The Charlotte News

Tuesday, May 3, 1955


Site Ed. Note: The front page reports that in Saigon, South Vietnamese Premier Ngo Dinh Diem's Nationalist Army had been joined by hard-hitting troops of the Cao Dai religious sect in a final offensive against the Binh Xuyen rebels, according to a Defense Ministry announcement this night. The Cao Dai forces had previously been aligned with the rebels and the Hoa Hao religious sect in a united front, demanding the resignation of the Premier. But the general in command of the Cao Dai forces had switched sides three months earlier and withdrawn from the alliance with the rebel leader, General Le Van Vien, when the latter had rejected demands that the anti-Government campaign avoid an armed struggle. The leader of the Cao Dai forces and his aides, all Communists and anti-Colonialists, had thus joined their four battalions of troops, about 2,400 men, to the Nationalist Army and were aiding in the mop-up operations of the rebel forces, down to about 2,000 men on the outskirts of Saigon, from the original estimated 5,000 involved in starting the violence the previous week. The Cao Dai were also cooperating in the Premier's consolidation of his advantage on the political front over the absentee Chief of State Bao Dai, who resided at present and for the prior 13 months on the French Riviera. The Premier had convoked a "states general", an assembly of political party representatives and municipal and provincial officials, to pass judgment on the National Revolutionary Committee's recommendation the prior weekend that Bao Dai be deposed. The assembly would meet in Saigon the following day. In a nationwide broadcast, the Premier had said that the National Army also would have a voice in the final decision on the committee's recommendation. Both the states general and the Army were expected to approve the ousting of the former Emperor. The demands for the latter's ouster had followed his cabled order the previous week that General Nguyen Van Vy, one of his supporters, should supplant Diem; but the Army had refused to follow General Vy, who returned to his hill resort at Dalat. Reports of new French support and renewed U.S. backing bolstered the Premier, after French officials in Paris said the previous night that their Government and the U.S. were prepared to "sacrifice" Bao Dai if that would promote stability. The chief State Department press officer in Washington had told newsmen that the U.S. continued to support the legal government of free Vietnam, headed by the Premier, but refused to say whether the Department still regarded Bao Dai as Chief of State.

The New York Times, in a dispatch from London, reported this date that the U.S. had agreed to train selected British bomber crews to use U.S. atomic weaponry. The report stated that the agreement envisaged the delivery, in an emergency war, of U.S. atomic weapons to units of the Royal Air Force and that the actual weapons to be turned over to the British from U.S. stocks in Europe would only occur on the order of the President, as required by U.S. law. The report indicated that the new arrangement marked the first time since the passage of the McMahon Act of 1946, preventing the sharing of nuclear information with foreign countries, which had been since liberalized by Congress the previous August, that the U.S. had released to allies limited atomic information, none of which was top secret, for use in defense planning and training. The law also permitted the President to deliver atomic weapons to the Defense Department for such use as he deemed necessary in the interest of national defense. The Times had reported that a "qualified source" in London had explained that the agreement was based on the fact that there were only two air forces of any importance in the Western world, those of the U.S. and Britain, and that until the present, the U.S. had not needed to exchange nuclear information with Britain, but that the situation had changed now that Britain had its own atomic capability and an increasing delivery capability, such that the exchange of nuclear knowledge would strengthen both countries as part of the NATO defense. The report stated that the training courses were expected to begin the following July and to last between six and ten months. The British trainees would be given extensive information on the size, weight and ballistic characteristics of nuclear weapons, and on the means of handling and arming them.

In Washington, AFL and CIO efforts at merger had hit a temporary snag in a dispute over deciding on a name for the proposed combined organization, with both sides declining to report the names under consideration. George Meany, AFL president, said that the quarrel could cause "trouble", but that they had experienced trouble before and had gotten over it. The two organizations had reached complete agreement the previous day on a constitution for the proposed merged organization. That constitution would be submitted to the AFL executive council and the CIO executive board during the week, with approval of it anticipated, with ratification by the two organizations' conventions then needed to put the merger finally into effect. It was announced that the two organizations would hold simultaneous conventions at the beginning of December in New York and start a joint convention shortly thereafter, provided the two organizations could reach agreement on a new name. The AFL had been formed in 1882 and the CIO, in 1935, the latter by a group of unions which had split from the AFL. Eventually, they would agree on simply titling the merged organization the AFL-CIO.

Also the previous day, the AFL council had rejected a bid from Dave Beck, president of the million-member AFL Teamsters Union, to take over jurisdiction in the longshore industry.

In Montréal, it was reported that only 550 youngsters had been brought by their parents to city clinics the previous day on the first day of the free inoculations shots for the Salk polio vaccine, when officials had anticipated inoculating 5,000 children per day. The officials described the poor turnout as probably the result of the reported small number of breakthrough polio cases in the U.S., primarily in the West, after children had been vaccinated, at least by the vaccine produced by Cutter Laboratories of Berkeley, Calif., that those reports had likely frightened away the parents.

In New York, novelist William Faulkner was awarded the 1955 Pulitzer Prize for fiction for A Fable, an allegorical novel regarding a World War I mutiny. Tennessee Williams won the drama award for Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, a play regarding the dissolution of a Mississippi Delta family. He had won his first Pulitzer in 1948 for A Streetcar Named Desire. Both men had been born in Mississippi. Mr. Faulkner had won the 1949 Nobel Prize for literature, but had not previously won a Pulitzer. Gian-Carlo Menotti, Italian-born composer and lyricist, had won the Pulitzer Prize for music for The Saint of Bleecker Street, an opera based on religion in Greenwich Village life. Mr. Menotti had won the 1950 music prize for his opera, The Consul. The awards were announced the previous day by the Columbia University Board of Trustees, after having been recommended by an advisory board of prominent persons.

In Raleigh, members of the General Assembly stated that they had run into considerable opposition back home during the weekend regarding a proposed additional motor vehicle tax in lieu of imposing the state's first tax on tobacco. Individual legislators reported that people believed the automobile had enough taxation and that a tax on tobacco was preferable. Others said they were opposed to the tobacco tax, favoring imposition of a 3.5 percent sales tax, to bring in about 6 million dollars per year. A tobacco tax would generate approximately 8.5 million dollars annually in new revenue, whereas the proposed motor vehicle tax would yield about 8 million per annum.

In Charlotte, Dr. Christopher Crittenden, director of the Archives and History for North Carolina, was being reviled for having supposedly declared that the Mecklenburg Declaration of Independence of May 20, 1775 was a "myth", but Dr. Crittenden had denied having made such a statement, only challenging Mecklenburgers to dig up the original or an authentic copy of the Declaration and that, if so, he would not only display it in the Archives in Raleigh but would try to tell the whole world about it. The previous night, the Mecklenburg delegation to the General Assembly in Raleigh had heard a resolution by the local Historical Society asking Dr. Crittenden and his staff to provide a suitable display in Raleigh for material pertaining to the signing of the Mecklenburg Declaration, the resolution having been approved by the delegation and would be offered as a bill before the Legislature. Dr. Crittenden said that he had no problem with that idea and would comply if it became law, but stated that he was somewhat skeptical as an historian because nothing authentic had ever been produced regarding the Declaration. Representative James Vogler of Mecklenburg had attributed to Dr. Crittenden the description of the Declaration, therefore, as a "myth". The latter said that he was discussing the matter informally with his old friend, Mr. Vogler, and could not recall stating that it was a myth, only that they needed more authentic material to validate it. He explained that it had been burned in the early 1800's and was reproduced only by memory some 25 years later, leaving question about it.

Truth be known, of course, except for bragging rights of supposedly being "first in freedom", beating the Second Continental Congress to the draw by 13 and a half months, it really doesn't matter a Bunker Hill of beans. That which matters is the Constitution and a more or less united understanding of its basic precepts.

Julian Scheer of The News tells of the North Carolina Medical Society having decided the previous night to admit black physicians as scientific fellows to the organization, on an overwhelming vote, and to provide the new members with voting and office-holding privileges. No provision had been made for the black physicians to be accepted socially, and no amendment was made to the organization's constitution and bylaws insofar as its restriction on membership to members of the white race, but did amend the membership section to allow admission of "scientific fellows" regardless of race. The move would cause a problem for the next year's convention occurring at the same site in Pinehurst, for the Carolina Hotel did not presently allow black patrons in its social rooms during Pinehurst's social season. Some members expressed interest in holding the following year's convention therefore in Charlotte, which could accommodate blacks in a large black hotel, and where mixed meetings could be held in another hotel. That all sounds pretty ridiculous, but we hope you work it out and nobody gets any cooties from being in contact with members of the other race.

In the local municipal elections this date, which had five major bond issues on the ballot, voting, as explored in an editorial below, was slow.

On the editorial page, "Racial Taboos in Medical Science" finds that against a backdrop of the broader social and moral considerations, the censure of the Mecklenburg County Medical Society by the North Carolina Medical Society had been unimportant. The state society had yielded to pride rather than prejudice, after the local society, a year earlier, had hustled ahead of the state society by admitting black doctors to full membership before the state society could establish that policy.

It finds that the moral strength of the Mecklenburg society had been recognized later when the state society, in an historic decision, had voted to approve the admission of qualified black physicians as "scientific fellows". The matter would be up for a second reading the following afternoon, but a change of heart was not likely, as the previous night's vote had been 101 to 34, which it deems an honorable and realistic decision, even if not going all the way in admitting the physicians to full membership, as had the Mecklenburg society.

It concludes that both races would benefit from professional association with one another and that racial taboos in the world of science could not endure "against time and the unrelenting pressure of truth."

"Restoring Vitality to City Government" indicates that had visiting students of democracy been examining Charlotte's polling places during the morning, they would have found little or no indication that the city, with a population of 150,000, actually believed in local self-government. If the early turnout was any guide, the citizens were responding better than they had in the primary, but still remaining home in droves.

It finds that voter apathy was bound to have a numbing effect on municipal government, unless the residents of the city made up their minds at present to do something about it, urges that citizens study their local government on a continuing basis, as interest would grow with that knowledge, that criticism of it was not enough, that the citizenry had to contribute to good government, not by protesting, but becoming aware of the issues and participating in it. It indicates that the 7,422 voters who had participated in the primary the previous week had not been enough to keep the city on its right track, and that more than those who apparently were voting on this date were also necessary.

"The Stakes Are High in Viet Nam" tells of the trouble in South Vietnam being far from settled and that the U.S. was deeply involved in it, with the stakes being very high. It finds that four sets of forces were at work, the U.S.-backed regime of South Vietnam's Premier Diem, trying to remain in power and to free the country from both the French and Communist influence, that the French, who had stubbornly backed Chief of State Bao Dai, were said to be willing to "sacrifice" him and support Diem if pressed. On the other side were the Binh Xuyen rebels who had unsuccessfully challenged the Premier's authority with a private army. Meanwhile, the U.S., while seeking to save South Vietnam from the Communists, was supporting the only strong, independent leader in sight, Premier Diem.

The French were unhappy with the U.S. position, but since the U.S. was paying most of the bills in South Vietnam, its influence was considerable. France still had 100,000 troops in South Vietnam and such an army could become a major factor in the crisis. By supporting the Premier, the U.S. was making a strong bid for its own support throughout free Asia.

It finds it a risky policy to meddle in South Vietnam's politics, but a calculated risk, with anti-French feeling running high all over the region. The Premier, it further finds, had his faults, lacking experience, tact and being of a dictatorial nature, but was also known for his honesty and integrity, and independence from both the rebels and the French, having hatred of Communism and a determination to establish a representative government.

It concludes that it would be improper for the U.S. to become attached to the Premier as it had to Chiang Kai-shek in Nationalist China, but that it did not need to be the case. It advises that the U.S. should seek in Asia order and independence and an end to colonialism, that only as long as the Premier, or any other Vietnamese leader, represented those goals did that person deserve the blessings of the U.S. If South Vietnam was to gain the strength it needed to resist the menace of Communist expansionism, South Vietnam had to be united, free and independent.

The piece consistently refers simply to Vietnam, as opposed to South Vietnam or "free Vietnam" as the State Department was during this period referring to it. As free elections were promised by the armistice of July, 1954, to occur by mid-1956, the piece is unable to peer into the crystal ball far enough yet to discern that those elections would never take place and that the country would remain divided between North, as the Communist region, and the South, as the region aligned with the West, until the bloody civil war would eventually begin to involve the United States in direct combat, following the August, 1964 Gulf of Tonkin incidents, in 1965-66, in response to the Gulf of Tonkin Resolution passed by Congress, U.S. combat forces being sent in relatively large numbers by the Johnson Administration rather than only the previously limited numbers of military advisers who had been sent beginning in 1958 by the Eisenhower Administration, with the resulting war eventually ending with the Paris Peace Accords in 1973, ending, much as had Korea, with the North and South permanently divided, only to be reunited by the Communists quickly overrunning the South, after the final evacuation by the U.S in April, 1975. One can debate partisan fault for the imbroglio as between the Eisenhower Administration and the Kennedy-Johnson Administration for weeks on end and never reach resolution satisfactory usually to either side of that divide, and so we do not intend to get into that now. The historical fact, however, is that U.S. involvement in any serious way began with the Eisenhower Administration and did not end satisfactorily, despite the efforts of the Nixon Administration finally, in 1972-73, finalized only after the President was inaugurated for his second term, to extricate the U.S. after President Nixon's "secret plan" to end the war, on which he ran and was primarily elected in 1968, that plan turning out to be the extended bombing of the North and extending the war into Cambodia to attack Communist base camps, proved not only ineffective in ending the war immediately but prolonged the war for another "four more years". (If we lean against "Tricky Dicky" in that assessment, so be it. It comes very naturally out of seeing and reading of the daily events of that latter Administration all those years ago.)

Nevertheless, that the U.S. fought in that war for nearly a decade as, like Korea, a holding action, essentially, to divert manpower and war matériel of the Communists away from other potential targets, enabling prevention of the entire region from falling to Communism under the "domino theory", thereby, arguably, prevented any world war between the U.S. and Communist China, which achieved its own nuclear bomb in 1964. Thus, that war was not fought in vain, though a quick and superficial view of history might otherwise suggest it, failing in the process to place the war in its overall context, flowing out of World War II and the postwar "domino theory", as part of an overall strategy vis-à-vis the Communists of containment, inaugurated by President Truman and, in actuality, continued by the Eisenhower Administration, though couching it as something completely different, "brinksmanship" or what have you, designed in either incarnation to meet the Communists in small wars to prevent the larger one.

A piece from the Richmond News Leader, titled, "Fishwick Muddied the Julep", tells Dr. Marshall Fishwick of Washington & Lee University, writing in the Saturday Review, having taken a swipe at the South, saying that he liked the Williamsburg Restoration but only in Williamsburg, and that the rest of the South, who liked the Georgian colonial look, were causing the region to "restore itself right out of evidence". He stated that the "flower of chivalry" ideal, obtained from Sir Walter Scott in the South, had turned to "fleurs du mal"—rotten, smelly flowers. He also said that the riding, hunting and shooting set now included a lot of first family names—eventually to include a First Family name—strictly from Westchester, and while he admired the cash they brought to the region, it was nevertheless improper to rejuvenate a Virginia tradition with outside financing. He also accused the South of "stealing factories from New England by promising non-union labor."

It finds that he had "muddied the julep" in his assertions, as it was picayune in an age of expansion and atomic promise to fret about such things as the pursuit of the "inedible fox". It posits that if there were people in the South who admired "the sound of the horn, the dash of the pink coat, and the thrill of the view halloo", it was nothing about which to become exercised, and the "decay" was hardly noticeable. It finds that in a region progressing, "a little of the charm of the past could be retained with negligible vitiation of the relentless drive forward."

It urges that the role to be played in the latter-day "restoration" by the "promise of non-union labor" was a more pertinent and debatable topic. Most people in the region were grateful that labor had not been more unionized, to the point of industrial suicide; but the growing industrialization would also likely bring increasing unionization with it. It hopes that, after the Southern Bell strike violence and sabotage, in the news in recent weeks, it would prove an aberration and that the union activity in the future would not cripple the section, as it had other areas of the country at times.

It finds that in issuing his indictment of the region for its forays into the past, Dr. Fishwick had overlooked an important point, that in scoffing at the emphasis placed on preservation of the past in the South, both regarding the writers who wrote about it and the monuments dedicated to it, he had failed to recognize the value inherent in that process of preservation, that the respect for continuity of tradition made the South unique in a nation which often appeared to have lost its sense of history. "Far from regretting that the South continues to water its roots, we devoutly hope the custom spreads to other regions. The rest of the country needs 'restoration' quite as much, if not more, than we do."

Drew Pearson indicates that the Army Corps of Engineers would, during the summer, burrow under Greenland's ice cap, and, if successful, run subway trains beneath it. Known as Operation Ice Cube, or "Dew Line", as it was also called—the Dew Claws, the Due Clause, the Duke Laws—, the project was awaiting final approval by the Danish authorities governing Greenland. A volunteer construction crew of six officers and 172 men, to be commanded by Lt. Col. Elmer Clark, was standing by to begin the tunneling, with their work to be supervised by 60 scientists who were Arctic specialists. They would bore 100 feet below the ice to construct the subway, the purpose of which was to link scattered Arctic outposts via fast electric trains, providing supplies and troops. Greenland was in the path of Soviet bombers which could strike the U.S. from Arctic bases. The iceberg island was a huge, submerged valley, packed with snow that spilled over the mountainous outer rim into the sea, a snowdrift accumulated over centuries, two miles deep at some points. The surface was a desert of snow, whipped by winds of over 150 mph and frozen by 70 below zero temperatures. Underneath the ice, the conditions were calm, with a constant temperature of 13 below zero. The proposed subway would be therefore insulated from the surface conditions and would be safe from detection by enemy bombers. The Army Engineers had already built sinking Arctic outposts, buildings designed like submarines to sink on an even keel, leaving only antennas and hatchways at the surface. Construction of the proposed subway would begin in July, probably near Thule Air Force Base, with the first effort being experimental to determine how feasible the project would be. The cost was expected to run no more than it would take to build an average two-lane concrete highway, but its value would be immeasurable in conquering the strategic Arctic.

Muckluck, incidentally, will never, at Notre Dame or Navy, make wide receiver, or split end, as the position used to be called; perhaps at Wake Forest...

Chou En-lai's latest tender of peace might be Communist camouflage to hide war moves along the Chinese mainland coast, threatening the offshore islands of Wuchui and Pinghai, as intelligence reports were warning that a Communist assault was imminent on those two islands, not on the more publicized islands of Quemoy and Matsu. The two islands in question lay midway between Quemoy and Matsu and their capture would cut one side of the triangle formed by Formosa and the latter two islands, providing bases for harassing the Nationalist supply lines. Wuchui—just sneeze to pronounce it—was defended by 1,800 Nationalist troops, and Pinghai—sneeze the sixth successive time—had an even smaller defense contingent. Another 400 guerrillas used the islands as bases for raids against the mainland. They would not be any match for an invasion army of 35,000 Communist Chinese, known to be massing for the assault. Communist patrol boats had already taken soundings and charted the approaches to the two small islands, and the attack was anticipated for early in June.

A letter writer responds to a piece appearing in The News on April 20-21, titled, "What Is a Presbyterian?" by Dr. John Sutherland Bonnell of New York's Fifth Avenue Presbyterian Church, part of a series of articles on various denominations, appearing in the newspaper in April. This writer goes on at some length regarding his views on the subject, centered on his difference with Dr. Bonnell's statement that Presbyterians did not interpret the "resurrection" as the resurrection of the physical body of Christ, stating that his belief was that of the physical resurrection, as he believed most Christians to accept based on Bible teaching. He refers to a quote offered by Dr. Bonnell from I Corinthians 15:44: "It is sown a natural body, it is raised a spiritual body. There is a natural body, and there is a spiritual body." But he insists on quoting all of the chapter and placing certain words and phrases in capital letters, which he then proceeds to do, interpreting the words to mean that there was a physical part AND a spiritual part, which were to remain ONE in resurrection, though separated for a time. He believes that if the physical part of man were left on earth forever, the soul would also be left behind on earth "to rot forever", "since the FIRST ADAM had a SOUL; and the Second Adam had a SPIRIT." Thus, he insists that the physical part of the body would also be resurrected, "CHANGED QUICKENED; RAISED; made INCORRUPTIBLE." But there would be no ability to see the body, any more than one could see the body of the sun because of its brilliance, despite the sun having a body. (So, the sun is THE SON? Sounds as Greco-Roman pre-Christian polytheism to us...) He concludes: "The reason Christ retained those physical elements in His resurrection was because, man having retained more physical elements in man's resurrection, Christ had to retain some physical elements in order to continue to be the connecting link between man and God the Father."

Whatever you say. Don't let the Scotch go to waste while looking into the sun to see God among all the colors. The Sophists sought to use debate with semantics to disprove the teachings of Christ in relation to the Old Testament and Roman law, so, we suppose, one might as well try to use similar techniques to prove them out. But the effect remains pretty much the same. Part of the point, no matter how one seeks to stretch it out with debate, is that faith, defined as "things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen", is a great part of the point in Christian teachings, meant to be affirmative, not destructive. Them old Hebes had gotten a little carried away out there in the desert, and become a little overly punitive in their hunt for spiritual reckoning and truth, haunted as they were by Old Pharoah and his whips and chains, a human enough reaction, but in need of correction the other way from one raised to be a rabbi among their numbers.

A letter from a physician protests the New York speech of Senator Sam J. Ervin on April 28, delivered to a gathering of the Harvard Law School alumni of that city, as discussed in an editorial the prior Saturday, indicating that the writer was disturbed by its implications as expressed by a member of the Senate. The doctor defends the Supreme Court's decision in Brown v. Board of Education of the prior May 17, as being properly grounded in sociology and psychology, as well as morality, regarding the adverse effects of segregation in public education, impliedly suggesting a stigma to be attached to segregated students for their minority status, while also impeding social and economic advancement following formal education. Just as slavery had been abolished, so, too, must segregation in an increasingly mature world, where it was now being considered immoral and illegal. The decision had been rendered and North Carolina was expected to comply, needing in the process "courageous, affirmative leadership—not rationalizations to be used in future defiance of the law." He finds it amazing that Senator Ervin would attempt to discredit the confidence of the people in the integrity and wisdom of the Court, and therefore in the Constitution. He finds his proposed Constitutional amendment regarding more strict qualifications for members of the Supreme Court, to include prior judicial experience, to be ridiculous, suggests that there ought also be an amendment to require that all men be honest, kind and without prejudice, which would eliminate the need for lawyers and courts. He hopes that the voters would, as soon as possible, retire the Senator back to his private law practice, where it would not be "necessary for him to make irrational and irresponsible statements in order to gain the headlines."

Don't worry. He has a most valuable mission 18 years up the pike. By that point, you will likely forgive him his strict interpretations of the Constitution, which led him astray regarding the issue of segregation. He grew up, after all, in a small town in western North Carolina in a time when segregation was not only the accepted practice, but the enforced practice, with little room for dissent, save among the tattered Bolshevik types regarded as radical and desiring the overthrow of the established order, including the Constitution. That he had not adjusted after an undergraduate education at UNC and a law school education at Harvard, plus time as a "country lawyer", a Superior Court judge and State Supreme Court Justice, plus a year as a Senator, after having served out his deceased brother's term for a year in the House in 1946, remained rather unsurprising, given that background and its time in a segregated society, not just extant in the South. Scarcely anyone who came of age during that era in the early part of the century would have escaped unscathed by inculcated racial prejudice to justify, to one degree or another, that segregated society. It is very difficult to change such inculcated beliefs, reinforced, undoubtedly, by the educational environment the Senator encountered at some of the nation's better institutions of higher learning, remembering that Senator Ervin graduated from UNC in 1917, prior to the Age of Enlightenment, the latter 1920's and 1930's, and, after a stint in the Army fighting in the trenches of France during World War I, from Harvard Law School in 1922, prior, for instance, to Missouri, ex rel. Gaines v. Canada in 1938, the first case in the lineage of cases which inexorably led to Brown in 1954, finally overruling the "separate but equal" doctrine established in Plessy v. Ferguson of 1896, the year Senator Ervin was born.

So, assuming you do not care for the Vice-President's politics, especially because of his hounding of Alger Hiss in 1948, in deference to a known former Communist's finger-pointing claims, those of Whittaker Chambers, largely based, beyond anything more than a contest of accusation and denial, on the competing expert testimony regarding the typeset of a Woodstock typewriter found in a second-hand shop, you will forgive Senator Ervin, and even find him a hero for protecting the Constitution against excesses of an Administration run amok with usurpation of power, with which, ultimately, Senator Ervin had always been primarily concerned, more the process of how the Court had reached its decision in 1954 than the decision, itself.

With his concern expressed many times for the right of privacy, how did he view the case of Roe v. Wade? decided just three months prior to the Senate Select Committee on Watergate, which he chaired in 1973, convening its hearings, which changed the political landscape in the country and made it safer for democracy to flourish, as long as further such conduct is never tolerated by brave, bipartisan Senators and members of the House, ever vigilant in preservation of the democratic process, irrespective of the particular issue and where the individual Representative or Senator, or his or her constituents, might stand thereon, eager to return home and explain that position to constituents rather than standing on points, stubbornly persisting in a position just to afford re-election and maintain power, that which finally got Mr. Nixon in hot water, forcing his resignation from office in disgrace in August, 1974, facing not only certain impeachment by the House, but also certain conviction and removal by the Senate, as had been conveyed to him by the leaders of his own party shortly before his resignation, that he had only, at most, a dozen Senators on his side in the event of a trial in the Senate.

Were that courage still in evidence, things would be very different right now with respect to an unprecedentedly politicized Supreme Court, which yet, may or may not, overrule the decided precedent of Roe, becoming, if overruled, the first occasion in the country's history in which a Constitutional right, once established by the Court, has, 50 years later, been taken away, contrary to the tenets and spirit of the Constitution, most notably contained in its Preamble, and the democracy which it established, leaving us all subject, in that event going forward, to a Supreme Court, the majority of which we must revere as royalty, issuing their royal edicts at will, by 5 to 4 whimsy, not constrained either by precedent, reason or the will of the majority of the American people as a whole, divided even further by such ukases into "red" sectors and "blue" sectors, the red ones representing only a minority of the people, with every right to be heard but not to dictate, and dogmatically and stridently so, their will to the majority.

What did Senator Ervin think of Roe? We do not know precisely, for, search as we may, we have not found anything which he stated, either publicly or privately, on that particular case or even the more general issue of abortion. But, again, his reverence for the right of privacy, repeated consistently throughout his career as a Senator, should make the answer rather obvious, especially since he apparently never made any public statement regarding the case, instead remaining diplomatically mum on the subject, allowing his basic stance on privacy to communicate his probable view, without alienating people back home into a divided camp over a hot-button issue with some.

But, we remain hopeful that the Supreme Court will show wisdom and restraint, in the end, and not adopt as the majority holding that of the leaked draft opinion of Justice Samuel Alito, from February, 2022, purporting to overrule both Roe and its 1992 reaffirmation, with some alteration, in Planned Parenthood v. Casey.

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