The Charlotte News

Thursday, July 21, 1955


Site Ed. Note: The front page reports that in Geneva, Russia and the Western powers had reached a substantial agreement this date on plans for continuing discussions of German reunification and European security after the summit conference. The foreign ministers had met during the morning for almost two hours and reportedly had put the program in shape, then arranging a special meeting of the heads of the governments to submit it for approval. There was no immediate information as to details of the plan, but Western sources disclosed the hope for a meeting of the four foreign ministers in Geneva in October to take up the two key problems, the interim period allowing for the experts of the four countries to study the proposals made at the summit meeting. The heads of state of the four powers planned to take up the disarmament question after disposing of the arrangements on German reunification and security. The only official announcement on the foreign ministers' discussions had been a brief communiqué, with British sources stating that the foreign ministers had agreed to recommend that they would meet again in October to resume consideration of the problems of German reunification and European security on the basis of the directive presently under study. Soviet Foreign Minister V. M. Molotov was said to have insisted still that the question of European security should precede that of German reunification. The West was said to maintain that the two problems remained linked and that the foreign ministers had agreed to refer the matter to the heads of state for final decision.

A late bulletin indicates that the President had proposed this date that Russia and the U.S. exchange complete blueprints of each other's military establishments and provide for mutual aerial inspection of such facilities.

In Groton, Conn., the Navy's second atomic submarine, U.S.S. Seawolf, went down the ways this date to the sea. The wife of Congressman Sterling Cole christened the ship, but missed hitting the bow with the bottle of champagne, as it was released down the ways before she had a chance to hit it. The first such ship was the U.S.S. Nautilus.

In Weaverville, Calif., bloodhounds had led sheriff's deputies the previous night to the shallow grave of a 14-year old girl near Dead Man's Cabin in the wilds of Trinity County near Red Bluff. The remains were identified as a girl who had been missing since April 28 from Berkeley, where police held a University of California accounting student for investigation of her murder. He was under treatment for tuberculosis and had used the cabin during weekends, had consistently maintained that he was there on a fishing trip at the time the girl had disappeared. The previous week, his wife had found a leather purse which was identified as belonging to the girl and police had subsequently unearthed other personal effects of the girl within the basement of the suspect's home in Alameda. The suspect's brother told newsmen that the family still believed he was innocent and that they would stand by him. The girl's father stated that he did not believe the punishment aspect of the crime was of great importance, that the important matter was to remove someone from society who might repeat such an offense if given another opportunity, and as a deterrent for anyone else with similar ideas. He said that those were the two reasons why the suspect "should cease to be with us soon." The mother of the girl said that she had no feelings about the suspect at all, that she was thinking of his son, as he had to live. The suspect and his wife had a four-year old son. A deputy of the search team which located the girl's body said that the cabin had a grisly history because of another murder committed there in 1948.

In Greenwood, S.C., James Self, 79, president of Greenwood Mills, had died this date in the hospital of what his doctor said was a "blood deformity". He had headed one of the largest privately-owned textile companies in the world.

In Raleigh, Governor Luther Hodges said this date that more coordination was needed among State departments and agencies, telling a press conference that things were being done in duplicate by some departments, albeit unintentionally. He was asked to elaborate on his statement the prior Monday at Black Mountain, in which he was quoted as saying that the state would "seriously consider" abolishing public schools rather than face mass integration, but the Governor brushed aside the question by saying that the situation in which he was quoted "was very informal" and that he would rather not say any more about it, that he thought he had summarized his expressions in a speech in Lincolnton on Tuesday, in which he had stated that he did not believe that the state was at a point where it had to consider seriously proposals to meet segregation by abandoning public schools. The latter speech is the subject of an editorial below.

Charles Kuralt of The News, in the fourth in a series of articles on aging, begins with the statement from the current president of the AMA, Dr. Roger Lee: "'When you retire, you die.'" Dr. Marshall Fisher of Charlotte's Mental Health Clinic agreed with that statement, counseling that most people over 65 should not retire. The local Social Security director had indicated that most of the people over 65 did not want to quit working but did so because they were forced into retirement. While the goal of the nation was maximum production, statistics showed that it was arbitrarily eliminating some of the most competent producers, the people over 65, at an average loss of five billion dollars per year. Many employers in Charlotte were rejecting those people because they considered them "too old". The mandatory retirement age of 65, applicable in 1900, however, had become irrelevant by 1955, when the average period of longevity had been extended to 78. By 1975, when the number of people over 65 in the U.S. would surpass 21 million, industry would not be able to do without them, and neither would society. Yet, a man over 65 in Charlotte had no opportunity to find a job, according to the local interviewer for the Employment Security Commission of North Carolina. She stated that the real problem was not the age of 65, but rather the age of 45, that after the latter age, the service had trouble placing skilled workers, and so those 65 and over could not find placements. She found it unjust to deny employment merely because of age. Mr. Kuralt indicates that only about 3,000 of the 11,000 persons in Mecklenburg County over 65 were gainfully employed, and almost all of the jobs they held had been jobs held before they turned 65. About 2,500 of the remainder were classed by the Census Bureau as unable to work, leaving 5,500, or half of that over-65 population, able to work and jobless. There was no way to count the numbers of those looking for a job at present, but they were numerous. Most want-ads asked for employees who were under age 40. Once the older person might have fitted in on the farm because of their vast experience, but the proliferation of factories and urbanization had pushed him out of the labor market, with age no longer supplying value, forcing the person into retirement. The widely-held opinion appeared to be that older workers could not readily adapt and often had trouble getting along with younger workers, lacked physical stamina or did not respond to training. But the National Association of Manufacturers, in a study of 3,000 companies employing 2.5 million workers of all ages, showed that older workers were reported as equal to or superior to younger employees in work performance in 92.7 percent of the companies, that 98.1 percent reported them as equal or superior in attendance, 97.4 percent reported that they had better safety records, and 99.2 percent said they had better work attitudes. According to a Department of Labor research project, aging was not synonymous with disability and most older workers were willing to work.

Harry Shuford of The News indicates that work on Charlotte's long-awaited railroad crossing project would begin September 6, as announced this date. He provides details,

A separate report indicates that there would be no rerouting of traffic when work would begin on Providence Road on Monday, according to the City engineer.

Emery Wister of The News indicates that storm clouds hung over Charlotte this date, ready to produce thunderstorms at any moment, with the Weather Bureau hinting that a repeat performance of the previous day's thunderstorms, though of a less violent nature, was probable. The previous day's storm had occurred in mid-afternoon and produced a half-inch of rain, reducing temperatures from 88 to 71 degrees and putting four of Duke Power's electrical stations out of operation, interrupting WBTV's programming. There were also several fires as a result in the city.

In Long Beach, Calif., Miss Vermont, Carlene King Johnson, of Rutland, had been named Miss USA this date over 14 other finalists. She identified herself as the designer, creator, distributor and salesman of her own business. She also said that she was a traditional Republican. She had been Miss Vermont two years earlier in the Miss America pageant at Atlantic City but had placed only 13th in that contest. This night, she would enter the Miss Universe semifinal competition.

On the editorial page, "Why Is Your City Tax Bill Bigger?" indicates that Charlotte was in trouble, that after a decade of postwar growth, it was finding it difficult to pay the price for that growth. The increase in the tax bill had many reasons, one of which was the unevenness in the industrial development in the city, that while the business community was getting bigger, Charlotte was failing to maintain its position as a manufacturing center, that factories which brought in extra tax dollars were not being built to the same degree as the expansion of the business community. It provides some statistics to back up that assertion.

It concludes that Charlotte could not grow properly in all its phases unless its industrial foundation maintained its pace, that with more factories would come more work, more jobs, more population, with wider division of the tax bill. It finds that the builders of the future would have their work cut out for them in the city.

"Private Schools Idea Put into Focus" indicates that ever since Assistant State Attorney General I. Beverly Lake had suggested in Asheboro the previous week that the local communities ought begin establishing private schools to obviate the need for integration of the public schools, friends of public education had worried about a possible major shift in the State Government toward abandoning public schools. Governor Luther Hodges had firmly rejected the demand by the NAACP that Mr. Lake be ousted from his position because of his public stand, and had failed to indicate the divergence of Mr. Lake's position from the previously stated position of the State, to preserve the public school system. The Governor had actually conceded the possibility of abandoning the public schools, further causing suspicion about his position. The usually reliable Associated Press had compounded the confusion with a story erroneously imputing to the Governor and State superintendent of public instruction Charles Carroll a divergence of opinion on the school issue.

In a speech by the Governor in Lincolnton on Tuesday, however, he had placed the idea of private schools and the State's position back into clear focus, saying that since the first segregation decision of the Supreme Court in Brown v. Board of Education in May, 1954, other Southern states had been considering and discussing the possibility of operating schools through private corporations leasing state-owned buildings, although it had not been previously suggested for North Carolina, that proposals of that kind assumed the abandonment of the public school system, and even if they were legally valid, which he had been informed was the subject of differing opinions, he did not believe the state was at a point where it should seriously consider such proposals, that the abandonment of the state's public school system was only a "last resort" if it should be decided that it was proper. It goes on to quote further his statement that the state intended to do what was best for both races and that if they could, it would come through the situation with the public school system intact, and that he would do everything within his power toward seeing that such would take place.

It finds the statement worthy of a North Carolinian who remembered the toil and money which had gone into building the public school system and could see beyond the day-to-day bickerings and anger into the future educational needs of the youth of the state. It finds it a reasoned approach, taking into account the wide latitude for voluntary segregation enunciated by Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals Judge John J. Parker in the Clarendon County case out of South Carolina, the tradition of peaceful relations between the races in North Carolina, the widely varying conditions between communities, a determination that extremes were to be avoided, and the devotion of North Carolinians to the public schools. It concludes that the Governor had reaffirmed a statesmanlike attitude, with a keen understanding of the school problem, and had cleared the air when it needed clearing.

"Perle Flees While Friends Flinch" indicates that former Minister to Luxembourg Perle Mesta had to flee, according to reports, from a Saigon hotel which was being besieged by ax-wielding students, finding it a disappointment, as it did not sound like Mrs. Mesta.

It finds that flight would be expected from an average woman who had found a mob breaking down the doors of her hotel suite, but nobody had ascribed to Mrs. Mesta the quality of being only average. She had given the most lavish parties in Washington for years, and when President Truman had named her to her post in Luxembourg, she had become a diplomatic luxury which few other countries could afford. Her views on world problems were far from average. Returning from a tour behind the Iron Curtain, she had made the observation that the Baku oilfields were "just terrific … it looks as though the oil is flowing freely", saying that she was pleased to see "so many Russian women in politics", especially the "olive-skinned, slant-eyed Oriental-looking women with long black braids." While there was no proof that those insights had influenced the course of world events, they had solidified her position as a "dissembler par excellence".

Her friends flinched, however, and were ashamed to read where she had faced the mob with such a trite phrase as: "No! We are your friends. We are Americans!" It suggests that she might have thrown her arms out and stated to a few thousand of the students: "Come on in, boys, and let's have a ball."

A piece from the Baltimore Evening Sun, titled "Jumping Jazz behind Iron Curtain", indicates that perhaps some of the younger representatives at the Geneva Big Four conference during the week should sidle up to one of the younger Soviet stenographers, humming a few bars of, say, "Muskrat Ramble" or "South Rampart Street Parade", and ask what was with the music behind the Iron Curtain at present.

It finds that something was afoot, that when Stalin had been alive, music had clearly been a matter of what he wanted, prohibiting any non-Communist music, on which his tastes had been very rigid, looking with scorn upon instruments such as the saxophone, or eight to the bar and the barrel-house finale. He had even complained that Russia's best musicians, such as Prokofiev, Miaskovsky, Kachaturian and Shostakovich had no melody.

But now since the death of Stalin in March, 1953, Russian musicians were beginning to play in a more relaxed style, such that by the end of 1953, tangos and rumbas were being heard, and in 1954, there was a demand for more love in the love songs. By the spring of 1955, the Russians had dipped a tentative toe into American jazz, authorizing George Gershwin's "Rhapsody in Blue" to be played. It was now reported that the Polish Government had formally organized a jazz combination of unstated size, which would play not only Polish and Russian jazz, but also the works of Duke Ellington and Harry James.

It finds that since everything the Communists did was presumed to have at least some sinister motive behind it, the relaxation of the ban on jazz could be fraught with many unseen dangers, but it finds that it was not worth any worry, for in that field, at least, the U.S. could negotiate from a position of "monumental strength".

Drew Pearson, in Geneva, indicates that Switzerland was presently the base for the greatest conglomeration of spies found in recent European history, that it had always been a haven for spies, was the location where current CIA director Allen Dulles, sometimes called the "chief spymaster of the U.S.A.", had operated as head of the European OSS during the war. Now, during the Geneva conference, such spy activity was going at full steam, with secret agents having invaded the city, equipped with wiretapping devices. He suggests that they beat anything of which Senator McCarthy had ever dreamed. They had long distance listening devices which could be placed near the Russian delegation or the villa occupied by the President, enabling the agents to listen to personal conversations by either the President or Premier Nikolai Bulganin of Russia before either side began to negotiate. One device could pick up sound from 200 yards away, with the operating agents being both Russian and American. He finds that it would be a miracle if either the President or Premier Bulganin would enter any conference without knowing what the other man was thinking in advance.

After the conference would end, psychiatrists of the world were planning to hold a meeting in Geneva, and he indicates that Geneva would need them.

Soviet Communist Party Secretary Nikita Khrushchev had as part of his official biography that he had begun life as a shepherd, and in Geneva, had shepherded three top Russian delegates into a swank villa on the lake and a large coterie of Russian experts into the austere Hotel Metropole, with the aid of several dozen austere bodyguards "bulging around the middle". The Russians had brought their limousines to Geneva, which appeared as that of FBI director J. Edgar Hoover, with bulletproof windows. The Russians had immediately gotten wise, however, to tour Geneva in an open car with no bodyguards, save Swiss motorcycle cops. Mr. Khrushchev had made a smiling contrast to the stern-faced Secretary Dulles when the former had driven up, doffing his hat to the press at the opening session. The President had smiled cheerfully, but members of the European press had commented on the eight bodyguards around him, contrasting with the absence of any guards around Premier Bulganin or Mr. Khrushchev. Unfortunately, Mr. Dulles could not manage to smile at all.

The Swiss took international conferences in stride, as they had seen so many that they were bored by them. But the present one, being a summit meeting, had them a bit worried and they were taking extra security precautions. The Swiss were very thorough and wanted no accidents to mar the conference. Photographers were given an invitation from police to submit their cameras to make sure that no sawed-off machine guns were inside.

Evangelist Billy Graham had opened in Geneva one day before the start of the conference, offering a prayer for its success.

The President had abandoned the idea of a dramatic meeting with Pope Pius XII at his summer residence near Rome, after the President's advisers had discussed the idea as a move to dramatize the all-out search by the U.S. for an end to the Cold War, and the President had been willing to attend. But Secretary Dulles had pointed out that if the President went to Rome, he would, of necessity, be forced to call on new Italian Premier Segni, and Mr. Dulles did not want to boost his prestige. Mr. Dulles was still wedded to former Premier Scelba and felt that the new Premier's Government was too much left of center.

Frank Porter Graham, former Senator and former president of UNC, presently a U.N. mediator, provides his views, in response to a question posed by The News, on the prospects of an end to the cold war and for taking definite steps toward peace. He states at the outset that he claims no particular special knowledge or competence in the matter, indicating that the conference at Geneva had gotten off to a good start, with friendly gestures on both sides, somewhat different from previous such conferences. He states that the immediate issues between the East and West were the reunification of Germany with actual free elections and freedom of decisions concerning rearmament and membership in the Democratic community, free elections in the Eastern European nations, as promised in the February, 1945 Yalta agreement, the continuation of U.S. bases in many lands as part of a defensive strategy of the free world, progressive and effectively enforceable disarmament of all types of forces and weaponry, opening of knowledge and contacts between East and West, the promised ending of subversion as part of an international apparatus, and, not part of the agenda for the conference, the question of the admission of Communist China to the U.N., subject to the requirements of the U.N., as well as the admission of all non-member nations as part of the goal of universal membership to the organization.

He indicates that none of those issues were progressively insoluble except as adamant positions on each side made them so, that they provided the opportunity for carrying out any action which the conference in Geneva would, in good will and good faith, allow.

The U.N., after ten years of existence, with internal dissension at times, had been morally strengthened by the re-declaration by the 60 member nations of their interdependence and support for the organization at the tenth anniversary celebration recently in San Francisco. He indicates that the U.N., led by the U.S. and President Truman, had made it clear, by its stand in Korea, that peace must not mean either appeasement of aggression and tyranny or drifting into a third world war. The U.N. had helped to achieve cease-fires in Palestine, in Asia, Kashmir and Korea, had helped also in cooling hot spots in Iran, Greece and Berlin, was presently helping somewhat to cool the heat within the Straits of Formosa, and was also helping many millions of people to achieve their own self-determination, in Libya, Eritrea and Indonesia. It was also helping in eradication of poverty, hunger, illiteracy, disease, unfair discrimination, colonialism and the war system, itself. With all its limitations and frustrations, it was in 1955 a renewed source of hope for all of mankind.

During the current conference, the President and Prime Ministers Nikolai Bulganin of Russia, Anthony Eden of Britain and Edgar Faure of France, and their associates, could open another chapter of the year as that of hope of better things to come, which might lessen the potentials for an atomic war. The hopes and prayers of the world were along those lines.

While the threat of thermonuclear war lingered, a third hope of 1955 was in the effectiveness of a genuine program of Atoms for Peace, as the President had proposed before the U.N. in December, 1953, stressing use of atomic power for peaceful purposes. The two sides still drifted, however, toward use of atomic power for destruction and annihilation. "All the children of men carry in their subconscious, preconscious and conscious natures the animal inheritance of hundreds of millions of years and the savage inheritance of hundreds of thousands of years, deep and explosive beneath the nurture of a few thousand years of civilization. The nature of man, when explosive and uncontrolled in his capacity for evil, and the nature of the atom, when explosive and limitless in its power for death and destruction, might bring to an end this ancient man and his accumulated civilization after billions of years of slow evolution to the age of man the decade of the atom. In the providence of God, the physical descent of man from lower species has been undergirded by the spiritual ascent of man in the image of God toward a deeper consciousness of one God and the equal brotherhood of all people."

U.N. Secretary-General Dag Hammarskjold, Undersecretary Ralph Bunche and Professor Walter Whitman, Secretary-General of the International Conference on the Peaceful Uses of Atomic Energy, and representatives of all of the atomic power nations in the U.N., were working on policies and plans to make effective the President's suggestion of the Atoms for Peace proposal, unanimously adopted by the General Assembly.

He concludes that nothing less than the spiritual depth of the power of the consciousness of the "Fatherhood of one God", the democratic power of the breadth of the idea of the equal brotherhood of all people, and the organic development of a more adequate U.N., were needed for the spiritual transformation of the nature of man, the democratization of society and the cooperation of nations for the use of science, technology and the humane studies for a fairer and more creative life for all people. "In the love of God and man which transcend all races, colors, creeds, boundaries and curtains, and with a sense of brotherhood with all people, whether across the narrow streets, across the hard tracks or across the wide seas, we would, in spite of all illusions, frustrations and fears, pray with faith and work with patience in the long and difficult pilgrimage of the people for peace and freedom in the eternal adventure toward the Kingdom of God 'who made of one blood all the nations of men to dwell on the face of the earth.'"

A letter writer finds that the pitiful attempt of a previous letter writer of July 12 to handle the word of God had prompted him to present some points to the readers to reduce the "effects of such atheistic attacks on the Book that many of us hold sacred." He indicates that the Bible was designed to teach religion, not science, and yet Dana, in his Manual of Geology, had summarized his understanding of the Mosaic account of the creation in complete accordance with the Bible. He says that Christians accepted the Bible on faith. After quoting several passages, he suggests that the previous writer had his wires crossed when saying that the Bible could not compete with science. He says that science was a wonderful thing but was still growing, while the Bible was complete. He thinks that for science to contradict the Scripture was like a seven-year old boy having the audacity to tell a grown man how to grow up. He thinks that science would advance hundreds of years by trying to prove the statements of the Bible instead of trying to disprove them.

A letter writer congratulates the newspaper and photographer Jeep Hunter on the photographs appearing generally in the newspaper, that he had heard many compliments on the beauty of his pictures.

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