The Charlotte News

Friday, July 1, 1955


Site Ed. Note: The front page reports that the Senate Appropriations Committee this date had voted to deny an appropriation for a power line to link the proposed Dixon-Yates plant with the TVA system, provided that the city of Memphis would take definite action within 90 days to build its own power plant. The previous night, the President had ordered that a new study be conducted to determine whether "to continue or to cancel the Dixon-Yates contract", in light of the decision by Memphis to build its own plant. Congressional critics of the project had hailed the developments as signaling that they were winning the battle to block the contract. But Edgar Dixon, one of the leaders of the Dixon-Yates utility combine, said that construction on the power plant would move ahead, that they still had a contract with the Atomic Energy Commission, calling for completion of the first unit of the plant by August, 1957. The contract called for construction of a 107 million dollar private power plant in West Memphis, Ark., a contract which the AEC, which received its power from the TVA, had signed. The general argument for the contract was that the private plant would deliver to TVA replacement power for the power which the AEC had used in other atomic plants, in Oak Ridge, Tenn., and at Paducah, Ky. Memphis presently bought power from TVA, and the Dixon-Yates power would substitute for it.

The House was again considering this date the President's military reserve program, with leaders predicting that a measure, designed to encourage a million teenagers to volunteer during the ensuing four years for a planned reserve force of 2.9 million men, would pass. Over a month earlier, the House had adopted an anti-segregation rider to the measure, causing House leaders to withdraw the bill to avert its possible defeat. Earlier in the month, after repeated encouragement by the President, the House Armed Services Committee had developed a new bill designed to skirt the segregation issue and other sources of contention. It retained a key provision aimed at enforcing reserve duty requirements and would authorize the recall for 45 days to service of any reservists who failed to keep up their prescribed training program. Representative Adam Clayton Powell of New York, who had proposed the anti-segregation rider, stated that he would use every parliamentary device which he could to try to write into the new bill a provision to bar racial segregation in the National Guard. He conceded, however, that he had lost support since successfully attaching the rider to the original bill the previous month. The new bill would authorize the Pentagon to accept each year up to 250,000 volunteers under the age of 18 1/2, who would serve for 7 1/2 years in the active reserves in lieu of two years of active duty pursuant to the draft. Secretary of Defense Charles E. Wilson would prepare regulations to cover that special group, which were expected to include a requirement that the reservists take six months of intensive training. The bill, however, did not specify a particular training period and had faced attack as a result from some members of the House, objecting that it provided military officials with too much discretion to determine the training regimen.

In Pittsburgh, U.S. Steel Corp. and the United Steelworkers this date agreed to a 15-cent plus average hourly wage increase, ending the shortest nationwide strike in the steel industry's history, having begun on Wednesday at midnight. Union president David McDonald had personally negotiated the agreement in talks which had lasted nearly all night with John Stephens, vice-president and chief negotiator for the company. Other major steel firms were expected to fall in line with a similar settlement. It was anticipated that the industry would be back in full operation by the following Tuesday morning, after the holiday weekend.

In Washington, thousands of Government workers were forced to ride in automobiles or walk to their jobs this date after a strike of bus and streetcar operators had paralyzed the capital's main transit system, following a walk-out of 2,400 drivers just after midnight, called by the Transit Workers Union, following failure of last ditch negotiations with Capital Transit Co. officials, despite Federal mediation services having assisted the negotiations. The union wanted arbitration of its demands for a 25-cents per hour wage increase and other contract improvements, but the company had refused to consider arbitration, saying it could not grant higher pay unless it received approval of a fare increase and obtained tax relief. The operators presently made an average of $1.90 per hour.

In Point of the Mountain, Utah, a San Francisco man, 25, convicted of murdering a Salt Lake City police officer in May, 1951, had been executed at sunrise this date before a firing squad, continuing to claim to the end that he was innocent. The murdered officer had arrested the man and a female companion for investigation of a motel robbery which had occurred in Ogden. The man was said by observers to be calm but nervous as he was strapped into the execution chair. His last words were that he was innocent and bore no malice toward anyone. Per protocol, four of the five guns had live bullets and one had a blank. All four live rounds struck the man's heart.

In Lisbon, eight jet planes had crashed this date while en route to a military air show at Coimbra, Portugal, after encountering thick fog, apparently running into a mountain, killing all eight pilots. They were part of a squadron of 12 planes scheduled to perform in the air show. The commander of the squadron had landed safely, said that they had been flying in three formations, one above the other, that he had been in the top group, and that the two bottom groups had not been able to see the mountain because of the fog layer.

In Charlotte, a piece of plywood had gone sailing through the air, causing an 18-year old youth to fall from the back of a pickup truck during the morning, as the youth had been holding onto the piece of plywood at the time. Police said that the wind had blown underneath the plywood, causing it and the youth to go sailing out of the truck onto the pavement, causing him head and leg injuries.

Also in Charlotte, four Soap Box Derby cars were reported stolen, according to the police, with one having been recovered, after the cars had been left at the bottom of the Hawthorne Lane Extension track following the race the previous Wednesday. The racers had gone to a prize banquet at the General Motors Training Center after the race and when they returned, found their cars missing. The car which had been recovered was damaged. The boys needed the cars for parts for the race the following year, and police were asking for information about the thefts. When they find those thieves, they should be strung up immediately without a trial. That's what they did to horse rustlers in the wild West, after all.

Julian Scheer of The News reports from Monroe that Union County residents had voted on June 7 for imposition of a tax which would cost them a maximum of a nickel per $100 of property valuation, amounting to as much as $16,000 annually, to promote and "sell" Union County to prospective manufacturing firms. The tax had been dreamed up by Dr. Paul Helms, an optometrist and former president of the Monroe Chamber of Commerce, and had received much of its support from the Chamber. At the urging of the Chamber, State Representative Henry Hall Wilson had drawn up a bill the prior January, which had passed the General Assembly as a local measure, authorizing the tax referendum. Citizens of the community had been increasingly alarmed in recent years concerning the state of industry in the county, with estimates being that 1,600 citizens of the county were leaving every day to work for Cannon Mills in Kannapolis, N.C., the Celanese Corporation in Rock Hill, S.C., or Springs Mills in Lancaster and Fort Mill, S.C., with many, therefore, spending money outside the county. Only 22 percent of recent high school graduates in Monroe were continuing on to higher education, leaving 78 percent of the graduates to seek jobs which were not available at present in the county. It was not a poor county, despite a low property valuation, but many of its citizens farmed and performed other work at the same time. Thus, the tax was designed to bring industry to the county and create jobs at home.

A late bulletin from New York indicates that Rocky Marciano and Archie Moore had agreed to a heavyweight title fight on September 20 in Yankee Stadium, with potentially a million-dollar gate.

It had been determined that the contest developed by News reporter Julian Scheer to award prizes to the child ten years of age or under who had the most freckles and to the child with the best single freckle, would be judged by musician Arthur Smith, Mayor Philip Van Every and News sports editor Bob Quincy. If you can play "Guitar Boogie", in addition to having freckles, then you probably should be due an extra prize, maybe a ticket to the heavyweight match, as long as you can get there on your own, perhaps bumming a ride with your guitar skills.

On the editorial page, "The Court & the Right To Move Ahead" indicates that the D.C. Court of Appeals had decided the previous week that there was a right to have a passport, that it was not simply a privilege, and that therefore the State Department could not arbitrarily interfere with that right.

It finds it to be a victory for individual liberties at a time when such liberties were being threatened and many times denied, "by hysteria and suspicion" attendant the issue of internal security. By implication, the Court had also frowned on the increasing influence of the Attorney General's list of "subversive" organizations, expanding into areas far removed from its original purpose.

The Court had determined that the State Department could not deny a passport to a citizen merely because he headed an organization which was on the subversive list, with the judges finding that the list had been established to determine only the suitability of prospective Federal employees, not the issuance of passports. Chief Judge Henry Edgerton, in a separate concurrence, finding the right of international travel to be as fundamental under the Fourteenth Amendment as the right of interstate travel, said that lack of fitness to work for the Government did not support the conclusion that a person was not fit to go to Europe. The Court's opinion, also founded on the right to travel and substantive due process, did not invade the Department's proper exercise of discretionary power in granting passports, but required it to grant the passport in the instant case, stating that the Department, to accord due process, had to base its decisions on legitimate reasons and not arbitrarily deny passports, emphasizing that its exercise of discretion was subject to judicial review. For it properly to exercise its discretion, it had to have substantial evidence that security would be endangered by permitting a citizen to travel abroad, and held that the mere administrative listing of either an individual or an organization as "subversive" did not constitute such substantial evidence.

It concludes that the decision was a warning to politicians that they should not assume that they could trifle with the rights of a citizen, finding it a timely warning, one which ought be heeded.

Query whether, to be consistent, Justice Clarence Thomas's recent concurrence in 2022 in Dobbs v. Jackson, in which the majority of the Supreme Court overruled Roe v. Wade, the first time in the nation's history that the Supreme Court has reversed a longstanding precedent in restriction of an individual liberty interest, would perforce include the substantive due process rights associated with the right to travel abroad as part of his list of cases which he asserted should be revisited in the realm of substantive due process, at least relating to the right of privacy, as recognized by Griswold v. Connecticut in 1965, a right inherent in the Constitution since the Founding, as implicit in the First Amendment, the Fourth Amendment, the Third Amendment, and the Fifth Amendment, thus embraced as a "penumbral right" by the Ninth Amendment, providing that the expressed rights were not meant to preclude other rights retained by the people.

Faulty legal reasoning, tainted intrusively by political and emotional, religious bias, obfuscating legal clarity and objectivity, can be exposed by comparative legal analysis of other contexts not so freighted currently with such baggage and associated emotion, though, of course, the fear of "subversion" in earlier times has persisted in different forms in more recent years, even after the end of the Cold War, with domestic and international "terrorism" replacing Communism as the chief perceived threat to internal security. Should religious fervor possessed in such degree by a minority of the people as to be directed at derogation of certain previously recognized constitutional rights and liberties of the people, be allowed to impinge on those liberties to curtail previously recognized rights, which, in train, could be extended in the future far beyond the context of a particular case? The obvious answer demonstrates why the Supreme Court has, always through our history, prior to it being broken by McConnell's unprecedented overreaching politically of the natural balancing process provided by the Constitution, in stacking the Court in 2016-17 and again in 2020, demonstrated the wisdom only to expand individual rights, never before to curtail them. Once that starts, where does it end? Is the Court, not unlike the squadron of 12 jets flying to the air show in Portugal this date, now so divided that two-thirds of their number are headed, ineluctably, for the mountain in a low-hanging fog?

We suppose, parenthetically, that since McConnell's grasping to such an extent has us all now living subject to the whim and fancy of the majority of Kentucky voters, to the exclusion of the rest of the nation, it somehow does make about as much sense to have UCLA and USC join the Midwestern-based Big Ten. Louisville, meanwhile, ought join its more geographically aligned SEC and Notre Dame basketball ought join the Big Ten—although, should they bolt the ACC, it would not be surprising to see them in the Pac 12 or 10 or whatever it is these days. But enough on pig Latin...

"Douglas—Big Man for a Big Job" indicates that former Charlotte Mayor Ben Douglas was not going to leave his post as director of the State Department of Conservation & Development, which it regards as good news as he was doing a good job, encouraging diversified industry to come to North Carolina. He had held the post for two years and the prospects of new industry coming to the state were steadily increasing, along with his reputation. It indicates that the job required someone with energy and a North Carolina personality, which Mr. Douglas had, and it is glad that he was remaining on the job.

"Rules for a Safe and Sane Fourth" provides some safe driving tips for the Fourth of July weekend, to last 72 hours, and, unfortunately, if holding true to form, it ventures, would see its share of tragedy on the streets and highways of the nation.

It suggests, to avoid being part of one of those tragedies, driving ten miles per hour below the driver's normal speed, to afford more time to react in an emergency, starting on a trip in plenty of time to avoid having to hurry to the destination, remaining alert, not competing with the other drivers on the road, passing other cars only one at a time and with a clear margin of safety, not changing lanes without looking, slowing down at sundown so that the driver could stop within the range of the automobile's headlights, and avoiding driving while sleepy or tired.

It urges, in sum, that the rules were to be cautious and drive with moderation.

A piece from the New Orleans States, titled "Southern Yeast in Education", indicates that in 1949, the Southern states had undertaken a task of educational pioneering which in some sections had elicited modulated hoots at how the backward South could blaze any trails in education. But it had, and that fall, scores of Southern students, who could not obtain specialized training in their home states, had gone to universities in other Southern states, benefiting from the first regional education program in the nation. Because Florida did not have a medical school, students from Florida enrolled at Tulane in New Orleans, and because Louisiana did not have a school of veterinary medicine, students wanting to attend veterinary school had gone to Auburn in Alabama, and in like manner, students from Mississippi studied dentistry at Loyola of New Orleans, with many others Southern students having gone to universities offering professional courses which were not available in their home states.

States had extended financial support to other states to establish those regional schools. For instance, Mississippi had agreed to pay $1,500 per year per student for its quota of enrollees at Loyola. Such a pooling of educational resources had helped the region obtain maximum value for its dollars invested in higher education. From that compact had developed the seeds for such a program for the entire nation, such that 45 states had now tied into a regional educational program or were in various stages of entering such arrangements. A Western compact had been arranged in 1953, including nine states, closely patterned on the Southern compact. New England and the Midwestern states were also in the process of forming their own regional compacts.

It concludes that the South, in meeting its own regional demands for education, had developed a program which was now catching on across the entire country.

Drew Pearson indicates that Soviet Foreign Minister V. M. Molotov had stirred national indignation when he refused to submit to free questioning on "Face the Nation" on CBS the previous week. But unknown to the public, HEW Secretary Oveta Culp Hobby had done the same thing and had almost gotten away with it, having given reporters a prepared script, telling them what questions she wanted asked, before she would agree to an interview on the Mutual Broadcasting System radio program, "Reporters' Roundup", by veteran newsmen Jim Lucas of Scripps-Howard and Clark Mollenhoff of the Des Moines Register and Tribune, having sent the script and the ultimatum at the last minute. The two newsmen rejected the ultimatum and instead stated to Secretary Hobby that if she refused to submit to free questioning, they would announce it over the air and interview instead Oregon Senator Wayne Morse, her severest critic. The Secretary had thought the matter over briefly and decided to abandon the prepared script and show up for the interview.

Mr. Pearson indicates that she may have regretted it afterward, for she had made her famous gaff during the program, that the Salk vaccine program had not been mishandled, but that whatever had occurred was the fault of Surgeon General Leonard Scheele.

He notes that after Mr. Molotov had refused to face free questioning, CBS vice-president Sig Mickelson had announced: "The right of free questioning by the press and free and open discussion is the cornerstone of international understanding." Mr. Pearson indicates that Washington correspondents would say the same about domestic understanding, but that too many Administration officials, such as Secretary Hobby, had adopted the philosophy that the Government knew best what the public should be told.

He indicates that the real victor, when the Justice Department had decided to drop the case of perjury against Owen Lattimore, had been former Judge Thurman Arnold and his two associates, future Supreme Court Justice Abe Fortas and Paul Porter, forming the law firm which had taken the case of Dr. Peters to the Supreme Court, had defended Dorothy Bailey and Mr. Lattimore, having done more than any other three lawyers to fight for civil liberties. They also had on the Lattimore case Senator Joseph O'Mahoney of Wyoming. They had taken no fees in any of the cases and had to pay the expense of appeals in the Lattimore case. He notes that the Lattimore case had originally been brought during the final month of the Truman Administration by retiring Attorney General James McGranery, as a result of a pledge he had given the late Senator Pat McCarran of Nevada, that if confirmed by the Senate, he would prosecute Mr. Lattimore. Senator McCarran had then been chairman of the Judiciary Committee and had held protracted closed-door hearings in which Mr. Lattimore had been cross-examined for days at a time. Mr. Pearson indicates that the alleged perjury was based on his failure of memory more than anything else, as he had testified regarding his use of Laughlin Curry's office and the answering of certain mail some ten years earlier.

Assistants to former President Hoover were doing more than making recommendations regarding the reorganization of the Government, as recently his research director, Harold Metz, had sat in on the Government Operations Committee, handing up slips of paper to Congressmen Clarence Brown of Ohio and Charles Jonas of North Carolina, the two being the only ones asking critical questions about the Rural Electrification Commission. Former President Hoover hated public power or anything close to it and had recommended gutting the REA.

Stewart Alsop, in Moscow, tries to answer what Russia was really like in 1955, tells of the best answer being that it was whatever one wanted it to be. If one were a pro-Communist, the report could be made with enthusiasm and unchallengeable accuracy that Moscow had broad streets which were maintained scrupulously clean and lined with handsome buildings, that the people appeared relatively well-fed and clothed, that the standard of living had risen continuously since the end of the war. Industrial production was increasing at a greater percentage rate than in the U.S. and the Soviets had achieved great technological advancement, notably in such fields as nuclear energy and jet propulsion.

One could also point to great artistic achievements, such as the Moscow ballet. One could even report that the Soviet people felt a greater sense of personal security than they had in years.

But if one were not a "progressive", and was rather a "decadent bourgeois", one could complain of the absence of such small luxuries as slender, attractive women, an absence of good food and pleasant surroundings. On a much deeper level, there were shantytowns which reminded of the American South during the 1930's, with unpaved streets, hand pumps and sagging walls, wooden villages out of place within the great metropolis. There were also close-packed, shoving crowds within every store and market, shopping for goods at inflated prices which, nevertheless, attracted the crowds of shoppers.

Mr. Alsop had driven from the airport in to Leningrad, upon arriving in Russia, and suddenly realized how wide the gulf was between ordinary American life and that of Russians, that instead of suburbia, one found clumps of apartment houses for workers, "hideous but functional", and instead of heavy traffic, there was an unceasing flow of people on broad streets, "purposeful, industrious, antlike." It presented itself as a system completely alien from anything to which the Westerner was habituated.

Nevertheless, there was no sense of fear for the visiting foreigner, but there was a kind of self-righteous uniformity and lack of open speech. The system, however, did work to increase industrial production while feeding and clothing the people adequately by their standards. "To the 'decadent bourgeois' way of life, the life of the lawn mower and the open air movie, the Fifth Amendment and the right of dissent, it represents a greater challenge than this reporter had realized before."

James Street, Jr., edits a portion of his late father's South, indicating that different parts of the modern South shared little in common, except that there was an assumption that they had all fought together within the Civil War and had lost together. It seldom failed that when two Southerners met abroad, they would talk about everything except the Civil War, about Southern food, Southern music, Southern drinks, Southern football, Southern girls, Southern books, fishing and hunting, "and wind up in a hollering argument over the Negro question. But let a Northerner join them and up pops the Civil War."

A letter from J. R. Cherry, Jr., comments on the newspaper's article on the editorial page regarding Bryant Bowles, NAAWP head, and wants to point out several aspects of the subject which the newspaper had not deemed pertinent to analyze or investigate. The piece had quoted Mr. Bowles or his publication as alleging that Jews constituted the real power behind the NAACP, Mr. Cherry finding that Mr. Bowles had presented his answers candidly to questions as to the facts of that claim and how it had come about, and asks whether the newspaper had answers to the contrary. He thinks that the piece was designed to discredit Mr. Bowles and his organization's stated objective, to maintain segregation in the public schools, which Mr. Cherry believes was a worthy goal. He finds that the piece had naïvely dispensed with disputing his allegations, and he goes on to try to bolster the allegations of Mr. Bowles. If you wish to waste your time reading further Mr. Cherry's typically absurd comments, you may. We have better things to do. He concludes, after asserting that "anti-ism" was here to stay as a "sublimely natural" phenomenon, and that any "political, social, religious or economic philosophy" which advocated the changing of man in violation of that "natural law of the universe", was "as nutty as a fruit cake": "Indeed, change is not only impossible of democratic execution, but amounts to nothing less than pure undiluted 'one world, one people, one culture, one tyranny'—COMMUNISM."

Any form of democratic change, we take it, is tantamount to Communism. The Founders, therefore, who provided for change in the Constitution through the amendment process, were as nutty as fruitcakes. He appears to favor a fixed system, determined by fiat pronounced by regional or state majority will, independent of the nation, and, where appropriate to have only local will, even of the state, private fiefdoms.

A Pome appears from the Atlanta Journal, "In Which A Small Comment Is Made Concerning A Facet Of Large Social Functions:

"Let us all eschew a party
If the racket is too hearty."

But if the racket is of McCarthy,
Let us make the louder noise tarty.

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