The Charlotte News

Monday, March 7, 1955


Site Ed. Note: The front page reports from Jerusalem that Israel had been charged the previous day by the U.N. Mixed Armistice Commission as a "brutal" aggressor who had deliberately attacked Egyptian forces in the Gaza Strip a week earlier, killing 38 Egyptians and eight Israelis in the process and violating the 1949 Palestine truce agreement. It was believed that in light of the Commission's ruling, the U.N. Security Council would also vote to censure Israel when it would take up the issue the following week. The Commission had adopted an Egyptian resolution which declared that the attack of February 28 "was committed by Israeli regular Army forces against an Egyptian regular Army force." The Commission brushed aside an Israeli counter-complaint that an Egyptian unit had ambushed an Israeli patrol, starting a running fight which drew the Israelis into Egyptian territory. The Egyptian delegation had voted against the latter claim and the Commission chairman, Commandant Françoise Gicomaggi of France, had abstained, both the Egyptian delegation and the Commandant having carried the Egyptian resolution. The report does not state the full constituency of the Commission.

At Yucca Flat, Nevada, the largest atomic device tested to date in the 1955 series of detonations occurred this date in the predawn hours, observed in several Western states, lighting up skies briefly like an early sunrise over Southern California, 250 miles distant, and its mushroom cloud clearly visible in Las Vegas, 75 miles away. At 500 feet, it was the highest tower shot ever detonated in Nevada and the 35th test at that site, the fourth of the current series of tests. A group of 50 observers saw the detonation from Angel's Peak in the Charleston range, west of the test site, reporting that it was one of the most impressive shots ever observed from that vantage point. It was estimated to be in the 30 kiloton range, not as powerful as the 50 kiloton test during the 1953 series of detonations. The standard atomic bomb had a power of 20 kilotons.

In London, a retired member of the Royal Air Force, who had seen the atomic bomb dropped on Hiroshima in August, 1945, described it this date as a "grey-colored metal sphere". He had been the official observer for Britain at the time of the bomb's drop and gave his description in the Daily Sketch, saying that the bomb had lain "among the confusion of scientific instruments" in a "Nissen hut surrounded by barbed wire and armed guards", before being loaded onto the B-29 for its flight over Hiroshima.

Marie Natvig, who had provided conflicting testimony to the FCC, initially, the prior October, linking Edward Lamb, a publisher and broadcaster, with Communism, and then subsequently, early the previous month, recanting that testimony, was indicted for perjury this date by a grand jury. Ms. Natvig had contended that she had been coerced into giving the original statement by an FCC attorney. The hearing before the FCC had been convened based on a petition by Mr. Lamb to obtain a renewal of his broadcasting license for television station WICU in Erie, Pa. He had denied any Communist affiliation or sympathies. The hearing had been recessed on February 24 after the examiner described Ms. Natvig's testimony as "incredible".

In New York, the new trial of Mickey Jelke, margarine heir, on forced prostitution charges began this date, with the possibility that this time there would be women on the jury, as Mr. Jelke's lawyer stated the previous day that he would welcome "courageous" female jurors. The prosecution's case originally had rested heavily on the testimony of call girls connected with Mr. Jelke's alleged $100 per night vice operations. His original conviction had been reversed on appeal because the trial judge had excluded during the prosecution's case all press representatives on the basis that the testimony was too salacious and sensational for public consumption. Thus, this time, the press would be permitted to sit throughout the trial. The original trial judge, whom Mr. Jelke's lawyers had sought to disqualify for bias, would continue to sit during the second trial. One of his lawyers indicated that in the second trial, big shots of the financial and business world, the U.N. and show business would have their names mentioned in the trial as being among the clientele of the call girls, and that if the truth were told, it would be a "bombshell". The defendant had originally been arrested in August, 1952.

In Birmingham, in the trial of Albert Fuller for the murder the prior June of A. L. Patterson, who had just won the Democratic primary to become the new State Attorney General, having run on a campaign of cleaning up vice in Phenix City, an original prosecution witness returned to the stand during the defense case for further cross-examination, the witness having claimed to have seen Mr. Fuller, the former chief deputy sheriff, with his co-defendant, to be tried separately, Arch Ferrell, the former prosecutor in the town, at the time of the murder, leaving hurriedly from the scene. Defense attorneys had shown that the witness was in debt and had been tempted by an offer of an $11,000 reward in the killing of Mr. Patterson. Prosecutors were anticipating calling 25 or more witnesses in rebuttal to the defense case before it would finally be sent to the jury. Former State Attorney General Si Garrett was also awaiting trial as a co-conspirator in the murder.

In Richmond, Va., the U.S. Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals this date affirmed the conviction of the runaway bridegroom charged with transporting more than $10,000 of his wife's money and jewels across state lines, knowing it to be stolen property, winding up in a New York hotel, claiming to have forgotten all about his newlywed wife, after he had placed the jewels and money in a safe deposit box, having left his bride stranded in a motel in Virginia, telling her that he was going to have the automatic windows fixed on his cream-colored Cadillac with tangerine interior, then absconding with the jewels and cash in the trunk, claiming he was followed by another car to Paterson, N.J., where he ditched the Cadillac and caught a train to Manhattan. His attorneys had argued on appeal, as one of several contentions, that incompetent evidence, consisting of testimony of his bride, had been submitted to the grand jury which had originally indicted the man, the Court holding that the common law rule that a spouse was incompetent to testify against the other spouse, except in cases of interspousal violence, had been relaxed by the Federal courts in modern times to accommodate contemporary trends in the law permitting such testimony. The marriage was subsequently annulled.

In Akron, O., a deaf and blind couple this date were awarded custody of their two week old baby, after a juvenile court judge ruled that the county welfare department could not force them to place the child in a foster home. The judge had ruled that despite their handicaps, there was sufficient evidence to show that they could care for the child, who was healthy and normal. They had been supported in their cause by friends and neighbors.

In Charlotte, at a meeting of the City School Board this date, a proposal was made to increase the local school tax levy to meet the demand for increasing enrollment, to raise the state's local school tax limit from 50 to 60 cents per $100 of property valuation in school districts having a population over 100,000. Enrollment in Charlotte schools in 1947 had been 18,313 and now was at 26,784. The Mecklenburg delegation to the General Assembly would seek passage of the proposed measure.

In New Orleans, a house painter who had looked around for something else to do during a slack season, had seen an ad in the newspaper, placed by a New Orleans company which purchased monkeys from South America for sale to zoos across the country, seeking a caretaker for the simians, which paid $20 per week. But in the process, after he took the job, he received 10 bites and a 104-degree fever, of unknown origin, according to doctors. The man still believed the monkeys were "cute little fellows", but said he would return to his house painting.

Not on the front page, in Raleigh the previous Saturday night, N.C. State, ranked number 5 in the country in the Associated Press college basketball poll, defeated Duke, 87 to 77, to win the second annual ACC Tournament, the Wolfpack's second consecutive trophy, to be stretched to three in a row the following year, not to be duplicated again until 1967-69, when UNC would win three in a row. N.C. State, of course, also had the home court advantage in every conference tournament until 1967, when the venue was switched to Greensboro. In that early run in Raleigh, the Wolfpack would win five conference championships, including 1959 and 1965. In those days, prior to 1976, only the conference champion, by virtue of winning the tournament or being runner-up in the event of ineligibility of the tournament winner, advanced to the NCAA Tournament. In consequence of that fact, for many years, the ACC and the Southern Conference remained the only conferences to hold tournaments to determine the conference champion, rendering the regular season a matter of extensive practice, considered a bane to fair play by many coaches, especially Frank McGuire of UNC and, later, beginning in 1964, of South Carolina.

On the editorial page, "Providence Road Must Be Widened" indicates that the State Highway Commission, unable to make everyone happy with its plans to widen Providence Road, had decided to do nothing, leaving everyone angry.

The State had recommended that the road be widened from its present 18 feet to 78 feet, including a 16-foot median strip, while residents of the area had urged the widening only to between 45 and 50 feet. It suggests that there should have been some compromise and wishes the residents well in their appeal of the decision to a higher authority, that the road had to be improved one way or another as more than 6,000 cars traveled on it each day. It finds the decision to junk the project more than somewhat childish.

"Why Gag North Carolina Lawyers?" indicates that when a member of the State House had introduced a bill the previous month to forbid judges from commenting on the decisions of juries after return of a verdict, Raleigh newsmen began asking the legislator to confess that it was aimed at one particular judge who had a habit of excoriating juries. But the legislator, a skillful lawyer, refused to answer their queries.

The measure had now passed the House, but it finds that in gagging the judge, the state would be placing an unnecessary and unnatural restriction on the duties of the judge as presiding officer of the court, that to have him sit idly by and see justice thwarted without comment was not reasonable. It finds that it was the judge's duty and right to say when a jury had run afoul of the law and the evidence presented in a case.

"Good Design Will Sell N.C. Products" hopes that the members of the General Assembly would not reject the request of the Consolidated University for an appropriation to establish a new Department of Products Design at N.C. State. It indicates that the appropriation would be more in the nature of an investment in the future of the state than an outlay, as the new department would be part of the School of Design, wherein students would be educated in the comparatively new field of products design, contributing to the appearance and design of North Carolina-manufactured products, specifically regarding better furniture, textiles, ceramics and hundreds of smaller industrial products manufactured in the state. Also shoes, don't forget shoes.

It indicates that top talent in industrial design was concentrated in the Northern cities, and North Carolina's furniture industry, for example, had found it difficult to attract competent help from Southern designers. Manufacturers of food products encountered the same difficulties, resulting in locally produced foods not being able to reach national markets because of poor package design.

You just need a good photographer and lithograph company, to make those horribly insufficient TV dinners look like a king's feast. Mmmm, look at them potatas, chocked full of gravy, and that juicy charcoal steak and fresh garden-picked green beans. Don't it make your mouth water? You even get a piece of cherry cobbler on the side. And all for a buck. Can't beat that deal. Just thaw her out and fry it up. Better than eating an old shoe.

"Free from the Curse of Conformity" tells of it being refreshing, in a time of almost enforced conformity, to read of a man who had asserted himself and pushed against the tide of normative behavior, that being former King Norodom Sihanouk of Cambodia, who had just stepped down from the throne in favor of his father. It points out that he still maintained a garage full of sports cars and a personal troupe of 30 dancing girls, plus his saxophone. "And best of all, as the bachelor father of 11 children, he won't be forced into a marriage of court convenience."

A piece from the Anderson (S.C.) Independent, titled "Heelana? Erodia? Filtertip?" comments on an earlier editorial in The News which had suggested that South Carolina might change its name to avoid confusion with North Carolina, after learning that West Virginia had appointed a commission for a similar purpose, to distinguish itself from Virginia. It finds that suggesting new names, as posited by the editorial, for South Carolina amounted to a waste of time, that if any name-changing should occur, it should be by North Carolina, which had lagged behind on many occasions, including the ratification of the Constitution, as well as during the time of secession, when it was the next to last, save only Tennessee, to secede in 1861, after South Carolina had been the first in that dubious category.

So, it suggests the three names of the title, or, as alternatives, "Tobaccoroad" or "Mattamuskeet".

We still like "Old Shoe" much better all the way around, as both educational and communicative of the fact that the state is the shoe capital of the world.

Drew Pearson indicates that Prime Minister Winston Churchill had secretly requested that the State Department not publish its diplomatic correspondence regarding the Yalta conference of February, 1945, until 10 more years had passed. Mr. Pearson indicates that it would be a bad blow to Republicans who were awaiting the publication of the secret Yalta record so that they could charge that President Roosevelt had made substantial concessions to Russia. When Mr. Churchill's request had been relayed to Secretary of State Dulles, however, the latter stated that because Foreign Secretary Anthony Eden and Mr. Churchill had risked their political necks for the U.S. during the Formosan crisis, the U.S. ought to adhere to the desires of Mr. Churchill in that regard, and so the Yalta papers, already prepared for publication, would be suppressed for another decade. Mr. Churchill had based his request on the belief that the publication would harm Anglo-American relations. The delay would probably end the attempt by Republican Senators to examine the Yalta records, after Senators William Knowland of California and Styles Bridges of New Hampshire had continued an appropriation of $112,000 per year for four years to publish the documents, related both to Yalta and U.S.-Chinese relations. There had been a great amount of Republican pressure on the State Department since the previous fall to have the publication take place before the midterm elections, to no avail.

Mr. Pearson indicates that the Republican Senators were not aware of it yet, but the records of Yalta would be disappointing from a political point of view, as they contained almost nothing about Alger Hiss, who had long been suspected of selling out the U.S. at Yalta, having accompanied the President as a State Department aide. They did, he indicates, contain one typical Roosevelt wisecrack, to the effect that "maybe we should sell Long Island to Stalin." He suggests that the Republicans were probably better off having them suppressed for another decade so that they could continue to talk about the Yalta "giveaways" without anyone being able to contest their assertions. He notes that in 1943, the State Department had proposed to publish the secret record of the 1919 Versailles peace conference, at which point Mr. Churchill had also protested, because at that time, it appeared that the Allies were losing the war and he was concerned that the Germans would have a published record to show how tough the Allies had been on them at the time of the Versailles conference. The State Department had acceded to Mr. Churchill's request at that time, but did publish the full conference record in 1945, after the tide of the war had shifted and the Allies were confident of victory.

Secretary Dulles, who had gone to Formosa for an unscheduled conference with Generalissimo Chiang Kai-shek, had flown to Taipeh after Chiang virtually demanded that he do so to discuss something he indicated was extremely critical to the free world. But when Mr. Dulles arrived, he found that Chiang was upset because he believed Foreign Secretary Eden had persuaded Secretary Dulles during the Bangkok conference to abandon any idea of defending the outpost islands of Quemoy and Matsu. Secretary Dulles reassured Chiang that the U.S. Seventh Fleet would help to defend both islands against Communist China, should it appear that an invasion of the two islands was prelude to an attack on Formosa, to which Chiang had responded that he hoped that it was true because, otherwise, he would have to order his own forces to attack the Chinese mainland, even if it entailed eventual suicide for him and all of his army. Mr. Dulles had concluded the conference by urging Chiang to remain calm and trust the U.S. not to desert him. Mr. Pearson notes that there had been so many conflicting statements on the two outpost islands and the intentions of the U.S. to defend them that some people even inside the State Department did not know whether they would be defended.

C. J. Posey, chairman of the Department of Civil Engineering at the University of Iowa, writing in Civil Engineering Magazine, tells of automotive designs being less safe now than they were supposed to be because of the height of vehicles, particularly the height of the driver's line of sight. That became especially important as two vehicles approached one another over the crest of a hill, where a higher line of sight would enable seeing the other vehicle sooner. He provides the example of two Model T Fords approaching over a vertical curve with a radius of 2,000 feet, able to see each other when still 320 feet apart, whereas the new low-slung vehicles, with lines of sight only four feet above the pavement and the top of the car only eight inches higher, enabled drivers to see one another only when they were 260 feet apart. Added to that were the higher speeds of the newer cars, making the situation the more dangerous.

He recounts an accident occurring in a Western state wherein a convertible came over the crest of a hill on the wrong side of the road, too fast to return to its lane, and crashed into a truck carrying hot asphalt, with any of the occupants of the vehicle who might have otherwise survived the crash having been burned to death when the asphalt showered on them from the force of the collision.

Highway engineers were aware of the situation, and specifications required rounding off the tops of hills to try to accommodate the more modern cars, but no sooner than highways had been thus constructed, manufacturers of the latest models would further lower the heights of their vehicles. He suggests that the danger might be averted by forcing vehicles to have amber lights at least 6 feet above the ground, but there was also an advantage in being able to see over vertical curves, which would not be aided by such a requirement.

He indicates that many accidents were the result of the driver's inability to judge distances and speeds correctly, that binocular vision was useless beyond 100 feet or so, that the driver who sat relatively high up in the vehicle, as in trucks and buses, had a much better perspective on the road, enabling passing without difficulty other vehicles at 70 mph, even with little room to spare on the sides, a feat which could not be accomplished in a modern automobile.

He says that he had seen a study which showed that older model automobiles were involved in fewer accidents, proportionately, than were the newer models, and that the accident rate for trucks was presently about a quarter of that for cars, a large factor in which was the difference in the height of the driver's seat above the road. The enlargement of window areas in modern automobiles, while useful in parking, afforded no value at high-speed highway driving.

Edward J. Meeman, editor of the Memphis Press-Scimitar, tells of a group having been formed in France, despite its difficulties in forming its recent new Government and the previous difficulties in the fall of a series of governments since the end of the war, that group having as its object trans-Atlantic cooperation, providing hope for NATO. It was designed to develop among its members greater knowledge of the accomplishment of NATO and to consider the manner in which the common self-defense afforded by the alliance would be further developed as an instrument in assisting the peoples of the signatory nations to achieve the greatest possible degree of freedom, economic improvement and political stability, and to make and maintain contacts with parliamentary representatives of the other NATO countries and to seek to meet periodically with those representatives for joint public discussions of common problems and goals. The head of the French group was Jacques Bardoux.

A similar association had been formed in Britain under the leadership of Clement Davies, leader of the Liberal Party. Two other active members, one of France and one of Canada, had spoken at the Atlantic Congress in Memphis several years earlier. Meanwhile, a U.S. group was forming, called the Congressional NATO Association. A meeting of the groups had been urged by the president of the Norwegian Parliament for the ensuing summer.

He urges, in the words of Winston Churchill, "'Let it roll!'"

Lillian Smith, in The Journey, suggests that there was not only psychological but moral danger in activities which were lacking of human contact. "No power, whether of science, wealth, guns or authority can take the place of real relationships. We are learning this now—as parents and teachers and plain people. The scientists are learning, too, that science becomes good only in service to human life."

Willa Cather, in On Writing, indicates that the revolt against individualism naturally called artists severely to account, as the artist was the most individualistic of all persons, and that those who were not had long been forgotten, that art required not so much freedom from restriction, as freedom from adulteration and the intrusion of foreign matter. She finds that the great body of Russian literature had been produced when censorship had been at its strictest. The art of Italy had flourished when painters were confined nearly entirely to religious subjects. She states that religion and art came from the same root and were close in kinship, while economics and art were strangers.

A letter writer hopes that the State House would not adopt the inept overstatement of State Senator Ralph Scott, that the milk industry of the state was a public utility and should thus be regulated as to both wholesale and retail milk prices, indicates that milk was not a public utility, any more than were butter, eggs and whipping cream. He thinks it was a bad bill.

A letter writer from Phoenix, Ariz., indicates that he helped underprivileged boys in their stamp collection hobby and asks readers to send stamps for the sake of the boys.

A letter writer wonders if a previous letter writer, Herr Fallersleben, was the same person of the same name he had known in Germany in 1938, a person with whom he had spent many happy hours discussing such subjects as the one he had mentioned in his letter. Even then, the person he had known wanted to get rid of an unfortunate minority, one that Hitler had tried and had almost been successful at eliminating, until the blood of young Americans had intervened to stop him. In his previous letter, Herr Fallersleben had agreed with a previous letter writer who wanted sex deviates executed, saying that execution was too good for them, this writer wondering what he would do with them, eat them? He had condemned modern liberalism on the basis that liberals disagreed with him, quoting an obscure lawyer from another country and mentioning the old bromide about Southern chivalry, putting forth also the myth about Hollywood stars being immoral. This writer says that he believed he was going to be sick.

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