Thursday, April 1, 1943

The Charlotte News

Thursday, April 1, 1943


Site Ed. Note: The front page, badly shadowed on the right, informs of new ground gained by the Eighth Army, operating 24 miles north of Gabes against Rommelís rearguard troops.

Still slugging it out through dense minefields east of El Guettar in the El Guettaria Pass, General Pattonís forces were nevertheless moving closer to joinder with the Eighth Army.

The British First Army and the Fighting French made further progress in the north, capturing the Tebouna Line overlooking Sedjenane, having captured Sedjenane itself a day earlier, and also obtaining control of the Mateur-Tabarca Road.

Meanwhile, a major American air raid, consisting of 100 Flying Fortresses, bombed Sardinia, to soften up defenses there in anticipation of the incipient invasion and to foil supply lines to Rommel and von Jurgen in Tunisia.

In Russia, despite the Nazis being freshly supplied and reinforced in greater numbers, the diminution of mud and slush from a less severe winter than in 1942 appeared to be working to the advantage of the Red Army. The Russians continued to advance in the Kuban River area, toward the Kerch Peninsula. Movement forward, however, appeared to be at a premium in the advance toward Smolensk in the north central sector.

Berlin radio reported that Nazis and quislings in Norway were busy hunting for about a hundred British and American parachutists, said to have dropped into the Hardanger Vida Mountain Lakes region of the country.

Rubber director William Jeffers showed Congress the first truck tire produced from synthetic rubber, now a perfected process utilizing butadiene. The hearings had been initiated to investigate the curtailment of growing native rubber plants in the Deep South, to enable free acreage for growth of produce.

The Secretary of the Beauty and Barber Supply Institute informed Congress that his industry was beset with a supply shortage and that if it did not receive relief soon, there would be, inside of 90 days, the appearance, on a mass scale, of women without make-up, men without a haircut, a shaggy, shiny-nosed population of hirsute males and bare-faced females striding the landscape--surely appearing as devils, no longer in neatly coiffured and mascaraed disguise. He warned that in Britain, women had taken to using shoe polish in place of eye shadow and that such application was harmful to the eyes. Black markets were already springing up in lipstick and face cream.

The world was, indeed, coming to an end.

Long-haired, wild-eyed hippies, wandering waifs of the night, indistinguishable between boy and girl, were right over the next Lost Horizon, pardner. Prepare yourself. The end of the trail is near.

Dolores Gray, radio and nightclub singer, was shot in the right arm in a drive-by shooting in Los Angeles, as she awaited her escort, orchestra leader Garwood Van.

Never fear, however, as she pulled through and lived until 2002. She would in 1954 sing for Marilyn Monroe on the soundtrack album of "There's No Business Like Show Business", that for the fact that Miss Monroe was lately with RCA and Decca supplied the album. (If it's all the same, we'll just bat with the original.) As well, Miss Gray, in 1953, would win a Tony Award for only six performances on Broadway of "Carnival in Flanders", the shortest run ever to produce a Tony for acting. She married, in 1966, a Los Angeles area car dealer who had been the owner of Determine, a small horse which won the 1954 Kentucky Derby.

Just as the story we found in November about the men on the cold beachheads around Casablanca during the Operation Torch landings who had found succor and warmth on soft Kellogg's Cornflakes boxes they requisitioned from supply craft while awaiting naval and air cover to support their ground operations, perhaps this story also lends proof to the seemingly nonsensical line, "Sitting on a cornflake, waiting for the van to come."

On the editorial page, "Victory Key" indicates that the Tunisian campaign appeared on its way to a quick finish, albeit with substantial Allied losses ahead to accomplish it. Once accomplished, it informs, the Mediterranean would be cleared for shipping, cutting substantial time off the supply lanes to both Russia and China, especially enabling increased supplies to Russia through the south.

"The Wedge" comments on Herr Doktor Goebbels's attempts, in his continuing effort to soften the resolve of a unified Allied force, employing the Big Lie at its best to foster a strategy of divide and conquer, to inveigle American public opinion by warning of Russian aggression to come in Europe should they become victors in the war.

The editorial curtly labels the attempt at indoctrination as the way to disaster, should official policy ever be so swayed by such sucker plays.

Raymond Clapper informs that the conference just ended in Washington between the State Department and British Foreign Minister Anthony Eden had reached one apparent agreement as to the future: that Germany would be divided up after the war, not merely reconstituted as a republic as after World War I. The lessons of the past had been learned too well. The questions persisting were how it would be divided and who would administer the divisions. What role would Russia play? How would the other Allies eventually respond to Russia's apparent demands, written into their constitution, to absorb buffer states?

Indicative of how these questions might be answered, Administration officials, reports Mr. Clapper, had responded favorably to a recent New York Herald-Tribune editorial criticizing former Ambassador to Russia and France, William C. Bullitt, who had counseled that Russia be held to strict adherence, as a co-signatory, to the terms of the Atlantic Charter, its renunciation of territorial acquisition as an outcome to the war. The Herald-Tribune and, apparently, the Administration officials agreeing with its editorial position, believed that it was unreasonable to insist that Russia give up any territorial rights to buffer states, the Baltics--Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania--, the eastern sliver of Poland, and the Balkan territory of Bessarabia.

Yet, the editorial cautions, there were active voices through the land, especially representative of some of those nationalities directly impacted by any such concession to Russia, who were campaigning assiduously against it.

Mr. Clapper accurately forecasts, out of the declaration from the January Casablanca Conference that only an unconditional surrender by the Axis would be an acceptable termination to the war, "total annihilation" of the presently constituted German state as Roosevelt had framed it, that the Allies this time would not be content with an Armistice at Compiegne as in 1918, but would march fully and finally into Berlin as conquerors.

One hears the headless, heedless hoof beats of the Cold War galloping hard behind into the opening of the future out of the prescient warnings issued by both this piece of Mr. Clapper and "The Wedge".

Samuel Grafton discusses the opposition to the Farm Security Administration policy of providing cheap credit to small family-owned farms to enable them to afford to operate. Congressman Harold Cooley of North Carolina, who most recently hit the news on February 23 for protesting the presence of only wooden dummies on top of the Capitol, supported by reactionary Congressman Clare Hoffman of Michigan, had begun hearings into the agency's effectiveness, amid charges that it was communistic in its theoretical formulation, antithetical to dog-eat-dog capitalism where the biggest dog always wins the fight--and pays off the sympathetic congressman with a nice fat "campaign contribution".

Mr. Grafton drives home the salubrious impact of the agency by stressing the fact that only 7.6% of the farms in the country, the small farms benefiting from FSA loans, had, in the previous year, been responsible for fully 36% of the increase in milk production, a vital war commodity. The same small percentage of farms had been responsible for 27% of the increase in bean production.

Better have some beans, gentleman farmer-capitalist. And milk. For, up there, up there, is where we have to go.

Mr. Grafton finds the argument against the continued sustenance of the agency to be one, while wearing the shoe-polished mascara of anti-Communism, posed in fact simply by large, greedy landowners out to grab all the farming interests and destroy the small family farm as an entity, yet another example which he offers of obscurantism being trumpeted by minority interests on Capitol Hill.

One hears behind this piece the steady hoof beats into the last 30 years of the erosion of the viability of the small family farm, into the present of those wealthy corporate entities, often owned by foreign interests pulling the strings of puling young lawyers out to make a fast buck off the sweat of others, orchestrating their putsch to destroy even private home ownership. But caveat emptor: Be careful, Fascist, of that for which you wish.

Continuing with the second installment in the "Heritage of America" series begun Tuesday, the page presents an excerpt from a short story by O. Henry, "The Making of a New Yorker". The abstract leaves off the best part and is a bit fuzzy, but you may the read the whole of it here.

We have before commented on an afternoon we spent once in 1986 in New York, an episode which operates to provide empathy with that experienced brusquely and then, by undulating turns, in endearing tenderness, within the inner recesses of the mind of the poet, Raggles.

By happenstance, this night, our school happened to have played in the final game of the N.I.T. in Madison Square Garden, the first time they had played in that game in the post-season since 1971, only the sixth time in school history they had been invited--a terrible slight in our estimation. They lost tonight to Dayton--not the first time. Those are the breaks. It's been a long time coming, but that is part of the game and the fact that our school has a rough time in the old clockwork orange routine, this year called tangerine, should not serve as any deterrent, nevertheless, to showing optimum school spirit and following them even in those many down years, unlike this one. This year was different. Maybe, if we might tough it out that long through the lean and hungry times, we might live to see them invited yet again to Madison Square in post-season and play in that N.I.T. final round in another 39 years. Let us hope so.

Incidentally, we think we have the answer from yesterday's puzzle formed incidentally by omission. It is "pease-ment". (We also considered "attorn-ment", but we see no t's.)

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