The Charlotte News

Wednesday, August 3, 1955


Site Ed. Note: The front page reports from Hong Kong that the daily train from Communist China's Canton to the Hong Kong border had arrived this date without the 11 U.S. airmen who were being freed by Communist China, apparently scheduled to arrive the following day. Eventually, they would be transported to Travis Air Force Base near San Francisco, after arriving near Seattle, following debriefing during a stopover in the Philippines. Their B-29 had been shot down over North Korea during the Korean War, and they had been accused by the Communist Chinese of being spies, had been tried and convicted the previous November, sentenced to between five and ten years each in prison.

In Cisco Grove, Calif., a 20-year old girl this date had to decide whether to return to the airman husband she had thought was dead or to stay with the man she had married later and with whom she was in love. She had wed the airman when she was 17 and bore his son after he went overseas, had learned on Monday that he was one of the 11 American airmen to be released. She was flying to meet him when he arrived in the country, and would take their 2 1/2-year old son who had never seen his father. She said that she did not know what she was going to do, was glad that her husband was returning, but faced a tough decision, having married the second man two months before learning from the Air Force that her husband was alive and well as a war prisoner. She said she had made a mistake but that everyone was entitled to one mistake. She had never been notified that her husband was dead, only that he was missing. She said that her husband did not know of her remarriage. Wethinks you have made mistake number two.

Congress ended its session early this date and the President relayed his regards and apparent overall satisfaction to the Democratic-controlled houses, which had nevertheless supported him in foreign policy and given him much of what he had sought in his domestic program. A half-dozen major bills and scores of lesser ones had been rushed to the President's desk for signing in the final long day and night of the session, including bills on housing, the polio vaccine, the local transit strike in Washington, defense production, loans to small businesses and a money bill to finance Congress, itself. The President expressed displeasure with some features of the housing bill, but some Republican leaders discounted the talk that he might veto it and call a special session to pass another bill. The temperature had reached 98 degrees in Washington the previous day, and few lawmakers remained after the end of the session, with many having already departed for home prior to the adjournment. Left unpassed were controversial proposals for construction of atomic merchant vessels, highway building, school construction, exemption of natural gas producers from Federal regulation, upper Colorado River development, customs simplification, rigid farm price supports and expanded Social Security benefits. All of those bills had been passed by one house but ignored by the other, remaining alive for the second session to begin in January. The Congress had taken no action on several recommendations of the Administration, including proposals for liberalizing the Refugee Admission Act, increasing postal rates, lowering the voting age to 18, loans for low-income farmers, Federal reinsurance of health programs, pay increases for top Government executives and revision of Taft-Hartley.

Senator Estes Kefauver of Tennessee said this date that there was a parallel between the Dixon-Yates contract issue and the issue arising regarding the conflict of interest of Secretary of the Air Force Harold Talbott, who had the previous day tendered his resignation, accepted by the President. The Senator said that both situations produced different types of responsive action by the President. As the Senate antimonopoly subcommittee resumed its investigation of the Dixon-Yates contract, the Senator said that the President had accepted the resignation of Secretary Talbott because of his business connections posing a conflict of interest, but that the President had seen nothing wrong in the activities of a former Budget Bureau consultant who was also a vice-president of the First Boston Corp. which had become the Dixon-Yates financial agent. Senator Kefauver said that he could not see any difference in the two cases, except that there was probably a stronger conflict of interest in the Dixon-Yates matter. The contract had been canceled in June after the City of Memphis had decided to build its own power plant, obviating the need for the Dixon-Yates contract.

In London, it was reported that Communist Bulgaria had admitted this date that two of its fighter planes had shot down an Israeli airliner the previous Wednesday, killing all 58 persons aboard, including 12 Americans. The Government said that it would "discover and punish those responsible for the catastrophe". Previously, the Government had said that Communist antiaircraft guns had shot down the airliner and promised partial payment for the plane. But the Israeli foreign minister said the prior Monday that Israeli investigators who inspected the wreckage saw numerous bullet holes in the plane, giving the impression that they had come from machine-gun fire, consistent with aircraft. The announcement by Bulgaria said that the "organs of the antiaircraft defense" had been "too hasty" in shooting down the airliner, not taking all of the necessary steps to force the plane to land. It also said that it would take all steps to prevent any repetition of such a disaster.

Demand had been poor during the opening sales of flue-cured tobacco on North Carolina's Border Belt this date, according to the North Carolina and U.S. Departments of Agriculture. Good luck on that.

Dick Young of The News tells more about the proposal for the City to contract with a private adjoining property owner to afford 1,800 additional parking spaces for the Coliseum-Auditorium complex being completed on Independence Boulevard, with the City owning land only affording parking for 1,200 cars. The owner of the adjoining parcel had refused to sell his land but was willing to lease it for 20 years jointly with the City, sharing in the profits by a 60-40 ratio, commensurate with the size of his lot compared to that of the City. City Manager Henry Yancey believed that the lease was favorable to the City because of its long term and the fact that at some point in the future, the property owner might be willing to sell the property. One site, located across the six-lane boulevard from the complex, was not regarded as feasible for parking by City officials because attendees of events would have to walk across the heavily traveled highway to reach the complex, and, furthermore, frontage property on the boulevard had recently been quoted to prospective purchasers at the rate of $10,000 per acre, leaving overflow parking to the surrounding neighborhoods. Stay home and watch it on tv.

Charles Kuralt of The News tells of 5,500 Mecklenburg County children being about a month away from their first day of the first grade at age six, to be on September 1, while all other students would report on September 7 for the first day of classes. (The State required that each first grader had to be six years old by no later than October 15 to be eligible to enter school. Vaccinations for smallpox, whooping cough and diphtheria were required for admission also.) The newspaper had asked a first grade teacher at Eastover School and an elementary school principal of Wilmore what parents could do to help their children prepare for school, with a lot of suggestions having been made and at least one guiding principle, that if the student could not read, the parents should not worry about it until after the student had a chance to learn at school. (That's good advice, unless you want to develop a precocious brat who will probably wind up on skidrow by the seventh grade, having started with great advantage but then, not living up to the initial hype, falling woefully behind in demonstration of ability and consequent self-esteem.) The interviewed teacher, who had been teaching first grade for 17 years, said that she would prefer that parents devote their time to teaching preschool children courtesy, self-control and responsibility and leave reading, writing and arithmetic to the teacher. She said that good social habits made the teacher's job easier and helped the child in school. The school principal recommended to parents that they teach their children to take care of their own property, sweaters, jackets and overshoes, to handle certain materials like pencils and crayons, (not using the former as weapons against fellow students or the latter as instruments for producing graffiti on the walls, as we once did at our grandparents' house prior to entering school), and to teach them how to make friends with others their own age, how to take turns, how to share and be polite, to teach the student how to listen, to teach simple safety rules, the best way to walk to school if the student was walking, and imparting the student's home address and phone number. She said that most first-graders were aware of those things because parents were better educated on preparing their children for school than had been the case previously. The first grade teacher said that once in her classroom, there had been eight children whose parents had homes at Myrtle Beach, and they were telling stories about vacations, when she discovered that none of the children knew the name of the ocean washing over the beach, being aware of the waves and sand, but not the Atlantic. None of the other children were aware of it either. She found that the children had been given wonderful experiences but did not really understand those experiences, that parents could do their children a great service by helping them to understand. But it is actually India and so it must be the Indian Ocean, at least according to Columbus. Like, what do you want from us, teach?

In Blountstown, Fla., officials banned any further snake-handling during religious services in the rural community, as the sheriff served notice the previous day that anyone involved in such activities would be arrested, after a man from Albany, Ga., had died the previous week following his refusal of medical treatment from a snake bite incurred during religious services he had been conducting at nearby Altha.

That is another thing which parents ought teach their children: not to handle snakes.

On the editorial page, "McCarthy: The Big, Bad Wolf Is Dead" indicates that like the big, bad wolf, Senator McCarthy continued to huff and puff at the door of the Administration, but was not the wolf he had once been, as the Republican leadership in the Senate gently shooed him away so that they could get on with other business.

The Senator had spoken threateningly of "taking the issue to the American people" regarding the President's "friendship to tyrants and murderers", which the Senator found on display at the Geneva Big Four summit conference.

It finds that the American people believed, as did Congress, that far from "selling out" the country at the conference, the President had strengthened global peace. Even recent admirers of Senator McCarthy, such as Senator Karl Mundt of South Dakota and Senator Barry Goldwater of Arizona, said that they did not believe Americans would "buy" the line which Senator McCarthy was putting forth regarding Geneva and the President.

"The Big, Bad Wolf is as bad as ever but he keeps getting smaller and smaller in stature. Thankfully, when it comes to the things McCarthy stands for, the nation's moral image is no longer one of cowardice, confusion and fear. The Big, Bad Wolf is, for all practical purposes, dead."

And, of course, in less than two years, he would be in fact, at only age 48.

"The Final, Final Action by Talbott" comments on the decision by Air Force Secretary Harold Talbott to resign, despite being clear in his mind that he had committed no ethical violation in being a partner in a firm which dealt in defense contracts, deciding on resignation to spare the Administration embarrassment. According to the resignation letter the Secretary sent to the President, he had been the victim of "distorted publicity" and had done his best to observe the high standards set by the President. In reply, the President had praised Mr. Talbott and stated that he saw no reason to believe that his official duties had not been effectively and loyally performed.

The previous Wednesday he had told the Senate Investigations subcommittee investigating whether his remuneration from the firm constituted a conflict of interest, that as his "final action" he would quit his position as a partner in the business, and had stated as late as the previous Saturday that he had no intention of resigning his post as Secretary. But, to save the President embarrassment, he had nevertheless tendered his resignation.

It finds, however, that the business solicitation letters which Mr. Talbott had written on Air Force stationery on behalf of the firm in which he was a partner and his sharp words to the RCA attorney who wondered about the ethics of RCA doing business with the firm in which Mr. Talbott was a partner, and his use of Air Force general counsel as his private attorney, had been the actual subjects of the correspondence between the President and Mr. Talbott, which amounted to skillful exercises in avoiding the subject.

"Shoo, Fly!" wonders where July flies flew in August, concludes that it was nowhere, as they recognized no anomaly in sticking to their posts and making their "horrible sound" after the month of their name was gone, continuing to sing and celebrate the harshness of heat even into September. While July flies might be performing a great service to mankind, it unhesitatingly declares against their presence in August, September or October, or any other month which moved toward the season of coolness, indicating that it would rather see than hear them.

"Bafflegab: Order out of Chaos?" indicates that the new language of Washington, called "bafflegab", was so unintelligible that it bore comparison only to certain underground rainmaking incantations of the Zuni.

An Administration official, testifying on the technical assistance program for underdeveloped areas, had recently stated: "The multilateral organizations of primary concern to our department are the United Nations expanded technical assistance program, UNICEF, UNESCO, ILO, WHO, OAS, PASO and South Pacific commission. HEW is primarily interested in WHO, since PHS of HEW was one of the prime movers in the establishment of WHO in 1948 and some of WHO's leading officials have been recruited from HEW. Technical personnel of both PHS and CB serve on the committees as specialists."

It also quotes similarly from another Government official's speech, as well from a report to the House Merchant Marine Committee, the latter stating in mixed metaphors: "Isn't it about time for maritime labor and management to get together on long-term plans or must the golden goose be killed before the barn door is locked?"

It concludes that after reading those pronouncements, it marveled at the sheer stamina and perseverance of American democracy.

A piece from the Sanford Herald, titled "Death in the Country", tells of the Goldsboro News-Argus finding that the way to hold an eel for skinning was to place its head in the doorjamb and then apply some pressure from the knob. The piece thinks it ought to work as one could open a bottle of pickles that way. But it wonders who would carry an eel far enough into a house to squeeze its head in the doorjamb, and after it had been skinned, one could never get the slime off the woodwork.

It recommends instead a skinning post, indicating that the writer's family had one in the backyard of the house when the writer was a boy, explains how the eel was then skinned. Catfish were handled the same way. Rabbits were also dressed on the skinning post, before the practice became dangerous to health. Rabbits were killed by a blow applied with the edge of one hand to the neck while the other hand gripped the hind legs, the piece finding it no wonder that the "rabbit punch" was illegal in prizefighting.

"The record of the skinning post was grisly. But to a boy it did not seem so. Life flourishes in the country. Death is treated casually too."

Drew Pearson tells of former Governor Thomas Dewey of New York having lobbied on behalf of a firm whose primary partner was a Democrat, Lawrence Harvey, to obtain preferential treatment for the firm, which wanted to build an aluminum plant on the Dalles in Oregon, but wanted a 2.2 million dollar Government expenditure to build a power line from Bonneville Dam to supply the plant with cheap public power. Eventually, at the last minute, the Senate had passed a rider to a bill allowing the expenditure for the special line. Secretary of Interior Douglas McKay had wanted the company first to build the plant before the power line was constructed at Government expense.

Eventually, the appropriation was killed in conference between the houses, after it had nearly been killed in the House Appropriations Committee, as the Democrats, despite Mr. Dewey being on the right side of the public-private power debate, could not abide the fact that for two straight years, the Budget Office director had recommended against the expenditure but had only reversed his position after the lobbying effort by Mr. Dewey and his law firm.

A letter from former Recorder's Court Judge J. C. Sedberry responds to a letter published July 30, 1955, taking up the cause of the fired police officer who had been discovered to have a recent misdemeanor assault conviction arising out of the strike against Southern Bell Telephone Co., when the former police officer had crossed union picket lines and reported to work, subjecting him to threats of violence against him and his family, according to the officer, eventuating in his pulling out a pistol in front of some of the union members whom he claimed were blocking the way of his car in leaving work. Judge Sedberry, who presided over the court trial, indicates that the letter writer was wrong in stating that the defense witnesses had not been allowed to testify, finds the anonymous letter writer "cowardly" for intending his "slanderous and scurrilous statement harm and damage" to the judge, even though not calling him by name. It indicates that he was willing to let that pass as far as he was personally concerned, but did not want it to cast reflection on his partners in a law firm. He says that the former officer was represented by an able and competent attorney who had been diligent in his efforts to put before the court everything he could in favor of the officer and that every witness he had offered had testified on behalf of the officer, including character witnesses. He indicates that the fact that he gave the former officer only a $10 fine on the charge was evidence that he considered him to be a man of good character, as the maximum punishment for the offense was imprisonment for two years. The officer had testified that he did exhibit a pistol, but that it was a toy pistol, but all of the State's witnesses had testified that the pistol was a dark blue-steel pistol, before the nickel-plated toy pistol, identified by the defendant, was exhibited in court by the defense attorney. The defendant had stated that only a short portion of the barrel was visible at the time he produced it, intended to call into question the description of the pistol by the State's witnesses. Mr. Sedberry indicates that to suggest that his judgment had been influenced by the fact that the State's witnesses were members of a labor union was also false and malicious slander. The defendant had also been a member of the union and he felt just as kindly towards him as he did toward the State's witnesses, that their membership or not in the union had not entered into his decision. He says that he had sympathetic feelings for all persons who were workers, regardless of labor union affiliation, and that if such a feeling was a sin, then he confessed his guilt.

A letter writer from Mount Holly suggests that the laws providing for segregated schools in the nation's capital and in various states could not have been passed if they were unconstitutional.

Good, and so the Founders were all wet when they established the Federal courts in the first place and to hell with Marbury v. Madison. From now on, whatever state legislatures and the Congress proclaim is unassailable law, engraved in granite, and at each turn, provides essentially an amendment to the Constitution, which cannot be interpreted or in any way struck down by any of the Federal courts. That, after all, is why the Constitution has the Supremacy Clause, standing for White Supremacy.

A letter writer from Myrtle Beach, S.C., says that another letter writer had missed the fact that Southerners did not believe Abraham Lincoln "was a great man, only a two-bit politician who got assassinated for his key to greatness." Chief Justice Earl Warren and the "little men of the Supreme Court" had done just what President Lincoln had done, "played politics because they didn't have the guts to say let's go easy on this socialistic do-gooder stuff." And this doctor goes on and on, as usual, in that mode. He concludes that the previous writer, also a doctor, was "vastly mistaken if he thinks I owe him or any other any burden of proof. Just let the gentleman prove there will be no harm to come of this wild decision to either the white man or the Negro, then his duty will have been done." He thinks the greatest tragedy of the country was that Supreme Court Justices were appointed for life, such that no matter how lousy they might get, nothing could be done about it.

A letter writer would like to know why the public dining rooms and rooming houses were not treated fairly by the City Health Department regarding payment of taxes and keeping clean premises. She says that she had heard of some which had not even been inspected and believed all should be under the same scrutiny by the Health Department.

Well, some of them are killing the chickens and hogs out back, you see, and thus deserving of some level of special treatment.

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.