The Charlotte News

Monday, September 19, 1955


Site Ed. Note: The front page reports from Montevideo, Uruguay, that El Presidente Juan Peron's Government had stated this date that it had launched an attack on the rebel stronghold of Puerto Belgrano, with a communiqué stating that "complete normality" prevailed over the country except for the centers of resistance in the latter location and in Cordoba. That claim, however, had been disputed by rebel radio announcements, with a broadcast from Puerto Belgrano declaring that the 2nd Army Command had joined the revolt, which was in its fourth day, and had seized control of the western province of Mendoza. The broadcasts further claimed to come from the provincial capital, Mendoza City, and that anti-Peron forces were also in control of the neighboring provinces of San Juan and San Luis. The Government had said that very superior Army troops were converging from several directions of the nation "to stamp out the last seditious redoubt" at Puerto Belgrano, and that "cleanup operations" had been resumed at dawn in Cordoba. Buenos Aires endured its second straight night of blackout, under the threat of rebel bombardment. The Government ridiculed the insurgent threats, asserting that the capital should be considered an open city. Rebel radio broadcasts had warned that Buenos Aires would come under naval and aerial attack unless El Presidente resigned, but two deadlines set by the rebels for the resignation had passed the previous day without the threatened attack.

Howard Whitman, in the seventh of a series of articles on the lost art of parenting, tells of children wanting a strong father and of the importance of listening to the child. He recounts that at the Baton Rouge Junior High School in Louisiana, he had met with five young people, ranging in age from 11 to 14, three females and two males, and had listened as they talked, providing excerpts of the dialogue. One girl said that children should have freedom, but not to run around at all hours, while another female said she wanted the family to be "sort of a club", democratic, so that every member had an equal voice. One of the males said that he disagreed, that children should not have the same say as parents, who knew much more, that he only wanted them to understand how he felt. The other male said he thought a child needed strong parents, while the second female said she knew of another girl, 13, who told her parents off and they took it, something which she did not like. The third female said that she would rather have her parents lead her and correct her, that it was a good idea to have flexible rules, but not too flexible, that she wanted to know what she could do and not do, that even if she broke a rule, she wanted to know about it, as otherwise when parents counseled that she should have known better, she would not understand what they were talking about. One of the boys said that there should be some punishment, but not too much, when the child did something wrong. The other boy said that he did not think that even if a father used the old razor-strop, it would hurt anybody. One of the girls had asked whether it would make the child afraid of the parent, and the latter boy had responded that it would only make him not do it again, would only cause resentment for a short time. The third girl said that punishment caused the child to understand what he or she had done wrong and that the child understood that the parents were doing it for the child's good. The other boy said that if a child was not punished, he began soon to believe he could get away with misconduct, that he knew a kid who had burned up the neighbor's newspaper on the front porch and sliced the screen door with a knife, that he had to know that it was not just play. Mr. Whitman had then interrupted to ask what would happen if the parents did not believe in punishment at all, and one of the boys said that he guessed they could raise their children all right but did not know how they would turn out, while the other boy said that if they had not had punishment, they would all be "little gangsters". Mr. Whitman observes that the children appeared in their spontaneous comments to reflect many of the insights which professionals in childcare had grasped, with the leaders of sociology and psychology at present, following two decades of an attitude that discipline was "sadistic", adopting a different mindset, recognizing that youngsters had a need for discipline and that punishment could have a constructive, beneficial meaning. Now, punishment was not seen as vengeance, but rather as an instrument of teaching.

From Hatteras, it was reported that Hurricane Ione had swept inland at Morehead City over the North Carolina coast this date and had headed northward, pounding beaches and inland cities, with rain deluging the area far ahead of the storm center. Damage at Morehead City was reported to be not too serious. The Cherry Point Marine Air Station had recorded gusts of 107 mph, as the tropical storm passed almost directly over the base, with the storm center being near Cherry Point, as it traveled north-northwest at a forward speed of between 12 to 15 mph, expected to veer to a more north-northeasterly course. The storm's highest winds at its center were estimated at 120 mph. Torrential rains had flooded streets and highways, torn out communications lines, isolating many communities, and high tides and pounding waves had eroded the beaches, already hit by three hurricanes within the previous year, the worst being Hazel a year earlier in mid-October. Cape Hatteras had 4.78 inches of rain during the 24 hours prior to the early morning, and Wilmington had 4.6 inches. The storm headed for Virginia after passing over the North Carolina coastal region, with it expected to reach the Virginia border by early during the afternoon, currently positioned 140 miles south-southeast of Norfolk. Heavy rains, forecast to be up to 6 inches, were already spreading into southeastern Virginia and would continue to extend by as much as 250 miles from the center of the hurricane. The Coast Guard reported that the Diamond Shoals Lightship, 20 miles east of Hatteras, with a crew of 16, had been torn loose from its moorings. The lightship reported that it was underway and fighting to remain on its station despite the high seas. A Coast Guard cutter was ordered to proceed to the lightship at full speed and to stand by. The crops and beaches had suffered the most from the hurricane, but compared to the earlier Hurricanes Connie and Diane of mid-August, the damage had been only light.

The storm was causing only a light breeze, clouds and the threat of light rain in Charlotte, with winds expected to increase to 18 mph later in the day, with little rain expected this date and skies forecast to be clear the following day. You can still go out hunting for the elephant.

Speaking of which, Emery Wister of The News was still on the trail of Vicki, still missing, despite elephant experts having been brought in from the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus. The searchers continued to scour the area at the rear of the trucking terminal, where the elephant had first escaped into a wooded area the prior Sunday morning, as well as near the Plato Price School on the other side of Wilkinson Boulevard. The expert from Ringling Brothers said that he might as well return to Sarasota, Fla., the winter quarters of the circus, as he was not doing anything, for he did not know the country and just got lost. He said: "They talk about shooting the elephant. They can't even find her." It is probably wearing Army camouflage by now, holed up in the mountains to the west, and manning an antiaircraft gun, ready to duke it out with anyone who comes within shouting distance. Smoky Strickland, an animal trainer who was also leading the search, said that the Ringling Bros. expert would talk to Vicki and soothe it while the rest of the searchers would put chains on it. The elephant had holed up in a dozen places on both sides of the road, no doubt zig-zagging through and over the fences and over the streams to avoid the hound dogs. Get Elvis to come in and sing to it, and maybe it can be coaxed out of hiding.

Also in Charlotte, construction on the Southern Railway crossline south of the city, a 200-foot right-of-way stretching for 6.1 miles between the Southern's Columbia division tracks and its mainline tracks, had been initiated this date by Blythe Bros., Inc., of Charlotte. Twenty-three houses would have to be moved to provide the right-of-way and a company was already engaging in that work.

In Rock Hill, S.C., a large number of employees at the Celanese Corp. of America plant had walked off their jobs in a wildcat strike during the morning, and the company threatened to fire them if they did not return to work. The strike had reportedly been set off by increased workloads and was not authorized by the Textile Workers Union of America, according to the president of the local. Plant operations had been curtailed during the morning, but it would continue in partial operation, according to the personnel director. He said, after conferring with the plant manager, that the walkout was in violation of the contract with the local, and both the local and regional officers had described the work stoppage as an outlaw strike, refusing to sanction it. Participants were therefore subject to discharge.

There is no mention on the front page this date of the trial of the accused murderers of Emmett Till, set to start in Sumner, Tallahatchie County, Miss. Jury selection had begun this date, with ten jurors passed by both sides and two remaining to be selected. The jury venire was drawn exclusively from the male population, as females were barred from jury service by state law, and no blacks were among the veniremen, assuring that the jury would be comprised of white males only. Meanwhile, according to press reports out of Jackson, Miss., Emmett's uncle, Mose Wright, with whom Emmett had been visiting during the last two weeks of his life, stated to reporters the previous day that but for a quirk of fate, Emmett would have missed his train south from Chicago, as he was late arriving at the station where he was supposed to catch the train, joining Mr. Wright, who had caught the train a little earlier at another station. Mr. Wright had been visiting his sister, Emmett's mother, in Chicago. He said that had another five minutes gone by before Emmett got to the station, the train would have departed without him, and, presumably, he would have still been alive.

Parenthetically, such systematic exclusion of blacks or any other identifiable group from jury service, legislatively or administratively, as was evident in the case, had been determined as a general principle to infringe the Fourteenth Amendment Equal Protection Clause since the seminal case of Strauder v. West Virginia, decided by the Supreme Court in 1879, and was upheld specifically with respect to systematic exclusion of blacks from venires in Norris v. Alabama in 1935. But, in this instance, since the systematic exclusion was favorable to the defendants, and the prosecution was thought, as an arm of the state and thus presumed partially responsible for the practices leading to the systematic exclusion, not to have any immediate right of objection in a particular trial to venires which systematically excluded a racial group, that the administrative remedy through legislation at either the state or local level would suffice to protect the interests of the state, the prosecution did not have such a sustainable right of objection. But see Georgia v. McCollum, decided in 1992, for the more modern approach when peremptory challenges by the defense are exercised in a discriminatory manner to exclude systematically an identifiable group, though still not pertaining to the prosecution's right of objection to the systematic exclusion in advance from the venire, for the aforementioned obvious reasons, that it would amount to an objection to the state's own legislative or administrative practices, inviting the constitutional objection. In this case, there would have been no opportunity for the State to have objected based on systematic exclusion, as there was no possible exercise of peremptory challenges by the defense in a discriminatory manner, as there simply were no blacks selected for the venire to be peremptorily challenged. Regarding the state of the law at the time as to legislative or administrative systematic exclusion of women from the venire, see Hoyt v. Florida, and the cases cited therein, decided by the Supreme Court in 1961.

On the editorial page, "In League with Good Government" indicates that when husbands gathered to exchange stories about the League of Women Voters, someone was certain to revive Warner Olivier's classic story about the perplexed young matron who was making her debut at a League meeting in Pennsylvania, sitting silently through a two-hour discussion of the intricacies of foreign trade policies, at the completion of which, thanking her hosts, declaring that she was convinced that she should join the League, stating that she had been terribly confused about international trade, that she remained confused but "on a much higher plane".

The Charlotte League had been established in 1947 and gave no evidence that they were confused about the major issues of the day, appeared to be one of the best informed groups in the city. This date, the League had opened a two-week drive for funding, with a goal of $2,815, and it urges that it deserved the community's support.

The most recent efforts to inculcate in women a high civic consciousness could be traced directly or indirectly to the League, which helped to promote the increase in civic consciousness by teaching that unless women, or men, exercised their hard-won rights as citizens, those rights would be virtually without value. It had also explained the inner workings of government to thousands of housewives. Stimulated by the League, many women had gone into politics, with men occasionally charging that they were doing a poor job because of their relative inexperience, an argument which had been answered by Ambassador to Italy Clare Boothe Luce.

It indicates that it was hard to imagine how women could have made a worse mess of things than the so-called experienced politicians, statesmen and diplomats thus far during the century. It finds that women therefore had no reason to have a defensive attitude about their record of performance in politics, that while coming onto the political scene fairly late in history, they had learned their lessons rapidly and well, with a number of successful women in politics at present.

It concludes that largely from the work of the League, women were taking an ever increasing interest in politics and government everywhere, and the trend was good for American women and for American democracy.

"At 632 M.P.H. Appearances Dissolve" indicates that it was a wonder that anything had ever come of Lt. Col. John Paul Stapp, who had no sense of flash and who had obviously not studied any book on influencing people. But he had done something remarkable, which would touch the lives of every automobile and plane passenger in the nation, riding a rocket sled from 632 mph to a dead stop in 1.4 seconds, experiencing a force which a driver of an automobile would feel if driving 50 mph head-on into a brick wall.

He had proved thereby that the human body could withstand nearly unbelievable pressures if it could be kept away from contact with solid objects. The test had prompted the discussion that automobile crash injuries could be cut 35 to 50 percent by safety belts and safety padding. The Air Force had adopted rear-facing transport plane seats and the experiment had also enabled increase of the force levels which jet pilots could be expected to endure safely in bailing out at high speeds from high altitude.

The colonel planned eventually to ride his rocket sled to 1,000 mph, providing even more useful data.

It finds that the "plain, chunky man" was a hero and that his contributions to mankind spoke volumes about the distinction between the appearances of things and the way things really were.

"Look What Happened to Baseball" indicates that with the World Series days away, the sportscasters were already conspiring in stealthy whispers as to how to confuse the public with their descriptions. It finds that it would not be difficult, as baseball was no longer a game of runs, hits and errors, but rather of "bumpers", "bingles" and "boots". The home run had become the "four-master" and the double play, the "twin killing". A base was a "cushion", "pillow", "station", "sack", "bag" or "hassock".

It goes on, providing a full lexicon of substituted baseball terms and their definitions, should you be interested in how the new argot was being tossed around in 1955, perhaps by the likes of Dizzy Dean. "Slud", however, is not on its list.

If a "chukker" was an inning, as it says, then an "up-chukker" must have been the top of the ninth, while a "down-chukker" was probably a fan who got sick on his shoes because he slud too far down the stands after missing the fly ball which scored the winning run.

A piece from the Richmond News Leader, titled "The Hellible Horralump", indicates that in Charlotte, the hunt continued for the six-year old Indian elephant which had escaped from the local Airport Park Zoo, having read that the County had called out bulldozers to dig some deep pits in the hope that Vicki would fall into one of them. (Actually, that plan had been abandoned after Vicki crossed the road and disappeared, probably having flown away. The piece, however, has to pretend that the plan was still being considered for its commentary to have any traction.)

It finds that the fallacies of the Mecklenburg approach had been explored long earlier by the two eminent students of "heffalump" hunting, Piglet and Winnie the Pooh, who also had dug a very deep pit in the hope that their quarry would walk into it. The problem with such a plan was determining where to locate the pit. Piglet had said that it should be "somewhere where a heffalump was, just before he fell into it, only about a foot further on."

It says that it was hesitant to advise its intellectual superiors in North Carolina, but suggests that the present approach appeared unlikely to trap the elephant, as it would see the deep pits being dug by the bulldozers but, moreover, small children and large hunters would, for months to come, be falling through the camouflage into the pit. (But if the elephant had donned camouflage in the interim, the children also might wind up falling through the elephant, down, down, down, into the abyss of another space-time continuum, as did Alice, where "not only wood" is displaced or invisible for the sake of risibility.) It suggests that the commissioner who had suggested the plan leave Vicki alone, as there would be a certain distinction and proper civic pride stemming from the fact that a wild Indian elephant existed only a few miles out of town on the road to Gastonia, permitting a whole generation of children to be able to grow up saying that they had seen a "Herrible Hoffalump, a Hellible Horralump, or a Hoffable Heelerump", and so says to send the bulldozers home.

But only camels, not birds, have a Cavalump, and so your premise is all wrong.

Drew Pearson, back in Washington, indicates that two important political huddles regarding farm problems had been in the news during the month, one by the Republicans, when the 48 national committeemen had gathered for RNC chairman Leonard Hall's "school" in Washington, and the other in Chicago this date when top Democratic farm experts gathered to counter the Republicans. He indicates that part of what the Republican "pupils" had discussed with Mr. Hall and what had developed afterward had leaked out, and he provides some of those leaks, as well as some of the things which did not leak.

In the latter class was that the usually optimistic Mr. Hall had begged and pleaded with the White House to develop a concrete, far-reaching farm program, warning that otherwise, the Republican Party might lose the entire farm vote. The White House had asked the Soil Conservation Service to answer charges that the President's policies had hurt the Soil Conservation Service. Farmers regarded soil conservation as sacred, and the cuts, shifts and shakeups in the Conservation Service had been attributed directly to the President because his brother Milton had made recommendations directly to the White House, and so could not be blamed on Secretary of Agriculture Ezra Taft Benson. The Republicans had developed a new plan to limit farm acreage and take excess acreage out of production, and were presenting that to the President at his vacation residence in Denver. Considerable criticism of that plan had been voiced by Mr. Hall in his meetings with the Republican state chairmen, basing his criticism on the belief that it looked like the old system of paying farmers not to produce, as under former Secretary of Agriculture Henry Wallace.

Some Republican committeemen had been critical of the program, pointing out that the President had already taken over the Brannan Plan of the Truman Administration, despite the terrific Republican barrage raised against it during the 1952 presidential campaign. Nevertheless, the President had applied it to wool, and the committeemen warned that it would be suicidal to align with a plan developed by Mr. Wallace to pay farmers to keep acreage idle. Some Republicans had compared it with the former Secretary's killing of little pigs.

Various names were proposed for the new Republican plan, ranging from "leased acres" to "rented acres" to "acreage reserve". Mr. Pearson indicates that regardless of its name, it boiled down to the fact that the farmer would be paid for taking a certain percentage of his farm out of production and planting grass instead, in effect renting it to Secretary Benson.

He indicates that another development which had come out of the meeting with the national committeemen was that Republican researchers had discovered that their plan had been deemed by the Supreme Court illegal when Mr. Wallace had, during the Roosevelt Administration, first established the Agricultural Adjustment Administration, struck down as unconstitutional in 1936 in U.S. v. Butler for an impermissible exercise of Federal power.

Marquis Childs tells of a Senate subcommittee, chaired by Senator Thomas Hennings of Missouri, getting ready a couple of weeks hence to begin hearings on the Constitution, and particularly the Bill of Rights, starting with the First Amendment. The initial focus would be on freedom of religion and separation of church and state, probably the most controversial area of constitutional law at the time and for decades prior.

The subcommittee had already been criticized from both the left and the right, as many on the one side believed that constitutional rights were being eroded by the security program, while those on the other believed that given the Communist threat, almost any measures were justified to defeat it, bolstered by an official recent report on Communist infiltration and espionage in Australia.

Senator Hennings was one of the principal authorities in the Senate on the Constitution, and he wanted to develop the positive aspects of the Bill of Rights and what it had meant over the years to the development of the country to its present position of world power and unprecedented prosperity and productivity. He had selected a highly knowledgeable staff, starting with the chief counsel, Marshal MacDuffie, a former New Dealer who was associated with one of the most conservative law firms in New York. He had made two trips to Russia and when Senator Hennings asked him for his opinion on the primary difference between Russia and the U.S., he said that it was the Bill of Rights guaranteeing the freedoms which Russia did not have.

The chief hearings counsel was Lon Hocker, a distinguished St. Louis lawyer and a Republican. The most recent addition to the staff was Eleanor Bontecou, appointed to be consultant on loyalty and security issues. She had previously been assistant director of Cornell University's Research in Civil Liberties, and was one of the outstanding authorities in that field.

Despite the fact that the hearings would not begin until early October, the subcommittee had already shown that constitutional rights was perhaps the most burning issue in the country at present. The subcommittee had a large order ahead in examining all of the guarantees of the Bill of Rights, and only had been allotted $50,000 for hiring staff and paying the expenses of witnesses. There was a desire, however, on the part of all concerned to examine as objectively as possible the issue of civil rights which touched the lives of every American, present and future.

Harry Golden, writing in the Carolina Israelite, of which he was editor and publisher, tells of Charlotte again arguing about its Sunday blue laws, forbidding certain businesses from operating on Sundays. It presently forbade movies from being shown between 6:30 and 9:00 p.m. on Sunday nights, as it was the time for vesper services in the churches.

Mr. Golden questions whether the churches really needed the local government to help their attendance at those services and wonders whether church attendance would actually suffer if movies were shown during those hours.

He indicates that the interesting thing about the blue laws was that they were entirely Jewish, as nowhere in the world had there ever been an idea of a Sabbath without doing business except among Orthodox Jews and the Protestant sects of the British Isles, as well as in the U.S., where the ties to the mother country were the strongest. He recounts that in New England during colonial times and in the South during modern times, such blue laws had been enacted. He indicates that there was a large Gentile society in Britain which adhered to the idea that the people of the British Isles were the lost Tribes of Israel.

He reminds that Jesus had broken with Jewish tradition of the "still" Sabbath when he had said: "The Sabbath was made for man and not man for the Sabbath." That idea prevailed in Christianity until some Protestant sects of the British Isles and of the U.S. returned to Judaism in their basic theology, holding that God was sovereign and having only the Bible open on the altar with no other adornment. He indicates that in the ghetto life of the Jews and in the agrarian civilization of the Judaistic Protestant sects, it was possible to adhere to the rigors of the "still" Sabbath. He says that his mother would not even tear open the laundry package during the Sabbath and orthodox Presbyterians had eaten cold dishes and eschewed even reading the newspaper on Sunday. But in the continuing urbanization of American society, such practices were nearly impossible.

He suggests that the church should not depend on the civil government to promote its church attendance and that the Commandment of Moses appeared to forbid work on the Sabbath, but not play. He says, however, that he was not advocating a position, that whatever people decided for the evening hours on Sunday would be all right with him, and if anyone said there was a civil rights issue involved in the situation in Charlotte, that person should be told that they were crazy.

A letter writer indicates that while the elephant stories were making the rounds, he wished to impart a story which had occurred just prior to the start of the 20th Century. His mother-in-law was very religious and attended a prayer meeting at the First Baptist Church on North Tryon Street on Wednesday nights, would then walk home by Independence Square, crossing the Seaboard Railroad tracks on her way home. One night, she had not arrived home on time and her husband began to worry. The circus was in town and they were unloading the animals near the intersection of the railroad tracks and East Trade Street. Just as her husband was opening the door to go look for her, he met a policeman holding his wife by the arm, together with her friend. It was explained that one of the elephants had gotten loose and was starting toward the Square when the police officer had met the wife and her friend, who had become frightened and ducked into a black restaurant for protection, had been so unnerved by the escaped elephant that they had to be escorted home by the officer.

Well, that was a very pleasant, entertaining story, and we're certainly glad you imparted it, to add to the undue dearth of print expended during the previous week on elephants, as there has been an unwarranted paucity of coverage of the story, very upsetting to elephant enthusiasts who wanted front page stories every day.

A letter writer suggests that the president of the Humane Society in Charlotte should go into the swamps to summon Vicki and tell it that no one would shoot or harm such "a darling little animal", but he also says that if he saw Vicki in his backyard, he would slip up on it and throw ammonia in its face, blind it, take his ax and chop a joint on one of its legs to render it helpless. He would then chop it to pieces, not showing it any mercy, as the first thing they knew, it would kill a human being. He thus advocates shooting it and not taking any chances. He also recommends passing a law giving anyone the right to kill a dangerous animal at large, regardless of the type of animal.

A letter from J. R. Cherry, Jr., indicates that although the end of the year was still about four months away, he wished to submit his nomination for the "most stupid remark made by a member of the U.S. Senate" for the year, that being by Senator Estes Kefauver, who had said prior to the Geneva Big Four summit conference that he believed the President ought take Eleanor Roosevelt as a member of his delegation. He says that if the editor could top that statement for stupidity, he would buy the editor a new hat. He posits that it was probably illogical for "eggheads", such as Senator Kefauver, to visualize a conference with international "thugs" without a Roosevelt "to practically grovel at the feet of said thugs, giving all and asking nothing concrete in return." He suggests that the Russians were indebted to the Roosevelts for "a great deal of the power which they wield today over the globe."

A letter writer indicates that if parents lived for Christ and trained their children to live a clean Christian life, they would have no regrets. She says that God provided their children and parents were responsible for the way they trained them, and if they sought God's help in that training, he would grant their wish.

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