The Charlotte News

Saturday, June 25, 1955


Site Ed. Note: The front page reports that a Russian attack on a U.S. Navy plane near Alaska with 11 men aboard had prompted speculation in Congress this date on its possible impact on the scheduled Big Four summit conference in Geneva to start July 18. Several Senators questioned Russia's motive following the announcement the previous day that the attack by two Russian MIG-type jet fighters had caused a P2V5 Neptune patrol plane to crash-land and burn on U.S.-held St. Lawrence Island in the Bering Sea, with seven of the crew injured in the attack. U.S. officials stated that it had occurred on Wednesday over international waters between Alaska and Siberia, with three of the crew wounded by shell fragments. Senator Mike Mansfield of Montana stated that unless the U.S. received assurances that the attack was not premeditated, the U.S. should not attend the summit conference. Senator Styles Bridges of New Hampshire, touring his home state with the President, said that the reports he had received showed that the attack was probably a local incident, expressing the hope that Russia would soon provide a full explanation. Senator Mike Monroney of Oklahoma said that it was "a cowardly attack by trigger-happy Russians." Senator Homer Capehart of Indiana said that it was "an incredible way to start a peace conference." The President had talked on the phone with Secretary of State Dulles and Defense Department officials, and Secretary Dulles was directed to broach the matter with Soviet Foreign Minister V. M. Molotov, both present in San Francisco at the tenth anniversary commemoration of the founding of the U.N. Mr. Molotov was quoted as saying that he knew nothing about the incident but would investigate it and report back. He and Secretary Dulles met in private. The Navy contended that the attack was unwarranted and without provocation, as did the armed forces commander in Alaska. The pilot of the plane was quoted as saying they did not have time to return fire.

The President had not received a reply from the Soviets regarding the U.S. protest over the incident, with the President having learned of it on Thursday. The President continued his tour of New Hampshire and Maine. He signed the Austrian treaty of independence entered into by the four postwar occupying powers in May.

In Kodiak, Alaska, four of the 11 men aboard the Navy patrol bomber who had escaped with minor burns and wounds had returned to Kodiak the previous day, with the pilot reporting that the bullets had ripped through the left wing and fuselage, injuring three of the crew, just as the gunner had reported sighting an airplane. He said that only the bow, tail and two wing tips were left of the plane after it burned up upon crashing. No one had panicked and the crew functioned normally under the worst possible conditions. Natives from a nearby village had seen the burning plane coming down and met the men on the beach, taking the entire crew to the village.

Members of Congress, who earlier in the year had voted themselves a 50 percent pay increase, to $22,500 per year, were now considering raising their allowances for travel, postage, stationery, long distance calls, and telegrams, plus providing for a $12,000 per year research assistant for each member. The House Administration Committee had recommended the allowances for inclusion in the forthcoming legislative appropriations bill. The Committee had also recommended pay increases for most Congressional employees.

In Wiener Neustadt, Austria, the group of 186 Austrians released from extended Soviet imprisonment returned this date and told of 16 Americans being held in Russian labor camps, providing the names of only six of them, some of whom apparently having been foreign-born. They said that one of them, from Georgia, had asked them with tears in his eyes to inform U.S. authorities that he was being held at Camp Potma in Eastern European Russia and asked that his mother be informed that he was alive. He had said that he was arrested by the Soviets in Berlin in 1951 and was sick, but was nevertheless forced to work in the woods by the Russians. The Austrians did not know his ailment. The U.S. Army European headquarters at Heidelberg, Germany, had listed the man, a private, as being absent without leave from the 6th Infantry Division in Berlin since December 4, 1951. The Austrians also provided the stories and names of five others, arrested by the Soviets between 1948 and 1949 insofar as the Austrians were able to ascertain, with one of them being known only by name, without information as to his background. The returnees had also provided the names of 50 Britons and two French citizens, one a girl, who were being held. The returnees included 45 women and four persons who were paralyzed, three of whom were walking on crutches.

The medical director for the National Foundation for Infantile Paralysis had said the previous day that the Foundation's program to inoculate all first and second-grade children for polio was at a standstill until they could obtain more vaccine. A spokesman for the National Institutes of Health stated that no more releases of vaccine supplies were anticipated for at least another week or ten days. A check of the six pharmaceutical firms licensed to produce the Salk vaccine had stated that sizable fresh supplies might not become available until mid-July and that full-scale distribution might not occur until August or later, with the polio season hitting its peak in August. Since the revised safety standards had been announced a month earlier for the vaccine, only about 1.2 million doses had been released for use in the mass immunization program sponsored by the Foundation. The director said that an estimated 6 million more doses were necessary to finish the two-shot inoculation series. A third booster shot was contemplated for seven months afterward.

In Pittsburgh, where a strike against U.S. Steel Corp. by the United Steelworkers was set to start at midnight the following Thursday, the top negotiator for the company had arranged a meeting with the president of the Steelworkers, with the vice-president of the company expressing optimism that an agreement could be reached, though the union quickly rejected the corporation's first proposal to boost wages by about a dime per hour. Steelworkers currently were paid an average of $2.33 per hour. The union believed that the industry could afford a larger increase because it was booming.

In Frankfurt, West Germany, an Army private was sentenced the previous day to six months of hard labor for fatally shooting another soldier on May 30, found guilty of negligent homicide.

In Santa Monica, Calif., the attorney for actor Robert Mitchum wanted his million-dollar slander suit against Confidential Magazine tried in California, seeking court permission the previous day to travel to New York to obtain statements from the magazine's executives, hoping those statements would force the magazine to try the case in California. The magazine had asked that the summons be quashed on the grounds that the publication did not do business in California and the Superior Court judge had taken the matter under submission.

In Needles, Calif., a jeep excursion along the Mojave Desert by four men had ended with one man dead, another missing, and the two others badly dehydrated and taken to the hospital. The men ranged in age between 45 and 70, the youngest of the men being the one missing in 120-degree heat and given little chance of survival. The oldest was dead. The two survivors were ages 49 and 67. All were from nearby Joshua Tree. Officers said that the two survivors said that their jeep had broken down on Wednesday en route to a ghost town 30 miles east of the Colorado River, and the missing man had set out on foot to seek help but had never returned. A private pilot had spotted the three others the previous day, 36 hours after a search had begun.

In Washington, N.C., Governor Luther Hodges and other high officials of the state were gathered to pay their final respects to State Attorney General Harry McMullan, who had died of a heart attack the previous day in Raleigh, following a prolonged period in which he had heart issues. Many of the state's judges and members of the legal profession were expected to attend funeral services during the afternoon this date in Mr. McMullan's hometown. He had served as State Attorney General since being appointed by the late Governor Clyde Hoey in April, 1938. At age 70, he was the oldest member of the Council of State, composed of the eight top elected state officials, serving as an advisory group to the Governor.

Ann Sawyer of The News indicates that the Board of County Commissioners would endorse Henry Severs as the new Mecklenburg County police chief to replace retiring Chief Stanhope Lineberry, his retirement to become effective August 1.

In Whitfield, Nova Scotia, two small deer swam across the muddy Avon River the previous day and then bounded through the plate glass windows of an automobile dealership, one running through the showroom for awhile before exiting through the portal it had created, then ran out of town, having been nicked a little by the broken glass. The other one had jumped up and stood for a bit before office staff finally caught it and turned it over to the lands and forest agent who let it loose in the Shubenacadie game sanctuary. He reported that the deer were yearling mates. They should name one Shuby and the other Doo-Wa.

In Whitfield, N.H., the President had posed for a 75-year old photographer, becoming the tenth President whose picture the former Boston Globe photographer had taken, having been asked to pose for the photograph when informed that the man had photographed nine previous Presidents, the President saying, "Wonderful."

On the editorial page, "Fit the Remedy to the Condition" indicates that the ambulance issue which had been considered by municipal officials for 16 days had become virtually unrecognizable, as if no one remembered the accident which had caused the death of a 54-year old woman when an underage ambulance driver had run a red light and collided with her vehicle on June 9. Nothing was done about the matter, though two weeks later, public officials had proposed some remedies which had nothing to do with the condition causing the fatal accident.

It reviews the details of the accident, indicating that the police had stated that excessive speed was not a factor, that the patient being transported to the hospital at the time had been suffering from nothing more serious than muscle cramps, sent home a few hours later.

As a result of the accident, the police the prior Thursday had endorsed a midtown speed limit of 25 mph for ambulances. But speed had not caused the accident, rather the reliance too much on the siren enabling the ambulance to pass through a red light.

It proposes a requirement that ambulances observe all normal traffic laws, including speed limits, while on an emergency call. It had been tried in Brooklyn, as a prior editorial had related, with the result of a great reduction in accidents and no complaints of delays in ambulance service or adverse effects on patients being transported.

It concludes that if the city was unwilling to take those precautions, it should require police to clear all intersections in the path of an ambulance responding to an emergency call, to protect ordinary motorists from harm, that merely changing speed limits for ambulances would not be enough.

"American Culture: Salem's Inspiration" tells of the Early American Music Festival and Seminar at Salem College in Winston-Salem having delighted hundreds of concertgoers during the week. Long forgotten compositions by local composers discovered by researcher Donald McCorkle had received their first modern performances, with much of the music having been superb. One visiting expert had said that it meant that the textbooks would have to be rewritten, that the music filled a missing gap in American musical history.

The composers included Johann Friedrich Peter, Josef Riepel, Johann Friedrich Greuser, Gabriel Meder, Johann Baptist Wanhal and others, who were unfamiliar to listeners, but the music they had produced had evoked the Baroque style of Bach, Vivaldi and Handel. It showed that even in the North Carolina wilderness, the settlement at Salem having been established in 1765, there had been a rare cultural oasis among the early German settlers who had ventured down from Pennsylvania. They had created high art and practiced it, as well as appreciated it.

Kermit Hunter, author of "Unto These Hills" and other such outdoor dramas, had lectured a year or so earlier about America's early difficulties in finding artistic expression, that faced with the immediate difficulties of survival, the necessity to clear the wilderness, build homes, villages and towns, to meet the threat of hostile Indians, to construct roads, establish communications and commerce, with the Revolution and the need to establish a stable government following, then the movement westward to make room for the increasing numbers of people, there had been little time left for cultural pursuits or to establish any great body of art.

But it finds that around Old Salem, some settlers did have that time and that the example they set was inspiring even at present. While the music created was derivative, drawing from the European forms and traditions, it showed that amid great tasks, those people had time for the broad pursuit of culture. It suggests that modern Americans could learn much from the Moravians of Old Salem, as the present country had the seeds for development of great culture, only awaiting modern Americans to gather the tools and proceed to work with the same artistic zeal as had the Moravians "to achieve the goal of a national culture, fashioned from native materials and supported by the creative genius of native artists."

It should be noted that not all of the composers listed actually came to America and settled in Salem. Mr. Peter did, by way of the Moravian settlement at Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, while Wanhal, for instance, raised in Bohemia, from whence the Moravians derived, spent most of his life in Vienna, and Herr Riepel remained in his native Germany.

"A Quick Poll at One Typewriter" indicates that whenever a news event occurred, reporters at Time quickly jumped on it as a matter of "significance", having at the ready certain experts who could comment on a given subject. When the President had named James Hagerty as his press secretary, for instance, the magazine had stated that "most newsmen" agreed that he lived up to his "avowed intention to 'give reporters the same treatment that I expected when I was a reporter.'"

But during the current week, former New York Times reporter Mr. Hagerty had been asked about a report that Army Secretary Robert Stevens was about to resign his post, and he responded that the White House had no resignation, either oral or written, and that he was not aware of any expected resignation. The following day, Mr. Hagerty had released the letter of resignation, which showed that the White House had anticipated it.

It finds that "most newsmen" at the present typewriter wondered whether Mr. Hagerty was starting to fib, not knowing how to dodge a question by simply saying "no comment", or whether he just did not know what was going on around the White House. It allows that because the resignation had come from the Pentagon, it might be the case that Defense Secretary Charles E. Wilson had decided it would not be constructive to tell Mr. Hagerty in advance.

A piece from the New York Times, titled "Train Whistles", finds that while diesel trains were a step forward in transportation, some people missed the old steam whistle.

"The whistle sounded on the prairies and carried far to listening boys and girls; they echoed among mountain valleys and sounded through the pine barrens of the Southland. They blew their long, familiar 'whoo-whoo-who-who' across the rich farmlands of the Middle West and along the river lowlands." It thus misses "the whistles passing by on an overhead breeze."

Drew Pearson indicates that V. M. Molotov, "the glowering, ill-mannered Russian foreign minister who antagonized everyone at San Francisco 10 years ago, and the obliging, mild-mannered western hat-wearing Molotov who charmed the diplomats at San Francisco this week," had followed a carefully set pattern of Soviet policy which had caught the U.S. off guard. For about ten years, the U.S. had been complaining about the Iron Curtain, but now it was being lifted somewhat and U.S. policy was not certain as to what to do. During the summer, many visas were being issued to Americans to visit Russia, ranging from former Senator William Benton of Connecticut to the legislative assistant to Congressman Wayne Aspinall of Colorado, to Vincent Greenfield of Sears in Washington. The visas were being issued simultaneously with a visit of Soviet farmers to Iowa, as well as allowing William Randolph Hearst, Jr., to visit Russia, along with a proposal of Soviet University editors to visit the U.S.

Instead of taking advantage of this crack in the curtain, the U.S. had reacted as if shot. The State Department person in charge of issuing passports had refused to allow the Soviet University editors to come, and when the Des Moines Register-Tribune had proposed bringing Soviet farmers to Iowa, friends of Senator McCarthy in the State Department raised technicalities regarding the necessity of fingerprints, though finally dispensed with by appointing the farmers as officials. When a Russian Orthodox bishop had overstayed his passport by a couple of days in New York, the passport director unceremoniously ordered him deported, causing the Russians to order out a Catholic priest from Moscow in retaliation.

He concludes that it had gone that way, that instead of taking advantage of the loosening of restrictions by Moscow, the U.S. had missed the cues, completely lacking imagination, building a U.S. iron curtain instead of realizing that the country had far more to sell than did Russia and far more to show Russians if they were willing to visit.

The Editors provide a non-bylined piece regarding Bryant Bowles, NAAWP head, visiting Charlotte with his pro-segregation platform. It indicates that he was more than anti-black, that his organization also had a pattern of anti-Semitism. His National Forum, Vol. 1, No.1, to the more recent issues, showed "a cleverly designed, sometimes naive and juvenile, but brash attack on Jews." In the first issue, there was a picture of the 25th anniversary celebration of Los Angeles City College, as part of which, a "king" and "queen" were selected, the king having been black and the queen white, showing "interracial coronation" and "interracial cake-cutting". On the second page was an attack on the NAACP, captioned "Jewish Leadership", suggesting that Jews were behind the organization, not blacks, that the real power in the organization was Arthur Spingarn.

The second issue, from September, 1954, claimed that Ray Jenkins, majority counsel for the Senate Investigations subcommittee during the Army-McCarthy hearings, was said to be anti-Semitic by "Jewish Life" magazine.

The third issue had a front page column on Hollywood, which also spewed anti-Semitic claims, such as asking whether the reader knew that Roberta Linn's Jewish name was Dubin, that Jan Murray's Jewish name was Murray Janofsky, that Jeff Chandler was originally named Ira Grossell, that Marlene Dietrich and Tony Curtis were Jewish, etc.

In one issue, "Jeff Davis" had an article, saying that "two-thirds" of the life members of the NAACP were Jewish and that the black vote had swung the 1952 election of General Eisenhower. "His grovelling before Jews and Negroes really paid off!" according to Mr. Davis.

It goes on detailing the issues of his rag in series, indicating that in the fourth issue, it referred to Justice Felix Frankfurter as a "Zionist fanatic" and an "Austrian Jew whose brother is a notorious convict."

It continues quite a way describing the gibberish of this nut, concluding with the question whether his writings and speeches conveyed "any of the wisdom which both races have practiced in living together in peace in North Carolina."

He needs to go on down and have some chicken with Lesta and have a good jawin' on the back porch wid him down 'eya. He'll get betta after dealin' with Lesta and his chicken awhile. Because all the white and dark meat coexist togetha, you see, in the same chicken, as God made it. Have you eva seen a chicken which is segregated? Lesta is actually very progressive in his own way, if you just interpret the man correctly, as God intended.

A letter writer addresses the ambulance question, as the above editorial, finding the recommendations on changes to the speed limit not going far enough, reiterating some of the same concerns as the editorial, proposing that ambulances should be required to stop before proceeding at controlled intersections, while police and fire emergency vehicles should also be required to obey the same restrictions.

A letter writer finds from a headline in the newspaper that drive-ins had dropped between 150 and 200 carhops, bringing to mind a question whether those "brothers' keepers" who had opposed the sale of beer on Sundays were so concerned with the welfare of people that they had succeeded in having the City Council make restrictions on beer sales at drive-ins such that the carhops had been fired, posing a question whether the Council would take into account the welfare of those without employment.

A letter writer takes issue with another letter writer who had objected to the sale of beer, wine and whiskey in any form. This writer wonders whether he was suggesting that Jesus and the 12 Apostles at the Last Supper were lacking in moral character by drinking wine. He had also questioned the integrity of the mayor and all except two members of the City Council who had voted for the drive-in restrictions but had set aside the issue of sale of beer on Sundays. This writer thinks that the mayor and majority of the Council had correctly acted on the issue. He says that he was a God-fearing person and attended church regularly, had tried to practice tolerance and to mind his own business, that in conclusion, he suggests looking about to be sure that one's own house was in order and to leave neighbors alone.

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