The Charlotte News

Friday, May 27, 1955


Site Ed. Note: The front page reports from London that the voters the previous day had given a victory, as anticipated, to Prime Minister Anthony Eden and the Conservative Government, with an increase in the representation in Commons from the current 17-seat majority to between a 50 and 60-seat majority out of the 630 seats in the House. Returns had been received from 611 of the 630 districts, with the Conservatives and allied parties having obtained a net gain of 14, at 335 seats, Labor, receiving 271, a net loss of 13, Liberals, four, and others having a net loss of a single seat. It provided a tremendous boost in prestige for Mr. Eden, who had been long in the shadow of former Prime Minister Winston Churchill, who had recently retired. The success of Prime Minister Eden in organizing the Big Four summit conference for the summer and the prosperous times had benefited the Conservatives. Many people did not show up at the polls, hurting Labor, as did intra-party dissension caused by left-wing followers of Aneurin Bevan. The popular vote registered 12,805,000 for the Conservatives, 50.03 percent, 11,954,000 for Labor, 46.7 percent, 650,000 for Liberals, 2.54 percent, and others receiving .73 percent of the vote. Clement Attlee, leader of the Labor Party, and Mr. Bevan were both re-elected in their respective districts. The loss of prestige for Labor enabled Mr. Bevan to make the claim that the moderate policies of Mr. Attlee's leadership had cost them the election and that a more socialist trend and less following of the American leadership would be beneficial. Mr. Attlee said that he had no statement at present, but might have one later.

Surgeon General Leonard Scheele said this date before the House Commerce Committee that acceptance of new safety standards by all six of the manufacturers of the Salk polio vaccine was a step forward, but that the mass inoculation program still would remain delayed. He said they would proceed with the vaccination program only as safety permitted, but that it would not go forward as rapidly as everyone had hoped. He said that there was a far smaller risk of contracting the disease after a child had been vaccinated than prior to vaccination, that indications were that out of every 6,000 vaccinated children, one might contract the disease, while out of every 1,700 unvaccinated children, one might become infected.

The President this date, in a special message to Congress, had outlined ten refugee relief law changes, which he said would reaffirm the country's "great tradition of sanctuary." Chief among them was a recommendation that the law be liberalized to provide for the admittance of orphans from all over the world. His changes did not call for any alteration of the authorized admittance of a total of 214,000 refugees during a three-year period which would expire at the end of 1956.

In Udall, Kans., it was reported that disaster relief workers were moving swiftly this date to bring aid and comfort to survivors of a series of tornadoes which had killed at least 115 persons across a four-state area. The President authorized use of all necessary Federal funds for relief of Kansas, effectively giving the Civilian Defense Administration a blank check. The Red Cross set up an area disaster headquarters at Arkansas City, Kans., and sent teams into Oklahoma and Kansas tornado areas to take care of human needs, while Civil Defense took care of restoration of government services. In Udall, 74 persons had died and more than 200 had been injured, as the remainder of the 500 residents had been evacuated the previous day, with the town left in virtual total ruin. Five other persons had been killed in nearby Oxford, but property damage there had not been severe. In Blackwell, Okla., the second-worst hit community, a 36-block residential and factory district was leveled, leaving 18 dead and more than 500 injured. The White House said that there had been no request from Oklahoma for civil defense funds. The dead included 20 in Oklahoma, 15 in Texas and two in Missouri, and the tornadoes were still hitting late the previous night in eastern Kansas, Missouri, Arkansas and Iowa. The new storms, however, had not caused any deaths.

In San Angelo, Tex., the bodies of two of 15 airmen listed aboard a B-36, which had crashed and burned late Wednesday night, still had not been found this date. Among the 13 bodies recovered late the previous night had been a technical sergeant of Erwin, N.C. Only seven positive identifications of the 13 recovered bodies had thus far been made. An eyewitness stated that the crash had occurred during a hail and rain storm. The plane was on a routine training mission out of Walker Air Force Base in Roswell, N.M. Investigators had not yet determined the exact cause of the crash, but the press information officer from nearby Goodfellow Air Force Base said that it was possible that the plane had been "shaken apart" when it was caught in a severe squall line.

Elizabeth Blair of The News indicates that two Charlotte doctors had an unusual personal interest in the Salk polio vaccine, as both had contracted polio and thus knew firsthand the problems caused by the disease, requiring a long fight by the victim to return to a productive life. Both had conquered polio, one of the doctors having contracted it while an intern at the Medical College of Virginia Hospital in Richmond, where he was planning to specialize in surgery or obstetrics, until losing the use of his left arm and partial use of his legs, at which point he decided on pediatrics. The other doctor had contracted polio in October, 1952, interrupting his practice for six months while he was hospitalized and taking treatment at Warm Springs, Ga., at the facility started by the late President Franklin Roosevelt, who had lost use of his legs from the disease during the summer of 1921, the year after he had been the Democratic nominee for the vice-presidency. The second doctor said that he thought he had the flu at the beginning of his symptoms, and had gone on practicing, causing all of the children he had seen during that time to have to be quarantined. He had been, however, the last person in the county to contract the disease that year. After his treatment at Warm Springs, he returned to Charlotte and started his practice again, moving to a first-floor office and living in a first-floor apartment. But now he, his wife and two children lived in a two-story home, and he was able to climb the stairs once per day, each way, and slept on the second floor. He said that he could not have recovered to the extent he had without the generosity of Charlotte physicians, who had been helpful and understanding. He lifted his good right leg to a knee-resting position against his desk, locked his wheelchair into position and continued with the interview, saying that for the first three months after his return to Charlotte, he had lived in his wheelchair until finally being able to walk on crutches with leg braces.

In Charlotte, there had been four break-ins to park community centers during the prior five nights, including vandalism to the fire-destroyed Armory building basement discovered during the morning. Damage was done to pumps which were necessary to prevent flooding of the basement and damage to two oil furnaces therein, with wires having been torn loose from the pumps, causing them to cease operation. Several boys had been apprehended in connection with a break-in to the Cordelia Center the prior Monday night and were scheduled for arraignment in Juvenile Court, but a 16-year old boy was tried and sentenced in City Police Court this date in connection with that incident. Send them away for life when you find them. Nay, execute them on the spot. For, it all starts with vandalism, and next week, it will be knives and guns, mayhem and murder. Nip it in the bud.

Donald MacDonald of The News reports that the police had stated that the need for sleep had resulted in an assault warrant being issued by a man against his roommate after the roommate allegedly refused to turn out the bedroom light after entering the room when the complainant was asleep, turned on the light, awakening the complainant, announcing that he was going to read all night. Police said that an argument ensued, followed by repeated turning on and off of the light, and in a resulting scuffle, the complainant had received a laceration over his right eye requiring five stitches at the hospital. Execute both of them.

In another case, a 17-year old male was charged with housebreaking after he was found asleep on the living room couch in an apartment, telling police that he had told the occupants that he just wanted to sleep after his mother had locked him out of his own home, with the occupant of the apartment indicating that the teenager had spent several nights on the living room couch, after his mother, attempting to prevent him from staying out late, had locked her door at 11:00. The female occupant of the apartment, however, learned that the boy's mother did not want him to spend the night on her couch and so she also had locked him out two nights earlier, prompting the youth to tear open a screen door, climb onto the roof and enter through a second-story window. He definitely deserves the chair for that one.

A photograph of a man appears, out of Louisville, Ky., showing his Mohawk haircut given him involuntarily by his wife while he slept, prompting a fight between the two, winding up in police jailing both. He can look on the bright side, as he could start driving a taxicab, engage in various adventures, and then have a movie made about him 20 years down the pike.

In Houston, Tex., actress Hedy Lamarr spent two hours at police headquarters but detectives said that she was too upset to take a lie detector test, having agreed the previous day to be questioned about the disappearance of $50,000 in jewels from her home on Tuesday. Three attempts had been made to administer the test but each had proved inconclusive. A test given to her oilman husband, who denied any knowledge of the whereabouts of the jewels, had not demonstrated any deception. Two employees of the household were also scheduled for tests. An insurance adjuster told police that the disappearance of the jewels appeared to be the result of misplacement within the home itself. The couple reported that nothing else was missing. They should provide a test also to Mr. Hope, as he probably knew the butler.

On the editorial page, "Polio Perspective: No Cause for Alarm" seeks to allay the concerns of parents regarding the prospect of another polio outbreak despite the presence of the new Salk vaccine, indicating that there was no cause for alarm occasioned by the temporary halt in the program while the vaccine supply was undergoing tests because of the relatively small number of cases of polio infection after receiving the vaccine.

It indicates that there been a lot of muddled confusion out of Washington, resulting in bold headlines, but that headlines did not spread germs, that the truth was that in North Carolina, there had only been 25 cases of polio since the beginning of the year, whereas there had been 27 cases by the present time in 1954. There had been no case of polio reported among the 197,800 first and second-graders who had received the initial vaccine shot. Nor had there been any infection of a member of the families of those who had been inoculated. The head of the Division of Epidemiology for the State Board of Health had indicated that those facts showed that the vaccine used in the state was safe, that while there would be an expectation of some infection among those vaccinated because of the chances that some child would already have contracted the disease by the point of vaccination, thus far they had been very fortunate not to have any such cases.

The fact that North Carolina was considered to be a "polio state", even though an untrue myth, had nevertheless perpetuated fears. The previous August 4, the State Department of Conservation & Development, with the help of the U.S. Public Health Service, had published statistics showing that North Carolina ranked near the bottom among the states in the incidence of polio during the period of 1949 through 1953, being 45th among the 48 states and the District of Columbia. Even in 1953, when there had been an unusually high incidence of polio in three North Carolina counties, the state ranked 22nd based on the number of cases per 100,000 population.

Hugh Morton of Wilmington, chairman of the State Advertising Committee, had noticed that the state's tourist industry had suffered because of the impression that North Carolina was one of the nation's worst polio states, and so had sought to reverse that myth. Nevertheless, polio stories regarding North Carolina had been widely quoted and many prospective tourists had been staying away from the state during the summer months, with August and September considered the height of the polio season.

It concludes that unbridled, unreasoning fear should not occur and that examination of the record showed that there was no cause for alarm.

"Censorship: Shortage of Wise Men" indicates that the General Assembly had implemented a commendable desire to clean up comic books but with a ridiculous law, setting up North Carolina sheriffs as the censors, whom it regards as inadequately equipped to handle such a job. They would be charged with the responsibility of prosecuting sellers of comic books which portrayed acts of mayhem, sex or use of narcotics, forbade by the law. "Mayhem" was a broad word, as was "sex", with the censor's job to determine when such portrayals became indecent or overly violent, without banning all comic books.

It suggests that if enforcement were too rigid, the law would have to be abandoned. It finds that there were comic book publishers which had gone too far in their portrayals in those three areas, despite their publicized efforts at self-policing. But it also finds that there was sufficient law already on the books to clean up the matter had there been enough parental and public opinion operative in the communities of the state, which, it finds, still held the answer. It urges that if the state was going to undertake censorship, it should be wise and accomplished by wise persons.

"One Set of Tailors for the Suit" indicates that the City Council had shown perfect civic vision when it recognized the need during the week for broad revisions of the city's zoning ordinance. Before such revisions should be undertaken, however, it counsels clearing up some lingering jurisdictional confusion regarding the failure to disband formally the original Zoning Commission while the new City-County Planning Commission had not yet been given zoning duties except in the perimeter areas. It finds that the latter Commission was well-equipped to do the job by experience, training and knowledge, and that when the organizational issue was ironed out, the city could begin undertaking the major problem of tailoring zoning classifications to the needs of the fast-growing metropolis.

A piece from the Louisville Courier-Journal, titled "Mec Dec—The Kentucky View", finds that Edmund Burke's warning to American colonists at the time of the Revolution that Americans, unlike "more simple" people, "snuff the approach of tyranny in every tainted breeze," might have come from the partisans of Mecklenburg County, whom it says had been the first Americans to denounce British tyranny and declare their independence, putatively ascribed to May 20, 1775. It finds it small wonder, therefore, that North Carolina had proudly celebrated its own Mecklenburg Independence Day as a legal holiday since 1830.

It acknowledges that there was an historical reason for questioning the exact wording of the Declaration, but believes that it was an historical fact that the representatives of every militia company in the county had met in the dead of night on that May 20 and risked hanging by declaring the independence of the county. The neighboring South Carolina Gazette had reported the fact soon after its occurrence and a British governor had sent his own version to London.

It tells of a fire which had destroyed the minutes of the meeting in 1800 and that the Declaration, which had been rewritten from memory by John Alexander, had not been published until 1819, with surviving signers at that point corroborating his text. But, the similarity of many passages to the Declaration of July, 1776 in Philadelphia had led to book-length arguments over whether the Second Continental Congress had used the Mecklenburg Declaration as a model or whether Mr. Alexander's memory had mixed the two documents.

It concludes that to North Carolinians and freedom-loving Americans, it did not matter much, as the Mecklenburgers had been quick to "snuff the approach of tyranny on every tainted breeze" and inspired their contemporaries and posterity by opposing it "with our lives, our fortunes, and our most sacred honor."

Drew Pearson indicates that while HEW Secretary Oveta Culp Hobby was planning to resign at the point when the Salk polio vaccine confusion dissipated so that it would not appear that she was retreating under fire, another woman, Frieda Hennock, the first female ever appointed to the FCC, would not be re-appointed when her term expired in June, with her replacement to be Richard Mack, a Florida utilities commissioner, reported to be a friend of the telephone company. He would be the third utilities commissioner and friend of AT&T who had been appointed by the President. Meanwhile, scores of broadcasters and television independents were meeting in Washington during the week to pay tribute to Ms. Hennock, who had fought the battles for small radio and television stations, demanding and obtaining 257 television channels set aside for education, and having fought for the smaller UHF stations. She had been the lone dissenter in a decision to provide AT&T an 80 million dollar increase in rates, had fought for 800 small daytime radio stations, had campaigned against crime and horror programming on television, and had opposed an increasing trend toward monopoly of communications. Yet, she was now effectively being fired from her post by non-renewal. Mr. Pearson notes that it had been the late Senator Robert Taft who had largely put across her nomination to the FCC, despite her being a Democrat, because he was a firm believer in the principle of free competition.

The Democrats had been smeared so much by Republicans claiming they had been soft on Communism that it would be interesting to see what they would do about the President's recent error of the same type, appointing a man to the Subversive Control Board, former Congressman John Wood of Georgia, who had been definitely soft on the Communist film writers in Hollywood during HUAC hearings in 1947. Mr. Wood had also paid a $15 initiation fee to join the Klan, though later, according to him, having backed out. He had also hired a former Klansman, Walter LeCraw, to be counsel for HUAC, and, Mr. Pearson points out, the Klan was on the list of subversive organizations on which Mr. Wood would have to pass as a member of the Subversive Control Board. An explanation for his appointment, he ventures, might have been the fact that he was the uncle of Bobby Jones, the professional golfer who was a friend of the President on the links, though Mr. Jones had remained aloof from politics in the past.

Walter Lippmann indicates that the House had just passed the President's proposal that the Army be cut back somewhat but had not passed the associated improved reserve. The program had been based on the fact that the two oceans bounding the nation enabled a "tailored" defense. Because of the time needed to mobilize and train troops, however, a reduction in the standing forces could only be justified by the existence of a trained reserve, as confirmed by Army Secretary Robert Stevens in reply to questions posed by Representative Carl Vinson, chairman of the House Armed Services Committee. With that understood, the House had voted to reduce the standing forces, but also had voted to lay aside the reserve program to save money.

Mr. Lippmann indicates that the House had done so while the White House and the Pentagon provided listless leadership. They had not intended to make the reduction while the upcoming Big Four conference was pending, but had only been considering their constituencies, not the Chinese or the Russians. He finds that it was no wonder, therefore, that there was great concern among the Western coalition as to whether the military and political system of NATO might begin to dissipate no sooner than it had been formed, as it depended upon the continuing popular support in Europe of such unpopular notions as conscription, high taxes, the presence of foreign troops and obedience to foreign commanders. It had been put together because of the tension created from Moscow and now that Moscow and the Big Three Western powers had agreed to try to relax the tensions, there would have to be some way to maintain the morale of the Western European people. He ventures that it could not be maintained by trying to make the democratic peoples believe that nothing had changed and that they ought to be just as frightened as they had been prior to the death of Joseph Stalin in March, 1953. Propaganda to keep the people fearful would be playing into the hands of the Russians, to show that the West consisted of warmongers.

There had to be appeal to the people for support, based on their concern about being faced with atomic warfare without nuclear weapons of their own. The mass of opinion would move against the atomic power which appeared more warlike, and therefore there was the danger that the Western democratic morale could disintegrate during a prolonged and confusing negotiation for peace. The President was aware of that issue, stating at the previous Wednesday press conference that "some years back, I was struck by the fact that we were probably going to extremes in this thing. It was either black or white. You either had a war right now or peace, that was wonderful, and you would get it."

Absolute opinions regarding peace and war were fatal to successful negotiations, and yet, the tendency was to become extreme and absolute about war and peace. Foreign policy was caught between disarmament and a call for total victory, the latter costing too much and being politically worthless, as the previous two world wars had taught.

He posits that public morale would be in a poor state if the people were in a state of mind to accept and demand agreements at any price, or if they were unwilling to have an agreement at any price. The alternative to appeasement on the one hand or to unconditional surrender on the other was honest, informed and vigilant bargaining. A good public morale would be ready to support the efforts to undertake honest bargaining, even if it was prolonged and complex. He concludes that the least likely bargain to come undone would be one derived from good negotiations searching for compromise from both sides.

The Encyclopedia Britannica Report comments on an article on "New Words and Meanings" in the 1955 Britannica Book of the Year regarding inventive language which had been added to the vocabulary for the current year, such as a "spritzer" and a "scrubeenie". It provides numerous other such examples, including such words as "scifi" for science fiction, "howtoer" for an author of how-to-do-it books, and "pingo" for a tremendous heaving of the earth caused by frost.

A letter from the director of music education of the City Schools thanks the newspaper for its recent coverage of the City Schools Music Festival, especially the editorial of the prior Saturday, which had given an excellent picture of what they were trying to do. He says that several thousand people had been present during the four nights of performances at Freedom Park. He thanks in particular four reporters, Tom Fesperman, Harry Shuford, Ed Bergamini and Erwin Potts, as well as Mr. Franklin, the photographer—referring in the latter instance to an employee of the Tom Franklin Studio who had the surname Franklin, perhaps a relative of Tom Franklin who had died at age 43 of a heart attack on September 17, 1949.

A letter writer says that while listening to the Arthur Godfrey radio program recently, he heard him read a letter from a fan in Ordinary, Va., expressing amazement at the name Ordinary. It had brought to the writer's mind a time when he had been a student at Biddle University, presently Johnson C. Smith, and had a classmate named Drinkwater from Cow Pasture, Va. He thinks that some improvement might be made on the names of schools from which the community's children were graduating, for instance, Alexander Street School, which had no distinct significance. He suggests that there were many outstanding black citizens from whom names could be selected.

He brings to mind the notion that Messy Wawtas, the "Blossom" and company of fiends probably need some Lotireg, courtesy of Mr. Godfrey, to understand better that "self-defense" and defense of others are not considered Serutan law, but rather a traditional, ubiquitous concept developed through time in the common law, though it may have become in many states set down by the several legislatures as statutory law subsequent to those states becoming part of the Union, thus eliminating from the equation prior inconsistent common law of that state, just as when one says: "Why, her? She be my common law squaw," meaning de facto by virtue of passage of time in the ordinary legal capacity of spousal conjugality, which also might be determined by statute, rather than de jure by formal process and proceeding in the normal course of licensure and certification through vows of fidelity and loyalty. One would not refer to her as a Serutan squaw, even if only by virtue of the common law, any more than one would suggest her as a Croatan squaw.

And, in any event, for the fact of its modifying clause, "A well regulated Militia being necessary to the security of a free State...", the Second Amendment "right" to bear arms, as anyone knows who can properly read the English language as their native tongue and understand the basic rule of statutory and constitutional construction embedded in the traditions of our law, that no such language, once passed upon by the people or their representatives, may be regarded as mere surplussage without doing violence to the original intent of the text, the history and tradition of the rights under common law to self-defense and defense of others bear no reasonable connection logically to the intent of the framers in wording that Amendment, not only because the rights of self-defense and defense of others extend far beyond use of firearms to any form of force, not only because the Amendment makes no mention of those rights, having established uniquely in its opening clause the intent of the Amendment to the exclusion therefore of other intent, but moreover because there was no more reason to incorporate into the Bill of Rights that common law than any other common law, such as that outlawing, say, murder, mayhem, burglary or any other transgression within the colonies prior to the ratification of the Constitution and Bill of Rights, all of which, including the rights of self-defense and defense of others, having been more generally incorporated implicitly under the Fifth Amendment Due Process Clause, the contention to the contrary merely being an inadequately considered modern invention of the Federalist Society since 1980 to try to justify the unjustifiable continuation of the absurdly increasing fascination with firearms, trying to suggest it as an individual right on the same level with First Amendment rights, rather than one only intended to inure to any individual as part of a "well regulated militia", born far more of Twentieth Century preoccupation, to the point of vicarious fixation, with violence depicted in movies and television than any reality having actual relation to the history and traditions of the country, not translatable into modern times when the society no longer depends on a "well regulated militia" for its security of freedom, beyond the standing armed forces and duly authorized law enforcement. Iron poor blood...

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