The Charlotte News

Saturday, June 4, 1955


Site Ed. Note: The front page reports that NAACP leaders would assemble for an important strategy meeting this date, only a few hours after starting a drive for early integration in the South, having the previous day, acting on behalf of nine parents of 19 Atlanta black schoolchildren, filed, through its attorneys, a petition with the Atlanta Board of Education, urging immediate reorganization of the schools in accordance with Brown v. Board of Education, decided on the constitutional question in May, 1954, and its implementing decision just handed down the prior Tuesday. Representatives of the Board said that the action was not unexpected, but otherwise had no comment. Officials of the NAACP said that the form of the complaint had been prepared after the decision a year earlier, but had awaited the implementing decision before filing. They also said that similar petitions would be filed throughout the South. The executive secretary of the NAACP, Roy Wilkins, and its chief counsel, Thurgood Marshall, had arrived in Atlanta the previous night for the closed session of the meeting, both telling newsmen that they had no comment and did not plan to issue any statements until after the conference was completed.

In Chattanooga, Tenn., the Holston Conference of the Methodist Church adopted, without dissent, a six-point plan to improve relationships between whites and blacks in local church activities, including community-wide interracial religious services. The action was taken after Bishop Edgar Love of Baltimore, a black bishop of the Tennessee Conference of the Methodist Church, had stated in an interview: "If God hadn't intended for races to mix, he would have fixed it so they could not." In Westminster, Md., Methodists of the Baltimore Conference voted against a resolution calling for complete racial integration of the church.

Senator Sam J. Ervin of North Carolina, member of the Senate Investigations subcommittee investigating graft in the purchase by the Quartermaster Corps of military service uniforms, said this date that the Pentagon should bar from further contracts any firm found to have paid graft to Government employees. Hearings were presently in recess until Tuesday, when the subcommittee intended to question Harry Lev, the wealthy Chicago hat manufacturer who had entered into a two million dollar contract with the Government to manufacture white Navy caps. Mr. Lev had been accused by a competing manufacturer, Leon Levy, of making bribery payments of $50,000 for the 1953 contract, paid to Air Force Capt. Raymond Wool, formerly a uniform procurement officer. The latter had sworn that he never received the $50,000 or any other bribes from any source. At a hearing the previous day, Senator John McClellan of Arkansas, chairman of the subcommittee, accused the captain of having falsely branded himself a tax evader in an effort to conceal the real source of $16,000 contained in a strong box at his home. The captain had said on Wednesday that he had filed fraudulent tax returns between 1951 and 1953, claiming business losses on a dress shop he had operated in New Jersey, and that it had been the source of most of the $16,000 in cash. But two former sales girls of the shop said that they considered it a losing venture which finally went into bankruptcy and Mr. Wool had sold the business in 1953, at about the time Mr. Lev had received his contract. The Wools then bought a $21,000 home, had it extensively redecorated, and Mrs. Wool started wearing a mink stole.

In Detroit, UAW released a statement giving the details of a G.M. offer to the UAW, better in two instances than the reported Ford Motor Co. offer, with G.M. declining comment on the report. The G.M. offer, according to UAW, included a plan which would have provided for employee stock purchase bargains, offering more than Ford on pensions and on the annual improvement factor.

In London, a threat of violence entered the seven-day old rail strike this date, with thousands already jobless, as settlement efforts had bogged down a seamen's wildcat strike which had tied up the New York-bound Mauritania at Southampton. At Stockport, members of the nonstriking National Union of Railwaymen complained that striking union men of the Associated Society of Locomotive Engineers and Firemen had come to their homes and threatened them if they continued to man the trains. The rail strike appeared to be far from settlement, with no progress since the beginning of the strike. The striking unions demanded more pay. The strike impacted 80 percent of Britain's locomotive crewmen. There was also a strike of dockworkers at six major ports, idling 167 freighters and affecting Britain's exports.

In Houston, Tex., a "miracle" baby born three months prematurely, for whom doctors had given only a 50-50 chance to live, had finally died the previous night after being revived at the mortuary. She had weighed 30.75 ounces at birth and her mother had announced the previous day that she would name her "Miracle Ann". Doctors said that they had not notified the mother yet of the death of the infant. They said that the lungs of such a small infant were not developed well, not anatomically able to take up oxygen. The baby had been in an incubator when it appeared to have died. The doctors said that they worked on the baby, trying to revive it for over an hour, and finally, without any sign of life, pronounced it dead. But two hours later, a mortician walked into the room where the baby lay, and for the first time in his 20 years of experience in the business, observed the apparently deceased exhibiting signs of life as he was preparing to embalm her, seeing only the movement of the baby's chest as she breathed, whereupon he ordered an ambulance driver to speed her to a hospital. Doctors said that they did not hold out much hope for the infant, and placed it in an airlock, indicating that apparently the handling at the funeral home by the attendants and the trip to the mortuary had acted as stimulants to revive the baby. It was transferred the previous afternoon to the premature nursery at the hospital before finally dying late the previous night.

In New York, a Roman Catholic weekly publication of the Jesuits, America, stated that it liked Billy Graham and wished that there were more like him, that it regarded him as one of a "vanishing race of Protestant divines with whom a Catholic scholar can actually sit down and talk theology." They found him intelligent, sincere and zealous, doing a lot of good among devout Protestants, both in the United States and abroad. It wished him well on his "mission of recalling God to the minds of a secularized world."

In Miami, Fla., a 28-year old fake doctor was arrested, after he had collected large fees for supposedly treating young and pretty women in an atmosphere of dim lights and soft music, authorities charging him with practicing medicine without a license. When police raided his home, he was about to begin his treatment of a young housewife who had just arrived. The doctor apparently treated his patients with hypnotism. A number of lewd pictures were seized. There was also evidence that he had conducted a fraudulent mail order scheme, selling fake diplomas from a nonexistent Miami college. A complaint had originated from the husband of one of his "patients", saying that his wife had started a divorce suit after regular visits to the fake doctor. Police also found a diploma from a nonexistent California university, supposedly granting the man a degree as a "doctor of Philo-so-phy".

In Raleigh, John Park, editor and publisher of the afternoon Raleigh Times for 44 years, announced this date that the newspaper had been acquired by the News & Observer Publishing Co., saying that the sale had been made inevitable by advertising and circulation revenues no longer being adequate to provide Raleigh with two separately operated newspapers. He said that members of his family who were now directing the newspaper's operations would participate in the consolidation. The Times had begun publication on April 21, 1879, when its predecessor, the Evening Visitor, had been founded, and in January, 1901, changed its name to the Times. On September 7, 1911, the Times Publishing Co. was formed under Mr. Park, who had begun working for the newspaper while a freshman at N.C. State, and was later hired as the business manager, acquiring ownership interest the same year.

Ann Sawyer of The News indicates that there were plans by the Mecklenburg County tax supervisor to subpoena delinquent personal property tax listers to appear before the supervisor, permitted by a special act for Mecklenburg County passed by the Legislature in 1945.

On the editorial page, "Urban Traffic: Slow Down the Trucks?" indicates that a letter in the column of this date expressed concern about obstructions at busy intersections, in the wake of the collision between a car and a truck the prior Wednesday in Charlotte, which had cost the lives of two women and injured two others in the car. While the matter raised by the letter writer was worth considering, it finds that another issue was called to mind, speed, that while 35 mph might be appropriate for passenger vehicles within the city limits, it was an excessive speed for a loaded truck.

It indicates that it was not suggesting that the truck driver was at fault in the accident in question, as apparently the female driver of the car had run a blinking stop signal and a stop sign in entering the intersection in front of the truck. But the truck had eight tons of stone and at 35 mph, the approximate speed it was traveling at the time of the accident as verified by its skid marks, the load became deadly, and even if the driver had been able to stop on a dime, the load of stone probably would have crushed him because of its momentum.

A few years earlier, a truck carrying marble tombstones had hit a hole in the road and collided with a bus, the momentum carrying the marble ahead and shearing off the cab of the truck, killing the driver and his companion instantly.

It indicates that truck drivers generally had a better safety record than operators of private passenger vehicles, and perhaps driving professionally instilled a sense of caution and promoted better driving habits. But loaded trucks were potentially more dangerous than passenger vehicles because they were heavier and sturdier and when they collided with an unanticipated barrier, the result could be catastrophic. Even at a safe speed, there could be difficulty stopping with a heavy load. State highways had a different speed limit for trucks from that of passenger cars, and while there appeared to be little enforcement of that different speed limit for trucks, a similar law on the city streets would likely save some lives and it urges such a measure.

"Alas, No Beethovens or Michelangelos" indicates that while America might not be a hotbed of culture, it loved to engage in verbal debate about what exactly constituted culture. A publicist had gone to much trouble and expense recently to advertise the viewpoint that "modernism in the arts is a deplorable thing." Poet Archibald MacLeish, president of the American Academy of Arts and Letters, had countered, defending modernism in the arts and suggesting a highly romantic state of the arts at present in the U.S.

The piece suggests that the argument depended on what was meant by culture, that it might be true that the U.S. had more and better symphony orchestras than any other nation. The country certainly had the largest libraries, richest museums and some of the finest universities. Mass-circulation magazines provided the ordinary reader with occasional glimpses into Renaissance art and avant-garde poetry "sandwiched between spongy buns of sex and sadism." James Joyce and Plato were available in cheap paperback editions and Braque reproductions could be had from a dime store. Yet, the country lacked a free-spirited cultural life because it concerned itself principally with the organization and cataloging of art, rather than producing it.

It ventures that many Americans did not appear to grasp that art was essentially a creative process and merely cataloging art or absorbing it did not make the country artistic until it produced art. The interpretive artist was not the creative artist. The country tolerated the interpretive artist, but gave little attention to the creative artist. Struggling painters, poets and composers were regarded as virtually useless members of society, and if they failed to achieve financial success, were often ostracized by other members of the community.

If a young man declared to his father that he wanted to be a painter, the father more than likely would be speechless with alarm and engage in a campaign to get his son to abandon that unmanly nonsense. Yet in Europe, it was not unusual to see a talented young man aided and encouraged by his family and his community for years, while he struggled to find artistic expression.

It was considered acceptable for a man to pursue art in his spare time, as Winston Churchill with his painting, and the same pastime of President Eisenhower. But the individual who devoted his full time to such an occupation was considered suspect and not embodying the values prized by Americans.

It concludes that Americans appeared not to understand the importance of creative activity, while nevertheless enjoying art, as long as it was old, established and accepted, but ignoring or minimizing the problems of the continuing process of artistic creation. "And then they turn right around and wonder why the United States is producing no new Beethovens and Michelangelos." A nation was directly responsible for preparing the kind of soil which would produce art, and, it offers, America's artistic soil needed a little watering.

"Footnote to Toynbee: Go, Go, Go" suggests that the loudest laments for the "poor old 20th century man" had undoubtedly been registered by Arnold Toynbee, lamenting that life was too soft, and that deterioration of habits from easy living had sapped ambition, vigor, strength and power.

Then, the previous Saturday, in London's White City Stadium, Laszlo Tabori of Hungary had run a sub-four-minute mile, at 3:59, while two Britons, Chris Chataway and Brian Hewson, came in just behind him, both at 3:59.8. Thirteen months earlier, no one had yet recorded a four-minute mile, but since that time, there had been seven surpassing the mark, starting with Britain's Roger Bannister, and now three had done it in the same race.

"Man may be hurtling to his doom as the gloom merchants say—but not because he has lost his stamina. Even if doom is his destination, he is likely to cover the Last Mile in a snappy 3:55."

A piece from the Greensboro Daily News, titled "A Myth Is as Good as a Mile", tells of an editorial from the Daily Item of Lynn, Mass., titled, "The Dixieland Myth", suggesting, through "rose-colored glasses": "It's not all honey and roses and candied yams down below the Mason-Dixon line, so far as business enterprises are concerned." It had gone on to say that businessmen contemplating moving from New England to the South had better beware of the siren song sung by Southern chambers of commerce, proclaiming that what they might gain in lower taxes and wages would likely be offset by "lower productivity and less initiative."

It says that was not the way it had heard it, and that the Item was "welcome to all who go back North and we'll keep all who stay South. We'd be glad to settle on that basis."

Drew Pearson indicates that the son of Secretary of Defense Charles E. Wilson was about to receive an educational television license for Michigan State, causing issues to arise in political circles in Michigan. John Hannah, who had once worked for Secretary Wilson as Assistant Secretary, had made the deal with Edward E. Wilson, a General Motors distributor and president of the Wilson Downtown Cadillac Co. and Wilson GMC Co., as well as being co-owner of a farming estate with his father. He also was a director of a manufacturing company which sold parts to G.M., of which his father had been president before becoming Secretary of Defense. The son, 34, in his application for the FCC license, had listed himself as having marketable securities in excess of a million dollars. He would be worth a lot more if the license were approved, as he could use the valuable night and evening time on the educational channel while the college would receive 20 percent of the profit but without the right to audit the books of the station or to approve the salaries to be paid, enabling the profits to be consumed by high salaries. Some State Senators in Michigan were debating the question in the Legislature, claiming that the valuable television license could produce a profit of about $800,000 per year for young Mr. Wilson, with $200,000 going to Michigan State, finally approving the deal after complaining that they were pressured by G.M. lobbyists. Mr. Pearson concludes by saying that it would be interesting to see what the FCC would now do about the political matter.

It was a mystery as to who had arranged for a former Rumanian Nazi, Viorel Trifa, convicted by court-martial, to give the opening prayer to the U.S. Senate on May 11. He had been a former leader of the Iron Guard, helping to instigate an armed insurrection against the Government of Ion Antonescu prior to Pearl Harbor, when the latter had protected Jews from persecution. It was not only amazing that he had been permitted to give the Senate opening prayer, but that he had also been admitted to the U.S. as a displaced person, supposed to benefit refugees fleeing from terror at home, while he had actually helped to create the terror during the war, nevertheless admitted to the U.S. under that act on July 15, 1950.

Joseph Alsop tells of his own observation during his tour of Asia for six months, that the region was the "vulnerable flank of the United States and the free world." It meant that almost all of the developments thought to be hopeful, such as the recent treaty of independence with Austria by the four formerly occupying postwar powers, were no more than local and temporary gains.

Because of the success of the Marshall Plan in rebuilding postwar Western Europe and because of the ratification of the treaties for West German rearmament as part of NATO, Europe was no longer the place to look for signs of a new era. For the Communists would not order a frontal attack on a strongly fortified line when there was an exposed flank, as in Asia. Thus, the place to look for hope of peace was in Asia.

The Chinese Communists had declared their claims on Formosa and though they were now willing to talk to the West about the situation, there was no guarantee that they would not attack Quemoy and Matsu if the Administration did not succeed in convincing Chiang Kai-shek to accede to withdrawal of his troops from those islands and allow the Communists to have them. If the President did give them away, there was no assurance that the Communists would not then proceed to attack Formosa by virtue of having eliminated the strategic threat and observation post against attack from the mainland offered by the offshore islands.

Mr. Alsop suggests that the U.S. could afford to lose Formosa if it could be sure of losing nothing else. Much more serious losses, however, probably lay ahead in Southeast Asia, where the danger was more complex than in the Formosa Strait. The "weak Korean truce" of July, 1953, which the Administration had granted to an economically strained China, in effect assured that all of Asia would be indefinitely overshadowed by the huge army or large air force of the Communist Chinese. The Geneva settlement regarding Indo-China in July, 1954 added another 20 divisions from within the Communist-led Vietminh in North Vietnam.

In Southeast Asia, the mere threat of Communist military power, rather than direct military action, created the principal problem, and if things went as badly as was likely, U.S. policy would be semi-paralyzed by the threat of those 20 divisions, causing the weak states of Southeast Asia to succumb to that military threat. Only Burma was perhaps in a position to resist. All of the other states were disorganized and open to internal infiltration, with large segments of the population awaiting an indication as to which way matters would go, toward the free world or toward Communism, before committing to either sphere. That internal weakness was exaggerated by the threat of Communist military power.

The SEATO treaty of the prior September was no answer but the danger had to be met to avoid the chain reaction of triumphs for which the Communists could hope in Southeast Asia, causing other reactions of the type elsewhere in the world. In Japan, proclaimed by the President as "an American bastion", Mr. Alsop found the handwriting on the wall, that the betting was far better than even that a Communist victory in Southeast Asia would be quickly followed by breaking of the Japanese-American alliance, with similar effects likely then to follow in India, the Middle East, in Africa and even in Europe—the idea of the later-dubbed "domino theory".

He concludes that it was the perspective which he observed operating at present in Asia and if the forthcoming Big Four summit meeting did not produce a means of resolving that perspective, it would have produced little of lasting value.

Robert C. Ruark tells of his dog Schnorkel preparing to become a father again, prompting him to go back to using honest names for dogs, starting with Fido. He was sick of chic names like Schnorkel for his boxer, sorry that he did not name him Hermann. He had sought to rectify the matter by calling his poodle "bitch" Mam'zelle, but even that was too chic "for such a slob", and then someone bought her a rhinestone collar.

When he was a child, dogs had honest and dependable names, such as Blackie, Whitie, Brownie, Tiger, Fido, Spot, Pal, and Pardner. Female dogs were named Queenie, Bess, Bell or Lady. But now the trend had become ridiculous, with most dogs named William, Beverly, Oliver, Andrew or Howard, with one poor thing being named Confetti. A dachshund he had once known, which chased, to its fatal peril, a Buick station wagon, had been named Moss Rose, despite being the meanest male "that ever bit everybody".

Poodles were named Pierre and Annette and the German breeds had the name Rudi, while the Scotties were called by their last names, such as MacTavish, MacDougall or MacKenzie.

And he goes on about such names being confused with human names, and human names being confused between boys and girls, such that when one called a dog named with one of those names, it was likely that a boy or girl would answer. Thus, he would insist on calling his next dog Fido, no more funny than calling a pretty girl Kyle or Michael, or naming a man Vyvyan.

"And I don't care if this pooch's square handle is Grand Ch. Underbred of lower Black Eddy, Pa. If he don't answer to Fido, he don't eat."

A letter writer, as indicated in the above editorial, complains of the obstructions of view at intersections caused by underbrush and bushes, suggesting that the accident which had taken the lives of two older women at Central Avenue and Eastway Drive in Charlotte could have been avoided had the bushes and underbrush been cleared away. He references other such intersections in the city as well, noting that the city had ordinances regarding carports attached to homes but not on obstructions at intersections. He also indicates that there were still a lot of holes in the streets which ought be repaired, also helping to save lives. He tells of having traded in his car about a month earlier and found through a service station man that the old owner had left tires on it which had so many patches and boots in them that the attendant could not see how he had driven it to the service station to get new ones.

That service station man wanted you to buy a whole new set of tires. Never trust Gomer or Goober. Their job is charm, to sell you products you don't need. "What that thar rattle? Oh, that could cause ye problems down the road here 'fore ye know it, wheels fall off, all four at once, tow bill, maybe kill ye and all around ye. Better get that fixed. Lucky I caught it for ye. I just happen to have a special on today, $500 for a whole new set of nuts..."

A letter writer indicates that Congressman Charles Jonas was serving the district well, responding to a letter published May 13, asking how those who had voted for him now felt. The writer says that he was a registered Democrat and had voted proudly for Mr. Jonas, a Republican, and felt fine about it, explaining in some detail why he felt that way.

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