The Charlotte News

Tuesday, March 8, 1955


Site Ed. Note: The front page reports from London that Foreign Secretary Anthony Eden this date called on Chiang Kai-shek to withdraw his Nationalist armed forces from the outpost islands off mainland China. He provided to the House of Commons a report on his Bangkok meeting with Secretary of State Dulles and on his tour of Southeast Asia. He praised both the U.S. and Communist China for relaxing tensions regarding Formosa. He also indicated, however, that the necessary conditions for progress toward a cease-fire with Communist China did not yet exist. The U.S., he continued, had given positive proof of its desire to relax tensions and reduce the risks of war, effectively restraining the Chinese Nationalists in recent weeks from initiating attacks against the Chinese mainland, and persuading the Nationalists to evacuate the Tachen and Nanchi islands. The Chinese Communists had refrained from attacking Quemoy and Matsu, and Mr. Eden hoped that they would continue to exercise such restraint and make it apparent that they would not prosecute their claims on Formosa and the Pescadores by force.

Secretary of State Dulles was described this date as believing that the Chinese Communists were not bluffing and would shortly make some military move against the islands opposite Formosa. He was said to be unwilling, even in private conversations, to specify U.S. intentions on defense of Quemoy and Matsu and reportedly had said that he had made no commitments when he and Mr. Eden had discussed the Formosa situation in the Far East. The Secretary was slated to testify during the morning before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee and in the afternoon, before the House Foreign Affairs Committee, and would present a nationwide radio and television address this night, to be carried over radio by CBS, ABC and the Mutual network, with a film to be televised on CBS later this night.

In Taipeh, the Chinese Nationalists were apparently convinced that the U.S. would support the defense of the outpost Matsu Islands dominating Foochow, a Communist port, and suggestions that there might be an evacuation of those islands had provoked angry reaction. The general line in Nationalist China was that Quemoy and Matsu would be defended at all costs, with or without U.S. support. Official Nationalist sources indicated that the estimated 5,000-man garrison on Matsu was being tripled.

In Tokyo, it was reported that Communist China, in a monitored broadcast, had boasted at great length this date about the new importance of women in its economy, claiming that they were now directors and deputy directors of factories, were engineers, drivers and industrial workers, that no one could kick women around in China now, that they had the same rights as men in every field.

John Kenneth Galbraith, Harvard economist, said this date to the Senate Banking Committee that the U.S. might be in the early stages of a boom-and-bust cycle which could end in a 1929-type crash, but also reminded that there were formidable safeguards in place against another such crash. He urged the Government and Wall Street to be prepared to halt credit buying of stocks and to put on other emergency brakes if the bull market, which had lasted for 18 months, showed no sign of slackening in the near future. He agreed with stock exchange presidents, who had testified earlier to the Committee, that the U.S. economy was far stronger than it had been in 1929, and that such things as curbs on "wholesale market rigging and fervent salesmanship" acted as checks on a runaway market. He saw increased credit buying, an influx of newcomers to the market and a growing gap between the sale price and the book value of shares, as danger signals of another crash, recommending that should there be a resumption of the upward movement of the previous year, the Federal Reserve ought be pressured to put trading on a cash basis by raising margin requirements to 100 percent, whereas at present they were at 60 percent, and that the Government ought make it clear that it was determined to hold securities speculation in check, and that it would impose more drastic measures should the speculative tendencies persist.

In Green River, Wyo., the identity of a gunman who had terrorized southern Wyoming had definitely been established, but any hope of explaining his strange personality appeared to have died with him in a hail of shotgun pellets. A woman from California had identified the man the previous day as her son. He had taken the name of a South Carolina man in 1953 while driving a car on approval from an automobile firm, was then involved in an accident and took the name of the other man, whom he had known a year earlier in Wyoming, seeking to avoid a civil suit arising from the accident. His mother said that he did not know that the man whose name he took had a prison record. The South Carolinian whose name he took said that he was unaware of the fact. The man had killed two men, wounded two others and had held a 17-year old boy hostage for eight hours before being shot to death by a member of a posse the prior Friday night. Just before he had collapsed in a house where he had taken refuge, he had stated: "I'm dead, dammit—come and get me." It was the language, the language is what got him. He should have said, "durn it", like a true cowboy would. Then, the posse probably would not have shot him.

In New York, at least one woman would serve on the jury in the second trial of Mickey Jelke, margarine heir accused of compelling women to enter prostitution, after both sides had found the woman acceptable for jury service. In the first trial, there had been no women on the jury, in light of the salacious evidence presented by the prosecution. The prosecutor predicted that it would take 2 to 3 days to select the full jury panel.

In Cincinnati, it was reported that the hump of the flooding Ohio River had moved slowly downstream this date, forcing hundreds of families and businesses to evacuate the shore areas, leaving in its wake heavy property damage, impacting an estimated 2,600 families. The Cincinnati Weather Bureau called it a "major flood" because more than two-thirds of the river's length was at least five feet over flood stage, extending over about 600 miles of river. The Red Cross called it a "disaster". Damage was estimated to run into several million dollars.

In Raleigh, the State superintendent of corrections and training told the State House Judiciary Committee No. 1 that boys at present who were 15 were harder to handle than their fathers had been at age 25, voicing opposition to a bill which would extend the jurisdiction of juvenile courts to those 16 years old when they had a first offense misdemeanor which was not a violation of motor vehicle laws. Presently, jurisdiction of the juvenile court ended when children reached their 16th birthday. He said that the state needed a reformatory, which it did not have, to take care of older juveniles. He said that the state's training schools did not have guards, locks or bars, that a reformatory did the same type of work as a training school but did have guards and bars. He stated that though boys 16 to 18 were tried in Superior Court under present law, they were punished as juveniles and sent to training schools with suspended prison sentences. The Committee decided to defer action on the bill until the Legislature received a report of a commission which had studied the problem of juvenile delinquency.

Julian Scheer of The News reports that State Senator F. J. Blythe of Charlotte had stated that he wanted good and strong local representation at a special hearing the following day on State Senatorial redistricting, an issue which would impact Charlotte and Mecklenburg. He said that a lot of people were coming from Guilford County around Greensboro, as it, too, would be affected by the redistricting. Mr. Scheer reports that at present, chances were slim that the General Assembly would approve redistricting. The prior November, the people of the state had voted against a State Constitutional amendment which would have limited each county to a single Senator, and so left open the possibility of additional representation based on population.

The President had stayed away from his office for awhile during the morning because of slight symptoms of a cold, but later decided to maintain most of his engagements. The First Lady had the flu and was confined to bed. The President's physician reported that he had no temperature, but had some congestion.

In Detroit, three traffic defendants, with first names Speed, Ruff and Gentle, were found guilty of violations, with the latter receiving five days in jail and a six-month driving suspension, while the other two were fined $25 and also suffered a six-month suspension.

On the editorial page, "New Hope for an Old Chestnut?" indicates that when Governor Luther Hodges had delivered his State of the State message to the General Assembly the prior January 6, there had not been a word about a legal floor for wages in North Carolina in occupations not subject to the Federal wage and hour law for not being involved in interstate commerce. The following day, however, the Governor had entered a press conference and announced that he would support a minimum wage bill along the lines of the ill-fated 55-cent proposal put forth in 1953.

State minimum wage bills were old legislative chestnuts, often proposed and always shouted down. It had taken two months in the current Legislature for the matter to be brought up by two State representatives, currently before the Manufacturers and Labor Committee.

It finds the bill not unreasonable and that, if anything, a 55-cent minimum wage for the state was too low, but at least was a start in the right direction. It hopes that there would be enough level-headed, thinking legislators in the 1955 Legislature to get the bill out of committee and have it enacted. The state owed its people a minimum wage which was decent and not subsistence level, and the pending bill would help the state provide that for its citizens.

"City School Needs Are Great But…" discusses the legislation to raise the local school tax limit to 60 cents per $100 of property valuation, proposed to meet the demand of increased school enrollment. With the ceiling presently set at 50 cents, the current school tax levy was only 45 cents, leaving some additional room to raise the tax.

While it was without doubt that there were great fiscal needs for expansion of the schools, it thinks it reasonable that educators ought use fiscal channels already open to them before asking for new ones, as it was possible that the City could meet its educational obligations by raising the levy slightly, without raising the limit. Should it hit the limit and the schools still could not make ends meet, then a ceiling adjustment could be made in the 1957 Legislature.

"Russia Sided with the Yankees" suggests that it must have made unreconstructed Southerners wince when Secretary of State Dulles had referred to the nation's "historic friendship" with the Russians, for Russia had never been a pal to the South, not even in the days of the czars. Russia had been sympathetic to the Union during the Civil War and had been instrumental in restraining Britain and France from recognizing the Confederacy.

All of that was outlined in Road To Teheran, by Foster Rhea Dulles, cousin to the Secretary of State. The reason for Russia supporting the Confederacy was that Russia had recently been fighting in the Crimea and still regarded Britain as the principal barrier to its ambitions, considered the U.S. as an ally against Britain. A number of Russian officers had even served in the Union Army, and the Czar had freed his slaves a year before the Emancipation Proclamation went into effect. Russian naval squadrons had visited New York and San Francisco in 1863, to the relief and delight of the Union. They had made John Paul Jones an Admiral in the Russian Navy, but despite that fact and the fact that he had been a friend to North Carolina, the "Yankeephile Russians are no comrades of ours."

"Footnote" indicates that if the Confederacy decided again to secede, it was likely that Russia would seek to ally with the South. Now, it notes, unlike during the Civil War, the South had its own munitions factory, at Aiken, S.C.

A piece from the Lexington Dispatch, titled "No Balm in Gilead", tells of the town of Spencer being unable to locate any steam locomotive within the railroad system which had built the town and been its main source of support through the years. Recently, the townsfolk decided it would be a community asset to place an old steam locomotive in the park at the center of the community. In a few years, it suggests, such locomotives would become true museum pieces.

But Southern Railway had informed that the company had no more steam locomotives available. The Chesapeake & Ohio had given one to a Virginia town and it had been rededicated with much fanfare. It was now being suggested that the C & O might sell a locomotive to Spencer. In any event, the town was not giving up its search.

It comments that the railroads apparently had a more efficient means of getting rid of its old engines, unlike the automobile, millions of which lay in junkyards along the roadways of the nation, marring its natural beauty.

Drew Pearson indicates that Secretary of State Dulles, meeting U.S. Ambassadors to 15 Asian countries the previous week, had told them that there would be no further retreats in Asia. But, comments Mr. Pearson, standing firm in Asia without war would be a tough proposition. Thus, he suggests a strategy which could be used against the Chinese Communists, the same tactics utilized by the Chinese, Indians and other Orientals against the U.S. when they found themselves in a tight spot, the boycott. The Indians called it passive resistance and Westerners sometimes called it a blockade. But it amounted to the same thing, refusing to have dealings, business, economic, political or otherwise, with a high-handed or aggressor nation. The Indians had used the strategy against the British and eventually had won their independence. Mahatma Gandhi, at whose home Mr. Pearson had visited many years earlier, had been a master of the technique.

The Chinese Communists had also used the strategy with great success, Mr. Pearson relating of having been in Canton in 1925 when the city had been controlled by the first wave of Communism to agitate in China, then led by Chiang Kai-shek. Chiang had threatened American shipping not to sail up the Pearl River past his fortress, but the threats were quite empty. The boycott, however, enforced by Chiang's Communist comrades in Canton against the American-British international community of an island adjacent to Canton, had been quite effective, with no Chinese servants, food, or water permitted on the island, bringing business to a standstill. That type of boycott was an oriental weapon which Orientals understood, and he suggests that it had been foolish on the part of the U.S. not to have employed it long earlier, in the form of a naval blockade.

There had been discussion of a blockade in the past, but there had been two principal reasons why it had never been adopted, first, that the proposals had come from military men, notably present Joint Chiefs chairman, Admiral Arthur Radford, scaring friends and allies. He points out that a boycott or blockade was more of a political than a military operation, and military men ought quit putting their feet in their mouths. Another reason why it had not been adopted was that British businessmen and the British Government had put trade ahead of peace. The fact remained, however, that Communist China was fairly easy to boycott, as it was not self-sustaining and could not subsist for long without goods from the outside.

Senator Sam J. Ervin, Jr., of North Carolina, in an excerpt from an address delivered the prior Friday in Richmond, discusses the American heritage of liberty handed down from earlier generations, commenting that love of liberty, however, was not originated in America but rather brought by courageous men and women from the British Isles, France, and Germany, seeking economic, political and religious freedom denied to them by the tyrannical rulers of the Old World.

He suggests that since so many people presently appeared anxious to swap the reality of human liberty for the mirage of economic security, it was wise to pause for a moment and ponder the choice the country's ancestors had made when they had left the comparative security of the Old World for the insecurity of the New, boarding tiny ships to cross the ocean and settle in a perilous wilderness, believing that only the slave, dependent on a master, was truly secure and that only the self-reliant person who spurned security for opportunity was truly free. They understood that the earth yielded nothing to man except through the product of his own labor. And the bread which man had to eat in the sweat of his face would be either the bread of freedom or of bondage. They also understood a basic law, that free men could not be induced to produce things of value unless they were permitted to retain a fair share of the fruits of their labor. They also knew that men could be free only if they were willing to accept the responsibility for their own lives, inseparable from liberty.

Robert Payne, writing in the New York Times Magazine, describes the global hat situation, tells of the fez, banned by Kemal Ataturk in Turkey in 1928, having re-emerged in rural districts. Villagers were being warned that they had to wear hats with brims or suffer penalties, which were severe at the time of Mr. Ataturk, entailing potential prison for ten years at hard labor for wearing a fez.

He indicates that there was nothing new in penalizing people for wearing the wrong headgear. In 1787, John Hetherington, a Strand haberdasher, had been arrested for wearing a tall hat "having a luster calculated to frighten timid people". Napoleon issued a decree forbidding the wearing of the bonnet rouge worn by the French revolutionaries. After the revolution of 1911, the Chinese banned Manchu headgear. For a brief time, the British banned the white cotton cap worn by members of the Indian Congress Party.

The hat with a brim was an invention of the Greeks, the first of which was the petasos, made of felt or straw with a strap at the back, preventing it from being taken off by the wind. It still survived among the peasants of Greece and had extended over Europe.

Oriental headgear appeared to arise naturally out of tradition, and Western headgear had a history of deliberate invention. The brimmed fur hat was invented by a Swiss citizen who showed it first in Paris in the year 1404.

The felt hats worn by men on Fifth Avenue in 1955 had a revolutionary past, originally worn by cowboys on the Hungarian plains. Louis Kossuth escaped to England and America after the failure of the 1848 revolution, wearing a black, wide-brimmed felt hat, which became quite popular and was imitated everywhere as a symbol of freedom, soon replacing the tophat.

Russians liked the astrakhan fur hat, but also had been influenced by V. I. Lenin to wear caps. After visiting London, Lenin started wearing workingman's caps. While utilitarian, it lacked some of the advantages of the French beret, which hugged the head so closely, it could not easily be removed. It derived from the bonnet rouge of the French Revolution and, further back, from the priest's biretta. It was a symbol of all French virtues, independence, frugality and gaiety.

The ten-gallon hat of the cowboys in America, modeled on the broad-brimmed sombrero of the Mexicans, except that the latter was made of straw whereas the cowboy hat was made of felt, could be punched into any shape. He suggests that if the Turks were looking for a replacement for the fez, they might as well look to the ten-gallon hat, which served many purposes in an utilitarian age.

A letter writer suggests that Senators were not trying to reduce taxes, while voting to raise their own pay. He finds the only reason for raising the pay would be to attract better people to run for office, people who would be more interested in the affairs of state than in their own personal gain, and he hopes that the members of Congress had voted themselves out of a job, promising to do everything he could to see that it would be so.

A letter writer says that on almost any street of Charlotte, one could walk in and buy a gallon of whiskey, and bootleggers could have it delivered to the home. She indicates that when someone got so drunk that they did not know what they were doing, they were placed in jail. Yet, liquor remained on the market. She wonders what kind of a world it was when children were going hungry, homes were broken up and men were lying around drinking. No one seemed to be doing anything about it, despite churches being all over town. "People lost, going to hell, every day because of liquor. And yet the stuff is sold on almost all streets." She thinks that the liquor dealers were to blame.

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