The Charlotte News

Monday, November 18, 1946


Site Ed. Note: The front page reports that Federal District Court Judge T. Alan Goldsborough signed an order on petition for a temporary restraining order by the Government to prevent John L. Lewis and the UMW from declaring the Government contract of May 29 void on November 20, to remain in effect at least another nine days to permit time for a hearing whether the order would become permanent. Attorney General Tom Clark had determined that the contract could not be renegotiated. The issue now was whether the mines could be turned back over to the mine companies. The temporary restraining order now meant that Mr. Lewis could be held in contempt for continuing to call for the strike.

Meanwhile, some 31,000 miners in six states had not reported for work in advance of the midnight Wednesday deadline.

The Office of Defense Transportation issued an order reducing by 25 percent passenger rail service on trains burning coal, beginning midnight Sunday. The railroads had on November 1 only a 30-day stockpile of coal to run their trains, necessitating the order.

Prime Minister Clement Attlee denied before Commons a British alliance with the United States against Russia. The statement was in response to Winston Churchill's charge that Labor had created such an alliance, thus widening the divide with Russia. It was reported that Mr. Attlee and several Government ministers were prepared to call for a vote of confidence in the Government.

Theodore Granik stated that he had instructed his attorney to bring a libel action against Preston Tucker, seeking to enter the automobile manufacturing business, for statements the latter had made regarding Mr. Granik's role in the disposition of the 171-million dollar Chrysler-Dodge plant in Chicago, a war surplus plant which Mr. Tucker had been renting and was trying to purchase. Mr. Granik, an attorney out of New York and Washington, denied that he had ever intervened for Mr. Tucker with the National Housing Agency, which wanted the plant turned over to a company to build metal housing, a decision which had been delayed by the War Assets Administration.

Mr. Tucker had suggested the previous Thursday that "an attorney", unnamed, had offered to intervene with NHA to delay its decision, in exchange for several hundred thousand dollars, $400,000 in Tucker Corporation stock, a position as counsel for the company, and a Tucker dealership.

Mr. Granik had stated that he had been retained by Mr. Tucker in August to perform legal work and to obtain financing for the company, a position for which he was to be compensated $3,000 per month and eight percent of company stock. He claimed that the reasons Mr. Tucker had made the public assertions were to weaken the position of NHA by making them appear subject to influence and to make it hard for him to step forward and institute legal proceedings to collect his fee.

The U.S. Supreme Court issued its first three decisions of the term, with Justices Robert Jackson and Hugo Black in accord on each despite their open feud the previous spring. The Court upheld 6 to 3 the criminal convictions of Mormons for polygamy, affirmed 5 to 4 that an Enid, Oklahoma, oil refining company became a "common carrier" under the law by building an interstate pipeline for oil and thus was subject to interstate commerce regulation by Congress, and reversed 8 to 1 a ruling that Halliburton Oil Well Cementing Co. of Duncan, Oklahoma, (the same Halliburton, by the way, which we have come to know and love in more recent times as True Patriots through and through and through and through), that the company had violated a patent issued to Cranford Walker of Los Angeles for oil well equipment.

We feel compelled to pause to ask whether it is mere coincidence that Halliburton is known on the New York Stock Exchange as "HAL".

Fifteen military passengers and an eight-man crew died after a C-46 transport crashed on its way from Guam to Iwo Jima late on Saturday.

In the Philippines, 500 were believed dead from a typhoon which hit Negros Island.

A typhoon was expected shortly to inundate the island of Iwo Jima.

Burke Davis of The News discusses divorce, locally and nationwide. One in every three marriages was ending in divorce in 1946. The ratio of divorce to marriage in Charlotte was 7 to 11—not also the time it took to go from the latter to the former status, we trust.

It was estimated that 90 percent of the divorces in Charlotte came from the quick and easy marriages obtainable in South Carolina, which then refused to recognized divorce. (Get drunk in Aiken, pal, and you're on your own.) Most persons seeking divorce in Charlotte were between the ages of 17 and 28. North Carolina had a mandatory two-year separation period and so war-time marriages had not yet hit the dockets. Separation was the only practical way to obtain a North Carolina divorce.

Recently, the Legislature had cut the residence requirement for obtaining a North Carolina divorce from one year to six months, and there was a move to cut it to three months.

Florida and Nevada were noted divorce mills. All 48 states had differing laws.

Of the 710 divorce decrees granted in Charlotte during the year, 641 were to whites, 623 based on separation.

Some claims of "cruelty" in states which permitted that ground turned out to be spurious. A California woman sought a divorce in that state on such ground, and, after hours of examination, admitted that the husband had called her a "goose". One state granted a divorce because the husband had thrown water over the wife's head. Another had found divorce the proper remedy when a wife contracted an itch from her husband. And another was the result of a wife's devilish tongue.

Those are serious things, Mr. Davis, especially that itch.

One man had a wife who rifled his pockets for change every night, until he finally placed a small rat trap in his pocket. The wife, caught, took him to court the following day, but the judge would not allow a divorce, ruling that the woman could take the money and run, but the man could also undertake reasonable means, including a rat trap, to defend it. (Not deadly force though in defense of property. One could put a small snake in there, but it would have to be non-poisonous.)

He explains the concept at the time in North Carolina of limited and absolute divorce and the different grounds for each form.

The laws of divorce now across the nation are non-fault and, with the exception of property division and support, are basically uniform and have been for several decades. The reason for the no-fault divorce system is that the grounds asserted formerly were often based on perjury or creeping and peeping to obtain evidence of adultery, leading to a slimy way of life, worse than the idea of divorce.

Two more articles in the series would follow.

President Truman left Washington the previous day for his Florida vacation, to last until November 23. He took a swim this date and then began reading Harold Lamb's Alexander of Macedon, then took another swim, along with White House counsel Clark Clifford, a Naval aide and his personal physician.

On the editorial page, "Mixed Juries, Underpaid Legislators" remarks on the results of the two State Constitutional amendments placed before the voters in the November 5 election, the one permitting women to serve on juries having passed and the one to raise the allotment of expenses for legislators having failed. On both amendments, thousands of the 350,000 voters who voted in the election abstained. The number who voted on the amendments represented less than 20 percent of eligible voters.

It supports the outcome on women serving on juries but believes the rejection of the increase for legislators to be a vote against better government. It favors, along with the Raleigh News & Observer, another attempt at the matter by labeling the increase one of salary rather than expenses. As it was, legislators received very little in compensation.

"Displaced Persons, Old and New" points out that the DAR had joined the American Legion in urging no change in immigration quotas to accommodate displaced persons in Europe and Asia. As usual, the concept was easily opposed when posed in the abstract, more problematic when getting down to cases, such as the permission to remain in the country given by the Administration to the Baltic nationals who had sailed from Sweden to Miami after escaping Nazi occupation during the war.

The piece comments that it found the DAR position strange, given that it was an organization dedicated to the memory of a group of immigrants who themselves were displaced persons and revolutionaries.

"The Bahamas' Gain, Our Loss" tells of the return to the United States from the Bahamas of millionaire Howland Spencer, who had tramped off to the Caribbean years earlier to get away from President Roosevelt, who had been Mr. Spencer's inimical neighbor on the Hudson. He had a noted dispute with the President regarding his claim that his estate was "Krum Elbow" and that the President had renamed his own likewise to avoid the odious "Crooks' Paradise", which properly was the Roosevelt estate's original name in the record books. Mr. Spencer then donated his estate to Father Divine and his religious sect, right across the Hudson from the Roosevelts. He thought FDR a traitor to his class.

He had now returned because he deemed it "safe" since the Republican victory in Congress.

The piece, after calling to mind a New Yorker cartoon from 1936 by Peter Arno, with the caption below a group of well-dressed tories, saying, "Come on—we're going down to the Trans-Lux and hiss Roosevelt," says that it should be a nice piece of propaganda for the Democrats that Howland Spencer thought the Republicans "safe".

A piece from the New York Times, titled "Autumnal Point of View", describes two ways to see fall after the leaves had left the branches of the trees naked: starkly or as revealing the strength of the hills and the foundations of stone and trees.

"There are stone ledges on the hills and raw gullies; but they are honorable scars, not blemishes or deformities. And the big twisted branch on the maple is a mark of battle with wind and sleet, a battle won and survived..."

"They are hills revealed in all their strength and they are trees well rooted and reaching for the sun."

Drew Pearson urges President Truman to have the Army obey its Commander-in-Chief. Presently, the Army was building a special wing at Walter Reed Army Hospital to accommodate the President, a duplicate of such a wing of Bethesda Naval Hospital, with a whole floor reserved for the President. The Army, however, now was in charge of medicine at the White House, replacing the Navy which had charge under FDR, whose physician had been Dr. Ross McIntire. President Truman had selected Dr. Wallace Graham, a brigadier general of the Army as his physician.

Since the Army doctor did not wish to practice at Bethesda, the new wing at Walter Reed was being constructed at the expense of scarce lumber, bricks, and metal. It flew in the face of the purpose of consolidation of the military as favored by the President, to conserve expenses by avoiding duplication.

He next tells of the story being circulated by Secretary of State Byrnes that an American soldier could go to the White House, declare himself against American foreign policy and suffer no consequence. That was democracy. The Russian soldier could go to the Kremlin, declare himself to Stalin to be opposed to the Truman policy and nothing would happen to him. In Russia, that was democracy.

The President would need to begin making Republican appointments to assure confirmation of his other appointees in the new Republican Congress. Mr. Pearson thinks that former Assistant Secretary of State Nelson Rockefeller, booted out in the State Department reshuffling after Mr. Byrnes was appointed in June, 1945, would be one of the first Republicans to be appointed. Mr. Rockefeller believed so, himself.

He would not return, however, to the Government until 1950, as chairman of a board to give advice on implementation of the President's foreign aid program. He became Undersecretary of HEW in the Eisenhower Administration for 18 months in 1953-54. Becoming Governor of New York in 1959 and remaining in that position for 15 years, he did not return to the Federal Government after 1954 until 1974 when he was appointed and confirmed as Vice-President by the originally appointed and confirmed Vice-President succeeding to the Presidency, Gerald Ford, in the wake of the resignation of President Nixon, effective August 9. Vice-President Rockefeller was not tapped to run in 1976, being replaced on the ticket by Senator Robert Dole.

The Vice-President finally left Government service giving the Rockefeller salute to the press, of which he was always fond to the point of being downright cuddly.

Among the Capital Chaff, Mr. Pearson informs that George Creel, who masterminded U.S. propaganda in World War I, had helped Admiral Ross McIntire write his recent book, White House Physician.

Tommy Corcoran, once an aide to FDR, was now doing legal work for the Chinese.

New Assistant Secretary of the Navy John N. Brown, was a friend to the enlisted man, had a rich aristocratic background in Rhode Island, one of his ancestors having been the Brown for whom Brown University was named. His family was Republican, but Admiral Brown had supported Al Smith in 1928 and FDR in every election save 1940.

He was not persuaded to vote for the opponents despite the fact that when he first enlisted in the Navy he was issued a "Roosevelt cot", developed by FDR when he had been Assistant Secretary of the Navy under Secretary Josephus Daniels during World War I. The cot did not accommodate his 6-foot, 5-inch frame, and collapsed under him the first night of training.

Marquis Childs suggests that the comparison of 1946 for the Republicans to 1930 for the Democrats was comparing a tidal wave to a thunderstorm in magnitude. The Republican sweep was complete, comparable to the Democratic sweep of 1932 or 1936. The Republicans, according to Louis Bean, had garnered 57 percent of the total votes cast across the nation, compared to 46 percent for the Democrats in 1930. In 1936, the Roosevelt landslide was 58.5 percent over Alf Landon, his largest win of the four. Elmo Roper placed the 1946 Republican vote at a bit less, 54.8 percent.

In 1930, the Democrats had won only 214 seats, four seats short of a majority in the House. But by the time the Congress actually convened 13 months after election day, the Democrats, through deaths of Republicans in the interim, had achieved a narrow working majority of one seat. (Mr. Childs notes that the 72nd Congress occurred before the lame duck Congress was abolished by the 20th Amendment, ratified in 1933, prior to which the Congress was required to convene at least once each year beginning on the first Monday in December, meaning that the 72nd Congress convened for the first time in December, 1931.) The Republicans continued to control the Senate after the 1930 election, by two seats.

Senator Arthur Vandenberg of Michigan had won by the largest majority, 67.5 percent. It was especially impressive because of the heavy activity of the CIO PAC in Michigan, even if his opponent was weak.

Governor Edmund Thye of Minnesota polled the second highest percentage, 61.4 percent, with the backing of former Governor Harold Stassen, a favorite in the GOP liberal-moderate camp for the 1948 nomination.

Former Governor John W. Bricker, the vice-presidential nominee in 1944, and a presidential favorite among conservatives for 1948, polled 57.3 percent in his Senate race in Ohio, only a bit more than the national average.

Governor Thomas Dewey received 56.9 percent of the vote in New York.

Governor Earl Warren had won both California primaries and so had no competition in his bid for re-election.

Senator Robert Taft of Ohio was not up for re-election.

Representative Clarence Brown of Ohio, a contender for House Majority Leader, though Charles Halleck of Indiana would, as expected, win the position, won with 68 percent.

The problem facing the Republicans was that they had many newcomers to Congress who had neither the experience nor knowledge of the machinery of government, making direction of the majority a difficult task.

Harold Ickes suggests that Secretary of the Navy James Forrestal was essentially the "Acting Secretary of State for China" and ought make his policy known to Secretary of State Byrnes. Secretary Forrestal was maintaining a large contingent of Marines in North China, with the support of Admiral Leahy, the President's personal chief of staff.

He recommends reading Thunder Out of China by Theodore H. White and Annalee Jacoby, (Mr. White later to become well-known for his Making of the President, 1960, and subsequent books in that series every quadrennial through 1972, as well as Breach of Faith in 1975—the latter of which we highly recommend, regarding the ultimate reasons, in terms of personal history and character, for the downfall of Richard Nixon).

The Marines at first appeared to be in China to assist in repatriation of the Japanese soldiers. But on August 5, 1946, Admiral Cooke, commander of the Naval forces in China, declared repatriation complete. Then, the reasons for the continued presence were stated to be for the purpose of maintaining open communications and to keep the Russians from moving into the area.

Mr. Ickes asserts that Americans did not want any backdoor war or any war at all, wanted to determine the nation's foreign policy, not have it secretly dictated.

Things had been going well in China until FDR sent General Patrick Hurley in as Ambassador, undoing all the good done by General Joseph Stilwell and Ambassador Gauss. General Hurley was a bull in a china shop, and fortunately resigned, opening the way for General George C. Marshall to become the President's special emissary in trying to effect peace between the Chinese Kuomintang and the Communists. But the damage had already been done.

President Truman had assured the nation on December 15, 1945 that support for the Nationalist Government of Chiang would not include the sending of American troops to fight in the Chinese civil war. The Big Three reaffirmed this policy after the Foreign Ministers Conference. The U.N. Charter also forbade such unilateral intervention.

Mr. Ickes asserts that the U.S. should not be taking sides in the civil war, one which had been ongoing in one form or another for the previous twenty years. There was no democracy in China and it could not be imposed by force. Chiang Kai-Shek was "as ruthless, cruel and treacherous a dictator as has ever wielded despotic power anywhere."

A letter discusses the trial of the Chief of Police in Batesburg, S.C., Lynwood Shull, accused of assault in the beating of Sgt. Isaac Woodard the previous February, resulting in Sgt. Woodard being rendered permanently blind. Chief Shull had been acquitted in Federal Court by an all-white jury after thirty minutes of deliberations. The jury apparently accepted the Chief's self-defense argument, that Sgt. Woodard had grabbed his baton, notwithstanding the several eyewitnesses who testified to the contrary and that Sgt. Woodard was not, as claimed, intoxicated.

The letter writer, a white man, thinks it a grave miscarriage of justice, believing that no one could raise hell for so long on a bus as they contended Sgt. Woodard had without being ejected. He assures that he is not a "'nigger lover'", that he treated people as they treated him.

"After all, you know, the Negroes were the only reluctant immigrants who ever came to this land of the free."

A letter wants to know whether The News would continue to carry "Terry and the Pirates" when George Wunder would begin drawing it in Janaury, and also the Caniff strip.

The editors say that they would carry both.

That's a relief.

A letter from the chairman of the Community Chest drive thanks the newspaper for its help in making the drive successful.

A letter writer wonders why any worker would go on strike, as it would only cause prices to rise, nullifying the benefits of any wage increase. He thinks everyone ought be content and that the Reds ought be ousted from the body politic.

A letter writer objects to Drew Pearson's column of November 9 having borne the title suggesting that the Republican Congress would be "pro-Negro", that blacks only wanted simple justice.

The editors note that the headline, as always in the syndicated columns, was written by the News copy desk, not by Mr. Pearson. It defends the title on the basis that the subject of the article was probable legislation to be passed in favor of blacks, that is anti-poll tax legislation, anti-lynching, and making permanent the Fair Employment Practices Commission.


On this date in 1963, President Kennedy continued his visit to Florida begun Saturday with a tour of Cape Canaveral, where astronauts L. Gordon Cooper and Gus Grissom gave him a briefing on the Gemini program, and observation from the U.S.S. Observation Island of the launching of a Polaris missile from the submarine U.S.S. Jackson. This day, he attended events in Tampa and Miami, a day prior to the centennial of the Gettysburg Address.

On November 9, 1963, the Miami police had equipped a room with a wire in which police informant William Somersett met with reactionary States' Rightist Joseph Milteer of South Carolina, who told of a plot to kill the President from a tall building with a high-powered rifle. Either Mr. Milteer knew precisely whereof he spoke through his nefarious connections or had one of the more extraordinary experiences of prescience ever documented since the soothsayer in Julius Caesar.

It has been suggested that Mr. Milteer is visible in a photograph taken in Dealey Plaza on November 22. While never documented and difficult to ascertain from the granularity of the photo, it was certainly possible that he was present for the "Big Event", the codename for the assassination plot, according to Watergate burglar E. Howard Hunt in his deathbed statement to his son in 2004, albeit laying the blame for the conspiracy not on the obvious person, but rather on Vice-President Johnson, an utterly preposterous notion in the premises. We know, after all, who was in Dallas on November 21-22, who had no business there whatsoever other than for a minor non-political appearance to help Pepsi Cola, a client of his law firm, an appearance any normal individual, knowing the level of volatile hatred extant in Dallas and throughout pockets of the South, would have canceled when he realized it coincided with his political opponent's trip to the "City Which Loved to Hate"—a hate held long and for generations but more recently finding its excuse for vent germinating from a visceral animus directed at the Kennedy civil rights policies and the perception that the non-invasion pledge regarding Cuba, issued to avert world nuclear annihilation in October, 1962, was a traitorous sell-out to Communism and against the quasi-religious impulse longing for Armageddon, thus an interference with what weak-minded individuals took from Revelations to be Biblical prophecy come nigh but made inchoate by the intervention of a perceived Devil in the flesh, a hatred held most vehemently by those in whom this triplice of demons resided simultaneously.

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