang the portrait.
In Duluth, Minn., a 108-year old Civil War veteran, Albert Woolson, had returned home this date, completely recovered from lung congestion from which he had been suffering for eight days in the hospital. He was a survivor of the Union forces and celebrated his homecoming the previous day with a cup of coffee and a cigar, as he assured friends he was feeling fine.
A North Carolina group this date invited the President to speak at Fort Raleigh during the summer and then to view the historical drama, "The Lost Colony", on Roanoke Island. The President, according to the group, would take the invitation under consideration. The group included Senator Kerr Scott, six members of the North Carolina House delegation and Episcopal Bishop Thomas Wright of Wilmington.
In Philadelphia, police had become curious when they saw smoke curling up from a chimney of a supposedly vacant house, and investigated and found a 400-gallon liquor still being operated by three men, confiscated the still and arrested the men.
In Pittsfield, Mass., a man offered to give away his 1947 automobile to anyone who could make it go 40 mph, after he had been charged with speeding at 55 miles per hour. The judge, however, was not impressed and fined him $25.
On the editorial page, "Gun Toters Are Potential Killers" indicates that while the State Constitution made burglary of an occupied dwelling in the nighttime a capital crime, along with murder, arson and rape, it did not so provide for armed robbery, which the piece finds equally likely to result in innocent death. The person who would resist the robber might wind up shot. If the victim were compliant with the robber, the robber would often get off with a light sentence, as the conclusion was that not much of a crime had been committed.
During the week, it relates, a man in Mecklenburg County, who had entered a loan company office and menaced its employees with a pistol, binding the hands and feet of two women employees and stealing $300, escaping through crowded streets before being caught, had been tried, convicted and sentenced to five years imprisonment, which might wind up as only two or three under the system of parole in the state. It finds that the punishment was inadequate for the crime.
Aside from cruel and unusual punishment based on disproportionality between punishment and the crime, the practical problem with imposing the death penalty for crimes other than murder was that the burglar or rapist or kidnaper, being of pathological bent anyway, was then left with little incentive not to kill the victim, society's attempt at ultimate deterrence winding up as counter-deterrence once the capital criminal act was in process.
"Money's Voice Is Loud and Clear" indicates that readers of the financial pages of the newspapers had been impressed by the report that stock price averages had reached "new highs" for the previous 30 years, and had been informed of the first phases of the first investigation of the stock market by Congress during the prior 20 years. It indicates that much of the world was presently stock conscious, that the governments of the U.S. and England, through appropriate agencies, tended to tighten money supplies available for purchase of common stocks, because of the large amount of ongoing speculation.
The public phase of the hearings before the Senate Banking Committee regarding the tremendous amount of trading on Wall Street of late would shortly get underway, with several of the top ranking U.S. financiers having accepted invitations to testify.
It indicates that the stock prices reflected the uniqueness and strength of the nation and its form of government. It finds that notwithstanding the new highs, the U.S. had before it a promising future economically, but that the pessimists had influenced the decision to investigate the high volume of trade in stocks, on the premise that such high-volume had presaged the Crash in 1929.
"A Leader Receives a Compliment" tells of W. Earle Kimbrell of Charlotte, founder of Kimbrell's Furniture, which had begun in 1915 with one store in Columbia, S.C., and then gradually expanded throughout the Carolinas, to the point where it now consisted of 26 retail furniture stores in 21 communities. He had been designated in 1948 "the All-American Merchant" and had recently been elected president of the National Retail Furniture Association. The previous evening, a dinner was held in his honor in Charlotte.
A piece from the Dallas Morning News, titled "Lo the Poor Briton", tells of London sources having tabulated incomes in Britain for fiscal year 1952-53 and determined that only 35 citizens of the country had incomes after taxes in excess of 6,000 pounds, the equivalent of $16,800. It tells of the confiscatory taxes in Britain, that if a person earned the equivalent of $140,000, they had to surrender in taxes $123,500 of it. In the top brackets, a person had to earn $280 for every $14 retained.
It comments that the information was to provide comfort as people proceeded toward payment of U.S. income taxes.
We were educated to all that from
the Beatles constantly yammering on all those years ago about having
to pay such high taxes that they scarcely had anythin' afterward.
Drew Pearson tells of an array of witnesses appearing in executive session to provide some of the weirdest testimony ever heard in Congress regarding the fitness of Justice-designate John Marshall Harlan, during his confirmation hearings for the Supreme Court. Some of the testimony was so bizarre and unfair that it had boomeranged. He provides a cross-section of the testimony, such as that of a lobbyist for right wing causes, Merwin Hart, who asked the Senate Judiciary Committee to reject the nomination of Judge Harlan because they should not confirm any nominee not known to be in favor of America first. A protégé of radio commentator Fulton Lewis, George Racey Jordan, speaking for the American Coalition and the "patriotic world" in general, had said that they had no interest in politics or religion or anything except that going to the basic security of the country, and so opposed the nomination. John Buchanan of Pittsburgh, in response to a crack by Senator William Langer of North Dakota that he was a "professional witness", addressed himself to Senator John Marshall Butler of Maryland and the other members of the Committee, urging that they vote for the confirmation so that the great name of John Marshall could be continued through American history. Another witness from Baltimore who described himself as "a Jeffersonian constitutional state-rights Republican" suggested that the country had made a terrible mistake when it began printing money, not indicating much about the nomination of Judge Harlan, but seeming to be against him. Another witness, who was a former district attorney on Staten island, blamed Judge Harlan for the way he had run the New York State Crime Commission, causing the defeat of the witness, and concluded that he was unsuitable for the Supreme Court.
Throughout the proceedings, Senator Herman Welker of Idaho had referred to his own grandfather who was a great preacher in Greensboro, North Carolina, in response to the president of the New York Bar Association who had told of Judge Harlan's grandfather having served on the Supreme Court some 50 years earlier.
Senator Alexander Smith of New Jersey, a former Princeton University professor, had indicated that one of the great things in the background of Judge Harlan's career was his education at Princeton.
Junius Rose, superintendent of the Greenville, N.C., public schools, in an excerpt from a recent address, tells of children currently facing a different world from that of 50 years earlier, with medical science saving the lives of many babies who would have died a generation earlier, growing up possibly not as strong emotionally as they ought to be, thus needing more help than the surviving children of 50 years earlier.
He reminds that children took time and that American parents seemed to be short on that commodity at present, insofar as their children were concerned. He posits that they needed more care and direction than they were getting. Children were being placed in nursery schools, then a kindergarten and then sent to public schools, summer camps and other such activities. With the standard of living raised in America, parents naturally wanted material things and to get them, both parents worked.
He indicates that some children went to school with the home keys around their necks and when they got home, there was no one there to care for them until one or both parents returned from work. Such children were nicknamed "latch-key" children. He indicates that there was no substitute during preadolescence for the guidance and direction of parents.
While giving the child time, the parent also needed to make the child respect parental authority, not out of fear of people or the parents, but out of compulsion without expression of anger.
During the early 1920's, there had been a great deal of talk in colleges and in teacher training institutions that children should be given broad and absolute freedom, giving parents and teachers an excuse to absent themselves from insisting on authority or giving them time. There were still those within the colleges who adhered to such a philosophy, but the trend was away from it and toward inculcating the child with a sense of discipline and hard work. He says that children ought to be challenged to do hard tasks and taught the joy of being able to do something difficult and in succeeding at it.
Also during the 1920's, a lot of people had believed and taught that fear should have no part in the life of a child, and there were still people who adhered to that belief. But, he insists, fear did have a role in development, in the sense of having respect for adults and authoritative roles, such that the fear was directed toward evil and of the consequences of breaking laws and rules.
He finds that one of the things contributing to juvenile delinquency was the tendency, starting at an early age in the home, of parents to overestimate the mental capacities of their children, without facing the reality that there were tasks which young children simply could not perform mentally. College-educated parents expected their children to excel in school and if the child did not have that capacity, the pressure to succeed would often motivate the child to cheat at an early age to please the parents. All good schools now had an adequate testing program so that parents would know the capabilities of their children.
He suggests that parents should guide their children into correct paths by offering their services to churches and Sunday schools in their communities, or volunteering as leaders of the Boy Scouts or Girl Scouts.
He concludes that there were people who wanted more laws to prevent juvenile delinquency, but, instead, simply enforcing the laws which were already on the books would greatly help, such as preventing children from entering pool rooms, preventing children from having firearms, questioning why parents provided firearms to pre-adolescent children when the parents knew it was against the law, enforcing laws against sale of intoxicating liquors to children and youth, and enforcing the laws regarding the working hours and types of employment for children in certain areas.
E. S. Turner, in A History of Courting, indicates that there was considerable suspicion that courting was being influenced by Hollywood movies, telling girls, for instance, when to invite a kiss and how to parry an unwanted one, how to use the eyes to attract or to dismiss a man, how to hold a girl, how long and how tight, etc. The movies had also taught girls how and when to slap.
A letter writer, who identifies himself as a Southern Bell employee, indicates that the public had been well-informed about the 75th anniversary of the company, but says that its policies concerning people were far behind its scientific advancements, that the workers, through the Communications Workers of America union, had been negotiating with the company for a new contract for nearly 8 months, with a number of issues in dispute, some of which could become public issues shortly. He finds that when negotiations had dragged on for that long, there was something wrong, and that, according to his belief, it was the union rather than the company which had made repeated efforts to settle the matter by compromise, while the company continued to demand a settlement on its own terms. Thus, he again stresses that there was something wrong in the attitude of the company toward people, that perhaps they had made too much scientific progress, "forgetting that human flesh and blood is involved in those of us who work for them."
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