The Charlotte News

Monday, August 8, 1955


Site Ed. Note: The front page reports from Seoul, South Korea, that 15 U.S. soldiers and four Koreans had been reported injured in renewed riots against Communist truce inspection teams the previous night and this date. The Army, however, denied Korean police reports that American soldiers had bayoneted five Korean demonstrators, coming in response to a protest by the South Korean Government to Army officials against the use of bayonets and teargas in subduing the rioters, with the chief of the national police charging that American soldiers had wounded some of the demonstrators. None of the American soldiers had been hurt seriously in two rock-throwing demonstrations at the southeast port of Pusan, where the soldiers had been guarding quarters of the Neutral Nations Supervisory Commission teams. Nine of the soldiers and the four Koreans had been injured the previous night and six more soldiers had been hit by rocks in another demonstration this date. None of the four Koreans had been hurt either. Police estimated that about 30,000 Korean laborers had milled through the streets of Pusan throughout the previous night, and other demonstrations were reported at the west coast ports of Inchon and Kunsan. The South Korean Government was awaiting an answer to its demand that all NNSC teams leave the country by the following Saturday. The Commission was composed of members from neutral Switzerland and Sweden, and pro-Communist Poland and Czechoslovakia. The South Korean Government charged that the Polish and Czechoslovakian members were spies for North Korea, but it also wanted the Swiss and Swedish members to leave as well. The 8th Army, in a letter to the South Korean Government, asked for its cooperation for common objectives and not to resort to force or any violence.

In Tokyo, Col. John Arnold, Jr., one of the 11 U.S. airmen released by the Communist Chinese and commanding officer of the B-29 which had been shot down on January 12, 1953 during the Korean War while on a routine leaflet-dropping mission over North Korea, told a press conference the previous day that their captors had inflicted months of excruciating physical and mental torture on ten of the men to obtain statements used to convict them of espionage in their trials the previous November. He said that his captors had slugged him in the face with his hands tied behind him and that he had been "forced to stand until you started screaming", at which point in the interview he briefly broke down. He said that the Communists told them that they would obtain from them sooner or later what they wanted, but that they had not gotten it from him, that he had never confessed to entering China or being on a spy mission. He said, however, that he had told them things which would have been better not disclosed and that he was very much ashamed of that fact. He had been sentenced to ten years in prison for espionage while the other ten men got between four and eight years each. The men were scheduled to depart from Tokyo on Wednesday morning in two Air Force transports, ultimately headed to Travis Air Force Base near San Francisco, from which they would be transported to the bases nearest their homes for 30-day convalescent leaves.

In Nevada City, Calif., the woman who had discovered that her husband, among the released 11 airmen, whom she thought had been killed in the Korean War, remained indecisive on whether she wanted to remain his wife or continue with her happy marriage to a logging tractor driver. She had talked by telephone with her first husband the previous day, the latter remaining in Tokyo for debriefing and medical examination while on his way back to the U.S. The wife's attorney said that she had separated temporarily at least from her current husband, which would continue until the matter with her former husband was resolved. In Tokyo, Red Cross officials said that the released airman had emerged from the telephone call with his wife with his "morale improved". Neither the wife nor the husband would discuss the matter with the press. He had not yet seen his 2 1/2-year old son, who had been born after he had departed for Korea. The airman's mother, in response to an inquiry by the airman, said that during his captivity, she had forwarded several of his letters to his wife, some having pictures, but she did not know whether she had received them.

In Louisville, former Major League Baseball commissioner and former Kentucky Governor and Senator A. B. "Happy" Chandler appeared to have won the Democratic gubernatorial nomination over his opponent, Bert Combs, who had been endorsed by the incumbent Governor, Lawrence Wetherby, and Senators Alben Barkley and Earle Clements.

Near Kansas City, the nude body of a 34-year old socialite had been found by a farmer and his son looking for a stray cow, in a pasture 20 miles southwest of the city the previous day, three days after the woman had mysteriously disappeared while shopping in Kansas City. She had been shot twice in the head and her hands had been tied behind her back with a pink scarf. She had been the mother of two young sons and her husband was a wealthy automobile dealer. Officers in Missouri and Kansas believed that her murder had been motivated by sex, but did not rule out robbery, as her rings were missing and her purse, found several miles from the body, was empty. The officers were puzzled by the fact that the killer had placed nearly all of her clothing in the trunk of her car, which had been found containing bloodstains the previous Friday near Union Station in Kansas City. They were also puzzled by why the body had not been hidden, why the car had been parked beneath a viaduct near the downtown area, and why the purse had been discarded on a roadside where it could be easily seen. The coroner stated that the state of the body might make it impossible to determine whether the woman had been sexually assaulted, as an autopsy had proved inconclusive. It was believed that she had been slain on the prior Thursday, the day she had disappeared.

Julian Scheer of The News reports that the U.S. Coast Guard would not patrol the Catawba River, as it did not have the men and facilities for doing so, according to the chief of staff of the Fifth District of the Coast Guard in an interview with the newspaper during the morning. He said that an investigation would not be necessary as he would notify Washington that they did not have the manpower or facilities for such a patrol. He encouraged a local patrol instead. He said that an auxiliary of the Coast Guard might be set up, however, to assist in patrolling, through volunteer local boat owners. The 1955 General Assembly had approved local bills calling for the regulation of motorboats and other craft on the Catawba, placing enforcement in the hands of peace officers of Mecklenburg and Gaston Counties.

Emery Wister of The News reports from Travis Field, Ga., that the Governor of West Virginia, William Marland, had remarked to North Carolina Governor Luther Hodges that they had big fish in North Carolina, after the two governors had come to inspect their state's respective Air National Guard units presently undergoing summer training at Travis Field. The units, together with Kentucky's Air National Guard unit, formed the 123rd Fighter Bomber Wing. Kentucky's Governor Wetherby had remained at home because of the primary election. Governor Marland had decided to go deep-sea fishing and had called the office of Governor Hodges to make the arrangements, whereupon the latter's staff had sent him to Wrightsville, N.C., where Governor Marland said, "You never saw such fish," that anything under 12 pounds they had thrown back into the ocean. He also complimented the people of the state for their hospitality.

In Miami, Fla., Hurricane Connie, now packing 135 mph winds, was moving across the open Atlantic about 500 miles east of West Palm Beach this date, headed for a rendezvous with an eastward-moving low-pressure trough which could push it away from land. If that trough moved fast enough, the hurricane would swing into its southern portion, where a strong airflow from the southwest would carry the hurricane away from land, but if its movement was slow and the hurricane gained another three degrees of latitude, about 180 miles, it would possibly swing into the northern edge of the low-pressure trough, the air from that side being from the east, which would push the hurricane toward land. It had veered to a north-northwesterly course, moving at a forward speed of about 14 mph, and was expected to move to the north during the ensuing 12 hours. Its central eye was about 40 miles in diameter and its barometric pressure at the eye was 27.88 inches. The Weather Bureau stated that it had reached its maximum intensity. The present course meant that it would bypass the Bahamas and southern Florida and likely would also not hit northern Florida, but the coastlines of Georgia and the Carolinas were not yet entirely in the clear. Small craft warnings had been issued from Cape Hatteras to Block Island, R.I., and southward to Jacksonville, Fla. The chief storm forecaster of the Bureau said, "We're sweating it out," and that their best judgment was that the hurricane would be affected by the southern portion of the trough and would turn northward, then northeastward, but that time would tell. Unfortunately, the current track of the storm, as depicted on the map, would continue straight into the coast of North Carolina, making landfall near Morehead City.

On the editorial page, "Reason Should Rule Annexation Talk" finds there was twofold correctness in Mayor Philip Van Every's reaction to a new surge of talk regarding annexation in Charlotte, with the Mayor having rejected use of threats to achieve annexation and instead directed that a planning study determine what mutual benefits would result for the city and any territory annexed.

It indicates that emphasis should be on logical arguments for annexation, not on penalties for avoiding it, that neither Charlotte nor the suburbs could do without one another, and that merger would bring a better city, to the benefit of all. It finds that a payroll tax was a last resort should annexation fail to be approved, but that such a tax would inevitably saddle employers with withholding responsibilities while discouraging settlement of new industry. It concludes that Charlotte should offer itself as a friend, not as a threat, to suburbanites whom it wanted to bring into the tax-paying family.

"Dixie's Caught in a One-Party Trap" finds that some pundits believed that conditions were ripe for the South to return to its position of leadership on the national political scene and there was talk that a Southerner might even head the Democratic ticket in 1956—presumably referring to the discussion regarding Senators Estes Kefauver or Lyndon Johnson. It finds those rumblings little more than wishful thinking, however, as the South's influence was negative rather than positive, the product of discontent, not rejuvenescence.

It posits that to regain its position of honor and importance, the region would have to emerge from its shell and adopt an entirely new political posture.

Of the 33 men who had been President, nine could be classified as Southerners, Presidents Washington, Jefferson, Madison, Monroe, John Tyler, Andrew Jackson, James K. Polk, Zachary Taylor and Andrew Johnson. President Wilson, although born in Virginia, had been serving as Governor of New Jersey when elected to the Presidency. President Eisenhower, a native of Texas, had actually grown up in Abilene, Kansas, and had been a resident of New York when named NATO supreme commander in 1950, the position from which he resigned to run for the presidency in 1952. Nine of those Southerners had been elected prior to the Civil War and five of them, during the first 50 years since ratification of the Constitution. At the time of the first election in 1788, the six Southern states controlled 42 of the 91 electoral votes, but during the ensuing 50 years, Southern states had never won more than 47 percent of the electoral votes while still managing, however, to place a Southerner in either the presidency or vice-presidency in every election. The "Virginia Dynasty" had held the presidency from 1789 to 1825, from the beginning of President Washington's terms to the end of President Monroe's terms, except for the single term of President John Adams, from 1797 to 1801.

There had been a gradual decline in Southern influence during the two decades preceding the Civil War, marked by a steady increase in sectional controversy over slavery and states' rights. The Democrats, still dominated by Southerners, had drawn most of their candidates from the North to preserve national party unity during that time, while the Whigs, in an effort to straddle national issues, had nominated mostly military men for the presidency. Of three Southerners occupying the White House during those years, President Tyler had been Vice-President, succeeding to the Presidency on the death of President William Henry Harrison during his first months in office. President Polk had been a political dark horse as the next President in order, and President Taylor, next in order, had been a popular war hero.

Since the Civil War, no candidate from the South had received a presidential nomination of a major party, the result, it finds, of the South's one-party system following the end of Reconstruction. It suggests that if the South had been allowed to make its own political reorientation after the Civil War, a two-party system would probably have been reestablished eventually, but that the Solid South had maintained its political unity until 1928, when, in objection to Democratic nominee Al Smith, a Catholic who was associated with favoring the end of Prohibition, North Carolina, Florida, Texas and Virginia had voted for the Republican nominee, Herbert Hoover. In five of the nine Democratic presidential victories since the Civil War, in 1912, 1932, 1936, 1940, 1944, the first of President Wilson and the latter four of FDR, the Democrats would have won without any electoral votes from the Southern states.

It concludes that some type of reorientation had to begin if the South were to hope to regain its national power, that as long as the region was committed to a one-party system, it had no place to go when dissatisfied with Democratic Party leadership.

"Cultural Diplomacy: A Happy Turnabout" indicates that less than two years earlier in São Paulo, Brazil, the U.S. had reinforced accusations that Americans were "cultural barbarians" by refusing to send any American art to the largest and most important exhibition of modern art ever held in the Western Hemisphere. When a private museum had managed to gather up some American items anyway and rush them to the exhibition to save the country from embarrassment, the State Department sniffed in disgust, with the result that the U.S. ambassador neither appeared nor sent a duly authorized delegate to the opening, as his colleagues did with a great show on behalf of the other leading nations of the world. One Brazilian had cynically remarked regarding the absence of the anmbassador: "He's probably playing golf. Isn't that what Americans in public life do?"

The Communists had gleefully made the most of the diplomatic faux pas, saying that "America is interested only in dollars and materialism", and that they believed they could "buy" friendship and alliances.

Just after World War II, some embittered patriots in Congress had decided that modern art was a tool of Moscow, not apparently realizing that Moscow saw modern art as an example of the degenerate influence of Wall Street. But when the State Department in 1946 had sent a moderately "modern" exhibition abroad, containing some abstract art, Congress had subjected members of the Department to a virtual inquisition.

It indicates that, fortunately, the mood in Washington was changing, with the President being a painter and having encouraged the State Department to help show the world the country's finer side. Former Prime Minister Winston Churchill, also a part-time painter, had talked to the President about the subject the previous year, as had Nelson Rockefeller. The President reportedly had also been impressed by an eloquent radio talk on the subject by actress Lillian Gish.

Congress, meanwhile, had given the State Department 2.25 million dollars the previous fall to help U.S. artistic talent as well as U.S. athletes to make foreign tours which could not possibly be financed through commercial bookings. Russia, long an exporter of talent, suddenly had a competitor in that field, with musical comedies now playing in Europe, symphonies in Asia, and art exhibits in Latin America, all of U.S. origin. Out-of-the-way places abroad were also being visited by such talent.

Generally speaking, U.S. artists appeared to be making good impressions abroad, as the musical "Oklahoma!" had been cheered in Paris, and actress Judith Anderson, appearing in "Medea", had been praised by one French critic as giving "one of the most remarkable performances of our generation." Rave reviews had been given to "Porgy and Bess", the New York City Ballet, the Philadelphia Orchestra, and the Symphony of the Air. Meanwhile, a Soviet exhibit in Ceylon had recently been termed inferior to a showing of U.S. watercolors a few weeks earlier.

While the cultural front had to overcome Russia's head start, it finds the effort worthwhile, as one important method of turning uneasy and reluctant military allies into friends was to earn their respect for America's contemporary culture. The best way to accomplish that, it suggests, was to give audiences abroad the opportunity to examine the country's most advanced, imaginative and best achievements in the field of arts.

Drew Pearson indicates that while the President talked about being the great friend of blacks, his top officials appeared to make it a practice to fire prominent blacks from the Administration. Dr. Frank Horne had just been fired from the FHA after 18 years of Government service, because of disagreement he had with Housing administrator Albert Cole, who had been arguing that blacks should not press for integration on Federal housing projects at the present time, regardless of the Supreme Court having held that such housing could not be segregated as involving government action. The official reason for the firing was "budget trouble", but the Housing Administration actually had more money at present than it ever had previously and was hiring new people.

Jane Morrow Spaulding, who had been named the "Negro woman of the year", had been fired from HEW by Secretary Oveta Culp Hobby after Mrs. Spaulding had urged the abolition of segregation in schools on military posts. Her status remained up in the air.

Washington, more than anything else, needed a good investigation of lobbyists and lobbying, which had run rampant in the recent session of the 84th Congress, during which they had run Congress, making bold demands that members vote the way the lobbyists wanted, not bothering to disguise their dictatorship. He cites as examples former Congressman Roy Clippinger, a Republican of Illinois, who had wanted to prevent the investigation of a toll bridge over the Wabash River, as well as the multimillion dollar efforts of the natural gas lobby.

Mr. Pearson indicates that since it was unlikely that Congress would probe the way its members were being lobbied, he would do some probing himself. He says that the way Mr. Clippinger had proceeded would take more space than was available to the average newspaper, that he had been the manager of a toll bridge between Illinois and Indiana and did not want Congress to investigate what disposition had been made of three million dollars collected in tolls since 1942, a matter being examined by Congressman Winfield Denton of Indiana as chair of a committee. As a former Congressman, Mr. Clippinger had the right to appear on the House floor, and had darted between members during debate, trying to prevent the probe of the bridge which he managed. He had not been successful and, eventually, House Minority Leader Joseph Martin had told him politely to leave the floor.

He states that the natural gas lobby had at its disposal a slush fund of 1.5 million dollars and operated both at the grassroots and by direct contribution to the political campaigns of members of Congress. Senator John Butler of Maryland, for instance, who at first had planned to introduce the bill exempting natural gas from Federal regulation, had received $10,000 from Mr. and Mrs. Clint Murchison, the Texas gas-oil tycoon, during the Senator's election campaign. He had also received $5,000 from Jack Porter of Texas. Senator Price Daniel of Texas, who had also collected heavy campaign funds from oil and gas, had begun the first move at passing the natural gas bill. Nine months earlier, Senator Daniel had demanded of Senator Lyndon Johnson of Texas that he be placed on the Senate Interstate Commerce Committee.

The gas bill was aimed at overruling the Supreme Court's decision that natural gas transported between states had to be subject to regulation by the Federal Power Commission, just as railroad rates between states were regulated by the Interstate Commerce Commission, and so Senator Daniel had wanted to be on the ICC, as it would handle natural gas regulation. Two years earlier, Senator Daniel had demanded to be on the Interior Committee, which handled the tidelands oil measure, but now that the tidelands oil had been given to Texas and the coastal states, he wanted to shift over to the Interstate Commerce Committee, and, despite Senator Herbert Lehman of New York having seniority, Senator Daniel had gotten his way. It was the first long-range step in the carefully planned lobbying strategy.

Next was the lobbying of grassroots sentiment and Mr. Pearson provides an example out of San Bernardino, Calif., wherein a representative of the Shell Oil Co. had telephoned a woman and stated that a mutual friend had recommended her name as a prominent worker for good causes, at which point she agreed to see the man, not realizing he was a lobbyist, the man explaining that Shell was forming committees of very important persons in different communities for civic work, to wage an educational campaign to inform the public that price regulation of gas at the wells was contrary to the American system of free enterprise. Committees were to be formed of prominent citizens belonging to service organizations, who could influence the public and the Congress, as well as the local press. He wanted seven persons on the committee, six men and one woman, and tried to flatter the woman in question into becoming that latter member. He told her that all she had to do was "to spread propaganda in favor of repealing the Federal law". The woman was civic-minded and did not believe in setting up committees to increase the price of gas to consumers and so refused to cooperate. But, informs Mr. Pearson, all over the nation, more gullible women were organized by the oil and gas companies to influence Congress to pass a bill which would raise the price of natural gas by several million dollars annually.

He promises more about that intricate operation and other lobbies in another column.

Perry Morgan, editorial writer for The News, finds that there were forces alive in cities which comprised the spirit, attitude or outlook thereof, a combination of geographic, economic and personal factors which shaped the future of the city. "These forces can turn outward on hinges of progress or sag inward on warping frames of smugness and self-content."

He indicates that Charlotte had a swinging door, but that increasingly, the spirit of the city moved the door outward toward the future, as shown by the bond votes to finance numerous civic improvements.

He suggests that facing downtown from the intersection of Baldwin Circle and Independence Boulevard, one could see what Charlotte had been, what it was at present and what it was becoming, able to see the past in the form of corn, cows and mules in pastureland, merging with the present office buildings towering over shotgun shacks of a slum section, then looking toward the future along the four-lane highway running out of the pastured past and the present, "with its clean strength of modern store and its mottled weakness of shanty town, toward quiet, clean residential sections with shady streets and playgrounds and those most symbolic of futuristic symbols, the auditorium and coliseum." It afforded a reminder of the ills of unorganized growth which Charlotte as a city could not afford, with skyscrapers and shacks within the same view amid narrow streets and dark alleys.

"Independence itself is a protest against the problems of the present, important both as a reality and as a plan. As a reality it pushes a broad, clean finger through a jungle of narrow streets to let people move with more ease in and around the heart of the city. As a plan it is the germ from which more wide boulevards must grow if the heart of the city is to remain in healthy and productive contact with burgeoning suburbs. For traffic—by foot or vehicle—is the economic blood of the community. What traffic cannot reach withers."

He indicates that the future had to be based on planning in the city, something which most major cities had embraced nearly too late, resulting in narrow streets, factories emitting smoke and soot into the homes of workers, railroad tracks crossing major streets, children endangered by traffic and lack of light, air and recreation facilities. Such were problems also in Charlotte, the remedy for which would be superhighways, railroad overpasses and slum clearance and redevelopment, all of which, however, was costly and, itself, impeding of the flow of traffic while under construction. The widening of Providence Road was one example of that progress, along with rerouting of east-side railroad tracks.

At City Hall, there was a group of professional planners shaping a pattern of future growth within the undeveloped areas of the city and county. The city had a brief encounter with professional planning in 1931 when a consulting engineer had mapped out a system of boulevards and parkways through the city at a time when the automobile was just beginning to proliferate, but the plans had never been used, and in 1949, the City Planning Board recalled that the plat for the street system had been adopted in 1865 when the town was only one square mile in area and had a population of only 1,900. Those streets had been designed for horses and stagecoaches. They had said that most of the planning since that time had been by private subdividers, often not providing consideration to the street pattern in adjoining neighborhoods, resulting in a maze of dead-end streets which impeded flow of traffic and put abnormal amounts of traffic on the primary arteries leading to and from downtown.

Streets had to grow out of land planning and not the reverse, and land use was what city planners were presently developing to provide areas for residential and shopping centers, schools, churches and playgrounds, residential and industrial streets tied to thoroughfares, industries and office buildings, nurseries and baseball diamonds. That would emerge from studies of population shifts, the types and requirements of industries, the trend of industrial patterns and the changing needs of neighborhoods.

Zoning was the legal part of planning and without it, planning was worthless, affording enforcement mechanisms through passage of ordinances. The present zoning act related only to 1930, having essentially only one industrial classification, as its second classification did not relate to the present economy, being for such things as watch manufacture and glass engraving. There had to be more subclassifications recognizing the new and varied types of industry and commerce in the city.

But the designs drawn up by the planners could be utilized only through the willingness of the citizenry and the local government recognizing their need and value, plus the undeniable proverb that an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.

A letter writer from Augusta, Ga., thanks the newspaper and the City of Charlotte for giving her boy and other boys in the Soap Box Derby the chance to participate, especially those who were not natives of Charlotte. She hopes that her son, who had won the local competition, would do well in Akron, O., at the national competition, not only for his sake, but to pay back Charlotte for the opportunity. She says that she would always retain a soft spot in her heart for Charlotte as a result.

Augusta participants had been invited to participate in the Charlotte race because the Derby organizers in Augusta had canceled the competition after a protest had arisen against the Derby's allowing entry of two black racers.

A letter writer comments on the President's recent talk, presented on nationwide television and radio, regarding the Big Four summit conference at Geneva, stating that she thought the address was good and hopes that all churches would pray and live closer to God, for God alone could provide peace to the world. She indicates that if peace were not achieved, the U.S. might be bombed and destroyed. She favors living for Christ and helping to make a peaceful, loving world for all nations.

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