The Charlotte News

Friday, December 27, 1946


Site Ed. Note: The front page reports that George E. Allen, court jester to the Administration, had resigned his post as director of the Reconstruction Finance Corporation, recommending broad changes in the agency's powers.

The President appointed John D. Goodloe, RFC general counsel, as the successor to Mr. Allen, who had been appointed the previous January amid controversy, with the understanding then that he would remain in the position only for a year. Mr. Allen stated that he intended to return to private business. The President reluctantly accepted the resignation from his friend.

Andrei Gromyko remained absent from discussions as the U.N. Atomic Energy Committee began a secret session to consider further the plan for control of atomic energy. Another Russian delegate, Dr. S. P. Alexandrov, however, assumed the seat of Mr. Gromyko. The issue to be resolved was whether the veto would be allowed to prevent sanctions for violation of the arms limitation agreement, adopted "in principle" previously without Soviet participation. Sources said the U.S. position against the veto was now accepted by the delegates on the committee without reservation. Previously, it had been made subject to the U.N. Charter, requiring the veto on Security Council matters, the proposal being to leave arms limitation enforcement to the Security Council.

Senator Homer Ferguson of Michigan, a member of the War Investigating Committee, called for further testimony from three witnesses anent previous evidence regarding alleged receipt by Senator Theodore Bilbo of money from a man wishing to obtain narcotics legally from a doctor.

Senator Elmer Thomas of Oklahoma stated that all immigration to the United States ought be halted forthwith, without regard to nationality or race, as there were too many people in the United States. He wanted to halt immigration for up to five years or until the economy of the country stabilized. The statement came in response to the President's call in October for increased immigration of Jews from Europe, both to Palestine and the U.S.

In Boston, a treason case, the first in New England since the Revolutionary War, was being presented to the Grand Jury against Robert Best and Douglas Chandler for broadcasting pro-Nazi propaganda for the Germans from Berlin during the war. Four Germans had been brought to Boston to testify, but secrecy had been maintained as to what they were going to say.

The pair had been previously indicted in Washington in 1943 while still in Germany. But when arrested and brought to the United States, they first touched down in Boston, triggering a 1790 statute requiring indictment for Federal offenses where the defendant first touched U.S. soil.

Eleanor Roosevelt was facing a hearing in White Plains, N.Y., on January 8, to determine whether she should lose her driver's license following a three-car collision in Yonkers, in which the car she was driving was involved. Five persons, including Mrs. Roosevelt, were injured in the collision, caused, according to her admission, by her dozing off at the wheel.

In Los Angeles, Gloria Swanson was seeking back alimony from her fifth husband, claiming that he had paid none since ordered to pay her $300 per week in September, 1945, thus owing $13,400.

The New York Herald-Tribune announced a rise in its price from 2 cents to five cents on weekdays and five cents to 15 cents on Sundays for the tabloid size version. The full size version had gone for 3 cents and ten cents, respectively. Afternoon newspapers had been selling for a nickel for some time in New York.

In Norwell, Mass., a former Navy submariner was rescued alive after the sides of a well collapsed upon him while he laid terracotta pipe. He had been trapped between eight feet of well water below and tons of gravel above, prevented from falling on him by a large boulder which had wedged itself in the well above him. His wife ascribed the boulder enabling his survival to a miracle.

In Steubenville, O., a woman and her ten children, evicted from their home for non-payment of rent, had been restored after civic organizations came to their aid, finding them huddled in the snow outside a shack. The estranged husband and father, Mr. Robinson, was being sought for non-support.

The price of butter, after suffering its greatest single drop in recent years the day before, suddenly rose again by four cents per pound in New York but only up to 1.5 cents higher in the Chicago commodities market.

Secretary of Agriculture Clinton Anderson ordered an investigation into the previous day's change in butter prices, amid complaints that New York prices were being manipulated to prevent a drop in producer prices on milk during January, the two being tied together by Federal regulation, the price on a specified date for the best of butter determining the milk price for the following month.

The coldest weather of the winter had hit parts of New England. In Caribou, Maine, the temperature was 18 below zero, and other areas of New England and New York had temperatures below zero, -8 at Ticonderoga, N.Y., (which we have felt before, many years ago, at that location on a New Year's morning in a foot of snow with the Bosch unwilling to kick its pinion into the flywheel to get 'em up the hill), -4 at Portland, Me., also felt at the same time. Mild weather prevailed over the rest of the country.

Sugar economists and brokers predicted that controls on sugar prices would be released by the Government within the ensuing six months, possibly in January, and that resulting higher prices would reduce demand, but that beet sugar production could be increased in 1947 with proper price incentives. Sugar would also be released into the market from prior hoarding by producers, awaiting higher prices. A sugar-producer revolt seemed to be crystallizing.

Six cars of the Panama Limited, en route from Chicago to New Orleans, derailed 31 miles north of New Orleans in Ruddock, causing injuries to 40 to 50 passengers. The passengers reported that the train suddenly started swaying while proceeding at 50 to 60 mph, and the swaying got worse until the derailment. Track for 500 feet had been torn up, along the course in which the cars had been swaying. Most of the passengers had been bound for the Sugar Bowl.

News sports writers Ray Howe and Furman Bisher, respectively with the U.N.C. and N.C. State squads at the Sugar Bowl in New Orleans and the Gator Bowl in Jacksonville, report on each team's upcoming games on New Year's Day, North Carolina to face Georgia and N.C. State to face Oklahoma.

Hopefully, neither will sway and derail, but, unfortunately, they may.

On the editorial page, "On Rights and Responsibilities" suggests that 1947 would be a year to try the souls of legislators. Troubles would multiply on the state level as Federal lawmakers sought ways to pare down Federal Government services to try to balance the budget, a prime objective of the new Republican Congress.

States' rights also implied state responsibility. North Carolina faced a problem with its school system, with a shortage of qualified teachers because of low salaries. Rejecting Federal aid to education for fear of its impingement on the freedom of the state to educate its children as it saw fit also depleted the state budget, kept the children educationally deprived—save perhaps on the principles of Lamarck, and the amoeba naturally seeking the light to survive.

A great period of progress had come in the state during the depth of the depression, when under the Administration of Governor O. Max Gardner, it became necessary to find more efficient ways of conducting the people's business.

The states had abandoned some of their powers in recent years, but only voluntarily, not by compulsion of the Federal Government. It quotes from The Shore Dimly Seen, by Governor Ellis Arnall, that the 48 states had the power to experiment, if infrequently undertaken. He cites the paucity of examples. including Georgia having placed education under the control of independent boards, free of control by either the Legislature or the Governor.

The piece suggests that North Carolina ought seek experiment in the field of education, and the answer lay in territory not yet explored fiscally.

On a more practical level, aside from fiscal contributions to education, Governor Terry Sanford inaugurated in 1963 one of the bolder new experiments in the field of education in North Carolina, one still extant, that being the North Carolina School of the Arts in Winston-Salem, a school the benefits of which redound not only to its students but to the community as a whole, even if a large part of it ignores and even resists its beneficial impact in favor of persistence in reactionary ways, bred of that very limited education received usually elsewhere than in Winston-Salem, though benefiting economically from its antecedent citizens who were.

To those latter, we intend to educate you whether you like it or not. It is a threat. You will learn.

"Christmas Present for Kilroy" comments on Kilroy, the Great American Myth bred by the war and the signature of the GI left behind. It was inevitable that a host of persons claiming to have originated the idea should have appeared on the scene. The putative title-holder, however, was James J. Kilroy of Halifax, Mass, even if the piece doubts the authenticity of his contention. For if he were genuine, his first name should have been Joe, without any middle initial.

The Boston Elevated Railway, nevertheless, was promoting his claim as accurate by presenting to Mr. Kilroy an abandoned trolley car in which he could house six of his nine children, the remaining three still to be left under the care of relatives.

It concludes that the obvious presence of Kilroy in so many washrooms across the land was because he had nowhere else to go.

"Freedom for Axis Sally" tells of the release of Mildred Gillars, the "Axis Sally" of the airwaves during the war, imprisoned for a year after being tried for sedition for her pro-Nazi propaganda. She had contended that her purpose had been to stop the war. She had broadcast to millions of soldiers on the front lines, seeking to make them homesick through American phraseology and playing of sentimental jazz. The Nazis believed that nostalgia was the best weapon to achieve their end of destabilization of the morale of the Allied fighting men.

The Americans became fond of her, to the point that during bombing missions, they would throw out bundles of American records for her to play. Her listeners did become homesick, but that longing for home only increased the will to fight to get back.

There were no desertions in response to Sally's entreaties.

So, it concludes that she perhaps should receive a medal for helping the Allied cause.

A piece from the Winston-Salem Journal, titled "A System of Junior Colleges", comments on the plan in Charlotte to expand the temporary extension college for veterans into a permanent junior college as adjunct to the public school system. The proposal had state-wide implications. The state was badly in need of junior colleges to enable those high school graduates who wanted higher education to obtain it.

Drew Pearson comments on his Christmas Day column, (not present here because The News did not publish that day), in which he had compared America in 1946 with Palestine in 1 A.D. While not a pretty picture, some progress was being made toward brotherhood in the world, as in the case with Russia during the previous year.

A year earlier, Secretary of State Byrnes had been in Moscow pleading with Prime Minister Stalin and getting nowhere. A year earlier, the fledgling U.N. was anything but united; it now stood much closer. Compared to the period after World War I, when there had been race riots in East St. Louis and Washington, progress had been made on the home front as well.

He opines that if man, however, had adopted the Christian code of behavior, Western civilization would have been very different from what it was in 1946. Recently, a representative for the National Association of Manufacturers had suggested that employers needed to take into account the dignity of the American working man and recognize his freedom of choice, a bold statement from an organization not known for its liberalism.

The dignity of man was also embraced by Judaism and Chinese philosophy, both of which preceded Christianity. The belief in that basic dignity of man in all phases of his endeavor slowly brought civilization to the world. But it was difficult to measure such progress. The elimination of slavery was one element, of sweat shops, another. The Triangle Fire in New York City in 1911 had precipitated the case which wound its way to the Supreme Court and eliminated the sweat shop from American life.

Hitler's greatest mistake, suggests Mr. Pearson, was that he had denied the dignity of man. Christ had taught that Man was the Son of God, had fallen into evil but was still the Son of God. Hitler had taken Man as merely the brightest of the beasts, and that, as in the jungle, it was the lot of men with power to lord over other men of less political weight to achieve an end desired by the potentate.

He wonders thus whether Germans, returning to popularity on the world stage, had learned the lesson that mere efficiency was of no moment without concomitant respect for the dignity of man and vigilant responsibility to that concept.

The "eye for an eye doctrine" of the Old Testament, which Christ rejected, still survived in many, though no longer sanctioned by Western law. "Thou shalt not kill" still had a long way to go in civilization before being realized. It was now accepted practice to care for the enemy wounded in battle, and there was at least exhibited a conscience about inflicting war indiscriminately on a population, such that the aged and children were killed along with the enemy. No longer was it a policy to enslave and torture a captured population, as had Hitler's armies.

He had raised on Christmas the question whether, if Christ were alive, he would be crucified again in modern times. He had ventured that man would not again torture his body to death, as civilization had progressed beyond that point, as with the tolerance shown by the U.S. courts to Jehovah's Witnesses and to American Communists. But crucifixion through "ridicule, apathy, and unreasoning prejudice" was another method by which the result could be accomplished in modern society. And it was the greatest danger of the age.

Man in his rise to civilization—raising to mind the cyclical trend enunciated by Oswald Spengler—may have reached the point when organized labor and organized capital, if pitted against one another, could destroy a way of life domestically, and when the weapons of war, advanced into the nuclear age, could wipe out all of civilization—returning man thus to the jungle state in which brute force would reign.

He concludes that the greatest need was the spirit of Christ in every citizen.

"No, Christ would not be crucified were He to come again. The danger is that we would turn to the comic page or go to the movies."

Marquis Childs comments on the publicity being given by the White House to Clark Clifford, legal adviser to President Truman, that nothing had been seen like it since the early days of the New Deal. It had the earmarks of a publicity campaign out of Hollywood, with which Washington had a degree of affinity.

Mr. Clifford, opines Mr. Childs, was handsome enough to have been a star in Hollywood, the chief impression which he had imparted to his classmates at Washington University in St. Louis, expressing surprise at his rapid rise to a position of considerable influence.

Mr. Clifford described himself as a liberal, but that freewheeling word could mean anything or nothing. Some viewed his liberalism as corresponding to the fiscal conservatism of Senator Harry Flood Byrd of Virginia.

Mr. Clifford had claimed not to have anything to do with the removal of controls on housing, which had led to the resignation of Wilson Wyatt, Housing Expediter. But Mr. Wyatt and his supporters believed that Mr. Clifford had a lot to do with the decision. They saw him as pressing the President into an increasingly conservative and cautious position generally.

The exalted place he now held in the Administration could also backfire on Mr. Clifford, as had occurred to Tommy Corcoran under President Roosevelt. Mr. Corcoran had reportedly become close friends with Mr. Clifford.

The State of the Union message was being prepared in part by Mr. Clifford in consultation with the President. He would therefore receive, rightly or wrongly, part of the credit or blame for its direction.

Samuel Grafton tells of Senator Joseph Ball of Minnesota seeking to make the Wagner Act fairer to employers by proposing to allow employers, after a certain duration of a strike, to fire the striking employees and start anew. But such a logical amendment would not be sufficient to address the problem attendant labor-management relations through time, requiring instead an artist's technique to resolve the human dilemma thus posed.

Under the Ball proposal, an employer in a one-company town could wield enormous power by chilling strikes with such an instrument at its disposal, especially as a deadline approached for implementing the firing provision. It might also prolong strikes, enabling the employer deliberately to wait out submission of the union.

A minority within the National Association of Manufacturers wanted the Wagner Act, the Norris-La Guardia Act, barring injunctions against strikes, and the Wage & Hour Act thrown out completely. If it were to occur, the gift to employers could be menacing by the fact of employee rebellion in its face. A presidential candidate of the party responsible for such a bill would also face trouble attracting votes from labor.

The president of the New York Stock Exchange, Emil Schram, had warned the previous week at a Texas luncheon against going too far with the overhaul of the labor laws, that it would produce in the end a government even more sympathetic to labor.

A piece by William R. Bradford, Jr., from the Fort Mill Times, tells of a firecracker kid who operated 30 to 35 years earlier. He had climbed onto the roof of a Fort Mill building which presently served as the Masonic Lodge, Mills Hardware, and Martin Drug Store, started throwing firecrackers into Confederate Park, drawing police attention, at which point, he bounded onto another rooftop, and from there sent another firecracker onto Main Street.

As the cops went to Main, the firecracker kid retreated to the Confederate Park side of the buildings, dropping another between the monuments. He continued the practice half the night without being discovered, until running out of ammo, then went home—maybe to Oak Cliff.

Another person had brought up a time when Cliff McElhaney had emptied a black cafe by carrying a fake firecracker big enough to transport under his arm into the establishment, acting drunk as he went. He sat down at the counter, placed the large firecracker in front of him, then took out a match, struck it, and touched it to the fuse. A commotion then commenced, and within two seconds, the place was empty of patrons. Mr. McElhaney had then picked up his firecracker and left.

On another occasion, a wagon wheel hub was converted to a cannon by being filled with powder and set off in front of the Presbyterian Church, breaking several windows.

Twenty years earlier, dynamite was tied to a tree and detonated on the church lawn, breaking hundreds of window panes in the neighborhood.

On other occasions, a portable cannon in Confederate Park was pulled to different locations in Fort Mill and fired in the middle of the night, scaring many citizens out of bed.

W. T. Bost of the Greensboro Daily News provides a piece which begins by quoting Fats Waller: "One never know, do one?"

He then explores the political paths of former Governor J. Melville Broughton and William B. Umstead, just made Senator-designate after the death of Senator Josiah W. Bailey two weeks earlier. Mr. Umstead preferred to run for the gubernatorial nomination in 1948 but had been slow to announce, and now found himself Senator. Former Governor Broughton had, in 1940, after receiving the Democratic gubernatorial nomination, made his campaign manager, E. B. Denny, a North Carolina Supreme Court Justice in 1946, the state Democratic Party chairman, replacing Gregg Cherry, the present Governor who appointed Mr. Umstead to the Senate, a position desired by former Governor Broughton.

He concludes, "Verily one never know, do one?"

Parenthetically, we note that the line actually was, "One never knows, do one?"

The subsequent history of the two Senate seats and the Governor's office would underscore the notion, beset, as we have indicated, with a chain of deaths through 1958, when Senator Kerr Scott, former Governor, whose son, Robert Scott, would become Governor in 1969, died in office, succeeded by B. Everett Jordan. The other seat had been more stable, with only the death in 1954 of Senator Clyde Hoey, who had won the seat in 1944 after Senator Robert Rice Reynolds—presumptive heir to the Hope Diamond until his wife, Evalyn Walsh McLean, daughter to the owner of the diamond, bearing the same name, in song and story, suddenly died a few months earlier in 1946—, as the party machinery had forced him effectively not to seek re-election. Sam J. Ervin, in 1954, a North Carolina Supreme Court Justice, now, in 1946, ending his year as Congressman after being appointed to fulfill the term of his brother Joe, who had committed suicide on Christmas Day, 1945, was appointed to the seat of Senator Hoey.

And the rest, as they say...

Herblock.. ..

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