Saturday, October 21, 1944

The Charlotte News

Saturday, October 21, 1944


Site Ed. Note: The front page reports that the invasion forces of General MacArthur had subdued two Japanese airfields, Tacloban and Dulag, the fall of both of which appeared imminent.

The Sixth Army, under the command of Lt. General Walter Krueger, had met their most intense opposition just below Cancabato Bay at Palo. Four landing ships and several smaller vessels were blown up by Japanese mortar fire at that location. Nevertheless, food and supplies were being landed on schedule against light opposition at other points and ground casualties remained relatively small compared to previous landing operations in the Pacific. The total landing convoy, the largest yet assembled in the Pacific theater, had consisted of 600 ships.

A map on the page shows the precise location on Leyte of the landings, one in the area of Tacloban, Palo, and San Ricardo, the central one in the area of Dulag and San Jose. The third was at Paenan in the southern area of the island.

The British fleet had bombarded the Nicobar Islands, encountering dogfights with the Japanese defenders over Car Nicobar, the southernmost of the Nicobars, between Sumatra and the Andaman Islands in the Bay of Bengal.

William Frye and Don Whitehead write separately of the surrender of the last 800 German defenders at Aachen, as all resistance ended within the city and its suburbs. Captain Seth Botts and his troops had closed in on the bunker housing the 800 Germans the night before, fighting through houses by flashlight "in one of the wierdest combats of the war", according to Mr. Whitehead. Mr. Frye related that 2,000 prisoners had been taken from Aachen.

Seventy miles northeast of Aachen, the Canadian First Army had pushed four miles closer to German-occupied Roosendahl and Breda, above Antwerp, supported by RAF heavy bombers, seizing the town of Calmpthout along the way. On the Antwerp-Breda Highway, British and Canadian troops entered the road junction of Wuestwezel, thirteen miles north of Antwerp. This offensive represented the second phase of the operation seeking to eliminate German artillery batteries threatening Antwerp, preventing its use by the Allies. The first phase of that operation was reaching conclusion with the Canadians drawing closer to Breskens below the Schelde Estuary.

In Eastern Holland, U. S. forces pushed within 4,000 yards of the German communications center near the Meuse River. British troops consolidated positions southeast of Venray on the Holland front.

American and French troops moving into the Vosges foothills protecting southwestern Germany, made gains east and north of captured Bruveres and in the Moselotte River bend area.

An unconfirmed Berlin broadcast indicated that the Americans had been repulsed in an attempt to forge the Moselle River at Remich, 12 miles southeast of Luxembourg.

American Thunderbolts breached a French dam on the Seille River, 25 miles east of the Third Army front before Nancy, causing the river to flood as far as Moyenvie for 300 to 400 yards, isolating the village of Marsal.

The Yugoslav Partisans of Marshal Tito and the Russians, having been freed up by the capture of Belgrade, moved toward the Croatian city of Zagreb, seat of the Nazi puppet Government, 225 miles northwest of Belgrade in the Sava River Valley.

The number of German prisoners taken in Belgrade reached 10,000, as sweeps of the city found Germans in attics and basements of blasted-out buildings. Large numbers of them had been taken as they sought to flee along the Danube and Sava Rivers before the wildly celebrating troops of Marshal Tito.

The city had been taken finally by a four-column drive from the southeast to the southwest, accompanied by a flotilla on the Danube which hit the enemy from the rear. A week of street fighting had preceded the fall.

The Russians and Yugoslavs likewise moved toward Budapest, north of Belgrade, as Russian and Rumanian troops continued to move toward the Hungarian capital from the east and southeast. The latter forces, however, had been slowed by stiff German tank resistance beyond the Tisza River.

Moscow radio was broadcasting an appeal to the people of Vienna to revolt against the Germans or face the same fate which had befallen Aachen.

In Italy, Eighth Army troops had made considerable progress north of the Rimini to Bologna Highway, capturing a town thirteen miles above Rimini.

British radio contended that General Sir Harold Alexander, Allied commander in Italy, had stated that the capture of Bologna was imminent.

The Passaic (N.J.) Herald-News reported that Col. Charles Lindbergh had flown combat missions in the Pacific and had shot down a single Japanese plane.


His primary mission, however, was to study high altitude planes—as he had done before the war and through 1941.

President Roosevelt, despite pouring rain, arrived in an open car and addressed a rally at Ebbets Field in Brooklyn, speaking on behalf of New York Senator Robert Wagner in his bid for re-election. Afterward, the President reviewed the WAVE's at Hunter College in the Bronx, and then proceeded through Times Square, jammed with spectators despite the rain.

The hurricane which had struck Cuba and Florida had blown itself out, leaving 54 dead in its wake, 43 of whom, along with a thousand injured, were in Cuba.

In Cleveland, the worst fire in the city's history continued to rage out of control for a second day over a half-mile, 50-block area on the East Side. At least 70 were confirmed as dead and another 168 missing. Some 235 had been hospitalized with injuries. Some 3,600 were rendered homeless by the blaze, as another 10,000 persons were evacuated from the area. Coroner S. R. Gerber stated that it was not possible yet to estimate the number of persons consumed by the fire.

Another bad fire in Cleveland had struck the visiting circus on August 4, 1942, as recounted further in The News of August 5.

And you know something is happening here...

On the editorial page, "A Mutiny" tells of some North Carolina Republicans causing some anxiety among Democrats in state elections, even though generally they had no chance of success.

"Rep. Fulmer" laments the passing on October 19 of the dean of the South Carolina Congressional delegation, Hampton Fulmer, respected veteran of Washington with 23 years of service behind him. He had authored the Agricultural Adjustment Act, passed in 1933 but eventually in large part struck down by the Supreme Court in 1935 and 1936. (Don't box yourself, young lawyer or law student; understand what we mean.) It was not the brainchild of some Northerner as many had believed in farm country. Mr. Fulmer had been an expert on cotton and had also authored the Standard Cotton Grading Act.

He had not been progressive on social issues much of the time, voting against the anti-lynching and the anti-poll tax bills as well the bill which created the WAAC's, but on the whole had left a record supportive of New Deal programs. He had also supported the Administration on nearly every pre-war and war measure, breaking only on the measure which would have fortified Guam.

He would be missed by the Democrats, with only a two seat majority in the House.

"New Fields" quotes R. G. Deyton, North Carolina's Assistant Director of the Budget, that it was the responsibility of government to care for the needy. Though not a new concept obviously, it was still the subject of intense debate.

Dr. Bess Goodykoontz of the U.S. Office of Education had indicated that the government should put its weight behind the goals of assuring that every child between 6 and 17 would attend school and obtain an education "effectively free" in cost, establish remedial and handicapped facilities, and provide further education for high school graduates.

The editorial asserts that in these goals lay an extended program in which the State should channel its resources to achieve.

"Petite Trials", meaning, we assume, more precisely, "Petit Trials", regards the finding in a study by The News several years earlier that, out of 36 consecutive homicides committed in the city of Charlotte, only twenty-six had ever reached a jury, the other ten having been determined by the coroner and his six-man jury as justifiable or accidental or lacking in sufficient evidence to warrant prosecution. The accused often had a lawyer present while the State had no prosecutor.

The state statutes provided that a coroner's duties included determination of whether there was the probability of any foul play or default, that is negligence, in a homicide. But he was limited to a determination of cause of death, rather than making a determination of lack of evidence or that the death was justifiable, in self-defense, or accidental. The legal determination was supposed to be left to the prosecutor or the Grand Jury.

The editorial favors instruction by the Legislature to the Mecklenburg coroner to stick to his duties as strictly circumscribed by the statutes rather than the continuing practice, going considerably beyond those parameters.

The Solicitor was largely to be blamed for the laxity of standards, as he was only too willing to accept the decision of the coroner and not go beyond it.

Drew Pearson tells of Governor Dewey having discovered during the campaign that he could do work and think aboard trains traveling from one destination to another on the campaign trail. His special car was named the "David Livingstone".

The candidate disliked fish, ate red meat only once per week, stressed fowl and vegetables otherwise. He licked his plate clean, did not drink at all while on the campaign trail. When not campaigning, he enjoyed a highball or two after dinner. He smoked cigarettes through a silver holder, similar to that of the President. The brand is not provided by Mr. Pearson. Mr. Dewey, unlike the President, never allowed himself to be caught in public displaying his cigarette holder.

He liked popcorn, the brand also not provided, consumed a box every three days, liked it heavily coated with butter. Sometimes he munched on potato chips, sipped ginger ale or mineral water.

His car was equipped with an RCA radio through which he listened to the news and to music. He also had a telephone in the car.

Even if crowds congregated around the rear of the train, he seldom accommodated with back-platform speeches, kept his routes secret. At one stop, there had been several thousand awaiting his appearance in the early morning hours, but he remained inside as he wasn't yet dressed. Wendell Willkie, by contrast, in 1940, had several times simply donned a bathrobe and gone out to greet the crowds, appearing to them, no doubt, as a heavyweight contender for the ingratiating affability.

When Mr. Dewey did oblige his spontaneously formed audiences with an appearance, he had begun by saying that he saw no New Dealers in the crowd. But upon being booed by Roosevelt supporters, he abandoned that practice.

Two of the nine cars were paid for by the Republican Committee, while the others carried 70 newsmen who paid their own passage, as on the President's train.

His speeches were distributed well in advance to the press entourage and he stuck closely to the text, practiced speeches regularly before his advisers.

Marquis Childs, in Seattle, tells of the fact that in the Pacific Northwest, the Bonneville and Grand Coulee Dam projects over the Columbia River were larger forces favoring FDR's retention in the White House than anything else which could be mustered by the Dewey forces to support a counter-argument. The two dams had provided the additional power for the region necessary for its huge output of war planes supplied by Boeing and for the construction of ships in the Kaiser shipyards.

The two dams had already returned a fifth of their cost, had netted 21 million dollars profit in 1944.

Moreover, Grand Coulee would irrigate 1.25 million acres of alluvial land in Washington, land to be made available to veterans at 40 acres per individual and 80 acres per family.

Governor Dewey had not addressed the issue with any prominence, though he favored public provision of power but as administered through local agencies.

He had promised to place a Westerner in his cabinet, something important to the people of the Northwest, feeling themselves underrepresented in Washington, forgetting, perhaps, that they had WOD on the Supreme Court.

Dorothy Thompson finds that Governor Dewey was laying traps for himself in his campaign rhetoric should he win the White House. He had attacked FDR's demobilization plan, suggesting that the reason for retention of men in the Army after cessation of hostilities was to avoid a problem of re-employment.

But, argues persuasively Ms. Thompson, the plan was only a sensible recognition of the fact that fast demobilization would cause substantial unemployment and lowering of wages with a larger pool of workers, with reduction in profits to manufacturers no longer having the boon of war contracts.

Wages were not what soldiers had been led to believe, and thus many of those who would join the workplace after discharge would be disappointed in their take-home pay, just as many already had been.

For Governor Dewey to discourage such gradual demobilization could create a "psychotic condition", she opines, which, if he should become President and follow through with his plan of swift demobilization at war's end, could lead to harsh economic conditions in the country, perhaps more Gann green.

Dick Young informs that Charlotte had just conducted a sale of $270,000 worth of municipal bonds which were sold with a low interest rate bettering many comparably sized cities. Moreover, the city's tax rate was half that of many cities of similar size.

He further reports that foreign fertilizer was sprinkled on the lawn of the City Hall Square, as proved by the labels saying "The Sewerage Commission, Milwaukee, Wis." Mr. Young wonders why Charlotte had to go to Milwaukee to buy fertilizer when there were local sewage plants available.

He next relates of four small black boys looking for the office of Mayor Baxter behind the police station. An officer redirected them, said they weren't looking for trash.

Four hundred Boy Scouts used Bryant Park without leaving behind a mark.

Dr. Herbert Spaugh again reports on the findings re alcohol, that it had been determined to be a habit-forming drug and a depressant, not a stimulant as popularly believed, that bit of horse-pucky deriving from the initial boost obtained by the sugars, equally obtainable from drinking Pepsi or Coca-Cola straight.

So, if you drink and suddenly find yourself later depressed and in need of more drink, you might check yourself before it becomes an irreversible habit, youngster.

We don't, incidentally, regularly mention Dr. Spaugh's column, but we always read it. As it tends toward religious doctrine most of the time, and it is sometimes quite redundant, it is best left to the reader to decide whether it is a worthwhile journey or not.

If you find yourself attracted to alcohol, this day's offering might provide some good counsel.

Mr. Hayden, as we referenced yesterday, also has some worthwhile words on the subject should you listen to his entire timeless interview with Mr. Snyder.

A letter to the editor of the gentleman, or, in this case, his alter-ego companion, who had previously challenged Mrs. D. S. Beatty as a hick for her prior letter of support of FDR, now accuses her of fighting against common sense. He asserts that he would rejoinder with facts rather than meaningless abstractions not backed by fact, as he accuses Mrs. Beatty of doing in asserting that FDR had led the country from a depression--which this gent had previously proclaimed really did not occur but rather was simply ballyhooed by the shiftless, irresponsible no-accounts who had foisted on their children and grandchildren the bill for their inherent indolence.

Now, he seems implicitly to shift ground in the debate and admit that there was a depression, but asserts that the war economy, not Roosevelt's policies, was the only thing which finally extricated the country from it.

And, of course, there is some merit to the contention that the war economy was the sine qua non in finally ending the economic woes of the country, so bad had they been in March, 1933 when Franklin Roosevelt took office. That was not the fault of FDR, as his programs were never allowed to run their course fully because of the Supreme Court, and there is no historical doubt that the country was doing much better after 1933 until the second depression of 1938. Whether the country could have pulled itself finally out of the economic doldrums, given the global economic situation complicating matters, without a war economy, of course, is not something subject to debate as it defies the facts as they ineradicably occurred.

So the letter writer not only changes his entire argument to avoid being properly made to look a silly ninny by a "hick", he begs the issue by resorting, sub silentio, to the commonly asserted but fallacious principle, post hoc, ergo propter hoc, that is to say that because the war happened and resolved the economic difficulties finally of the country, the cause of the resolution necessarily was the war.

He also, in proclaiming that the three worst Presidents in history in succession had reduced the national debt from twenty-four billion dollars to sixteen billion, neglects to realize that such a reduction had to be the case with the gradual retirement of the war debt over the course of a decade. But also by doing so, decreasing government spending on social programs, allowing laissez-faire to be the guiding principle of the economy, the nation went to hell in a hand-basket, resulting in the Crash of October, 1929 and the Depression, leading to the debacle, for instance, of the Bonus Army march on Washington in 1932. No one but a blind idiot would argue otherwise.

He also thinks that the Kellogg-Briand Pact of 1928 sought to keep the peace and that Roosevelt had not made even an effort to do so. But that reasoning, too, is specious, as Roosevelt did not need to provide a second Kellogg-Briand Pact. Moreover, it was the Republican response in 1921 to the Wilson Fourteen Points, rejecting membership in the League of Nations under the urging of newly elected President Harding, which had ultimately undermined from the start all efforts to keep the peace for lack of any teeth with which to enforce the Versailles Treaty, the Kellogg-Briand Pact, and the Washington Naval Treaty.

And, never mind the fact that the Secretary of State under President Hoover, within a year following the signing of the Kellogg-Briand Pact, from 1929-33, Henry Stimson, had been FDR's Secretary of War from 1940. Never mind that deceased Secretary of the Navy, also appointed by FDR in 1940, was prominent Republican Frank Knox. Never mind. Never mind the facts.

Never mind this guy.

This guy must have been the proctor for the Blonde and the Limbeck, when they took entrance examinations to the School of the Absurd and Hopelessly Stupid. He permitted them to cheat to pass.

Go back to your medicine ball, fellow, and leave the thinking to those who think before they write or speak.

Moreover, being a great humanitarian, as he proclaimed Mr. Hoover was for his successful administrative role in the feeding of Europe after the First World War, does not a great President necessarily make, as he proved remarkably.

The letter writer reveals that he was an ex-Marine. Maybe, he was the original model for Jughead.

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