The Charlotte News

Saturday, December 28, 1946


Site Ed. Note: The front page reports that Bernard Baruch gave warning anew to the U.N. Atomic Energy Commission that the United States would not yield in its position that the atomic secret could not be revealed until it was determined that the veto on the Security Council would not apply to enforcement of the proposed arms limitation agreement. The Commission had until Monday to render a decision, at which point the Security Council would convene. Soviet delegate to the Commission meetings, Dr. S. P. Alexandrov, had abstained on all votes, suggesting that the Soviets would not support the matter before the Security Council, likely exercising their veto. Andrei Gromyko remained absent from the Commission meetings, having asserted earlier that he wanted more time to study the proposal before it came to a vote.

A TWA Constellation, en route from New York to Paris, had crashed in Ireland, two miles from Shannon Airport at Rineanna, Eire, killing twelve passengers and injuring eleven. Survivors stated that there was no apparent trouble as the plane prepared for landing in fog and drizzling rain. An explosion had been seen at the time of impact of the plane with the ground.

An American Airlines plane en route from Buffalo to Chicago crashed in International Friendship Gardens east of Michigan City, Ind., killing the pilot and co-pilot and injuring nineteen passengers. The passenger compartment was separated from the pilots' cabin and tail sections during the crash, accounting probably for the survival of the passengers.

In Paris, General Charles De Gaulle announced that he was not running as a candidate for the presidency of the Fourth Republic, to be determined by the Assembly on January 16 or soon thereafter. He said that he did not think it a good idea to "preside with impotence over the impotence of the state", believing the new Constitution gave too much power to the legislative branch, leaving emasculated the executive.

Senator Homer Ferguson of Michigan stated that a majority of the ten members polled off the War Investigating Committee had approved a report criticizing Senator Theodore Bilbo for his conduct with regard to war contracts and receipt of money from the war contractors for his 1940 campaign. The committee would be unable to meet the following week, meaning that it would not be able to conduct further business until after the new Congress convened, before Senator Bilbo would take his oath. It was more likely that Senator Bilbo could be ousted by a Republican majority of the Senate than the current Democratic majority in any event.

Carroll Reece, chairman of the RNC, rejected a proposal by former Minnesota Governor Harold Stassen to have the RNC sponsor Republican forums which Mr. Stassen had formed the previous April to develop potential planks for the 1948 Republican platform. Mr. Stassen said that the fora would nevertheless continue—in florid, but useless prose.

In Glasgow, Mo., five of 17 passengers aboard a bus were killed when the swaying rear end of a truck tore open a large hole in the side of the bus as the two vehicles crossed a bridge.

At Auburn, N.C., eight miles from Raleigh, a Southern Railway freight train collided head-on with an eastbound passenger train as both trains were slowing to a stop, each traveling between five and six miles per hour at the time. The crew of the freight train, with the exception of the brakeman, jumped free of the collision. The passenger train carried 22 passengers, none of whom were killed.

In Moscow, Izvestia disclosed that Soviet scientists had developed a test by which cancer could be determined from radiation of ultra-violent waves applied to a drop of blood.

In Philadelphia, a belt of a silk negligee saved a 32-year old woman from falling from an eleventh-floor ledge of the Drake Hotel. She had fallen through a closed window, trying, she said, to throw a glass through what she thought was the open window, at which point she lost her balance. The belt caught on a hook.

Whether the glass contained a ceramic olive which had previously served as one of her eyes through which the hook went, was not told.

In Shanghai, a four-year old boy had survived one of the three crashes of planes carrying passengers to Shanghai from Chungking in the fog on Christmas night. He had been found asleep in the wreckage nineteen hours after the crash, which had killed 33 of the plane's 38 passengers, including the boy's mother. In all, 72 had thus far died in the three crashes. The crashes were likely caused, according to Chinese Government officials, by inadequate facilities for landing in inclement weather.

In Hollywood, Rita Hayworth was sent home with the flu and a fever of 103, shutting down production on "The Lady from Shanghai", being filmed with her husband, Orson Welles, who was also directing the picture.

Film publicist Robert Taplinger was freed from a Federal contempt citation arising from his failure to appear in the case of Charles Vidor v. Harry Cohn, a contract suit. The process server had failed to offer him his witness fees.

Rising young actor Burt Lancaster, having made his film debut in "The Killers" in August, 1946, was heading to Yuma, Arizona, to be married to Norma Anderson, a USO entertainer during the war.

Don Ameche had his car stolen.

Producer Arnold Pressburger wanted the Los Angeles County Superior Court to issue an order that Hedy Lamarr appear in his picture within three months after she gave birth to a child she was expecting in March. Ms. Lamarr had sought rescission of the contract based on her inability to perform—undoubtedly by supervening cause, an Act of God.

Ida Lupino publicly implored thieves to return a radio, perfume, and other items stolen from her car on Christmas Eve, as they were presents from the crew of her current film, presumably the "The Man I Love" or "Deep Valley".

Ella Raines

Glenn Langan had his pocket picked, losing $60, his draft card and a contract.

It's all very terrible. At least no one was killed.

Heavy snow, strong winds, and freezing rain extended over a large section of the country, as a new wave of cold hit parts of the Midwest and moved eastward. Traffic was slowed in the North Central and New England states, as well in New York and Pennsylvania, the result of snow and freezing rain. In Chicago, the previous day's temperature of 60 degrees was the warmest on record for the date, though overnight it had precipitously dropped to freezing, and was expected to reach 5 above zero by this day's night.

On the editorial page, "The Travesty in Georgia" discusses the difficulties in that state in selecting a new Governor to replace deceased Governor-elect Eugene Talmadge. The Legislature wanted to elect his son and campaign manager, Herman Talmadge, future Senator and eventual member of the Senate Select Committee on Watergate in 1973.

Governor Ellis Arnall, the incumbent, believed that he had the right to remain as Governor until a new Governor was determined, had agreed to yield the office to the new lieutenant governor but not to Herman Talmadge. Lieutenant Governor-elect, M. E. Thompson, believed that he had the right to assume the office.

Herman Talmadge, aware that his father's health was failing, had reportedly asked his political henchmen to write in his name on the ballots of the general election, to provide a theoretical case to the Legislature that he should succeed his father.

But it was said that Charles Trippi, All-American football player at the University of Georgia, might have received even more write-ins than Herman Talmadge.

The whole matter, it concludes, was "bitter fruit of limited democracy" in Georgia.

"Whistle Around the Bend" finds dissent among Republicans as to who would assume party leadership, bound to be pleasing to Democrats, relieved of that responsibility for the first time in 16 years.

Congressman Clarence Brown of Ohio was contesting for the House leadership, stating that he was being thwarted by supporters of Governor Thomas Dewey. Clare Hoffman of Michigan also found problematic the Dewey supporters, stating that the people were tired of being bossed around. He had promised to serve as a "steam whistle" to warn his fellow Republicans when they were getting off the track. The piece thinks it a valuable role and one which promised that he would be heard whistling repeatedly before the 1948 elections.

"As a matter of fact we seem to hear a faint hooting around the bend right this minute."

"A Man Who Lived Up to His Nose" comments on the passing of W. C. Fields on Christmas Day. He had grown his enormous nose long before discovering alcohol, and then, finding its putative source pleasing to Vaudeville audiences, sought to live up to the reputation it had afforded him. To what degree his actual imbibing was fact and what portion, fiction, was to be left to historians to determine. It suggests Gene Fowler, who had written a good biography on John Barrymore, for the task.

But, it opines, drunk or sober, he was one of the funniest men who had ever lived, an artist in the cause of making people laugh, producing laughter even when scripts were poor. It hopes that if his portrait were to be hung at The Lambs in New York, it would be done in the vein of Wilkins Micawber, a role Mr. Fields had once played. As a pantomimist, he became the greatest comedian of his time, not excepting Charlie Chaplin. Even at death, he was reported to have been pantomiming with the nurses and making them laugh.

The pool routine, it suggests, was one of his funnier entanglements, later incorporated into one of his movies.

His stature in the area of comedy was unlikely to be surmounted in the future, any more than it had been in the past.

Drew Pearson examines, as had Harold Ickes two days earlier, the appointment of Frank Creedon as Housing Expediter, finding him, as did Mr. Ickes, an unwise choice for his background. In his former post as deputy director of the Civil Production Administration, he had given priority to the construction of theaters, including a Columbus, O., burlesque show, and other such non-essential projects while veterans housing went wanting.

One such project was the Burger Brewing Co. of Cincinnati, which had sought a permit for an addition the previous August. The project required the razing of 58 tenement houses and displacement therefore of several hundred people. The local CPA had thus rejected the application for a building permit. After being initially rejected by CPA in Washington, the decision was overturned at the behest of Mr. Creedon, a decision bitterly protested by the local Cincinnati Housing Committee.

He next provides notes from inside the Ku Klux Klan in Atlanta, that the Klan Klaimer klaimed that the mole of Mr. Pearson within the Klavern had been ferreted out and banished, that Herman Talmadge had suggested that the Klan seek radio time to refute Mr. Pearson, thought improvident by the Grand Dragon while "the heat" was on the organization.

The Grand Dragon announced a Khristmas Party at which the Klavern would be divided into two halves, the Bumble Bees and the Yellow Jackets, names presumably derived in some fancy from the concept of the WASP, not Georgia Tech. Each side was to provide the other a present costing not more than 50 cents.

The Grand Dragon also appointed a committee to investigate one Klansman for allowing his children to wear his white robe on the streets, "dragging the proud robe in the dust of humility."

Someone had entered the Klan robe room with a pass key and the horror which had then rippled through the Klavern caused an investigation to determine if anything was missing, tearing up jack in the process. Mr. Pearson pleads not guilty.

John L. Lewis had been called the greatest oil salesman in history because railroads had been forced to convert to oil, that is diesel locomotives, for lack of coal during the coal strikes. The result ultimately would be costly to the union and the coal industry generally.

Marquis Childs comments on the assumption at the start of the new year of control by the U. S. Atomic Energy Commission, (not to be confused with the U.N. Atomic Energy Commission), of atomic energy plants, the stockpile of atomic weapons, and all secrecy surrounding the production of nuclear energy. The Commission's five members would undertake enormous responsibilities, the like of which had never been undertaken by such a body. The Commission had been finally appointed by the President late in the game, after passage of 17 months since the first atomic bombs were dropped on Japan, complicating its task.

The Commission would need to hire its staff, with the concomitant need for extensive FBI background checks, to find, short of a robot, some Sir Galahad with sterling character and background. Trying to find a general manager at $15,000 per year in salary would prove especially difficult as someone with such expertise required for the position normally drew a much higher salary in the private sector. Such a person would have to be possessed of idealism usually found in progressive circles, causing the FBI scrutiny to be the more intense. The chairman of the Commission, David Lilienthal, for years head of TVA, could be such a person.

More difficult would be to sort out some of the commitments from the past, the link to Canada and Great Britain in production of the bomb, which had inevitably entailed sharing of the nuclear secret. Science was continually moving forward to make new discoveries, one of which was said to be as revolutionary as atomic fission itself, presumably in reference to use of nuclear fusion to produce a device, to become the hydrogen bomb five years later.

Samuel Grafton discusses the past decade of change, producing in 1945 a Socialist Government in Britain, a choice from across the political spectrum facing France, presently led by Socialist Leon Blum in the interim Government, the deposition of the monarchy in Italy, with the country also facing a showdown on selection of a new Government, and Czechoslovakia having nationalized much of its industry. In America, the post-war pent-up demand from the war and growing pains resulting from it had produced a number of strikes.

The latter development had to be maintained in perspective, not as a sudden fire in a nightclub but rather "as a dim, outer-edge reflection of a world disturbance." The National Association of Manufacturers, appalled that three times as many strikes had occurred in the decade since passage of the Wagner Act than in the prior decade, wanted it to be abolished. But the better answer was for the world not to have had such a decade as had preceded, with its war and displacement of the working population either into service or war factories. This tripling of strikes was simply a social price of the decade. An attempt to return to conservatism would not erase that impact.

America had come through the war with its chattels and land intact, unlike the war-torn areas of Europe, Russia, and the Pacific. It was only fair that it pay a moderate fee in increased standard of living for workers and former servicemen for having done so. The Republican victory in November, leading the victors to reposit confidence again in a return to conservatism, was "to wonder what sort of eventless cradle-rest they regard as normal and satisfactory on this liquidly heaving planet."

It should be noted that, as the Republicans would quickly find out in their rush to change things, the anti-Communist drive, the effort to restrict union power, this mandate which they believed they had received in the election had largely been the result of apathy and confusion on the part of the electorate, not knowing where it wanted to go after the war, finally throwing up its hands, more or less, wanting some change from the seeming stasis, Congressional deadlock, and inability of the President to get around it, which had pervaded during the year after the war ended. It was not, obviously, a conservative mandate, as the Republicans would be as resoundingly defeated in 1948 as they had resoundingly won in 1946.

Yet, despite that loss, they would insist for decades, even unto the present day, on being a party of conservatism rather than a moderate alternative. The United States was not founded as a conservative republic, but rather as a liberal, even radical, society, founded in revolution, and, ideally, persisting in it, within the non-violent framework accorded by the Constitution, when working properly and not hijacked by conservative jackasses seeking to lord over the rest of us.

A piece from Fortune comments on figures adduced by William Dugan of the Wall Street firm of Laidlaw & Co., showing that Americans were worse off in buying capacity in 1946 than in 1940, at least among those who earned more than $2,000 per year, increasingly so, the more one earned. A person earning $100,000 per year, was left with $36,873 after taxes in 1946, compared to $56,524 in 1940, with an effective buying capacity of $29,498 in 1946 when adjusted for inflation against 1940.

Time to tighten the belt, Mr. Luce, and observe reality.


Framed Edition
[Return to Links
Page by Subject] [Return to Links-Page by Date] [Return to News<i><i><i>--</i></i></i>Framed Edition]
Links-Date -- Links-Subj.