The Charlotte News

Thursday, July 7, 1955


Site Ed. Note: The front page reports that the security officer for the Small Business Administration, testifying before a Senate Civil Service subcommittee investigating the Administration's employee security program, acknowledged this date that he had sponsored the immigration from Germany of an unnamed woman, but when asked whether he had "formed a liaison" with her, replied that he did not know what the question meant, complaining that the subcommittee was delving into matters of personal affairs. In 1951, the official had been a security investigator in Germany for the Displaced Persons Commission, since abolished, when the matter of the German woman had occurred. At the time he was married and his wife had later joined him in Germany, the question having asked whether he had formed a relationship with the woman prior to his wife's arrival. He admitted to having met "local girls". The matter was not pursued by subcommittee counsel.

The U.S. this date accepted Russia's apology and offer to pay half the damages resulting from the shooting down of a U.S. Navy patrol plane over the Bering Sea the previous June 23. A Soviet fighter had shot down the U.S. plane over international waters, forcing it to crash land on St. Lawrence Island, with no fatalities but seven of the 11-man crew having been injured.

In New York, it was reported that a strange radio transmission, supposedly coming from survivors of a burning fishing boat, had been picked up by a foreign submarine, remaining, however, a mystery several hours after the original broadcast had been received, with a sweeping air and sea search having produced only one small clue that anything out of the ordinary had occurred, that being an unmarked lifejacket found by a Coast Guard cutter about five miles from the scene of the purported fire, the lifejacket having been estimated to have been in the water for less than a day. The message had said that there had been 21 persons aboard the vessel which had struck an unidentified object and caught fire and was sinking about 30 miles east of Barnegat, N.J., 55 miles southeast of the entrance to New York harbor. The broadcast had been received by a tugboat and its captain said that the person speaking had expressed the belief that he would have to jump off the fishing boat, then had screamed, after which there was 20 minutes of silence. It was being questioned whether the whole incident had been an elaborate hoax.

In Newport, R.I., it was reported that three sailors were reported to be recovering this date from burns on the face, hands and arms suffered the previous day when lubricating oil had flared up aboard a destroyer escort 60 miles south of Newport.

Dick Young of The News reports that only one eastside industrial plant in Charlotte had thus far secured a permit to discharge its waste into the Sugar Creek sewer outfall, despite the five-year old industrial waste ordinance having become effective on June 1, requiring the permits. There were seven other plants which had submitted plans for approval and were in the process of construction in order to comply with the law. In all, there were about 30 industrial plants located in the drainage area of the creek which were subject to the ordinance, which was designed to eliminate the dumping of industrial waste into the creek, notorious for its foul odor. The prospects were not good that there would be significant improvement of the creek during the current summer, with only one plant having thus far having obtained the proper permit.

Harry Shuford of The News reports that the Memorial Hospital Board of Commissioners this date had approved a recommendation to undertake planning for new hospital facilities and had named a ten-man committee to carry out the recommendation. The committee had earlier recommended that a 250-bed addition to the hospital ought be built to take care of its existing needs, and that the new wing would provide for the needs of the black population of the community. The Board's move this date, however, made no direct reference to the proposed wing of the hospital for black patients. Instead, it accepted a recommendation of its executive committee to accede to the request of the city by undertaking the preparation of preliminary architectural plans and specifications for additional hospital facilities in the city.

Mr. Shuford also tells of having ridden with firemen to provide a first-hand account of how an emergency vehicle operated on the streets of the city, finding that it did not appear to be going nearly as fast when one was aboard as it appeared from along the streets observing it pass. He provides his detailed observations.

Donald MacDonald of The News tells of six young boys being under arrest this date after Youth Bureau officers had said that they had broken into the Myers Street School, doing damage to school property estimated at between $400 and $500. The detective described the vandalism as "the worst we have seen in quite some time." The youths were also charged with stealing some school athletic equipment. The incident had occurred over the July 4 weekend. Blue and white paint had been smeared all over walls and floors in various parts of the school, light fixtures had been broken, a water fountain bowl had been smashed in two and about 250 windowpanes had been broken. Desks and tables were also overturned, and desk drawers had been rifled, with papers and books strewn throughout the classrooms. Three of the youths arrested were 13, one was 14, one was 10, and the other was nine. One of the suspects was found by detectives with paint still smeared on his trousers.

Julian Scheer of The News tells of Hugh Morton, owner of Grandfather Mountain, who had a mission to save the scenic attraction and was traveling the state to garner support. The State and Federal governments wanted to purchase the mountain, but Mr. Morton said it could not be purchased at any price, and had said as much the previous day to State highway officials in Raleigh. The State wanted to purchase the mountain so that it could cut a five-mile road across it from Beacon Heights to Sandy Flat Gap to provide an incomplete link in the Blue Ridge Parkway between Beacon Heights and Blowing Rock, and had condemned it for the purpose. The State would then provide the land to the Federal Government for the development of the road. The National Park Service had earmarked three million dollars for the project. Mr. Morton, though a strong believer in the Parkway, did not want the natural beauty of Grandfather Mountain disturbed by the link and so was fighting the taking of the desired 11,000 acres by eminent domain.

On the editorial page, "The People Will Not Tolerate Fluff" indicates that the City Council the previous day had abandoned the $1.65 per hundred dollars tax rate on property valuation, in favor of a new $1.7842 rate. The Council had initially discussed a proposed rate of about $1.90, until public criticism as reported in the newspapers had forced the lower rate.

While there was still grumbling among taxpayers at the new rate, the piece suggests that it had to be realized that there were a large number of municipal services paid for by the taxes and that those needs were growing as the city increased in size. When taxpayers had approved many millions of dollars worth of bond issues on May 3 to finance vast new municipal projects, they had effectively helped to produce the new, higher tax rate. It finds that progress could often be very expensive.

"The Welcome Return of a Native" welcomes the news that former News editor Pete McKnight, following his year of special work on a Ford Foundation project charged with disseminating information to the Southern states regarding desegregation of public schools, had returned to take over as editor of the Charlotte Observer. It finds that his services, along with those of Ernest Hunter, who was also a good newspaperman, becoming assistant to the publisher of the Observer, promised to enable the newspaper to continue as "an even more effective instrument in the advancement of Charlotte and the Carolinas."

Mr. McKnight had been on a leave of absence since the prior July until tendering his resignation in April, with the announcement of his being hired as the new editor of the Observer occurring this date. A new editor of the News would not be named, even with the announcement of new titles the following October 1, apparently the duties having been absorbed under the various departments of the newspaper. Vic Reinemer, who had taken over primary editorial writing responsibilities after the leave of absence of Mr. McKnight had begun, had resigned as associate editor in March to join the staff of Senator James Murray of Montana, the native state of Mr. Reinemer. Cecil Prince, presently undertaking primary editorial writing responsibilities, would become the new associate editor in October. Since May, he had been assisted in editorial writing duties by Perry Morgan. Mr. McKnight would continue as editor of the Observer until his retirement in 1976.

"Presidential Papers: A Burning Issue?" tells of it being distressing to historians that many presidential letters had been burned, some of which intentionally by the self-appointed guardians of a deceased politician's reputation. In consequence of that fact, the House had voted to vest in the Federal Government ownership of all official papers of the Presidents. The bill, principally sponsored by Representative John McCormick of Massachusetts, was designed to make sure that Americans would be able to examine the historical documents whenever they wished.

Former President Truman had made certain that his 3.5 million papers would be preserved for the future, as Government archivists, specially assigned at his request, were sorting through the material for display and storage at the former President's library in Missouri.

The letters and documents of former President James Buchanan, who preceded President Lincoln in the White House, had been carelessly stored and almost forgotten in a New York warehouse until a fire consumed them. Some of the letters of former President Andrew Jackson had met the same fate in a warehouse in Washington. Florence Harding, widow of former President Warren G. Harding, in an effort to block substantiation of her husband's connection with several scandals during his Administration, had burned most of his papers which she had, as well as all of the letters which she could obtain. Martha Washington had burned all of the letters which her late husband had written to her. The papers of former President Millard Fillmore had been deliberately burned in Buffalo in 1891, at the direction of the will of his son.

Because fire had destroyed the original document which supposedly had been the Mecklenburg Declaration of Independence, preceding the national Declaration by more than a year, it suggests that residents of the county would suggest a small amendment to the McCormick bill, that all declarations of independence ought also be included in the Government's preservation effort.

The matter would become a burning issue, indeed, during and in the wake of the Nixon Administration, when the former President, having failed before the Supreme Court in 1974 in a challenge, based on executive privilege, to a special prosecutor's subpoena of some of the tapes, sought to shield his papers, post-presidency, from scrutiny by the public via an agreement reached with the GSA, followed by a law passed by Congress and signed by President Ford which essentially worked to abrogate the agreement and make his papers and tape recordings, with the exception of purely private matter, available to the public, that law having then been challenged by Mr. Nixon as a violation of the separation of powers, the matter eventually determined against him by the Supreme Court in 1977 by a 7 to 2 decision. As to those who later mused that President Nixon would have been better advised to have held a bonfire on the lawn of the White House and burned all of his tapes before they became the object of Congressional and Government subpoenas, in the wake of the revelation before the Senate Select Committee on Watergate in July, 1973 by Alexander Butterfield regarding the existence of the White House taping system, it is highly questionable whether that destruction would have improved significantly his dilemma, either politically or legally.

Perhaps, with 20-20 hindsight in play, early on, four and a half months after the break-in, the morning after the CREEP celebration, P might actually have attempted Operation Bonfire, anticipating the post-election investigation and firestorm, by having Manolo, P's personal valet, appear to order breakfast in an obviously veiled code from the White House front mess, the plan having been foiled, however, when the mess failed to catch on and instead simply delivered breakfast, rather than "frying the eggs" with the "toast and bacon" for the P, and Messrs. H and C. The plotters probably forgot to tell Manolo to be sure to mention giving the eggs the old Dodgson treatment.

"What Hath Birdwatchers Wrought?" suggests that birdwatchers had produced watchbirds, that is birds which liked to sit and watch humans. It indicates that it knew a couple of watchbirds which it did not like, one big and overweight robin, which it assumes was too lazy or full of worms to follow its associates north, instead sitting on the lawn, watching cars, people, dogs and anything else which passed. It had such an unsettling gaze that in weak moments, the editorialist admits of the thought that it would not be displeasing if fate took its course and a cat crossed its path.

It was also annoyed by a catbird which shuttled up and down a limb like a cuckoo jumping out of a clock at midnight, watching as if bearing a grudge secretly carried. It had considered removing the limb, but believed there was no assurance that the bird would abandon it even then.

It prefers the woodpecker to the mockingbird, as the former only watched the tree trunk and even chopped a few trees down, but only in daytime. "And contrary to the mockingbird, they exercise with a fine vigor their very best talent." It finds that overall, birds were best on the wing, particularly watchbirds.

"Quoth the raven..."

Drew Pearson tells of the payroll generosity of Senator Herman Welker of Idaho toward members of his own family, with his brother, a retired truck driver, having been given a $5,200 per year job as a member of the staff of the Senator, while he remained in Idaho doing no visible work for the taxpayers. The Senator's nephew and a family friend had received a staff salary while they attended the University of Idaho, Senator Welker contending that the two had been investigating for him Communism on the campus of the University. The Senator also kept a former employee on the staff payroll for a year after he had returned to Idaho to teach high school, with Mr. Pearson indicating that it was not known whether he also might have been investigating Communists within the high school. The Senator had fired the man from his staff because he refused to part with his yellow brogans, which both he and Senator Welker had been wearing when they first got to Washington, until the Senator, realizing that such shoes were out of place in the Senate, had switched to more conservative footwear. But because the man had considerable political influence in southern Idaho, the Senator had praised him in a press release at the time of his firing, and then kept him on the payroll for a full year after his return to the Idaho teaching job. The Senator also maintained a prominent Idaho Democrat on his payroll between late 1953 until recently, even though he had not gone to Washington to work for the Senator.

Mr. Pearson concludes that it might explain why Senator Welker had a reputation for generosity with the taxpayers' money.

The Congressional Quarterly indicates that, based on apportionment from the estimated 1960 census, North Carolina would lose one seat, to take effect at the 1962 Congressional election. Twenty-six states would neither gain nor lose a seat, with 15 losing seats and seven gaining. California would gain the most, at eight seats, and only Pennsylvania would lose as many as two seats.

The anticipated population by 1960 was 176 million, compared to 150 million in 1950 and 131 million in 1940. North Carolina's 1940 population had been 3.6 million, 4.1 million by 1950, and projected to be 4.55 million by 1960. The average number of persons per Congressional district had increased from 301,000 in 1940 to 345,000 in 1950, and was predicted to rise to 403,000 in 1960. North Carolina had 12 seats after both the 1940 and 1950 reapportionments, but would move back to 11 based on the projection for 1960.

Based on the projection, California would move from 30 to 38 Representatives in 1962, and would therefore have 40 electoral votes in the presidential election of 1964, compared to its present 32. Its political influence thus would begin to rival that of New York, which was projected to lose one seat from its present 43 seats and thus would be reduced from its present 45 electoral votes to 44 in 1964. It finds that those facts ought be pleasing to Vice-President Nixon, California Senator William Knowland and Governor Goodwin Knight, each of whom had presidential ambitions. It notes that Vice-President Nixon would be 51 in 1964, with Senator Knowland being 56 and Governor Knight being 68.

The projected 1960 population of 176 million had California moving from 10.6 million in 1950 to 15.3 million in 1960.

It indicates that while the population estimates might differ because of birth and migration rates, the overall pattern of gains and losses of Congressional seats should not differ markedly from the estimate. The size of the House had been fixed by act of Congress at 435 seats since 1911, even though, theoretically, it was supposed to change every ten years based on population changes. Because some states increased in population more rapidly than others, states might lose seats even though actually gaining in population, as was anticipated to be the case in Pennsylvania, despite losing two seats in 1962.

The states with the largest gains in the House would be, in addition to California, Florida and Michigan, the latter two predicted to pick up two seats, while Texas, Indiana, Arizona and Oregon should each gain one seat. The only region which would not lose any seats would be the West, where eight states would neither gain nor lose seats while three would gain. Four states which had lost population since 1940, were projected to continue to lose in 1960, Arkansas, Mississippi, Oklahoma and North Dakota, the first three projected to lose one seat each after 1960.

California had consistently gained in population since 1910, when it had 11 seats in the House. Florida had four seats in 1910 and would advance to ten under the projected population changes for 1960. Michigan had gone from 13 in 1910 to a projected 20 after 1960, and Texas, from 18 to 23. Pennsylvania had 13 seats after the first census of 1790 and had risen to 36 seats after the census of 1910, but had been consistently dropping since that time, down to the projected 28 for 1960. Other losers between 1910 and 1960 would be Iowa, reducing from 11 to 7 seats, Kansas, reducing from 8 to 5 seats, Maine, reducing from 4 to 2 seats, Missouri, reducing from 16 to 11 seats, Nebraska, reducing from 6 to 3 seats, and Oklahoma, reducing from 8 to 5 seats.

The 12 Eastern states, which had 136 seats in 1910, would have 122 after 1960. The 12 Midwestern states would drop from 143 in 1910 to a projected 128 after 1960. The 13 Southern states had 123 seats in 1910 and were projected to have 118 after 1960. All of the 34 seats lost had gone to the 11 Western states, with California adding 27 of them since 1910.

It indicates that the trends would likely continue after 1960.

The estimates were largely accurate, with the exception of Pennsylvania, which would lose three seats, down to 27, not just two, and Florida, which would gain four seats, not just two. The overall population in 1960 was three million higher than predicted, at 179.3 million, with California's population at 15.7 million, behind only New York at 16.8 million, California having increased in size by 50 percent in the span of only a decade, with the dramatic tilt of the country toward the Pacific Coast. Gains in House seats occurred in nine states and losses in 16, with California having gained the predicted eight seats, followed by Florida. Massachusetts, New York and Arkansas each lost two seats.

A letter writer takes issue with another letter writer who had sought to justify continued segregation on the basis of the Bible, this writer suggesting that the term "black", as used in the Song of Solomon, had not referred to an Ethiopian or Negro, when it said, "I am black because the sun hath looked down upon me." She finds that the text only suggested a darkly suntanned complexion and not necessarily skin pigmentation "because of geographical changes in climate conditions as in the case of the Negro." Another quote which the previous writer had cited, "Ethiopians are descendants of Cush the son of Ham," was, according to this writer, "unadulterated Hebrew folklore and has been thoroughly confounded by the science of anthropology." She also asserts that the "unprovoked and vicious inference that the offspring of racial intermarriage is something impure and inferior, is a contemptible insult to intelligence. Only the most naïve individual, completely unacquainted with anthropology, could believe that such a thing as a simon-pure unmongrelized race exists today."

Would it not be better, though, to get away entirely from canine references in regard to the human race? We are not dogs and dogs are not us. Dogs cannot think. Cogito ergo sum.

A letter writer wishes to correct a misunderstanding on the part of the newspaper regarding the University of Michigan and Michigan State University, which, until recently, had been known as Michigan State College. He says that Michigan State was envious of the University of Michigan and thus had sought and obtained from the Legislature a change of its title. He says that while the athletic teams of the two institutions had met many times, they were not rivals in the true sense of the word, because Michigan had predominated, with Michigan's true rivals being Ohio State, Illinois and Minnesota. Because the University of Michigan was proud of its academic traditions, it had protested vigorously to the Legislature against the change of the name of Michigan State, as producing confusion by the similarity of titles.

And he does not even mention the fact that Michigan State stole its teams' nickname from UNC long ago, in ancient times, back when the Trojans were on the Pacific Coast, not unlike when Keats ascribed to Cortez staring into the Pacific, in lieu of Balboa, that USC and UCLA were always, unbeknownst to all islanders and new world discoverers, situate in the Midwest, where Colombo found his sea passage to India.

A letter from J. R. Cherry, Jr., says that he had hoped that his letter of the previous Friday, regarding "anti-ism", would have provoked some debate regarding the actual purpose of the NAACP and the alleged Jewish powers behind it, but had noted no pertinent comments on either subject. One letter writer had responded to the letter, opposed to Mr. Cherry's notions, but he says that the letter writer had misstated his claims, that he had not stated that the NAACP was controlled by Jews or that it was a Communist conspiracy, that those claims had been made by others, that the paramount questions Mr. Cherry had raised were whether it was true and if so, why. He finds that the previous writer's statement that the the only way to challenge the NAACP was in its usual forum, the courts, to be an asinine assertion. He asserts that gangsters and Communists also resorted to the courts. And he goes on in his usual manner.

A letter writer indicates that when race-haters in Mississippi, Georgia and the Carolinas opened their meetings with prayer, beseeching God for guidance and direction in their plans for keeping blacks "in their place", God must have looked upon them with love and mercy, as he had made all of one blood. He indicates that hate produced moral and spiritual blindness, that haters were not happy people because hate destroyed peace of mind, doing more harm to the hater than to the hated.

A letter writer thanks the newspaper and reporter J. A. Daly for the story regarding the textile industry's predicament over the proposed Geneva tariff reductions to Japanese textile imports.

Framed Edition
[Return to Links
Page by Subject] [Return to Links-Page by Date] [Return to News<i><i><i>—</i></i></i>Framed Edition]
Links-Date Links-Subj.