The Charlotte News

Tuesday, June 7, 1955


Site Ed. Note: The front page reports from West Point, N.Y., that the President this date, in a commencement address at the U.S. Military Academy, called for "a prudent guard against fatuous expectations that a world, sick with ignorance, mutual fears and hates, can be cured" at the forthcoming Big Four summit conference, tentatively scheduled for around July 18 in Geneva, an invitation for that date and locus having been sent to the other three participants by the State Department the previous day. He said that the conference would be "only a beginning in a renewed effort that may last a generation" before an enduring peace could be finally achieved. He counseled that "a calm awareness that strength at home, strength in allies, strength in moral position, arm us in impregnable fashion to meet every wile and stratagem that may be used against us."

Vice-President Nixon had said in a speech in Chicago the previous week that the Big Four conference "could be the world's last chance to settle differences peacefully and avoid a catastrophic war."

The Senate Labor Committee, chaired by Senator Lister Hill of Alabama, this date approved a bill to raise the minimum hourly wage from 75 cents to one dollar, a dime more than that requested by the President. Senator Paul Douglas of Illinois had sponsored the recommended bill. An amendment offered by Senator Irving Ives of New York to raise the minimum wage to $1.25 was rejected by the Committee, and a second motion by Senator Gordon Allott of Colorado to follow the President's recommendation was also rejected. Senator Hill said that Senate Majority Leader Lyndon Johnson would likely bring the measure to the floor of the Senate the following day, where it was almost certain to pass. The bill did not make any changes to the present coverage provisions of the Fair Labor Standards Act, but Senator Douglas told a press conference that he would hold hearings on that issue before his subcommittee at an appropriate time. In the House, the Labor Committee was conducting hearings on the minimum wage and it was likely that it would also approve the one dollar figure.

The House this date voted overwhelmingly an average 8 percent pay increase for the nation's 500,000 postal workers, with only one nay vote. The bill now would go to the Senate for expected passage, with two minor clarifying amendments, after it had already passed initially. The President had rejected two prior pay increases, the first in the previous Congress because there was no provision for corresponding increases in postage rates to offset the pay increase, and the second the previous month because he found the increase to be too much and that there were inequities in the pay grades. It had been indicated that the President would go along with the current bill.

In Detroit, the UAW this date was reported to have agreed to extend its G.M. contract from midnight this night to midnight Sunday to afford extra time to negotiate before a strike by the 325,000 UAW members working nationwide for the corporation. The extension meant that G.M. was apparently considering the guaranteed wage plan which had been adopted under the new Ford contract.

In Charlotte, should G.M. go on strike, sales organizations of the corporation would be without supplies of new cars to sell or to allot to dealers across the Carolinas. There would also be serious disruption in distribution of automobile and truck parts. Most of the major divisions of G.M. had sales agencies in Charlotte and several divisions had supply depots in the area as well. The G.M. Parts Division depot was the largest employer of any G.M. operation in the area, having a large warehouse which carried a large stock of repair and replacement parts.

Associated Press science correspondent Alton Blakeslee reports from Atlantic City that Dr. Jonas Salk this date, in an address to the AMA and in a subsequent press conference, answered some of the most critical questions regarding the polio vaccine: whether one shot gave some protection, to which he answered in the affirmative, that it would give a large amount of protection for up to six months or longer; whether a child with one shot had a greater or lesser chance of obtaining paralytic polio, to which he responded that it was less likely; whether giving one shot increased the child's chance of contracting polio, stating that it reduced the likelihood; and whether a second shot had to be administered soon after the first, stating that it did not, that it could be delayed for up to 30 months without having to start the vaccination regimen over again. He also said that the second shot could be administered during the polio season in the summer, that the first shot could also be given during that period, though at some slight community-wide risk. He said that a child who had been vaccinated could, nevertheless, pass polio to siblings or parents, possibly explaining some of the cases which were occurring in families of vaccinated children. He explained that the vaccine was designed to prevent paralytic polio by creating antibodies in the child's bloodstream against the three types of polio virus which could cause human paralysis. The vaccine did not prevent the polio virus from entering the body or infecting the child, but was intended to prevent the viruses from striking at the nerves and causing paralysis, that the antibodies intercepted the viruses before they could attack the central nervous system. The child could, however, pass the virus to another, unvaccinated person, even though it did not harm the vaccinated child. He acknowledged that it was still unexplained how the polio virus was transmitted from one person to another.

In Paris, some Protestant pastors were wondering aloud at a meeting this date regarding the methods of evangelist Billy Graham, who was in the midst of a five-day crusade in the city. They expressed gratitude that the Rev. Graham had accepted their invitation to preach in Paris, but voiced misgivings about his practice of summoning members of his revival congregations to "come forward and make decisions for Christ." One pastor had said that he did not think all of those who came forward were actually making decisions and that to say so might be "a little dishonest", while another pastor stated that Rev. Graham's practice of having his counselors walk to the front of the meeting place with the others had given a false impression regarding the number of people making the decisions. A third pastor said that he was confused and surprised about the response and was stupefied to see the number of people who had stepped forward. The evangelist told a meeting of the pastors that it was one of the keystones of evangelism to "preach to a decision." He said that the nearly 1,000 persons in the audiences of his Paris crusade who had stepped forward during the previous two nights might not have been thoroughly "won over to Christ", that it could take two years and that they should not expect too much from them at first, that it was important to follow up. He said that he believed that a "spiritual fire could sweep France", that there could be a spiritual revival which could change the world, but would take prayer on their part. He had said, upon his arrival the previous week, that he was there to conduct a "five-day experiment", that he anticipated only 3,000 to 4,000 persons attending per night, but that it would be worthwhile if only that number showed up. At his first meeting the prior Sunday night, he had drawn 8,500 persons, filling all available seating in the sports arena and much of the standing room. The previous night the crowd was numbered at 6,000. In Edinburgh and London, where he had recently conducted crusades, he had drawn larger audiences in larger venues. Rev. Graham was bubbling with enthusiasm this date as he met nearly 100 of the city's Protestant ministers and urged them to greater evangelical efforts within their own parishes after he would depart.

City Coach Lines of Charlotte had advised Mayor Philip Van Every that it would apply to the State Public Utilities Commission for an increase in fares, proposing a rate of four fares for 50 cents or a single fare for 15 cents, whereas the present rate was ten cents for a single fare.

In Charlotte, a man and his wife were commencing departure from the Central High School graduation ceremonies recently at Freedom Park when they found that they were stuck to the amphitheater's wooden bench, the man caught by his trousers and his wife by her skirt. When they wrenched themselves free, they found a gluey substance on the bench, and the man lodged a complaint. A spot check of the benches revealed that the goo was still present on about one-third of the 3,000 seats, apparently oozing from the wood, in some places patched with tweed and cotton, showing that others had encountered the same sticky problem. The man thought it was tar, while the Park superintendent said it was probably resin seeping from the wood because of the heat. He promised to investigate.

On the other hand, it might have been the glueman of the gloamin'—who, by vicarious indirection, via an off-duty, drunk cab driver, killed Margaret Mitchell in 1949 while crossing Peachtree Street in Atlanta. If the glueman and his brainwashed surrogate, the actus reus of the mens rea, had been on the chain gang, where they belonged, that wouldn't have happened.

Associated Press correspondent Eddy Gilmore reports from Belgrade that one of the biggest differences between the Communism of Marshal Tito of Yugoslavia and that of Communist Party Secretary Nikita Khrushchev had been reflected in state-produced panties for women. In Russia, the first country in modern times to nationalize underwear, panties were long in the leg, elastic at top and bottom, and came in only two colors, blue and purple. But in Yugoslavia, panties were on sale in many styles, and in colors as varied as the rainbow. Girdles and garter belts were very difficult to find in Russia, but in Yugoslavia, they were quite common. Slips were plentiful in Russia, because they did not manufacture nightgowns, with slips often worn instead of gowns, but without any styling. The lack of familiarity with flimsy nightgowns had led three wives of generals, who had acquired the nightgowns in Berlin, to wear them mistakenly to a Red Army reception, thinking that they were evening dresses. Russia also manufactured very few bathing suits. But in Yugoslavia, women could buy bathing suits, including bikinis. Russia was ahead in the production of bras, which could be had for less than a dollar. An American visitor to Moscow had once said that the women of the country either had the best bras or the best chests in the world. Mr. Gilmore concludes that things had not developed that far in Yugoslavia.

The television version of "The $64,000 Question" had its premiere this date, appearing locally on channel 3, should you wish to tune it in at 9:00 p.m.

On the editorial page, "Minimum Wage Should Be 90 Cents" indicates that the President's proposal for raising the minimum wage from its current 75 cents to 90 cents had come about after great study, and it urges its passage by the Congress, with any greater amount likely to produce layoffs and inflation.

It lists several Congressmen, whose views ranged from maintaining the President's recommendation, as was the case with House Education and Labor Committee chairman Graham Barden of North Carolina, to raising the wage to between $1.25, as favored by Representative Ray Madden of Indiana, and two dollars, as recommended by Representatives Erwin Davidson of New York and James Roosevelt of California.

It indicates that the U.S. had its most prosperous year in its history in 1953, producing 365 billion dollars worth of goods and services, while at the same time, 23 percent of all families and individuals in the country had incomes of less than $2,000, according to the 1954 Survey of Consumer Finances of the Federal Reserve Board. So, it concludes that it was necessary to raise the minimum wage, but the question was by how much. A sharper increase than to 90 cents could throw delicate economic factors out of balance, such that it could take years to adjust to them, whereas a modest increase would encourage easy adjustment, and could later be modified by Congress.

"The End of a Slow-Acting Event" recounts the incident in 1925 when Floyd Collins had become stuck for 17 days in a cave in Kentucky, unable to be rescued in time before his death. It had also been in 1925, in Dayton, Tenn., when William Jennings Bryan and Clarence Darrow fought out the John Thomas Scopes case, regarding the schoolteacher who had been charged with a misdemeanor for teaching Darwinian evolution, ultimately convicted. In 1923, at the Polo Grounds in New York, Giants manager John McGraw had told his World Series pitchers to "pitch to the big bum if he hammers every ball in the park into the North River," referring to Babe Ruth, who became the third man in a single Series to hit two homeruns.

It indicates that those three events had been recounted in exceptional detail in newspapers and books, had been contemporaneously covered meticulously as they occurred, having "more sensation than significance".

In East Orange, N.J., the prior Sunday night, had occurred the death of Robert Elliott Burns, who had written his famous book, subsequently made into a movie, I Am a Fugitive from a Georgia Chain Gang, based on his escape from a Georgia chain gang to which he had been committed for participation in a 1922 five-dollar grocery store hold-up with an accomplice, and his subsequent life lived straight and decently, eventually resulting in his remaining sentence to the chain gang being remitted, after Georgia Governor Ellis Arnall had appeared as his counsel before the State Pardon and Parole Board, as Mr. Burns voluntarily returned to Georgia to appear before the Board to seek a pardon, not provided, though his civil rights were restored.

"They never got Floyd Collins out of his new-found cave. They never learned how to pitch to Babe Ruth. Some still argue that Darwin was the devil. But Robert Elliott Burns helped strike the chains from the legs of many men, not only in Georgia, but in many other states where his name was lost in the mist of the 20s until he died the other day."

A piece from the Sanford Herald, titled "Presbyterians vs. The State Church", tells of the Carolina Israelite, in its March-April issue, having saluted the Scotch-Irish Presbyterians, finding it nothing strange as its editor, Harry Golden, believed in religious freedom, as did the Presbyterians who had settled much of North Carolina.

The editorial had stated: "When you start digging into original sources you find that we owe a tremendous debt to the Scotch-Irish Presbyterians… At the very beginning of the country the Presbyterians were worried that the Anglican Church would gradually (by weight of numbers and tradition of the Mother Country) assume the status of a state church, and so the Presbyterians kept up a constant drive for religious freedom…"

The piece states that actually the Episcopal Church had become the state church in North Carolina, representing the official religion of the colony at its inception, and with the passage of the Vestry and Orthodox Clergy Acts of 1765, its establishment as the state religion had become complete. Paul Conkin, in the January issue of the North Carolina Historical Review, had told of the state church, by an act of 1764, providing for the support of the clergy, for education and for relief of the poor. On every third Easter Monday, 12 vestrymen were to be elected in each parish by the qualified voters, and each year prior to November 1, the sheriff was to collect a poll tax of not more than ten shillings from each taxable individual to support the parish, and if he could not collect a sufficient revenue within a period of five days, was empowered to sell an amount of goods and chattels of the defaulting persons. The vestry was liable for all damages to an underpaid minister, in accordance with the fees and salary set by law. The act provided that any dissenter who refused to qualify when elected as a vestryman was subject to a fine of three pounds.

Presbyterians had been almost as influential in colonial North Carolina as Anglicans, many of them refusing to consider themselves dissenters, claiming all the privileges of the Church of Scotland. They managed to elect vestrymen from their own number, then disqualified them and left the offices vacant. That caused a fine, but the Presbyterians figured it was worth it to frustrate the Episcopalians. In Rowan County, the dissenters established a permanent fund from which to draw the disqualification penalties by informing against law violators and thereby earning half the fine levied. It got to the point that Royal Governor William Tryon, closely connected with the Episcopal Church, could not place ministers in the parishes.

It indicates that, according to Mr. Conkin, the Vestry Act had not been a success for several reasons, as it gave so much power to the Governor that even the Anglicans protested, with the Act having been so incapable of enforcement that many of the parishes wound up paying their minister by voluntary contributions. When the revolt had become a movement for complete independence, many people, while approving of the establishment of the Protestant religion, detested the restrictive and unfair aspects of the extant ecclesiastical system. At that point, religious freedom began to take root.

It concludes that the popular notion that the adventurers and Pilgrims had brought religious freedom with them to the colonies was mythical, as both groups desired a privileged legal status for their own religion.

Howard Taubman, writing in the New York Times, indicates that a little more than a decade earlier, the North Carolina General Assembly had passed a bill to give an annual subsidy of $2,000 for the North Carolina Symphony, which had now grown to $20,000 per year. He finds that the state still had an outstanding bargain as the Symphony, under the direction of Benjamin Swalin, toured the state every year, providing concerts for children and adults, making itself a spirited force in the state.

The $20,000 annual stipend did not pay for all of the orchestra's needs, and so it relied heavily on memberships from private individuals and organizations.

The Symphony toured all over the state, in the smaller towns during February and March, and with the full orchestra, comprised of 65 musicians, in the larger cities during April and May. During the 1955 season, the Little Symphony had played 30 programs for adults and 43 for children, while the full Symphony had played 17 concerts for adults and 22 for children, plus two special television programs. Officials of the orchestra estimated that the organization had provided free music to 150,000 children, plus 40,000 adults.

The Symphony had no permanent home of its own, nor any regular rehearsal hall, and other than a week of rehearsals preceding the tour of the Little Symphony and another week for the full orchestra, it spent its entire season on the road. They played in all types of auditoriums as they traveled across the state, in a tabernacle with a sawdust floor, heated in the winter by a potbellied stove, in Cape Hatteras, where the audience gathered in a dimly lit one-room schoolhouse, in Banner Elk in the mountains, where it played on a small stage in the town's only school, as well as in some very fine, modern halls.

They played standard works by such traditional composers as Beethoven, Brahms and Mozart, as well as contemporary pieces, bringing in distinguished soloists and giving opportunity to local virtuosos, holding auditions to find young, local musicians worthy of such feature.

He indicates that youngsters often showed delight after the performances by talking to the players and occasionally embracing them, one little girl having recently rushed to the stage and kissed the wife of the conductor, after she had played the celesta and served as narrator for children's programs, as well as kissing an instrumentalist whose playing had appealed to her. The child, it turned out, had the measles and Mrs. Swalin was infected.

Mr. Swalin had been a member of the Minneapolis Symphony before becoming conductor of the North Carolina Symphony, did not talk like a missionary, though he was entitled to feel as one. He believed in state, county and city subsidies and had helped to prove their effectiveness. The orchestra had even played for the Legislature at the State Capitol, not because of the State subsidy but for the pleasure of the legislators.

Drew Pearson indicates that it appeared that AT&T was succeeding G.M. as the company with the most inside lines into the Administration, with AT&T having three friendly commissioners on the FCC, which regulated telephone companies. It also had its former executives planted throughout the Government. He reminds that the column had already reported on how G.M. had increased its defense contracts by 1.7 million dollars under Secretary of Defense Charles E. Wilson, the former president of G.M., while other automobile companies had lost business. He now recounts AT&T's record of accomplishments and lists some of the Government personnel who had formerly been executives within the AT&T corporate conglomerate.

He relates that the untold story behind the negotiations which had headed off a strike at Ford Motor Co. related to UAW president Walter Reuther having argued against himself to spite a rival. He had been ready to order a strike on schedule at the point of the end of the current contract, but ran into opposition from the UAW executive board, which suggested postponement of the strike to negotiate on Ford's latest compromise offer regarding the guaranteed annual wage which UAW was seeking. Mr. Reuther had reluctantly agreed and the following morning put up some lukewarm arguments for a postponement of the strike before a meeting of the locals, resisted by a local leader who had fought Mr. Reuther inside the union, having run for vice-president of the UAW against Mr. Reuther's handpicked candidate. The local leader had won the argument over Mr. Reuther's halfhearted effort to delay the strike, and though the latter had privately favored an immediate strike, he did not like the idea of losing the argument to the local leader and so reopened the debate and fought furiously for the postponement he did not really want.

Doris Fleeson tells of the South accepting the trend toward Adlai Stevenson as the Democratic nominee again for the presidency in 1956, albeit without enthusiasm but with no focus for dissatisfaction, as no candidate or issue around which Southerners could gravitate had appeared.

Southern Democrats rated liberal and moderate shared the conservative coolness toward another bid for the presidency by Mr. Stevenson, finding that while the President had lost some popularity in the South, Mr. Stevenson had not gained any, having lost four Southern states in 1952. They appeared to be accepting of him, however, on the basis that the President would likely run again and win, and that there were no viable alternatives to Mr. Stevenson. Every time a Gallup poll appeared showing Senator Estes Kefauver of Tennessee running a fair second behind Mr. Stevenson for the nomination, Southern support in Congress for a Stevenson candidacy gained more ground, as the influential senior Democrats were still strongly against Senator Kefauver as the party nominee.

Governor Averell Harriman of New York, another alternative should Mr. Stevenson decide not to run, was equally unacceptable to that group as being too liberal.

Governor G. Mennen Williams of Michigan was also considered too liberal and his participation had not been forgotten in the effort to extract a loyalty oath to the party nominee from the convention delegates in 1952.

Moreover, Southern leaders in Congress were not completely unhappy with the thought of President Eisenhower continuing for another four years, as long as the Democrats remained in control of Congress. Those Southern Democrats had been substituting their political judgment for that of the President to a degree which would not be possible if he were a strong President who liked to run his own politics. They had also managed to save face for the White House and so the White House did not complain.

Ms. Fleeson cites the leadership in foreign policy by Senator Walter George of Georgia as one such example, as was the compromise on reciprocal trade which had been arranged by Senate Majority Leader Lyndon Johnson during a social gathering at the home of Senator Harry F. Byrd of Virginia.

She concludes that under a determined Democratic president, with a fresh mandate from the people, the senior Southern Democrats in Congress would have much less to say about what should be done than they were presently having under the Republican President, who insisted upon getting along with Congress.

Joseph Alsop forms his column this date as an open letter to General Joseph M. Swing, Immigration & Naturalization Service commissioner, on behalf of a friend, Lung Shun-wen, who had been ordered deported based on the position of his father, vice-chairman of the National Military Council of the Chinese Communist Government. He tells of the father, Governor Lung Yun, and the history of the family, whom he says he had once known very well while working for General Claire Chennault in the 14th Air Force during World War II. At that time, Governor Lung was the last survivor of the "true race of Chinese warlords". He had made a lot of money and probably owned a substantial percentage of the good farmland in Yunnan Province. In 1945, Generalissimo Chiang Kai-shek sent his troops to break Governor Lung's power, finding in the process a private gold reserve stashed in a cave in the hills. That, for all intents and purposes, ended Governor Lung's life, with Chiang having placed him under house arrest. He had escaped to Hong Kong on one of General Chennault's planes, while disguised as an old woman.

Following the defeat of Chiang and his relegation to Formosa, former Governor Lung was promised a lot of things by the Communists and therefore returned to China to become one of its puppets. He did not understand the Communists, believing that he would be restored to power over his native province, instead being placed under house arrest again, having conferred on him an empty title which was intended to encourage turncoats against Formosa.

Thus, Mr. Alsop indicates, there was nothing about which to worry regarding his son. Moreover, the younger generation in the family had behaved very differently from the old man. One of the Lung brothers, he relates, had been an anti-Communist guerrilla leader in Southwest China until the Communist Government caught him and killed him. All of the other brothers were refugees, the eldest having escaped the mainland only recently, welcomed in Formosa by Chiang.

He assures that very few young men could make the transition which his young friend had made, from being a 20-year old lieutenant colonel and the son of one of the richest men in the world, to obtaining his living in a strange land, finishing college in the U.S. despite his allowance having ended in 1949. He had gotten along well since that time, operating a Chinese restaurant in Washington, and Mr. Alsop suggests that he was the type of citizen which the U.S. should welcome. He thus hopes that the I.N.S. commissioner would put away his computer punch-cards and re-examine the case as a human problem. "Even when you achieve 200 percent Americanism, like [State Department security head] Mr. Scott McLeod, it is very unwise to forget that human problems really matter a lot."

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