The Charlotte News

Monday, August 15, 1955


Site Ed. Note: The front page reports from Miami, Fla., that, notwithstanding the prior forecasts of the Weather Bureau to the contrary, the Southeast was now in the path of mercurial Hurricane Diane, following along the same course on which Hurricane Connie had wreaked havoc the previous week. The new hurricane was packing 115 mph winds, aiming its eye toward the Georgia and Carolinas coastline, presently located 550 miles east of St. Augustine, Fla., moving in a westerly-northwesterly direction at 15 mph. Hurricane hunters would fly toward the storm this date to determine further its likely direction before issuing warnings for the coastal areas, probably to come during the afternoon. A hurricane alert had been issued for the Georgia, South Carolina and North Carolina coastlines, and it was anticipated that hurricane warnings would be ordered for at least a portion of that area by early afternoon. Tides and winds would begin to increase this night between Cape Hatteras and St. Augustine.

In Carolina Beach, N.C., it was reported that a manufacturing firm representative, who for eight years had made the resort his year-round home, stated that if Hurricane Diane hit them, they would be dead for a decade. He and his wife and two young sons had just finished digging out mud and sand from their home, located about a block from the ocean. He stated that before Connie, his home, built after Hurricane Hazel the previous October, was worth $20,000, that he had recently turned down a $25,000 offer, but now he would accept $8,000 for it after he received his insurance settlement. But no one would want to buy anything for a decade in the area should Diane hit.

In Myrtle Beach, S.C., the "no vacancy" signs had been removed from resort hotels during the weekend as the average weekend crowds had not shown up, as Hurricane Connie, doing much less damage than the news reports about it, had hotel keepers miffed, complaining that some newspapers and radio stations had done more harm with erroneous reports than the storm, itself. The Grand Strand, twenty or so miles of beach, was practically deserted on the normally busy preceding August weekend.

The Small Business Administration this date declared ten counties in North Carolina and Horry County in South Carolina, which had been hit by Hurricane Connie, to be disaster areas, with the agency ready to open special loan offices to serve the 11 counties on August 23. Homeowners and businessmen could apply for special disaster loans, to be made at 3 percent interest, with up to 20 years for repayment. Loans for replacement of business inventories would also be made at 3 percent, but would have to be repaid in no more than ten years.

The Commerce Department reported this date that the national total production of goods and services had risen to a record annual rate of 385 billion dollars during the second quarter of the year, ten billion higher than the previous record of 375 billion, set in the first quarter of the year, 16 billion above the peak reached in 1953. The Department said that most major segments of the economy had shared in the growth and production of goods and services. Personal income had risen by 7 billion during the second quarter, to a new annualized rate peak of 300.5 billion. Personal consumption spending had also risen during the second quarter by 5 billion, to an annualized rate of approximately 250.5 billion, most of the spending for personal consumption having gone into purchases of food, clothing and services.

In Bombay, India, nine persons were reported killed and some 38 wounded as India's "nonviolent demonstrators" marched across the borders into Portuguese territory this date, part of a long-planned "peaceful invasion" in a campaign to squeeze the Portuguese from their three tiny enclaves on the Indian subcontinent. There were conflicting reports regarding the size of the force which made the march, with Indian organizers having promised 100,000, but some reports placing the number at no more than 3,000 or even as low as 2,000. Armed guards on the Portuguese side of the borders had sought to force the demonstrators back, resulting in the deaths and injuries. Those who marched across the borders into Portuguese territory were accompanied by thousands of other Indians who cheered them on, but stayed safely on their side of the border. About 1,000 demonstrators crossed the border of Goa and another 2,300 were reported to have entered Damen after marching two miles from the Indian town of Vapi, where a crowd of about 10,000 gave them a sendoff. Two hundred Socialist volunteers had entered Diu, a small island and mainland strip farther north. The demonstrators were followers of Gandhi who believed in nonviolent methods, and were demanding that 1,538 square miles of Portuguese enclaves, the last foreign holdings in the country, be ceded to India.

In Walla Walla, Wash., a dozen convicts armed with homemade knives grabbed 14 hostages inside the Washington State penitentiary the previous night but had given up early this date after persuasion by telephone and tear gas, with no one hurt as a result. It had been the second revolt at the prison in a six-week period, and the warden said that the revolt of the previous day had been designed to free 15 inmate leaders of the earlier outbreak, failing in that objective. The 15 men had been returned to the prison from isolation at a county jail at Yakima only three days earlier. They had taken nine hostages on July 5 for 26 hours, and had obtained agreement on most demands for better conditions at the prison, which housed some 1,600 men.

The Mecklenburg County Board of Commissioners this date expressed concern that the Woodlawn Volunteer Fire Department might disintegrate as an organization if the volunteers had to continue fighting fires at the city rock quarry. The fire chief said that his men were often called to fight a fire at the quarry, having spent six hours battling a blaze one afternoon. He asked the City to clear the area for 100 yards around the quarry to prevent fire from spreading to undergrowth and trees.

John Borchert of The News reports from Akron, O., that local representative Randy Mears, from Augusta, Ga., had left a hospital bed, after suffering tonsillitis, just six hours before the start of the 18th All-American Soap Box Derby national race, eventually won by a youngster from Rochester, N.Y., the Charlotte race winner having placed in the top ten finishers among the 60,000 youngsters who had competed nationwide. It was the third time that the Charlotte representative had finished in the top ten, and young Mr. Mears was presented a power tool trunk, consisting of a spray gun, electric drill, bench grinder, sander and polisher, and a soldering iron. He, along with others from Augusta, had been invited to participate in the Charlotte race the previous month because the Augusta race had been canceled after a local group had protested the decision of the local Soap Box Derby committee to admit two or three black racers to the competition.

On the editorial page, "The Scarecrow in Uptown Charlotte" finds that the ancient Southern Railway passenger terminal in the city, propped up in spots, added insult to injury, that it was more of an eyesore and a disgrace than ever after railroad officials indicated that a truck had run into the building and that when covered passageways leading to the east end of the station appeared near collapse, it had been hastily shored up and roped off. There were no plans to renovate or rebuild the "monstrosity".

Visitors arriving in Charlotte for the first time by rail would likely be startled when they stepped off the train, suggesting that it was a sorry introduction to a city with "genuine charm" and a great deal of beauty. The outmoded station stood in contrast to the 1.3 million dollar terminal building at Douglas Municipal Airport and the piece urges that a new station building was one of the more pressing needs of the city, with financial responsibility for constructing it being the only problem. It suggests that the City get busy and regard the matter, as it had its air terminal needs.

"New Phrases for Political Orators" finds that the only trouble with the reported Congressional sentiment to have a medical commission examine presidential candidates before the nominating conventions was that it was too narrow, that psychiatrists ought be included on such a commission such that all top Government officials would be subjected to both medical and psychiatric examinations.

It posits that after a good session with an analyst, the President could address the nation on what he really thought of Senator McCarthy, and that Vice-President Nixon's fear of umbrellas might also be explained—a reference to the Vice-President's ban of the presence of umbrellas at the airport on a rainy day when the President had returned from the Geneva Big Four summit conference because of the feared association with Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain's return from the Munich conference of 1938.

Secretary of State Dulles might also be called to account for why he could not keep his feet on the ground, referencing his global travel. The split personalities of the two political parties could also be examined, but it finds that the greatest boon would be to hear a candidate say: "I now quote to you from my extended remarks in the Journal of the American Medical Association."

"How 'Close' Are You to Mom?" indicates that the Navy brass were still having a difficult time explaining why they had denied a commission to an honor graduate of the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy, because his mother had been a member of the Communist Party in 1944, subsequently quitting after her son convinced her that she should, giving her the ultimatum that he would otherwise leave home. Eventually, a Navy spokesman, after being pressed for a better reason, suggested that the cadet might be "close" to his mother.

The piece finds the notion absurd, quotes from poet and former Assistant Secretary of State and Librarian of Congress Archibald MacLeish anent the matter: "Americans were once revolted by the discovery that Communist children were supposed to spy and inform on their parents. Is it now American doctrine, as interpreted by the Navy Department, that American boys are 'close' to their mothers at their peril, and that any American lad who doesn't turn his mother in for dangerous thoughts is liable to be deprived of his right to serve the country by some official in the Pentagon?"

It concludes that the kindest thing which could be said about the Navy's treatment of the cadet was that some inept officer was taking an overly strict interpretation of security regulations, but that the harm had been done and the "whole preposterous business" ought be cleared up without further delay.

"The Lasting Legacy of Thomas Mann" laments the death of the author in Zürich the previous week, finds that perhaps more than any other 20th Century writer, he had believed passionately in the unity of humanity and the wholeness of the human problem, incessantly crying out against tyranny in any of its forms, refusing therefore to acknowledge any separation of the intellectual and artistic from the political and social. He had been frequently at odds with the political forces in his time and place, being the arch-enemy of the Nazi dictatorship in his native Germany. After he came to live in California, however, he became dissatisfied with many aspects of the U.S. political scene, but had nevertheless become a naturalized citizen in 1944.

It indicates that he looked upon his fellow man with understanding and deep emotion, translating those qualities into enduring literature. It finds that, along with James Joyce and Marcel Proust, he ought be ranked among the greatest novelists of the century, commenting that no one had written so well of the decadence of the new industrial society and the artist's relationship to that society.

A piece from the Richmond News Leader, titled "Clutter in the Kitchen", indicates that a few decades earlier, kitchen utensils had to be heated on the stove, resulting in a clutter which was so great that household chores had to be prorated among the days of the week. Ranges had been huge, but none so large as to accommodate a large wash boiler, half a dozen flat irons, a couple of frying pans, some odd saucepans, a soup pot, a large steaming tea kettle, a coffee pot and perhaps a Dutch oven, all at once.

The flat irons were the first such appliances to leave the kitchen stove, succeeded by the electric iron. The electric toaster, coffee maker, waffle iron, pancake grill, tea kettle and washing machine, each, in their turn, also reduced the clutter on the stove, with only the washing machine giving rise to a new space problem of its own, necessitating some kind of laundry room.

Now, a complete line of portable, self-heating utensils and appliances had appeared which made it unnecessary to have a stove at all. Nevertheless, there was no more space on the cooking area of the stove than had previously been the case, as each of the new electric appliances took up a little more room than its predecessor. "Progress, as George Bernard Shaw once remarked sententiously, is only change, and so far as inanimate objects are concerned, the change is usually from one place to another."

Drew Pearson writes an open letter to his stepson, a private in the Army at Fort Devens, Mass., for the previous nine months after having spent his first 20 years in the household of Mr. Pearson. He advises that he had heard through the Pentagon grapevine that they planned to link up anything unfavorable Mr. Pearson would say about the Army with his stepson and congratulates him for plugging away like a good soldier nevertheless.

He indicates that he intended to write some things about the Army, as he had in the past, and only hoped that despite the reports from the Pentagon, the brass hats would not be so small as to hold those things against his stepson.

He relates that since his return from the Geneva Big Four summit conference he had been able to reflect on some things, believing that the President had done a fine job and hopes that it would be an historic milestone for peace, but cautions that the more successful he had been, the more it would likely curtail the role of the Army. He notes that the military, including the Navy, were already griping in the background about the danger of a phony peace atmosphere which might reduce Congressional appropriations and put the nation in danger of being caught unprepared. He finds, however, that mankind could not long exist with two powerful, heavily armed countries at odds with one another, and so the most important thing which the President had said at Geneva was that "we must build a bridge" between the U.S. and Russia, a theme which he reiterated several times during the conference, convincing Mr. Pearson of his sincerity in that belief.

Toward the end of the conference, he had proposed one way of building such a bridge, raising the Iron Curtain and allowing interpersonal friendship between the countries. He reflects that he had talked with General Eisenhower in New York in 1948 about that very idea, suggesting a friendship train to Russia to show its people that the U.S. was not a warmongering nation, as claimed by Moscow radio and press. The General had appeared skeptical at the time, but Mr. Pearson finds that there was no doubt that he was now completely sincere.

He concludes that if the President's plan worked, the big land armies could become a thing of the past and man could use his money and time on the health, education and constructive pursuit of happiness.

Joseph Alsop tells of the comeback of Senator Lyndon Johnson after his heart attack early in July, that his recovery was proceeding so fast that he was anticipating resuming his position as Majority Leader in January at the start of the second session. His full comeback would alter several political calculations of both Democrats and Republicans, auguring well for the President for its portent of continuing bipartisanship on foreign policy, but bad for the extreme right-wing of the Republican Party.

Mr. Alsop comments that few people realized how much the Senator's shrewdness and determination had contributed to the progressive isolation and erosion of the Republican extremists. The first suggestion of his heart attack had occurred during a bitter argument with Senator William Knowland during a session of the Foreign Relations Committee when Senator Johnson was insisting that Senator McCarthy's anti-Eisenhower pre-Geneva resolution, which would have bound the President to discuss the issue of the Communist satellites, ought be reported unfavorably to the Senate floor, as it was. The humiliating defeat of the resolution brought the anti-Eisenhower part of the Republican Party to its low point.

Regarding domestic politics, Senator Johnson's comeback would probably not portend well for the White House, as the Senator was good at eliminating quarrels among Democrats, desirable in an election year for the Republicans. He had been bridging the liberal Northern Democrats with the conservative Southern Democrats and without his presence, that bridge could fall apart, whereas with it, the Democrats ought enter the 1956 national convention "as near a band of brothers as they are ever likely to be."

Robert C. Ruark, in Palamos, Spain, tells of Eleanor Holm being in the area and living within his household, coming close to wrecking his household, such that he was now sighing with relief that she would soon be leaving. "A rather attractive doll who once got kicked off the Olympic team for shooting craps, or something equally sportive," Ms. Holm swam once per day to Corsica and back, infecting his household. The cook let the meat burn while she practiced the backstroke, and his wife went around making funny faces, like a goldfish, practicing breathing. He had wrecked what was left of his legs with his adaptation of a flutter kick, and if Ms. Holm decided to stay much longer, they would all wind up drowned.

She had fallen in love with the one recording Mr. Ruark had of Jeri Southern, something about "Miss Johnson phoned today", and he intends to christen her with that record when she would leave for the Barcelona airport by busting it over her head. She had four beaus whom Mr. Ruark would then chase off with a stick.

He concludes that Ms. Holm had read the piece in advance and agreed that, while it was horrible, it was also all too dreadfully true.

A letter writer, 25, says that for 20 years he had earned his livelihood from the textile industry and asserts that the South owed its high standard of living to that industry in one way or the other. Recently, the newspaper had published an article about a piece in the Springs Bulletin regarding the Eisenhower Administration lowering tariffs on textile goods from Japan, suggesting that it would harm textile workers if it were to occur, as the textile mills of the country would be forced to curtail personnel and cut wages to meet the competition from abroad of cheaper goods. Some mills might have to shut down. He says that he was not presently employed in the textile industry but that most of his family had been so employed for most of their working lives, that he had three brothers who were paying for homes with money earned from the textile industry. He hopes that the newspaper could provide a solution to the problem.

A letter writer indicates that headlines suggested that a smoke engineer was about to be hired by the City, but finds that any such person would only wind up in failure, as the winter would bring air full of smoke and fog, and the streets were lined with buses, trucks and automobiles, putting out "stinking smoke" which would remain until the skies cleared up. He thinks that if the City Council wanted to throw away $7,500 to hire a smoke engineer, they should instead donate it to a good cause, such as polio or cancer, and not waste it on smoke control.

A letter writer wonders why some people, and especially newspapers, called any law which was passed to force observance of the Sabbath, "blue laws", as he sees nothing blue about them for any Christian, believes that anyone who did not keep the Sabbath as God commanded, would be punished. He is against Sunday movies, but questions why theaters should be closed on Sunday if baseball, football and everything else was allowed to operate on Sunday.

A letter writer finds that there was too much to do over Hurricane Connie, and that the "dollar-greedy folks who think of nothing but themselves" would find that there was something much worse ahead than that hurricane, from which they would not be able to escape, warns that Connie "was just a tiny ounce of the Almighty's power."

A letter from J. R. Dean of Lincolnton, who had recently written indicating that he did not intend to contest Governor Luther Hodges for the Democratic nomination in 1956 after hearing his speech on integration of the public schools, asserts again that he believed as the Governor about race relations in the state, that North Carolina had better race relations than any other state in the country and that they should be allowed to run their affairs of state.

A letter writer, who identifies himself as a black businessman, indicates that he was tired of being sneered at when he did business with some of the white people, with whom he had always had harmony, that such sneering had been the result of the Supreme Court decision in Brown v. Board of Education and the ideas of Kelly Alexander, the NAACP representative for North Carolina. He wishes that the newspaper would stop referring to Nathaniel Tross as a black leader, that what he and Mr. Alexander said and did would not influence blacks as a whole one way or the other, that the intelligent black person was his own leader. He says that, likewise, the radio address of Governor Hodges a week earlier would also not affect black opinion, that blacks would act according to their own thoughts.

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