The Charlotte News

Monday, June 13, 1955


Site Ed. Note: The front page reports that West German Chancellor Konrad Adenauer had assured the U.S. this date that his country would maintain a "close and loyal partnership" with the Western Allies despite it being wooed of late by Moscow. Chancellor Adenauer arrived in Washington to visit with the President and Secretary of State Dulles, stating that the people of his country believed that a "close and loyal partnership with the peoples of the free world on the basis of the treaties which have recently come into force is the best means of maintaining peace and freedom". He said that they also considered it the best means of obtaining the peaceful reunification of Germany and freedom. He did not directly refer to the pending Russian invitation to him to visit Moscow, but implicitly rejected any notion that West Germans would consider reunification under conditions specified by the Communists. He would meet with the President the following day and, later in the week, would receive an honorary degree from Harvard.

Russia, in notes to the Big Three Western powers this date, accepted their invitation to the Big Four summit conference on July 18 in Geneva.

Polio vaccine developer, Dr. Jonas Salk, said, in a telegram to Surgeon General Leonard Scheele, that the Public Health Service's new and more rigorous manufacturing standards for the polio vaccine would "preclude the deviation from the procedures originally intended." He said that earlier troubles with some of the commercial lots of the vaccine might have developed "because the phrasing of the minimum requirements allowed for differing interpretations." He did not directly criticize the Health Service, but indicated that he disagreed with some sections of its report on the entire polio vaccine program. The report had stated that troubles had developed when production of the vaccine was shifted from the laboratory to full-scale commercial operations, and that "the process of inactivation did not always follow the predicted course," referring to rendering the polio virus in the vaccine harmless. Dr. Salk said that where problems had arisen, it was because practice had not taken full cognizance of all of the theoretical considerations which applied, resulting from the differing interpretation allowed under the Government's minimum requirements, as developed by the Health Service. Dr. Salk and other scientists had participated in developing the new, more rigorous set of standards for the manufacture of the vaccine.

In Detroit, the UAW and General Motors reached agreement on the same guaranteed wage plan on which Ford and UAW had agreed the prior week. Walter Reuther, UAW president, had thus firmly established the controversial employer-paid supplemental unemployment system within the auto industry, an important beachhead from which he hoped to launch it into other industries. More than 40 of G.M.'s 119 plants across the nation had been hit by walkouts, as the negotiations continued for hours after the UAW's midnight strike deadline, but the strikers were expected to return to their jobs quickly, with little loss in automobile production. The contract called for improvements in pay, pensions, vacations and holidays, and granted the UAW a full union shop for the first time, meaning that G.M.'s few nonunion production workers had to join the union to keep their jobs. An additional 35,000 G.M. employees, represented by the International Union of Electrical Workers, were given the same economic benefits under an agreement reached an hour after the UAW settlement. Mr. Reuther said that the union had gained more improvements in the agreements than in all previous contracts since 1941, combined. He said that it included faster and more effective hearings on grievances, more even distribution of overtime, and establishment of a medical umpire to rule on any questions regarding worker entitlement to sickness benefits.

In Richmond, the Virginia Supreme Court this date unanimously upheld the state's law barring interracial marriage, denying the petition of a Chinese American who had sought to upset a lower court annulment of his marriage to a white woman, after he had challenged the jurisdiction of the circuit court over the marriage, which had occurred in North Carolina, and the constitutionality of the Virginia miscegenation statute. The Court indicated that neither the 14th Amendment nor any other provision of the Federal Constitution prevented a state from enacting legislation to preserve "the racial integrity of its citizens" or denied the power of the state to regulate marital relations "so that it shall not have a mongrel breed of citizens". It found that there were no requirements that a state could not legislate "to prevent obliteration of racial pride, but must permit the corruption of blood even though it weaken or destroy the quality of its citizenship. Both sacred and secular history teach that nations and races have better advanced in human progress when they cultivated their own distinctive characteristics and culture and developed their own peculiar genius." Obviously, it had not done much for the geniuses comprising the majority of that Court.

The Supreme Court subsequently would deny hearing on petition for writ of certiorari. The Court later would hold that Virginia's miscegenation statute did violate the Equal Protection and Due Process Clauses of the Fourteenth Amendment, in Loving v. Virginia, decided in 1967. Prior to that, Virginia was for lovers as long as the lovers were of the same race.

The same Justice, Archibald Buchanan, incidentally, who delivered the unanimous opinion in Naim v. Naim in 1955, would deliver the opinion of the Court majority, against a vigorous dissent by the Chief Justice, John W. Eggleston, in 1963 in School Board v. Griffin, which upheld the constitutionality of the Prince Edward County School Board decision to close the public schools in that county and instead fund private schools which practiced segregation. The U.S. Supreme Court, in 1964, would reverse the decision, holding, in agreement with the dissent in the lower court, that the scheme did violate the Fourteenth Amendment Equal Protection Clause per Brown v. Board of Education, one of the original cases subsumed thereunder having arisen out of Prince Edward County—a name, incidentally, the retention of which always smacked us as rather royal sounding whenever we heard of its routine closures up there for snow, though we must admit, causing us some degree of envy when otherwise we had to go to school of an early, icy winter morning.

In Raleigh, the State announced that it would not seek a first-degree murder charge against the 21-year old man who was accused of firing a pistol out of a hotel window, killing a woman on the sidewalk in Raleigh on May 13, deciding to charge him in the alternative with either second-degree murder or manslaughter. The second-degree murder charge carried a maximum penalty of 30 years in prison, whereas the first-degree murder charge carried the potential for a death sentence. The solicitor said that he did not believe the facts of the case justified putting the defendant on trial for his life. The defendant had claimed that he had fired the gun accidentally. The process of jury selection started this date. The defendant, who had graduated from the University of Chicago at age 18, had described the shooting as "an awful, dreadful accident." His parents were both members of the faculty at Harvard, his father a well-known professor of anthropology and his mother an instructor in the sociology department. He had checked out of the hotel within ten minutes after the shooting, and was arrested in Chapel Hill about three hours later. He had stated to the arresting officer that his German Luger pistol had discharged while he was "dry firing" it.

In Charlotte, the Board of County Commissioners this date voted unanimously to join with other Charlotte and Mecklenburg County organizations in asking the City Council to ban the Sunday sale of beer in Charlotte. Approximately 250 men, women and young people had filled a large courtroom to protest the sale of beer in the county on Sunday. Over a half dozen community leaders, representing the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Ministerial Association, the local Women's Christian Temperance Union unit, and the Youth Temperance Council, spoke in opposition to the Sunday sale of beer. No one spoke in opposition to the ban.

In Durham, the Durham Sun reported this date that the Wake Forest baseball team was receiving wide criticism for playing a game on Sunday, as they were competing in the College World Series at Omaha, where they had defeated Colorado State the previous night. Dr. Harold Tribble, president of Wake Forest, was contacted in Winston-Salem this date, where he had been attending the Bowman Gray School of Medicine graduation exercises, saying that if he had known about the Sunday game, he would never have approved it, as it was against the principles of the Baptist school for its students to engage in any competitive athletics on the Sabbath. A pastor of the First Baptist Church in Durham had spoken out on the issue during his sermon the previous day, criticizing playing of the game and sending a telegram to Dr. Tribble saying that it would have been better to forfeit the game than to forfeit the principles of Christianity. He had urged members of his congregation also to send telegrams of protest to Dr. Tribble, and many of them had.

In Los Angeles, a medal was presented to John W. Long 40 years after the service on which it was based, being the Army's Mexican border service medal for duty between 1915 and 1917. The recipient, now 68, said the previous day that the adjutant general's office had notified him of the award the previous March 14, and he guessed that they had confused him with a lot of other Longs in the Army, which was why it had taken so long to send him the medal. He had experienced a similar delay on receipt of a World War I medal for saving the lives of two Frenchmen during the fighting, having been awarded the Croix de Guerre 29 years after the fact.

In Key West, Fla., 27 female pilots, the survivors of the starting field of 33, took off for the last leg of their air race, which had begun in Washington and would end in Havana. Bad weather had plagued the flights into Florida on Friday and Saturday, and for a long time the planes were scattered in airports between Charleston, S.C., and Key West. Good weather was reported to be expected for the 90-mile final leg to Havana. It was reported unofficially that Bernice Trimble of Flint, Mich., had a lead of 25 minutes up to the current point in the race and was expected to win easily. The great grandmother, 63, who had entered the race was now out, having been grounded by bad weather in South Carolina, flying to Key West by commercial plane. The youngest flier, 18, had reached Key West this date after being forced down at Titusville, Fla.

On the editorial page, "On-Stage: Voices from the Past" finds that "the hired man" of Robert Frost's poetry had gone out of the world looking over his shoulder, wanting something but having: "Nothing to look backward to with pride,/ And nothing to look forward to with hope."

It finds that the Mecklenburg County Presbyterians had a pleasant view both ways, but during the week had paused in their church endeavors to emphasize the backward look, with pride, in their presentation at the Southern States Fairgrounds of Voice in the Wilderness, by LeGette Blythe, an outdoor drama commemorating 200 years of Presbyterianism in the area. The script examined the Scottish beginnings of the local churches and traced those beginnings across the Atlantic to Boston, down through New Jersey, Delaware and Pennsylvania to the Carolinas, through the personage of Alexander Craighead, "the first pastor to settle in the vast region between the Yadkin and Catawba." The script stated that from his early days in Mecklenburg, he had been a leader, "the inspiration, the flaming spirit of the people, a people who shared his determination to be free. And quickly on the rim of his congregations at Rocky River and Sugaw Creek other congregations organized—Steele Creek, Hopewell, Centre, Poplar, Tent and Providence. Thus were born in those long gone fateful days the seven pioneer Presbyterian churches of Mecklenburg."

The play had representations of persecution, hardship and the yearning to be free which had come to fruition in the Mecklenburg Declaration of Independence and the ensuing revolution.

It finds it a good play and that the company performing it had competent acting skills, some of the actors being descendants of the characters they played. Within a short distance from where the play was being performed, was the site of the original church of the Presbyterians in the area.

"Buy a Round-Trip Ticket, Mr. Gray!" suggests that perhaps UNC should have two presidents, one for Chapel Hill and one for Washington, that the Government had again called on UNC president Gordon Gray to serve as an Assistant Secretary of Defense, which, after deliberation, he had decided to accept, taking a temporary leave from his post at UNC. His predecessor, Frank Porter Graham, had similarly been tapped for important posts in the Roosevelt and Truman Administrations.

Mr. Gray had been Secretary of the Army before becoming president of UNC in 1950, and had since taken leaves of absence to serve as director of the Psychological Strategy Board and as chairman of the Oppenheimer loyalty review committee. It appreciates his reluctance to return to Washington, as Government service was trying and difficult, but finds it typical of Mr. Gray, despite being a Democrat, not to refuse the call of duty.

It finds the Board of Trustees of the University to have been wise in declining his resignation, rather allowing him the leave of absence, as the state would need his services once he had finished the job in Washington. It hopes that he would remember to purchase a round-trip ticket.

Mr. Gray would not return, eventually becoming National Security Adviser to the President during the latter two and a half years of the Eisenhower Administration. He would be succeeded in 1956 as president of the University by William C. Friday.

"Faceless Informers: A Necessary Evil?" indicates that in deciding that the Government had wrongfully dismissed Dr. John Punnett Peters on loyalty grounds, the Supreme Court had unfortunately sidestepped the vital constitutional question involved in the case, whether the Yale medical professor's dismissal had deprived him of liberty and property without due process of law in violation of the 14th Amendment, whether he was denied at his hearing the right to confront and cross-examine the sources of secret witness statements presented against him.

It predicts that sooner or later, the Court would have to face the issue, as opined by Justice William O. Douglas in his concurrence, stating that confrontation and cross-examination under oath were essential to the American idea of due process, without which, when a liberty interest was involved, due process was not satisfied, and that among the most precious liberties was the right to work.

Some of the accusers were not even known to Dr. Peters, some had not been placed under oath and none had to face him and submit to cross-examination. Justice Douglas had indicated that for all the Court knew, the witnesses against him might be psychopaths or venal people who reveled in being informers, perhaps bearing old grudges, all of which would have come forth during cross-examination. When sources of information were used to destroy a person's reputation and deprive the person of a liberty interest, they had to be put to the test of due process, not remaining as faceless informers, that when such standards were relaxed to accommodate the faceless informer, there was a violation of the basic constitutional guarantee, aping the tactics "of those whom we despise".

The piece finds that Justice Douglas's thoughts demonstrated the great need for an impartial study of the Government's present loyalty-security program by a public commission comprised of prominent nonpolitical figures, a proposal unanimously approved by a Senate subcommittee comprised of four Democrats and three Republicans.

A piece from the Daily Oklahoman, titled "From an Intellectual Vacuum", indicates that about 30 years earlier, H. L. Mencken had described the Deep South as a mental vacuum from which nothing of an intellectual nature ever sprung, especially critical of the lower Mississippi Valley.

Now, J. Donald Adams, writing in the New York Times Book Review section, said that the South was producing more quality literature than any other part of the country, surpassing the production of any other section in all U.S. history. He said that while New England and the Midwest produced writers who were greater or equal, neither section, even in its prime, had ever produced such a wide variety of literary talent.

Even the Delta country, which Mr. Mencken had derided so sharply, had produced some of the outstanding litterateurs of the time. Within the triangle formed by Memphis, Corinth and Natchez, William Faulkner, William Percy, Eudora Welty, Stark Young, and the late James Street had all developed, all rising to fame in a period of 30 years. Mr. Adams had not sought to explain the phenomenon, admitting that it could not be explained, just as no one had explained the Concord school in Massachusetts and no one had explained the sudden proliferation of Midwestern writers.

It finds that regardless of explanation or lack thereof, the South was responsible for producing the literary talent of Ellen Glasgow, James Branch Cabell, Stark Young, Elizabeth Madox Roberts, William Alexander Percy, John Crowe Ransom, Donald Davidson, Paul Green, Catherine Ann Porter, William Faulkner, Margaret Mitchell, Allen Tate, Thomas Wolfe, Erskine Caldwell, Jesse Stuart, Eudora Welty, Calder Williams, Randall Jarrell, Tennessee Williams and numerous others, all within a 30-year time frame.

Drew Pearson indicates that if one wanted to play volleyball on a certain court in Rock Creek Park near the Carter Barron Amphitheater on Sunday or Saturday afternoon, one had to obtain the permission from the Soviet Embassy. It was agreeable about giving such permission. The Embassy had applied to the District of Columbia Recreation Department the prior April to have use of the volleyball court on Saturday and Sunday afternoons, with the Department having a first denied the use on the ground that no such reservation had been provided any other group. But at that point, the State Department protocol office called the Recreation Department and told them that the Russians would have to get the permit. While no explanation was given, it was learned in diplomatic circles that the State Department was bending over backwards to provide entertainment for the Embassy staff in return for concessions to the U.S. Embassy staff in Moscow. The State Department informed that the FBI would keep an eye on the Soviet volleyball players to ensure that they were not abusing the privilege. The Recreation Department reported that the Russians had not abused the privilege, that when the YMCA wanted to play a match with the Baltimore YMCA, the Russians had relinquished the court in advance, though Baltimore had subsequently failed to show up. On another occasion, the Russians had given up the court to the Press Club.

Republican Senators were upset with Vice-President Nixon for costing them 200 Republican jobs, when Senator Homer Capehart of Indiana had sought to push through a bill authorizing the Foreign Operations Administration to fire 200 Democrats presently frozen in their jobs by the Civil Service. Senator Capehart wanted them replaced by good Republicans. The Senate voted a 40 to 40 tie, which ordinarily would have been broken by the Vice-President's vote, but Mr. Nixon had been on a political trip, leaving Democratic Senator Walter George of Georgia, the Senate's president pro tem, in charge. Senator George took advantage of the absence of the Vice-President and broke the tie in favor of the Democrats, leaving the Republicans with 200 fewer jobs.

Senator Lyndon Johnson, the Majority Leader, was demonstrating his adroitness in the leadership role, during the previous week, for instance, having enabled passage of the public housing bill introduced by Senator John Sparkman of Alabama, providing for more slum clearance than the Administration bill sponsored by Senator Capehart, with the real estate interests having opposed the Sparkman measure. The real estate interests believed that they had enough votes to block the measure and get the Capehart bill passed, with enough Southern Democrats going along with the Republicans on the matter, their secret poll having indicated a prospective 57 to 31 vote. But they had not counted on Senator Johnson buttonholing his Southern friends, persuading them to support Senator Sparkman's bill, and in the end, the vote was 44 for the Sparkman bill and 38 for the Capehart bill.

Republican politicos were so worried that the President would not run in 1956 that they were quietly organizing a vigorous grassroots campaign to draft him.

Because the country was falling behind Russia in air power, the Air Force would issue an urgent appeal to inventors to send in all ideas which could help the Air Force, especially new techniques regarding guided missiles. He provides the address to which to write.

One reason for the Army budget reduction was that the Army had secretly earmarked several hundred million dollars for building its own independent air force.

Joseph & Stewart Alsop again address the "severe censorship syndrome" of the Administration, indicating that recently, the President had complained at a National Security Council meeting that the Defense Department had published pictures of launching sites of the Nike guided missile, despite the fact that anyone could photograph them in Arlington, Va. He had also remonstrated Assistant Secretary of the Air Force, Trevor Gardner, because of his speech about the Falcon missile, despite the speech containing no fact which had not been previously published and cleared by Secretary of Defense Charles E. Wilson. The Civil Defense agency had been obstructed and the American people kept in dangerous ignorance for over a year by Admiral Lewis Strauss, chairman of the Atomic Energy Commission, who had suppressed facts concerning the radioactive fallout from the hydrogen bomb. Yet all of those facts had been known to the Soviets even before they were known to Admiral Strauss.

In a piece for the New York Herald Tribune, Walter Kerr had sought to explain the inexplicable urge to prevent the American people from having those facts while the enemy already did. Explanations were sought from Defense Department information chief Herschel Schooley, U.S. Information Service chief Theodore Streibert, and new Assistant Secretary of Defense R. C. Honaman, with Mr. Kerr having summarized his findings by indicating that the President recognized that many items of military information had become known to the military tacticians of other countries, such as Russia, but that those tacticians were unable to influence their country's top officials, with their knowledge winding up buried in obscure reports, until being resurrected to the forefront by publication in the American press, which brought the information to the attention of the officials, suddenly giving the information political significance. That generally represented the President's viewpoint.

The Alsops find the views, as a description of Soviet planning methods, inaccurate to the point of being alarming, being directly refuted by the whole history of Soviet military technology, from the T-34 tank to their new heavy bomber. During the previous 20 years, development of all of those successful new weapons by the Soviets had been started before the readers of the American press or any other press had heard about them, as evidenced by the revelations of them having been made only after they had been perfected by Soviet engineers.

On the other hand, the President's behavior was applicable to his own Administration, with his symptoms having been transferred to his subordinates. The Administration, not the Soviet Government, had the habit of ignoring the warnings of technicians until they ceased to be technical and became political as a result of publicity.

Doris Fleeson tells of Senate Majority Leader Lyndon Johnson's leadership being in danger of becoming a victim of his own virtuosity. He worked almost entirely behind the scenes, quite effectively, using the telephone to push through legislation with a minimum of debate and often without roll call votes. Recently, he had managed to accomplish that feat with the housing bill, which the Republicans had sought to water down, and with the dollar per hour minimum wage, which had been passed without much debate and without a roll call vote. He believed that too much debate would cause the fragile Democratic majority to lose one or two votes because of certain Democrats being in a bad mood one day.

Senator Johnson's presentation had no heroes or villains on either side of the aisle. Inevitably, the results muddled party lines and made for dullness and lack of public interest, as the methods used by Senator Johnson were only known within the walls of Congress. The best political brains among the Democrats confessed that it would have been better had they been able to have a roll call vote and perhaps review through debate the hard struggle for the original minimum wage. But the Majority Leader had discouraged debate, with the result being learned discourse on the triumph of moderation. The Democratic leadership was running the President's politics because the President had largely adopted the New Deal program and the Republican right wing was helpless to interfere with it because they needed the President to run the following year.

At the same time that Senators were discouraged from debate, their leaders complained when Democrats outside the Congress raised their voices, with both the previous DNC chairman, Stephen Mitchell, and the present one, Paul Butler, being discouraged from talking too much. Senator Johnson was sensitive about the Americans for Democratic Action, who liked to remind the Democrats that they were supposed to be the party of the people. ADA received a lot of attention relative to its actual numbers, perhaps because they were the conscience of the party and it was generally recognized that the conscience of any political party could benefit from a lot of prodding.

A letter writer from Myrtle Beach, S.C., indicates that the news was full of stories of people in positions of trust and places of high repute giving and accepting bribes. He notes as example a businessman who kept his notes in Arabic, telling the Senate Investigations subcommittee that he had bribed a person, providing the dates and amounts thus provided, to avoid giving false testimony. (The letter writer does not take into account that the witness could have asserted the Fifth Amendment privilege against self-incrimination in that instance.) He finds all of it to be a far cry from the old principle of a man's word being his bond. He thinks it time that the whole nation reevaluate the immigration program regarding the types of people allowed into the country, urges the need for a law which would permit the Government to confiscate two or three times the value of any contract obtained or maintained through graft and corruption. He indicates that during the early days of World War I, he had served for some time as an interpreter for a Russian inspections team at a steel mill, where they made shells for the Russian Army, which had blown up in the guns or would not fit at all, all because of corrupt businessmen. One day, he says, he had demonstrated to the head of the delegation that the guns would possibly explode if a certain shell were passed, and an individual had cynically laughed and said that they would not be there when it happened. He finds the same attitude rampant at present. He also indicates that certain racial groups in the country actively and viciously defended their criminals "as they say the people are anti-this or that." He finds the principle that to the victor belonged the spoils to be a very dangerous and outmoded concept and that the Senate Investigations subcommittee probe should give all Americans pause and lead them to consider how secure the country really was.

A letter writer says that she had noticed among the letter writers that some "good old Negroes want more than freedom" when "we white people don't even have freedom," forced to pay heavy taxes to support "old Negroes' children, in the form of schools and many other ways." She says that she wanted many things but all she had, she had earned by the sweat of her brow. She wants all of their "colored friends" to know that the best and only way they could have better homes was "to get theirs like the white people got theirs, hard labor, close saving and sacrifice." She believes that black people had far better than they had earned and prays that the white people would all stick together and form private schools, that if the support of the white man was taken away from the black man, he would have little. "And the day that they start to our church, that is the day I stay home and just read my Bible and save my tithes."

It is too bad that you cannot actually read your Bible, or you would not think the way you do. Go on down theya and have some chicken with Lesta in Atlanta.

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