The Charlotte News

Friday, May 6, 1955


Site Ed. Note: The front page reports that Surgeon General Leonard Scheele had told the House Banking Committee this date that the Federal release of any additional Salk polio vaccine had been halted pending a complete study by top medical scientists of the situation involving the breakthrough cases—most of which had occurred in the Western states, based on vaccine manufactured by Cutter Laboratories of Berkeley, Calif. He said that production of the vaccine was continuing but that Federal review and approval of additional supplies had been held up for several days such that release of new vaccine had been brought to a standstill for the time being. He said that he had confidence that a conference of scientists presently underway would conclude that the vaccine was excellent and that the nationwide inoculation program should continue. He said that there had been no effort to prevent vaccinations from taking place out of supplies already released, or to slow down the production, that the only slowdown had occurred in the Federal review and approval of the vaccine before its release.

Don't want no monkey kidney, not going to accept it, rather be crippled. At least you wouldn't be thinking like a monkey then.

Alton Blakeslee and Bill Becker report from Survival City, Nev., that the Darlings of Doomsday Drive were no more, but that a preliminary survey of the test town, following the previous day's nuclear test, showed that a person could survive a nuclear attack, provided they were in the right type of home. The Darling family had been buried in the explosion of their two-story brick and cinder block house, and a neighboring one-story frame rambler home had also been reduced to shambles. But two masonry homes on the same street, only seven-eighths of a mile away, had withstood the blast, with some damage but still in sound condition. Directly behind Doomsday Drive, one 150-foot high communications tower had been knocked down, a 120-foot tower bent, and some power line poles toppled. Trailers had been hurled like matchboxes, while a few had only suffered broken windows. Split-second sequential pictures had told the story of the heat and blast which had doomed the brick home of the Darlings and the adjacent frame rambler, both blowing apart from the terrible pressure. Likewise, a pumping station standing near a huge tank of propane had been demolished, but the gas had failed to catch fire. A 250-watt radio station had been knocked off the air, but its transmitter appeared to remain intact. Two of the Darling girls had been crushed under the debris, and the bedroom floor had tilted downward at a 45-degree angle to the lower floor, while the dummies downstairs had been buried. You should not talk about the Darlings that way. They provided great jug-band music for many years and will be sorely missed. The poor Darlings. Don't call them dummies, just because they were backward hill people.

A summary provided by the director of the Federal Civil Defense Administration indicated that within 1.25 miles of ground zero, chances of survival depended largely on the type of structure one was in, while outside of 14 miles away, survival chances were good even in a large atomic blast, provided one took modest shelter precautions. Blast effects were noticeable on structures as far away as three miles. Of course, all of that assumes that the bomb dropped would be no more than 1.5 times the yield of the antiquated Hiroshima bomb of nearly ten years earlier. So, if your town is in imminent danger of being hit by the Big One, the H-exponential, you should find yourself a nice cemetery plot in advance and just crawl in next to the Darlings...

The House had voted the previous day to restore high rigid farm price supports, in a second display of the Democratic leadership's ability to flex its political muscles in defiance of the Administration. But as proved earlier in the session, when the House had voted to reduce individual income taxes by $20, it was unlikely that any legislation would result from this latest move during the current year. The vote had been 206 to 201 to eliminate the flexible system of price supports, which Congress had approved the previous year at the urging of the Administration, with Speaker Sam Rayburn and other Democratic leaders having obtained 185 Democratic and 21 Republican votes for the bill, with 29 Democrats and 172 Republicans having supported continuation of the Administration's flexible supports program. During the course of the vote, several members switched their votes to provide the winning margin. It was likely that the bill would be pigeonholed in the Senate during 1955 and would carry over to the next year's session, but, in any event, would likely be sunk by a Presidential veto, without the necessary two-thirds vote of each house to override it.

The Commerce and Labor Departments reported that construction in April had boomed to a new record high for the month, at 3.25 billion dollars, and that construction during the first four months of the year had also set a record. Annualized, the April figure would be at 41.5 billion for the year, compared to 37 billion for the previous year. Construction of private residences showed the greatest dollar gain during the first four months, compared with the same period of 1954, but commercial buildings also had reached a new high. The only major construction segment running at lower levels than a year earlier had been publicly financed outlays, down by three percent. Increased spending by state and local governments had not quite offset a decline in Federally financed construction.

In Nashville, it was reported that railroad strike violence had broken out on two Southern fronts the previous night and this date, with one striker shot to death in Tennessee and another seriously wounded in Kentucky. A striking worker on the Louisville & Nashville Railroad had been killed the previous night in an altercation near Mt. Pleasant, Tenn., officers having indicated that a Nashville man had signed a statement admitting that he shot the victim, albeit claiming that he acted in self-defense. Three other men were arrested for questioning, but no formal charges had yet been filed against any of the four. The man who did the shooting said that he and the three other men had been riding in an L&N truck the previous night when they were overtaken by a man in an automobile, which then rammed into the truck, causing both vehicles to crash, whereupon he had fired one shot, killing the other man. Police said that the man who had done the shooting had been arrested three times by State officers on charges of transporting liquor in legally dry territory, and had only been recently employed by the railroad. It was the first fatality reported in the railroad strike or the Southern Bell Telephone Co. strike, both of which had started on March 14. In Louisville, police said that a man was shot while he and another man were throwing chunks of bricks at the home of a non-striking L&N worker.

In Chicago, fire had flashed through a skid row flophouse early this date, killing nine men and injuring at least 12 others, the second fire in a skid row hostelry in Chicago during the year, the other having occurred on February 12, taking the lives of 29 men. Some of the men caught in the blazing building were in a drunken stupor and had to be taken out by force by police and fire personnel, with two policemen having been credited with saving the lives of about 25 of the sleeping men. It was the fourth disastrous hotel fire in Chicago during the year, with a total death toll of 51.

In Huntington Park, Calif., an ex-convict, wanted for questioning in the knife-slaying of an attractive divorcee, had walked into a Los Angeles Episcopal church this date and surrendered to the minister, who, after a lengthy talk, persuaded the man to call the police, himself. He had been sought since Wednesday night when the woman had been fatally stabbed with a hunting knife in her home, in the presence of her 12-year old daughter. No charges had yet been filed. Earlier, several telephone calls had been received by police and a Huntington Park newspaperman from a man who identified himself as the man who had eventually turned himself in, in one instance telling the editor of the newspaper that it had been a case of suicide and that he had not stabbed the victim. A police captain, however, said that the daughter, in the sixth grade, had told him that her mother was stabbed by the man during a violent argument with him, whom she described as her mother's boyfriend.

In Raleigh, the State Senate this date passed into law the state's 640-million dollar spending bill for the ensuing biennium, with the Senators resoundingly voting down an amendment offered to the measure to eliminate $223,000 for UNC's educational television station and for studios on the campuses of its three branches. The State Senator who had objected to that portion of the appropriation had said the funding was trending toward "socialism".

In Charlotte, the president of the Mecklenburg Bar Association this date said that the organization would officially request the County Board of Commissioners on Monday to set up a small claims court in the county.

In Dallas, Tex., a 55-year old drug company accountant, named David Crockett, the great-grandson of the "king of the wild frontier", was being besieged by tiny children whenever he arrived home, asking him whether he was really Davy Crockett, and when he answered that he was, implored him to sing the song, which he would then try, seeming to make the children happy. Adults and older children alike were also ringing his telephone off the hook, wanting to know if he was really related to the bare-handed bear-killer. Since "The Ballad of Davy Crockett" and the television show had become popular, his life had been hectic. The accountant had been born in Granbury, near the farm where Davy Crockett's widow was buried. He said that the first Davy Crockett had a "rather long face with a prominent, pointed chin" and he believed he looked a little bit like him.

In High Point, N.C., a Charlotte man and his chauffeur wound up in jail for having obtained money under false pretenses. A laundry route man of the city had found a handbill of the Charlotte man in a bundle of laundry, finding it impressive, and so turned it over to a local weekly newspaper, who turned it over to the police. An officer went to visit the Charlotte man, who received the officer dressed in a long black robe and situated in a candle-lit room, identifying himself as "Professor Cunningham from the Belgian of Congo". He then mixed the officer's saliva with chemicals, which caused it to turn red, from which he divined that the officer was suffering from domestic trouble. The officer then provided him two one-dollar bills, inserted into the Bible on the Professor's desk, at which point the Professor told him to obtain $21 more and he could be cured. The officer returned with another officer, and they placed the Professor under arrest. Well, you didn't even give him the chance to provide the cure. How do you know he was not on the level? That case has to be dismissed for want of proof of a false claim.

For those who have not yet learned to read, a picture on the page shows men from the first moon landing, which had taken place the previous day, checking out a fuzzy tree which they found along with many shrubs on the surface, determining whether the soil which enabled the flora to flourish in such abundance contained living creatures, utilizing their special biozooradiographological detection gun.

On the editorial page, "After 23 Years, Time To Take Stock" tells of two State Representatives having provided the means to improve the state's antiquated tax system, having presented their plan in a joint resolution during the week, authorizing the Governor to appoint a commission to study the state's tax machinery and make recommendations to the 1957 General Assembly.

It finds the proposal sensible, that some of the patchwork corrections done in recent years had thrown the entire system off balance, such that the whole system needed examination. There had been no basic revisions to the tax structure since 1932, and booming 1955 bore no resemblance to that earlier, mid-Depression year, with many technological and social changes having occurred in the interim, along with great advancement in manufacturing, scientific and agricultural processes, plus the development of many new industries.

In a well-balanced economic system, it was imperative that the tax mechanism be completely fair, meeting the tests of stability and equity, while at the same time, providing proper economic incentives to individuals and businesses to encourage productivity. It suggests examination of the source of North Carolina tax dollars, procedures for levying, collecting and administering the taxes, the need for long-range revenue planning, the necessity to reduce the tax accounting load required of individuals and corporations, as well as the need for greater simplicity and a more easily understandable system of revenue laws. It finds most of those items would be taken care of by the plan put forward by the two Representatives, and the survey would also include comparative examination of tax machinery of other states.

The proposed study commission would be composed of one member each from the Revenue Department, the State Attorney General's office and the State Bar, as well as the Finance Committee chairmen of both the State House and Senate, plus two private citizens, one from the production field and the other from the mercantile or distribution field.

The Charlotte Chamber of Commerce and its taxation committee had been seeking such a study for years, as it did not want to discourage individuals and businesses from settling in the state. It adds that it was also important that individuals and businesses already established in the state receive fair tax treatment.

"An Old Malady Needs New Medicine" indicates that a State Senator's bill to reform the state's justice of the peace system had emerged from committee battered and bruised, but still recognizable, with its central objective, to remove the profit motive from jaypee convictions, still intact, and would now proceed to the State Senate floor for debate and vote.

Under the old system whereby justices of the peace were paid fees after judgments, judgments were usually rendered for the prosecuting party, resulting in abuses which had been the shame of the North Carolina judicial system.

Under the new plan introduced in the State Senate, a magistrate would collect a $4.50 fee for each criminal case in which a conviction was obtained, with the full amount of the costs to be turned over to the county's general fund, and for each case handled, the county would reimburse the justice of the peace $3.60, while the total returned could not exceed the amount turned into the state. A jaypee could also be removed by the resident Superior Court judges for misconduct, and they would be required to maintain adequate office facilities. A companion bill would relieve the governor of appointing jaypees. Another measure would require jaypees to use serially numbered warrants and receipts.

It finds those reforms, and perhaps even more, needed. But jaypees had considerable political power in some parts of the state and legislators from those areas had immediately begun to seek exemption from the act for their counties. It finds that the residents of the state, however, had experienced enough of the jaypee system in its present form and that if it was to remain a part of the state's judicial structure at all, rigid controls had to be implemented.

"Mental Illness: Light in the Darkness" tells of World War I French Premier Georges Clemenceau having once said that war was too serious a business to be left to the generals, remarks that since the "Age of Anxiety" had dawned, the feeling had been growing that mental health was too serious a business to be left to the psychiatrists.

Mental Health Week was being observed in Charlotte and across the nation during the week, with more than 5,000 organizations, including Charlotte's Mental Health Clinic, busy bringing mental illness to the attention of the public and rallying the citizenry to combat and conquer it.

The previous year, mental illness had taken its highest toll in history, with 2.5 million men, women and children having been treated for some form of mental disorder in hospitals, psychiatric clinics or the offices of private psychiatrists. Nearly 750,000 persons had been treated in mental hospitals, constituting more than half of the 1.4 million patients in all hospitals for all diseases across the country, according to the National Association for Mental Health.

Americans could view the problem of mental health at present with courage and hope, instead of fatalism and despair. There was every reason to believe that it could be conquered, provided that people everywhere made sure that the necessary manpower and money was devoted to research and provision of adequate treatment for patients in mental hospitals, with increasing professional training available to assist in that effort.

While Charlotte, with its own mental health clinic, was fortunate, more could still be done in the community and across the nation to combat what had become America's number one health problem.

A piece from the Jackson (Miss.) State-Times, titled "Gripes from Teenagers", finds that teenagers lived in a world of their own, were a wonderful set, and that for every failing youngster, there were thousands of others who led perfectly normal lives, at least for teenagers.

It indicates that the maturing young mind craved independence and that one of the natural complexes was parental interference with the teenager's love of freedom and success.

Thus, it had found it interesting that an article in the American Magazine, asking teenagers whether their parents did things they wished they would not, and if so, what, had revealed complaints typical of most teenagers, such as that parents corrected them in front of friends and relatives, did not care how they dressed when the big date was due, and that they insisted that the teenager dress sensibly rather than following the current fashions, among other things.

It offers that parents should recall the adage, "praise in public, condemn in private." It also finds apropos the teenagers' complaint about their parents' dress at the time of the big date coming to the door, as teenage girls wanted to make the best impressions possible on their male dates, and parents should assist in that effort—naturally, father wearing his usual tuxedo and mother, a like-rented evening gown by the most au courant of the Parisian fashion designers, all while the old junk 1940 Studebaker sat out in the front yard with a tree growing out of its engine compartment and the porch posts stabilized on each side by two-by-fours to prevent them from falling into the open well, as the 15 dogs all barked in chorus at the arrival of the new stranger. It also advises that fads were part of teenage life and that their dress placed them in a definite category, that as long as modesty and good taste prevailed, the young people should be able to typify their age—naturally, therefore, being able to wear short-shorts and the latest sheer blouses to school with the rolled-up sleeves, whether boys or girls.

Drew Pearson tells of the Republican New York Herald Tribune having finally pressured HEW Secretary Oveta Culp Hobby into considering Federal control of the Salk polio vaccine. Previously, Secretary Hobby had insisted on keeping the Federal Government out of the distribution problem, despite the fact that HEW had seen to it that other vaccines, used for immunization of children against diphtheria, smallpox, whooping cough, and tetanus, had been made available to children of indigent parents. Thus, the Secretary was following one policy for other vaccines while a separate one for the Salk vaccine, despite the demand for the latter having reached such a high level that Federal controls were far more necessary for that vaccine than the others. The Secretary had been jarred by a front page Herald Tribune editorial, calling on her to intervene so that young children and pregnant women would be able to obtain their shots first, as proposed by Senator Wayne Morse of Oregon three weeks earlier. The Herald Tribune had sent to her a copy of the editorial and two copies each were distributed to every member of Congress, together with telegrams calling their attention to the editorial. At that point, given that the Herald Tribune was such a strongly Republican newspaper, Mrs. Hobby had relented somewhat and taken the stand that the polio vaccine was a commodity and ought to be distributed under a "voluntary" system, but now had reversed herself and agreed to recommend Federal controls "if necessary". Mr. Pearson notes that Secretary Hobby could probably curb the black market on the Salk vaccine by requesting that doctors reserve the available supply until June 1 for children under age 10 and pregnant women, the groups most susceptible to polio, and could also begin a program of free shots for underprivileged children simply by asking Congress to appropriate extra funds for the Children's Bureau, which for years had given away vaccine money to the states under its maternal and child health grant program.

Secretary of Commerce Sinclair Weeks, a champion of the balanced budget, believed in economy for everyone but himself. While he had cut everyone else's budget around the Commerce Department, he had placed a $10,000 allowance into the small print to pay for his own "official" entertainment, making him the first Secretary of Commerce in history who had sought to charge the taxpayers for his entertainment bill. Yet, unlike most of his predecessors, he was a millionaire who could afford to pay for his own parties.

Despite the growing Soviet submarine threat, the Navy had placed first priority on large aircraft carriers instead of submarines. The large carriers were being designed to deliver the atomic bomb against an enemy, a mission which had been assigned to the Air Force while the Navy would have complete responsibility for maintaining safety of the oceans for American shipping.

The Duke Power Magazine, in a piece titled "E Equals MC Squared", indicates that civilization, as their fathers had known it, had been shaped according to the physical concepts of Sir Isaac Newton, as expressed in his De Principia. Civilization, as their children had known it, would be radically altered by the physical concepts of the late Albert Einstein, who had just died a couple of weeks earlier.

While the press had been full of accounts regarding Dr. Einstein's work in atomic physics and his unified field and relativity theories, less attention had been given to his gentle philosophy. He had stated, for instance: "To know that what is invisible really exists, manifesting itself as the highest wisdom and the most perfect beauty, is at the heart of all true religion." He had also said: "We don't know much, but we do know one thing: that man is on earth for the sake of other men." Regarding daily activity, he had stated: "The most important motive for work in school and in life is the pleasure in work, pleasure in its results and the knowledge of the value of the result to the community."

It finds that he was no blind genius in mathematics and physics, but had lived a simple and dignified life, and while his scientific contributions had been widely recognized, the grandeur of his philosophy was yet to be assessed "as we toil up the slopes of a closer touch with Truth itself."

A letter writer responds to a letter of April 29 from the twenty members of the "Scabbie Club", the scabs crossing the picket lines of the Southern Bell Telephone Co. strike by the Communications Workers of America, with this writer wondering why they were scared to list their names if they thought it was such a correct endeavor. He also indicates that there was no evidence that CWA members were doing any of the sabotage to equipment and cables, as claimed by the writers of the prior letter, and says that no CWA member had been convicted of any of those crimes, while a scab had been convicted of assault with a deadly weapon. He further says that the scabs would not turn down anything won by the CWA and that when something went wrong on their jobs, they would be the first to complain to the CWA. He thinks they should be glad that there were proud strikers who had the guts to stick up for what they thought was right, and that when the strike had begun, he believed the CWA had been correct, and still thought so.

A letter writer addresses the same letter and also finds it remarkable that the scabs had not seen fit to publish their names as authors of the "disgraceful letter". She says that she would not wish to be in their club, that she classified them along with Esau, Judas and Benedict Arnold.

A letter from a Western Electric Co. installer finds the Southern Bell management to be comparable to the Kremlin, demanding that the workers accept a "no strike clause" in their contract, demanding thereby that the union disarm itself by destroying its only weapons to defend against the company's malicious treatment of workers. He says that perhaps some of the employees received fair treatment from the company, but that it was impossible "for all of us to be the fair-haired sons and daughters of Ma Bell."

A letter writer from Laurinburg addresses another letter of April 29, from a striking employee of the telephone company, saying that she had the right to strike but that she had no more right to strike than the people who were working had the right to work, that the sabotage which was being reported sounded like it had resulted from orders coming from Moscow.

A letter writer asserts that another milestone had been marked in the long struggle of the CWA in seeking a fair deal from "Ma" Bell and that it had been accomplished in the local courtrooms. The writer relates that Judge J. C. Sedberry had reminded a scab that those on strike were not monsters with horns. The writer responds to a Western Electric scab who had yelled "Communist" at the strikers. The writer indicates that she had never been a "dirty Communist", had, for nearly eight years, been employed by the company as a charge operator and loved her work. She felt a great sense of loyalty to the company, and as soon as some agreement could be reached on the new contract, she was eager to return to work. She was also a member of the union and would join the picket line until their just dispute was settled.

A letter writer indicates that she was contemplating Mothers Day, but could not go to see her mother and so would write about her and hope that she would be aware of it, as her mother was now in Heaven. She says that she had prayed many times to be as good as her mother, who had not smoked, drunk alcohol or cursed and taught her children to live correctly and go to church. She would not vary from those precepts and damage her mother's precious name for anything. She asserts that if people knew how hard it was to see their mothers for the last time on earth, some would appreciate them more, that she would stand by her children when no one else would. Nevertheless, some boys and girls were breaking their gray-haired mothers' hearts.

A letter writer indicates that Senator Sam J. Ervin had discovered what most Southerners had discovered many years earlier, that for the previous 20 years under the Democratic Administrations, the Supreme Court justices had been selected on the basis of political beliefs rather than on judicial ability, commenting that seven of the nine present Justices on the Court had been appointed by either President Roosevelt or Truman. The Senator had quoted the arch-Federalist, Alexander Hamilton, in making his comments about the lack of judicial experience on the present Court, and the writer suggests that he might be seeing the handwriting on the wall and was making a bid for the Republican nomination in 1956.

We hope you may live long enough to see 1973. You may be singing a quite different tune by then.

A letter from the chairman of public relations for the Florence Crittenton Home in Charlotte indicates that the members of the board and staff were grateful to the newspaper for its assistance in their annual observance of National Florence Crittenton Week.

A letter from the executive director and field secretary of the Home expresses like sentiment.

A letter writer from Hamlet finds that the newspaper's editorials on the "edict" of the Supreme Court in Brown v. Board of Education, the "flouting" of the state medical society's constitution by the Mecklenburg branch, and the "timely remarks" made by Senator Ervin regarding the qualifications of judges on the Supreme Court, all appeared "to hold a hint of the tar brush." He wonders what an editorial "we" had against the white race, such that they did not wish to keep it white. He says that they owed a debt to their progenitors and a responsibility to posterity to safeguard "racial heritage", and that "those who would tear down these safeguards are the rankest of renegades." He finds that the same ideal ought inspire all races, "the colored included." He says that the Negroes, being a minority, were at a disadvantage not of their own making, and the South had tried, and was still trying, to alleviate that disadvantage "but certainly not at the cost of sacrificing their racial integrity. This sacrifice the Supreme Court has ordered them to make."

A letter writer wonders whether, with all of the political publicity about Jefferson Place, Jefferson Day, and the gratitude being expressed to the Jefferson Standard Life Insurance Co. for all it had done for the city, the city should just not change its name to Jefferson City or Jeffersonville or some similar name, such as East Jefferson, without regard to the fact that there was a West Jefferson already in the state.

A letter writer from Gardena, Calif., indicates that she had a 15-year old brother who was dying of progressive muscular dystrophy, was completely helpless and had been bedridden for more than two years, prior to which he had been bound to a wheelchair for six years, and would like to receive cards and letters for him to read.

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