The Charlotte News

Thursday, November 21, 1946


Site Ed. Note: The front page reports that the UMW coal miners struck this date, despite the Federal Court temporary restraining order barring the strike for nine days. John L. Lewis had been ordered to call off the strike. The Government petitioned to have Mr. Lewis found in contempt of court.

Some anthracite miners were also joining the 400,000 bituminous coal miners in the strike.

The President's plan was said to be "fight it out to the finish." The Government was also considering freezing the UMW's funds.

Passenger train service was curtailed by 25 percent because of the strike. The Federal Works Administrator was going to seek to reduce the temperature in all Federal buildings to 68 degrees.

New York City reported that it had 100 days worth of coal on hand. Two New York City hotels, the Shelton and the McAlpin, converted their coal heating systems to oil.

Meanwhile, at the residence of John L. Lewis in Washington, there was no apparent activity, with the lights having gone out before midnight. No one emerged during the morning hours.

On the stock market, steel prices dropped one to two dollars per share in the wake of the coal strike. Otherwise, the market dropped from a few cents to a dollar per share.

CIO president Philip Murray asserted that CIO was not threatening any strike or disruption of the economy, implicitly criticizing John L. Lewis as wielding a club over the American people.

Foreign Minister Ernest Bevin of Britain told the U.N. that he could not accept the Russian plan for reporting troop strengths unless it included domestic numbers and also addressed the whole question of disarmament. The U.S. and China had agreed that full numbers ought be provided but that disarmament talks ought be separate.

In Key West, President Truman took a ride on a captured German U-boat from which he observed simulated battle problems, both while submerged 440 feet and on the surface. The President's primary interest was on the German invention of "the snorkel", a device to enable battery recharging on the submarine while it remained submerged, developed by the Nazis late in the war.

In Manchester, England, a four-day walkout of transportation workers ended.

The Civilian Production Administration stated that cars would soon have spare tires with a tube for the first time since 1942 when the rubber shortage gripped the country.

A fire at a home in Baltimore ate through the doorbell wire causing it to ring, alerting those sleeping inside who then fled to safety.

In McEwen, Tenn, an overheating flue caused a house fire in which three children perished while their mother walked to the mailbox half a mile from the house.

In Charlotte, residents along the route of the proposed cross-town boulevard, to become Independence Boulevard, were planning to seek a court injunction to block construction of the highway. The City Council was scheduled to vote on the route the following Tuesday. Former Judge Frank K. Sims, Jr., represented many of the residents in their fight.

In Asheville, the State Baptist Convention rescinded its action of Tuesday which had opposed racial segregation in the church. The rescission came in response to telegrams and messages received opposing the Tuesday action.

The convention approved a program to raise 1.5 million dollars over a three-year period for use in construction of the new Wake Forest campus at Winston-Salem. The convention appointed a committee to study possible uses of the old campus.

On the editorial page, "And Now It's Zoning" discusses the opposition in the community to all forms of zoning. The proposed ordinance was the result of a study by experts and had been approved by the Real Estate Board.

But the opponents claimed that it would interfere with freedom, the freedom to build a livery stable, for instance, next door to a glue factory. It did not appear to be a position supported by the majority of the community. The City Council ought act, it counsels, for the greater interest of the community and pass the ordinance.

"Playing the Russian Game" asserts that the new State Department policy of dealing with distribution of food on a nation-by-nation basis, rather than supporting any extension of UNRRA, as favored by director Fiorello La Guardia, was bound to create propaganda useful to the Communists. It gave the State Department the ability for the first time to use food as political leverage, but in so doing, the policy was going to punish masses of people because of their Government and supply fertile ground in which Communism could flourish.

Denying food to Yugoslavia because of Tito only punished the people for their dictator. Denying food to Czechoslovakia because they were under Soviet domination was to punish for something beyond their immediate control. And to supply food to Greece with its reactionary monarchy was likewise anomalous.

UNRRA had not been perfect, but it did generate friends of the United States and the West generally. The new State Department policy would only make enemies and drive countries into the Soviet sphere.

"The Facts of Political Life" finds a new principle to have emerged in the local GI Democrats organization when its chairman demanded that the County Commissioners replace County Recorder's Court Judge Hasty, a non-G.I., with a veteran. The high-minded principles on which the group had been founded during the summer in Pinehurst had now devolved to a raw demand for power, suggesting any G.I. to be more fit for public office than a non-G.I. At least the chairman, it suggests, had made the group's position clear.

A piece from the Shelby Daily Star, titled "Pulverized, Smashed, Atomized", takes exception to the hyperbole often employed by sportswriters in describing sporting events. It notes that after Shelby High School had lost in football 6-0, they were said to have been "pulverized" by the opposition, suggesting that they had been ground into fine particles. Such terms as "mauling", "smashing", "trouncing", and "sweeping over", were commonplace, but none adequately conveyed the true condition of the loser after a contest.

The final straw was a 21-0 score which one journal described as an "atomizing" of the opponent. It meant that the loser was blown through an atomizer, worse than being pulverized.

The sportswriters, it thinks, might one day shed tears over their exaggerations.

Drew Pearson discusses the division among Republicans on proposed tax cuts. Minnesota Representative Harold Knutson, to head the House Ways & Means Committee, wanted a twenty percent across-the-board cut. But Senators Robert Taft of Ohio and Styles Bridges of New Hampshire thought otherwise, wanted first to determine feasibility and then to discuss the actual extent of the tax cut, believed that the first goal was to balance the budget. Congressman Joe Martin of Massachusetts, to become Speaker, was supportive of the Knutson plan. If the Knutson cut passed the House, it would be stalled in the Senate Finance Committee, of which Senator Taft would likely be the chairman.

OPA administrator Paul Porter the previous week had toasted his two predecessors, Chester Bowles and Leon Henderson, over lunch. He stated, "Leon initiated the policies, Chet carried them out, and—'I came to bury Caesar, not to praise him.'"

The FBI was investigating whether retired Maj. General George Van Horn Moseley was connected with the virulent new racist organization out of Atlanta, the Columbians. General Moseley had been the idol of the Knights of the White Camelia, an adjunct of the Klan.

Reconversion director John Steelman was helping to eliminate the bottleneck on production of artificial limbs for veterans. Mr. Pearson's former partner, Col. Robert Allen, who had been on General Patton's Third Army staff during the war, had been working in close cooperation with Secretary of War Robert Patterson on the matter.

Lastly, he informs that the State Department had been behind the U.S. support of the veto on the Security Council. With China possibly to become Communist, France leaning in that direction, and British labor rebelling against the anti-Russian policy of Foreign Secretary Bevin, the United States might find itself alone as a democracy on the Security Council. The State Department was for gradually doing away with the veto as long as the U.S. was in the majority against Russia, but was in favor of preserving the veto when it appeared that the shoe might someday be on the other foot.

Marquis Childs looks at the important chairmanship of the Senate Education and Labor Committee in the upcoming 80th Congress. Senator Robert Taft of Ohio was the senior member of the committee and Senator George Aiken of Vermont, a liberal who ran a prosperous flower business, was the second most senior member among Republicans. Senator Taft wanted to head the Republican Steering Committee and likely also would chair the Finance Committee. He might also chair the Labor Committee but it was possible he would step aside in favor of Senator Aiken. If the latter course were followed, it would send a signal that the GOP might not, after all, pass conservative labor legislation, though some form of labor-restrictive legislation was inevitable. Senator Aiken had voted against the Case bill, earlier vetoed by the President.

Senator Wayne Morse of Oregon, also a liberal Republican on the Labor Committee, believed the Republicans would not ultimately support another Case-type bill. But when pressed, he could name but eleven Republican Senators who would vote against it. Added to those would be no more than one other Republican, newcomer John Sherman Cooper of Kentucky, and 19 Democrats, for 31 total votes, not enough to block the measure.

Senator Morse indicated that some form of labor legislation would pass, especially a bill which would ban the jurisdictional strike, legislation which he would support.

First, the Republicans had to resolve the differences in their own party. If Senator Taft were to become chairman of the Labor Committee, then a divide would take place between Republican liberals and conservatives and a signal sent that liberals would be on the outside. The conservatives would be betting that they were so firmly entrenched that they could afford to ignore the minority.

Samuel Grafton remarks on the new Republican Congress utilizing an axe rather than a scalpel in its proposed fiscal policies. It would cut everyone's taxes by twenty percent, a total of three billion dollars in revenue, more than the cost of the development of the atomic bomb. Where the money would come from remained problematic. Tax relief to the lower brackets would be a good idea and sound economically, as most of the retained income would be spent in the marketplace for consumer goods and thus stimulate production and reduce the chance of inflation or recession. But providing tax relief across brackets was another thing.

Similarly, the Republicans indicated that they would enable the revenue cut in large part by reducing Government personnel by a million people. Again, it was a round number which posed a problem in realization.

The same approach showed up in the Republican proposal to get more sugar in the tea of Americans by cutting exports. It ignored the fact that there was a worldwide shortage of sugar, not just in America, and that the country was contributing to an international pool of sugar.

Mr. Grafton suggests that the liberal would find a way to solve problems by studying the facts and providing for the needy of the world. The reactionary was content to let some starve. The radical would seek to start a revolution.

The liberal approach, the Roosevelt method, was now on the wane. And to assure that no more Roosevelts could ever achieve power, the Republicans intended to pass an amendment to establish a two-term limit on the presidency.

A letter from a former chairman of the Board of County Commissioners disagrees with the plan of the City Council to abolish the Industrial Home for delinquent women. He thinks the Home had done an excellent job of rehabilitation.

A letter writer complains that the titular chairman of the Republican Party of Mecklenburg County had been selected only by fourteen people one evening in his office, and so he did not actually represent the body of Republicans in the county. The man was from the North, as was P.C. Burkholder, the Republican Congressional candidate in the late election. There was no Republican Party organization in the county. The Democrats could not have asked for more.

A letter writer really likes The News and every feature in it.

A letter writer expresses agreement with George Bernard Shaw that Henry Wallace ought become the next American President, that he would take up where FDR had left off.

She expresses the belief that the American people did not fully appreciate a blessing when it was bestowed in the person of Franklin Roosevelt. She still recalled the hard times in the country after World War I.

On this date in 1963, President Kennedy and Mrs. Kennedy began their tour of Texas which was designed as a party-healing trip to mend fences between the conservative Texas Democrats led by Governor John Connally and the liberal Texas Democrats led by Senator Ralph Yarborough. Texas was deemed essential for a Democratic victory in 1964 and the trip was effectively a beginning of that campaign.

The President and First Lady arrived at around 1:30 p.m. in San Antonio, where President Kennedy spoke at the opening of the Aerospace Medical Health Center at Brooks Air Force Base.

After a motorcade through San Antonio, the President and First Lady flew to Houston where, after another motorcade, the President spoke at a dinner at the Coliseum held in honor of Congressman Albert Thomas. Before that dinner, they spoke to a group from the League of United Latin American Citizens at the Rice Hotel. During the Houston visit, the President also appeared before a crowd at the Rice University Stadium—from which he had, on September 12, 1962, set the goal for sending an American to the moon by the end of the decade.

From Houston, the presidential entourage moved on to Fort Worth where the President and Mrs. Kennedy, following a nighttime motorcade through the city, spent the night at the Texas Hotel.

It has been recounted that the President told intimates that last night of his life that it would only take one person shooting with a high-powered rifle from a tall building to kill the President, but that the person would also have to be willing to lay down his own life for the purpose.

The next day began as any day, sunny, bright, unseasonably warm through the South for late November, most of the nation focused more on the upcoming decisive weekend of football than any news of the President's trip to Texas, little noticed by anyone outside that state prior to Friday afternoon. The President made a lot of trips during his nearly three years in office. There was nothing special about this one.

Little did anyone in the general public reckon that the world would vastly change within the ensuing 24 hours. It has never really been the same since.

Quiet, contemplative shock was the prevailing emotion and expression on faces during that ensuing four days. Nobody smiled. Nobody really could. Depletion, emptiness, something precious lost and gone which could not be undone. The warm sunshine of Friday below clear blue skies, by Saturday morning, had turned in the South to gray, dismal drizzling rain.

The same sentiment which the letter writer this date expressed regarding Franklin D. Roosevelt was being felt that weekend with respect to John F. Kennedy.

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