Monday, November 6, 1944

The Charlotte News

Monday, November 6, 1944


Site Ed. Note: The front page reports that on the eve of the 1944 election, predicted turnout was 44 to 50 million people, a higher turnout than the 42 million minimum having been established earlier as likely favoring the re-election of the President. The vice-presidential candidates, Governor John Bricker of Ohio and Senator Harry Truman of Missouri, were both back home in their respective states after campaigning more than either presidential candidate.

In addition to the presidency, control of the closely divided House was also at stake, with the Republicans having the best opportunity in the twelve years of the Roosevelt Administration to take control of it.

Four of five national polls showed the President with a slight lead over Governor Dewey. The Gallup poll had Roosevelt at 51.5 percent and Dewey at 48.5 percent, indicating 18 states with 165 electoral votes definitely for the President and ten states with 85 votes definitely for Governor Dewey. The remaining 20 states with 281 decisive electoral votes were too close to call, with neither candidate leading by more than three points.

Crossley still gave the President the nod by 52% to 48%.

Newsweek gave the President 249 certain electoral votes and Dewey 247, with Pennsylvania too close to call, providing the final margin of victory to one or the other.

Fortune showed the President with a larger lead at 53.6% to Dewey's 46.4%, based on attitude questions, or 52.5% to 47.5% based on simple balloting. The former result would almost precisely reflect the final vote.

Pathfinder Magazine, whose associate publisher was identified with support of the Republicans, had it that Dewey would easily win the electoral college, 364 to 167, based on a survey of 28 counties in fifteen states. Dewey, said the magazine, would poll 52% of the popular vote.

Both candidates were scheduled to speak to the American people by radio on this night.

In Holland, British and Canadian soldiers along a 25-mile front from 'S Hertogenbosch to the Moerdijk Bridge and along a 30-mile front to the west along the sea lanes of St. Philipsland Peninsula and Tholen Island, cleared the enemy from the area south of the Meuse River. Only isolated pockets of resistance remained intact, at Moerdijk Bridge and Willemstad, holding between them about 2,000 to 3,000 Germans. The Allies captured Geertridenberg, Heusden, and Dinte Loord. Since the offensive in Western Holland had begun October 22, the British and Canadians had taken 25,000 German prisoners from the 15th Army of Field Marshal Walther Von Model.

American forces had been forced to retreat from Vossenack on the eastern edge of Hurtgen Forest, but had been able to retake their positions inside the town and were engaged in heavy fighting to retain them. Two miles to the southeast, the Germans still held Schmidt.

Wading in waist deep water in the German-flooded farmlands of Walcheren Island, the Allies had advanced to within a thousand yards of Middelburg. The last defenders of the island were in a pocket of less than two square miles in the vicinity of Veere and Middelburg.

More than 1,100 American heavy bombers and 700 fighters struck oil refineries at Hamburg and Harburg, as others hit targets in the Ruhr Valley. Meanwhile, the Fifteenth Air Force out of Italy hit targets at Bolzano in the Brenner Pass in northern Italy and in the areas of Vienna and northern Yugoslavia.

The night before, RAF Mosquitos had struck Stuttgart while during the day 750 RAF heavy bombers had hit Gelsenkirchen in the Ruhr.

Fighting continued in the suburbs of Budapest, in the approaches both north and south of the city. Soviet tanks were within two miles of the heart of the city from the south. Nazi forces were fleeing to Buda on the west bank of the Danube. Russian strength was placed at 600 tanks and 65,000 men.

Premier Josef Stalin, in his speech marking the 27th anniversary of the Communist Revolution in Russia, attributed to the Allied invasion of France the ability of the Russians to have pushed the Germans out of Russia. He also asserted that during the prior year, Russia had destroyed 120 German divisions and that only 204 enemy divisions, two million men, remained in the East. The three European operations, that on the Western Front, in Italy, and in the East, were interdependent, said Stalin, and compressing Germany from both sides was the way ultimately to victory. He predicted that the Allies would defeat Germany in the near future.

On Leyte, American Long Tom guns hurled 400 rounds of artillery fire onto the Japanese stronghold at Ormoc. At the same time, American infantry of the 96th Division west of Dagami were doing battle with between 600 and 2,000 enemy troops. The American 10th Corps came to the rescue with tanks following a two-day fight, causing the Japanese to conduct, in desperation, a banzai raid, led by sword-waving officers. So desperate had become the fight that one Japanese lieutenant had climbed atop one of the tanks and begun hacking at the machine gun with his sword. It appeared to the commander of the 96th Division that the Americans had broken the back of the enemy in the area.

The Supreme Court, in an 8 to 0 decision, Pope v. U.S., 323 US 1, delivered by Chief Justice Harlan Stone, Justice Robert Jackson abstaining, rebuked the Court of Claims for not following a special act of Congress, passed to provide for adherence of the United States to a contract with a private contractor for building a tunnel in the District of Columbia. The Court of Claims had originally heard the breach of contract case and awarded $47,000. But the Act prescribed that the claim of the plaintiff, for $169,000, be paid in full. The Court of Claims had contended that the Congress had gone beyond its legislative powers to impinge on the judicial powers. The U. S. Government agreed. The Supreme Court, however, found that the Court of Claims had to abide by the special act provided by Congress, including its remedy.

Another case, whose name would be more familiar to law students, was also decided this date, in a follow-up to its landmark decision of 1938. Carolene Products Co. v. U.S., 323 US 18, was decided unanimously by the Court, reaffirming its prior decision that an act of Congress based on its power to regulate interstate commerce had to be shown by clear and convincing evidence to have no rational basis, that it was an arbitrary fiat, to be deemed unconstitutional. The case dealt with Federal legislation which prohibited skim milk from being sold in interstate commerce in imitation of evaporated whole milk. The petitioners had been convicted of selling such milk in violation of the act, in packaging, while not expressly deceptive, virtually indistinguishable from evaporated whole milk.

The prior 1938 case, U. S. v. Carolene Products Co., 304 US 144, was a landmark ruling for its establishing the rational basis test with regard to economic legislation enacted under the Commerce Clause, versus the later established strict scrutiny test for legislation which allegedly deprives an individual or group of a fundamental liberty interest, that is one included in the Bill of Rights, or establishes a "suspect classification", that is a readily identifiable minority possessed of immutable characteristics. Under the latter test, a statute would be struck down when there was no compelling state interest shown to justify its enactment or that the means of enforcement of an identified compelling state interest was not the least restrictive of the constitutional right in issue. A compelling state interest, for instance, has been shown to justify the requirement of obtaining city permits prior to engaging in mass marches and demonstrations, for the purpose of preserving order, even though slightly impinging on freedom of speech and assembly.

Within a month, a compelling government interest would be found in Korematsu v. U.S., upholding, on the compelling government interest of national security based on the war, the internment of Japanese nationals and citizens.

Query whether any state or locality in the land can again impose any form of restriction of any kind on freedom of speech for any purpose following the holding of the Supreme Court in Citizens United v. F.E.C. in 2009, striking down the heart of the McCain-Feingold campaign finance legislation on the basis of protection of corporate political speech.

We urge Occupy to change your focus and shut down the corrupt courts of the country, identifying by name the corrupt judges who regularly side with moneyed interests, firms, and corporations over the individual, until they once again act for the individual citizens on an equal footing with corporate interests who bribe them daily throughout the land. Find them, identify them, defeat them when next they come up for confirmation. Defeat the governors who appoint them, the Senators who sponsor them for Federal appointments. Stop wasting time on the Port of Oakland and penny ante bank fees, good for a day or so of venting and media coverage, but little else in the long run salutary to society. Go after the real issue, the continuity of corporate-friendly government, the persistence of government which these corporate fascists arranged through time and manipulation, that within the judicial branch of government, where the fix has been in for decades, since the Nixon years, as any honest attorney will tell you. The dishonest ones, you will find in sympathy perhaps with the sort of conduct recounted in this report.

Start by unseating the present California Supreme Court, to right a wrong done in 1986 by the extreme right. Then, Occupy, you can say you have real power. Street demonstrations, while seeming to have accomplished much in hindsight, in fact at the time did more damage than good in the 1960's. They only brought us Nixon and Reagan, decades of setback. Remember the lesson. Use your energies to get rid of corrupt, corporate-friendly judges and society will change very rapidly.

On the editorial page, "Labyrinth" questions the propriety of the walkout of mechanics from 24 Detroit war plants. Undersecretary of War Robert Patterson had questioned their patriotism.

The piece suggests that the story should be further elucidated, that the reason for the strike was not better wages, hours, or working conditions, but rather resulted from six members of the Mechanics Educational Society being fired in Toledo for failing to maintain CIO membership. The company, under War Labor Board orders, was required to undertake the firing. Nevertheless, in sympathy, the other 350 MESA members walked out of four Toledo plants, followed by the 20,000 members in Detroit. The Government then ordered the men back to work.

The failure of labor to agree among themselves had proved costly of time during the war. The editors were tempted to comment on the report the previous week of the striking workmen who walked off the job for a day because six of their number refused to buy war bonds, but decided to pass.

"No. 4" finds Charlotte to be the fourth ranking city in the country in treating venereal disease, behind Savannah, Chicago, and New York. Charlotte's rapid treatment center had processed 340 cases in September to achieve the ranking. New York had treated 346. It suggests that the large number was not necessarily indicative of the population being highly infected but rather that Charlotte was doing something about the matter, a problem throughout the South. Most of the patients were black. The need for vigorous treatment was being met in Charlotte.

"Ix? Nix" comments on Secretary of Interior Harold Ickes taking to task Governor Dewey for supposedly "fanning the flames of religious hatred", comparing the effort of the Governor to that of Hitler and Goebbels. While honest and intelligent, Mr. Ickes, complained the piece, had a penchant for being overly zealous in politics when convinced of the rectitude of his argument. Thus, while in general sympathy with his positions, the editorial agrees with Governor Dewey that it was time for a change in his post after the election, regardless of outcome.

He should become the Secretary of the Exterior.

"High Mark" indicates that the changes in the State mental hospitals, resultant of the series of articles in January and February 1942 by Tom Jimison, had reached a climax the previous week when the State Hospital system had asked the Legislature for an appropriation of fourteen million dollars for a program of expansion.

The piece suggests, however, that emphasis ought be placed on remedial care and prevention, in addition to the building of new facilities for custodial care.

Just today, November 7, 2011, aired a report on NBC regarding the sad history of compulsive sterilization, based on purported mental retardation or mental illness, which went on until 1974 in North Carolina in collusion with Bowman Gray School of Medicine in Winston-Salem, as brought to public attention by the series of articles in the Winston-Salem Journal in 2002.

Drew Pearson observes that it was nearly unique in his experience that the American people had been so focused on the two presidential candidates, to the exclusion of the House, Senate, and gubernatorial races around the country. He reminds that the other elections were of equal importance to that of the presidency.

He then proceeds to list several isolationist incumbents up for re-election in the Congress. In the House, there were Hamilton Fish of New York, James Wolfenden of Pennsylvania, Stephen Day of Illinois, Fred Busbey of Chicago, Harold Knutson of Minnesota, and Edgar Chenoweth of Colorado.

Isolationist Senators standing for re-election included Democrat McCarran of Nevada, Republicans Danaher of Connecticut, Tobey of New Hampshire, Wiley of Wisconsin, Nye of North Dakota, and Homer Capehart of Indiana, the latter, the manufacturer of the Simplex record changer which became the basis for the Wurlitzer.

Somehow, incidentally, Senator Capehart, running for re-election in 1962, got wind of the presence of missiles in Cuba and let it be known in early October, advocating blockade or invasion, several days before the CIA U-2 flight photographs of October 15 confirmed that knowledge to the President the following morning to begin the thirteen-day long Cuban Missile Crisis which nearly led to World War III. Senator Capehart lost the election to Birch Bayh.

Some people to this day are gullible enough to believe that Senator Capehart was somehow more astute and prescient than everyone else, not stopping to ask the tell-tale question of how he came by this military intelligence before the President.

Marquis Childs looks at the battle for Pennsylvania's 35 electoral votes, which appeared determinative of the election on election eve. The election appeared so close that the 200,000 soldier ballots in Pennsylvania might conceivably turn the entire election. It could take as long as two weeks to finish counting those ballots if Pennsylvania became the pivotal state. State law allowed soldier ballots to be received for that length of time following election day, provided they were posted by that date.

Republicans hoped to diminish the President's majority in Philadelphia to the point that the rest of the state would carry it for Governor Dewey, seeking the coal-mining areas of Scranton and Wilkes-Barre, a strategy pursued by Wendell Willkie unsuccessfully in 1940.

Indeed. John L. Lewis's radio broadcast against the President during the last week of the 1940 campaign had, according to Mr. Willkie, hurt him more than helped him. Governor Dewey had been less than enthusiastic therefore during the course of the campaign about acknowledging the support of Mr. Lewis, while courting the UMW miners.

The betting odds were still 50-50 regarding the outcome in Pennsylvania.

Samuel Grafton asserts that Governor Dewey's proposal to change administrations during the war was a radical one. The conservative course was to maintain the established leadership in the country. Conservative opinion, from the New York Times to Senator Joseph Ball of Minnesota to Walter Lippmann, all favored retention of the President. And conservative opinion rarely so split.

It was, concludes Mr. Grafton, by general consensus, not a time for change but rather a time for conservatism, to maintain the course of the war into the peace.

Hal Boyle reports from Germany on October 28 of two dead cows helping an Army private take out several German pillboxes. The private and another soldier were sent out one night from the American lines 150 yards from the series of pillboxes to reconnoiter to determine whether the Germans had withdrawn. They crossed open terrain with the only cover having been provided by two dead cows, "fragrant" but serving the purpose.

They moved from one dead cow to the other until they were 25 yards from one of the pillboxes, from which position they could hear the mumbling of Germans. They then worked their way back to American lines to inform of the find, and directed mortar fire to the German positions. The private said he was unsure whether he might in the future ever smell again but the effort had been worth it.

Another private had been caught in "no man's land" for three days and four nights inside a shellhole into which he had been ordered by his patrol leader to take refuge when he and his patrol had been pinned down by heavy enemy fire. Eventually, he was able to crawl out of the hole and back to his lines.

Yet another private was cutting another soldier's hair when a mortar shell struck nearby, injuring his customer while he escaped any injury himself. He would finish the soldier's haircut once he returned from the hospital.

A perennial letter writer thanks The News for "No Choice" on October 31, indicating the editors' preference in the election for the President over Governor Dewey. She was particularly offended at the temerity of Representative Clare Boothe Luce in calling the President a liar during the campaign.

Another letter writer asserted that only "freaks" and "people of abnormal psychology" could vote for Thomas Dewey. She then proceeds to explain of her firsthand knowledge of some of the people who proposed to vote for him, including a "termagant housewife" who scolded her children and nagged her husband, was even cruel to animals. Another was a "soured, dried-up old maid". A couple of them sympathized with the Germans. A chronic grouch, two habitual drunks, a woman who lied and stole, and an "ill-tempered man with a porcupine complex" finished out the assortment of freaks and psychopaths in her experience intending to give their vote to Dewey.

Not to be outdone, however, the editors felt compelled to note that they knew of "a lady of some intemperateness who is going to vote for Mr. Roosevelt". They provided no identity.

Another correspondent, dubbing himself "The Crazy Preacher", apparently relying on Pathfinder, walling off Fortune with bricks and trowel, not quite on the square or on the level in the process, knowing nothing in the nitre, finds the road onto which the Roosevelt Administration had led the country to have been the one to "Foolishness, Damnation, and Ruin".

Foolishness was the first term, characterized by reckless bureaucracy and overspending.

Damnation included empty beer, wine, and whisky bottles, and harlot hovels built from them during the second term.

That had laid the foundation for Ruin, built during the third term, the war in which the President had promised no American would be sent to fightóleaving out the key exception FDR had set forth in that 1940 campaign promise, that being that unless there was a direct attack on United States territory.

Further down the Roosevelt road to perdition, the prophet assures, lay bondage and prison cells for all, while the tyrant Roosevelt would hide behind the "flimsy signboards of freedom and democracy". CIO head Sidney Hillman, Communist Earl Browder, and the Teamsters would drive everyone into the prison camps which awaited.

Just remember, oh brother, and have faith: The One will come, and will free thou, in just a quarter century down that Road to Kingdom come. He shall unloose the fetters of those unjustly imprisoned by the Democratic drunkards and whore-mongers and Communists.

Your friend and ours, dear friend, Jimmy Hoffa, shall once again ride and breathe the clean, clear air of freedom.


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