Wednesday, July 7, 1943

The Charlotte News

Wednesday, July 7, 1943


Site Ed. Note: The front page reports that a cruiser was lost in the Battle of the Kula Gulf the day before: the Helena was a ship damaged in the attack on Pearl Harbor and subsequently repaired. Six Japanese ships were likely sunk during the battle and four others damaged. At least one of the ships was a destroyer.

Secretary of the Navy Frank Knox described the victory, in a speech to shipyard workers at Bremerton, Washington, as "another damned good licking" of the Japanese.

During the first week of operations in the Central Solomons since the landing on Rendova June 30, the Japanese had suffered the loss of 164 planes.

Meanwhile, air attacks continued on the objective at Munda on New Georgia.

Another combined raid of Flying Fortresses from Northwest Africa and Liberators from the Middle East launched an attack on the airfield at Gerbini on Sicily in a concerted effort to eliminate the base.

After two days of fighting in the newly launched German summer offensive along the front extending between Orel, Kursk, and Belgorod in Russia, the Russians claimed to have destroyed 314 German planes and 1,271 tanks, in the process of killing over 10,000 German soldiers. The Russians acknowledged having lost two small towns along the front stretching 165 miles.

A German broadcast claimed that the Germans had broken through the Russian lines at several points in the Kursk area.

Another Berlin radio broadcast declared that Yugoslav underground resistance had been all but wiped out and that similar guerilla operations in Greece had been squelched to a minimum. The Yugoslav and Greek governments-in-exile in London, however, declared the report false despite the increased force being employed by the Nazis against the resistance.

A third German broadcast indicated that General Eisenhower had assembled a million tons of shipping in North Africa for an attack across the Mediterranean.

On the editorial page, "Our Critic" quotes a doctor from South Carolina who had written a letter to the editors about the editorial appearing Monday regarding the near riot which had occurred in Charlotte Sunday among the soldiers standing on the corner and those more than a little in their cups seeking some heavier action down at the speedway where all the wind blows.

The doctor said, quite bluntly, that the problem was that Charlotte was just a "stink-hole", and that's what had caused the fracas. The editorial agrees that Charlotte was a stink-hole, with too many beer joints and juke joints attracting trouble, and that a solution needed to be found. But, it also had counseled already against a curfew or banning sales of beer and wine on weekends or doing routine inspections to close down the joints disfavored as means for improving the scene. So it demurs on the subject of solubility.

The doctor, it assents, however, had placed his finger on a "civic sore spot", but the solution probably lay elsewhere than in wholesale black-listing and prohibition.

Just what the doctor's specialty was, the piece did not disclose. It could have been beef stew.

"Little Raid" predicts that the raid on the island of Crete, first hinted on June 16, would become a harbinger of things to come, possibly even laying the ground for a full-scale raid on Crete itself. It had found the German defenders napping and, had the force been larger than a commando unit, the island could have been taken and held. It had proved that the German soldiers were weary of battle and might be caught napping yet again when the concerted force finally stepped ashore on the Continent.

When? Where? They had little time now to wait.

"The Surplus" expresses exasperation with the public dispute which had surfaced between Vice-President Henry Wallace and Secretary of Commerce Jesse Jones over whether the procurement of raw materials and supplies by the Board of Economic Warfare, run by Mr. Wallace, or the Reconstruction Finance Corporation, headed by Mr. Jones, was the more dilatory in performance of its offices on behalf of the public and the war effort. Probably, it finds, Mr. Jones had lagged in his duties, preferring historically a slow, methodical approach to business.

But the public dispute was simply roiling disunity in the country during a summer already beset by the coal strike and a riot out of Detroit, a disturbance in Watts, and problems between the President and Congress. Within the Executive Branch of the Government itself, therefore, the best policy was to present a unified front and leave inter-departmental squabbling tucked away in the closet.

Jay Hayden recaps the various domestic disputes which had arisen between the new 78th Congress and FDR since January. He finds their common binding force to be the impulsion to attack the New Deal.

"A Question" restates the inquiry posed by some folks in Randolph County, around Asheboro, in response to Governor Broughton's recent proclamation against loafing, as examined in an editorial appearing June 25.

What was the meaning of "loafing"? And, once defined, what was the solution? Should defined loafers be picked up off the street and hauled off to participate in compulsory work?

You couldn't do that under the Constitution.

Precisely. So the piece suggests that a martyr was needed to test the Governor's willingness to put action behind his stentorian but otherwise hollow words, a characteristic, it finds, which had increasingly plagued his administration in its first two and a half years. Someone needed to loaf out in public, allow themselves to be arrested, go to court and test the premise.

Well, we don't know about North Carolina in 1943, but eventually a troubadour did just that on Dupont Circle in Washington. He lost. But, eventually, in another case, the right to loaf was upheld, in 1972. One has a constitutional right to be a vagrant in the United States, and more power to them.

Samuel Grafton asserts, "Sometimes we are so unreal it is a wonder daylight does not pass through us." The remark relates to the argument that it was not yet safe to invade the Continent, and that until it was safe, no such invasion should take place. Mr. Grafton finds the contender in such a dialectic match to be no more than a wraith, casting no shadow.

Instead of Americans speaking via radio to the underground in Europe, the underground, he opines, should be speaking to Americans, in fine. For those who were fighting in the resistance would not be waiting until it was safe for invasion. Those who had advocated earlier in the war waiting until it was safe had been held in contempt by Americans, through less than friendly persuasion.

The resistance, he suggests, would tell Americans that waiting another year to invade Europe could so despoil the resolve of the people to continue to resist that there would be little left to liberate. They would rightly ask why not a year earlier, when so many more could have been saved from the Nazi boot which, beneath the stares, did proliferate. Mr. Grafton sees this paradigmatic European revolutionary as a thin man.

"A thin man, but he casts a shadow."

And you know something is happening, but you just don't know what it is.

Nevertheless, the question remained in plain D: Was it Safe?

Tomorrow is a long time and tomorrow never knows, for it creeps in this petty pace.

By the way, as to that second Beatle "parody" supposedly of Mr. Dylan, let's once and for all get it straight: "Eve of Destruction" was not by Mr. Dylan. Mr. McGuire, formerly of the New Christy Minstrels, sang that one. P. F. Sloan wrote it. (At the time, the rumor circulated that he was 13; he wasn't. He was 19.) Going down this massive highway, if you are going to lweave here for four days in space, try a little harder to keep it at least somewhere between the white lines so as not to be displaced. Just a warning. 10-4. Have a safe and pleasant journey. (That, incidentally, is from someone who, at the ripe old age of about nine, just a little learnee, once inquired of our brother, upon seeing the name on one of his Kingston Trio--or was it Chad Mitchell Trio?--albums, "Who is this B. Die-lan?")

Tom Jimison expresses regret at the passing of the revival meeting from the countryside of his youth. Now, the preachers were resorting to education to convert the flock. A person must make a decision for Christ, they insisted. He would have none of it. There was no decision, he says from experience, worth a nickel. "And prayers that end in 'ahmen' won't get an old plug-ugly into the embrace of the Heavenly Father who is a hankerin' to throw a big celestial party for every pore prodigal who comes back Home."

The only way to salvation, he concludes, is to ask for forgiveness through repentance.

Which is why we disagree with the letter writer from yesterday's page.

For, as the Bible also warns, there is no certainty of forgiveness. It all depends on the magnitude of the sin, we suppose. Murder, for instance, either corporeally or by character assassination through plain lies, is a tough one to get around. Which is why we try to pick only on the dead, and the dead among public figures, to deliver up examples of how not to behave in society, just in case we go overboard a time or two and step on their toes, however accidental it might be. You can't murder the dead. They're already gone.

In any event, when you've the solid rock, the worst storms man can throw at you can't wash you into the sea. You may die trying to hold on, but you won't be washed away.

Those who lie about others, making up scenarios through which they might seek with impunity to steal from them, have no rock on which to cling. The first little breeze will always cast them into the depths.

Anyway, we're just sitting here watching the wheels go 'round and 'round.

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