The Charlotte News

Wednesday, July 27, 1955


Site Ed. Note: The front page reports that the President said this date at his press conference that he believed he would allow peaceful foreign planes to fly over any area of the country to carry out the proposal he had made at Geneva for exchange of military blueprints and aerial inspection. He again stressed the gains which had been made at Geneva, but minimized the hope of any new era of peace at present. He also said, regarding Communist China, that he could not guess at present regarding the possibility of a U.S.-Communist China meeting on the level of the foreign ministers and was not sure about any conference between the two countries on the ambassadorial level. Regarding the Dixon-Yates controversy, the President disclosed that former Budget Office director Joseph Dodge, who had initiated the project, would go before Congress to relate of the complete details of the matter and that Securities and Exchange Commission chairman J. Sinclair Armstrong had provided the entire story of the role played by Sherman Adams, the President's chief of staff.

The President announced also at his press conference that he was expecting to become a grandfather for the fourth time. Newsmen greeted the news with applause and cheers. His daughter-in-law, Barbara, wife of Maj. John Eisenhower, presently had three children, a boy and two girls.

Air Force Secretary Harold Talbott told the Senate Investigations subcommittee this date that he was getting out of the management consultant firm of Paul Mulligan & Co., which had paid him $132,000 annually since he had become Air Force Secretary in early 1953. The company specialized in instructing businesses on how to cut costs in record-keeping and clerical hirings. The President had said at his press conference that he would decide after the inquiry was over whether Mr. Talbott had used his office improperly and should be fired. The President said that in general, the actions of a public official had to be impeccable from the standpoint of law and ethics and should avoid giving any impression of wrongdoing.

There appeared to be six major bills remaining in the legislative session of 1955, but the final adjournment date remained uncertain. Acting Majority Leader Senator Earle Clements of Kentucky, substituting for Senator Lyndon Johnson who was recovering in Texas from his recent heart attack, said that he was hopeful that adjournment could occur by Saturday night or even sooner. House leaders maintained Saturday as their adjournment date, but had more work to accomplish than did the Senate. The primary six measures remaining included three money bills, plus a housing bill, a minimum wage increase and the multi-billion-dollar highway construction bill. The House was planning to vote on the latter bill this date, with the issue in doubt. The Senate had promised quick consideration of the measure if the House passed it. The Senate had already passed its own bill, sans any of the disputed tax features of the House measure. The minimum wage bill was deadlocked in conference, with both houses having passed measures to raise the minimum from 75 cents to one dollar, differing on the effective date. A bitter fight over public housing was expected. Another fight which could delay adjournment regarded the foreign aid bill, with the Senate having voted for nearly 600 million dollars more than the House, and House managers having stated that they would not accept any of the Senate increase. Confreres would try to reconcile the bills later this date.

In Athens, Greece, an Israeli airliner was forced down in flames in Communist Bulgaria this date, with Greek authorities indicating that Bulgarian antiaircraft gunners had shot it down near the Greek border and that all except perhaps one of the 58 persons aboard were likely dead. At least three Americans had been aboard the airplane. The plane was en route from London to Lydda, Israel. A crew of seven and 14 passengers had been aboard when it departed London, but other passengers had boarded in Paris and Vienna. A somewhat differing account was given from Tel Aviv, with the El Al airlines general manager having stated that the Constellation had made a forced landing in flames in Bulgaria after being fired upon by Bulgarian antiaircraft guns, and that 57 persons had been aboard.

In Raleigh, a new research program aimed at conquering corn diseases in North Carolina was underway at N.C. State, according to an announcement by the institution the previous day, appointing Dr. Richard Nelson, a native of Minnesota, to head the project.

In Charlotte, the City Council this date gave an architect a vote of confidence for his work in the design of the new Auditorium-Coliseum complex on Independence Boulevard. He showed the Council members a large chart of the dressing room facilities of the Coliseum and apparently convinced them that all the necessary requirements had been met. Initially, one member, Claude Albea, wanted to know about complaints he had heard and read regarding the hot water and bathing facilities and whether they were present, to which the architect answered in the affirmative and that the work had been done strictly according to the plans previously approved by the Council. He then bitterly attacked persons spreading rumors about the inadequacy of the Coliseum facilities, denouncing stories carried in the Charlotte Observer for being damaging to both his firm and to the City. Council member Herbert Baxter provided lengthy praise to the architect and his work, and joined other members of the Council in denouncing recent stories carried by the Observer.

Harry Shuford of The News tells of the Council rejecting a proposed contract calling for joint operation of parking facilities at the new Auditorium-Coliseum. The City was presently developing a parking lot which would handle about 1,200 cars and an adjoining property owner had space for parking for another 1,800 cars. That property owner would operate both lots, with the proceeds to be split on a 60-40 percent basis between the owner and the City. Council member Albea, however, strongly objected to the contract on the basis that the City should not join a private enterprise in a contract. Two other members objected to the adjoining property owner getting a cut of the proceeds from cars parked on City-owned land. The Council instructed City Manager Henry Yancey to look further into the situation and to determine whether the contract could be amended to strike out the 60-40 split. Mr. Albea stated that someone had gone to sleep when they started building the Coliseum and that such situations should have been foreseen.

On the motion of Council member Martha Evans, the Council rescinded its purchase of Coliseum chairs and agreed to re-advertise for bids. You can sit on the floor.

Charles Kuralt of The News tells of a blue heron of Belgrave Place which had died scarcely eight hours after being captured in a bedspread by a 13-year old boy, after captivity had proved too much for it, the bird dying near Freedom Park, where it had been placed the previous day in the lake after its wings had been clipped. The summer program director of the Children's Nature Museum explained that the presence of the bird over Charlotte was likely because of a "post-nuptial cavorting". After the breeding season, herons flew inland and the one in question had probably come from the Wilmington area and would have found a temporary home in one of the ponds around Charlotte had it not been forced down by the blue jays of Belgrave Place. The combination of the bedspread capture, the wing-clipping and the excitement had caused the bird to expire. Nature Museum workers speculated that poison sprayed around the lake might have contributed to its death. Local bird authorities said that the matter could have been more tragic, for the powerful bill of the bird was used to fend off enemies and was capable of removing a human eye with a single peck.

On the editorial page, "Wanted: Jobs from Bark of the Pine" indicates that the General Assembly had been given only scant praise in the newspapers because it had not undertaken reform of the justice of the peace system, had not undertaken legislative reapportionment and had not passed a state minimum wage law. But amid all of the interaction, there had occasionally been evidenced a progressive spirit, as in appropriating $100,000 for a two-year research grant to N.C. State to find new uses and manufacturing processes for native raw materials, such as olivine rock, pine bark, and ceramic clay.

Once practical uses would be found, N.C. State would then work with other State agencies toward establishment of industries to match the materials with the uses. It finds that the project could be a major blow toward bringing North Carolina agriculture and industry into more productive balance.

It indicates that a happy result of the research program would be a finding that tannin was present in commercial quantities in pine bark and was subject to economical extraction. Four large and one smaller pulp mill in the state presently burned the bark from 1.5 million cords of pine pulp consumed annually. N.C. State experiments had already demonstrated that tannin, used in making leather and in oil drilling, was present in the useless bark. It finds the question to be whether there was enough tannin in the bark and whether it could be extracted at low enough cost to induce the construction of a plant for that purpose. The project's ceramic phase called for construction of a demonstration ceramic furnace and pilot plant demonstrations of the manufacturer of ceramic products.

It concludes that great promise of more and better jobs lay in such projects, as those in the peanut from which George Washington Carver had found jobs, factories and payrolls. N.C. State might do the same with pine bark.

"Just How American Can You Get?" finds that America's industrial ingenuity had won a worldwide reputation, with the American businessman generally being respected and envied by businessmen in other parts of the world.

An "official protest" had been sent during the week to the President by the American Association of Doll Manufacturers on the occasion of the President having brought some Swiss dolls back to the country for his grandchildren from the Big Four conference in Geneva. The Association was "shocked" at that action and was sending the President some American dolls, which wet, weeped and talked.

It indicates that the implication appeared to be that if the President's actions were of the pure American variety, he would not have thought of bringing home a foreign doll.

It regards that as nonsense, that the President ought be able to give his grandchildren any dolls he had chosen for them.

The piece concludes that it would go out presently and purchase some Swiss cheese and French wine and have a good old-fashioned English-style picnic, daring anyone to call it un-American.

"Umbrellaism" indicates that a summer shower had soaked the President at Washington Airport the prior Sunday, upon his return from the Geneva conference, because someone had banned umbrellas on the basis that having them present would make the President appear as Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain at the conclusion of the Munich Pact conference in September, 1938.

Vice-President Nixon had issued the ban, doubtless, it suggests, as a result of a Big Two conference with Checkers, "the wonder dog".

Query whether former Vice-President Nixon would issue an ukase to have an umbrella present in Dealey Plaza on November 22, 1963.

"It's Elementary, My Dear Watson!" tells of some people perhaps being puzzled over the identity of the bird caught the previous day in Charlotte, but not the editors, as they knew the profile on the front page of The News. Anyone who had ever had experience in bird-watching knew immediately that the bird was a genuine Tar Heel hallucination, doubtless blown to the area by a gust of wind generated by a tornado turning around.

"The Long Lost Art of Absurdity" indicates that the Raleigh News & Observer's "25 Years Ago" column had noted the previous week that a rash of tree sitters was reported across the state, including two hefty Charlotte housewives, one weighing 213 pounds and the other 180.

It indicates that in the summer of 1930, it appeared perfectly normal for hefty housewives to roost in trees, as the nation was still feeling somewhat giddy from the 1920's and the beginning of the Depression. It finds that the summer of 1955 paled by comparison, as there were no flagpole sitters, no dance marathons, no one swimming the English Channel, no six-day bicycle races, or even a good goldfish swallower.

There was plenty to produce absurdities, the cold war, jazz, the hydrogen bomb and the Oedipus complex. But all of that could be found anywhere. It wonders whether people were taking themselves too seriously, recommends taking Napoleon's advice: "We must laugh at man, to avoid crying for him."

A piece from the Sanford Herald, titled "What the Man Kept Saying", tells of a man who continually shouted "thirty cents". A boy was hawking blackberries and the price seemed high.

It explains the process of blackberry picking. Wild strawberries had been picked for a nickel per quart when the man was a boy, but now there were no wild strawberries around. Eventually, the man gave in and bought a bag of blackberries for thirty cents. The boy put the money in his pocket without smiling, and he and his little brother left the man's porch and walked across the lawn, and when he had heard the door shut and knew the man was inside, he said something under his breath to his little brother, just one word, and did not smile.

Drew Pearson, in Paris, indicates that regardless of what the Big Four conference at Geneva had done for the peace of the world, though he was convinced it had helped, there was no question that it had done a lot to advance the likelihood that the President would run again in 1956. At the conference, the President did what he liked to do, that which he had done as supreme commander of the Allied forces during World War II. He had escaped the headaches of political life in Washington, the tedium of which often exasperated him. Handling of U.S. foreign-policy which shaped the peace of the world is what he had envisaged when he agreed to run for the presidency in 1952. That is what he had accomplished at Geneva and he had done it superbly. The President's advisers therefore believed he was now in a mood as never before to run again in 1956. His platform would be "peace in our time" with a coalition ticket Democrat as the vice-presidential nominee. A close group of friends had already been given approval to start raising campaign funds, dependent only on the President's health, his high blood pressure having given him problems in recent years, while staying low when he had taken enough time off. That was the reason for his long weekends and frequent vacations, but his friends believed, barring any medical issue or too much domestic unpleasantness, he was now in the mood to make the race.

The political advisers who feared that the President would recapitulate Yalta at Geneva now had nothing to fear, as the President had run the conference largely by himself, and while Secretary of State Dulles had met secretly with the press on one occasion to straighten out a bobble by the President, the conference would have gone better had the Secretary remained more in the background.

It had been the President's sole decision to propose the reciprocal inspection of U.S. and Russian military bases by air, a plan opposed by military advisers at the Pentagon ever since Harold Stassen had come up with the idea the previous March. Their opposition was one reason why Mr. Stassen and Nelson Rockefeller had been left in Paris and had only been brought to Geneva at the last minute. The President felt the timing was right to propose the inspection plan at Geneva. Mr. Pearson indicates that it was the most important psychological victory which the U.S. had scored since V-E Day in May, 1945. The Russians had never gotten off the spot where the plan had placed them.

Doris Fleeson indicates that Vice-President Nixon was presently out of the headlines, the subject of intense discussion in political circles, with some reason to believe that the Vice-President's value to the ticket in 1956 was being discussed in the business and public relations areas around the President.

It had been some time since he had made a key speech on policy for the Administration, such as his remarks in spring, 1954 when he said that U.S. troops might become necessary in Indo-China should the Communist Chinese invade, or his answer on foreign policy to Adlai Stevenson.

Republican politicians were saying that as far as they were aware, the President still held great confidence in his Vice-President, who attended the conferences with the Republican Congressional leaders each week with the President. The latest remarks by the President in connection with the vice-presidency were that the President had the right to choose his own running mate. The friends of Mr. Nixon hailed it as proof positive that the ticket would repeat from 1952.

Because the Vice-President had come so far so fast, he was naturally an object of rivalry among ambitious Republicans, with it being most prominent in California politics vis-à-vis Senate Minority Leader William Knowland. But there were others who believed privately they could add more strength to the ticket in 1956.

Republican politicians tended to defend the Vice-President, liking his partisanship and wishing that the President would also be more partisan. They pointed out that Mr. Nixon had displayed sound political judgment earlier in the year when he had repeatedly warned the party that it was not nearly as strong as the President. Now that Republican criticism of the President had calmed down, they gave Mr. Nixon the credit for it.

She indicates that there was not the slightest chance that an anti-Nixon move could be organized among the professional politicians unless the President signaled it.

Even if ambitious Republicans were to throw caution to the wind and decide to try do displace Vice-President Nixon on the ticket, they probably would not get very far. She suggests that running for the vice-presidency was roughly the equivalent of eye-gouging in a tennis match, that it was simply not done.

Meanwhile, the Democratic verdict on Mr. Nixon remained "pure poison".

Robert C. Ruark, in Palamos, Spain, states that he was rereading Cross Creek by the late Marjore Kinnan Rawlins, the story of her single-handed attempt at pioneering in the orange grove country of Florida. He understood for the first time the feuds and friendships, the interdependence of rich and poor, sick and well, black and white in a common cause, the battle against the scrub. For they were building a house in Palamos, which had taken two years to construct, a speed record for those parts, and had been firmly interlocked in the community in the meantime in a way which could never take place in Washington or New York, where he never had known the name of any of his neighbors in an apartment house. In Palamos, he knew everyone and all of their business through community gossip. As the only Americans there, he and his wife represented America, giving them a great responsibility. One could hide one's sins in a city, but not in such a small community in a foreign country.

There were few phones, and the ones which were present went out during a storm, necessitating a communications center, located in the shop of his friend who ran a general store and was a baker. All fresh news and gossip went through the place.

Another center was the hotel, the owner of which, a widow, knew everything about everyone and had a hand in every real estate transaction.

The social life was busy because summer had plenty of saints' days, and every time one came around, some friend had a small fiesta which entailed dancing, fireworks, local wine and a large amount of food.

He says that he had to go, as a friend was getting married and they were giving the reception. "I tell you, there's nothing like living in a small town to get away from people, as was amply demonstrated last fall when the cork factory caught fire and seriously endangered a joyful house across the way."

A letter writer wonders what was wrong with the men of Charlotte, whether they understood it was summer, as she had never seen more uncomfortable men as the mercury reached into the nineties, while they insisted on wearing the hottest collection of clothing. She finds that men ought be kind to themselves in such hot weather and dress sensibly, such as in shorts.

A letter from the traffic representative of the Communications Workers of America, local 3603, regards the matter of the fired police officer after it was discovered that he had recently been convicted of an assault with a deadly weapon during the recent CWA strike against Southern Bell. He indicates that no one had twisted the former officer's arm to become a member of the CWA, that he, along with seven others employed by Western Electric, had filed a grievance with the union regarding a supervisor in February, resulting in a work stoppage for 3 1/2 days all over North and South Carolina, with several thousand workers losing their pay and being suspended by Western Electric before being reinstated. When the CWA strike was called against Southern Bell a few days prior to the former officer resigning from the union, the American Telephone Co. and Western Electric workers stopped work in sympathy with the CWA and honored its picket lines. The former officer called the operators forming picket lines at one location "Communists", and they had called him a "scab". When he was leaving the back door driveway with his wife and two other female workers, he had claimed that the president of the CWA had a brick, a claim which proved to be untrue. The writer asserts that there were no rocks thrown at his windshield. The CWA president signed a warrant against the former officer that night for having the toy gun which he claimed was on his seat. Several days later, the former officer signed out a warrant against the CWA president, but he was acquitted. He asserts that the union was not depriving the former officer of a living but rather attempting to help the police department "keep clean as American citizens who respect the same U.S. flag."

A letter from A. W. Black tells of Bible interpreters seeking to escape the difficulties presented by the two conflicting stories of creation contained in Genesis, pretending that "day" did not mean a natural 24-hour day, but rather a period of unknown length. He finds the proposition "inadmissible", as it was impossible because of the repeated phrase, "There was evening and morning, one day." He says that there was no evidence to suggest that Moses wrote any part of the creation story. He indicates that the Hebrews had no written language until about 1000 B.C., long after the alleged time of Moses. He regards the creation story as a compilation written by two different authors and patched together by a third unknown person. "Bibliolators may tax their ingenuity at torturing words into meaningless metaphors, but men of science, scholars and thinking people, will not be deceived by mystical jargon. Overthrown by science, the creation legend receives its coup de grace in the presence of reason. As Rev. J. A. O'Brien states, 'Evolution is the only solution which at present has any basis in factual evidence.'"

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