Wednesday, July 21, 1943

The Charlotte News

Wednesday, July 21, 1943


Site Ed. Note: The front page reports of the taking of Enna, the strategic center of Sicily, by Patton’s Seventh Army, fighting along with the Canadians. The capture of the major road junction cut off the western Axis forces from those defending Catania before the British on the east coast. It left effectively therefore half of Sicily in Allied hands. The forces were now only 40 miles from the north coast.

The British Eighth Army meanwhile continued its slow advance against Catania.

The Germans were reported retreating northeast toward Messina, either for a last ditch stand in Sicily’s keystone port or for evacuation to the mainland of Italy or for repositioning in defense of Catania along the coast road to the south from Messina.

Captured Italian soldiers were complaining about being left behind to perform rearguard actions for the retreating Germans, acting as cannon fodder until surrender, just as the practice had been in North Africa.

In Russia, the Red Army was advancing along a 400-mile front south of Orel as fighting continued most fiercely in the vicinity of the Nazi-held city.

On the editorial page, "Dr. Saunders" regretfully discloses that the Associated Press report of a couple of days earlier announcing the resignation of Dr. J. R. Saunders, director of the Morganton hospital for the mentally ill, to enter the armed services was erroneous. Dr. Saunders was in fact staying on as director, retained by the new state board of oversight appointed by Governor Broughton. The editorial predicts, given the past performance of Dr. Saunders, that the hospital would not appreciably change from its prior abject status, and that more of the same mistreatment and neglect of patients would continue unabated. Dr. Saunders had been assistant director to Dr. Watkins during the period of trouble for the institution when the complaints, reported by Tom Jimison in The News and other newspapers throughout the state, had finally come to the light of day in early 1942.

A former employee at the institution writes a letter to the editor defending Dr. Saunders and reminding that at the time of the series of articles by Mr. Jimison, a petition, signed by most of the nurses and staff at Morganton, gave praise to Dr. Saunders and branded Mr. Jimison's criticism of him unfair. The letter writer also provides praise for Harry Riddle, another target of recent News editorials for his political appointment to the new state hospital board.

"NYA Reborn" records that the State of North Carolina was looking into whether to provide continuity to the discontinued Federal National Youth Administration, providing vocational training to teenage boys and girls, useful in the war effort. The Congress recently had pulled the plug on the NYA; but now, North Carolina might reinvigorate the tasks of the agency under the aegis of the State.

"Gay Old Party" finds the Republicans enunciating their foreign policy stands for 1944: defeat of the Axis and post-war internationalism, all in the vein of Wendell Willkie and his recent bestseller, One World. Col. Robert McCormick, announced isolationist candidate for the nomination, put forward by Chicago's parochial Republican Nationalist Revival Committee, was left somewhere in the dust of the fin de siecle.

"The Beer Ban" reports that the first Sunday night in Charlotte without the sale of beer had gone smoothly without further heads being bashed. Some private sales of beer out of homes was reported but the ban appears to have worked effectively in its first trial. The editorial nevertheless predicts that the ban would not be effective indefinitely, and favors it only until the war ended.

Then the Wild Ones came to town. They just went.

Raymond Clapper again examines the vitality of the air war for the Allies out of North Africa. Some of the British officers, he finds, had not been home for over three years and some of the American fliers had been in North Africa for over a year, all without prospect of returning home prior to the end of the war, maybe not even until the end of the war with Japan--a war reported the previous day by the Navy as expected to last until 1949.

Samuel Grafton, out on the pavement, thinking about the government, finds those without the ready support of the people, from General Giraud visiting Washington to Governor Bricker running for the Republican nomination for president, to be nervously doing their obsequies to the people to try to win them. But those who were firmly democrats in their stance were going about with ease, understanding that the goal of the war was to install anti-Fascists for Fascists. It was simple.

But then the tough question began after the invasion and conquering: Who?

Drew Pearson tells of the visit by the Postmaster General, Frank Walker, along with the Czech Ambassador to the United States, to show off the new stamp commemorating the heroism of the Czech people in the war. The President was pleased with the new addition to his stamp collection, one of his hobbies. But when Mr. Walker asked for the three pennies apiece, the President, after checking his pockets for some scratch, had to call an assistant to deliver it up. The President, reminds Mr. Pearson, seldom carries money, his needs being met by the office.

He concludes his column--after a brief look at the War Labor Board’s consideration of whether to stop John L. Lewis from collecting UMW dues should he follow through on his threat to strike if the mines were turned by the government back to the owners for operation--with a bit of advice from Josephus Daniels to the President, Mr. Daniels's Assistant Secretary of the Navy during the Wilson years. After pointing out that FDR still called the former Ambassador to Mexico "Chief", Mr. Pearson reports that Mr. Daniels editorialized in the Raleigh News & Observer that, while the President was being bi-partisan in his appointments to war positions in government and that such was necessary to win the war, it would nevertheless come back to haunt the President in 1944, when all of the Republican appointees would work from the inside to try to defeat him. Such had been the case, informed Mr. Daniels, with Woodrow Wilson. But, he offered, FDR was a shrewder politician than had been Mr. Wilson.

Drool, slurp, slobber, licking them Stamps.

The Reverend Herbert Spaugh, with his column appearing on the editorial page in lieu of part of that space normally filled by vacationing Dorothy Thompson, examines the declaration by Jesus, according to Matthew 19:30: "But many that are first shall be last; and the last shall be first."

Peculiarly, he does so by introducing a worker in a Tampa shipbuilding company who encountered measurable difficulty when he was asked by his employer for his name, last name first, to place on a tax form for registration under the Ruml pay-as-you-go tax plan recently passed by Congress.

His name, as provided by the Associated Press account, was Last Gale First.

How many roads until the slow one now shall later be fast?

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