The Charlotte News

Tuesday, September 13, 1955


Site Ed. Note: The front page reports from Moscow that West German Chancellor Konrad Adenauer and Soviet Premier Nikolai Bulganin had conferred privately this date in their continuing negotiations, and a German spokesman indicated that it was a "decisive day" in the conference. After they had spoken with only their top aides present for an hour and 45 minutes, it was announced that a plenary session scheduled for the morning had been postponed until the afternoon, suggestive of some issue having arisen meriting additional consideration. Western diplomats generally doubted, however, that anything concrete would result from the conference, which had begun the previous Friday, but a German spokesman had commented that there was hope that the afternoon session would prove fruitful. The German spokesman indicated that, regardless, it appeared that this date would be the end of the conference. Up to the time of the morning discussion, there appeared nothing to indicate any concrete result emerging, as the West German press spokesman the previous day had said that they were just where they had started.

In New York, strikes of longshoremen had spread along the East Coast this date as a result of the International Longshoremen's Association having ordered 70,000 members to support its week-old strike in New York. In some ports, the longshoremen had gone along with the order readily, while in others, they had hesitated. Observers expected most of the sympathy strikes to last only for a day or so. During the night, strikes had been called in Philadelphia, Wilmington, Del., Boston and Jacksonville, Fla. Other ports said that the sympathy strikes would have to be approved by union locals. In Wilmington, N.C., a representative of the ILA local said that a strike which had begun during the early morning on the docks would not end until they received word from the union's headquarters to go back to work.

In Washington, a water main had burst with explosive force this date, dumping tons of earth into the excavation for the new 22 million dollar seven-story Senate office building, with the Capitol architect's office estimating that the break had ripped out 150 feet of sheet steel piling, resulting in the earth and water flowing into the excavation, with no official estimate of the damage, or whether the loss would be borne by the Federal Government, the City of Washington or two contractors working on the job. No injuries had occurred from the mishap.

In Philadelphia, a bartender and his wife whose apartment had been used in August to perform an illegal abortion, as a result of which the 22-year old woman receiving the abortion had died, were charged with performing the abortion and conspiring with the victim's mother to commit perjury at the coroner's inquest which determined that the death had resulted from a homicide. They were also accused of being accessories before the fact of a criminal abortion. The victim's mother had already been charged with both the conspiracy count and being an accessory before the fact in the abortion. Three psychiatrists, two appointed by the state, had testified at a hearing that the mother was incapable of understanding what was going on about her, and she was ordered committed to a mental institution until such time as she could properly appear and testify. At the inquest, the bartender and his wife testified that the mother and daughter had come unexpectedly to their apartment, apparently to bring some books, indicating that the bartender's wife had known the mother for ten years. The arrest warrant accused the couple of administering a drug or poison or other substance to the young woman to induce the abortion. The father of the victim was the vice-president of Food Fair Stores, one of the largest grocery chains in the country at the time.

In Uniondale, N.Y., six men had been killed this date when a B-25 military plane had crashed into a cemetery five minutes after taking off from nearby Mitchel Air Force Base on Long Island, with three of the victims having been crew members and three, passengers. An eyewitness said that two bodies had been thrown from the plane when it crashed and exploded in the cemetery, and four others were observed inside the wreckage. The plane had developed engine trouble shortly after takeoff and had been seeking to return to the base when it crashed.

In Sembach, West Germany, an Air Force major of Charlotte had landed his reconnaissance jet safely after it flamed out at 32,000 feet, the pilot able to level it off in time to land at an airbase, where the jet streaked across the runway and came to a halt after hitting a safety barrier at the end.

Howard Whitman, in the second of a series of articles on the lost art of parenting, indicates that a young mother, being helped with her problems by the Family and Child Services in Washington, D.C., had remarked to a caseworker that she should not say it, but that sometimes she got so angry at her child that she could hardly stand it. Mr. Whitman tells of that attitude being typical of thousands of mothers and fathers who were worried, guilt-ridden or just mixed up about getting angry. The feeling was so widespread that psychologists had dubbed it "parental neurosis", described by a psychologist in St. Petersburg, Fla., as a malady "in which nice, ordinary parents who love their children and want to do 'the right thing' are beating themselves over the head with guilt feelings when they reach out and swat some particularly outrageous behavior on the part of their offspring." The cure for the neurosis was an understanding of what anger was, how it worked and the constructive part it could play in child-rearing. It should not be condemned out of hand. Psychological studies had established that emotions were a source of energy, giving a shot of additional brainpower and muscle power so that a person could cope with an emergency. That anger served a purpose, enabling people to cope with a threatening situation. A doctor in charge of personnel psychiatry for the DuPont Co. had made extensive studies on anger and concluded that such emotions were present naturally and should be employed to the fullest, that the reason people got into trouble was from the attempt to stifle or misuse those emotions, driving them into the dark places of the mind, retaining them there and building them up to ever higher potentials for force, with the danger that an explosion would eventually erupt. Instead of liberating the extra energy for constructive purposes for which it was intended, it was contained to the point of becoming dangerous. Repressed anger caused blow-ups, and so parents who sought to control themselves were the ones who eventually would blow their tops. The doctor said that a man who had been seeking to control his anger had eventually resorted to physical violence, making him feel remorseful and ashamed. But once he accepted the constructive role of anger, he could harness its energizing forces such that the result had not been violence but the reverse, enabling his brain to function calmly instead of under pent-up pressure, working toward an effective solution to the problem causing the anger. Regarding parenting, such energy might result in denying the child some privileges, providing for an extra chore, for a reasonably administered spanking, or a prolonged lecture, depending on the conduct of the child precipitating the need for discipline and the parent's preference for corrective action. Of course, if the child laughs uproariously during the spanking, appearing to enjoy it...

In Miami, the Weather Bureau indicated that Hurricane Hilda, packing 90 mph winds over a small area near its center, had moved on a westward course this date threatening eastern Cuba and the southern Bahamas with high tides and heavy winds. It was presently centered 590 miles southeast of Miami and was expected to continue its westward movement at about the same forward speed for another 12 hours or more. At present, its path could take it into Florida, but if it caught a low-pressure trough extending southward from Cape Hatteras, it might move more to the north and away from Florida.

Charles Kuralt of The News reports further on the missing small elephant, Vicki, who had escaped from the Airport Park Zoo the previous day after being frightened by a calf being loaded onto a truck. He tells of Smoky Strickland, a retired animal trainer who was quite frustrated, as it was not every day that a man lost an elephant. Mr. Strickland, in addition to having been an animal trainer, had been a blackface comedian, hillbilly musician, and aerial performer in the circus, but was now retired from that work and handled the Airport Park diner and concession stand. With his background, he had to participate in the search for the elephant, which had gone into a wooded area on Sunday and had not been seen since. The News had sent out reporter Emery Wister and a photographer the previous day in search of the elephant, but both came back empty-handed. Mr. Strickland said that he was the only one around who knew anything about elephants, with the exception of the man who had come down on the truck with Vicki earlier in the year, indicated that there were several things one had to know before going after an elephant, that the person had to be careful or the elephant might run right into them before they knew it, that if the elephant gave chase, the person should stand still or get behind a tree, that if the person began running and got in the way of the elephant, it would get the person as it would go in the direction of its head no matter what was in front of it, whether a tree or a person, and despite the fact that Vicki was a small elephant. He took umbrage at the suggestion that Vicki was mean, saying that she had not a mean bone in her body. We hope they find Vicki soon, as this is one of the stupider local stories ever to appear on the front page of the newspaper, trying a little too hard to gain currency along the wires, ranking up there with Elmer the love-sick swan of a few years earlier. If there is one type of anthropomorphization which is worse than that of domesticated pets, bad enough, it is that of wild animals, more demeaning of humans than engendering of empathy for animals.

A picture appears of the new Miss America, crowned the previous Saturday night in Atlantic City, Sharon Ritchie of Colorado.

A picture appears of the President with his new cap as he played golf for the first time at Green Gables Country Club in Denver, the cap having been presented to him by the club, with a Green Gables logo on its front. Inquiring minds want to know.

On the editorial page, "Giving Aid & Comfort to Tax Cheats" indicates that generally cheating on taxes was not considered to be very serious and judges and juries had contributed to that feeling. It was true in parts of North Carolina, as evidenced by figures collected by the Washington bureau of the Raleigh News & Observer, showing that 133 tax dodgers had appeared for sentencing before Federal courts in North Carolina during the previous nine years, but only 35, or 26 percent, had actually received jail sentences, while the national average was 42 percent. It breaks down the sentences by the three Federal districts of the state, indicates that each case had to be judged on its own merits, but finds that too often, leniency had prevailed where none was deserved.

Whenever a prominent citizen was caught red-handed at tax cheating, people would flood the courts with emotional letters explaining the good citizenship of the defendant and usually the person received a break, together with a lesson stern enough to prevent recurrence.

IRS commissioner Coleman Andrews had attacked recently such lenience as obstructing the efforts of the IRS and the Justice Department to reduce tax evasion. The piece agrees and indicates that it was also an encouragement to cheat, that the person was not only cheating the government but also himself and his neighbors, who had to shoulder a higher portion of the burden of taxation as a result.

"The Twists and Turns of Tragedy" tells of a Raleigh coroner's jury the previous year having cleared State prison employees of any "culpable negligence" in the death of 18-year old Eleanor Rush in an isolation ward at Woman's Prison, after she had been bound with restraints and gagged, eventually found with a broken neck. The State Industrial Commission had just ruled that Ms. Rush had been the victim of some measure of negligence and that the State Highway Commission had to pay $3,000 to her mother as damages under the State Tort Claims Act. It found that her broken neck was strong indication that the application of the restraints and gags had been accomplished without proper care.

It indicates that the circumstances which permitted a young girl to die so terribly reflected no credit on the state and that the situation had not been improved by the lamentable manner in which the early investigation had been conducted and the length of time it had taken to attribute any responsibility for her death.

"The Chinese Seek the Larger Prize" finds that the release of the 41 American civilians remaining in Communist China was a happy result but offered little optimism for immediate improvement of relations with China. It suggests that the Communist Chinese had no claim on American appreciation, as their decision, as in the case of the freeing of the tortured 15 airmen, was merely a piece of strategy to appear magnanimous in an attempt to obtain respectability, an end to the U.S. trade embargo, admission to the U.N. and realization of its claims on Formosa.

Now that the Americans had been freed, a prerequisite for further discussion at Geneva, those latter considerations were presumably open to discussion. But it would be unthinkable to permit the Communist Chinese to have Formosa, as it was essential to the security of the Pacific, and trade with them in heavy material would be equally foolish until they demonstrated consistently their good conduct. Only the possibility of seating them at the U.N. could be used as a bargaining chip to obtain stability in the Far East. But, it suggests, even U.N. membership should not be provided until the Chinese demonstrated a consistent exercise of decency and good manners over the long haul.

"What Does U.S. Labor Want?" indicates that right-wing pundits who were predicting that the AFL and CIO merger would spawn a new political party were consulting "clouded crystal balls", as it finds no such party would be formed, as the unions could not go it alone any more that big business could.

It tells of North Carolina's labor commissioner, Frank Crane, having attempted to answer the question as to what labor wanted the previous week, saying that they wanted security, recognition, good wages, safe and helpful places of employment, and opportunity for advancement.

It concludes, based on that advice, that labor wanted essentially the same things everybody wanted, and that the future of labor lay in serving the community interest as well as the shop interest, that by working for the security of all, it could obtain its own security.

A piece from the Greenville (S.C.) Piedmont, titled "Lament for Country Ham", indicates that as the days grew shorter and the night temperatures colder, there would soon be a touch of frost in the air, followed by the first freeze of fall, which would signal for the rural dweller who had hogs the start of preparation of conversion of them into ham or other byproducts.

It indicates that 20 years earlier there was hardly a farm which had no hams, but now there were too few. A farmer might cure two or four for his own use, but there was hardly ever the abundance which allowed him to pass portions to his neighbors or friends.

It says that as proper curing of hams was a time-consuming and risky business, it was much simpler to convert the meat to sausage and store it away or sell the fresh ham. It finds that the true country ham was passing, another price paid for progress.

Why is there so much discussion of food in the column these days? Put it on the food page.

Drew Pearson's column, still being written by his staff while he was on vacation, indicates that the inside story of how the Army had bungled a murder investigation and allowed a brutal killer to go free could now be told. The murder had occurred on January 7, 1946, when three American officers had been hacked to death with a meat ax while they were sleeping in a peaceful villa overlooking the Danube at Passau, Germany. Their bodies had been doused with gasoline and set afire to destroy the evidence. The object of the attack had been Major Everett Cofran, the stern but fair military governor of Passau, disliked by his officers but loved by his enlisted men. The other two victims had been Capt. Adrian Wessler and Lt. Stanley Rosewater, merely innocent visitors who were at the wrong place at the wrong time. The killer had apparently murdered the latter two by mistake as he groped in the dark from bedroom to bedroom seeking Maj. Cofran, who was murdered last. A neighbor had heard a subsequent splash in the Danube, and divers had later found a bloodstained meat ax in the river. The primary suspect was a junior officer whom Army psychiatrists claimed had the latent killer instincts of a tiger. Overwhelming evidence was marshaled against him, but the Army mysteriously dropped the investigation and returned the suspect to the U.S.

Nine years later, the Army had again looked at the case and prepared a secret murder indictment against the officer. But the meat ax used in the killings had mysteriously disappeared, and the Army also hit a snag in seeking his extradition to Germany. The case was now so embroiled in red tape that it might never get to trial. Meanwhile, the prime suspect was free in the U.S.

The column indicates that they had painstakingly investigated the triple murder, providing some of the details regarding Maj. Cofran and the reasons for the suspicions against the officer, who had made a careful inspection of the major's quarters prior to the night of the murder, on the excuse that his girlfriend was in charge of re-furnishing the villa where the major was staying. He had also spilled gasoline on his pants on the eve of the killings, claiming that it had occurred while he was tinkering with his car. He had also left fingerprints on five gasoline cans found within the charred villa, providing the explanation that he had discovered the cans during his inspection and had lifted each one to determine how full it was, testing the lids for tightness. He had a grudge against the major and admittedly had quarreled with him shortly before the murders, had asked another officer to pull strings to get the major transferred, an attempt which had failed.

Walter Lippmann tells of party politics beginning after Labor Day, looking forward to the 1956 general election. Thus far, however, it did not appear that voters were paying much attention as there was little angry discontent and none of the passionate hope which might characterize a heated election campaign. That left the election largely of interest to the professional politicians.

There were in each party two principal groups of professional politicians who were most interested in the election. One group consisted of the senior Senators of the party and those members of the House whose seats were assured, which Mr. Lippmann dubs the Congressional faction. Among Democrats, that group was from the solid South, while among Republicans, they generally came from the northern Midwest. That group did not retire to private life even when their party lost the presidential election, as they had long been in office and would continue to be so, regardless of whether their party had the majorities in each house. There was no higher authority on the principles and programs of each party and there was no politician on the outside who could lead them or speak for them. Their primary personal interest was not an election of a president but rather the bolstering of their own position in Congress, with their constituencies, and with the control of the party organization.

The other group of professional politicians came from the state capitals and large cities, centered in the doubtful states and in the most contested districts. They looked toward the White House and national leadership, rather than to regional leadership, as they needed help from the national party to get elected. Mr. Lippmann dubs them the presidential group, as their primary national interest was in electing the president, making them more keenly aware of the role of the independent voter in those contested states.

President Eisenhower's nomination in 1952 had occurred because the Republican governors had greater popular strength than the Congressional group who supported Senator Robert Taft. For the first two years of the Administration, that group continued to control, as it had for 20 years, the party in Congress and the party machinery of the nation, giving the President a rough ride, opposing him, frustrating him and interfering with him. But after the midterm elections of 1954, in which the Republicans had lost control of both houses of Congress, their power was broken and the President became the leader of his party and the master of his own Administration. Since that time, his prestige had soared on the basis of prosperity and peace such that he could have his party's nomination by acclamation. But the underlying conflict between the two groups of professional politicians, a permanent feature of the party system, had only temporarily been cast aside by the fact that the President was enormously popular in the country. That conflict would arise again when it came time for the President to select a running mate in 1956.

Vice-President Nixon, unlike, for example, Governor Christian Herter of Massachusetts, could not be regarded as a genuine Eisenhower Republican, as Mr. Nixon's political roots were in the opposition forces, and, regardless of the person the President selected, it would be controversial.

Based on the same two factions within each party, the Democrats had a good record made by the Congressional faction, enabling that faction to run on the basis of their performance, while allowing the presidency to go to President Eisenhower by tacit consent. But the problem of the national Democrats, of whom the leading figures were Adlai Stevenson, Senator Estes Kefauver of Tennessee and Governor Averell Harriman of New York, was whether there were politically effective ways of obtaining the independent votes and those Democrats who had in 1952 voted for General Eisenhower. As of the present, they had no realistic hope of doing so unless something were to go unexpectedly wrong with the existing prosperity. The critical weakness in the Republican position was that the national unity which remarkably prevailed under the President had been made to depend exclusively on him as an individual and there was no sure succession after him.

Stewart Alsop, in London, indicates that the most interesting political phenomenon in Britain at present was the soul-searching ongoing from top to bottom within the Socialist Party, centering around two questions, whether socialism was necessary, and if so, what exactly it was. Hugh Gaitskell, heir apparent to the Labor Party leadership, had written in the wake of the Socialist defeat in the spring elections that there were signs of something of which they needed to take note, that people were beginning to turn to their own personal affairs and concentrate on their own advancement, stimulated, he suggested, by television, new gadgetry such as refrigerators and washing machines, and the flood of new cars on the domestic market. He suggested the phenomenon as a growing Americanization of outlook and that there was no sense moaning about it. He advised that his fellow Socialists would be wise to plan for the next election on the assumption that it might take place at a time of higher living standards and reasonable stability, which Mr. Alsop regards as wise advice, as it raised the question as to whether socialism would really be necessary under such conditions.

He indicates that British socialism had been born at a time when a very low standard of living and recurrent periods of mass unemployment were the norm of the British worker, shaping British socialism and doctrine. But now, after two generations of British workers having been taught that Conservative rule spelled unbridled capitalism which portended mass unemployment and mass misery, after more than three years of Conservative rule, the standard of living had never been higher. Privately, the Socialist leaders feebly protested not that Conservatives had permitted unemployment, but rather had let employment reach unrealistic levels.

The Socialists appeared to have lost their faith in Socialist doctrine, the heart of which was nationalization of industry. But now, Socialists and many Conservatives as well privately agreed that nationalization had not made much difference one way or the other. The Conservatives had been wrong about nationalization, as it had not brought the economy to ruin, and during the previous election, there was hardly anyone suggesting denationalization of the coal or electric industries. Yet, nationalization had not been the panacea for everything which it had been trumpeted to be, as it had solved no basic problems, for workers in the nationalized industries or for anyone else. In the previous elections, the Socialists had weakly advocated nationalization of the well-run chemical industry, with the result of lost votes, especially among workers in that industry, providing the realization that nationalization was no longer popular. That begged the question as to what socialism was if it was not nationalization of industry.

Left-wing Socialists, led by Aneurin Bevan, had sought to define it anew as "peace and expropriation", but thanks in part to President Eisenhower, the issue of peace was also largely off the table, and any serious proposal for expropriation of private property would likely alienate large parts of the middle class and even the labor class vote. As a result, Mr. Bevan appeared politically dead.

That left the able Mr. Gaitskell as the likely successor to Clement Attlee as the Labor Party leader, but neither he nor any of his followers had succeeded in defining what socialism really was, at a time when nationalization of industry was no longer a live issue and when the country was prosperous and fully employed.

He concludes that at least during the time of soul-searching, certain realities were being faced and the tired Marxism which still clung to British Socialist doctrine was being washed away, such that the process was a healthy one, which, he opines, American liberals, who had also inherited doctrines which bore little relationship to the current reality, might emulate.

A pome from the Atlanta Journal, "In Which Is Contained A Modicum of Advice About Certain Risks:

"Don't give way to common dread—
Take a chance and plunge ahead."

But if in a car, best heed what the sign said,
And not plunge too hard your foot as if lead.

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