Saturday, November 13, 1943

The Charlotte News

Saturday, November 13, 1943


Site Ed. Note: The front page reports that the Red Army had taken Zhitomir, vital rail link between the north and south, cutting off supply lines to the German armies except by rail lines a hundred miles to the west, resulting in a much longer supply route. The capture opened the way for the Soviets to slash into the Balkans and Poland.

The British, acting through future Prime Minister and present Minister to Algiers, Harold MacMillan, delivered an ultimatum to the French to quell disturbances with Lebanese nationalists in Lebanon or face British intervention to do so. Lebanon was part of the area of the Middle East over which the British exerted military responsibility to maintain order.

The Nazis landed paratroops, supported by dive-bombers and amphibious landing forces on the Dodecanese Island of Leros in an attempt to retake the island from the British. Allied headquarters reported that the beleaguered troops there were in a tight spot. RAF raiders in the meantime bombed nearby Nazi supply depots on the islands of Rhodes, Cos, Antikythera, and at Suda Bay on Crete.

In Italy, the Fifth Army captured two more towns, Filignano and Pozzili, respectively located north and northeast of captured Venafro, while a patrol of the Eighth Army crossed the Sango River. The heaviest fighting against the Fifth Army was occurring in the vicinity of Venafro and Mignano.

In the Pacific, Navy carriers won their first long-range battle of the war, in the area of Rabaul on New Britain. Sending in 200 planes, the force sank a Japanese cruiser and two destroyers, damaged eleven destroyers and a cruiser, and shot down 24 enemy planes. The action cost the Allied force 17 planes.

The action brought the total of enemy shipping casualties for the month to two cruisers and five destroyers sunk, ten cruisers and thirteen destroyers damaged, and another cruiser probably damaged.

In China, along the Tungting Lake-Yangtze River front, combined forces of Chinese troops and American air support pushed back the Japanese, some 60,000 strong, capturing at least nine towns in the process.

In retaliation for a new wave of sabotage and attacks against German troops, the Milanese were placed under a strict 8:00 p.m. curfew, violation of which would result in being shot on the spot.

A tailor in London was fined $1,200 for making double-breasted coats and trousers with cuffs, in violation of the rationing law on bolters.

To show that all was not always rosy either in American rationing, four men broke into a ration board in Racine, Wisconsin and made off with 1.8 million gallons worth of gas coupons. Just what sentence the armed robbery-burglary-assault-kidnapping suspects might draw when caught was not yet elucidated.

Hal Boyle reports from Algiers on the fight game being promoted by a former professional promoter now with the American armed forces. He complained of far more fans, 5,000 per match, than available boxers, not enough to fill out a sixteen-boxer card. He also carped that there had been no championship material passing through the ring, whereas World War I had produced the likes of Gene Tunney.

From her to eternity.

On the editorial page, "Last Round" gives praise to Representative Schiffler of West Virginia who, among Republicans, at least presented "conscionable resistance" to Administration policies, offering alternative plans to stem imminent inflation through bipartisan policies, rather than appearing to welcome the prospect as with Senate Republicans.

"Soap Operas" finds Chairman James Fly of the FCC fighting a losing battle with the radio networks against the proliferation of soap operas on the air. They were not yet illegal and so government intervention was not at stake.

But, says the piece, perhaps they should be.

We concur. They should be.

"Home-Grown" predicts that the governor's race shaping up for the following year in North Carolina between Gregg Cherry, the eventual winner, and Dr. Ralph McDonald would be a replica of the battle for the White House. Mr. Cherry favored smaller government, less bureaucracy, and trust-busting. That left Dr. McDonald, based on his prior record, probably advocating the establishment of liberal social programs in the vein of the New Deal.

"Better Peace" remarks on the lack of celebration accompanying the past Armistice Day. Americans, it says, had learned that an Armistice meant only the prospect of another war and that, this time, a firmer resolve to insure against another world war must be the result. With a fifth of German industry in ruins and a large segment of Germany's manpower dead from the war, the piece suggests that it would be improbable for another war to break out from that source in any event.

Samuel Grafton points out the self-contradiction pervading the isolationist press, The New York Daily News and Hearst newspapers, for instance.

Raymond Clapper reminisces on his covering as a reporter a yearly ritual on S St. in Washington each Armistice Day. A crowd of ordinary people would kneel to pray before the last refuge of Woodrow Wilson. On this particular day in 1923, "cloudy and raw"--as the Veterans Day in 1943--three months before the death of the former President, as Calvin Coolidge had been in the White House for a little over three months following the death of Warren Harding on August 2, President Wilson, enfeebled, came out to speak to the crowd briefly, his last public words, as reproduced in the piece by Mr. Clapper.

Drew Pearson looks at the variation between expectation and reality of the price-fixing undertaken by Judge Fred Vinson, future Supreme Court Chief Justice. He came to the position of Director of Office of Economic Stabilization expected to be more lenient and laid back than stern Leon Henderson. Instead, he had been every bit the whip to industry, Labor, and the farmers that Mr. Henderson had been. Judge Vinson had bucked the big oil companies, the United Mine Workers, and the railroad workers, becoming in the process the enemy of each group. He had been just as adamant in blocking price increases for big business as in blocking wage increases for Labor.

Whether he still liked his "darky jokes" was not clear. Chief Justice Vinson died in September, 1953, paving the way for first-year President Dwight Eisenhower to appoint Governor Earl Warren of California as the successor Chief. The death and appointment were fateful events as Brown v. Board of Education was decided in Chief Justice Warren's first term, already before the Court at the time of Chief Vinson's death. Most believe that Vinson would not have been in favor of the ultimate opinion in Brown, overruling the separate-but-equal doctrine of Plessy v. Ferguson, and, finding the doctrine impracticable of application to public schools, ordering the desegregation of all public schools "with all deliberate speed". Chief Justice Warren had been singularly and meticulously responsible for effecting sufficient cohesion on the Court in constructing the opinion in Brown, taking special pains to visit with each Justice to eliminate differences on the final draft, to render the approval unanimous.

What was the dividing line between the races, post-Plessy? The edge of door is day.

Dorothy Thompson examines the future of Europe, for the first time determined by peripheral powers, Britain and Russia, and a non-European power, the United States. She questions what role Europe would have in the post-war age. Would it be for long content as a satellite to the Big Three? Would it be Balkanized? What role would Germany play? She answers: "To keep as a permanent satellite of three outside powers, the nerve center of the world, that still holds within itself so much life and intelligence, would presume a permanent unity between the three great powers, which it is folly naively to assume."

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