The Charlotte News

Monday, June 6, 1955


Site Ed. Note: The front page reports from Columbia, S.C., that Secretary of State Dulles, speaking at commencement exercises at the University of South Carolina, stated this date that he doubted that the forthcoming summit conference of the Big Four nations would, alone, relax world tensions, though expressing the hope that it would be useful and that the U.S. would do all it could to make it so. He said that it would take more than words and more than a single meeting to create conditions which would "justify relaxing the efforts which we have been making." He said that the meeting, tentatively scheduled to occur in Geneva starting around July 18, would "serve to identify the present causes of tension and set a course which may lead to eliminating threats to peace and freedom." He said that he was certain that the meeting would not end the necessity for "strong and vigorous national and international security policies and for national unity behind them." He said that the U.S. would need to continue to remain, for some time to come, as a nation imperiled, that it was far better to see the peril, no matter how unpleasant, than to ignore it.

In Detroit, Ford Motor Co. and the UAW reached an agreement this date on a guaranteed wage plan and other contract terms, expected to halt widespread walkouts which had idled 68,000 of 140,000 Ford workers across the nation during the previous 12 hours. The guaranteed wage plan was the largest ever negotiated in U.S. industry and could set the pattern for the entire automotive industry and perhaps other basic industries. UAW returned to the bargaining table with General Motors this date, to press for a similar contract settlement, that contract set to expire the following day. UAW president Walter Reuther emerged from a conference with Ford representatives, grinning, telling reporters that they had reached a good agreement with Ford, "the largest economic package we've ever negotiated," worth in excess of 20 cents per hour per employee. The average autoworker presently earned about $2.10 per hour. Mr. Reuther said that the agreement provided an increase of Ford pensions to a maximum of $241 per month, including Social Security, and also provided for better hospital and medical benefits, containing the principles upon which they were going to build a guaranteed annual wage. He appeared at a joint news conference with Ford vice-president John Bugas, at which both congratulated each other and shook hands, the latter saying that Ford had agreed to go along with the guaranteed wage plans only after "a considerable internal debate", and he thought it was significant and would be useful in the automobile industry.

In Charlotte, the Ford plant had received notice at noon this date that the strike had been settled, after operations at the plant had been halted during the morning when 38 members of the UAW went on strike. Pickets remained at their posts early in the afternoon and none of the strikers had returned to their jobs. When the announcement arrived at the plant, most members of management were at lunch. The Ford depot in Charlotte was a supply center for retail dealers throughout the Carolinas.

Julian Scheer of The News indicates that Kelly Alexander, chairman of the North Carolina branch of the NAACP, in a statement issued this date, said that Charlotte and North Carolina local school boards would face lawsuits calling for integration should communities not take steps by September toward "reasonable and prompt" desegregation of the public schools, that the legal division of the organization would take steps toward implementing the May 31 Brown v. Board of Education implementing decision. In every North Carolina community, black parents had signed petitions and made requests to the NAACP for legal help in filing such lawsuits. More than 500 parents had signed petitions a year earlier at the time of the initial decision in Brown, and the NAACP had plans to represent as many of the parents as requested help, with new petitions following on the first ones. The framework for the plan of action in North Carolina had been developed at a meeting of the NAACP in Atlanta during the weekend, regarding 16 Southern states and the District of Columbia. Mr. Alexander said the organization regarded the implementing decision in Brown to allow school boards to get their houses in order to implement desegregation, that the decision did not allow them to procrastinate or evade. The steps would include filing a petition immediately with each school board requesting the prompt beginning of desegregation, followed by periodic inquiries made to determine the steps school boards were taking to accomplish that aim.

In Ionia, Mich., State Police reported this date a riot at the State Reformatory, that several guards had been injured, two of whom had to be taken to the hospital. The reformatory was a medium security prison housing more than 1,000 inmates, with the riot apparently confined to one building and guards reported to have the situation under control.

In East Orange, N.J., Robert Elliott Burns, author of the book I Am a Fugitive from a Georgia Chain Gang, had died at age 65 the previous night at the veterans hospital after a long illness. He had been sentenced to prison in Georgia for a five-dollar hold-up in Atlanta in 1922 and had been placed on a chain gang, having stated he was hungry and jobless as a veteran of World War I when he accompanied a flophouse acquaintance to the grocery store where they committed the robbery. He had served only a fraction of his 6 to 10 year sentence when, initially, after two months on the chain gang, he had escaped, going north, where seven years later, he was earning $20,000 per year as a magazine editor in Chicago. But in 1929, his first wife had informed authorities that he was an escapee and he was returned to Georgia. Many prominent persons and organizations supported his plea for a pardon, but the Georgia Prison Commission rejected that petition and he was returned to prison. The following year, however, he walked away from a chain gang chore and had gone to New York, where he wrote his book, later made into a movie. He subsequently found refuge in New Jersey, where three successive governors refused to grant warrants of extradition to Georgia, as he became prominent in local civic affairs, heading a tax investigating agency. Eventually, Governor Ellis Arnall of Georgia, who eliminated chain gangs in the state, interviewed Mr. Burns in New York and asked the state pardon and parole board to free him, the board responding that it could not do so as long as Mr. Burns remained a fugitive. He decided to appear before the board in 1945, accompanied by Governor Arnall who appeared as his counsel, and the board decided to remit the remainder of his sentence and restore his civil rights, but declined to grant a full pardon because he had admitted to participation in the grocery store robbery.

Well, what's you gonna do with all what these hippies write out cheya? That's right...

At West Point, N.Y., the President and his 1915 graduating classmates relived their cadet days at the United States Military Academy this date, on the 11th anniversary of D-Day. He planned to march with his classmates to a memorial service for the West Point dead, and would attend an alumni luncheon, where he would make a brief, informal speech, and then review the cadet corps, the traditional graduation parade. This night, the President and his classmates would meet for dinner at the Old Stone Inn.

Associated Press science correspondent Alton Blakeslee reports from Atlantic City, N.J., that men who had quit smoking cigarettes had probably reduced their risk of dying from lung cancer, compared with men who continued to smoke, according to the American Cancer Society in a report issued this date, finding that former smokers cut their risk of cancer in half. The Society had stated, however, that because the sample was relatively small, it could not be proven beyond a reasonable doubt that quitting reduced the risk of lung cancer. The study was conducted of nearly 190,000 men between the ages of 50 and 70, examining their smoking habits and the causes of death among 8,000 of them. The chairman of the Tobacco Industry Research Committee said, in response, that the study did not establish any cause-and-effect relationship. A year earlier, the first ACS report to the AMA convention of 1954 had indicated that cigarettes played a role in lung cancer, having examined 5,000 men and the causes of their death over a period of 20 months. The new report came at the beginning of the AMA's 1955 meeting and had covered a period of 32 months, examining the deaths of 8,000 of the men in the overall sample. The report found that lung cancer was rare among men who had never smoked, that the death rate from lung cancer increased with the amount of cigarettes smoked and that the rate was appreciable even among men who had ceased smoking, though not as prevalent as among those who continued to smoke.

In Miyazaki City, Japan, doctors at a hospital had removed more than 300 chewed up matches from the stomach and intestines of a 31-year old woman barber, which she said she had craved and eaten since she had been a small girl, never having made her sick until three days earlier. It could have been much worse had she also chewed tobacco.

In Tokyo, Japanese war widows this date presented $500 to the Mennonite Church of the United States as tokens of gratitude for 2,000 food parcels sent by the church the previous winter.

On the editorial page, "A Wet Finger in a Hot Wind" indicates that the political winds blew all different ways in the South, and no one could predict accurately what would occur in 1956, with the Republicans having carried four Southern states, Tennessee, Texas, Florida and Virginia, in 1952, and gained strength all across the region, also claiming border states as well for the President. Locally, in Mecklenburg County, the majority had voted, for the first time, for a Republican presidential candidate and had also voted for their first Republican Congressman since 1928.

There was little doubt that the top of the ticket had produced that result, but his popularity had fluctuated and probably diminished somewhat since 1952, after several of the Administration's major actions had affected the South as a region, such as racial integration, TVA, flexible farm price supports, and tidelands oil being given to the states.

The most significant question regarded integration. By the President's appointment in 1953 of Chief Justice Earl Warren, who had been credited with uniting the Court against segregation, the President had greatly impacted integration, having earlier issued an executive order against separate facilities in the military and in other Government installations.

Racial feelings, it finds, were not so strong in Tennessee as in other states of the South, but TVA had widespread appeal in Tennessee, while the President had referred to it as "creeping socialism", and the President's subsequent insistence on the Dixon-Yates utility combine contract with TVA had not improved the President's popularity.

The Administration had also reduced farm price supports when prices were falling, and the Democrats would seek to tie those issues to the Republicans. It had been Southern members of Congress who had originally introduced high farm price supports and maintained them in that status.

Regarding tidelands oil, the decision supported states' rights, but the South had never been united on that issue as it only impacted Texas and Louisiana on the Gulf Coast, and any benefit to the states from it was likely small.

Thus, it concludes that Administration action on issues affecting the South would ultimately have a net negative drag on the President's popularity with voters, and the political winds appeared to be blowing in their old course.

"The Wheels and the Dice Roll Faster" tells of a motor vehicle accident occurring every 11 minutes and an injury every 34 minutes, a death every eight hours, according to a state highway safety report. It leads it to conclude that modern cars rolled faster and that the "dice of death roll faster", and the odds against safety continued to increase.

The Governor's Traffic Safety Council was presently making a plea for greater attention on the road. It indicates that safe vehicles and safe driving were the only assurance of traffic safety, that law enforcement could not alone do the job. The State Highway Patrol had, the previous year, effected 200,000 arrests for traffic violations, with almost 1,000 persons having died in the meantime on the highways.

"The Team Plowing in the Bottoms" tells of observing a boy plowing corn with a mule for the first time in the bottomland, and having difficulty, reminding the writer of the sound of a mule's feet on hot summer days, going home over a hard clay road, "the clink of trace chains … the twilight songs of a bird, ...the smells of heat-swelling honeysuckles, of earth needing rain, of wood smoke from a kitchen. And the taste of cool buttermilk and hot cornbread, and of pot likker and 'poke sallet' in the turnip greens."

A piece from the Asheville Citizen, titled "Take a Law, Miss", indicates that every student in grade school in North Carolina was aware that May 20, 1775 was the putative date of the Mecklenburg Declaration of Independence, but some historians doubted the fact, as the document was based on a copy of the original, which had been destroyed in a fire in 1800, the copy not surfacing until 1819. It recounts that the Mecklenburg delegation to the General Assembly had been sponsoring a resolution to establish a commission to try to prove the authenticity of the document, with the commission biased on the side of finding it authentic.

It suggests that the matter could be handled through a resolution, stating dogmatically that the document existed and that all laws in conflict with the resolution, and "all historical evidence, calendars, signatures, books and data to the contrary are hereby repealed."

Drew Pearson indicates that Prime Minister Nehru of India had given the State Department unwelcome news regarding the proposed cease-fire around Formosa, derived from the several talks between Indian diplomat V. K. Krishna Menon and the Communist Chinese Government, with Nehru telling U.S. representatives that Communist China would insist on the end of the economic blockade of China in exchange for a cease-fire. The blockade had been imposed around the time of the beginning of the Korean War in mid-1950 and had been maintained since that time, though violated to an extent by Western nations, nevertheless having been effective enough to hamper significantly China's economy, with Premier Chou En-lai demanding that it be lifted, especially regarding strategic shipments.

Illinois Senator Paul Douglas, while riding on the Senate trolley system facing backwards, had remarked cheerfully to an intern seated beside him that they were riding it, "Republican-wise. We're going forward while looking back."

Indiana Senator Homer Capehart, the jukebox king, was recently railing against installment buying during a Senate speech, prompting Senator William Langer of North Dakota to say, "I think we ought to start with Capehart music boxes."

Senator Willis Robertson of Virginia, seeking to explain to the Senate a complicated amendment to a bill, had said: "Don't listen to the language of my amendment. Just listen to what I tell you it means."

Senator Strom Thurmond of South Carolina had been ribbed by his colleagues for taking up a full page of the Congressional Directory for his biography, with Senator Alben Barkley having remarked, "We should have invoked cloture."

Senator Hubert Humphrey of Minnesota indicated that State Department investigators rendered adverse security judgments 14.5 times more often than the Atomic Energy Commission, despite the latter having one of the most effective security systems.

The Foreign Operations Administration, headed by Harold Stassen, had a third fewer employees than the U.S. Information Agency, according to Senator Humphrey, while FOA had fired 184 workers for security reasons during the same time that USIA had fired only two, proving that a man's chances of getting fired on the basis of wild, unproved accusations depended more on the security officer where he worked than on his actual loyalty. Senator Humphrey proposed setting specific standards for judging security cases, in contrast to the present system which relied on human judgment by each agency head. Under President Truman, the final decision on retaining employees was left to the top loyalty board, headed by Republican former Senator Hiram Bingham of Connecticut.

Walter Lippmann discusses the Supreme Court's implementing decision of May 31 in Brown v. Board of Education, providing considerable time and latitude to localities to implement desegregation of public schools "with all deliberate speed", to be overseen by the Federal District Courts. He indicates that the assumption of the decision was that in the 21 states and the District of Columbia, where segregation was either required or permitted, there was a growing public sentiment against racial discrimination in the public schools, not necessarily meaning that the South did not have strong opposition within it to integration, but that there was also a rising tide of opinion within the South which recognized that a dual school system was incompatible with American principles and that the only real question was when and how that system would be abolished.

He suggests that without that more progressive Southern opinion, the decision would have been little more than pious platitudes, as the Government would not coerce the Southern states to comply—a belief which would be fairly quickly undermined in the fall of 1957 in Little Rock, when President Eisenhower would federalize the Arkansas National Guard to protect the nine black students attending Central High School, carried further by President Kennedy in 1962 when James Meredith sought to attend the University of Mississippi, and when two black students enrolled in the University of Alabama in June, 1963, at which time Governor George Wallace infamously sought to block the "door of the schoolhouse", a gesture as notoriously silly and ridiculous as the axe handles used by Lester Maddox to seek to bar blacks from eating at his silly chickenteria, the only question we ever had having been why anyone would have wished to eat there in the first place.

The decision had instructed the lower courts to consider problems arising out of the physical condition of the school plant, the school transportation system, school personnel and other such local conditions. Almost everywhere that segregation had prevailed, the black schools were in inferior physical condition to white schools of the same community. Integration would therefore require that the black schools be upgraded to the standard of the entire system, requiring money and time. Mr. Lippmann thus suggests that it could be foreseen that school systems would go to the lower courts, complaining that they did not wish to lower the standard of education for the white children while being willing to raise the standard for black children, but for the lack of sufficient money to do so.

He suggests reading chapter 11 of the report, The Negro and the Schools, prepared by Harry Ashmore, formerly associate editor and editor of The News, since 1947, editor of the Arkansas Gazette in Little Rock, the book having been published by the UNC Press, with the study having been conducted under the auspices of the Ford Foundation. The Southern states had been making impressive progress since 1940 toward equalizing the two school systems, despite opposition to immigration, while a substantial qualitative gap still remained between the white and black schools, albeit much smaller in the cities than in the rural areas, smaller in current expenditures than in longterm capital expenditure for school buildings and equipment. The Court required that black children, as quickly as possible, be educated in the same schools, receiving the same education as the white children. Segregation meant that they were not only in separate schools but also in inferior schools, requiring raising of that latter standard, a process which could not occur quickly.

Thus, Mr. Lippmann concludes that the Court had been justified in refusing to order compliance with desegregation on a fixed deadline, as sought by the NAACP, and the lower courts, he suggests, might not be adequately equipped to solve problems which were more properly addressed to state legislatures and Congress, regarding aid to school districts. He finds that the problems ahead would be insoluble without large Federal aid to the schools, requiring the raising of Federal taxes. That would have been required even under an actually enforced separate-but-equal system, as had been the trend in professional and graduate level programs in colleges and universities since 1937, though proceeding on a case-by-case basis prior to the Brown decision, overruling the sufficiency of the 1896 separate-but-equal standard to satisfy Equal Protection under the Fourteenth Amendment, finding instead segregation to be per se unconstitutional.

The Congressional Quarterly indicates that millions of television viewers would be directly affected when the FCC determined whether to permit subscription or pay television along with free television, with many viewers sending letters to the FCC communicating their opinions. Television set manufacturers and stations were pressing for pay television, opposed by movie makers and exhibitors, along with some network interests and stations. The deadline for receiving opinions on the matter from the public and the industry was June 9.

Meanwhile, the FCC had authorized experimental operations with three systems, one by Zenith radio, called "Phoneyvision", which scrambled broadcasts and provided receivers which would unscramble the signal, a second called "Subscriber-Vision" of Skiatron Electronics & Television Corp., and a third, "Telemeter", of International Telemeter Corp. It goes on explaining the differences in the three systems, in case you are interested in that arcane, outdated matter.

Spokesmen for the theater operators claimed that pay television would be an entering wedge for a complete pay-as-you-go industry, with all of the desirable programming winding up on pay television, rendering free television the repository of noncompetitive programs. CBS and the National Association of Radio and Television Broadcasters, representing the large stations, also opposed the plan for the same reason. But Zenith charged that the national television networks and theater owners were fighting to maintain the status quo under which they could monopolize what the public would see on television while denying the people the right to choose their own programming.

FCC officials indicated that thus far, the majority of letters from the public favored subscription television and the Commission intended to take its time in rendering a decision.

Given the predominating crap that one finds on any form of pay television for the last several decades, at least since the late 80's and early 90's, the banal and commonplace having finally swallowed all of the enriched fare one originally was able to find on pay television, and replaced it with a common denominator quite as low as that of commercial television has been since roughly the late 60's, or early 70's, the last time we watched it with any regularity, beyond special broadcasts and news programming. One could write a song about it, titled, "All You See (on tv) Is Crap", with the "on tv" sung in the background by the Background Singers, and the lyrics running: "Crap, crap, crap,/ Crap, crap, crap,/ Crap, crap, crap,/ There's no tv crap done which can't again be done, nothing crappily won which can't again be won...," followed by the chorus: "All you see is crap, clap trap, crap is all you see, crap is all you see, crap is all you see", all sung to any tune you choose, including the opening bars of "La Marseillaise". Thank ye, thank ye very much.

A letter writer from Mount Vernon, N.Y., suggests eliminating laws which restricted freedom and did not protect it. He urges that representatives of the majority should not be permitted to force minorities to conform to their standards of morality. He wants the nations to define what was wrong.

A letter writer, the chairman of the 1955 Cancer Crusade in Mecklenburg County, thanks the newspaper and its staff for cooperation and support in conducting the Crusade.

A letter writer from Lincolnton congratulates Charlotte for re-electing Mayor Philip Van Every for another term. He regards him as a brother because he was a Mason. He indicates that he had lost touch with his neighbor, J. R. Dean, who had anticipated becoming Governor in 1956, this writer indicating that he was not going to come out against him, but was sure he could win—probably on the dog platform. He also believes that his friend, Dave Stafford, 75, of Crouse, could beat Mr. Dean.

Speaking of the dog platform...

A letter from the chairman of the publicity committee of the Lions Club Convention thanks the newspaper for its coverage and cooperation.

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