The Charlotte News

Saturday, June 11, 1955


Site Ed. Note: The front page reports from University Park, Pa., that the President had proposed this date that the U.S. provide nuclear materials, money and know-how to help other free nations obtain atomic power and research reactors. In his address before the centennial commencement exercises of Penn State, he suggested that the country pay half the cost of the research reactors. He also appealed to Russia to join in creation of an international atomic pool for peaceful purposes, a program he had first proposed on December 8, 1953 before the U.N. He appeared on this occasion to be making the appeal to the Russian people rather than to the Russian leaders. He said that the purpose of the two new programs was to "spark the creative and inventive skills latent in the free world, to put them to work for the betterment of conditions under which men must live." On the platform with the President was his youngest brother, Dr. Milton Eisenhower, president of Penn State, who had introduced the President. The President said that he would submit the two new programs to Congress for approval. He gave no estimate of their cost.

Senator Walter George of Georgia, chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, said this date that the U.S. was not likely to provide any free military aid to help Austria construct a defense force, in the wake of the independence treaty signed by the Big Four postwar occupying powers the previous month. Senator George said that such was his interpretation of the testimony before the Committee the previous day by Secretary of State Dulles, who had said that if aid were sought by Austria, which they assumed would be the case, they would give some assistance in equipping the forces allowed by the treaty, saying nothing about repayment. Senator George said that the U.S. would want repayment, either for military goods shipped to Austria or for cash loans to the nation. Thus far, no formal request had been made publicly for such aid, but Secretary Dulles said that he anticipated it. He had appeared before the Committee to seek prompt ratification of the treaty, signed in Vienna on May 15. Senator George predicted that the Senate would act on it the following week.

The Public Health Service came under fire this date after Surgeon General Leonard Scheele declared the previous day at a news conference that the polio vaccination program could go forward now that the safety of the polio vaccine had been assured by stiffer standards, in the wake of the issuance of the Service's report regarding the testing of the vaccine and the six manufacturers of it, after a relatively small number of breakthrough cases had been reported involving children being infected after being vaccinated. In New York, the president of the National Foundation for Infantile Paralysis criticized the report, saying that it "obviously gives only the Public Health Service version of the vaccine situation to date." In Philadelphia, the executive vice-president of Wyeth, Inc., one the manufacturers of the vaccine, had taken strong exception to a statement by an associate director of the Health Service's National Institutes of Health, saying the previous day that one batch of the vaccine made by Wyeth was being subjected to searching laboratory analysis, although there had not been enough evidence to label that lot suspect, with three polio cases having raised question about that vaccine. The Wyeth officer stated that it was "most unfortunate, misleading and not in the public interest" that "suspicion should be cast on Wyeth vaccine and its routine retesting program and inference be given that Wyeth vaccine is 'suspect'." He said it had been nearly two months since injections with the Wyeth vaccine had begun and that the information available to date did not warrant the implications contained in the statement by the associate director of National Institutes of Health.

The Senate Investigations subcommittee, examining possible graft in procurement of military uniforms through the Quartermaster Corps, heard more testimony from Chicago hat maker Harry Lev this date, who said that he could not remember how he had disposed of nearly $214,000 in cash in 1952 and 1953, but was sure that none of it had been paid as bribes. At the time, Mr. Lev had been seeking a large Government contract for production of seven million white sailor's caps, a two million dollar contract which his firm ultimately obtained. He said that he would consult his files and file a statement with the subcommittee regarding how the money was spent. It was his fifth successive day of testimony before the subcommittee. A staff auditor, who was a former administrative assistant to FBI director J. Edgar Hoover, testified that he had found, in an audit of the firm's records, no records available to explain how Mr. Lev had spent nearly $126,000 in 1952 and another $88,000 in 1953, indicating that Mr. Lev had withdrawn the money in cash from various accounts. Mr. Lev said that the figures had to be correct because the banks gave them in response to a subpoena, but that he was resentful because the staff auditor had not trusted him.

In Raleigh, UNC president Gordon Gray had agreed the previous day to accept a new assignment with the Administration, as he had been nominated by the President to be Assistant Secretary of Defense for international security affairs. The University Board of Trustees granted Mr. Gray an indefinite leave of absence from his post to accept the appointment, which, according to Governor Luther Hodges, would begin July 15 and would not run as long as two years. The Board declined to accept his resignation. In the meantime, University provost J. Harris Purks would serve as acting president of the Consolidated University. Mr. Gray would succeed H. Struve Hensel, who had resigned the post, responsible in its new incarnation for directing the military phases of the program presently carried out by the Foreign Operations Administration, which would go out of existence on July 1. Mr. Gray had been Secretary of the Army under President Truman, resigning in early 1950 to become president of the Consolidated University.

In Stuttgart, West Germany, a four-engine U.S. Air Force B-29 bomber had crashed into a rocky hillside of the Swabian Alps and exploded shortly before the previous midnight, with German police indicating that the ten crewmen had died. The accident occurred in dense fog and rain, with visibility at the time less than 50 feet. The destination of the plane had been Munich, intending to perform instrument training at Stuttgart and returning to Molesworth before landing on a round-robin flight.

In Charlotte, it was reported that funeral services would be held the following day in Narrows, Va., for Leslie Scheer, three-year old daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Julian Scheer, Mr. Scheer being a correspondent and feature writer for the newspaper. The child had been struck by an automobile late the previous afternoon while playing near her home and was pronounced dead on arrival at Presbyterian Hospital. The traffic sergeant said that the child had run into the path of a car driven by a woman and that no charges had been filed against the driver, as there was no evidence of criminal negligence. Mr. Scheer would subsequently become the publicity director for NASA in 1962, remaining in that position through 1971, thus encompassing the orbital part of the Mercury program, and all of the Gemini and Apollo programs.

In Norwich, England, a schoolroom quiz had asked children such personal questions as whether their parents had been divorced, touching off a revolt among parents. The headmistress of the local high school for girls had written the parents, apologizing for the quiz, and other schools said that the answers would be destroyed. The quiz was intended as a survey of the effects of television on family life and had been answered by hundreds of students. One irate father had called at his son's school and demanded that the form which his son had filled out be destroyed on the spot. He said it asked for such information as what time the father got home, whether the student was afraid that his or her parents would become angry at them, whether the student's friends looked down on the student if the family did not have a television set or a car, and whether the parents secretly wished the student were someone else.

In San Francisco, six years of experience with raw cabbage juice as an ulcer treatment had indicated that the procedure ought be tried in all such cases before resorting to surgery, according to a Stanford University physician. The cabbage juice plus a bland diet healed most ulcers in a series of 63 test cases, according to the report by Dr. Garnett Cheney appearing in the Stanford Medical Bulletin. Only three of the 65 cases had failed to show any healing, with each of those having had dense scar tissue in the stomach and liver damage. There were three others, not counted in the 65 cases, who had stomach cancer as well as ulcers, and their ulcers had not healed. Raw cabbage juice was particularly rich in what the report referred to as Vitamin U, which apparently helped the stomach lining to resist breakdown when under attack by natural stomach acids and other body chemicals. The substance was also present in leafy green vegetables, milk and eggs. The treatment called for drinking at least a quart of cabbage juice daily. The study had obtained cabbage juice in concentrated form to allow for less bulk, and the juice was also reduced to powder form and placed in capsules for some patients.

In Rome, it was reported that Gina Lollobrigida's waist measured 17 inches, prompting her husband to indicate that it was the same size as his shirt collar. She normally refused to provide her measurements, usually estimated at 37 for the bust and 36 for the hips. Lately, her small waist had shrunk even smaller under a daily regimen of ten hours before the cameras, followed by a fencing lesson and a trapeze lesson for her latest movie role. She and her husband had become curious and so measured her waist.

In New York, residents of a six-story apartment building in the Inwood section had reported a swarm of bees on the apartment wall, forming an oval, yellowish, shoulder-high patch about 18 inches long, a foot wide and two inches thick. The residents closed their windows and the building superintendent called the police, who, in turn, contacted the Park Department, which referred the matter to the Forest Service, a representative of which said that they could not do anything about bees on private property. A man named Joe, short, confident, middle-aged, and wearing dark glasses, then arrived on the scene, walked over to the mass of bees, pushed his face into the swarm and used a fistful of "stingers" for a facial massage, which the bees appeared to like. When police asked him whether he understood them, he stated, "Fermez la bouche," meaning, in French, "Shut your mouth," for by talking they would make the bees sting him. When he had finished playing with the bees, the police officer sent him away and the exterminator showed up and destroyed the swarm. One man estimated that there were 2,000, while another said there were at least 10,000, while an unidentified policeman said there were exactly 438,799. They were identified by the curator of the department of animal behavior at the American Museum of Natural History as Italian honeybees, notoriously docile when swarming. He said, however, when apprised of the behavior of Joe, that it could have a terrible effect on people who believed they could walk up to a beehive and do the same thing, which he did not recommend at all.

Persistent rain, which had hit most of the Eastern half of the nation during the week, showed no respite this date in many sections, with wet weather reported again from the Dakotas to Virginia and from southeast Colorado to northern Minnesota. Rainfall during the night had measured from more than one inch in parts of Illinois to a half-inch in northern New England, Virginia, Missouri, North Carolina and West Virginia, with lesser amounts in other areas.

On the editorial page, "Ambulances Should Obey Traffic Rules" indicates that an under-aged ambulance driver had exercised emergency right-of-way privileges and run a red light on Thursday, killing one person and critically injuring another in a collision.

It urges that there was too much reliance on sirens by ambulance drivers and too much freedom from ordinary traffic regulations. It thinks that a new law, requiring ambulances to obey all traffic regulations, as recommended by City Council member and former Mayor Herbert Baxter, ought be passed.

There was already a law requiring operators of public carriers to be at least 21 years old, the law having been violated in the accident in question, as the driver was only 19. He had been merely fined $10 and court costs. It suggests that ignorance of that law on the part of ambulance operators was not an excuse and that indifference to the law was reprehensible, deserving stiff punishment, such as imposition of its maximum fine of $500 or six months on the roads.

It indicates that a pilot study had been undertaken in Brooklyn to determine if the operation of ambulances under normal traffic regulations, without use of a siren, would reduce the number of accidents, with the results of that study reported in the April issue of Hospitals, the official journal of the American Hospital Association. The study had found that during a one-year period, ambulances with sirens, not obeying traffic regulations, made 10,692 calls and had 11 accidents, whereas those operating without sirens and obeying traffic regulations had made 23,806 calls and had only ten accidents, approximately 2 1/2 times fewer than in the former category. The hospital staff in Brooklyn had considered the possibility of delay in emergency calls and found that a short delay would not result in any untoward effect on patients. They reported no complaints of any delay in ambulance service as a result of the program, but a reduction in the number of injuries to employees occurred from one per five accidents to one in seven accidents. They found that there was no demonstrable need for ambulances to travel at high speed and that the public, the patients and the employees were placed in less jeopardy by the new program.

The editorial urges that Charlotte could learn from the Brooklyn experience and that the change should be ordered as soon as possible.

"Breaking Down Illogical Barriers" indicates that the City Council had formally designated the City-County Planning Commission as the zoning agency for Charlotte, instructing it to "proceed with a complete revision of the city zoning map at the earliest possible moment."

It cautions that the revision would take several months and that the city's residents would have to remain patient, but that they could rest assured in the meantime that important progress was occurring which would protect the future of metropolitan Charlotte.

"Trained for Tempestuous Times" indicates approval of the appointment of Elizabeth McCubbin as the new superintendent of Woman's Prison in Raleigh. She had experience in many related fields, including Family and Children's Service, the Travelers Aid Society, the Red Cross in Philadelphia, the Old Age Welfare Commission in Wilmington, Del., and the Public Assistance Division and Federal Transient Bureau in Washington. She had an excellent educational background and advanced study in social work. It thus finds her an excellent choice by State Prisons director W. F. Bailey.

It indicates that it would not be an easy job as the prison had been experiencing trouble since 1953 when Ronnie Sheffield had been ousted as superintendent, causing great controversy. A new controversy had arisen in the previous year when Eleanor Rush, an unruly inmate, had been found bound, gagged and dead in her cell.

Much remained to be done, particularly in the fields of rehabilitation, social work and prison policy. A woman's touch was needed and it is confident that Mrs. McCubbin would meet the challenge with courage, determination and ingenuity.

Drew Pearson reports that it was now well known that one of the "most vitriolic" feuds in Washington had developed between Senator William Knowland of California and Vice-President Richard Nixon. It was not generally known, however, that the Vice-President had been making it clear in Congress that as far as the President was concerned, he was winning the feud. At a recent off-the-record luncheon with members of Congress, Mr. Nixon had needled Senator Knowland and, posing as a spokesman for the President, advised him that he would have to lay off his criticism, as whether the President would run again in 1956 would depend not only on his desire to lead a more tranquil home life but also on whether high-ranking Republicans continued to snipe at him. The Vice-President said that the President wondered whether, with his own party leaders opposing his major policies in international affairs, he was not in an anomalous position, divorced from at least an important faction of his own party, in any event, finding that the criticism hurt deeply. A Congressman had wanted to know whether it had also hurt the President to hear Senator McCarthy issuing one of his diatribes against the President, to which Mr. Nixon replied that anything which Senator McCarthy said did not bother the President in the least, "if he notices it at all." But, he added, with a top ranking Republican such as Senator Knowland, it was different. Mr. Pearson notes that Mr. Nixon had pretty well won over the President to his side in the controversy with Senator Knowland, and that the President had agreed to some of the Vice-President's political strategy, to build up Mr. Nixon as a possible successor.

Congress would pass some kind of superhighway bill during the current session, with the President having placed his highway program, in talks with Republican leaders, almost at the top of his list of indispensable legislation. Recently, House Speaker Sam Rayburn, at a closed-door meeting with Democratic members of the House Public Works Committee, had expressed his annoyance at the Committee's delay in reporting out the highway bill, saying that if it were not done, they would be playing into the hands of the Republicans, who could say that the Democrats had used their majority in the House to prevent action on the legislation. He asked them to make it a top priority.

Joseph and Stewart Alsop again discuss the informal censorship of reporters being practiced regularly by the Administration, this time focusing on the Defense Department, which had sought to suppress the story out of Moscow regarding the Soviet May Day parade and the flyover by advanced Soviet heavy jet bombers, showing that the production capacity for such large bombers had outrun the U.S. during the previous year.

Secretary of Defense Charles E. Wilson had fought to keep the story out of the American press but had to relent by releasing a terse statement on May 24 regarding the news, without any accompanying statement regarding its significance, when the British press published the story on May 13.

For a time, it appeared that Secretary Wilson's stand on keeping Air Force production at status quo in the wake of the story might be supported by Air Force Secretary Harold Talbott, but eventually the latter declared that he could no longer defend that stance. Thus, Congress was asked to authorize 356 million dollars in additional funding to increase production of the B-52 heavy bomber, and increased production of the F-100 fighters was likely to follow.

The Alsops conclude that those moves were directly the result of the failure of censorship and the public outcry in response to the reporting which ensued in the wake of the story out of Russia, taking just six weeks for the story to have a direct impact on policy. They ask rhetorically what might have occurred had the censorship prevailed.

Walter Lippmann addresses the Soviet invitation to West German Chancellor Konrad Adenauer to visit Moscow, indicating that it was likely the Chancellor would not visit right away, until at least the point when West Germany would begin its rearmament under NATO, that it was more likely that there would be renewed trade and mutual diplomatic recognition between West Germany and the Soviet Union. He also suggests that the Russians were likely extending the invitation only to begin a long-term process of gradual thawing of relations with West Germany, with much later talks to include discussion of reunification of Germany, withdrawal of all foreign troops, and more complete normalization of relations.

He suggests that the forthcoming Big Four summit meeting in July, and the various four-power conferences of lower level representatives set to follow it, were likely not looked upon by the Soviet leaders as another Yalta of February, 1945, where many postwar plans were laid, assigning territory and fixing boundaries. The Soviets were expected to transact their real business not at top-level multilateral conferences but rather in bilateral meetings with particular countries, at much lower levels.

Thus, it was unlikely that the Soviets would make an offer of reunification and resignation from NATO to West Germany in exchange for the withdrawal of Soviet and American troops from Europe. The invitation to Chancellor Adenauer rather appeared to Mr. Lippmann as the beginning of a "long courtship" before any alliances could be established.

Secretary of State Dulles could eliminate two of his worries as a result, that the American people might expect too much from a summit conference and that the President would be asked to make too many big decisions at such a conference. While the Soviets might have grandiose proposals to make at the conference, their real business would be transacted at the lower levels bilaterally. He thus concludes that American worries might shift from the summit conference to those other conferences in finding out what the Soviets had in mind.

A letter from A. W. Black refers to a front page news item from June 4, quoting the Roman Catholic weekly America as praising the Protestant evangelism of Billy Graham, extolling his qualifications as a preacher and concluding that "a Catholic scholar can actually sit down and discuss theology with him." He finds that a peculiar concept of the Jesuits, considering that the Roman Catholic Church claimed to be "the only true church" and exclusive custodian of the balm of salvation, doctrines contrary to the preaching of Rev. Graham. He indicates that Protestant and Catholic theology differed not only in degree but in kind, with irreconcilable doctrines and dogmas. He finds it therefore absurd to assume that a Catholic scholar could discuss theology with Rev. Graham, who was not a theologian, and whose concepts and exegeses of Christian supernaturalism were completely at variance with those of Catholicism. He indicates that the Church of Christ had publicly denounced Rev. Graham as propagating "unscriptural and anti-scriptural doctrines and practices," designed "to deceive people into unbelief and disobedience." He concludes that only the most naïve person could expect a Catholic scholar to discuss theology with Rev. Graham with any hope of harmonious resolution.

A letter writer from Lawrenceburg, Tenn., indicates that his friend had sent him a copy of the May 25 issue of The News, containing a reprint of an editorial titled "Davy Crockett & The Mec. Dec.", originally published in the Greensboro Daily News. He finds the editorial well-written, but that its conclusions that Mr. Crockett had not been born at all and was obviously a figment of the imagination would engender in local Lawrenceburg newspapers great wrath toward the Daily News and the Charlotte News, more so than when former President Truman had spoken at Cosby, Tenn., at the ramp festival on April 24, 1955, remarking that Mr. Crockett had been one of Tennessee's greatest men and that a monument ought therefore be erected to him, to which Governor Frank Clement had replied that he would take the matter up in the next Legislature, provoking the wrath of residents of Lawrence County because they already had a 20-foot tall monument to Mr. Crockett in the public square of Lawrenceburg, dedicated in 1922. He goes on to establish clearly that Mr. Crockett was not a figment of the imagination and indicates their pride in him.

A letter writer from Asheville indicates that the newspaper's stand on integration did not represent the majority of the people of the state and that it never would, that the Supreme Court had usurped the powers of Congress in its decision in Brown v. Board of Education, and that its holding "will not prevail over the thoughts of the people." He thinks that the Court could "stew in hell as far as the people are concerned, and no cooling water will be cast over them, unless it is in such quantity, that in quenching the flame it drown those who stew." He says that by no stretch of the imagination was "the colored person the equal of the white, not that they should be used as pariahs, but certainly we can't take them to our bosoms as equals." He states that the right to reject them would not be relinquished, regardless of the Supreme Court.

See ol' Lesta down 'ere in Atlanta. He'll cook you up a mess of dat skillet fried chicken while givin' you the best rundown on the segregation and the miscegenation, fillin' you in with all the information while you eat his chicken.

A letter writer comments on the findings of the Charlotte Observer that the law forbidding sale of beer to minors was being routinely violated in the city. She thinks that all beer joints and liquor stores should be closed and that boys and girls should be raised decently, that one could not expect a boy or girl not to drink when their parents drank and served it in their homes. She thinks the seller of the "rotten stuff" was as guilty as the buyer was and that it was just as much of a sin in the sight of God to sell it on Monday as on Sunday. She cannot understand why anyone would enjoy making money on a substance which was wrecking more homes and causing more deaths than anything on earth, indicates that someone would one day pay for all the heartaches and tears which liquor and beer caused.

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