The Charlotte News

Thursday, June 2, 1955


Site Ed. Note: The front page reports that U.S. officials were considering a formula set forth by the Communist Chinese, in the hope of obtaining early freedom for 11 imprisoned U.S. fliers accused of trumped-up charges of espionage after being shot down during the Korean War, and not turned over as part of the prisoner exchange required by the Armistice of July, 1953. The formula was in two parts, the first having been developed in the Far East peace conference in Geneva the prior June 15, primarily regarding the armistice in Indo-China, with a Communist Chinese spokesman having told the U.S. delegation that his Government would consider "early release of prisoners with good records," and the second part having been stated by Peiping radio the prior Monday when it disclosed the impending release of four U.S. fliers, indicating that they had been "treated with leniency" and "deported" because they had only been carrying out military orders, had admitted their crimes and expressed remorse. Indian diplomat V. K. Krishna Menon had reportedly expressed to Western diplomats in New Delhi that the Communist Chinese had informed him that only a small group of airmen had been initially released because the U.S. had not permitted the return of all of the Chinese students who had been prevented from going home because of the technical skills they had acquired in the U.S., that policy having subsequently been reversed. The State Department had taken the report by Mr. Menon into account, disclosing new discussions at Geneva with the Communist Chinese regarding the prisoner issue, and indicating that restrictions had been removed on the Chinese students within the U.S. and that those students who desired to return home could do so, with practically all of them having already returned. Those students had been present in the U.S. when the Communists had gained control of China in 1949, and only a few had sought return to China. In addition to the 11 remaining airmen being held as spies, there were 41 civilians imprisoned or refused exit visas, plus 11 Navy and Coast Guard fliers who were missing after their planes had crashed off the Chinese mainland in January, 1953. The primary focus was on the 11 remaining airmen because they had been flying for the U.N. in Korea during the war when captured and held past the truce deadline for exchange of prisoners.

In Honolulu, the four freed fliers arrived this date ready to meet their families after two years as prisoners in Communist China, each saying at a press conference that they had resisted brainwashing but had pleaded guilty to violating Chinese airspace. They had been released on Tuesday after their impending freedom was announced the prior week. They said they had undergone long periods of solitary confinement and had not received letters from home until after the Geneva conference of the previous summer. They also expressed the belief that U.N. Secretary-General Dag Hammarskjold, who had met directly with Chou En-lai and other Chinese officials to try to gain the release of the prisoners, had been helpful in obtaining their freedom. One of the four, answering for all of them, said that their confession had not been required at the trial, but wanted to wait until he consulted with his attorney before answering whether there was a confession before the trial. He said that the Communist Chinese had all the evidence from the aircraft regarding their having invaded Chinese airspace, but declined to say whether or not they had been shot down over Chinese territory.

In Atlanta, two extremes of Southern reaction had come to light in a bitter dispute over the Supreme Court's unanimous implementing decision in Brown v. Board of Education, announced on Tuesday, providing great latitude in terms of time and local conditions, to be determined by the supervising U.S. District Courts in desegregating the public schools, as required to achieve the constitutionally mandated racially nondiscriminatory school assignment "with all deliberate speed". In Fayetteville, Ark., where black and white pupils had already been integrated, the superintendent of the city school said that they felt they had done the right thing. At Summerton, S.C., the Board of Education had decided to close all public schools, if necessary, rather than comply with desegregation. That school system was part of Clarendon County, from which one of the four state cases subsumed under Brown had derived, along with cases out of Kansas, Virginia and Delaware, plus the District of Columbia, the latter decided separately in Bolling v. Sharpe, the same day as Brown in 1954 because the District is not subject to the 14th Amendment, only applicable to the states, and so Sharpe had been decided under Fifth Amendment due process. Officials of the NAACP planned to meet in Atlanta two days hence to decide what action to take as a result of the implementing decision, with chief counsel and future Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall to be present, along with the organization's executive secretary, Roy Wilkins, and various state NAACP presidents. The Fayetteville schools claimed to be the first system within a heavily populated area to integrate, having begun that process the previous fall when six black pupils had enrolled in the local high school, school officials indicating that there had been no incidents and few objections from residents of Fayetteville. Fayetteville was in northwest Arkansas, where there were few black residents. The chairman of the Summerton School Board said that they would keep the races separate and if they had to close the white schools, they would, that if they closed one school, they would close them all and "if any Negro applies for admission to the white school when the next term starts, we'll just close down the school." In Virginia, the Prince Edward County Board of Supervisors, that County having also been one of the four principal state school districts under Brown, were planning to meet this date to consider further what action to take in financing schools after the implementing decision. That Board had voted Tuesday night against appropriating an operating budget for the county schools, appropriating $150,000 of a requested operating budget of $684,000. The Richmond News-Leader had stated that the action by the Board had apparently relieved the School Board of any need to file with the Federal Court in Richmond any planned proposal for ending segregation in a school system "now powerless to function next year." Delegates to the Alabama Methodist Conference had planned to vote this date on a resolution which opposed integration in Methodist churches, schools and assemblies within the South. More than 200 of the 600 clerical and lay delegates from Alabama and west Florida had signed the resolution before it had been referred to the committee the previous day. A subcommittee of Louisiana's Joint Legislative Committee on Segregation had started work this date on a plan to continue segregation within the public schools of that state.

Ann Sawyer of The News indicates that the Mecklenburg County School Board chairman this date had said that his five-person Board should await a Federal court order before integrating the county system, indicating that he did not believe that it was time yet to plan for integration before a court order would issue. Another member of the Board, however, differed with the view of the chairman, saying he did not think they should await a court order and that the Board should start studying and laying plans to carry out the implementing decision. He thought that the decision had been a very fair one. A third Board member said that he personally had given a lot of thought to desegregation in the public schools, and, as a former schoolteacher, believed it would be premature to announce that he or the Board had come to a definite conclusion, but that it was apparent that they would have to work toward an integrated school system over a period of time, that they would see if they could work out a common sense, practical approach which would be acceptable to the people. He said that he had talked to between 200 and 300 black residents throughout the city and county and most had told him that they were glad to see the implementing decision as it had been delivered, but that they would prefer having their own schools if they were adequate and equal.

Representative Ray Madden of Indiana, testifying before the House Labor Committee, appealed this date for an increase in the minimum wage to prevent the "runaway" flight of industry to "low wage" Southern states. He said that the economic situation in many Northern states had deteriorated by literally thousands of industries and factories moving to the South to take advantage of substandard wages and that unless Congress took steps to improve the unjust and unfair distribution of wages throughout the country, the economy would suffer far more in the future than it had in the past by reason of low wages. After Congressman Graham Barden of North Carolina, chairman of the Committee, said that he came from a textile manufacturing state and did not know what he meant by "runaway industry", Mr. Madden commented that the latter should have read what Senator John F. Kennedy of Massachusetts had said about the subject the previous year, to which Mr. Barden had replied that he did not regard Senator Kennedy as "an authority on anything, let alone runaway industry." The Committee had begun hearings and proposals to increase the minimum wage the previous day and was taking testimony from members of Congress during its initial sessions. (Drew Pearson had reported recently of internal dissension within the Committee regarding Mr. Barden's efforts, until recently, at delaying both the minimum wage bill and the bill for school construction, stating that Mr. Barden was a "reactionary".)

In Detroit, the Detroit News said this date that the Ford Motor Co. had offered the UAW a job security plan, accepting the principle of the union's guaranteed annual wage demand, entailing a 55 million dollar fund, "unprecedented in industry", according to a source. The source said that the plan appeared to take into account both Ford's previous "partnership in prosperity" offer and the union's guaranteed annual wage plan. It also accepted the principle of providing for an employee while he was out of work. A crowd of 15,000 to 20,000 Ford Rouge plant workers had booed the company stock-purchase plan and cheered loudly for the guaranteed wage plan.

In Tulsa, Okla., a grandmother, after entering a plea of guilty, was sentenced to life imprisonment this date for poisoning her fifth husband. The judge could have sentenced her to death. She had admitted administering lethal doses of rat poison to four of her five husbands, and had initially pleaded not guilty in the case of the fifth husband, then suddenly changed her plea to guilty. Since her arrest, she had been committed to a State mental hospital for 90 days for observation and had undergone a sanity hearing before entering the guilty plea. She said that she killed her fifth husband because he was "peculiar" and refused to let her visit neighbors to watch television, made her go to sleep early, and denied her the use of an electric fan. She said that she had used poison prunes to kill him. A district court jury had found her legally sane and capable of standing trial for murder, following only 15 minutes of deliberation. She had also been charged with killing her mother. All of the deaths had occurred subsequent to 1945. Her first husband was still alive.

In Toms River, N.J., a 64-year old woman was found dead on the beach near her summer cottage the previous day, mangled by her two Doberman Pinscher dogs, found by police madly circling her body, the reason for the attack remaining a mystery. She had owned one of the dogs for four years and the other for two. The dogs had not been on a leash while she was walking them at the time of the attack. County authorities impounded the dogs and they were to undergo examination this date for any evidence of rabies.

In New York, Marilyn Monroe and Joe DiMaggio, who had been married and then divorced, had gone on another date the previous night, but, according to Mr. DiMaggio, were just good friends and did not plan to remarry.

In St. Annes, England, a late bulletin indicates that Billy Joe Patton of Morganton, N.C., had advanced to the quarterfinals of the British Amateur Golf Championship this date, having beaten a fellow American in the first two rounds by five and three strokes, after earlier in the day having defeated Jack Jones of England by five and four strokes.

On the editorial page, "Perimeter Zoning: Long, Long Journey" indicates that the long civic journey's first step to perimeter zoning in the community had been taken the previous afternoon by the City-County Planning director, as the City Council watched while he flipped rapidly through many pages of large county maps and discussed preliminary proposals for the program authorized by the 1955 General Assembly.

It finds the plans farsighted and logically drawn, and imparts that the Council had agreed cautiously, while taking no formal action.

It suggests that the road ahead might be bumpy and that public hearings on zoning proposals should be held by the Planning Commission before a final plan was formulated and resubmitted to the Council, at which point there should be public hearings, with the Council then making any changes which it deemed appropriate, and a vote then finally taken, and perimeter zoning possibly then established. Because metropolitan Charlotte was growing too fast, perimeter zoning was a civic imperative, protecting the health, safety, morals, convenience, prosperity and general welfare of the community. It indicates that the director of the Planning Commission, William McIntyre, deserved cooperation from all residents of the county in his long and difficult task.

"A New Kind of Book Burning" indicates that protests had arisen from the delegates to the National Conference of Social Work when they had learned that State Department security head Scott McLeod was slated to address them. According to the student senate at the University of Southern California, addressing the administration, Governor Allan Shivers of Texas ought be replaced as commencement speaker because he had "consistently demonstrated lack of the ideals of tolerance, integrity and intelligence." The University of Washington had rejected a student body request to hear from the "father of the atomic bomb", Dr. J. Robert Oppenheimer, because he was a controversial figure.

It regards those reports as suggestive of mental book-burning. In the case of Mr. McLeod, who had engaged previously in literal book-burning in the U.S. Information Service libraries overseas, it was a case of the chickens coming home to roost, but in refusing to hear him discuss the immigration program, the social workers had appeared to be engaging in a modified form of book-burning, themselves. In each case, the protesting group was avoiding argument or test of the ideas represented by the rejected speakers, intending instead to do them and their ideas harm, representing a "puerile conviction that their ideals had a special holiness." It posits that the free interchange of ideas was at the bedrock of democracy, and that the principle could not be served by closed minds, no matter the quality of the ideal that was prevented from being heard.

"Balanced on His Own Ideology" indicates that Soviet Communist Party Secretary Nikita Khrushchev appeared to be having trouble pushing his line of goods during the Belgrade talks with Marshal Tito, the latter having spurned him in his efforts to convince Tito that it was time for all Communists to come home to the aid of Russia, Tito maintaining the independence which had gotten Yugoslavia kicked out of the Cominform five years earlier, having led it into outward friendship with the West in a defense pact with two members of NATO, Greece and Turkey.

Mr. Khrushchev had gotten into an ideological joust with U.S. Ambassador to Yugoslavia James Riddleberger after the latter had referred to the high standard of living of the American working class, prompting Mr. Khrushchev to say that the Ambassador did not know what the working class was, with the Ambassador replying that he had grown up a farm boy, a brick layer and a house painter, suggesting that Mr. Khrushchev, therefore, did not know what he was talking about. The latter had criticized the U.S. for tolerating Senator McCarthy, whereupon Mr. Riddleberger recalled "a man named Beria", referring to the former head of the Russian secret police who had been dispatched after a summary trial for treason in December, 1953. When Mr. Khrushchev had criticized the U.S. for seeking to bargain through strength, the Ambassador retorted with mention of the Berlin blockade of 1948-49. At another point in the conversation, Mr. Khrushchev said he was resentful of U.S. criticism of the introduction of corn as a new crop in the Soviet Union, suggesting it as a political criticism, while Mr. Riddleberger assured him that it was technical.

It indicates pride in the Ambassador's forthrightness and strength of conviction, having taken the Communist line and thrown it back at Mr. Khrushchev. The conference had apparently produced no indication that Tito would waiver in his resolve to maintain homegrown Communism and eschew the brand offered from Moscow.

It also wonders whether there was a hopeful sign in the attitude of Mr. Khrushchev regarding corn and his concern for U.S. criticism of that program, wondering whether he did not know the corn would grow taller and bear more ears than any plant elsewhere, just as the Russians had invented the radio, the airplane, the electric light, and probably corn.

A piece from the Richmond News Leader, titled "The Ideal Nonportable Pet", indicates that it had not been present at the recent Pet Parade, not for want of appreciation of dogs, but rather because most of the pets around the house of the writer were not portable. After some years of de-ticking a cocker spaniel and playing duenna to a "sexy dachshund", it had lately embraced the "ideal pet", a tiger barb, a tropical fish.

It says that fish were as close to perfection in the world of pets as the human could desire, producing no hair on the carpet or scratches on woodwork, not barking or cavorting or leaping onto company, not having puppies in the living room or biting the mailman, not roaming the alleys as Siamese cats, yelling at the moon. Fish also laid no claim on human affections.

It says it had four Jack Dempseys, a small, insignificant fish with a black spot on its head, until, one by one, they became mottled and died, having been interred with the coffee grounds, costing only a quarter. Yet, it finds that they had personalities, explaining some of the particulars. Fish had no vote as to their environment or civil liberties, and so were unilaterally subject to banishment. "It's a poor way of life for men—but the guppies seems to like it just fine."

Drew Pearson indicates that the Democratic chairmen of the Congressional committees had barely scratched the surface regarding the confusion over the polio vaccine, that despite calling many high-powered witnesses, little real probing had been done in terms of digging into files and using the power of subpoena. He suggests that the Democrats should not be making speeches, but rather getting to the bottom of the problem, with children's lives at stake.

He says that within his limited means to investigate, he would suggest to the appropriate committees that they look at why Cutter Laboratories in Berkeley, Calif., had been licensed to manufacture the vaccine, when it had not produced any of the vaccine for the 1954 summer field trials and yet came up with a batch of vaccine at the point when the Public Health Service had approved it on April 12. He wonders where it had come from and when they had produced it, or whether they had perhaps borrowed it from another company. The Cutter vaccine had been involved in virtually all of the small number of cases in which polio had been contracted after a child had been vaccinated, with the possibility of a pre-existing infection being the culprit, rather than the vaccine or the manufacturer.

He next asks what tests had been made of the Cutter vaccine and what tests had been made of other vaccines, what had been the cooperation of the drug industry and what had been the result in human tragedy, exploring somewhat each of those topics. There is no need to detail that exploration, as everything would turn out to be copacetic in the end and all the little chil'ren would be able to get their shots eventually and conquer the dread disease of polio, later spared the needle in favor of the sugar cube dosed with the oral vaccine, a much less traumatic experience for the little chil'ren.

James B. Reston, Washington correspondent of the New York Times, regards cold war attitudes in a 1955 Gideon Seymour Lecture at the University of Minnesota, tells of foreign relations being endless, that once pestilence in Asia was tackled, sanitation improved, thus prolonging lives, but finding that those lives were more than U.S. foreign aid could subsequently feed. He indicates that he sincerely believed that the U.S. had just passed through one of the greatest decades of its history, but that it was a perplexing, shifting and perpetual business, demanding new methods, new men and new ideas regarding foreign policy.

The first objective of the cold war had been to prevent the 175 Red Army divisions from marching at a time when there were only about ten Allied divisions between the Elbe River and the North Sea, while it had been equally important to prevent economic disintegration of Western Europe, while building and organizing military forces of the free world into an effective coalition, as well to stop the Communist resort to armed force in Korea. Those objectives had been accomplished, but the war in Korea had deranged the U.S. cold war effort, turning it almost wholly to the problems of military power, from the belief that Korea was the first act in a world war. Thus, economic aid, despite the great success of the Marshall Plan and Point Four under President Truman, was downplayed in favor of military build-up.

He opines that as a result, the U.S. was out of balance and somewhat out of date, having, unwittingly, won the first phase of the cold war, now moving into the second phase without being ready for it. The deterrent power of the Strategic Air Force and its atomic weapons and guided missiles had to be maintained up to date as it represented the country's shield, the foundation on which everything else rested. But it should not dominate budgets and energies to the point where it would prevent the nation from waging the war at present. If a country appeared on the verge of disappearing under the Iron Curtain, there was no limit to what the U.S. would spend at the last minute to try to save it, but it was difficult to obtain funds for a country that faced long-range crisis. The U.S. had poured far more into Indo-China during the previous couple of years than it had spent since the end of the war on the task of developing India, while India might determine the future of that continent and perhaps all of Asia, thus more improtant than what the U.S. might do to defend the offshore islands of Quemoy and Matsu in the face of a potential attack by the Communist Chinese. If India were to fall to Communism, then the U.S. could always say that Prime Minister Nehru was difficult to deal with, a true fact, but small consolation.

The capacity to destroy all life with a single hydrogen bomb across a 20-mile belt from Chicago to Milwaukee should be enough to deter the Russians, and more useful projects regarding peacetime atomic energy production should instead be stressed, potentially more decisive than the atomic weapons race. Since the President had proposed in December, 1953 his "atoms for peace plan", there had been no new ideas in the field of peaceful usage of atomic energy, the reason for which, he posits, being that the U.S. had concentrated almost entirely on ways of saying things or psychological tricks, rather than on what to say, with members of Congress often undermining that which had been said very carefully, despite their voices also being part of the Voice of America.

He summarizes by saying that it was not surprising that the country had concentrated on questions of power during the previous decade, for that had been necessary, but he believes that part of the job had been done and it was now time to concentrate more on the 50-year war of which the President had spoken. Balance was needed rather than jumping from one extreme to the other, but members of Congress tended to go fishing or go crazy. The country was in a race with the pace of its own history and that pace was so swift that the country's habits of mind and institutions were lagging behind. It applied to the quality of people being sent to Washington, to the outmoded political campaigns which paralyzed leadership for months on end, the seniority system in Congress, and many other aspects of national life.

He closes by saying that it was the year when Chief Justice Earl Warren had said that if the Bill of Rights were to be voted on at present by the public, it would be extremely controversial and have a hard time passing. He had also said that the nation could not delegate to its governmental representatives the full responsibility for protection of freedoms from erosion, that such protection could only be had through an understanding on the part of individual citizens.

S. H. Hobbs, Jr., from a statistical portrait published on May 25 in the UNC News Letter, tells of 78 of North Carolina's 100 counties having had increases in population in the decade between 1940 and 1950, with nearly a fourth of the state's population growth having taken place in Mecklenburg, Guilford and Cumberland Counties, surrounding, respectively, Charlotte, Greensboro and Fayetteville. Fifteen of the counties during that decade had increased at rates of growth in excess of 20 percent. Six counties had smaller populations than 50 years earlier.

One of the most significant facts was that the 1950 census showed that the state had 250,000 people who were 65 or older, 5.5 percent of the population. Overall, the population had increased by 13.7 percent, while the population of those 65 or older had increased by 43.9 percent, primarily the result of better health care. The proportion of older people would continue to rise steadily and the problem of security for them would be ever-increasing.

The state was generally subdivided into four major regions, the Tidewater, the Upper Coastal Plain, the Piedmont, and the Mountains. All of the regions had increased in population, but the increase had been greater in some parts of the state than others. The Tidewater, comprised of 22 eastern counties, had grown the most slowly, while the Upper Coastal Plain, containing 23 counties, had increased by 115.7 percent, the second largest increase of the four regions. The Piedmont, with 38 counties, had increased by 1.245 million people, a percentage increase of 139.6, the largest increase of the four regions. The Mountain region, comprised of 17 counties in the extreme western part of the state, had grown by 79.4 percent, an increase of something over 176,000 people.

In 1790, the state had ten percent of the nation's population, with that ratio dropping steadily down to 2.4 percent in 1910 and 1920, rising somewhat to 2.7 percent by 1950. Population per square mile had risen from 38.9 in 1900 to 82.7 in 1950, and the state ranked 12th in population density. The membership in the House had been five Representatives in 1789, 13 between 1810 and 1830, seven in 1860, and had gradually risen to 12 by 1950.

The state ranked 14th in population increase between 1940 and 1950, at 490,000, ranking 21st in percent of increase, at 13.7. North and South Carolina were tied for the highest percent of native born adults within the population, at 99.4 percent each.

A letter writer urges election of judges and solicitors in the state rather than judges being appointed by the Governor.

Eventually, insofar as judges are concerned, the state would turn to a hybrid system of partisan election to confirm initial gubernatorial appointments to fill vacancies occurring prior to an election, with all judges generally subject to contested election, later changed to nonpartisan elections in 1998, but, more recently, in 2015, having returned to the partisan system. Solicitors, now referred to as district attorneys, had been elected since 1942, with interim gubernatorial appointments, as with judges, only in the case of someone retiring or dying prior to the time of election or, in the case of certain offices, for the unexpired term.

Framed Edition
[Return to Links
Page by Subject] [Return to Links-Page by Date] [Return to News<i><i><i>—</i></i></i>Framed Edition]
Links-Date Links-Subj.