The Charlotte News

Thursday, September 8, 1955


Site Ed. Note: The front page reports that Representative Joe Holt of California had told reporters that he would demand that the State Department crack down on trips to the U.S. by Russians, after indicating that he had been held at gunpoint by a Soviet officer during his recent trip to Russia and wanted a formal apology for the action. He had filed a formal protest with the U.S. Embassy in Moscow the previous Thursday, stating that it was an affront to Congress rather to him as an individual. The incident had occurred on August 31 in a suburb of Moscow to which Mr. Holt had traveled with an Embassy attaché in a plainly marked Embassy car, stopping at a school in an area in which they were authorized to visit, whereupon they were accosted by a Soviet Army lieutenant who, even after checking their credentials, had drawn and cocked his pistol, pointing it at Mr. Holt's head and ordering him from the car. They were subsequently released, only after a Russian Army colonel had intervened in the situation.

In New York, the New York-New Jersey Waterfront Commission moved this date for an injunction to halt the walkout of longshoremen which had crippled the port of New York the previous day. The Commission had been set up by the legislatures of both states two years earlier to clean house on the New York Harbor piers, which had long been the scene of strife and racketeering. The walkout was aimed at the Commission and its policies, and not at employers. The walkout was costing an estimated one million dollars per day in New York, and was also spreading, in sympathy strikes, to Baltimore, Philadelphia and Boston. The New York Shipping Association, an employer group, had also obtained a restraining order in the New York Supreme Court, the equivalent of a state superior court, the previous day. The walkout, however, had continued, as the president of the independent International Longshoremen's Association stated that he had not yet received a copy of that restraining order. He told a group of cheering dockworkers this date that he would not recommend a resumption of work until New York Governor Averell Harriman and New Jersey Governor Robert Meyner met with the union's representatives. Governor Meyner responded that he would not "knuckle under" to any group, especially when it was in contravention of a statute which had been passed almost unanimously by both houses of the New Jersey Legislature, that statute having created the Commission. He said that he would not intervene in the dispute unless the New Jersey member of the Commission advised him to do so, and that the union should meet with the commissioner, not the Governor. Governor Harriman had no comment at the present time. ILA leaders were contending that the Commission had been harsh and discriminatory against the ILA, a charge which the Commission denied. The ILA wanted the law changed, insofar as it regulated hiring and other activities on the waterfront.

In Selma, Ala., several signers of a petition demanding racially integrated classrooms had lost their jobs in the first showdown regarding the threat of "economic reprisals" against Southern blacks seeking integration. The report stated that more than half of the 29 signers had been fired since the petition had been filed the previous week with the Dallas County School Board, with most of those who had not been fired being either self-employed or unemployed. The chairman of the Dallas County White Citizens Council estimated that 16 of the 29 signers had been fired in a "spontaneous reaction" by white employers to the filing of the petition, indicating also that his pro-segregation group would not take "credit or censure" for the firings, but also stating that he did not believe there would have been the unity of action without the educational work of the Citizens Council, as the employers had done what the Council had been "educating right along". The petitions had demanded immediate integration of classrooms and had been filed with school boards in several Alabama counties by local chapters of the NAACP. Ruby Hurley of Birmingham, the Southeastern NAACP secretary, said that the organization would investigate the dismissals and take whatever action was determined to alleviate such pressures. She said that it appeared that the White Citizens Councils of Alabama were going to follow the pattern of economic pressure set by the Councils in Mississippi. A source in Selma, who declined to be identified, stated that the "pressure" was being brought against self-employed signers, indicating that two black barbers whose names were on the petition had been told to find new locations for their shops, while three signers said that they had turned down offers by their employers to let them retain their jobs provided they would remove their names from the petition.

Lewis Gluck of the Associated Press reports that Communist-type brainwashing was being deliberately administered to American soldiers, sailors and airmen to help them brace for mistreatment at the hands of a potentially ruthless enemy. They were blindfolded, forced on marches while barefoot, and questioned for long hours with little rest, water or sleep, among other such harsh treatment. Pentagon officials stated the previous day that all branches of the armed services were conducting such courses to prepare for possible brainwashing treatment when servicemen were captured as prisoners of war. The men were also being trained in the means of avoiding capture. The President had revised the military code on August 18, such that soldiers, after avoiding all means of capture, should, upon capture, "to the utmost" of their ability, tell the enemy no more than the historic requirement of name, rank and serial number, whereas previously, the provision of the limited information was phrased as a mandatory directive. An article in Newsweek had reported that trainees were forced to spend hours in a dark hole, up to their shoulders in water, or in a "sweat box" where a man could neither stand, sit nor lie down, the training on which the report was made taking place at Stead Air Force Base outside Reno. Trainees had been served uncooked spinach and raw spaghetti, given frightening but harmless electrical shocks and administered rough verbal treatment. A major, who had let slip that he had only an eighth-grade education, and a lieutenant, whose membership card in Alcoholics Anonymous had revealed a weakness, were hammered until they talked just to end their humiliation. A bachelor lieutenant, badgered until he became convinced he could not find a girl because his face had been deformed in a childhood accident, finally broke down in tears. The Air Force declined comment on the Newsweek account, but said that if it was accurate, some changes might be made in that particular training facility. It summoned the base commander to Washington to check on the story. Newsweek said that the story was accurate and had been cleared by the Pentagon. The story further indicated that some 29,000 men had safely withstood the 17-day course at Stead and that none of the trainees had formally complained about their rough treatment.

In Charlotte, four children had died of suffocation inside a trunk, apparently by accident, with the police continuing to investigate the matter. No bruises had been found on their bodies. Police were interrogating the parents and one surviving child. The coroner said that it was possible for all four children, ranging in age from three to eleven, to have gotten inside the trunk at one time, as all four were small. The mother said that she had left the four alone at home while she went on a trip to the city in an attempt to obtain employment, and the fifth child, age 8, had accompanied his mother on the trip. Their father had discovered the children's bodies after searching the neighborhood for nearly two hours, his attention having been drawn to the trunk after finding clothing, which had been stored in the trunk, lying on a bed. He said that the trunk was usually maintained in a closed condition and latched, but not locked. The latch would snap shut when the trunk lid was dropped and detectives theorized that the children, apparently playing in the trunk, had been trapped when the lid slammed shut.

In Atlantic City, the Miss America pageant was taking place, with Miss Hawaii, Barbara Mamo Vieira, taking top honors in the first preliminary swimsuit competition the previous night, and Miss Alabama, Patricia Byrd Huddleston, winning over 15 other competitors in the talent contest with her rendition of the aria, "Pace, Pace, Mio Dio", from Verdi's La Forza del Destino. By the coming Saturday night, ten semifinalists would have been selected, from which the field would be narrowed to five, from whom Miss America would be chosen.

In Charlotte, News publisher and president Thomas L. Robinson, who had been in those positions since 1947, had acquired this date full ownership of the newspaper, with the exception of a few shares of stock which would be owned by the individual directors. Previously, 79 percent of the common stock had been held in various amounts by 35 stockholders, leaving a total of 1,000 shares in the capital structure, 996 of which would be owned by Mr. Robinson, his wife and three sons. The Charlotte News Publishing Co., organized by Mr. Robinson in 1946, along with some leading businessmen of the Carolinas as its stockholders, had purchased the newspaper on January 10, 1947 from the late W. Carey Dowd, Jr., his brother, J. E. Dowd, and their sister, Mrs. Dowd Folger, having been previously in the Dowd family since 1893, five years after the newspaper's founding. Mr. Robinson said that it was his purpose to continue to dedicate the newspaper to the service of the people of Charlotte and the Carolinas.

Also in Charlotte, all of the free tickets had been distributed for the dedication programs of the new Coliseum and Auditorium on Sunday, with 13,000 such tickets having been distributed for the Coliseum program and another 2,500 for the entertainment program at the Auditorium, distributed through both newspapers, the four largest banks and three department stores in the city. The dedication program at the Coliseum would include as principal speaker, Reverend Billy Graham, set to start at 2:30. The Auditorium program would include the Charlotte Little Theater, the Charlotte Opera Association, the Charlotte Choral Society, and the Charlotte Symphony Orchestra, with that program scheduled to start at 4:00. Other entertainment on that program would be provided by the Myers Park High School band, the Harvesters Quartet, Billy Knauff's orchestra, the Jaycee Jollies, the Second Ward High School band, Arthur Smith and his Crackerjacks, and a trampoline act. Scores of workmen were still busy in both buildings trying to complete construction before Sunday. This night, the unveiling of a bust to David Ovens, who had worked tirelessly for erection of the Auditorium which bore his name, would take place in the lobby, with Mayor Philip Van Every on hand to unveil it. The bust is pictured on the front page.

Don't miss, in the meantime, the tv premiere, however, of "Gunsmoke" on Saturday night, coming to you from the "Gomorrah of the Plains", so that you will have a good basis for receiving the appropriate moral indignation of Rev. Graham regarding the tv trash you are watching on a nightly basis. After all, when brought down to cases, Miss Kitty was a cheap saloon whore and Doc was a drunkard who should have had any medical license he possessed revoked, with Marshal Dillon probably a closet alcoholic, with his beer habit to drown his sorrows over having to shoot so many people entering Gomorrah, seeking to disturb the peace and quiet of that community and its whoring, drunkard ways. The program inevitably will challenge viewers to determine on their own, by weighing of competing moral values, who was, in fact, good, with Chester's last name providing only a subliminal hint of the resolution to the philosophical question, and who was bad, in the grand scheme of things, the outside agitators with their fast guns or the whoring drunkards on the inside, dodging the while the truth about themselves in the Long Branch mirror.

On the the editorial page, "Pass the Buck Back to the Top" tells of Louisiana Representative Edward Hebert having been concerned with U.S. servicemen being bilked by unscrupulous insurance salesmen, and indicates that when something troubled the Congressman, it continued to gnaw at him until something was done about it. During the week, his Armed Forces subcommittee had called on the Defense Department to revise immediately regulations governing the sale of insurance to servicemen both at home and abroad, and stated that if action were not undertaken voluntarily, corrective legislation would be proposed in January.

It indicates that the Pentagon should not dally and that insurance rules ought be reviewed and revised immediately, as there was evidence of abuses and laxness, particularly at overseas stations. Present Army regulations required that the commanding officer of an overseas station license companies and agents operating within his command, enabling swindlers to move in. When superiors did not exercise their duty faithfully, the enlisted man was left at the mercy of the wolves. It regards the Pentagon as being to blame for the situation by passing the buck to field commanders and that the subcommittee had properly recommended that the Secretary of Defense accept an offer by the Association of Insurance Commissioners to provide the Department with a five-man advisory board to review the qualifications of companies seeking to operate at overseas bases, regarding it as a reasonable solution which ought be adopted.

"Heads-You-Win-Tails-I-Lose Program" indicates that the Department of Agriculture had announced during the week that it had eliminated all of the cottonseed meal and cake it had acquired under the 1954 price support program, prompting applause around Washington. But Administration farm officials had earned no accolade, for in accomplishing that feat, they had lost about $900,000 of taxpayer money, unloading the stock below what it had cost to acquire it. It explains the situation in detail and concludes that the sort of economic manipulation from Washington was distasteful, as well as wasteful of taxpayer money, resulting in the formulation expressed by the title of the piece.

"Silence Is Golden" doffs its hat to Murlan C. King of Charlotte, who had recently been named the "best barber in North Carolina", having won out over 12 other experts at a convention of the state's Master Barbers Association in Durham. It notes with concern, however, that the judges had made their awards on the basis of style, not speed, and that there had been no mention of barber conversation. It suggests that style was fine but that a modest trophy ought be awarded for the class composed solely of the fast, silent type. Plutarch, it reminds, had told of Caesar's favorite barber being a "busy, listening fellow", and that when a "prating barber asked Archelaus how he would be clipped, he answered: 'In silence.'"

It fails to point out out that the latter quote is from a work which has been questioned by some critics, according to Ralph Waldo Emerson, for its authentic attribution to Plutarch—perhaps having been translated into the Greek and Latin from English by Floyd, the Barber, as a means to stimulate business on the basis of "Silens, inquit," as with Calvin Coolidge. It also omits, probably because it was not in Bartlett's, reference to the barber who had advised the Archons of Athens of the Athenian defeat to the Syracusans, having heard of it from a patron in his shop, the Archons, fully anticipating another Pheidippides, being so incredulous at the news that they determined that the barber must be a bearer of false tidings and so he was "fastened to the wheel and racked a long time"—somehow remindful of the eventual plight of the hapless Harvey Matusow, as recounted in yesterday's note, after he accused Roy Cohn of suborning his subsequently admitted perjury to obtain convictions of Communists in 1953 under the Smith Act.

"Early Guards for Early Birds" suggests that traffic guards at the public schools of the city should perhaps report to work earlier, after the situation had been called to attention by an accident involving two schoolchildren who had been struck by an automobile five minutes before the traffic guard was scheduled to report at the intersection. It indicates that very young children were a "shifty, unpredictable lot and hardly clock watchers", thus needing all the protection they could get at the busy intersections when crossing. It urges that having the traffic guards report a few minutes earlier would not be an enormous waste of time and might conceivably save a life or two.

We've got to sleep, or at least play our records redundantly on our phonograph until it is time to start walking up to the school and retrieve the little aluminum pole with the red flag on it to direct the little ones across the street. Besides, we also must raise the flag before reporting to duty, and that takes time, as two people must do the task, one to lower it all while the other attaches the flag to it before raising the pole again. Tell the parents to keep their little ones at home until after 8:00, or at least accompany them when allowing them out of the house early. We do not have rubber bathtubs. Had the accident occurred at 7:30, you could make the same argument, until the poor crossing guards would have to report to duty at 2:00 a.m. to keep all safe. Then what happens to school work?

"Down the Stretch, Running Scared" tells of Boston Red Sox manager Pinky Higgins having said that if they did not win the American League pennant, they were "going to scare the heck out of somebody". His team was close to the top of the league standings, despite the experts picking either the Cleveland Indians, the New York Yankees or the Chicago White Sox.

It indicates that, despite Mr. Higgins having probably had those three teams in mind in terms of those whom his team would scare, it was scared to death, as it could not keep its mind on the impending football season or whether the President or Adlai Stevenson would or would not enter the race for the Presidency in 1956, for it had already dropped a bundle on the Brooklyn Dodgers to win the National League pennant and wanted to recoup its losses in the American race, so spent its days comparing the rosters of the competing teams, not figuring that the Red Sox would be in the running, and so now had to factor in their players as well, causing a frightening prospect.

We don't care. Put your money down on whomever you wish. But keep it out of the newspaper, especially the editorial column, as that is neither news nor any decent editorial comment, just passing the time of day on the typewriter when there were far more weighty issues on which to comment.

W. E. H., writing in the Sanford Herald, in a piece titled "Food Swapping", suggests that there were three main schools in a restaurant or cafeteria which practiced swapping of food during meals, with one believing that each member of the family should order what they wanted, eat it and not exchange with others, the second believing that it was bad etiquette to swap or exchange foods, but still furtively maintained the practice anyway, while a third school believed that a meal was an opportunity to obtain several choice foods, and thus openly practiced the exchange.

Mr. Horner says that he was a devotee of the third school and one of its leading exponents, while being mindful that a son-in-law had told a local friend that the worst thing about being married in the Horner family was that they were forever swapping their food around and embarrassing him.

We don't care. Swap all you want, but keep it out of the newspaper. It is not news.

Drew Pearson's column, still being written by his staff while Mr. Pearson was on vacation, indicates that irate Senators were privately threatening to introduce a resolution to impeach Federal Power Commission chairman Jerome Kuykendall for concealing vital information from Congress, contending that he had deliberately withheld action on the controversial Hell's Canyon Dam until after Congress had adjourned, despite the decision having been reached by the Commission while Congress was still in session. The FPC had determined to license the Idaho Power Co. to develop Hell's Canyon the day before Mr. Kuykendall had appeared before a House committee, and several Senators and Representatives had asked to be notified as soon as a decision was reached on the matter, contending that the FPC chairman had given them the runaround as he testified. The latter had declared self-righteously that he did not think it was proper for him to divulge what the Commission was doing regarding any particular case, saying to committee counsel that they had received several letters from a number of Senators asking the Commission to withhold decision until Congress had an opportunity to act on the bills pertaining to the issue, and when asked whether that would be done, said again that it was improper, in his opinion, to reveal what the Commission was doing before it made a decision.

Yet, all the while, he had known that the FPC had already decided to turn the only remaining dam site available for production of electrical power over to a private company. The Senators also charged that the FPC chairman had told the joint Congressional Atomic Committee a falsehood the prior November after being asked whether FPC lawyers had played any role in reviewing the then-proposed Dixon-Yates contract, which he denied. But the FPC's general counsel had stated in later testimony that the Dixon-Yates contract had come before the Commission's legal section.

Walter Lippmann discusses the visit to Washington by Japanese Foreign Minister Mamoru Shigemitsu, indicating that only a remarkable man could have carried himself as had the Foreign Minister, given the past between the two countries, from Pearl Harbor to Hiroshima, and the postwar imprisonment of Mr. Shigemitsu for war crimes. He had covered much ground in a speech to the National Press Club, making it plain that the burden of his mission was to "review our defense relationship", while also saying that changes could not come overnight. Part of his mission was to obtain the withdrawal of U.S. forces from Japanese territory to "eliminate such frictions as are bound to arise from the presence of foreign troops on our soil."

Mr. Lippmann indicates that there was more to it than that, however, that the mission was also for the Foreign Minister to tell the U.S. that the eventual withdrawal of American troops would only be an outward symbol of a radical change in the status of Japan, from being a protected nation to being once again a principal power in East Asia.

The U.S. had agreed that as Japan's military forces were built up, the American forces on Japanese soil were to be withdrawn, recognizing that the time was coming when U.S. strategic planning had to be based on the evacuation of the strongest military position of the U.S. in the Western Pacific. Mr. Shigemitsu had not asked the U.S. to leave at present, but had asked that preparations be made for departure, urging the U.S. not to make the same mistake which France had made in Indo-China.

During the Washington talks, it appeared to be assumed that a satisfactory build-up of Japanese forces would occur in about six years, with the withdrawal of U.S. forces taking place gradually during that interim. But long before 1961, beginning at once, it would be necessary to begin treating Japan as a principal power in East Asia. The real question raised by the Foreign Minister was not the mechanical issue of withdrawal and replacement by Japanese troops, but the recognition of Japan again as a principal power to be consulted when U.S. policies were formed relative to the future of Korea, relations to the two Chinas and Southeast Asia.

The joint statement issued after the conference indicated that Japan should "assume primary responsibility for the defense of its homeland and be able to contribute to the preservation of international peace and security in the Western Pacific." Mr. Lippmann posits that Japan's role would be primarily to assure against internal instability and insurrection, as Japan could not defend itself against nuclear attack. It could defend itself against a seaborne or airborne invasion from Siberia or Manchuria, but such an invasion was unlikely as it could not be accomplished without precipitating a world war. By contributing to the preservation of peace and security in the Western Pacific, the joint statement could be read as contributing forces in Korea in the event of another outbreak there, as once U.S. forces were withdrawn from Japan, there would be no ready force of ground troops available to go to Korea, as there had been in mid-1950 when the Korean War began. The protection of South Korea at that point against aggression from the North would be the U.S. guarantee of massive retaliation, but the defense of the South against internal revolution would have to depend at that point on the intervention of Japanese ground forces, as it would take time to mobilize U.S. forces beyond air and naval support in such an event.

Mr. Lippmann indicates that Americans were so accustomed to thinking of Japan as a defeated, occupied and controlled country that it was a bit startling to begin thinking of it as an independent power with interests which had to be taken into account in the Far East. He views the speech at the National Press Club by Mr. Shigemitsu as informing that Japan was concerned with Korea, Formosa and Southeast Asia, and as the ally of the U.S., with U.S. relations with the Chinese mainland and Soviet Siberia, that the role the U.S. had played since the end of the war had been abnormal and could not last much longer. The U.S. had not only been occupying Japan but taking its role in the conduct of foreign relations in that area of the world. Until the U.S. began the occupation of Japan, Korea had never been a vital interest for the U.S., and for more than half a century Formosa had been a Japanese colony and prior to that, a Japanese interest, the change of policy having come about because the U.S. was standing in the shoes of Japan. But the time was now coming when the U.S. would act with Japan, not in its place, in dealing with Korea and East Asia. Mr. Lippmann thus regards the advice of Mr. Shigemitsu as good, as no settlement in East Asia could be permanent unless Japan were a participant as a principal power.

Frederick C. Othman tells of the members of Congress investigating in foreign territory since the beginning of the Congressional recess now headed home, but still having investigations in mind. Senator Allen Ellender of Louisiana, who had been making headlines of late with his cordial invitations to Soviet leaders to visit America, shortly would begin a national tour of the U.S. to investigate farm price supports, as he and fellow members of the Agriculture Committee hoped to discover whether the farmers were as unhappy as some Democratic political reports suggested.

The House Interstate Commerce Committee would take up the subject of ping-pong balls, canned dog food and other items mentioned by the Hoover Commission in its transportation report, which had concluded that the military had too many airlines of their own, as well as steamship lines. The report mentioned as examples the ping-pong balls which the Air Force had sent by airplane to Berlin and the consignment of dog food shipped by air to Okinawa for the benefit of a colonel's dog. There was also an investigation still ongoing regarding the Navy's 60-year supply of canned hamburgers along with ketchup, being investigated by the Government Operations Committee. (Whether that will cut the mustard, even with Robert Mitchum, is yet to be determined.)

With the help of the North Dakota Lions Club, which had agreed to sift through 1,000 pictures to see whether they were unfit for juvenile eyes, the Senate would look into pornography as a cause of juvenile delinquency, while another Senate committee would examine television crime shows, and another would seek to discover what had happened to UHF television and why color television still was so expensive that few could afford the sets.

The Senate-House joint economic subcommittee would study automation in Detroit and elsewhere, to determine its impact on jobs.

The Senate also would delve more deeply into the study of narcotics trafficking, which appeared to involve Oriental Communists seeking to flood the rest of the world with opium and its derivatives. Other Senators would look at the problems of unemployment and low income families, considering foreign economic policy and whether it was ingratiating or alienating to allies.

The House Ways & Means Committee would look into the possibility of cutting taxes the following year, while the House was concerning itself with automobile sales and surpluses, as well as the plight of the so-called captive gasoline station operators, who contended that they were being told what they could sell on the side, such as tires, or lose their leases. Members of the House were also looking into the problem of alien property disposal, (which is proof positive that the little green men who landed at Roswell back in July, 1947 brought with them their household furnishings), as the Government still controlled certain German properties confiscated during World War I, while corporations taken from the Germans during World War II became more embarrassing with each passing year.

A letter writer suggests that the state and national politicians were responsible for the confusion existing between the races, as both the Northern and Southern politicians had promised blacks many "favors" regarding equal rights. He indicates that when General Eisenhower had made a campaign speech in Charlotte and in Columbia, S.C., in 1952, he had said that he would not advise the Federal Government to interfere in states' rights, and the writer believes that the President had been sincere in that belief at the time, for he had then not been a politician. But since that time, he had become President and had varied from the promise which he made to the Southern voters because he had "been misled by some of his political advisers in Washington in order to gain the Negro vote." He suggests that the President had begun playing politics when he appointed Governor Earl Warren of California to become Chief Justice in October, 1953, in the wake of the death of Chief Justice Fred Vinson. He believes that appointment had been a bid for the black vote in 1956, as had been, he suggests, his appointment in 1954 to the Court of John Harlan—grandson of the only dissenter in Plessy v. Ferguson and its establishment of the separate-but-equal doctrine in 1896, overturned in Brown v. Board of Education in May, 1954, prior to the death of Justice Robert Jackson, whom Justice Harlan replaced. The writer continues, saying that had it not been for those two appointments, the Supreme Court would not have made the decisions in Brown which had "caused so much strife between the Negro and white race". He states in conclusion that he had not turned against the President because he had always admired him as a General and as President and hopes that in 1956, he could say again "I like Ike"—no doubt, as long as, in the meantime, he proves to this writer that he is not, in fact, a Negro-lover by appointing some good ol' boy segregationists to the Federal courts to carry the country backward again.

His contentions regarding the Court appointments are ridiculous in their premises, as Justice Harlan had nothing to do with the first decision which actually overruled Plessy and Chief Justice Warren primarily ensured an unanimous decision in Brown, rather than, so much, ensuring the holding itself, while also acting as a primary catalyst to heal a division on the Court regarding the issue. The Court under Chief Justice Vinson had been steadily moving in that direction since Sweatt v. Painter in 1950, holding that the University of Texas Law School had to accept qualified black applicants because the State of Texas did not supply a black law school substantially equal to that of the University, as well as subsequent decisions prior to Brown, while each of those decisions had, on an ad hoc basis, upheld the letter of Plessy, as they nevertheless continually held that the states had failed to meet the increasingly exacting standard it established, to the point where either the court had to overturn the precedent as having failed of its original mission or continue to hear, case by case, contentions of discrimination based on failure to establish equal facilities. Thus, the writer is all wet and does not understand what the hell he is talking about—even if the subsequent assessment by Justice William O. Douglas, in his 1979 Autobiography, anent the status of the vote on Brown in 1952-53, suggested that had the case been decided without the December, 1953 reargument, which had been ordered before the death of Chief Justice Vinson in September, 1953, the vote would have been five to four to uphold Plessy while ordering the school districts to produce substantially equal facilities or integrate, albeit with Justice Felix Frankfurter's fifth vote being crucially on the fence at that juncture, in favor of reargument.

A letter writer from Gastonia indicates that the children were back in school and that for the previous three months of summer vacation, many letters had been written on both sides of the issue of desegregation of the public schools. He says that he had also read that State Attorney General W. B. Rodman had indicated that even if North Carolina abolished its public school system, it was unlikely that it would pass muster under the 14th Amendment Equal Protection Clause, as the system of private schools thus established could be determined to be the result of state action and thus fall within the parameters of the 14th Amendment anyway—just as had been the case with attempts to privatize the primary system of voting to render the primaries open only to voters deemed acceptable to the parties for membership, as a private club. The writer regards all of those matters as opinions and wants to take a "reasonable and sober look at actual facts". He says that West Virginia was offering a golden opportunity for a case study, as desegregation had become effective in the public schools there as of this date, recommends examining what would happen as a result, whether there would be riots, whether the state, county and municipal law enforcement agencies would be able to cope with the situation. He thinks it was an opportunity to see whether the Constitution was "bigger than bigots", stating that as a native North Carolinian, he refused to believe that the citizens of the state were "more backward than West Virginia."

Yeah, but they got all them coal mines up 'ere and all them hills, and so you can't judge by that, as people can't get away from the coal mines to challenge that system except at night when they're too tired, and all them hills prevent the people from coming in from the outside to protest from all parts, north, east, west, and south. You just can't judge by that. Besides, how many black people are there in West Virginia, three or four? They just don't have the same problem that we do down heya. Just ask ol' I. Bevaly. He's the man with the plan, 'll be Guv'na one day. You watch. Get rid of all them lib'rals. Impeach Earl Warren and all the rest of them scalawags!

Framed Edition
[Return to Links
Page by Subject] [Return to Links-Page by Date] [Return to News<i><i><i>—</i></i></i>Framed Edition]
Links-Date Links-Subj.