The Charlotte News

Tuesday, August 23, 1955


Site Ed. Note: The front page reports that in Kumhwa, Korea, the Communists had this date freed a U.S. Air Force flier, whose unarmed trainer plane had crashed in the demilitarized zone on August 17 and his Army captain observer-passenger killed, and sent home the body of the dead Army captain. The Communists contended that the plane had been spying over North Korea at the time it had been shot down by ground fire, but the U.N. Command charged that "trigger-happy" North Korean antiaircraft gunners had fired on it when it accidentally had strayed over the demilitarized zone. The released lieutenant had a bandage over his right eye and the right side of his forehead, as he crossed over to the allied side of the truce line. Before he had crossed the bridge separating the zones, a Communist officer told allied authorities that they wanted to ask him some questions, and were told to limit the questions, whereupon they asked him about his treatment and North Korea, and the lieutenant replied that it had been "all right. It was okay. The treatment—considering the circumstances—was all right. I was treated fairly well." He was also asked to confirm that he had all of his personal belongings, which he did, and also confirmed that his medical treatment while being held seemed adequate.

The President this date, after making an hour-long aerial tour of parts of the six Northeastern states beset by flooding in the wake of Hurricane Diane, urged the public to contribute everything possible to the Red Cross relief effort. He stated in a broadcast that in his opinion everyone within the sound of his voice would sleep better this night if they turned in everything they could spare to meet the disaster. He met with six Northeastern governors, and with representatives of both North and South Carolina, previously hit by Hurricanes Connie and Diane, especially the former. He said that the Federal Government would at once undertake a long-range flood prevention program, including insurance to prevent losses of the type suffered in the flood, urging the states to get to work right away. He also said that the Government would undertake all it could to provide jobs for those who had lost theirs in the wake of the flooding of industry. Civil Defense administrator Val Peterson estimated that 75 million dollars would be needed from the emergency fund, which currently had only 11.6 million, to aid the devastated areas. He said that the President would ask Congressional leaders this date for permission to make allocations extending the credit of the Government up to the needed amount. Mr. Peterson said that Connecticut and Pennsylvania, the most heavily damaged by the floods, would receive the bulk of the money, at 25 million each, with Massachusetts receiving 15 million. The President also indicated that he might call Congress into special session for the purpose of allocating the necessary funding.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics reported this date that the cost of living had risen in July for the second straight month, this time by three-tenths of one percent, an increase sufficient to provide a penny per hour raise for about 650,000 workers of G.M. and Ford Motor Co., with escalator clauses in their contracts. The rise was attributable to seasonal increases in the price of food and most types of services. Prices on food had risen an average of seven-tenths of a percent despite prices for many meat items and fresh vegetables having declined. Costs of housing, household operation, medical care and personal care had reached new record levels. The increase in the index had been the largest since May, 1954.

In Charleston, S.C., a C-119 Flying Boxcar had crashed, exploded and burned in a black residential area near the Charleston Air Force Base this date, killing nine or more airmen and civilians, with five of the 11 crew members killed in the crash. None of the six survivors of the plane was believed to have been seriously injured. Four civilians had been found shortly after the crash, which had hit three houses in the densely populated Liberty Park community. The plane had been on a routine night flight with a another military transport plane. An eyewitness who had been sitting on his porch eating a watermelon said that he saw the plane coming in with one engine on fire. A propeller had broken off and flown 100 yards, winding up crashing through a window of a fourth house, injuring a sleeping man and his wife, while an elevator from the tail of the plane was left dangling in a hickory tree which had been the first point of impact. Only the three houses actually hit by parts of the plane had burned, as chemicals and water sprayed on the plane and nearby houses had probably saved many lives by extinguishing the flames rapidly.

In Spring City, Tenn., a long freight train had rammed into a loaded elementary school bus at a railroad crossing in the town the previous day, killing ten children, and injuring the 30 other young occupants, all ranging in age between six and twelve, and the bus driver. At least five of the 21 children hospitalized overnight had been in serious condition, while nine others and the driver had been treated and released. Estimates of the number of dead varied from 10 to 17 during the confusion after the crash, but the number was eventually limited to ten based on official information. The bus driver said that he had failed to see the 100-car train approaching the crossing, despite the engineer of the Southern Railway train stating that he had sounded the horn as he approached the crossing at about 45 mph. Both the bus driver and the train engineer were charged with manslaughter. The mayor of the town said that there was no speed limit for trains at the crossing. The bus driver, 39, was only on his sixth day on the job, and was furnishing his own bus.

In Fayetteville, N.C., a near cloudburst early this date had caused two creeks to overflow through low areas of the city and inundate about 50 dwellings. The Red Cross had established a refugee center at a black USO center for evacuees from the flooded areas.

Ann Sawyer of The News indicates that the possibility of transporting schoolchildren in Mecklenburg County who lived within 1.5 miles of their respective schools was becoming slimmer, as the County school superintendent, J. W. Wilson, this date said that the County system would not receive additional buses during the school year, set to open on September 1. The State had ordered new buses, but none had yet been delivered, and there was also an increased student load, with the consequence, according to the superintendent, that the chances of transporting children who lived within the 1.5 mile limit of school, were becoming less. State law required that children who lived more than 1.5 miles from school be transported by the district and also prohibited overloading of buses. The superintendent therefore urged parents to find out whether their children were within walking distance and that they should be making transportation arrangements for them. The superintendent said it was still not yet known how the County would be able to meet its transportation needs for the coming school year. Provide free bicycles.

In Charlotte, as reported by News sports writer Ronald Green, the U.S. Golf Association's Women's Amateur Championship tournament, taking place during the week at Myers Park Country Club, was the most prestigious sporting event ever to take place in the city. It was held annually to determine the women's amateur champion of the country, and players ranged in age from 15 to 60, came from five nations, including the U.S. The reigning champion, Barbara Romack of Sacramento, was one of the competitors. Three had come from England and one from Mexico, with another from Hawaii and yet another from Canada. Practically all of the states were also represented by at least one golfer, with many from the West Coast.

On the editorial page, "A Witches Brew Bubbles in Morocco" indicates that only in communism did the blood-soaked cry of nationalism find a rival as a threat to the world's old order, and that a combination of the two brought forth the worst in both, as had been the case in Indo-China, where a genuine desire of the people to be rid of their French colonial rulers had been subverted and directed to its own ends by communism. It finds that at its best, nationalism was a widespread force for self-government which was translated into the ability and will to govern, as shown in the Philippines and in India.

The U.S. and Britain had been able to organize nationalistic forces in their possessions and usually had been able to yield control gracefully to them, preserving the ties of trade and friendship with former colonies. But the French had not been so successful.

Recently, the Moroccan riots showed the French in a situation where it appeared impossible for them to leave or to stay, with blood being shed by advocates of both courses. The tribal chieftains preferred French rule with a puppet sultan on the throne, while the urban nationalists would not negotiate as long as that sultan remained. A third force were the French settlers who foresaw damage to their interests in any governmental reforms which provided Moroccans more self-governance. Terrorism had been launched against the French and pro-French Moroccans, causing those groups to strike back at the nationalists and the French who favored some reform.

Two years earlier, the French governor had ousted the old sultan, a civil and religious leader with nationalist leanings, and replaced him with his aging uncle, who it appeared now had to be sacrificed to soothe the offended nationalists. But since the Moroccan French had strong spokesmen in the National Assembly in Paris, that could shake the present French Government. The diplomatic way out might be to have the present sultan resign and seek the type of settlement worked out in Tunisia, whereby moderate nationalists had been given local autonomy in negotiations, which also guaranteed French settlers some rights and privileges. Should the French withdraw, civil war would be certain in the resulting leadership vacuum. If they were to stay, bloodshed would continue intermittently until a compromise could be found.

Whatever happened, the French had to drink a "witches brew", compounded through the years by a population which outstripped economic advances, the mixing of European culture and religion with traditional forms, the granting of special privileges of the minority of French settlers and the failure to develop competent and popular native leaders who could take over when nationalist tendencies, as at present, demanded self-governance.

"John L. Lewis: Needle and Pen" indicates that the UMW head had been quiet of late, having been completely eclipsed in the public prints in recent times by unionists such as UAW and CIO president Walter Reuther and AFL president George Meany. Yet, Mr. Lewis had not lost his touch at the bargaining table or his talent for turning a phrase "calculated to penetrate and sting."

The previous week, in winning for his union a two-dollar per day wage increase, the largest ever given, for some 120,000 bituminous coal miners, continuing the peace in the industry which had prevailed since 1950, Mr. Lewis had been humble, with both sides pleased at the outcome. The spokesman for the operators said that the new contract and six years of peace was "unparalleled in modern history and contribute to an increased sense of responsibility on the part of both the union and coal management." In response, Mr. Lewis had said that the agreement was "sane and in the public interest", preserving the era of "pacific relations" and would not oppress consumers, "nor yet expose the brittle bones of the operators to the icy blasts of the coming winter. It is devoid of Marxian babble, and contains no wind or water."

It quotes further from his colorful gushing about the contract, and suggests that his reference to "Marxian babble" and "no wind or water" had perhaps been a jab at the guaranteed annual wage plan which Mr. Reuther had negotiated with the automakers, though Mr. Lewis would not, when asked, say exactly what he intended by the language. It finds that he was operating as of old, "with a pen for the contract in his hand and a needle for the operators on the tip of his tongue." He had not seemed to miss the crisis atmosphere which had once surrounded his remarks and neither had the public.

"Hot Weather Note" indicates that science had determined that when the weather was steamy and one was looking for relief, it was not to be found in a tall, icy, gin-and-tonic, that if the idea was to keep cool, according to the New York Times science writer, it was better not to dispense the gin but to dispense with it. Scientists had found that all alcoholic drinks were warming because the body had no way of disposing of alcohol except to burn it as fuel.

It finds that some people found that advice hardly making summer worthwhile at all, while reinforcing an old suspicion of the editors "that the only real way to keep cool in Charlotte is to jump (soberly) into the Catawba about June 5 or 6 and remain there, like a polliwog, until Sept. 25."

"Proof—Just Like Lincoln Said" indicates that it despised exasperating wiseacres who insisted on proving pet theories with condescension and no little pride, and so had a great deal of pleasure in passing along two proofs positive which turned neatly into proofs negative. The first was that prison officials in Stockholm had sought to prove the curse of strong drink by setting up a football match between the jail's chronic alcoholics and other inmates, only to have the drunks win the match. The other was that of an English businessman who had locked himself and a clerk in a safe to prove how wrong the clerk was to complain that he could not open the safe door from the inside, while it had then taken rescuers, summoned by the pair's furious pounding, four hours to get them out.

"Obviously, you can prove some of the rules some of the time but not all of the rules all of the time. Q.E.D."

A piece from the Baltimore Evening Sun, titled "Of Shirts", indicates that the President had begun his vacation recently by wearing a "blue and watermelon red sport shirt reminiscent of former President Truman's summer styles." It finds that the attire lacked something of the "fireworks-and-flowers madness" of some of Mr. Truman's selections, and had been described as "an early-conservative Truman shirt."

The Oxford English Dictionary suggested that under the Tudors, shirts must have been stunning, as during the time of Henry VIII, there had been laws forbidding any "servyng man" from wearing any "shirte or shirte binding made or wrought with Silke Golde or Silver," and another prohibiting anyone "under the degree of a Knyght" from wearing "any garded or pynshed shirte." A more conservative style shirt had arrived later, along with freedom from the earlier restrictions. Adam Smith, writing in 1776, had said that "a creditable day laborer would be ashamed to appear in public without a linen shirt."

Now, one was generally accorded the right to wear what one wished, though few chose a shirt of fire or hair shirt, and it was rare to see a bloody shirt being waved or shirts of mail. "Boiled shirts have declined in favor even if stuff shirts we have always with us." People still bet their shirts, regardless of design or color, and often lost them, and occasionally gave them from their backs, and sometimes kept them on.

It indicates that the OED probably was somewhat behind the times because it defined a shirt as "an article of male attire with long sleeves." It finds it was not necessarily the case, as the sleeves and sport shirts had "gone the way of that whiteness which Ophelia had in mind when she described Hamlet as 'pale as his shirt.'"

Drew Pearson indicates that most of the people who got mixed up in the Army-McCarthy dispute in the spring of 1954 wound up getting fired, had resigned or lost their jobs. Secretary of the Army Robert Stevens, the center of the controversy, had just resigned, not happy at the Pentagon, and the President had not been happy with him. Army counsel John G. Adams had resigned much earlier, at the conclusion of the hearings, and for a long time afterward had trouble finding a job with a good law firm, the previous week having finally become situated anew. John Kane, the public relations man to Secretary Stevens, had left after the Secretary had begun "knuckling under" to the Senators on the Investigations subcommittee. Lt. Col. Jean Wood, who had worked hard helping Mr. Stevens in the probe, suffered a heart attack and had retired on disability. Three career members of the office staff of Mr. Stevens who had been called to testify during the hearings had just been transferred or downgraded, three hours after the new Secretary, Wilbur Brucker, had taken office. Mr. Brucker was a well-known friend of Senator McCarthy. He provides details of the three individuals and their roles and testimony during the hearings.

He concludes that it had all occurred "because poor little rich boy G. David Schine didn't want to get drafted into the Army." Mr. Schine's father had owned a string of luxury hotels, including the Ambassador Hotel in Los Angeles, site of the assassination in 1968 of Senator Robert F. Kennedy, just after winning the California presidential primary, and who had served as the minority counsel for the Democratic Senators on the subcommittee investigating the Army-McCarthy matter in spring, 1954.

Democrats were squaring off for the usual battle for the presidential nomination, whether or not the President would run again. The latest backstage moves in the race for the nomination included Carmine de Sapio, head of Tammany Hall in New York, and the biggest wheel of the entourage supporting Governor Averell Harriman for the nomination—even though the Governor had indicated that as long as his friend, Adlai Stevenson, was in the race, he would not enter it—, having told Pittsburgh Mayor David Lawrence, the biggest wheel in Pennsylvania Democratic circles, that Mr. Stevenson could not carry New York state, and believed that the Democrats had to have a stronger, newer and fresher candidate. Mr. De Sapio had communicated that information to the Mayor because he noted a bandwagon rush by the supporters of Mr. Stevenson to sew up the nomination for him during the ensuing fall, nine months before the Chicago convention. Typical of what had caused Mr. De Sapio's concern was the example of the Democratic national committeeman and Congressman Harry Sheppard of San Bernardino having sought to block Senator Estes Kefauver from obtaining California's 68 nominating delegates.

Stewart Alsop, in Casablanca, writing on the eve of the recent outbreak of violence among the nationalists in Morocco and Algeria, tells of a "sick city" emitting "a sort of smell, a special emanation of its own." He finds that it was always the same, whether in Cairo during the riots or in Prague in the first weeks after the coup or in Shanghai, just before the Communists had taken over, or in Jerusalem, during the Palestine terror. Casablanca had the same smell of "hatred and fear".

A crisis was anticipated for August 20—the day when the violence would erupt—, the second anniversary of the date when the French had deposed Sultan Sidi Mohammed ben-Youssef, "a self-regarding and luxury-loving man who has become, thanks to the French, the symbol of Moroccan nationalism." The outbreak was expected between the rebellious Moroccans and the ruling French, and newspapermen, "who share with vultures a common interest in death and disaster", had come to Casablanca to see the killing and blood-letting. It had not developed early in the day as he was writing, but warns that the day had not yet ended and the smell of hatred and fear in the city could not be ignored. Thus far, the trouble had been small and sporadic.

He relates of an example of traveling in an open car behind a French jeep patrol through the "New Medina", the shoddy Arab section, and the patrol leader, suspicious, stopped a closed Arab funeral truck, painted white, and emerging from the truck had been 15 Moroccans, ranging from boys to old men. Just what they had planned to do, no one knew, as they had no weapons in the truck, but did have two long, empty coffins with air holes punched in them. The 15 frightened Arabs were made to lean forward in a line, with their hands outstretched against a wall, and from time to time, a black Senegalese soldier would walk down the line and pull their feet out, to make their leaning as painful as possible. A crowd began to gather, but was quickly dispersed when a platoon in a heavy truck was driven hard into it. A couple of French soldiers caught a young Moroccan slithering along an alley and slapped him until he screamed, then let him go. When they proceeded 20 minutes later, the Arabs were still leaning against the wall, with their legs quivering from the strain, and the last thing Mr. Alsop remembered was "their brown hands, the veins swollen, against the dirty white of the wall, and the veiled look of fear and hatred in their eyes."

Another example he recounts had occurred near a quarry, where trouble had been reported. There was a line of German-made tanks, with soldiers sitting on them in the hot sun, talking and joking, and just to one side, there was a long, dusty road with Arab houses on the left and a "bidonville" on the right, "bidon" being the French for gasoline can, with the "bidonville" therefore being a community built entirely of flattened gasoline cans and crawling with humanity. The French troops were spread out along the road between the Arab settlement and the bidonville, wherein there were 45,000 Arabs and 20,000 others, but none to be seen except for a rare shadow broken only by the intermittent occasional rifle shot, fired mostly as a warning. The corpse of one Arab, who had not heeded the warning quickly enough, had been dragged off to one side, and two or three other Arabs had been killed earlier. A French non-com, wounded by a shot from somewhere in the bidonville, had been taken to the hospital.

He indicates that at present writing, there were hardly more dead and wounded than one might expect from traffic accidents on a crowded holiday in an American city. "But this is a sick city and both French and Moroccans are perfectly aware that the blood-letting can come at any time." He posits that if the Arab leaders became convinced that negotiation with the French was futile and passed the word to the mobs to move against the French, it would begin, or if the French extremists gained the upper hand and the military were permitted to teach the Arabs a lesson by shelling and bombing of Arab towns, as in Syria and Algeria after the war. He concludes that it would be a long time before the "sick city" was well, that fear and hatred had penetrated too deep in Morocco to be erased and forgotten.

A map accompanies the column to show the cities where the trouble had begun in both Morocco and Algeria.

Robert C. Ruark, still in Palamos, Spain, tells of having purchased an old-fashioned hand-crank ice cream freezer and an old-fashioned ice-cream suit of white flannel, taking him back into simplicity, having not used or worn such in some 20 years. He had been eating ice cream from drugstore packages for so long that he had forgotten what one could do with a freezer, some good Jersey cream and a quart of sliced peaches. There was toil involved, but it was worthwhile. (As long as you don't churn it too long, such that it turns to bits of butter, or that you don't add enough rock salt around the outside such that it does not freeze properly, and you wind up with peach mush...)

He says that he had a young slave in the house at the moment who was paying his keep in various ways, such as picking tomatoes, shucking corn, and churning ice cream, especially if the small boy was permitted to lick the dasher. He had sampled the dasher, himself, and determined that it was still as good as he had recalled from his Sunday morning chores as a boy.

He next recounts his thrill over his white flannel suit, also bringing back memories of youth, similar to that costume in which he had graduated from high school or had worn while attending the Saturday dance with the girl he had not kissed yet but was aiming to kiss as soon as she was overcome by "young magnificence". White flannel pants had been so festive 20 years earlier that he had worn them with a dinner jacket, which was then called a tuxedo.

He says that he had put on his nostalgic regalia to attend a wedding recently, and was confident that no one had looked at the bride, as he was 15 years old and "dressed to kill for the first time, and now I have a remedy for juvenile delinquency. As the first course you put the kids in charge of the ice-cream freezer, and then you graduate him into an ice-cream suit. Between responsibility, greed, and preening pride, he won't have a chance to stick up a filling station. He'll be too busy keeping the spots off his suit."

A letter writer responds to a letter published August 17 from a person "who seems to know quite a bit about New York and its slums, and uncivilized Negroes." The previous writer had stated that blacks had not reached the point of citizenship, commenting on an earlier published letter from a writer whom this writer congratulates, the subsequent writer having said that the South was not New York and its "filthy slums". She wants to know what part of the South the previous writer was referring to as great, whether the new superhighways being constructed, the growing industry, the beautiful national parks, beaches and mountains and large farms, or the dirty back alleys in the cities and towns, or the dirty shacks alongside the highways. While New York had its slums, the previous writer should not have overlooked the fact that all was not rosy in the South. While the previous writer had said that the South would not be pushed around by "politicians" on the Supreme Court, this writer remarks that perhaps it would be pushed around by "little evil-minded, hate-filled persons". She does not regard Brown v. Board of Education as having pushed anyone around. The previous writer appeared to suggest that only blacks got into street fights over silly things which subsequently did not make sense. "If so, the caricature of the feuding and fussing hillbilly has had the wrong color skin all these years." She wants to know how many blacks the previous writer knew, both good and bad, her guess being that he only knew a few and of those, the majority were the type from whom he gathered a representation for the whole race. She indicates that her job required her to sit in on court sessions every morning of the week, and that she saw some pretty disgusting things, and that not all of the people she viewed were of brown skin. She indicates that her letter was not meant to say whether integration was right or wrong, that she wanted to make the point that she loved her race and hated to see people try to drag it down because of "some things individuals of my race do", that one could not judge a whole race by what some members of it did. She advises the previous writer to meet more black people, "the right ones", before passing judgment on the whole race.

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.