Thursday, March 2, 1944

The Charlotte News

Thursday, March 2, 1944


Site Ed. Note: The front page reports more detail of the third German counter-offensive launched against the Anzio beachhead along a thousand-yard front, midway between Carroceto and Cisterna, beginning Tuesday morning. Initially, two battalions were engaged, but by the afternoon fully three divisions had been pushed against the Allied lines and had forced the Allies to retreat nearly a mile. The Allies responded with an offensive during the night and by noon Wednesday had regained two-thirds of the lost ground. The Allies faced the heaviest artillery assault since the landing on the beachhead January 22.

At 4:00 a.m., the Japanese attacked American positions just taken on Los Negros Island in the Admiralties, but were repulsed quickly with a loss of a hundred men. American losses thus far in the operation had been negligible.

It was thought that the enemy was being reinforced via Manus Island, across a short distance of water to the west of Los Negros.

The captured Momote airfield, which was so lacking in damage it could immediately be placed into operation to serve Allied flight personnel, was stated to be 5,000 feet long and thus posing a hard target for Japanese counter-attacks.

Finland was reported cold to the terms of surrender proposed by the Russians.

From Cape Gloucester, it was reported that thirty Japanese troops were killed among those who charged American Marine lines, shouting, "To hell with Babe Ruth!" In New York, Mr. Ruth responded, when told of the incident, that he hoped every enemy soldier who used his name would be killed.

We think that evocation was probably at the time tantamount to violation of the Third Commandment, which, when paraphrased, read, "Dou shalt not take de name of de Babe, de lord dy god in vain, neither yous, New Yorker, nor especially anyone elses."

Of course, it may have simply been that word from captured prisoners had leaked to the Japanese re the nutty, gooy quality of American candy tendered them for provision of information, and that they falsely attributed the problem, unricy to their accustomed palate, to the baseball great rather than the true eponym, Teddy Roosevelt's deceased daughter--or that they had read, or had communicated to them via the Empress who read it for them, the history of the subject and had distilled from it the flow-tow from "Remember the Maine!", even downstream from that along the cottonwoods to "Remember the Alamo!", and had gleaned thus from the drift along the muddied, bloodied stream complete justification for their actions in the Pacific, breaking away, desiring a refund, for the sake of re-acquisition on behalf of all Oriental peoples Indochina, the Philippines, Hong Kong, Shanghai, Singapore, the Dutch and British East Indies, and the Solomons, justifying the rest, the attack on Pearl Harbor, the taking of Wake Island and Guam, the marching into Burma and the original marching into China on military necessity to provide protection for their new empire from counter-offensive.

Yet, of course, were it the case that the Japanese soldiers were actually vaguely communicating that concept, the tale-teller comes in the substitution for the "e" the "y". And the "y" was for the sake only of enlargement of the little Empress's booty so that the Emperor could have more stallions in his stable upon which to ride. That, good friends, is what led to Pearl Harbor, we opine, as well many other things down the line--the riding of the stallion in the stables, way, way, way too hard and far down the road, out of sight, over the sea, to the moon, to the sun, eclipsing everything in sight until we all were nearly fully baked and well, well, well-done.

It appeared that Louis Lepke, head of Murder, Inc., would receive a sixth reprieve in New York from the death sentence scheduled to be imposed that night pursuant to a 1936 conviction for murder. Lepke had supposedly been implicating high government officials in corrupt behavior and Governor Thomas Dewey was said to be considering his fate. His reprieve was granted, but only for two days. He would be executed March 4.

Mr. Lepke, apparently, would not give up information on the Big Cheese, for the sake of Mr. Dewey's wedding cake to be, of which he insisted he did not wish to partake, being a protestant too much.

An uncorroborated report indicated that the British had halted all military and civilian supplies to Turkey, including American Lend-Lease supplies, seeking to put pressure on Turkey to abandon its neutral position and enter the war on the side of the Allies. Prime Minister Churchill and President Roosevelt, after the Tehran Conference at the beginning of December, had returned to Cairo to discuss with the Turkish the possibility of joining the Allies. It was reported at the time that the joint conference had proceeded well, but nothing had happened since as the conference appeared still ongoing among the Turkish.

After an unidentified caller from the Washington Cathedral reported anonymously the murder of a woman, the body of Miss Catherine Reardon, clad only in a slip, was discovered in a steam pipe pit beneath the Cathedral library where she worked. She told her mother the previous evening that she was going for a walk and never returned. The archivist and curator at the Cathedral found her hat, pocketbook, coat, and gloves on a chair the following morning and became suspicious, then discovered the body. Police were seeking a handyman employed on the premises about whom Miss Reardon had complained for slighting his work. The 37-year old woman had been brutally beaten to death.

Clyde A. Farnsworth, writing in the "Reporter's Notebook" column, reports of the death in China of five American airmen and one Chinese airman flying a Mitchell bomber as a crew with the Fourteenth Air Force. No sooner had they successfully completed a bombing mission that they were scrambled from the field upon return, resultant of an air raid. They then ran into a storm as they circled the area waiting for clearance to return to the base. The storm this time, not the enemy, proved the fatal cause of the crash which took their lives.

The Americans represented Catholic, Jewish, and Protestant faiths, and thus three separate services had to be held to honor them. One man, for unknown reasons, had checked boxes beside all three religious faiths on his personnel card.

It was the first funeral in China for all three religious faiths at one time.

On the editorial page, "The Schools" examines the debate regarding public education between gubernatorial candidates Gregg Cherry, the eventual winner, and Dr. Ralph McDonald. Dr. McDonald, a former teacher and principal, was on the liberal side of the ledger when it came to dispensing funding for schools from the Legislature. Mr. Cherry was conservative. The primary issue in funding was teacher salaries.

"Pacific" relates of the twin pincers now at work against Japan, the recent news of victory in the Akyab sector of Burma by Lord Mountbatten’s forces and the newly won positions in the Pacific, the Marshalls, the Admiralty Islands just attacked. And the Philippines lay only 1,300 miles form the Admiralties. Now, the Japanese could no longer rest assured that their home islands were safe from American bombers.

In just three months since latter November, the Gilberts, the Marshalls, half of New Britain, and a good portion of the remainder of northeast New Guinea had come into Allied hands. The result was that 50,000 Japanese troops were stranded without supplies and apt to surrender or starve to death in the near future. The war in the Pacific, after fits and starts for a year and a half, had finally taken a bold stroke forward.

"Anti-Allies" reports of another South Carolina House resolution, this one aimed at Russia. Finding the fact that Russia had sub-divided itself diplomatically into sixteen units, South Carolina demanded that the United States allow each of its 48 states to be represented separately at the peace table. It dubbed James Byrnes as its chosen representative.

The piece finds this bit of Russian xenophobia par for the course in South Carolina’s tradition, but would likely be greeted by the Russians with derisive laughter for the ironic fact that they were so unwanted by South Carolinians despite their making the most supreme sacrifice of any of the Allies to win the war.

The editors should have been a little more thoughtful and thus tolerant: many South Carolinians, we know from personal experience, simply cannot comprehend the English language. Moreover, they speak in some foreign dialect which we, ourselves, often have some difficulty making out.

But, as it points out, South Carolina was merely emulating New York's Legislature, which also had recently pulled the same trick. That's likewise symbiotic, we suppose, as we sometimes have difficulty understanding New Yorkers as well. Many of them, too, appear to have a problem with reading and speaking the same language with which most of us are most familiar.

“The Unions” relates that the day of sporadic and weak unionism in the South and North Carolina was fast passing away. The recent victory by a CIO-backed union over the company union at R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co. in Winston-Salem had been the first harbinger of the death of the old ways; American Tobacco in Durham was presently under strike. Worker apathy, characteristic of the past, had now given way to a new assertion of union spirit.

That said, we are reminded of this song, which was recorded right about this day in history. The lyric was later changed to "Keep your hand on that vote, hold on."

Dorothy Thompson underscores Prime Minister Churchill's repudiation of the principles enunciated in August, 1941 in the Atlantic Charter, signed initially by Great Britain and the United States, with Russia subsequently signing it a month later. Though the instrument expressly indicated that its anti-imperialist and multilateral disarmament provisions would apply to both Axis and Allied nations alike after the war, Mr. Churchill, in his recent speech before Commons, had declared that the Allies would not be bound by its terms and that the only policy was unconditional surrender. That the State Department had not criticized the speech implicitly indicated that America meant to adopt the same principle.

Ms. Thompson then again addresses the seemingly undefined and prospectively ad hoc policy followed by the U.S. with respect to Germany, a bad error, she offers, when Russia had put into place a policy in July, 1943 to insure democracy to the Germans after the war, thus cultivating their alliance after the overthrow of Nazism.

Marquis Childs follows his previous day's report on the new Democratic National chair, Robert Hannegan, with that of Harrison Spangler, the Republican counterpart, set to be replaced in June. Mr. Spangler was described as a plain spoken Iowan who favored common sense and a return to the America in which he grew up, back to the days when men were men, and there were no class distinctions--because everyone was poor except the very rich and politically well-heeled and stockinged. He didn't say that part, but…

Samuel Grafton discusses the slight difference between General Farrell and General Ramirez in Argentina, despite the fact that America wanted to distinguish their differences and side with one or the other. Sr. Ramirez believed in preserving fascism in the country by renouncing the Axis. Sr. Farrell believed in international fascism to insure its survival. Without the blessing of the U.S., both movements would quickly atrophy on the vine via bankruptcy. By propping one against the other, America only loaned credence and the ability to survive to a corrupt fascist regime, neither of which would wind up solidly in aid of American interests.

Drew Pearson indicates that a report to be released by the Truman Committee was going to be good news to the housewife begging for a new refrigerator, washing machine, or iron.

The over-production of steel and aluminum for the war effort could now be released into the stream of civilian commerce to accommodate manufacture of these household appliances, absent for two years from the commercial market.

There could be fresh refrigeration again in the kitchen, agitation in the laundry room, and heat on the ironing board--that is, unless some of the Southerners decided that the washing machine would precipitate too much agitation and thus mongrelize the red shirts being agitated into some variant of brown and so to be eliminated.

We've already informed of some of the perils, as well the benefits to perspicacity, from adopting a coign-of-vantage atop the refrigerator, but never from inside, never, never inside, unless, that is, you want to ride the Tiger, Tony. For it is dark and cold there.

And be sure to lick your finger before touching the iron, you dumb Polack. Touching it with your open palm isn't the meaning to be gleaned from the aphorism, "You have to strike while the iron is hot". Nor does it have anything to do with golf. Labor? Maybe so.

This is this, predicated, of course, on the object to which either of the thises might alternatively apply.

The report would also reveal that, despite the absence of a national service act as in England, the United States suffered from strikes by only .025% more than England.

As reported the previous day in the editorial column, the report also would state that 100 large corporations received 70% of the war contracts while they had handled only 30% of the pre-war business of the country. Only nine of these companies were free from excess profits.

Mr. Pearson lists eight of the most profit-increased companies during the war, including four aircraft manufacturers, Grumman, Beech, Jacobs, and Bell. The list also included a textile manufacturer, General Cable of New York, and a locomotive works out of Ohio, plus Edward G. Budd Co. which had complained of the reduction by government renegotiation of its 18.7 million dollar profit to 3.8 million to disgorge war profiteering, and that complaint despite the renegotiated profit being more than ten times the company's pre-war profit of $350,000, a typical scenario for the companies listed.

And, though it would not be reported until the next day, the 16th annual Academy Awards ceremony took place at Grauman's Chinese Theater in Hollywood. Best Picture went to "Casablanca". Michael Curtiz won as Best Director for "Casablanca". We shall await tomorrow's print to fill in the others.

Suffice it to say that the winners all said, "Ding how!" while the losers said, not "Shut up and deal," but rather variously registered the winter of their discontent in both verbal and accompanying physical gestures which musically ran, "Boo how," "Mama foo foo," "Boo hoo," and "Foo, yo mama boo boo how?"

In any event, we have to leave you, of course, with this one. Here's lookin' at yous all

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