The Charlotte News

Monday, July 4, 1955


Site Ed. Note: The front page reports from New Delhi that, according to the Indian Red Cross, three former American prisoners of war who had chosen to remain in Communist China originally after the Korean War but were now returning home, were scheduled to arrive in Hong Kong on July 7, to be escorted to the Hong Kong frontier on that date and turned over to a British Red Cross representative. It was the first news of the three men since Peiping radio had announced the prior Friday that they had been ordered into custody in Peiping for allegedly being rowdy. The announcement by the Indian Red Cross did not mention two Belgians, who were also due to return to their homes. Indian Red Cross officials said that the Peiping Red Cross had intimated that one of the three Americans had changed his mind about wanting to go to Japan and now preferred returning to the U.S., the Chinese having originally stated that he wanted to return to the U.S. only if he could not go to Japan.

In Carthage, N.C., Senator Kerr Scott accused the Administration of refusing to cooperate in disposing of vast stocks of agricultural surpluses, which he termed "our number one farm problem." The Senator, a member of a special Senate Agriculture subcommittee investigating farm surplus disposal policies, spoke at the annual July Fourth celebration sponsored by the Carthage Jaycees, saying that instead of making efforts to expand consumption of farm products in areas of the world where hunger was rampant, the country was being told that farmers were producing too much and should cut back.

In Richmond, Va., Virginia officials were pondering the school desegregation problem this date, with some new and different food for thought, the endorsement by a major school board in Norfolk of the principle of integration. With Norfolk being the state's largest city, the endorsement represented a crack in the otherwise solid wall of official opposition to integration within the state. The Norfolk board had issued a statement during the weekend that they intended, "without mental reservation, to uphold and abide by the law of the land." They said that they believed in the public school system and pledged their efforts to its continuation in the city. The board also said, however, that it did not believe that "the customs, habits or prejudices of over a century" could be abolished overnight by decree, but could be met or reconciled "by prayerful deliberation, by reasoned planning and by the will and desire to succeed." It said that an unstudied approach to the problem could result in "disintegration" rather than integration of the school system. An 11-man executive committee of a 32-member legislative commission was presently meeting in Richmond to try to work out a legal formula to recommend to a special session of the General Assembly regarding the issue. There was speculation that Governor Thomas Stanley was almost certain to call a special session, and a number of legislators believed it would come soon, not later than the final week of July, as it would have to occur prior to the beginning of the school year, as it entailed constitutional and statutory changes at the state level. The goal of the commission, endorsed by Governor Stanley, was prevention of enforced integration within the schools.

Arthur Everett writes from New York for the Associated Press that recently the novel, The Blackboard Jungle, by Evan Hunter, about fictional juvenile delinquents, had depicted a knife attack by a pupil on his teacher in a high school classroom in New York. The incident seemed too sensational, that there was juvenile delinquency, but that things had not gone that far yet. Yet, on the night of June 13, a 28-year old teacher had been instructing his after-hours boxing class in the gymnasium of Joan of Arc Junior High School on West 93rd Street, the class being part of the city's efforts to quell juvenile delinquency. Glancing around the gym, the teacher noticed a 16-year old boy who was an outsider and had no business in the class, ordering him to leave. The youth had responded, "Put me out." As the teacher advanced toward him, the youth produced a switchblade knife and plunged it into the teacher's back. The teacher had recovered from the wound. But New York was beset by juvenile crime with "the flaming youth of the 1920s" having been replaced by the "sullen knife-happy hoodlum of the 1950s." Whereas the symbols of the 1920s had been the flask on the hip and the flapper, the symbols of the 1950s were the zip gun, the narcotics needle, and the blue-jeaned deb, or female youth gang follower. The previous month, juvenile "gangster" Carlos Luis Feliciano had stabbed a rival, and the same night, the victim's friends had avenged the attack by shooting Mr. Feliciano to death. The latter had been a member of the Viceroy gang in Spanish Harlem, and the previous week, four members of the rival Dragons gang had been indicted for first-degree murder, subjecting them to the death penalty. A week before the killing of Mr. Feliciano, Fred Warren, a 16-year old member of Brooklyn's Tiny Tims gang, had been shot to death, avenging the earlier killing of Jesse Lipscomb, 15, of the rival Chaplains gang. A 16-year old had been sentenced to death in the latter slaying, but had since that time obtained a new trial. The previous April, William Blankenship, Jr., 15, had been killed on a Bronx Street by Frank "Tarzan" Santana, 17, a member of the Navajo gang. Mr. Santana was presently awaiting sentence for second-degree murder. Mr. Blankenship had initially been depicted in the press as a model boy, but authorities had later found that he was a member of the Redwings gang and at the time of his death, had been "spoiling for a fight". In a recent New York Post interview with an 18-year old East Harlem delinquent, the youth had told of joining a gang, stating that it was "the natural thing to do when you start feeling your oats. The girls go for a fellow with a reputation. So I joined the Turbans just to get a rep. That's all" He went on to say that sometimes a guy could build up a reputation overnight, but that he had to carry a gun for that, that if he shot at somebody, his reputation would be established. Before getting a reputation, he had to have a club jacket, which was like wearing a flag, and if anybody messed with one guy wearing a jacket, he had to deal with the whole gang. He said that one had to belong to a gang in Harlem as a matter of protection, that only a few guys survived as loners. Mr. Everett reports that, in addition to murder, youth increasingly were turning to other types of crime, according to Brooklyn's veteran Judge Samuel Leibowitz. Police Department figures bore him out, with 73 percent of the car thefts in 1954, 62.7 percent of the burglaries, and 45.4 percent of the robberies having been committed by juveniles. More than 18,000 juveniles had been arrested, while thousands of others had managed to avoid culpability. The Domestic Relations Court judge, however, said that the figures were being unduly stressed, that 97 percent of juveniles were fine young people, while the other three percent constituted a menace.

In Galveston, Tex., an airman who said that he was so terrified of being captured for being AWOL that he had killed three people, was now under arrest, apparently unconcerned about the charges against him, talking freely to newsmen about the details of having killed a 42-year old woman, her 63-year old mother and her 12-year old son in their home in nearby Dickinson on June 22. He told police officers that he had been trying to reach Japan, where, he said, he had a Japanese wife, and had expected to sail on a ship from some Mexican port, that when he reached Nogales, Mexico, he had been arrested on Friday night trying to sell an automobile belonging to the 42-year old woman he had killed, telling officers that he had shot the family because he feared that they might turn him in to the Air Force for being AWOL. He had been turned over to Texas authorities without extradition proceedings on Saturday, on the ground that he was an undesirable alien in Mexico. Late Saturday night, he had dictated a two-hour statement, saying that he had been picked up by the 42-year old woman while hitchhiking in Beaumont, Tex., and then tried to hold her up with a .22-caliber pistol, at which point she screamed and tried to jump from the car, telling him that she had no money, whereupon he informed her that he was AWOL, in response to which she said that she would turn him over to the "Air Police", but then changed her mind and offered to let him drive. They later stopped for beer several times and she had told him that she would give him money and let him spend the night in her home when they reached Dickinson. After dinner, the family and the accused had watched television for a time, and after retiring, the man had killed the family and taken their car. When he got to El Paso, he shot a service station attendant in the head and robbed the station of $100. The attendant was in fair condition. The father of the accused said that he had never been in any trouble before but had been born with a damaged nervous system which occasionally caused him to black out.

The death toll for the holiday weekend on the nation's highways appeared to be approaching the prediction made by the National Safety Council that 380 persons would die in traffic accidents during the 78-hour period. Traffic fatalities thus far had amounted to 277 by 10:00 a.m. this date, with drownings numbering 147 and deaths from miscellaneous accidents, including one from fireworks, thus far totaling 80, for a total of 504. In a similar period for a non-holiday weekend between June 17 and June 20, an Associated Press survey had shown that 342 persons had died in traffic accidents, that 111 had drowned and that 62 had died in miscellaneous accidents. The previous year's death toll during the three-day Fourth of July weekend was 348 in traffic accidents, 192 from drowning and 79 in miscellaneous accidents, plus four deaths from fireworks, for a total of 623. While the totals recorded 18 hours before the close of the holiday weekend appeared well below record figures, the hours of greatest peril remained ahead, as people would be returning home. The previous night near Iowa City, Iowa, in a two-car collision, eight persons had died, with two families being virtually wiped out, parents and a small daughter in one car, plus another passenger, and a mother and three daughters in the other car. One of the miscellaneous accident deaths had occurred at Lake Hoptacong, N.J., when a teenager was killed while riding on a roller coaster on Saturday after he stood up, lost his balance and was thrown from the car. In Chicago, a 21-year old man who sought relief from the heat by sleeping on the roof, had rolled off three stories to his death. A three-year old boy, presumably also in Chicago, was crushed by a concrete cornice which had fallen from a three-story building.

In Libby, Mont., more than 250 heavily armed men were searching the rugged Kootenai Forest south of the town this date for a bear which apparently had snatched a two-year old girl from her family's tent near a logging camp the previous day. The undersheriff recounted that the mother had said that her two older children had been playing near the tent while the family was having a picnic, and suddenly the youngsters had screamed that they had seen a bear come out of the shelter "hopping on three legs", the mother recounting that she had then rushed into the tent to discover her child missing, that when she ran outside, the bear had disappeared into the wilderness, and so believed the bear had taken her child. Bloodstains had been found in the tent. All available men from the sheriff's office and volunteers, plus two bloodhounds, were engaged in the hunt for the child. The previous week, a bear had attacked a 27-year old man from St. Paul, Minn., while he slept in a sleeping bag at a campground near Glacier National Park, the man having suffered a torn left ear, a ripped scalp and tooth-punctures to one hand.

In Leslie, Mich., a mother, who was unaware that her 18-month old daughter was standing outside, had thrown from a door a lighted firecracker which exploded in the child's face, causing serious injuries to her eyes the previous day. The family was visiting friends when the accident occurred.

Near Cherokee, N.C., two women had been killed and 40 others injured when a cable-suspended bridge over a small stream had collapsed. Of the 40 injured, 18 had been hospitalized. One of the women who had been killed had struck her head on a rock in the 20-foot fall. The other woman had died of internal injuries at the hospital. The 150-foot long bridge was a tourist attraction at the Cherokee Indian Reservation. Chief Osley Bird Saunooke of the Eastern band of the Cherokees, who operated a trading post at one end of the bridge, said that a bunch of boys had started jumping up and down on the middle portion of the bridge, causing it to bounce, at which point it had broken. Most of the 60 people or so who had been on the bridge at the time, many of whom had been children, were able to wade to shore. The Cherokee chief said that there were guards at each end of the bridge to prevent overcrowding, but that many people had pushed onto the bridge anyway. He said that it took more than 15 minutes to get everyone out of the water.

In Columbia, S.C., a two-front attack on illegal liquor activity had been increased in South Carolina, with officials hoping that the result would be an increase in sagging state liquor tax revenue. Part of the crackdown was against bootlegging, which continued to flourish in some areas. The 1955 General Assembly had raised the law enforcement appropriations proposed by Governor George Bell Timmerman by about $215,000 to allow the hiring of more officers, who would concentrate on finding and destroying stills. Bootleggers were subject to state taxes on the amount of illegal whiskey found in their possession. In addition, there was a drive to end whiskey "bargain shopping" in neighboring North Carolina, as many South Carolinians had made it a practice to drive to the neighboring state to buy liquor at a lower price, by about 50 cents per pint. Several officials in South Carolina believed that the practice was the principal reason for the continuing decrease in liquor tax revenue. The General Assembly had passed a law whereby a person caught with whiskey lacking a South Carolina tax stamp was liable not only for the tax but also for a fine ranging between $20 and $50 or higher, depending on the circumstances. Automobiles and trucks involved in the trip to North Carolina could also be confiscated if found to be used primarily, and with the knowledge of the owner, for transportation of liquor in violation of the law. It was also illegal under the law for people from other states to carry out-of-state whiskey with them to South Carolina. To assist county and local law enforcement, South Carolina officials had established a six-man force of inspectors to patrol the South Carolina side of the border with North Carolina. The inspectors would be driving unmarked cars.

In Salt Lake City, guards at the local jail were faced with a decision whether to keep their cool air out or their prisoners in, with the jailer indicating that he had opened a north window for a little cross-ventilation, leaving one prisoner in the office using the telephone, and when he returned a moment later, the prisoner, being held on a charge of public drunkenness, was gone.

In Downey, Calif., the green plastic garden hose which was digging itself into the lawn belonging to a doctor, was continuing to do so at the rate of three inches per hour, having been disappearing into the ground at that rate for four continuous days, with no one being able to determine the force which was slowly drawing it into the earth. Hundreds of curious persons had flocked to the front yard at all hours of the day and night to observe the phenomenon, repeatedly interrupting the sleep of the family with long distance calls by newsmen and others seeking details of the mystery. A couple of times, the hose had snapped off as skeptics sought to pull it out of the ground, and the owner had patched what remained above ground of the overall 50-foot long hose. The story speculates that it might be quicksand, an ambitious gopher, or a little man from a flying saucer, but, thus far, the mystery remained unresolved.

Quickly, now, without using a calculator or paper and pencil, what is the percentage of the hose remaining above ground? You have 15 seconds.

On the editorial page, "The Declaration of Independence" sets forth part of the document verbatim.

"The Declaration Is Quiet Thing" finds the Declaration of Independence to be quiet, not a cannon or firecracker in its wording. It was a document which was contemplative and reflective, but had not always been heard that way or war could have been averted from the Revolution onward. "(And somehow we still celebrate the noise, not the quiet.)"

It quotes further from the Declaration, finds it without words of hate or anger, rather only conveying deeply held conviction. The signers had done a quiet thing, resulting in noise only because King George III would not heed its words.

"The Declaration has not changed. Nor have tyrants. But the one lives and the others die."

"The Bug That Medical Science Forgot" finds that despite modern science having conquered many diseases, the latest being polio, it had not devised a way to cure the golf bug. Too much playing of golf had cost men their jobs and some milk money, with some wives becoming "golf widows" for the absence of their husbands, spending their days on the golf course.

Yet, there was a saying that more business deals were struck on the golf course than in the office. It also served to keep men trim and, on good days, their spirits high.

Yet, the golf widow suffered, and it suggests that it was something on which the scientists could work, "between rounds."

A piece from the Rocky Mount Telegram, titled "Industrial Pot and Kettle", finds that New England was the pot calling the kettle black in saying that the South was luring away Northern industry with the promise of lower taxes and wages, while warning, as had the Lynn, Mass., Daily Item, that such benefits might be offset by "lower productivity and less initiative."

It quotes an ad from a New England community appearing in the New York Times, promising to build a modern electronics building in an industrial park with funds from its charitable corporation and would arrange for training of labor and recruitment of engineers, among other perquisites, as inducement to establish there.

The piece finds that New England was offering more such bribes to industry than any other area of the country.

Drew Pearson tells of Robert Rosamond holding a press conference in Washington recently, having no sensational news to impart and not well known enough or important enough to command an audience. He did not know how to state his story effectively and, being quite young and relatively insignificant, had laid an egg before the press, returned to Philadelphia crushed and disappointed. That was so despite his message being one of peace, a subject, however, which did not arouse much excitement in times of peace, only in time of war.

Nevertheless, Mr. Pearson thinks it worthy to report on his idea because he believes it had merit, especially on July Fourth when abroad, the cold war appeared to be dissipating some and in need of encouragement to diminish further. Mr. Rosamond proposed that the U.S. adopt a "Declaration of Interdependence", in recognition of the fact that the U.S. had grown while the world had shrunk, and that there was no longer independence in the modern age of intercontinental missiles capable of travel from Moscow to New York in two hours. Mr. Pearson finds that the U.S. therefore had to be interdependent with the rest of the world, that the richer the country was, the more interdependent it was. Thus, such a Declaration, he posits, might inspire Americans and unite the world "as it creeps along the difficult road to peace."

A letter writer from Cheraw, S.C., comments on the Administration's plan to lower tariffs on Japanese textiles by as much as 48 percent, beginning September 10, indicates that he was not surprised and that those voters who had marked their ballots for General Eisenhower in 1952 had no one to blame but themselves, recalling the hard economic times during the Hoover Administration in the Depression. He finds the President more interested in trout streams in Maine and New Hampshire and the golf course in Augusta, Ga., than in the affairs of Americans. "And as for Mr. Nixon, all he does is politick and go all over the world making a big show and talking from both sides of his mouth at the same time. What good is that?" He suggests that the Republicans had sought to "cram the Negro down our throats by trying to mix the races in the South and in our armed services." He finds that both whites and blacks of the South were aware that the Republicans were trying to "fool the Negro back to the Republican Party for his vote." Yet the party had lost support from black voters when "it came very near to starving everyone to death in the depression years." He says that the people were not as stupid as some might think and that it would be demonstrated at the next election.

A letter writer indicates, in response to two letters, one of which had been in response to his earlier letter, that those who claimed that "black" was not in the Bible should read the Song of Solomon, chapter 1, verses 5 and 6: "Look not down upon me for I am black./ I am black because the sun hath looked down upon me." He says that blacks were referred to as Ethiopians in Genesis 2:13 and in other places, which he also references, including, last but not least, Acts 8:27, regarding the first Ethiopian convert to Christianity, relating, as the letter writer does not, of "an eunuch of great authority under Candace queen of the Ethiopians, who had the charge of all her treasure, and had come to Jerusalem for to worship", and who, eventually, was baptized in the Spirit of the Holy Ghost by Philip, the deacon—tending, thereby, to conflict with Deuteronomy 23:1, "He that is wounded in the stones, or hath his privy member cut off, shall not enter into the congregation of the Lord," via exegesis, quod erat demonstrandum. He indicates that the alphabetical and cyclopedic index of the Holy Bible listed "bastard" as being mongrel offspring. (He must have had the Klan edition, white leather-bound, with red trim and a circled cross.) He asks how many American boys had married Japanese girls by being thrown into their company, and that no one should try to tell him that integration would not cause "a mongrel offspring generation."

Lesta is waitin' on ye down eya with some chicken heya on the Fou'th, so go on down eya and get you some in'epen'ence chicken... Lesta, he's a good Christian man and a broadsider, following the precepts of the Romans, when in Rome, Ga....

A letter from the executive director of the Home Builders Association thanks the newspaper for its coverage of their Regional Mortgage Clinic, which had been a complete success, indicating that it was one of 18 such clinics scheduled throughout the country, with the initial one having occurred in Charlotte.

A letter writer from Gastonia comments on an editorial about the Southern textile mills not being subject to wage restrictions when filling Government contracts, finds it anti-labor, though not any different from that of the majority of Southern editors. He thinks it would probably attract some lucrative advertisements from those who had profited from the cheap labor in the South, taking advantage of uneducated poor whites and blacks. He indicates shame for the Fourth Estate, "especially the Dixiecrat ones."

A letter writer says that she agreed with another letter writer regarding the nursing home situation, involving six homes which had been ordered to comply with state law limiting nursing homes to one story when made of wood, the writer indicating that the building department needed to have a heart, as she wonders where the displaced elderly would go. She urges that the homes could be fixed so that they would comply with the law and hopes that the City Council would put themselves in the place of the elderly.

A letter writer from Salisbury thanks the newspaper for its "courageous stand" on Bryant Bowles, NAAWP head who had recently visited Charlotte. He thanks the good Lord that the people of the state had "the good sense to settle their race problems in their own wise way without the help of outsiders."

A letter writer from Chapel Hill also comments on Mr. Bowles, saying only: "Absurd!"

A letter writer responds to a previous letter from J. R. Cherry, Jr., regarding desegregation and the NAACP, this writer indicating that it was the prerogative of any American to oppose the aims of the organization, but that it ought to be done in the same arena in which the NAACP operated, the American courts. He finds that Mr. Cherry had made many accusations and charges not subject to libel laws because they were only aimed at a group. He had made two charges, that the NAACP was "Jewish controlled" and that the NAACP was part of a "Communist conspiracy", both charges being completely false. He had failed to state that the Roman Catholic Bishop of the North Carolina Diocese had been the first to desegregate his churches and schools in the state and that the Roman Catholic Bishop of Missouri had done likewise many years earlier. Mr. Cherry had also not mentioned that the NAACP, in its legal fights, had received the considerable spiritual and moral help of the Federal Churches of Christ in America, the official organization representing the vast majority of white Protestant Americans. He indicates that the NAACP had been founded in 1909 by several white Christians, whom he names, along with 14 black Christians, and one Jew. The funds for the organization came from its rank-and-file members, and it did not solicit funds. Its purpose and function were in American law. There had been some moderate gifts to it from the Rockefeller family, which he indicates was probably the leading Baptist family of the nation. The NAACP presently had on its board a Roman Catholic layman who had been honored by his church, as well as nine white Protestants and three Jews. Insofar as the charge that it was a Communist conspiracy, he indicates that the Communists had launched their greatest drive to attract blacks in 1948 and it had completely failed, that less than 8 percent of the votes for former Vice-President Henry Wallace, running on the Progressive Party ticket, had come from black voters—even if, in fact, the Progressive Party vote could hardly be equated with Communism, despite the third party movement having attracted approval from the American Communist Party and so was thought by many to be tantamount to it or at least "pink" in orientation. He cites for his information The Negro and the Communist Party, by C. Wilson Record, published by the UNC Press in 1951. He indicates that the organization had achieved notable gains in recent years in the courts, where 90 percent of the judges were white Christians. He finds the fact, however, irrelevant, because law was law. He states that the NAACP was in the best American tradition, with its victories achieved in the courts and its defeats coming from the same source. He concludes that law and due process were fundamental to the American system.

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