The Charlotte News

Tuesday, April 12, 1955


Site Ed. Note: The front page reports from Ann Arbor, Mich., that the polio vaccine developed by Dr. Jonas Salk, had been determined by the experimental tests conducted nationwide on 1.8 million children the prior summer to have been 80 to 90 percent effective in preventing paralytic polio. Dr. Salk immediately declared that he was certain the vaccine was potentially nearly 100 percent effective and could bring complete triumph over polio and the terror and tragedy which accompanied it. The vaccine was found quite safe, with only .4 percent of the children tested suffering minor reactions and major reactions being almost completely absent. The time of protection offered by the vaccine appeared reasonably good, with a moderate decline in its effect detected after five months. Paralysis had occurred in 33 children who received the vaccine in areas where children were given either the real vaccine or placebo shots, and none had died. Only one child who had been given the vaccine had died of polio and that had followed removal of his tonsils two days after his second shot, in an area where polio was already prevalent. Dr. Salk urged that children be given during the current year only two shots of the vaccine to increase its effectiveness, with the shots occurring 2 to 4 weeks apart, and a third delayed for at least seven months thereafter. He said that the effectiveness was better with that kind of spacing rather than all shots being provided within five weeks, as had been done during the tests. He also indicated that some variations in the vaccination results had apparently been caused by some bad or impotent batches of vaccine. He urged also that children who had been vaccinated during the test the previous year be given a booster shot as soon as the vaccine became available. Licensing of the vaccine by the National Institute of Health was expected within 48 hours, to make it possible for initiating the vaccination program quickly. It was estimated that there would be enough vaccine for 30 million children, but if Dr. Salk's advice for only two shots was followed, it would make it possible to inoculate 45 million children. Of the 1.8 million children tested the prior summer, 1,013 had developed polio, and in areas where both the vaccine and the placebo shots had been utilized interchangeably, 428 out of 749,236 had contracted the disease. In observed control areas where only second graders were inoculated, 585 of 1,080,680 children had developed polio. Of the children who received the placebo shots, 115 had become paralyzed.

Secretary of Health, Education and Welfare, Oveta Culp Hobby, was set formally to license the polio vaccine for general use during the afternoon of this date, her signature being the legal requirement before any new medical product could be sold commercially.

No one commented on the fact that the report had been released, obviously intentionally, on the tenth anniversary of the death of President Roosevelt, who, as a victim of polio, contracting it at age 39, had championed the cause of research to find a vaccine, having founded the March of Dimes, the reason why the dime bears his image to this day. Why no one mentioned the fact is a mystery. Not even Drew Pearson, who commemorates the late President's death this date, related the date to the release of the report on the polio vaccine, perhaps still to a degree protecting the President's memory, as the press had in life, by not mentioning the fact that he had been crippled throughout most of his public life, having just been the Democratic nominee for the vice-presidency in 1920, a year before being stricken. Historically, of course, the fact of his overcoming his crippled state, as dramatized three years later in the play and then the film, "Sunrise at Campobello", made the President the more compelling as a strong and inspirational leader.

In Charlotte, the immunization shots would begin in the schools of the city and county as planned on April 25, according to the City-County Health Department officer, Dr. M. B. Bethel. Julian Scheer of The News reports that there would be plenty of vaccine available within the ensuing 6 to 8 weeks to care for children up to the teenage level, as at least five firms would begin to ship the vaccine into the area immediately and a sixth firm was ready to begin manufacture. Local doctors had exhausted the first commercial allocation by their requests, but a second allocation might be ready within two weeks, and it might become readily available in drugstores by mid-May.

Don't worry, young children, roll up your sleeves, and you will get a lollipop at the end for your brave cooperation. You will also demonstrate to those superannuated child-fools of the future, in 2020 and 2021, how truly sad and stupid they will appear alongside you, afraid of a little shot, while sporting guns at state capitols to demonstrate how tough and brave they think they are, proclaiming their "freedom" to be as stupid as fenceposts, the while risking the health of everyone else. In retrospect, it really isn't that we much cared about the health of those dumbbells, as nature has a way of eliminating dumbbells, but when you are placing the entire population, especially the elderly and persons with compromised immune systems, at risk by your personal imbecilic behavior in the name of "freedom", you should be ashamed of yourselves. And just so you will know, the pandemic is not over here in April, 2022, with caution still being the watchword for the next several months, lest we have another relaxed period where all is declared rosey and the coast clear, as in the brilliant Trump summer of 2020, only to have the thing balloon all out of proportion to unprecedented levels because of premature normalization. Continue to wear your masks, regardless of what the caution-to-the-wind crowd has to say, trying to politicize the health of the country, maintain your social distancing reasonably, and shut the hell up about your petty grievances regarding Gov'ment mandates, you incredibly dumb morons who would oppose being told by the Government not to jump headlong into the Grand Canyon. You care more about your guns than the health and safety of your own children or elderly relatives. How stupid can you possibly get? Anybody dumb enough to carry a loaded weapon in plain view in a public place, thereby intimidating people, is, of course, also dumb and uncaring enough to infect people with their expectorant by not following the standard rules of health, just like the smokers who defy non-smoking regulations designed to promote the general health and welfare, ignoring second-hand smoke inhalation research. Science and health, and objective, controlled research conducted for the preservation of the public health, have nothing to do with partisan politics.

Before the Supreme Court this date, NAACP attorney and future Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall, in the second day of oral argument on the implementing decision in Brown v. Board of Education, asked the Court to hold that separate schools for black and white children, held unconstitutional the previous May 17 in the original decision, had to end with the new school term to start the following September. Oral argument had begun the previous day, with the cases of Kansas and Delaware immediately before the Court at that time, both states asking for the time and freedom to integrate in their own manner. The cases out of Virginia and South Carolina, consolidated for purposes of the argument, were immediately before the Court this afternoon, and the representatives of the two states would next argue their positions, asking for delay in implementation. Both sides generally agreed that the Court should turn over to the lower Federal courts the job of supervising desegregation, but the states wanted the District Courts to be given little, if any, instruction on how to carry out the task, while the NAACP insisted on the Court providing instructional guidelines. Some Deep Southern states, including Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi and South Carolina, had indicated that they would maintain separate schools regardless of what the Court did, threatening to abolish public schools, if necessary, to maintain segregated facilities. Virginia told the Court that "prolonged social disorder" would result if desegregation were pushed too rapidly. The ruling would impact 17 states which presently had complete or partial segregation of their public schools. Following the hearing on the Virginia and South Carolina cases this date, six states not directly involved in Brown would be heard as friends of the Court, including Florida, North Carolina, Arkansas, Oklahoma, Maryland and Texas. Only four states, plus the District of Columbia, were part of the original case, with the District necessarily treated separately, as only the states come within the ambit of the 14th Amendment Equal Protection Clause. Thus, in Bolling v. Sharpe, segregated public schools in the District were deemed to have been in violation of Federal due process under the Fifth Amendment, decided the same day as Brown. The District, however, had already undertaken virtually full integration at the start of the current school year, responding to the urging of the President to do so in the wake of the original decision, in the hope of setting an example for the nation.

The President, speaking at The Citadel commencement exercises in Charleston, S.C., called the graduating class "apostles of peace", in the hope of promoting understanding among nations. About 10,000 persons were in attendance. He urged understanding of people to achieve peace in the world. The President was awarded an honorary doctor of laws degree by his old friend and comrade during World War II, retired General Mark Clark, the president of the institution. Former Governor of South Carolina James Byrnes was in attendance, having supported the General in the 1952 presidential campaign. The President had not visited South Carolina since the 1952 campaign.

Near Newton, N.C., a prison camp riot had broken out this date, but had been quelled soon afterward, without any personal injury, and the rioters had been transferred to other prison facilities. The supervisor of the camp said that the riot had begun when 41 prisoners refused to leave a cell block, causing about $500 worth of damage.

On the editorial page, "Stevenson States the Case for Unity" indicates that former Governor Adlai Stevenson the previous night, in a nationwide radio talk regarding the Formosan crisis, had exhibited common sense in a time when U.S. war talk had alarmed the nation's allies more than it had deterred its enemies, such that there was a danger of division among the free world coalition. Mr. Stevenson had said that such division was a greater peril to enduring peace than the few disputed islands off the Chinese mainland.

The U.S. had been pursuing virtually alone its policy with respect to Formosa, leaving its allies frightened and often bewildered. Carried to extremes, it could leave the U.S. with only the support which would come from Nationalist China's aging and unreliable army, while costing the U.S. the respect and good will of millions of Asians. The entire free world had a stake in the outcome of the Formosan crisis, and it was a time for collective action and resolve, with a breach in the ranks being just what the Communist bloc wanted. It posits that it was also a time for Americans to realize that unity among the allies and the friendship of the people of the free world were more important than the fate of the two small Nationalist-held islands, Quemoy and Matsu.

"A New Victim of Political Vigilantism" indicates that the State Department's dignity, which had already taken hits, had taken another in its handling of the case of Edward Corsi, who had been ousted from his job only 90 days after accepting a post regarding immigration, as the post was eliminated, while Mr. Corsi had been under fire in Congress, especially by Congressman Francis Walter of Pennsylvania, for supposedly having Communist connections. Mr. Walter appeared to be upset because Mr. Corsi had referred to the 1952 Immigration and Naturalization Act, co-sponsored by Mr. Walter, as "un-American" because it placed quotas on immigration based on national origin. Mr. Corsi had denied any previous Communist affiliations or sympathies. The piece finds that there was no evidence of such alignment, after preliminary security investigations had given Mr. Corsi a clean bill of health.

Nevertheless, Secretary Dulles had backed down in the face of Congressional pressure rather than standing up for his friend. It was not the first time such had happened. The State Department had a long record of pulling the rug from under faithful employees, as just a few months earlier it had done with regard to John Patton Davies. Since the end of World War II, it had not taken much to brand a man as a subversive or dangerous. Senator Karl Mundt had opposed the appointment of Harvard University president James B. Conant to be High Commissioner to West Germany on the grounds that he was "too bookish a sort of fellow". Earlier, former Senator Kenneth McKellar of Tennessee had smeared Atomic Energy Commission chairman David Lillienthal with a "Red taint" because his parents had many years earlier emigrated from Czechoslovakia, which was now a Soviet satellite.

It indicates that it had thought that such nonsense was fading from the scene but apparently it was not. It finds it no wonder that the President was finding it difficult to obtain qualified citizens to serve in the Administration.

It suggests that the State Department, in offering Mr. Corsi a less sensitive job, which he had declined, had not righted the wrong. Mr. Corsi had been a loyal Republican throughout his public career, having held the job of industrial commissioner in the State of New York under Governor Dewey, and having been a Federal commissioner of immigration in New York, appointed by President Hoover. He had also run for the Senate as a Republican in 1938.

Secretary of State Dulles, in appointing him an Assistant Secretary of State a few months earlier, had referred to him as his "dear friend" and that he was the "best qualified man" for the job.

"New Sounds: Strange to Your Ears?" tells of a long-haired critic—"longhair" in the parlance of the pre-mid-Sixties not referring to young people with long hair but rather classical music buffs—having questioned what had happened to U.S. popular music, as the crazy kids who performed it did not even stick to conventional instruments anymore. The critic in question had been referring to the Sauter-Finegan Orchestra, which utilized bells, Chinese gongs, recorders and an occasional kazoo to produce the sounds for "The Doodletown Fifers", "Midnight Sleighride", and other such lively tunes.

But it indicates that funny instruments were also being employed to play traditional symphonic music, such as when a Charles Ives symphonic piece had premiered on radio the previous year, with its main appeal being the fact that it was scored for two jew's harps, conducted by Leopold Stokowski, who had sent orchestra managers on a nationwide hunt for jew's harp players. A few years earlier, Mr. Stokowski had decided to direct Lou Harrison's "Canticle No. 3", upsetting orchestra managers even more, as they had to rifle through automobile junkyards to find 18 brake drums to use as percussion pieces, as directed by the score.

George Anthiel's "Ballet Mecanique" required use of an actual airplane engine, while in a recent New York performance, a recording of a jet plane's engine had been substituted.

Some compositions by Heitor Villa-Lobos called for small animal cries. "Don Quixote" by Richard Strauss required sheep bleats and a miniature hurricane in its score. One of Maurice Ravel's two "Daphnis et Chloe" suites employed a wind machine. Whistles were used in some of Darius Milhaud's music. "An American in Paris", by George Gershwin, required four taxi horns tuned to A, B, C and D.

Older symphonic music also resorted to strange instruments, such as an obscure concerto by Josef Haydn, which included two hurdy-gurdies, or lire organizzate. Some Beethoven and Mozart music called for a glass harmonica, which consisted of a set of water-dipped, spinning glass bowls placed on a rack, played by rubbing wetted fingers gently over them.

Thus, it concludes that the funny instruments were only following in the masters' footsteps.

A piece from the Richmond News Leader, titled "This Promotion Will Sell Spuds", indicates that the Wall Street Journal had reported that potato growers would soon erect large full-color billboards in 30 large cities, proclaiming the glories of potatoes, while in other areas, a singing commercial would inform viewers that "Whitey", the California long white potato, took a shower before going to market. Idaho growers were putting up $180,000 for the sales promotion and the National Potato Council had put up $50,000, with the effort to promote more potato buying.

Around the turn of the century, Americans each had eaten an average of 180 pounds of potatoes per year, while consumption had dropped the previous year to 104 pounds, a slight gain from 1953. Thus, the potato growers believed that potato consumption could stand to increase.

It finds that aside from the hoopla accompanying the promotion, the best promotion would be by nutritionists, that potatoes contained no more calories than an apple. Many people bypassed mashed potatoes as having starch and calories, but all of that would change with the new campaign, after a nutritionist would declare, in addition to the apple comparison, that two potatoes contained as much vitamin C as an orange, thus helping also to fight rickets.

"Make it French fries, ma'am. Double order."

No, now, nobody said anything about frying them up in all that grease. Taking things too far without restraint is how you become a fatso. It's like apple pie. If you eat half an apple pie every day, you will not keep the doctor away for long.

Drew Pearson indicates that a lot had taken place in the decade since FDR had died on April 12, 1945. It had been an April day full of hope and sunshine, as the war was about to be won in Europe, and everyone could feel at the time that peace was just around the corner. But then, he had suddenly died and his body was returned from Georgia to Washington for the funeral before being transported by train for burial at the Roosevelt estate in Hyde Park, New York.

FDR had not been around Washington much during the winter of 1945, having spent Christmas in Hyde Park after spending the election of 1944 in Warm Springs, Ga., had then gone to Yalta for the conference with Prime Minister Churchill and Stalin, then returned to Hyde Park in February, and then back to Warm Springs, where he suffered his sudden cerebral hemorrhage on the afternoon of April 12 while he worked in his study. But, even though he had been away, people in Washington still felt that he was around and had his hands on things. Thus when news came that he had died, people felt lost, as FDR had been their President. They believed he was for the working man and they knew they had lost a friend.

He recounts the news having come to Vice-President Truman while he had been visiting House Speaker Sam Rayburn late in the afternoon, subsequently taking the oath of office at the White House, as the Cabinet stood by shocked and shaken. Secretary of Labor Frances Perkins, who had known FDR since their early reform days in Albany, had broken down and wept. Secretary of War Henry Stimson, a Republican, who had served in three Cabinets and who had once battled against the young FDR in New York, had also wept. He had opposed FDR on domestic issues while serving in his Cabinet on international issues. Secretary of the Treasury Henry Morgenthau looked ten years older than his age when he learned of the news.

The new Administration then began to function, as the funeral train made its way from Georgia northward. As it went from Washington to Hyde Park, people stood alongside the tracks all night long through Philadelphia, Trenton, Newark, and New York. He describes the graveside service. That night, President Truman spent most of the time with then-War Mobilizer James Byrnes, to be elevated in the ensuing two months to Secretary of State, DNC treasurer Ed Pauley, and George Allen. Of those three, remarks Mr. Pearson, only Mr. Pauley continued to be close to Mr. Truman. After leaving the Cabinet, Mr. Byrnes had fought the President bitterly, seeking in 1952 to carry South Carolina for General Eisenhower over Adlai Stevenson. George Allen had been given a comfortable job in the Reconstruction Finance Corporation by President Truman, but was now President Eisenhower's partner in the farm at Gettysburg and in a Howard Johnson restaurant.

He concludes that times had changed, with President Truman out of office and the man whom President Roosevelt had made the commanding general in Europe now President. When the Yalta records had been released a couple of weeks earlier, few people whom President Roosevelt had befriended and promoted to high office had risen to defend his good name. By contrast, Winston Churchill, who had been equally or perhaps more to blame for the mistakes at Yalta, had retired the previous week in a blaze of glory, as he had lived to defend his wartime decisions.

Some years earlier, before Mr. Churchill had returned as Prime Minister in 1951, he had confided to a friend that he wished he had passed away as FDR had at the height of victory. But Mr. Pearson indicates that he had lived to enjoy other glories and to defend himself, and Mr. Pearson says that he was glad that he had. No one had attacked Mr. Churchill for the mistakes he had made at Yalta, rather choosing to attack a dead man who could not defend himself.

William P. Helm, in the first of a series of articles, tells of Congress preparing to open an inquiry the following month regarding a plan to limit Federal income tax to 25 percent during peacetime, whereas at present, there was no limit. The tax on an individual's net income started at 20 percent and was scaled up to 91 percent, while on corporate net income, the maximum was 52 percent.

The 16th Amendment, ratified in 1913, permitted Congress to tax income at whatever rates it desired. A decade earlier, during a two-year transition to pay-as-you-go taxation, taxes on a few large individual incomes had actually exceeded 100 percent. The advocates of the change in taxation wanted to repeal the 16th Amendment and adopt a substitute limit on Federal income taxes to 25 percent. The proposed amendment was pending in separate measures before the House and Senate, with Congressman Chauncey Reed of Illinois being among the chief sponsors in the House and Senator Everett Dirksen of Illinois being among the chief sponsors in the Senate. Proponents of the proposed amendment wanted to submit it to the 48 states for consideration, in pursuit of which hearings the following month would be held before a House Judiciary subcommittee, which would report its findings to the full Committee, of which Congressman Emanuel Celler of New York was chairman. The full Committee would then decide whether it would recommend that the House submit the proposed amendment for ratification by three-fourths of the states, which would then require approval by two-thirds of each house. The states would then have seven years to ratify.

The proposed amendment had a provision for higher income tax rates in times of emergency and provided Congress the right, under certain conditions, to impose them. Mr. Helm provides the text of the key provisions of the amendment—which was never submitted to the states for ratification. He also provides the reasoning of Congressman Reed, when he had introduced the measure before the prior Congress.

He indicates that there were those who opposed the plan and disputed Mr. Reed's views on it, and that their objections would be outlined in a subsequent piece.

Marquis Childs indicates that Communist China's Premier and Foreign Minister Chou En-lai intended to spring a peace offensive at the forthcoming African-Asian conference in Indonesia, set to start the following Monday in Bandung. The report was being taken seriously in Washington by those who feared a Communist propaganda coup at the conference. Chou reportedly would produce a plan for peaceful coexistence of Communist and non-Communist nations in Asia, charging that SEATO, formed with the U.S. the previous September after being initiated by Secretary of State Dulles, had merely been an American device to embroil Asian peoples in a war for American interests. Three of the Asian powers who were members of SEATO, Pakistan, Thailand and the Philippines, would be represented at the forthcoming conference, but the large, populous powers of Asia had not joined SEATO.

The effect of Chou's appeal on such leaders as Prime Minister Nehru of India could not be discounted, for in a recent speech in the Indian Parliament, Nehru had denounced war and declared that his country would never take sides in an armed conflict, even if every other nation was involved. He strongly intimated that the U.S. was pursuing a warlike course in Asia.

Burma and Indonesia, both uncommitted in the East-West power struggle, also would be susceptible to an appeal for peaceful coexistence. Those countries had grave internal difficulties as they struggled to achieve independence and economic stability. They feared that the upheaval produced by another war would destroy that progress and open the way either to a form of totalitarianism or chaos and ruin.

According to reports in Washington, Chou would couple his appeal for peace with the denunciation of the U.S. for threatening to intervene to protect Nationalist Chinese garrisons on the offshore islands of Quemoy and Matsu. Thus, it was unlikely that Communist China would launch any such attack during the conference, while making entreaties toward peace and a mutual prosperity program for Asians.

But there was some possibility that a warlike faction within the little group presently ruling China under ever-narrowing despotism could upset those plans, there being an increasing belief that those in Mao Tse-Tung's Government were fanatical enough in their anti-Western, anti-American hatred to risk war by launching an attack in the Formosa Strait, hoping to prove that the U.S. was a paper tiger, as they had long contended. Communist propaganda also would stress the threat of nuclear tests, with special emphasis on the hydrogen bomb being tested periodically by the U.S. in the Pacific.

Some pressure had been generated in Washington for the U.S. to initiate a move to have the U.N. pass on the question of the possible danger of radioactive material in the atmosphere, as a result of nuclear tests, as such a move prior to the conference might forestall Communist propaganda regarding U.S. testing. But it did not appear that such a move was in the offing, or that any other steps were being undertaken to offset other possible repercussions of the forthcoming conference.

The plain truth was, according to Mr. Childs, that the drift of events in the Orient had, in recent months, greatly jeopardized the hopes of the West to gain the support of the still uncommitted peoples of Asia. The deterioration in Japan had been so rapid that a plan for joint action had been proposed in the immediate future to avert an upheaval producing disastrous consequences for U.S. interests.

A letter writer comments on the Southern Bell strike, finding that the strikers were not waging their fight only for themselves but for organized labor everywhere in the South, and if they were to lose the fight for full arbitration rights and agreed to the company's demand for a no-strike clause in the contract, it would tend, she believes, to set a pattern for future labor-management disputes in all forms of industries. She suggests that for many years, the working people of the South had let big business run things their own way, and while the cost of living was increasing, wages were lower and the number of working hours were longer in the South than in any other section of the country of equivalent size. She finds it no wonder, therefore, that the rest of the country failed to respect the South or to recognize its vast potential and capabilities, instead regarding Southerners as "'illiterate, barefoot, patched-pants' weaklings."

A letter from a member of the Charlotte College Advisory Board and chairman of the Chamber of Commerce College Improvement Committee thanks the newspaper for its April 5 editorial titled, "Charlotte College: Crisis in Education", advocating establishment of a State-supported college in Charlotte, commends it for its knowledge and understanding of the college problem being faced in Charlotte and the Piedmont area, handicapping young people and placing unnecessary burdens on the taxpayers of the state when they were asked to pay for dormitories in distant locales.

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