The Charlotte News
Saturday, August 6, 1955
Site Ed. Note: The front page reports from Tokyo that the 11 U.S. airmen who had been released on Thursday by the Communist Chinese after being imprisoned for 2 1/2 years following their being shot down during the Korean War and subsequently charged with espionage, were determined by Air Force medical personnel to be completely okay physically, in "amazing condition". American intelligence officials had begun questioning them this date about what they saw during their 32 months inside Communist China. It was being speculated that they were being sent home via Tokyo because U.S. intelligence experts on China were concentrated in Japan. One of the airmen who had learned on Friday that his wife had remarried while he was in captivity, believing him dead, appeared composed, as he was spotted converting dollars into military scrip to purchase a camera. He had earlier stated that he hoped to talk by telephone with his wife in California. For the time being, the men were being permitted no calls except to and from their families until the medical examination and questioning of them was complete.
In Seoul, South Korea, ten U.S. soldiers of the 24th Division had been killed and ten others injured, one so critically that he was not expected to live, in a crash this date of an Army truck which was transporting them to an airport. One other of the injured was in critical condition and four others were in serious condition with burns, cuts and broken legs. Names of the soldiers had been withheld pending notification of next of kin. The truck had plunged through a railing of a narrow bridge and overturned, landing in a small stream and catching fire, with some of the soldiers pinned underneath the truck and apparently burning to death. Eight had died at the scene and one more had died on the way to the hospital, while the tenth victim had died at the hospital. One soldier, believed to be the driver of the truck, escaped injury.
In Hiroshima, the city marked the tenth anniversary of its atomic destruction this date with an appeal to the world "never to repeat the tragedy". Survivors of the bomb had arisen before dawn this date to secure places close to the center of Nakajima Peace Park, site of the anniversary ceremony. As the sun had risen, they burned incense and strewed flowers at the foot of the Cenotaph, a stone white arch bearing the inscription, "Rest ye in peace, for we shall never repeat the mistake." By early morning, the crowd had grown to 50,000 and all was still as the zero hour approached at 8:15, at which point bells tolled and whistles sounded, and those gathered knelt in prayer for the dead and for peace. Hiroshima's Mayor Tadao Watanabe said, "We will continue to remind the world never to repeat the tragedy of Hiroshima until true world peace is established eternally." Five hundred doves were released as he spoke.
A survivor of the atomic bomb, a minister and director of the Hiroshima Peace Center Associates, laid a wreath at the tomb of the Unknown Soldier at Arlington National Cemetery this date, praying that under the "peerless leadership" of President Eisenhower, "world disarmament may take place within our lifetimes." Following completion of his prayer, an Army bugler sounded taps as the wreath was placed on the tomb. The minister said that the people of Hiroshima had a bitter taste of the horrors of atomic war but had accepted it as a judgment of God, while asking that "never again should any city or nation have to suffer a similar fate."
In Gettysburg, the President arrived the previous afternoon in a new blue and white Air Force plane bought for $70,000 for short hops, while First Lady Mamie Eisenhower had arrived by car earlier in the day and was waiting at the farmhouse for her husband to arrive. The President had brought with him several hundred bills passed by Congress, which had ended its session during the week. Aides of the President said that he planned to act on all of the bills before returning to Washington the following Friday.
In Boston, Dr. John Cauley, the City health commissioner, had the previous night issued a nationwide appeal to newspapers and radio stations for more nurses to care for New England's rising toll of polio cases, as just under 1,000 had been reported in the six-state area. Mayor John Hynes of Boston had proclaimed a state of "limited emergency" the previous day because of the outbreak and the Boston Health Department had reported 26 new cases the previous day, bringing the total in that city during the year to 301 and in Massachusetts, to 773. A year earlier, Massachusetts had only 88 cases of polio. The official count in New England by the previous day was 999, compared to 220 the previous year. Connecticut had reported 108 cases, compared to 92 the prior year; New Hampshire, 40, compared to 14 the prior year; Rhode Island, 37, as against 11 in 1954; Vermont 18, as against six the prior year; and Maine reported 23, compared to nine the previous year. Massachusetts health officials stated that 19 children who had received the Salk vaccine had been stricken with polio, and in New Hampshire, State officials said that five such inoculated children had contracted polio.
In Miami, Fla., the Weather Bureau reported that hurricane Connie had changed its course slightly during the night and would bypass the Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico to the north, as it continued its track west-northwestward in the general direction of the Bahamas and the South Atlantic Coast, with an alert to U.S. coastal areas remaining in effect. The center of the storm was about 1,100 miles southeast of Miami, moving at the rate of 14 mph, continuing to pack winds of speeds between 100 and 125 mph near its center. The Virgin Islands had felt only 40 mph winds and heavy rain as the storm's outer bands passed over them. The change in direction made the chances better that the storm would miss Cuba and the Florida Straits, the principal city of the latter being Key West. But, according to the head of the Bureau, other areas from Cape Hatteras southward remained under a weekend alert. He said that it was not a formal hurricane warning but was advice to persons to continue to follow hurricane advisories and not plan a weekend at sea in small craft or in isolated, exposed areas on shore.
In Louisville, a record vote appeared almost certain this date as Kentucky was choosing gubernatorial candidates in one of the hottest Democratic primaries ever held in the state. No disorder was reported amid perfect weather. Up to a half million Democratic voters were anticipated at the polls, while not more than 100,000 were expected to vote in the Republican primary. Former Governor A. B. "Happy" Chandler, previously Major League Baseball commissioner, was attempting a political comeback in the race, and some observers rated his chances to be a tossup against Judge Bert Combs, the endorsed choice of incumbent Governor Lawrence Wetherby and the state's two Senators, Alben Barkley and Earle Clements. A third candidate was also in the race, who had been unsuccessful in previous runs for office. Senator Barkley had accused Mr. Chandler in speeches of deserting him during the 1952 Democratic national convention, when the former Vice-President had been a candidate for the presidential nomination, Senator Barkley indicating that Mr. Chandler had been pledged to him but had instead worked against him in favor of Senator Richard Russell of Georgia. Mr. Chandler had resigned as Governor in 1939 to serve in the Senate as an interim appointee of the Lieutenant Governor who had then succeeded Mr. Chandler as Governor upon the latter's resignation.
In Hollywood, a heart attack proved
fatal to Carmen Miranda, 41, following a strenuous day spent singing
and dancing on a television program
In Beverly Hills, actress Suzan Ball, 21, died from cancer from which she had suffered since 1953 when she had slipped and injured her knee during a dance rehearsal. Her right leg was subsequently amputated, but she went on to marry actor Richard Long in April, 1954 and then resumed her screen career, starring in a movie and a live television show, as well as appearing with her husband in a song-and-dance act in nightclubs in Palm Springs, Tucson and her native Buffalo, before the malignancy returned, this time striking her lungs. Mr. Long had been informed that his wife's death was near.
In Chicago, a 260-pound police lieutenant, camouflaged by branches, debris and rocks, had hidden for three hours in 90-degree heat the previous day, eventually, with four other detectives, seizing a man whom they said had picked up an envelope which had been left near the lieutenant by a man who had found a note in his car instructing him to leave $800 in an envelope beneath two rocks in a viaduct, threatening the man and his family if he did not do so. The police lieutenant was sweating profusely under the heavy camouflage by the time the extortion suspect arrived on the scene to collect the loot.
In El Centro, Calif., an elderly spinster, 76, who said that she was a colonel in Pancho Villa's army, provided five locations in different towns and cities in Texas where she claimed the army had hidden 1.5 million dollars in stolen gold, saying that she believed it ought to go to disabled U.S. war veterans. She thus informed the Imperial County veterans service officer of the hiding places. She said she had served with Sr. Villa during border raids and battles which preceded his death in 1923 and that the money had been stolen from American citizens.
In Newark, N.J., a gunman entered a cleaners the previous day, showed the clerk a revolver and asked for the firm's money, whereupon the clerk opened the cash register wherein were only four one dollar bills, to which the bandit asked whether that was all, to which the clerk answered that it was, prompting the bandit to turn and walk out the door without the cash, saying, "I'll be back later."
In Asheville, the Junior Order of United American Mechanics this date ended their 65th annual statewide convention, with more than 400 delegates having heard the previous evening North Carolina Senator Sam J. Ervin condemn actions and legislation which "favor the foreign-born".
In London, it was reported that Princess Margaret went to Scotland this date to begin her summer vacation and celebrate her turning 25 in 15 days, meaning that she was royally free to do a lot of things, including choosing her husband without the consent of Queen Elizabeth, her sister.
On the editorial page, "New 'Heretic' for the Political Stake" finds that the story regarding the cadet at the Merchant Marine Academy who had been denied a commission in the Naval Reserve because his mother had once been a member of the Communist Party, had demonstrated that the country had not yet ended its dalliance with ghosts and goblins, posits that sensitive Americans who had believed they had heard the last of the "voices of distrust, suspicion and doubt" had to view the spectacle with sinking hearts.
The cadet in question had received three of the Academy's highest awards and there was no question of his personal loyalty. He stated that his own political views were "pretty conservative" and he had been the one who insisted that his mother renounce her membership in the Communist Party, threatening to leave home if she did not, as she had in 1948 after about a decade of membership. It finds, therefore, that the matter represented a resurgence of the odious principle of guilt by association, a throwback to the dark ages when such things occurred during the Spanish Inquisition.
Eleanor Bontecou had written of cases before the Ecclesiastical Courts which were similar, wherein the beliefs of relatives were held to be presumptive truth of the guilt of the accused. She had cited one case where a man was charged with his mother having been an heretic, and the facts that she had often visited him and sometimes helped him when he was in need had constituted sufficient evidence to condemn the man as an heretic also.
While no one was being burned at the stake in 1955, good names were being ruined and injustices done, while evaluations of Americans by other Americans were being distorted out of any semblance to reality. It finds it akin to black magic or worse, distorting America's normal system of values, that such "unreasonable, unthinking political vigilantism of this kind has no place in the United States in 1955." It concludes that the Navy owed an apology to the cadet and to the American people.
"Same Song, Same Verse at Asheville" indicates that, as Thomas Wolfe had said, "You can't go home again," meaning that all of the things one left behind in youth were gone and incapable of being recaptured other than in memory. It suggests that music was one of the things which bound man to his roots, and that thus folk songs survived age, science, cynicism and sophistication, yielding nothing to complexity.
In Asheville during the current
weekend, the Mountain Dance and Folk Festival
Such festivals conserved and spread native culture, stressing the value of simplicity and heritage. The Asheville festival had played a great part in the emergence of a strong, new national interest in folk music and dancing. It suggests that no state had more to contribute to American folklore than did North Carolina and that the printing and popularization of old songs had strengthened their hold on Americans, contrary to the fate of most popular tunes.
Horace Reynolds, teacher of English at Boston's Emerson College, had said: "The most fundamental [cause] is possibly the dissatisfaction of modern man with science as a method of explaining the mysteries of the universe. Folklore edges in here to become again for him something of what magic and religion were to his ancestors. Man requires mystery and reverence. In our folklore we still dare to believe in the supernatural. With folklore we attempt to fill our hollowness, to hold on to what time and change would strip us of, to avoid the straight line of despair, to believe that we come back to where we started."
"Stone on Stone at Hiroshima" indicates that ten years ago this date, at the moment the first atomic bomb had fallen on it, Hiroshima had ceased to be the name of a city in Japan, becoming instead the symbol of an enduring nightmare. The survivors of that bomb had built a shrine to the 200,000 men, women and children who had been killed directly or indirectly by that "one casement of hell". The shrine erected was an open concrete vault resting on stone, under which was a concrete casket resting on stone, filled with paper bearing the names of thousands of the dead, with no grass or trees near it, standing as an icy embodiment of sterility and death.
It finds that looking at a picture
of the shrine was a way to realize the utter horror of Hiroshima,
while a more graphic way was to read Hiroshima Diary, the
personal account of Dr. Michihiko Hachiya
It indicates that had the hydrogen bomb fallen on Hiroshima, no shrine would have been necessary as it would have made its own memorial in a residue of stone on stone.
"If the fear loosed at Hiroshima is a force to prevent war, what happened there 10 years ago will be totally justified. If it doesn't prevent a new conflict, what happened never really mattered."
"Wallace Stevens, Architect of
Feeling" laments the death of the poet, who, it finds, had
contributed so much to contemporary culture and the artistic
traditions of the 20th Century. Yet, it suggests, he had been in many
ways a curiosity. While being a poet of great distinction, he had
also been a highly successful businessman, as vice-president of the
Hartford Accident & Indemnity Co., and thus his whole career had
been a rebuke to bohemianism in the arts. But at the same time, his
Because he had believed that "the poem is the cry of the occasion", his work had been a delicate balance between imagination and the concrete. He had once written, "My final point, then, is that imagination is the power that enables us to perceive the normal in the abnormal, the opposite of chaos in chaos." It concludes that, without doubt, Mr. Stevens had added a "shimmering chapter to the literary history of the age" and that his poetry would live as long as poetry lived.
A piece from the Baltimore
Evening Sun, titled "Dark Doings with Light", finds
that the irresistible force of change was superior to the seemingly
immovable object, based on a dispatch which indicated that scientists
now suspected that the speed of light was inconstant, not the
theoretical 186,324 miles per second which everyone had learned in
high school physics and which had supplied the basis for the equation
E=mc2, with "c" representing the speed of light
Dispatches stated that it might be merely "some vagary in measurement" which had led experts to question the old figure and that it would take a decade to know for sure, while, meantime, doubt had been cast and everyone knew how fast doubt travels. The nearest star other than the sun was Alpha Centauri, "4.3 doubt years away."
"Is, then, the very yardstick
of the universe to be found wanting? Is light, which we have been
told to think of as bending, to be broken? What manner of universe is
this anyway? Dr. Einstein, thou shouldst be
Drew Pearson indicates that the full story of how resigned Secretary of the Air Force Harold Talbott had played politics with the Air Force for the benefit of political friends was a long way from being told, penetrating into the American political system and illustrating how those who contributed to presidential campaigns claimed defense contracts at the expense of American defense. He says that because the Air Force had become the most important arm of American defense and offense and because there was no place for politics in the armed forces, the column would tell more fully the story regarding Mr. Talbott, which would take several installments
He tells of Mr. Talbott having canceled two contracts with one company in favor of another company newly organized by the brother of Governor Caleb Boggs of Delaware, despite that new company having practically no personnel and little experience, incorporated only the prior May 18 to begin a job on June 30, and yet Mr. Talbott had taken the unusual steps to let it to have the job after receiving letters from Republican Senators John Williams of Delaware and John Butler of Maryland. The breaking of the original contract was similar to Mr. Talbott's attempted breaking of a Kaiser contract for an aluminum extrusion press near Baltimore in favor of a company which had contributed to the Eisenhower campaign. Mr. Talbott, a primary Republican contributor, wanted to help the latter company. Mr. Pearson next proceeds to provide much greater detail regarding the breaking of the first referenced contract in favor of the company organized by the brother of Governor Boggs.
Walter Lippmann indicates that the reason that Communist Chinese Premier and Foreign Minister Chou En-lai was being conciliatory was because the U.S. had renounced its support of the reconquest of the mainland by Nationalist China, and so Chou believed that time was now working in favor of Communist China with regard to ultimately being able to effect peace with most of the Nationalist Chinese.
Chou was taking the position that the future of Formosa was a question for the Chinese to arrange among themselves, ultimately an internal matter, and that the U.S. was not a party to it and had no right to participate in the settlement of it. While the U.S. had stated that it would not negotiate about Formosa and the offshore islands unless Chiang Kai-shek participated, Chou was now saying that he would not negotiate regarding them if the U.S. participated, that he wanted to deal directly with the Nationalist Chinese. It followed, therefore, that he anticipated obtaining Formosa through deals with the Nationalists.
Now that the President had bottled up Chiang on Formosa, Chou's diplomatic position was very strong, while the U.S. position was weaker than it needed to be, than it would be were the U.S. to form a positive policy for the future of Formosa. The legal standing of the U.S. to have a voice in the matter was based on the peace treaty with Japan, deriving from the fact that neither the Nationalists nor the Communists in China, but only the U.S. and its allied forces, had taken Formosa away from Japan. The U.S. had promised to restore Formosa to China, but that commitment had been premised on the Nationalists retaining power on the mainland. As long as the Communist Government remained unfriendly to the U.S., the latter was under no obligation to take the risk of restoring Formosa to that Government.
Mr. Lippmann posits that the weakness of the U.S. position was that the Nationalist Government on Formosa might disintegrate, leaving the U.S. with a choice of abandoning its rights in Formosa or occupying the island with U.S. troops. The weakness resulted from the fact that the U.S. had staked everything in Formosa on Chiang, who had no future. He suggests that the best hope of protecting U.S. interests in Formosa would be to present a plan for neutralization and demilitarization of the island for some period of time under U.N. oversight. The President had said that the U.S. interest in the island was that it should be in friendly hands, not necessarily those of the U.S. or the Nationalists. Thus, as a U.N. protectorate, Formosa would be in such friendly hands. He suggests that establishing that status for ten years would be long enough to determine how China's relations with the West and with the Soviet Union would develop and was not too long to put off the final settlement of the sovereignty of Formosa
He indicates that the U.S. could not hope to deal successfully with Chou unless there were a U.S. Formosa policy not dependent on Chiang. Chou had confidence that he would win in the end while the U.S. had no policy in effect should Chiang fail. Mr. Lippmann concludes that it was a vacuum in policy which needed to be filled before Secretary of State Dulles would meet with Chou.
The Congressional Quarterly indicates that the North Carolina House delegation, composed of one Republican, Charles Jonas, and 11 Democrats, had lined up solidly on two of seven key votes during 1955, but on only one of them had all 11 Democrats voted against the position of Mr. Jonas, that being the Democrats' support of return to rigid farm price supports at 90 percent of parity, while Mr. Jonas stood by the Republican leadership which sought in vain to defeat that proposal.
The 12 members of the delegation unanimously supported a motion to send a combined Hawaii-Alaska statehood bill back to committee, thus killing it. They also voted unanimously against a pay-as-you-go highway plan which would have meant higher taxes for highway users.
The delegations split on a move to restrict the President's authority under the reciprocal trade program, with five voting against it and seven, including Mr. Jonas, voting in favor of it.
Two members, L. H. Fountain and F. Ertel Carlyle, voted against a bill to exempt natural gas producers from Federal regulation. Mr. Fountain had joined Representatives Harold Cooley and Charles Deane on July 29 in voting against a housing bill stripped of all public housing provisions. Representatives Woodrow Jones, Thurman Chatham and Mr. Jonas had voted to kill a $20 income tax reduction championed by House Democrats and ultimately approved by the House, but later eliminated by the Senate.
Michihiko Hachiya, writing in his Hiroshima Diary as translated by Warner Wells, indicates, as referenced in the above editorial, that the idea of surrender of Japan had produced a greater shock than the bombing of Hiroshima ten years earlier, that the more he thought about it, the more wretched and miserable he had become. The order to surrender had been made by Emperor Hirohito and so they could not object to it, that it meant that as a nation they had to be patient. But no matter how hard he had tried to comprehend the matter, he could not rid his mind of despair.
Eventually, he began denouncing the Army and wanted to know what they felt about the Emperor as they had started the war, that when the outlook had been good, they behaved with importance, but when they began to lose, they tried to conceal the losses and ultimately turned to the Emperor.
"As if echoing my thoughts, someone shouted: 'General Tojo, you great, thick-headed fool; cut your stomach and die!'"
A letter writer finds it remarkable that in the Tenth Congressional District of North Carolina, there had been no indication of any Democratic candidate to contest Representative Charles Jonas. The writer asks whether the majority of Democrats were satisfied with the present state of the district. There had been no move, however, to support the Republican Party among conservative Democrats. He suggests that under Senator Kerr Scott, the Democrats were playing "some able politics" and while Senator Sam J. Ervin appeared to him to be conservative, his leadership appeared "weak and ineffective". He suggests that logic and the stars presaged Republican gains and perhaps victories in the South, nowhere more than in Mecklenburg County.
A letter writer seeks to answer Kelly Alexander, North Carolina's NAACP director, whom the letter writer finds to be the "self-appointed God to the Negro race", when he had said that nothing short of total integration would be acceptable to the NAACP, the writer indicating that no one cared what he believed was acceptable or unacceptable. He asserts that such people had used the people of the state and abused them too much, that it was "high time that someone put a stop to it". He believes that Mr. Alexander was playing his own race for "suckers" and does not believe that blacks were falling for his line. He says that the white race would demand that Mr. Alexander show proof that he was truly representative of blacks before whites would allow him or any other black person to "tamper with our children, our schools, and all that they stand for." He says that some black people whom he knew had related to him that they had attended two of the meetings of the NAACP in Charlotte and had stated that it was "so rotten and disgusting" that they never intended to attend another meeting, that all they were interested in was stirring up trouble with their "rabble-rousing tactic" and not interested in looking at the problem constructively. He wants Mr. Alexander to answer that rebuke from other blacks, stating that he believed that all Mr. Alexander was good for was to gripe, and that all people in Charlotte, black and white, were "pretty much griped with him."
While it would be just as wrong-headed as the letter writer to ascribe fault for subsequent acts of violence by others to this writer, merely expressing his opinion in the American tradition of free speech, it was likely that such thoughts roiling in the weak minds of the half-brothers in Money, Miss., thoughts which obviously, by the tone of many letters to the newspaper during the previous two months, had gained general currency in the South in the wake of the May, 1954 Brown v. Board of Education decision and its implementing decision of the prior May 31, would motivate them in part to undertake the ultimate act of violence against 14-year old Emmett Till three weeks hence, in response to reports of his having wolf-whistled at the wife of one of the brothers and been fresh with her in the family's country store, nothing more at its worst than an adolescent boy engaging in immature conduct, worthy of no more than a brief remonstrance for being socially inappropriate and disrespectful, as would befit such conduct by any 14-year old of any color
The trial court in the September 19-23 trial of the half-brothers, incidentally, prohibited the introduction of the proffer of evidence by the defense regarding any of the alleged incidents at the store on the legal ground that under Mississippi law at the time, such evidence of prior interaction with the deceased was not admissible unless it could be shown that there was some question as to whether the deceased might have been the aggressor in a case involving a claim of killing in self-defense or defense of others, not present in that case. During her testimony as the defense proffer outside the presence of the jury, the purpose having been to establish a record for appeal of the court's ruling in the event of conviction, the wife of one of the brothers testified not only as to the whistle and that Emmett had been fresh with her in the store, but also claimed that "this nigger man" had grabbed her hand when she held it out to receive money for some item he had purchased, and that when she withdrew her hand from his clasped hand, then followed her down the counter and placed each of his hands on each of her opposing hips, addressing her as "baby" and an "unmentionable" word, before "this other nigger" came into the store and summoned Emmett, whereupon they left, and the woman then went to her truck outside and retrieved a pistol as she claimed she was "scared to death", because there was no one else around except the eight or nine black persons outside the store. She said that there was no one else in the store when these claimed incidents occurred, that Emmett had whistled at her as she came outside the store after the other conduct had transpired inside. She never actually identified the boy in question in the store as Emmett or any other particular person, just that he was a "nigger".
Even had the more serious assaultive conduct actually occurred as she claimed—contentions she would years later recant as false—the appropriate manner of proceeding obviously would have been to report the conduct to the sheriff, as well as the results of the informal investigation by the brothers leading them to young Mr. Till as the suspect.
A letter writer from an anonymous Little League parent congratulates the staff of the newspaper, especially Jeep Hunter and Sandy Grady, for their coverage of the Little League playoffs which had occurred in Charlotte. The writer hopes that the newspaper would be able to cover the Charlotte club when it went to Gastonia for the playoffs and then to the North Carolina playoffs again in Charlotte, and hopes the team would keep up the good work.
A letter writer congratulates the newspaper for its presentation of the editorial and timeline regarding the effort of WSOC to obtain a license from the FCC for channel 9 on television.
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