The Charlotte News

Saturday, April 2, 1955


Site Ed. Note: The front page reports from Tokyo that a radio broadcast intercepted from Peiping charged this night that 18 U.S. planes in four groups had violated Communist China's boundaries the previous day and that the Chinese people were "watching with serious consideration the progress of such provocations." The propaganda broadcast said that Chinese warplanes had pursued the four American planes which had flown over Shangtung Province, but that they had escaped eastward. It said that such military provocations by the U.S. showed its intention to increase tension in the Far East. A U.S. Far East Air Force spokesman in Tokyo said that no information was yet available on the report but that it would be checked. The story indicates that a recent broadcast of similar charges by the Communist Chinese, claiming U.S. air intrusion of Chinese territory, had turned out to relate to planes from Nationalist China.

The State Department announced this date that 76 technically trained Chinese students had been granted permission to leave the country, after they had been barred from doing so for the previous four years in some cases, the decision having been made jointly by the State, Justice and Defense Departments. About a half dozen more cases would be determined shortly by the Immigration and Naturalization Service and the expectation was that they would also be cleared to leave. It was hoped that the decision would result in the release of 15 American airmen and 41 U.S. civilians being held by the Chinese Communists, but the State Department stated that there had been no deal on their release. The Chinese students had been refused departure visas because it was feared that technical knowledge acquired in the U.S. would be used at home to aid the Communist Chinese.

From Dansalan, Mindanao, in the Philippines, it was reported that an earthquake the previous day had caused the death of at least 327 persons, with most of the dead having occurred in the Lake Lanao region of northwestern Mindanao. The earthquake had caused a tidal wave which had submerged an entire village on the west shore of the lake. Provincial officials stated that there were also 254 injured and estimated crop damage of five million dollars worth, with additional damage to churches, public buildings and homes, resulting in an estimated 10,000 persons being rendered homeless. Makeshift tents were provided to afford temporary shelter.

Senator Kerr Scott of North Carolina, in his first major Senate speech the previous day, had attacked the President, saying that he was "the master architect of confusion—not the tool of confusion." He said that there could never be real leadership as long as the President tried to handle the tough decisions "by putting them off, by passing the buck to others or by ducking responsibility for the acts of his subordinates". He said that he had observed a long series of acts and statements which, taken together, constituted a dangerous threat to national security, to the nation's prestige and standing in international circles and to the domestic economy. He said that it was time to stop criticizing the bat boys and begin to see what kind of a job the pitcher was doing, referring to the President. He asserted that there had been a period of dangerous drift and confusion with regard to whether the U.S. would defend Nationalist-held Quemoy and Matsu islands off the coast of Communist China in the event of an attack by Communist China, which had brought the country "dangerously close to the brink of war." He said that it was best that the President not reveal his precise intent with regard to those islands but that it was to be hoped that he had made up his own mind about what he intended to do and that it would be a firm position from which he would not be pressured or tricked into conflict by war-minded leaders within the Republican Party.

The New York Times reported that the Army had raised the secrecy rating of official documents pertaining to General MacArthur's wartime views on the need for Soviet assistance in the battle against Japan. General MacArthur had said repeatedly that had he been asked at the time of the Yalta conference in February, 1945, he would have advised President Roosevelt against bringing the Russians into the Pacific War at that late date. The Washington Post and Times-Herald, in an editorial of March 25, had disputed the statement, saying that General MacArthur was known to have sent messages to the Joint Chiefs during the war pleading for concessions to Russia to engage them in the Pacific War. The General's chief aide, however, retired Maj. General Courtney Whitney, denied that claim again the previous day in a letter to the newspaper, saying that he had reviewed the file of General MacArthur's most important messages to the Joint Chiefs and that there was no entry regarding Soviet Russia coming into the war against Japan. The Times, in a dispatch from Washington signed by correspondent Anthony Leviero, stated the previous night that it had asked the Army to release the wartime documents which would clarify the dispute, indicating that the documents it sought had originally been graded "top secret" but had been downgraded to "restricted" late in 1945 so that Army historians could write their histories. The Times said that the Army had agreed to release pertinent parts of the documents but that a hitch had developed in that the classification had been changed from "restricted" to "confidential", upgraded, according to the Times, to keep the press from having access. The newspaper sought two documents cited on page 308 of the Army history volume titled, Washington Command Post: The Operations Division, which had indicated that at a conference on February 25, 1945 between the chief of the strategic section of the war plans division of the War Department general staff, General George Lincoln, and General MacArthur and his chief of staff, General MacArthur had discussed the planned invasion of Japan and urged that "as many Japanese divisions as possible should first be pinned down on the mainland, principally by Soviet forces." The discussion was alleged to have occurred two weeks after the Yalta conference, at which Russia had already agreed to fight against Japan, though not declaring war on Japan until August 9, 1945, three days after the Hiroshima bomb had been dropped and the same day that the Nagasaki bomb was dropped, three days after which Japan had surrendered. In a letter to the Post and Times-Herald managing editor J. R. Wiggins, General Whitney said that the file pertinent to the dispute ought be opened to the public, and that it would disclose that if anyone was trying to rewrite history, it was not General MacArthur.

In Atlanta, it was reported that there was a new wave of cable cuttings as the Southern Bell Telephone Co. workers' strike entered its 20th day. Two men had been indicted for shooting a cable splicer sent to repair severed cables and four men had been fired by the company for engaging in such acts of sabotage. Five cables had been cut in Atlanta the previous day, bringing the total to 115 such incidents since the start of the strike on March 14. Four cables had reportedly been cut in the Miami area, bringing the total to 28 in that location, and two had been damaged in the vicinity of Greenville, Miss. Spokesmen for the Communications Workers of America union assured again that their members had not taken part in the damage to company property.

In Cleveland, O., defense attorneys for Dr. Samuel Sheppard, convicted the prior December for the second degree murder of his wife and sentenced to life in prison, filed their brief in the Ohio Court of Appeals this date, positing that Marilyn Sheppard had been hacked to death during a sexual attack by a left-handed intruder, whom she had probably bitten on the hand when he sought to stifle her cries. Dr. Sheppard was right-handed. William Corrigan, who had been the chief counsel for the defendant at trial, released the brief to the press the previous night. (While appellant's opening brief does not appear to be available online, his Reply Brief to the State's opening brief would be filed on June 1, 1955.) Some of the points were believed to have been developed by Dr. Paul Kirk, a criminologist of the University of California hired by the defense team to investigate the case following the trial, though his name was not mentioned in the brief. (A subsequent brief, to be filed at the end of May, would expressly rely on the "newly discovered evidence" of Dr. Kirk, appealing, in a collateral proceeding, the denial by the trial court of defendant's motion for new trial based thereon.) The brief hypothesized that a "peeper or sex deviate" could have peered in at Mrs. Sheppard from an apple tree near the house and then entered the house by the unlocked back door, gone to her bedroom and then killed her. The doctor had claimed that he had encountered a bushy haired intruder in his wife's bedroom, after being awakened by her cries from his location on the downstairs living room couch, where he had fallen asleep at around midnight as his wife and a visiting neighbor couple watched a movie on the television in the living room, some four hours before Mrs. Sheppard was killed. The doctor had said that the intruder had twice knocked him unconscious, once briefly in the bedroom, after recovering from which, he gave chase, and was again knocked out on the lake shore beach adjoining the house, that when he regained consciousness the second time, he had returned to the house, gone upstairs, and found that his wife was dead, then called his neighbor who was mayor of the village. Since the murder weapon had never been found, the brief suggested that the intruder had brought it into the house, that it could have been a heavy object useful to the entry, such as a flashlight. The brief also underscored the fact that there were two tooth fragments found under Mrs. Sheppard's body, although there was no external injury to her mouth, concluding that her teeth were probably broken when she had bitten her killer's hand prompting him to jerk it from her mouth. The doctor had no injury to his hands. The brief also ascribed 37 errors of law to the trial court during the case, the trial of which had transpired between October 18 and December 21, 1954. As indicated, while the conviction would be affirmed on direct appeal, it would eventually be reversed on habeas corpus by the U.S. Supreme Court in 1966 because of the "carnival atmosphere" surrounding press coverage of the trial and pretrial proceedings, preventing the defendant from having a fair trial guaranteed by the Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment. On retrial in 1966, with Dr. Sheppard represented by F. Lee Bailey, who had handled the successful habeas corpus petition, he would be acquitted.

Near Lake Waccamaw, N.C., seven automobiles filled with people bound for the Wilmington Azalea Festival had become involved in a pile-up resulting in the deaths of three persons, two of whom were teenagers, after three of the cars had burned. Two other teenagers who were passengers in the car in which the two teenagers had died, had been injured, one seriously. The area had been enshrouded in smoke at the time of the accident, emanating from the Green Swamp forest fire which had raged during the week and reportedly was under control.

In Charlotte, an unidentified man had held up the office of Belvedere Homes late during the morning, taking $675 without use of a weapon. The manager of the office said that he handed over the money despite the man not drawing a weapon, because he did not want to take any chances, as the man kept his hand in his jacket pocket. As soon as the man departed, the manager called to his assistant, oblivious to the robbery, in an adjoining office and asked that she call the police.

In Yvoy-le-Marron, France, actress Olivia de Havilland, 38, and French film writer and Paris Match editor Pierre Galante, 45, were married this date in a little red brick schoolhouse of the village, the bride and groom arriving 15 minutes late from a hunting lodge two miles outside the town. It was Ms. De Havilland's second marriage and Mr. Galante's first. Ms. De Havilland had been divorced in 1952 after seven years of marriage to screenwriter Marcus Goodrich, author of the 1941 novel Delilah, about a destroyer operating in the Philippine Islands on the eve of World War I—from which W. J. Cash had made reference, regarding a "short, incidental section on the defense of the Alamo", at the start of his June 2, 1941 commencement address at the University of Texas in Austin. The marriage, incidentally, took place three days after "On the Waterfront" had tied the record of eight Academy Awards presented to one film, set by "Gone with the Wind" in 1939, for which Ms. De Havilland had been nominated as Best Supporting Actress, the award won by Hattie McDaniel for her role in the film.

On the editorial page, "Segregation: No Fist-Shaking, Please" states its belief that the North Carolina General Assembly, in proposing to place on the record its policy on segregation in the public schools, would not engage in the silliness of other Southern states, which had "waved Confederate flags insolently in the face of the Supreme Court" for its decision the previous May 17 in Brown v. Board of Education, holding continued segregation in the public schools unconstitutional pursuant to the Equal Protection Clause of the 14th Amendment. The piece finds that there should be no serious objection to a declaration of policy on the subject and that any resolution passed by the Assembly ought be temperate and reasonable, free of any fist-shaking defiance.

The Governor's Advisory Committee on Education, chaired by future Governor and Senator Terry Sanford, had issued a report which, combined with the amicus curiae brief of State Attorney General Harry McMullan submitted on behalf of the state to the Court in the implementing part of the case still to be heard and determined, had served as a kind of unofficial state policy. The Committee was composed of both black and white citizens and it regards it as the best expression of the state's position on Brown and its impact on public education, and that it should form the basis for any new declaration of policy by the Assembly. The report had stated that "mixing of the races forthwith in the public schools throughout the state cannot be accomplished and should not be attempted." It stresses that the key word was "forthwith", the same word used by the Supreme Court in Brown when it phrased questions for oral argument on the implementing decision, scheduled for April 11, asking: "(a) Would a decree necessarily follow providing that, within the limits set by normal geographic school districting, Negro children should forthwith be admitted to schools of their choice, or (b) may this Court, in the exercise of its equity powers, permit an effective gradual adjustment to be brought about from existing segregated systems to a system not based on color distinction?"

It indicates that the fact that those questions were subject to argument provided North Carolina and other states practicing segregation in their public school systems the hope that the Court would be reasonable in its implementing decision. It finds that nothing in the prior decision had suggested that the Court was hell-bent on enforcing immediate desegregation in states which had for years operated segregated schools, and asserts that the Court was certainly aware of the problems involved, as revealed in language inviting the states to participate in the implementing decision regarding "problems of considerable complexity" involving a "great variety of local conditions". It expresses confidence that the Court would be reasonable and that the General Assembly ought demonstrate its determination also to be reasonable.

"Thirty for Two Lords of the Press" indicates that within hours of one another, Col. Robert McCormick, 74, editor and publisher of the Chicago Tribune, and the crusading Joseph Pulitzer II, 70, of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, had died. It says that few men had caused more "thunder and lightning on the 20th century newspaper scene", that both were "journalistic warriors", but with completely different causes.

Col. McCormick was the world's "most unrelenting Anglophobe and isolationist". When he had visited England in 1953, the kindest thing said about him was when the Daily Mirror, a Labor publication, stated: "Now he is with us once more … and has been summing us up again. Bless him. Bless his stupid old rancorous heart."

Bob is dead now, bless him, bless him...

It finds that he was old and rancorous but not stupid, shaping the Tribune into one of the nation's largest and most powerful daily newspapers, while being the key person in the organization which also controlled the massive New York Daily News. He had been about as far to the right as U.S. politics permitted and practiced his "passionate conservatism" with "bulldog tenacity". He had never mellowed, right to the end, leading a group dedicated to some nebulous idea called "enlightened nationalism" and threatening to form a third party behind it.

In stark contrast was Mr. Pulitzer, son of his famous father for whom the journalism and literary awards were named, coming as close as humanly possible to living up to the famous "Platform" which his father had drafted: "Fight for progress and reform, never tolerate injustice or corruption, always fight demagogues of all parties … always remain devoted to the public welfare … never be afraid to attack wrong, whether by predatory plutocracy or predatory poverty." The son had said that when boiled down, that Platform simply meant "printing an honest newspaper", and the piece opines that he had accomplished that. His campaigns and exposes in the Post-Dispatch had won 11 Pulitzer Prizes for the newspaper and its staff. While it was at present a Democratic newspaper, in 1936 it had supported Kansas Governor Alf Landon against FDR, running for his second term, and after supporting FDR in 1940 and 1944, supported New York Governor Thomas Dewey against President Truman in 1948.

It concludes that both Col. McCormick and Mr. Pulitzer had carved "deep inscriptions" into the history of American journalism and suggests that it would be lonesome without them.

"Thirty"? It rides the banner herein and has since 1998. Go figure it out. Whether, incidentally, the title of the piece came to the mind of the editorial writer, wittingly or unso, by having perhaps viewed "Person to Person" the previous evening, wherein Marlon Brando told host Edward R. Murrow his "story" about the time for the Chinese dental appointment being "tooth-hurty", we do not know.

"Spring Comes to the Bleachers" equates spring with baseball and the emergence from spring training camps into regular major league play, with the pilgrimage from Florida to the regular locales of the teams having begun, prompting talk of who would be the new best rookies, who the pennant contenders, and who the last-place finishers, etc.

"No matter what you say, spring comes from the training camps. It is born at Vero Beach and Orlando and Phoenix. You chart it in the heavens, we'll watch it from behind first base."

Bah... That is one way to fill space in the column on a Saturday afternoon, we suppose. We mark the beginning of spring by the NCAA Basketball Tournament.

A piece from the Christian Science Monitor, titled "Univac for Senator!" tells of the electronic computer known as Univac, which had tallied the election results in 1954 and had made some accurate predictive estimates based on scant returns, despite people laughing when it did so and came up slightly off.

Recently, the computer was able precisely to locate the eighth moon of Jupiter, lost in space since 1941, located 515 million miles from earth and 100,000 times fainter than the faintest star, enabling the astronomers manning the Mount Wilson Observatory telescope to train it on the spot designated by the computer, and once again observe it.

It posits that the moral was that if Univac could not accurately predict elections, then no one else could either.

Drew Pearson indicates that Congressman James Roosevelt of California had uncovered shocking evidence during the week regarding gasoline stations being manhandled by monopolistic oil companies. Mr. Roosevelt's Small Business subcommittee had been probing the oil industry and had repeatedly heard from witnesses that there were ruthless trade practices ongoing by the large oil companies to force their products on individual service stations, with the result that each year, one-third of the 200,000 operators who leased service stations from the oil companies were forced to sell out their interest. One such operator had told the subcommittee how she and her husband had lost not only their service station, leased from Sinclair Oil, but also their savings and home in Fitzgerald, Ga. She said that the Sinclair agents did not want them to sell candy, cigarettes or chewing gum and that the only soft drinks they were allowed to sell were Cokes. They also did not want them to handle oil from any other company despite the fact that there was very little call for Sinclair oil by those who used Sinclair gas. They had also been pressured to get rid of all tires and inner tubes which Sinclair did not sponsor. She said that they were selling more Sinclair gas and oil than had ever been sold at that station before or since their leasehold and that they had tripled the stock and equipment of the station and raised the number of employees from one to three, but Sinclair had nevertheless canceled their lease the previous January 31, forcing the couple to sell out and leave town.

IRS administrator Coleman Andrews would crack down on U.S. citizens who had been dodging taxes overseas, opening tax offices in London, Tokyo, Rome, Bonn, and Mexico City.

Teamsters Union boss Dave Beck was having so much trouble making up his mind on how to decorate his offices in his new multi-million-dollar labor complex that he had redecorated one office six times.

Republican Congressmen had voted 85 to 46 against appropriating even half of what the President had asked for the U.N. technical assistance program, one of the best weapons for fighting Communism. Democrats, by contrast, had voted 128 to 22 to restore the four million dollars previously cut from the technical assistance program, and so, with Democratic support, the President's position had been sustained. Mr. Pearson indicates that the program supplied farm experts, waterworks engineers, and cost-accounting experts to friendly nations and had done more to stop Communism than three years of Senator McCarthy's probes.

The Congressional Quarterly discusses immigration and the 59 bills introduced to Congress to amend or abrogate the Immigration and Nationality Act of 1952, popularly known as the McCarran-Walter Act, which had severely restricted immigration and had been passed over President Truman's veto. Most of the pending bills would relax restrictions, while a few would make them even more onerous. President Eisenhower had said more than once since taking office that the Act was "discriminatory" in certain respects and urged its revision. But Representative Francis Walter of Pennsylvania, co-sponsor of the original Act, along with the late Senator Pat McCarran of Nevada, believed that whatever discrimination there was in the law was necessary to preserve national "homogeneity".

Senator Herbert Lehman and Representative Emanuel Celler, both of New York, supported a substitute measure which would codify all existing legislation on immigration, nationalization and nationality, establishing a new method by which immigrants would enter the country and become permanent residents by establishing an overall annual quota equal to one-sixth of one percent of the total U.S. population at a given time, with a ceiling of 251,000 and no limit on the number of immigrants from any single country. By contrast, the 1952 law had fixed a specific annual quota for each of 85 countries, the total having been 154,657. Natives of the Western Hemisphere and husbands, wives and children of U.S. citizens could enter irrespective of those quotas, which were determined by the "national origins" system first adopted in 1924, with each nation's quota equal to one-sixth of one percent of the number of persons in the U.S. in 1920 who were attributable to the particular national origin.

The Lehman-Celler proposal, in addition to abolishing the national origins system of assigning quotas to various countries, would establish a new scale of preferences. Under existing law, half of a nation's quota of immigrant visas were to be allotted to aliens with special skills, another 30 percent to parents of U.S. citizens and 20 percent to families of alien immigrants already admitted to the U.S. The new proposal would reduce the allotment for skilled aliens to between five and ten percent and set up two new categories, 15 to 25 percent to consist of persons seeking asylum from religious or political persecution, and 20 to 25 percent, persons whose emigration from a country would be in the best interests of the U.S.

The Quarterly had analyzed the vote by which the 82nd Congress had overridden President Truman's veto in an attempt to assess the outlook for the proposals to amend the 1952 Act, and had found that of the 278 Representatives who had voted to override, 213, just short of a majority, also were holding seats in the current 84th Congress, and that of the 56 Senators who had voted to override, 46 remained in office.

Alan Valentine, writing in The Age of Conformity, indicates that when men felt confused or belittled, they retreated into the primitive, creating new idols to replace the ones which seemed to have failed them, which he posits modern man was doing without realizing that he was retreating or that his actions expressed the primitive. He was substituting for the graven images of earlier times test tubes, production lines, the majority and the state. He indicates that history showed, however, that whatever men built without a spiritual end ultimately recoiled upon them with "annihilating force", and that to seek new idols more primitive in form than the previous ones was no way to win or hold freedom. While men still resisted outward tyranny, it was no longer within the spirit of Thomas Jefferson's conviction that resistance to tyranny was obedience to God.

A letter writer from Myrtle Beach, S.C., questions what purpose there was in making increasingly bigger and more destructive nuclear weaponry, now that the world had such destructive weapons, that it would be better to work out other techniques and devices from atomic energy, such as supplying power. He stops short, however, of advocating for atomic aircraft and trains, as he believes that would be a step into the darkness in the event of a crash. He posits that the production of atomic waste would reach a point of saturation, pouring it into concrete and sinking it in the ground, eventuating in whole areas being contaminated with radiation. He finds that there was a means for a better life in the many unexplored islands, for instance, in the Bahamas in the Caribbean, which could be leased from Britain and other countries, rather than continuing to develop destructive weaponry.

Help! is on the way...

A letter writer comments on the editorial, "Segregation: A Device & A Challenge", finding it not to be a factual presentation of the situation discussed, but based in part on the "dubious presumption" of the State Attorney General's office that it might be impractical to continue to employ many of the 8,500 black teachers in the state in the event of integration of the public schools. He indicates that in Washington, D.C., where desegregation had recently been perfected, there had been no black teachers displaced, the story on which had recently been published in the newspaper. He suggests that the editors should have focused on that experience rather than on the Northern experience, where desegregation had been established for years. He agrees that regardless of whether there was desegregation in the public schools, new employment opportunities for black citizens had to be developed, but finds that the suggestion lost its force in the assumption by the piece that black teachers could not be employed in integrated schools. He indicates that segregation in any aspect of life was a luxury which the state could not afford, that it had already harmed public education in the state, and that both North Carolina and the South in general had to face the fact that segregation was on the way out in every aspect of life, that the nation had to become uniform in that respect to avoid the "American Way of Life" becoming a statement of qualified meaning, one thing for whites and another for blacks.

A letter writer favors the veterans' bonus, stating that he was a totally disabled veteran who had undergone a heart operation two years earlier, and that if he had a bonus, he might be able to afford to build a small house on a lot which he owned. He says that he could do so with a 100 percent loan of $8,000, payable monthly at $50, plus closing costs of around $375, but that he could not get anyone to make him a 100 percent loan, and so the bonus would provide the needed assistance to make up the difference. He says that if the people of the state did not think he deserved a bonus, he would not be mad and would still love the state, where he intended to stay until he died.

A letter writer, who had written a letter on March 16 regarding a man dying of cancer, thanks all of the people who had made contributions to the man since that time, and thanks the newspaper for publishing her letter, saying that her faith in people had been renewed again, that there were people who believed that they were their brother's keepers.

A letter writer finds the bill pending before the General Assembly to set milk pricing to be something out of Russia. He finds that the milk he was buying turned dry and hard after just two days in the refrigerator and that an electric drill was necessary to extract it from the bottle. He wants the price-fixing advocates to look into the alcohol milkshake which was catching on fast with the people of London, called "No Goo". "So if the boys will add a little whisky to this stuff you call milk maybe we can get it out of the bottles."

A letter writer says that no man or woman could be a Christian and fail to live a temperate life, that the drinking of alcoholic liquors was one of the many things from which they should abstain, and that Christian ministers or teachers should not hesitate to fight the legalization of the liquor traffic. She finds that anyone who voted in favor of legalized alcohol became party to the casualties on the highways, and murders and crimes of all descriptions committed while people were under the influence of liquor. She favors training and leading boys and girls to live a clean life and to teach them that if they drank liquor, their future would be wrecked and their life worthlessly spent.

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