The Charlotte News

Wednesday, May 4, 1955


Site Ed. Note: The front page reports that the President had said this date during his press conference that he had given consideration to Federal controls over distribution of the Salk polio vaccine, but still believed the voluntary method was better and that the Government intended to see that no child would be without the vaccine because of inability to pay. He said that the vaccine program should proceed, despite reports of a few breakthrough cases after the vaccine had been administered, primarily in the Western states, where the vaccine was manufactured by Cutter Laboratories of Berkeley, Calif. He said that in his opinion, the vaccine was safe.

The President also said that at present the U.S. was in a wait-and-see mode with respect to conducting talks possibly with Communist China regarding a cease-fire in the Formosa area, and that there was nothing new on the subject. He also said that Mrs. Eisenhower's health was not as robust and strong as that of some people, but that she was a good, healthy person, despite her inability to throw off the effects of a very serious virus infection which she had developed the prior March. The reporter asking the question had expressly based it on the statements by DNC chairman Paul Butler, who had speculated the prior March that because of Mrs. Eisenhower's health problems, the President might not seek a second term.

In New York, the medical director of the National Foundation for Infantile Paralysis had said this date that he was baffled by reports that ten million shots of Salk vaccine had apparently disappeared. The Washington report, published by the Scripps-Howard newspapers, had indicated that the vaccine might be lost only on paper. The director said that the Foundation had distributed approximately 6 million shots of the vaccine, and had 1.2 million in reserve, that the additional ten million which had originally been indicated as available by May 1, had only been an estimate. He said he was confident that the Foundation was receiving all of the vaccine produced and released by the National Institutes of Health, which had to clear all of the vaccine before it was released for use.

Dr. Glenn R. Shepherd, the News medical columnist, indicates that the recent scare regarding the polio vaccine because of the breakthrough cases had illustrated two things, that reporters and the public were not yet well enough informed regarding safety measures taken in preparing the vaccine and that some people still fell into the logical trap of thinking that because the disease had been diagnosed after the patients had received the vaccine, the two events were somehow related in terms of cause and effect. But it was polio season and many children were receiving the free vaccine in the first and second grades across the country and if any of those children already had the disease when they were inoculated, they could still contract the paralytic form of polio, notwithstanding the vaccination. Such was bound to happen, he says, with so many people being involved in a mass immunization program. But there was no reason to blame the vaccine. The vaccine consisted of a killed virus, which was grown on minced kidney cells of monkeys for several days, until the cells and anything which was not liquid were separated by extremely fine filters, at which point formaldehyde was added to the clear virus-containing filtrate. Each batch of the virus received separate treatment and study and the period of time required to kill the polio virus was determined, after which point there was no trace of life in the polio virus. It was then tested by trying to grow it in tissues and by injecting it into animals. To make sure that even the heartiest particle of virus could not survive, the batch of virus was then treated with the formaldehyde for five times as long as the time needed to kill it. It was then injected into monkeys to assure that it was no longer a live virus.

Does it turn you into a monkey? We don't want no monkey kidney in our system.

In Raleigh, Governor Luther Hodges was preparing to address a joint legislative session at noon the following day regarding the state's fiscal situation and the need for new taxes to fill a gap between expenditures and revenue for the ensuing biennium until the 1957 General Assembly would meet. The amount of the gap had been reduced since the beginning of the session in January, when it was said to be about 52 million dollars, with legislators having been told the previous week that it was now about 28 million dollars, and the State Speaker of the House had told the press the previous day that he believed it could be reduced by four or five million more.

Emery Wister of The News indicates that Dr. Billy Graham was tentatively scheduled to open the new Charlotte Coliseum on September 11, expected to originate his "Hour of Decision" broadcast on that date. A local Baptist minister said that the plans would be contingent on completion of the Coliseum by that point. Passage of the $698,000 bond issue the previous day for completion of the 10,000-seat facility had assured that it would likely be opened on schedule, with only seats and certain equipment left to install.

Harry Shuford of The News indicates that it was a sleepless night for City Council candidate Martha Evans, who had won a seat, the only non-incumbent on the new Council. Mrs. Evans had received many congratulatory phone calls and telegrams from all over the state and said that she had not slept a wink all night, but was not a bit sleepy. Mrs. Evans was a prominent Charlotte clubwoman and her husband was a local attorney.

In Stockbridge, Ga., a bank was robbed this date of $4,500 by a lone robber, who had ordered the bank president and the cashier to go into the back room, to stay there and not come out. The bank president said that he immediately went out a back door and notified the police.

In Detroit, where it was 88 degrees, a record for May 3, Chrysler Corporation had a walkout of 75 employees in its sheet-metal department because it was too hot to work.

On the editorial page, "Tomorrow: Big Tools for Big Chores" indicates that in approving $13,838,000 worth of bond issues the previous day, Charlotte voters had provided many of the big tools needed to build a better community, exercising a choice for progress, despite the poor turnout of voters. It believes that the vote, nevertheless, reflected the sincere wishes of most residents of the city.

The new City Council had six incumbents and one newcomer, Martha Evans, and would now face the responsibility of translating the public will into action, which it posits should be done without needless delay. It concludes that the challenge confronting the new Council was great in an ever-growing city, and was becoming greater every day.

"Comparison" indicates that in civic consciousness and political vitality, Gastonia had put Charlotte to shame the previous day, in that out of 11,047 eligible voters, 9,473, or 86.1 percent, had turned out to vote in the neighboring city, whereas in Charlotte, with approximately 60,000 eligible voters, only 11,473 had shown up at the polls. It finds it a disgraceful showing.

"Poison Pens as Political Weapons" tells of a small stack of "slang-whanging" hate letters having been addressed to the newspaper in the wake of the municipal election campaign, all unsigned and all aiming verbal "mudballs" at specific candidates, all making pretense to public virtue. Some of them, after attacking one particular candidate, branched out into sweeping assaults on whole social, religious and racial groups, with one particularly vile letter condemning "all Jews", "all Catholics", and "the labor unions", nevertheless winding up passionately praising "the American way of life." The person had said that "the principles laid down by our forefathers must be sustained and upheld if we are to remain a great nation."

While it finds the last observation true, there was no recognizable connection between the anonymous letter writer's techniques and "the principles laid down by our forefathers." It was the old game of that which the late New York Governor and 1928 Democratic presidential nominee Al Smith had once called, "Venom and Applesauce".

It finds that there was spiritual and moral danger in such anonymous rancor and abuse, should it spread, and there was a large amount of such billingsgate being circulated in present times. It indicates that such tactics accomplished little, that a momentary clamor might be raised, but that only in forthright and honest appeals to truth was it possible to achieve victories which were perdurable.

"Dixie Rules the Literary Roost" indicates that at least once a year U.S. critics worked themselves into a frenzy about the South's contributions to American literature, and in the wake of the award of the Pulitzer Prizes for literature to William Faulkner for his novel, A Fable, and to Tennessee Williams, for his play, Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, they were at it again.

It finds that in the final analysis, the primary elements producing such eminent Southern writers were the personal mind and character of the writers, themselves, not, per se, the region from which they hailed. The South, as W. J. Cash had once written in The Mind of the South, was "an extravagant and vivid and even more-than-life-sized land."

More than any other part of the country, it had experienced violent emotions, great ordeals, multiple triumphs and tragedies. The writer could not help becoming absorbed in the region's fierce images, which stirred the imagination and encouraged esthetic growth, apparent even when the author was writing about other regions, other lands and other people.

"So long as people want to explore the truth about themselves, great literature will be written. Perhaps there has simply been more to explore in the South and a greater curiosity on the part of Southern writers."

Kemp D. Battle, writing in the Daily Tar Heel, the UNC student newspaper, in a piece titled, "The Battle of Cemetery Ridge", indicates that in the spring of 1909, the University community had been secretly invaded by a small task force of prostitutes from Durham, with the hope of enticing members of the student body, meeting with some fair amount of success. But they had underestimated the vigor of the response of campus leaders, who were strict practitioners of virtue for themselves and resolute in their advocacy of austerity for their weaker brothers.

The president of the YMCA, small in stature, but destined for greatness, had assumed the leadership for which he was fitted by encouraging character, organizing a squad of commandos determined to end the business.

On a Saturday night, with a tip-off to the vigilantes that the group of prostitutes were heading for the campus, and would be stationed in the village cemetery, ready to receive customers, the group of determined protectors of character, led by "Jug" Whitager, the village's only police officer, advanced on their enemy and surrounded them. A pistol was fired into the air, the would-be customers fled the scene, and the vigilantes rushed forward and captured "two bedraggled and frightened daughters of Eve and of sin."

They then proceeded to the office of Squire Barbie, the local magistrate, located alongside the yard of the Methodist Church, and before midnight, the Squire was in attendance along with a judge, J. C. MacRae, who was dean of the law school, the presence of whom had been specially requested by University president Francis Venable, to prosecute on behalf of the University. Meanwhile, the news of the capture had spread, and hundreds of students had arrived at the scene, with perhaps a score able to crowd into the small building while the rest filled then unpaved Franklin Street from side to side and listened with enthusiasm to the testimony of the witnesses, relayed to them by the shouts of those able to hear and see the proceedings. The evidence had been both specific and convincing, and a judgment of guilty on vagrancy charges was pronounced by the Squire and an awaiting conveyance then took the defendants away to the county jail in Hillsborough.

"And so the second Battle of Cemetery Ridge took its honored place in history."

Did they go to Hector's while they watched the spectacle?

Mr. Battle, incidentally, an attorney and graduate of the University, was the grandson of Kemp P. Battle, earlier president and historian of the University, for whom Battle hall is named, part of the conjoined Battle-Vance-Pettigrew, built in 1912, originally dormitories, later administration buildings.

Judge MacRae, former State Supreme Court Justice, who had served as prosecutor in the affray, the affaire de déshonneur, died the following October of a heart attack at age 71. He should not have tangled in crossed swords with those beldams of the night, especially given that they had chosen the cemetery as their point of rendezvous, tip-off of beaucoup de misère hantée à venir.

Drew Pearson tells of Puerto Rico's Governor Luis Munoz Marin, the first Puerto Rican ever elected to that post and the best Governor the island had ever known, conferring with the President regarding various Caribbean problems. Among other things, he did not want a too high minimum wage fixed for Puerto Rico, indicating that the present average wage was 58 cents per hour, higher than the minimum wage in England, France and Italy. He also urged the President to help set up a Caribbean commission, including every British, Dutch and French possession in the Caribbean, as well as the U.S. territories, Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands, to secure better cultural and economic cooperation in that area. The President had been sympathetic to both ideas. During the conference, the two men had talked of the Puerto Rican nationalists who had attempted to assassinate President Truman in November, 1950, and had shot several members of Congress in March, 1954. The President said that he had been driving through New York when a friend had pointed out a building which he said was the headquarters of the Puerto Rican nationalists, which Governor Munoz quipped must have been the jail, because all of the nationalists he knew were in jail. The President said that he did not know why they should want to shoot him as he had announced that he was for independence, if Puerto Rico wanted independence, that the Governor was the man they ought to shoot. Governor Munoz somewhat ruefully indicated that they had already tried, apparently referring to an incident about a year earlier when they had stormed into his home.

The State Department had issued a statement a week earlier on Saturday that the U.S. would not discuss a cease-fire with Communist China without the presence of Chiang Kai-shek, and then three days later had said that it would discuss a cease-fire without his presence. Mr. Pearson indicates that it was not a minor snafu perpetrated by a minor State Department official and was not entirely the fault of Undersecretary of State Herbert Hoover, Jr., who had issued the initial statement, after talking for about an hour on the telephone to the President, who was at his Gettysburg farm at the time. After that initial statement had been issued, Senator Walter George of Georgia had received a large ovation when he told the American Society of Newspaper Editors that the U.S. should talk to the Communist Chinese about peace, no matter the circumstances. White House staff members had been present and were impressed by the ovation, thus reported it to the President. Then the State Department received a four-page confidential cablegram from Premier Mohammed Ali of Pakistan, who had visited the country the previous year and was a good friend of the U.S. During the African-Asian conference in Indonesia, Premier Chou En-lai had two conferences with the rival leaders of India and Pakistan, Prime Minister Nehru and Prime Minister Ali, and according to the secret cabled reports of U.S. diplomats, Chou's talk with Premier Nehru had been a flop, after the latter had sought to be a peacemaker in Asia but received the cold shoulder. But with Premier Ali, Chou had been more cooperative, perhaps deliberately wooing the more belligerent, more pro-American Muslim nation of Pakistan, playing it off against passive, neutral Hindu India. Chou had told Mr. Ali, according to the cable the latter had sent to Secretary Dulles, that Communist China wanted the two offshore islands of Quemoy and Matsu in exchange for a cease-fire in the Formosa Strait. Mr. Ali also reported that he was convinced that Communist China really wanted to end the Formosan crisis. It had been after the receipt of that cable that Secretary Dulles advised the President that the original policy of insisting that Chiang sit in on any cease-fire talks be reversed, regardless of incurring the ire of Senator William Knowland of California, a strong backer of the Nationalists.

Walter Lippmann finds very disturbing the mistake made on Saturday a week earlier in reply to the statement by Chou En-lai, regarding his willingness to meet with the U.S. to try to resolve the situation in the area of Formosa, with the State Department having issued a statement, in the absence of the President and Secretary Dulles, that there could be no such meeting without inclusion of representatives of Nationalist China, with the statement having been reversed by the President and Secretary Dulles the following Tuesday, clarifying that discussions regarding a cease-fire could take place between the U.S. and Communist China without the presence of the Nationalists, but that the Nationalists would have to be consulted on any matter directly related to their interests. Mr. Lippmann regards the mistake as demonstrating that in a matter of great consequence, the Department had not been instructed and did not know what the Secretary had in mind, and that diplomacy could not be efficient when the Department and the foreign service had to act on their own assumptions regarding the Secretary's policies.

The President was reliant on Secretary Dulles for directing foreign policy, unlike Presidents Roosevelt and Wilson, who had acted, essentially, as their own secretaries of state. Thus, in the Eisenhower Administration, there had to be someone of highest authority in Washington who would be continually in command of all diplomatic sectors.

Mr. Lippmann had heard from an experienced member of the foreign service that he had wished the airplane, or at least the Secretary's airplane, had never been invented, referring Mr. Dulles's many travels. He regards the situation as requiring a reappraisal in Washington of some of the basic conceptions of the postwar diplomacy, as the nation was being drawn into momentous negotiations in both Europe and Asia, where the Communists had taken the diplomatic initiative. He indicates that it was not because the Communists were stronger or more clever, but rather because the U.S. had never adapted the great conceptions of its foreign policy to the revolutionary consequences following from the Soviet achievement in developing nuclear weapons. U.S. foreign policy relied on a military ring of containment against the Communists through anti-Communist states, a foreign policy which was out of date.

The Soviets and Communist Chinese had the initiative because they had made their policy one of drawing in all of the non-atomic powers on the basis that the latter were helpless vis-à-vis the Soviets with their nuclear weaponry. U.S. policy, by contrast, anticipated that all anti-Communist or non-Communist nations would align with the U.S. in defiance to the Communists, a policy which had become incompatible with the realities of nuclear weaponry.

Mr. Lippmann indicates that he was aware of how far removed those ideas were from those which were current in the U.S. at present and those prevailing in Congress, but the reappraisal of the current ideas was unavoidable, and he hopes that it would not have to be done entirely the hard way, "by bitter experience as in Saigon at this moment, but that it will be done by lucid and candid leadership from the top."

Donald Adams, in the New York Times, indicates that the current issue of the Virginia Quarterly Review celebrated its 30th anniversary, which was not such a long time for an American magazine but a span which had embraced a remarkable period in American writing, in which the Quarterly had played a distinguished and effective part. Though it had given particular attention to Southern writing, its concern was not narrowly sectional, embracing its subtitle, "A National Journal of Literature & Discussion".

The current issue contained an article regarding the steady increase of the South's contribution to American writing, which had been so remarkable in those 30 years that it had overshadowed the contributions of all other regions. He lists numerous such Southern writers who had emerged in that time period, including William Faulkner, Margaret Mitchell, Allen Tate, Thomas Wolfe, Erskine Caldwell, Robert Penn Warren, Eudora Welty, Randall Jarrell, Carson McCullers, Truman Capote, Calder Willingham, and Tennessee Williams, among several others. He doubts whether New England at its height of literary production or, subsequently, the Midwest, had produced as many diversified talents as had the South during that recent time. While the other sections had produced some writers of greater or equal talent, they had not produced so many.

Randall Stewart, writing in the Quarterly on the subject, had offered some explanations for that wealth of literary talent emerging from the South, while the London Times Literary Supplement, in a recent survey of American literature, had offered some other explanations. Mr. Stewart indicated that while no one actually knew what had brought about the Southern revival, it had at least one thing in common with similar occurrences, that like the Elizabethan period, and the New England and Midwestern literary renascences, it had taken place "in the presence of radical change, the twilight of an old order." Mr. Adams interjects that the word "renascence" had been abused in that context, that there had never been any considerable literary activity in the South or the Midwest before the more recent emergence of talent, and so it could not be properly termed a renascence.

Mr. Stewart had recognized that many ages had great alterations without also producing literary genius, such as New England in current times while producing less literature of note than any other section of the country. Thus, whatever the cause of the upsurge in Southern literature, it went deeper than merely the fact of change. Mr. Stewart had observed that the Southern writers were more self-reliant than had been those of the Midwest, which Mr. Adams regards as a shaky proposition, that while Sherwood Anderson and before him, Howells and Hamlin Garland, may have been overly sensitive to "the modes and judgments of the Eastern states", he would not include in that category Mark Twain, as had Mr. Stewart, or after him, Carl Sandburg or Edgar Lee Masters. It was true, however, as Mr. Stewart had noted, that the Southern writers had preferred to remain at home, for the most part having forsworn New York, and had remained closer to their roots than had the writers of other regions, from which had come some of their vitality.

The Times Literary Supplement had commented to the effect that the South was more self-consciously a land than the North, while New England was "in essence an idea or a battleground of ideas." Mr. Adams believes that the passionate attachment and identification with the physical characteristics and the people of the region had been of enormous help to the Southern writer. He regards a bigger factor than any other, perhaps, to have been the South's mood of self-examination and questioning of its history. More than any other region, it had experienced ordeal and, in consequence, had to probe deeper into its heritage than had those from other regions of the country.

A Pome appears from the Atlanta Journal, "In Which Is Offered A Slant Concerning People Who Haven't Been Doing Exactly Right By Others:

"Persons with a sense of guilt
Load their conscience to the hilt."

Some to them have great statues built,
Others wind up on the gibbet, done, kilt.

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