The Charlotte News

Monday, July 18, 1955


Site Ed. Note: The front page reports from Geneva at the Big Four summit conference starting this date that the President and Georgi Zhukov, Soviet Defense Minister, had greeted each other warmly, but that Communist Party Secretary Nikita Khrushchev had soon taken over the conversation. Mr. Zhukov was talking with the President for the first time since 1945 when the two had been close friends, but soon Mr. Khrushchev interrupted, grabbing the President's hand, saying that his daughter was getting married in Russia during the week and that he supposed he should have remained for the ceremony but had not as he wanted to come to Geneva to meet the President. The conversation was described by a member of the U.S. delegation. White House press secretary James Hagerty said that the President and Mr. Zhukov "had a very enthusiastic meeting." The President had also shaken hands with Premier Nikolai Bulganin and then with Mr. Khrushchev, then Foreign Minister V. M. Molotov, after which there was the "very enthusiastic meeting" with Mr. Zhukov. The President would host a dinner this night for members of the Russian delegation.

At the opening of the summit conference, the Big Three Western powers placed before the Soviets a series of new proposals for European security, based on a reunified Germany. They advanced separate ideas as to how Russia could be safeguarded against a united and rearmed Germany, with British Prime Minister Anthony Eden proposing that the Big Four seek agreement on arms ceilings for Germany and neighboring countries, with the four powers joining in a system of control to prevent violations. Members of the U.S. delegation were concerned about some of the proposals made by French Premier Edgar Faure in his speech, and informed sources said that the U.S. would not be bound by them to the extent it had not already approved them. Those included a proposal that arms reductions be controlled in the national budgets of the Big Four and that Germany would be included in a general European security organization. The President said that the West would agree to consider new guarantees for the Soviets, provided Russia would go along with German reunification. He called for an end of the "dreary exercises" of the Cold War and urged East-West negotiations toward establishing a unified Germany. He put forth a six-point program of action, aimed at ending the dangers of atomic war and ending the iron curtains all over the world. He called for a reduction of the burden of costly armaments and at the same time urged cessation of the subversive activities of international Communism. He said that the savings in arms would flow to the least developed areas of the world to assist their economic development. He believed that while reunification of Germany ought be a top priority of the summit meeting, there had to be proper safeguards for Russia's "legitimate security interest" before that could occur. He did not make specific proposals regarding European security, but stated that the U.S. would be willing to consider additional safeguards, provided Russia thought it would be threatened by a reunited Germany.

In Richmond, Prince Edward County and the Commonwealth of Virginia this date asked a special three-judge panel of the Federal District Court to authorize continued operation of racially segregated schools in that county for another year. The proposed decree offered by the State and the County would have the court continue the case and direct the County school board to report by August 1, 1956 on progress made to abide by the Supreme Court's implementing decision in Brown v. Board of Education, issued the prior May 31, the Prince Edward County school district having been one of the four state school districts involved directly in the case. County officials had stated in affidavits that they could not immediately integrate their schools because it would be impossible to make the changes necessary in state law to permit integrated schools by September of the current year and because the board of supervisors had not appropriated the necessary funds for school operations. Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals Judge Armistead Dobie asked the representatives of the black pupils, Spotswood Robinson III of the NAACP, whether they had any proposed decree to offer, and he responded that they did not. Both sides then argued the matter before the court.

In Milford, Del., Bryant Bowles resigned as NAAWP head the previous day, citing lack of interest in the pro-segregation organization he had helped to found. He told a crowd estimated at between 250 and 300 people at a local airport that he did not feel like helping people who did not try to help themselves. The prior fall, he had led a successful fight to prevent integration of black pupils at all-white schools in Milford. He now stated that he would return to his home in Florida. The Delaware Board of Education had been ordered to submit plans for integration of students by August 15, following the May 31 implementing decision in Brown, ordering that the schools be desegregated "with all deliberate speed", Delaware having been one of the four states directly involved in the decision. A postscript to the story indicates that Charlotte was one of the areas showing little interest in the organization, as Mr. Bowles had told The News the previous week that there was a lack of interest in the city, that a rally three weeks earlier had turned out only 200 people at Memorial Stadium, Mr. Bowles having come to Charlotte after receiving encouragement from some local citizens. A local supporter said the previous week that a meeting would be held in Charlotte this night to organize a local version of the organization, but that it would not be associated with the NAAWP.

In London, Soviet clergymen formally invited four prominent American Baptist ministers to visit Russia the ensuing month to preach all over the country. All four were Baptist ministers. They planned to depart on August 4 to stay in the Soviet Union for two weeks, indicating that it was a wonderful opportunity to go to Russia and meet their Baptist brethren there. The Soviet head of a nine-member Russian Baptist delegation to the Golden Jubilee Congress of the Baptist World Alliance presently in session in London, and president of the All-Union Council of Evangelical Christian Baptists of Russia, had formally extended the invitation. He said that the ministers would be free to preach anywhere and to say anything they wished throughout the country.

In Columbia, S.C., warrants of arrest charged the former State Insurance Commission chairman Pat Murphy and two insurance men with conspiracy to defraud a life insurance company while Mr. Murphy had been in office. The president of the company, Lester Bates, had sold the firm to a Chicago insurance company for an unannounced price after he had lost in the gubernatorial election to George Bell Timmerman, Jr., who criticized Mr. Bates for mismanagement of the company, as revealed in Insurance Commission reports. The warrants alleged that the sale had been for a million dollars less than that originally offered and less than it was worth.

In Fayetteville, N.C., Cumberland County voters, in a special election the prior Saturday, had defeated a proposal to levy a nickel tax increase for the support of a black public library.

In Charlotte, speculation among health authorities indicated that city and county schools would be reopened shortly so that polio inoculations could be resumed after the suspension of the program on June 27 because of questions having arisen about the safety of the vaccine, which had since been resolved. New supplies of the vaccine had been received in Charlotte, the same vaccine supply which had been used without adverse effects in South Carolina, Alabama, Florida and Georgia, among other states. The new supply would enable first and second-graders, the most vulnerable group, to receive their second shots, after they had undergone the first round of shots. No first shots would be administered to the group who missed their inoculation the first time, according to the City-County health officer. He said that private doctors in the community did not have supplies of the vaccine.

Charles Kuralt of The News, in the first of a series of articles, indicates that at age 65, the Census Bureau reclassified people from "middle-aged" to "aged". It could result in retirement and a pension in an easy-chair or "blind, strangling frustration" in search for a job. It could mean illness, poverty and slow death, almost certainly meant loneliness. It ought be an age, Mr. Kuralt ventures, at which there could be new development, broader self-expression and family life, with continued social usefulness, but hardly ever did in a nation where youth was idolized. The aged were crowded out of the public eye by movie starlets and baseball players. The group over 65 increased by 900 Americans every day, with a net increase of 300,000 such people added to the U.S. population every year. In Mecklenburg County, every day saw a new person over 65 added to the population. It was one of the least known and most important social and economic factors of the mid-20th Century in the country. In North Carolina, the aged population had multiplied far slower than in most of the country. In 1930, there had been 115,671 people over 65, 3.7 percent of the state's population, while by 1950, the figure had increased to 225,297, 5.6 percent of the population, and was presently higher. Nationally, more than 12 million such people, or 8 percent of the population, were over 65, and by 1975, it was estimated that there would be over 21 million such people, with a rise to between 12 and 13 percent of the entire population. The Social Security and Public Welfare of Mecklenburg County would pay out an additional three million dollars in benefits in the current year under just two of the financial programs for the aged, Old Age and Survivors Insurance and Old Age Assistance to the needy. There was additional funding necessary to supplement about $175,000 per year for upkeep of the County Home and then undeterminable costs of employment service help for the aged, payments to Mecklenburg's 11 nursing homes, the work of charities, hospitalization and the personal costs of the independent aged and those in households, adding many thousands of dollars to the base figure. A long-time decline in the national birth rate and a more recent decline in the death rate, particularly at younger ages, were the primary factors involved in the increase of the older population.

Julian Scheer of The News indicates that a South Carolina liquor tax official had stated this date that his agents were presently operating along the North Carolina-South Carolina border and were searching automobiles for North Carolina whiskey without search warrants, the result of the recent policy determination of increased enforcement of violators who brought cheaper liquor from other states into South Carolina without the required tax stamp, causing the state to lose substantial revenue. The official said that his men could and did stop vehicles without a warrant, conducted searches, and that if the offending contraband was discovered, the carrier could be fined at the discretion of the local magistrate by up to $100 plus court costs. Contraband included out-of-state cigarettes.

A high of approximately 100 degrees was predicted for the afternoon in Charlotte, after it had reached 95 by noon. The previous day's humidity was 43 percent when the sun was at the height of its power, which was considered average humidity for the time of year. It was the 13th day that the temperature had topped 90 during July.

On the editorial page, "North Carolina Needs Locally Owned Small Industries for Healthy Growth" indicates that Governor Luther Hodges had stated that in the eagerness to attract outside manufacturing plants and accompanying payrolls to the state, they had often neglected industries owned, managed and operated by citizens of the community.

It suggests that the state had done an excellent job of luring Northern firms and Northern capital into the state, a result of which was new industry increasing everywhere. Yet, capital either had not been available or there was a reluctance to invest in the development of North Carolina industry.

The problem had long troubled former Mayor Ben Douglas of Charlotte, director of the State Department of Conservation & Development, and he had developed some practical suggestions for plugging the gap, as contained in a new Guide for Community Development of Small Industries, prepared by the small industries section of the Department's commerce and industry division. It proceeds to summarize those suggestions and indicates that it was time for North Carolina capital to get into the act, that too much of the money put into the South's postwar "industrial revolution" had been Northern money, as driven home a year or so earlier by Vermont Royster, a native of North Carolina who was the senior associate editor of the Wall Street Journal, from whom it quotes, that the South could not escape its colonial status until it controlled its industrial growth and received full profits from it so that those profits in turn could be invested in Southern development and not disappear into the Western areas. That meant, according to Mr. Royster, the development of Southern capital markets, a system through which Southern capital could be put together and made available to Southern industry.

It concludes that the state had made a start in that direction, with its Business Development Corporation and its new Small Industries Plan, and that the importance of those efforts could not be underestimated, all being vital to the future of the state and all deserving encouragement.

"Morton's Mountain: Now Is the Time" indicates that in the era of Federally owned matter of various types, it was refreshing to find that a man could own a mountain, as Hugh Morton owned Grandfather Mountain in the western part of the state.

Mr. Morton was steadfastly resisting the attempts of the State Highway Commission and the Federal Government to take 1,100 acres of the mountain by eminent domain to establish a new link in the Blue Ridge Parkway system. The Commission would purchase the land and then give it to the National Park Service.

While it finds those efforts laudatory, and it believes that the Parkway ought be completed, it sides with Mr. Morton as he fought off the invaders to his park which he opened for tourists to explore. It indicates that there was another route from Blowing Rock to Beacon Heights which was the most logical and most scenic, and that Grandfather ought be left alone. It also likes the fact that one man was standing up for his mountain and suggests that he ought be left alone to do with it what he wanted.

"Church Schools: Facts and Philosophy" indicates that the subject of church-supported schools had been in the news the previous week with the North Carolina Presbyterian Synod having met at Barium Springs to discuss merger of three of the seven colleges which they supported in the state. They had been guided in their deliberations by a study prepared by a group of prominent American educators. In the first chapter of that study was a searching commentary on the origins, growth, purposes and influence of church-supported schools across the nation. It contained a wealth of little-known and inspiring facts about the roles of the churches in training youth, some of which it proceeds to quote at length.

It concludes that the contributions and philosophy of church-supported colleges ought be more widely known and that a fine introduction was to be found in the chapter from which it had quoted. It concludes that if the Presbyterians distributed that chapter in their drive to raise three million dollars to support their projected new four-year coeducational institution, formed from the merger of three other existing institutions, they would have gone a long way toward getting the support which their efforts deserved.

Drew Pearson indicates that when the President had met the Congressional leaders in Washington just before his departure for the Geneva Big Four summit conference starting this date, he had provided absolute assurances that he would not discuss the Far East with Russian Premier Nikolai Bulganin, telling the Congressional leaders that it would not be fair to Nationalist China and other Asiatic nations which would not be present at the conference. Mr. Pearson relates, however, of there being in secret quarters just outside Paris 15 of the State Department's top experts on Asia and Africa, having been sent in case the President had to yield to the Soviets and discuss Far Eastern problems. One reason for sending the 15 experts was that a private warning had been issued by the Communist Chinese, via the Indian Government, that Communist China would begin its long-expected attack on the offshore islands of Quemoy and Matsu immediately after the Geneva conference, unless the U.S. agreed to meet with Communist Chinese Premier Chou En-lai to discuss the problems of the Far East. That threat amounted to diplomatic blackmail, and U.S. intelligence had checked the message sent by the Indian Government and found it to be accurate.

The Chinese had built up long-range artillery and excellent airbases just opposite the offshore islands and were prepared to decimate them. Thus, the President's advisers suggested that it might be better to sit down with the Chinese in advance rather than run a dangerous risk that a war might develop around Formosa. Mr. Pearson thus regards it as being certain that, despite the President's pledges to Senator William Knowland and others before departure for the conference, the Far East would be discussed at Geneva.

Secretary of State Dulles would be observing the President closely at the conference as he wanted no mistakes to mar the united front, such as his own and that of the President when they had recently made directly contrary statements that Russia was weak and that Russia was strong. The Secretary spoke with private pride about the President, as a tutor who had trained a young charge in foreign affairs, describing the President as exuding optimism which he felt in his gut. Mr. Pearson indicates that there was no doubt that the President had increasingly felt optimistic about his ability to talk, charm and negotiate with Premier Bulganin, convincing him to ease the tensions of the Cold War. And Secretary Dulles, who, a month earlier, had been quite glum about the prospect of any accomplishment at the summit conference, now was also feeling much more optimistic. The primary reason for the change of the attitude of the Secretary had come from his talks in San Francisco, at the tenth anniversary celebration of the founding of the U.N., with Foreign Minister V. M. Molotov, who had not been his usual crusty self while in San Francisco, appearing almost pathetically eager to come to an understanding with the U.S. He had talked of nothing other than the absolute necessity of getting along as a friend of the U.S.

Congressional Quarterly discusses whether the value of a political endorsement by the merged AFL and CIO would increase after merger, stating that no one could predict the answer and whether such an endorsement would help or hinder the endorsed candidate, the piece finding that it would probably do both but in different degrees depending on the particular community.

Most candidates who courted labor were very appreciative of the endorsement. For instance, Senator Pat McNamara of Michigan, who had obtained an upset victory the prior November over veteran incumbent Senator Homer Ferguson, had told the Quarterly that "labor was the dominant force" in his election. Mr. McNamara had been, for many years, president of a Pipe Fitters Union local, and in 1934, had served as the first state president of what became the UAW, but believed that he had obtained a pro-McNamara vote in labor-oriented Michigan rather than merely an anti-Ferguson vote. He believed he had received his strongest support from the AFL building trades unions, though the CIO also had done a tremendous job in getting voters to register and turn out both in Detroit and upstate. According to the Quarterly's analysis of 1954 election spending, labor unions had contributed $11,000 to Mr. McNamara's campaign, though they had spent a great deal more than they might have were they required to report under the Federal law as it was now written.

Senator Hubert Humphrey of Minnesota had also given labor much of the credit for his 1954 re-election by the highest vote ever cast for a Senator in Minnesota. Senator Humphrey had said that the largest turnout in the state had been in the iron country of northern Minnesota and in St. Paul. Labor spending in the Humphrey campaign, as reported to Congress, had been $18,750.

Both Senators Humphrey and McNamara had stressed farm and labor issues during their campaigns and the two agreed that there was and should be "a natural alliance" between labor and farmers. In Minnesota, the Democratic Party had for years been known officially as the Democratic-Farmer-Labor Party. Senator McNamara said that in Michigan, many industrial workers had grown up on farms and that some still lived on them or in rural communities while working in factories. Many of his audiences during the 1954 campaign had been composed equally of laborers and farmers. He said that in recent years, the CIO had established a tent at every county fair in Michigan.

Both Senators had not been the only ones to receive large labor support in 1954, the Quarterly having determined that labor-supported candidates had won Senate seats in North Carolina, that being new Senator Kerr Scott, in Alabama, Illinois, Kentucky, Maine, Montana, New Mexico, Oregon, Rhode Island, Tennessee, Texas, West Virginia and Wyoming.

Others, however, supported by labor, had lost, in South Carolina, California, Colorado, Idaho, Iowa, Kansas, Massachusetts, Nebraska, New Hampshire, New Jersey, Ohio and South Dakota. All of the losers, as well as the winners, had been Democrats, with the exception of Senator Margaret Chase Smith of Maine, to whom labor had contributed $3,000. Her opponent had received labor contributions of $1,000.

The merger of the two large labor organizations had produced talk of a third labor party, but neither Senators Humphrey nor McNamara believed that would occur, and neither did any labor union officials. The latter believed that merger would add to labor's political muscle but that they did not have any ambition to form a political party from the grassroots.

Walter Reuther, president of CIO, believed that the basic political forces in the nation could bring a "fundamental realignment" of the two major parties along liberal and conservative lines. But a labor party, as such, was viewed as a last resort, to be attempted only if labor were prevented from achieving its goals within the framework of the two-party system. Labor was presently making its major bid for political power within the Democratic Party, and merger, by common consent, was likely to produce more of the same.

Robert Jackson, the late Supreme Court Justice who had died the prior October, in an excerpt from three lectures prepared in 1954 for the Harvard Graduate School of Public Administration but never delivered, collectively formed posthumously into a short book titled The Supreme Court in the American System of Government, said that there had been much undiscriminating eulogy of dissenting opinions, that while it had been said that they clarified issues, often they did the exact opposite by exaggerating the holding of the majority beyond the meaning it actually had and then blasting away at the excess. The "poor lawyer" with a similar case then did not know whether the majority opinion meant what it appeared to mean or what the minority said that it meant.

He indicates that the right of dissent was valuable and that when wisely used on well-chosen occasions, could be of great service to the legal profession and to the law, but that there was nothing good, for either the court or the dissenter, in dissenting per se. He offers that each dissent was a confession of failure to convince the writer's colleagues, and "the true test of a judge is his influence in leading, not in opposing, his court."

Would that it were that Justice Jackson might have impressed that maxim on one of his last law clerks, a young William Rehnquist, who had clerked for him during the 1952-53 term. When Justice Rehnquist would come to the Court after being appointed by President Nixon in 1972, he would proceed to write 69 lone dissents before being elevated by President Reagan to Chief to succeed the retiring Warren E. Burger in 1986, after which, writing only nine lone dissents in the remaining 19 years on the Court before his death in 2005. And, no, incidentally, his first such lone dissent in 1972, two and a half months after coming to the Court, did not presage a recent Texas Senate race from 2018, in names only. One of his early controversial dissents was in Chambers v. Mississippi, in 1973, involving a black defendant, formerly a police officer, who had been convicted for the murder of a police officer despite the confession of another man to the crime, of whom the defendant had been prevented from cross-examination as to the witness's recantation of the confession and offering of an alibi, under a peculiar Mississippi law preventing a party from impeaching a witness called by that party, even though determined to be an adverse witness, a case which the eight-Justice majority reversed for want of due process. (Justice Rehnquist apparently had not seen "In the Heat of the Night", or had paid much attention to the Mississippi justice system of the time and its failure to prosecute under state law the alleged killers of Andrew Goodman, Mickey Schwerner and James Chaney in 1964, or the earlier acquittals in 1955 of the two half-brothers who, a few months after the verdict, admitted the murder of Emmett Till.) He also, of course, dissented in 1973 in Roe v. Wade, joining Justice Byron White, appointed by President Kennedy in 1962. His number of lone dissents, by the way, ranked him only as having the fifth most such number among Justices appointed to the Court since the terms of FDR, with Justice William O. Douglas topping the list at 225 during his 36 years on the Court, serving four years longer than Justice Rehnquist. The Justice who replaced Justice Jackson, John Harlan, registered 93 lone dissents during his 16 years on the Court, an average of a little less than six such opinions per term, rendering him the most frequent lone dissenter during such a tenure of less than 20 years, the second most frequent lone dissenter overall, with Justice Douglas again leading in that category as well, with an average of slightly more than six such dissents per term. Justice Harlan's grandfather, a lone dissenter 131 times during his 34 years on the Court, ranking him third in the category, had been the lone dissenter in 1896 in Plessy v. Ferguson, and, of course, the grandson was part of the unanimous Court in the implementing decision in Brown, which had a year earlier unanimously overruled Plessy's separate-but-equal doctrine.

A letter writer comments on the story appearing on the front page of the July 14 edition concerning the discharge of the police officer who, unbeknownst to the City Manager and the police chief, had been arrested for assault, just prior to his employment, during the Southern Bell Telephone Co. strike, and fined $10 plus costs after being convicted. He believes that the officer, who had then been fired after the discovery, was not getting a fair shake from the police chief or the department, believes that it was wrong for a fellow citizen to get pushed around by anyone, "but especially by that ignoble body of self-righteous, the Communication Workers of America—CIO." He believes that it was a smear attempt against an individual by someone with a personal grudge, that they had used one of the lowest forms of blackmail and intimidation to wreak their revenge, depriving a man of his right to earn an honest living in his chosen field. He believes that the conviction for assault for having had a toy cap-pistol was not serious and that had the man chosen to appeal his conviction to Superior Court before a jury, he might have been acquitted. That would have been expensive and time-consuming and hardly worth the effort, however, to save a $10 fine plus court costs. He says that he believes that the Civil Service Board requirements were good and necessary but that discretion ought be used in their application, that the individual in question had met all of the requirements with the possible exception of a criminal conviction for a misdemeanor. His superiors had provided good recommendations and he appeared on his way to becoming a desirable police officer. He urges giving the man a fair chance to prove himself and not to bar him by a mere technicality of the law.

A letter from the president of the North Carolina State Industrial Union Council of CIO asserts that all residents of the city should thank the union people at Southern Bell for their help in preventing the "grave mistake" of hiring the individual whom the previous writer had discussed, this writer finding him a "trigger-happy and employee-hating individual", not in line with normal police-hiring policies. He believes that the arrest proved that he was irresponsible and unfit for police duty, congratulates Police Chief Frank Littlejohn for moving promptly in firing him after the matter had come to his attention.

A letter writer from Mount Gilead indicates that, as an elder of the Presbyterian Church, he took issue with the action of the North Carolina Presbyterian Synod in adopting a resolution which urged study by the churches and educational institutions of the state regarding ways of lowering racial barriers and admitting blacks into the Presbyterian schools and churches. He wants to know how the proponents of the "infamous stand" would feel if the matter were carried out "and they have girls of a tender age placed in schools and attend church and will be forced to mix with Negroes." He finds that later in college, they would face the same situation. In social activities, their daughters would be asked for a date and he does not think people had realized the potential danger which lay ahead. He thinks the Brown v. Board of Education opinion was not based on constitutional law, but "a political move and I don't think red-blooded Southerners are going to accept it." He also states that the "better element of the Negro race" was not in favor of it, as they were obtaining better school buildings for the black schools every year. He says that his great-great-grandfather had left Scotland in the 1700's and come to America to what he thought was a land of freedom in a place where he could worship God according to the dictates of his heart. He wonders what he would think of the stand the churches were now taking. He regards the Supreme Court's decision as a "Communist's viewpoint".

Lesta is cookin' up the chicken down 'eya faw ye and he'll prob'bly suppawt ye in having a late wake faw yowa great-great-grandpappy. Don't mind the black employees in the restaurant theya 'cause Lesta says theys good uns. If you take this heya ad down wid ye, he'll let ye kid get a 60-cent chicken dinna faw free. You can't beat that with a stick or an axe handle even on a moonlit night. You can kill ye own chickens, prob'ly, out back. Yeah, he ain't kiddin' ye, ye know. He gonna be Guv'na one day.

A letter from the president of Hynes Sales Co., Inc., suggests that governments build roads from truck revenues and believes that the fee for truck licenses should increase in direct proportion to the increase in freight rates per truck.

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