Saturday, February 26, 1944

The Charlotte News

Saturday, February 26, 1944


Site Ed. Note: The front page reports that yet another American raid of between 2,200 and 2,300 planes struck Germany the previous day at Regensberg. This raid, establishing a war record of 95 destroyed enemy planes, eclipsing the previous 67 over Tunisia the prior April, followed a night mission by the RAF against Augsburg. Losses were not indicated in the Regensberg raid, but some of the enemy fighters carried rocket-bombs.

An unidentified Army Air Force spokesman stated that fully 80% of the German twin-engine fighter manufacturing facilities and 60% of the single-engine facilities had been wiped out since January 1, most during the previous record-breaking week when more bombs fell on Germany than during the entire first year of American Air Force operations in Europe, fully 7,935 tons from the Eighth Air Force out of England, plus another 1,500 tons from the Fifteenth Air Force out of Italy.

In Russia, with the evacuation by the Germans of Vitebsk, the Red Army now controlled an uninterrupted 400-mile long line from Dno to Rogachev. Counterthrusts, fourteen in number, made by the Nazis at Rogachev were beaten back by the Army of General Constantine Rokossovsky, as they pushed steadily in White Russia toward the Latvian border.

Charles McMurtry reports of the raids on Tuesday of Tinian and Saipan in the Marianas Islands. Each of the planes flew in two separate sorties after refueling in between. The American Task Force had been discovered by the Japanese the afternoon prior to the attack, but nevertheless suffered a loss of only six planes out of several hundred involved in the mission. Guam, as indicated for the first time, had also been included in the carrier-based aerial attack.

Tinian, to be captured by the Allies in July, would become the launching pad for the world's first atomic bombs in August 1945, after the two bombs were delivered to the island by the U.S.S. Indianapolis.

Secretary of the Navy Frank Knox speculated that the failure of the Japanese Fleet to show itself in the wake of these air attacks on vital facilities and at Truk the previous week, suggested that it had retired either to the Philippines or to Japanese home waters.

The Marianas raids destroyed 135 Japanese planes, sunk a cargo ship, damaged two others and several light vessels.

In Italy, the Germans on the Anzio beachhead made only a small thrust south of Cisterna and west of Littoria, hitting the right flank of the Allies through the Pontine Marsh area, but were repulsed.

Allied headquarters indicated that since the landings January 22 at Anzio and Nettuno, there had been 15,000 German casualties inflicted, including 2,815 prisoners.

High winds and snow kept activity on the Cassino front to minimum patrols.

German Field Marshal Georg von Kuechler was reported by a source in Bern to have been arrested by Hitler for his failure to hold the Leningrad front. Whether true or not, von Kuechler sat out the remainder of the war and was arrested at its conclusion by the Allies, tried for atrocities against Russian civilians. Found guilty, he was sentenced to twenty years, of which he served seven, and eventually died in May, 1968. He was reported to have been approached by the generals involved in the Valkyrie plot of July, 1944 to assassinate Hitler, but refused to cooperate. Again, whether this latter fact, as with most things out of Nazi Germany of the time, has any validity to it, is not known. Once a society is constructed on the Big Lie, little of it any longer can be credited.

To add fuel to the flames of potential disruption between the Congress and the Administration, Republican Minority Leader in the Senate, Charles L. McNary of Oregon, died while recuperating since December from surgery for a brain tumor. Senator McNary had successfully molded legislation, in cooperation with the Roosevelt Administration, to guide Administration-backed measures through Congress.

While on the subject of the Senate, we should indicate to what Senator Sam J. Ervin of North Carolina was referring in the June, 1954 interview on the "Longines Chronoscope" program which we referenced two days ago--a program incidentally which we find highly informative and of which we had never been aware even existed until a couple of weeks ago, as we were much too, shall we say, infantile, to be much appreciative of its finer points at the time of its original broadcast in the period during which it ran in the early 1950's. That is not to say that during our first milk-stage we did not hear some of its offerings, but that it registered beyond the subconscious is highly doubtful, especially since some of it, such as the interview with Senator McCarthy, would have been appreciated by us, if at all, only from that which one might call native central intelligence.

Regardless, Senator Ervin referred to "86 years" during which the concept of "separate but equal" had been regarded as the constitutional precept which allowed segregated schools, only within the previous month having been superseded by the Supreme Court in Brown v. Board of Education, mandating ultimately, in conjunction with its 1955 implementing decision, integration of public schools with "all deliberate speed", the catch-phrase which many districts in the South sought to use to invoke all deliberate sloth, necessitating numerous Federal court decisions following Brown. The rationale of Brown was simple: "separate but equal" had never achieved in any uniform manner its intended result in 58 years since its Supreme Court approbation in Plessy v. Ferguson, decided in 1896.

The 86 years presumably refers to the time period since ratification of the Constitution's Fourteenth Amendment Equal Protection Clause, in July, 1868. North Carolina also ratified a new state constitution in 1868, replacing the pre-Civil War constitution, but it is doubtful that Senator Ervin, a constitutional scholar who had received his law school education at Harvard, had anything other than the Fourteenth Amendment and its interpretation under Plessy in mind when he indicated that he had "difficulty giving mental assent to something" which he did not think so.

The statement and his positions on segregation haunted Senator Ervin throughout his career, as much of his standard otherwise was progressive. Plainly, to maintain such a position in defiance of a Supreme Court decision just rendered was anything but constitutional and was bred of desire to please his constituents before whom he had to stand again in November, again two years subsequent, before he could ever obtain a full six-year term in the Senate, his having come to office on the death of Shelby's Clyde R. Hoey--buried in Sunset Cemetery, as we have before indicated, thirteen feet from the grave of W. J. Cash.

We make no pretense of admiring such a recalcitrant stand. But we also realize all too well the time in which it was made, a volatile time, and a time when racist hotheads, who could not count among their number Senator Ervin, were liable to set the spark at any time to initiate revivification of lynching in the South in retaliation. Much as the argument had gone in the thirties regarding anti-lynch legislation, setting off such Hotspurs in violent rejoinder, so, too, the very heart of the matter, integration of the schools to which citizens sent their children, would likely, as it did, stir the little cockles of the Kluckers.

It is likely that, therefore, more than any self-preserving political expediency, which prompted Senator Ervin to adopt the stand he did. But, nevertheless, he could not justify it on the basis of the Constitution, as the Supreme Court, under the Supremacy Clause, is the supreme law of the land and last arbiter of judicial disputes. Integration was the order of the day and should have been implemented expeditiously, not over a period of nearly twenty subsequent years, twenty years during which we were going through that very disturbed school system. So we have a right to say to those who disturbed our youthful educational process in such manner, the Ross Barnetts, the George Wallaces, the Lester Maddoxes, the Orval Faubuses, et al.: buck you.

That we don't include Senator Ervin and the more moderate Southern politicians in that grouping is for the reason indicated, though we would have preferred their leadership more overtly on the matter. Yet, it meant probable defeat and replacement by a reactionary, and so…

Jesse Helms and his ilk, not arriving on the political scene until 1972, were completely inexcusable louts, dumb beyond belief. And we suspect that Senator Ervin agreed with us on that one.

As to Senator McCarthy, well, it would help, Senator Turvy, first, to get correct the names of the interviewers before whom you are seated before seeking to name names of Com-mmm-munists, including Senator Adlai Stevenson. It would help also to show up for the interview more or less so-ho-ho-ber.

In Los Angeles, Charlie Chaplin pleaded not guilty to charges of violation of the Mann Act by transporting his 23-year old girlfriend over state lines to New York, allegedly for immoral purposes, that is "illicit sexual relations".

Jack O'Brian reports on the return stateside of Hal Boyle after sixteen months in the Mediterranean, covering the war in North Africa, Sicily, and Italy. He reported morale of the troops high but that they believed the people of the United States had largely forgotten them. Those who had been in the war for as long as two years had given up hope of return, saw the war as a blind alley with death the only resolution at its end.

The perception of the men was that people back home viewed the war as a baseball game wherein it was the seventh inning stretch.

Life was simpler on the fronts than stateside, as there was no red tape in fighting Germans. Many of the soldiers preferred the front to home. Most thought that if as much energy were expended on winning the war as, for instance, on the tax bill, Rome could be had very quickly.

Iulius must seize her.

Mr. Boyle was from Kansas City. His mother currently lived in Greenwich Village, the home of country & western music, three doors from Eleanor Roosevelt.

And Libby Holman, singer and actress, sought in New York half a million dollars from her eleven-year old son, Christopher Smith Reynolds, posthumous son and heir of Zachary Smith Reynolds. During Ms. Holman's pregnancy, Mr. Reynolds had died of a gunshot wound suffered at Reynolda House in Winston-Salem in 1932. Ms. Holman was present, together with her alleged lover. The two were indicted for murder but never tried after William Neil Reynolds, the uncle of Zack, prevailed of the prosecutor to drop the charges. Ms. Holman contended that the death was a suicide, but she was nearby her husband when the fatal shot was fired on the second floor while guests below attended a birthday party for a friend.

A lawsuit subsequent to the death, as discussed in Time in 1933, re the estate of Zack, apparently was either settled or decided on the basis probably of a pretermitted heir statute which would normally operate to provide that, unless a will specifically mentioned the exclusion of an heir, the heir who would ordinarily be a descendant in intestacy, that is if there were no will, is nevertheless presumed to have been included in the will and a devise of assets commensurate with that left to the named heirs is thus usually the result.

Six years hence, at age 17, Christopher died with a friend while mountain climbing on Mt. Whitney in California. Ms. Holman died at age 67 of asphyxiation inside her Rolls-Royce at her home in Stamford, Connecticut, June 18, 1971, her death ruled a suicide.

So, we reckon we grew up not a mile from the House of the Risin’ Sun, actually as sharecroppers, if not cotton pickers, on a part of their former estate. We shall explain of our toil on the plantation another day.

On the editorial page, "Narrow View" examines the position of the American Cotton Manufacturers Association regarding its opposition to sending equipment to China which could, after the war, result in foreign competition in trade. The piece indicates that such a stand failed to take into account the world picture for the long range and that insisting on trade dominance in the short run might very well lead eventually to worldwide economic downturn. It recommends regulation of international trade.

"James Boyd" laments the passing of the novelist, whose intelligence and humanity, says the piece, shone as a beacon to mankind.

His Drums is said to be one of the finest novels set in the Revolutionary War. But, we cannot comment on it as we never got too much reading done there on the plantation. We were too busy listening to the world around us screaming and hollering at one another, mostly saying, "Shut up and keep pushing."

"Second Round" discusses the renewed bombing raids by the Luftwaffe on London, that the British were, as during the Blitz, holding up well.

"No Station" remarks that the Southern Railway representative who appeared to promise a new Union Station for Charlotte had been misquoted and that in fact he had told the mayor that there was insufficient traffic to warrant a new station at the time in Charlotte. Thus, the piece concludes, there was scant hope for the new facility and the public had better therefore dismiss the prospect from their minds until different circumstances could prevail to increase passenger use of the train through Charlotte.

Dorothy Thompson takes from a prediction by Assistant Secretary of State Adolph Berle that the population of the United States would, by 1970, stagnate at 135 million while Britain would decline from 46 to 42 million and the Soviet Union would increase to between 175 and 222 million, continuing from there to climb, a trend which Mr. Berle found disturbing for the future of the West.

Ms. Thompson believes the prediction faulty, that there was no reason for the United States not to be able to support a far greater population, with its vast western lands relatively untapped; likewise there was no reason for the prediction with regard to Britain. The prediction assumed that American and British production would level off while that of the Soviet Union would continue to increase to support such higher populations.

We won't belabor this point as it was quite theoretical and obviously failed of proof. By 1970, the population of the United States was 203 million while the Soviet Union was 242 million, and Britain stood at 54 million. It was not so much that Mr. Berle was wrong as that the baby boom following the war and the great period of post-war prosperity throughout the time until the recession of 1958 lent itself to an exponentially larger population of the United States in increase of its 135 million in 1940.

Ms. Thompson waxes philosophical in her conclusion, asking where the party was, between the Democrats spending more money and the Republicans seeking more, which would simply seek to build men and women.

Samuel Grafton discusses a new political party in Italy, the Reconstruction Party, formed by landlords and industrialists on a conservative basis, and supported by Pietro Badoglio. The party supported the monarchy and was opposed to the other six parties which opposed the monarchy. Mr. Grafton opines that if the party were honestly founded to represent a conservative viewpoint, then so be it. But if its raison d'être was merely to oppose the other six parties of the majority will of the country, then its place should not be set at the table.

Drew Pearson examines the rift in CIO between the conservative unions and the more liberal Longshoreman’s Union and National Maritime Union, the conservatives lining up against the labor draft proposal of the President, while the more liberal unions were supporting it. Finally Philip Murray, head of CIO, was able to obtain consensus with the liberal wing to go along in opposition to the draft.

Marquis Childs discusses censorship of war news, the news blackout ordered by Prime Minister Churchill for a short time on the Anzio beachhead a couple of weeks earlier having stirred up the old criticism of this practice, fearful that it was indicative of news being sugar-coated while bad news was withheld.

Mr. Childs reassures that Elmer Davis of the Office of War Information was doing everything in his power to assure prompt delivery of news to the extent, as he put it, it was compatible with security. As the invasion of the Continent drew nigh, Mr. Davis was working to insure to the extent possible prompt and accurate reporting of events as they would occur, but with recognition of the necessity to maintain a surprise element as to time and place of the landing, as achieved in North Africa, as achieved January 22 on the Anzio beachhead.

The Reverend Herbert Spaugh remarks on the notion of drinking and then forgetting thereafter what occurred.

Perhaps it is no accident that the editors juxtaposed that piece to a news item on hits and runs in the area.

"Never had any mother? What do you mean? Where were you born?"

"Never was born?" persisted Topsy, with another grin, that looked so goblin-like, that if Miss Ophelia had been at all nervous, she might have fancied that she had got hold of some sooty gnome from the land of Diablerie; but Miss Ophelia was not nervous, but plain and business-like, and she said, with some sternness—

"You mustn't answer me in that way, child; I'm not playing with you. Tell me where you were born, and who your father and mother were."

"Never was born," reiterated the creature, more emphatically; "never had no father nor mother, nor nothin'. I was raised by a speculator, with lots of others. Old Aunt Sue used to take car on us."

The child was evidently sincere; and Jane, breaking into a short laugh, said,—

"Laws, missis, there's heaps of 'em. Speculators buys 'em up cheap, when they's little, and gets 'em raised for market."

"How long have you lived with your master and mistress?"

"Dun no, missis."

"Is it a year, or more, or less?"

"Dun no, missis."

"Laws, missis, those low negroes, they can't tell; they don't know anything about time," said Jane; "they don't know what a year is; they don't know their own ages."

"Have you ever heard anything about God, Topsy?"

The child looked bewildered, but grinned as usual.

"Do you know who made you?"

"Nobody, as I knows on," said the child, with a short laugh.

The idea appeared to amuse her considerably; for her eyes twinkled, and she added,—

"I 'spect I grow'd. Don't think nobody never made me."

"Do you know how to sew?" said Miss Ophelia, who thought she would turn her inquiries to something more tangible.

"No, missis."

"What can you do?—what did you do for your master and mistress?"

"Fetch water, and wash dishes, and rub knives, and wait on folks."

"Were they good to you?"

"'Spect they was," said the child, scanning Miss Ophelia, cunningly. Miss Ophelia rose from this encouraging colloquy; St. Clare was leaning over the back of her chair.

"You find virgin soil there, cousin; put in your own ideas—you won't find many to pull up."

Miss Ophelia's ideas of education, like all her other ideas, were very set and definite, and of the kind that prevailed in New England a century ago, and which are still preserved in some very retired and unsophisticated parts, where there are no railroads. As nearly as could be expressed, they could be comprised in very few words: to teach them to mind when they were spoken to; to teach them the catechism, sewing, and reading; and to whip them if they told lies. And though, of course, in the flood of right that is now poured on education, these are left far away in the rear, yet it is an undisputed fact that our grandmothers raised some tolerably fair men and women under this regime, as many of us can remember and testify. At all events, Miss Ophelia knew of nothing else to do, and therefore applied her mind to her heathen with the best diligence she could command.

The child was announced and considered in the family as Miss Ophelia's girl; and, as she was looked upon with no gracious eye in the kitchen, Miss Ophelia resolved to confine her sphere of operation and instruction chiefly to her own chamber. With a self-sacrifice which some of our readers will appreciate, she resolved, instead of comfortably making her own bed, sweeping and dusting her own chamber—which she had hitherto done, in utter scorn of all offers of help from the chambermaid of the establishment—to condemn herself to the martyrdom of instructing Topsy to perform these operations. Ah, woe the day! Did any of our readers ever do the same, they will appreciate the amount of her self-sacrifice.

Miss Ophelia began with Topsy by taking her into her chamber the first morning, and solemnly commencing a course of instruction in the art and mystery of bed-making.

Behold, then, Topsy, washed and shorn of all the little braided tails wherein her heart had delighted, arrayed in a clean gown, with well-starched apron, standing reverently before Miss Ophelia, with an expression of solemnity well befitting a funeral.

"Now, Topsy, I'm going to show you just how my bed is to be made. I am very particular about my bed. You must learn exactly how to do it."

"Yes, ma'am," says Topsy, with a deep sigh, and a face of woeful earnestness.

"Now, Topsy, look here: this is the hem of the sheet—this is the right side of the sheet, and this is the wrong: will you remember?"

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