Saturday, March 2, 1946

The Charlotte News

Saturday, March 2, 1946


Site Ed. Note: Following three consecutive days of more extensive front page coverage devoted to one story originating locally than any since the onset of the war, the front page reports that the Taylor family, with their four-year old daughter, returned from Washington aboard an Eastern Airlines plane following the young girl's abduction on Tuesday for two days by her 19-year old nursemaid, employed at the Taylor home for only a week. Both mother and daughter were airsick after a bumpy ride and the little girl therefore had nothing to say to the press who greeted them on arrival. She held one of her comic books, presumably Superman with the "wicked old witch" inside, which she had been viewing during the flight to distract from the plane's ups and downs. Dr. Taylor, her father, stated that she had opened up to him about the trip to Annapolis, that there was no soldier involved as the teenager, identified positively as Loretta Brozek of Omaha, Nebraska, had claimed to police, but had been entirely via bus.

Young Ms. Brozek, who had run away from her parents' home in Omaha in January and worked briefly in Shreveport, La., before coming to Charlotte, was scheduled to appear at an extradition hearing in Annapolis on Monday. It was still not determined whether she would face state or Federal kidnapping charges, the decision to be made after she returned to Charlotte.

Every cloud, however, has a silver lining. Had she stayed in Nebraska, it is always possible that, ten years hence, fate might have decreed a meeting with a certain notorious individual. Someone else had the dubious honor and spent long years in prison as a result.

If, incidentally, Ms. Brozek is still among the living, probably living under a different name anyway, we mean no offense and wish you well, realizing that this incident occurred when you were young and 67 years ago. The little girl seemed to have a good time, at least until the return flight met with bad weather, and that is to your credit.

We hope though that no other nursemaids adopt similar ideas. It is not good for your future resume.

In Bloomington, Indiana, two corpses were discovered the previous night, both murder victims, found in a pit at an abandoned limestone mill. The male had his head bashed in and the female had been strangled. They were unrelated, worked at different locations, and the motive for the murders therefore was left unclear. Footprints suggested two persons involved.

UMW head John L. Lewis gave thirty-days written notice to the Government of the intention of the union's 400,000 bituminous coal miners to strike regarding wages, hours, and other conditions. He asked that operators acquiesce to his request to meet at a March 12 conference to try to resolve differences. The new wage-price formula, he asserted, triggered a clause in the union contract allowing renegotiation of its terms. On the previous Wednesday, Marcus Childs had reported of the prediction by Chester Bowles to the President of this turn of events.

G.M. stated that it would not go above 18.5 cents as a wage increase and specifically rejected a UAW demand for a one-cent per hour "equalization fund" to balance inequities in pay.

The State Department formally condemned the actions of the Soviet Union in firing on Navy planes in two separate incidents, one in October and the other in February, off the coast of Manchuria in the area of Dairen and Port Arthur. The Soviets replied to an earlier condemnation of the October attack, that they had the responsibility to protect Port Arthur, which included firing on any unauthorized planes within 12 miles of the coast. The Navy stated that the attack had occurred when the plane was 25 miles at sea. It also asserted that, pursuant to the Russo-Chinese pact of the previous August, Dairen was supposed to be a free port, administered by China, with free access by all nations.

The Governments of the United States, Britain, and France were still trying to iron out an accord on condemnation of the Franco regime and encouraging of Spanish republican forces to overthrow him. The question remained as to which groups they would actively endorse for the purpose.

Hal Boyle, in Bombay, tells of his week-long experiment while staying at a hotel in New Delhi, testing the premise that the British would not speak to a stranger unless the stranger initiated the conversation. He dined with the 25 British patrons of the hotel, and despite the quietude of the dining room at meals, his quiet reticence resulted in no British extroversion extended his way. The characteristic foretold him was borne out by the experiment.

On the editorial page, "Notes on Happy Ending" praises the Charlotte Police Department and specifically Captain Frank Littlejohn for a tireless effort for two days in successfully leading the search for the missing Taylor girl. He had spread the word to police departments throughout the region and it was this effort which led to the discovery, after an employer in Annapolis realized from an afternoon newspaper that she had just employed the teenaged girl who was the abductor.

Some newspapers had refused to print the story as being in bad taste, but it was from those who had printed the story, including a false religious sacrifice story based on the inscription of "Danville and R." made by the teenager in her Bible between verses 18 and 19 of I Corinthians 10, that the girl was located. Had good taste prevailed, it remarks, she might not have been found for a much longer period of time.

"The Moral of the Stacks Case" regards the fatal shooting of the manager of the Barringer Hotel Garage, Troy Hunsucker, by house detective S. P. Stacks, claiming self-defense in assisting police to break up a liquor ring controlled by hotel employees. But the State alleged that Mr. Stacks had shot the victim as part of an argument in which Mr. Stacks sought participation in the liquor ring's profits.

Regardless, the killing dealt with the Charlotte bootleg liquor traffic. A half-dozen hotel employees admitted the presence of bootleg liquor at the hotel on the night in question, though denying involvement in it.

Some of the arresting officers testified that Mr. Stacks was drunk; others testified that he appeared sober at the time of arrest for the killing. The Police Chief confirmed that in fact Mr. Stacks was investigating the liquor trade ongoing at the hotel and was reporting to him regularly about it.

It concludes that with A.B.C. stores, as much alcohol might be consumed as under bootlegging, but at least it would be removed from the seedy atmosphere in which it presently was situated.

"Nose-Holding in Mooresville" comments favorably on the conclusion of The Mooresville Tribune that the people of North Carolina would be holding their noses while Senator Clyde Hoey voted in favor of the confirmation of Ed Pauley to be Undersecretary of the Navy, despite his oil holdings. Senator Hoey had expressed his intention in reply to an inquiry by The Tribune, explaining that he regarded Mr. Pauley as able and honest

The News agrees with the conclusion of The Tribune.

A piece from the Winston-Salem Journal, titled "The Bar Sinister", states that it held no brief for Congresswoman Clare Boothe Luce, that she was more charming and witty than wise. But, she had nevertheless made an interesting decision to leave Congress after 1946 based on her joining of the Catholic Church and desire not to have it interpreted as a political move to acquire votes in her home district in Connecticut, that the voters of her district likely would not vote for her anyway as a Catholic.

The Journal had assumed that anti-Catholic prejudice against politicians resided only in the South, but apparently Ms. Luce thought it also present in Connecticut. Most Americans had long before disabused themselves of the belief that Catholic office holders were trying to set up a Catholic hierarchy in America. So it was disturbing for Ms. Luce to have suggested a bar sinister to Catholics being elected to public office. If true, it was a trend dangerous to democracy to bar someone from holding office because of their religious beliefs.

We note that when Marcus Childs had discussed this issue on February 23, he had not so quoted Ms. Luce but told of her decision entirely on the basis of her not wanting to appear to be seeking votes.

In any event, the point is obviously well taken by the Journal. And certainly by 1960, with the election of John F. Kennedy as President, carrying in the process seven Southern states, including North Carolina, any vestiges of that notion in the nation had been fairly eradicated even if Senator Kennedy was asked about his religion on a few occasions during the campaign.

Drew Pearson tells of bitter political foes, Congressman Vito Marcantonio of New York and conservative Republican Clarence Brown of Ohio, making a friendly agreement based on their personal amity. Mr. Brown proposed that he would attack Mr. Marcantonio in his district provided Mr. Marcantonio would attack Mr. Brown in his district. That would assure both re-election. Mr. Marcantonio was said to be considering the proposal.

He next tells of a secret report of the War Department on the failure of de-Nazification in Germany. Many German "laborers" curiously had secretaries and stenographers. It enabled the Army to get around its rule prohibiting former Nazis in any role above laborer. The falsely categorized "laborers" were being placed in charge of large manufacturing plants.

Next, he reports that General Omar Bradley, head of the V.A., and its critic John Stelle, head of the American Legion, had at least partially repaired their differences following Mr. Stelle's attack on General Bradley and his short-lived directorship of the V.A. General Bradley had admitted that there had been a bottleneck in processing service records, holding up disability compensation. He also admitted that he had been hasty in charging Mr. Stelle with bitterness resultant of his failure to obtain V.A. approval for construction of a V.A. hospital in his home state of Illinois. General Bradley had changed his mind on this point.

Mr. Stelle had reminded General Bradley that what started the quarrel was General Bradley's turning down of an offer to sit on the Legion Advisory Committee.

General Bradley had told Mr. Stelle at the meeting that the best way to get things done was through cooperation and Mr. Stelle had agreed. But Mr. Stelle also complained that the V.A. had thus far been short on results.

Marquis Childs comments on speculation that former Vice-President and now Secretary of Commerce Henry Wallace would soon be leaving the Administration. He was the only remaining Cabinet-level holdover from the Roosevelt Administration, unless one counts Secretary of the Navy James Forrestal, who was appointed by FDR in May, 1944, to replace the deceased Frank Knox. Mr. Childs states that Mr. Wallace's character would mandate that he remain as long as he believed he could serve the common man. His intense desire to serve humanity required nothing less.

He got along well with President Truman but felt somewhat isolated as the lone remaining champion of New Deal policies. He had recently spoken before the CIO PAC at New Haven, Connecticut, and told them that business now saw an opportune time to try to curtail or abolish the reforms undertaken in the 1930's. The war boom had enabled business to have a campaign fund.

Business was trying to undermine the good work of TVA in order to block the proposal for a similar Missouri Valley Authority and other such regional flood control and hydroelectric power projects. Business was seeking to destroy completely the Rural Electrification Administration by undermining the cooperatives in various ways involving lowering of rates, split lines, and other such maneuvers to render the cooperatives uncompetitive and ineffective.

Business was also seeking changes in the holding-company act, despite a stock market boom resembling that of the 1920's, public utility stocks having risen 138 percent in 1945.

Mr. Wallace viewed it as his duty to remain in the fight for both TVA and REA and so would likely remain in the Government for awhile.

Samuel Grafton tells of the chairmanship of the Republican National Committee becoming vacant on April 1, as Herbert Brownell was stepping aside, and no liberal or Willkie one-worlder was being touted for the spot. The leaders of the party believed they could take the House in 1946 and the White House in 1948 and so wanted the leadership of the party. Only when they were ailing would they turn to a person such as the deceased Wendell Willkie.

Mr. Grafton posits, however, that the trend in thinking meant that the greater the chance of winning the election, the greater the tendency of the Republicans to put forth a candidate who could not sway the nation to his cause. The Midwesterners of the party seemed particularly anxious to race backward in time.

Mr. Brownell, future Attorney General under President Eisenhower, was leaving because of his having been Thomas Dewey's campaign manager in 1944 and his belief that the chairmanship ought rest with someone who was neutral, favoring no particular candidate.

Most of those thus far mentioned for the post were isolationists, such as former Connecticut Senator John Danaher, Werner Schroeder of Illinois, and Senator Kenneth Wherry of Nebraska. Such a situation could lead the party to nominate in 1948 fomer vice-presidential candidate in 1944 and former Ohio Governor John W. Bricker, when former Minnesota Governor Harold Stassen, a liberal, could conceivably win the general election.

Of course, the nominee would ultimately again be Governor Thomas Dewey, this time running with California Governor Earl Warren.

A letter writer urges the dry forces of Mecklenburg to field a Congressional candidate for the upcoming election and to get busy in defending their position against the wet forces bent on legalizing sale of liquor in the county. He states that the bootleggers obtained their liquor in South Carolina and then sold it in Charlotte. Thus, the legal availability of it allowed the bootleggers to exist.

Another letter on the subject thanks Burke Davis for his informative articles and states that she had lived in Raleigh for awhile where liquor sale was legal through A.B.C. stores and that it was much superior to the bootlegger system in Mecklenburg.

A letter writer thanks Harry Golden for hosting the dinner honoring Josephus Daniels for his faithful service to humanity. He agrees with the News editorial that Bernard Baruch, presenter of the award, could have as easily been the recipient. But he also asserts that for Brotherhood Week to be successful, it needed to reach out beyond Protestants, Jews, and Catholics, to Russians and Arabs, for example, and possibly expand to Brotherhood Year.

Incidentally, the team which almost became the team of destiny, the University of North Carolina 1945-46 edition, having finished the regular season 27-3, with only one loss in Southern Conference play, to Duke, 51-46, on January 9, a loss avenged in Duke Indoor Stadium on February 16, 54-44, before a crowd of 8,800, reputed to be the largest crowd ever to see a basketball game to that point in the South, and finishing as regular season champion of the conference, had lost to Wake Forest on Friday 31-29 in the semi-finals of the Southern Conference Tournament in Raleigh. That, despite having handily beaten Wake Forest in the regular season by 23 and 29 points, both fast-paced, high scoring affairs, 70-47 and 61-32. No matter: the N.C.A.A. Tournament, to begin in New York and Kansas City on March 21, was then by invitation only to eight teams, and Duke, with a 21-6 season record, led by John Seward, a former prisoner of war in Germany, while winning the Southern Conference Tournament, had finished second in the regular season conference standings with a record of 12-2. North Carolina was invited therefore to face N.Y.U. in the quarter-finals in Madison Square Garden. The finals would take place on March 26 in the Garden.

Other than Duke and Wake Forest, the only other losses thus far during the season by Ben Carnevale's team, which included John "Hook" Dillon, Bones McKinney, and Bob Paxton, had been to the Greensboro O.R.D. Army team, 64-63, a loss avenged on February 5, 74-39, and to Little Creek A.B., a Navy Air team in Virginia, 60-46, in the last game of the regular season.

Stay tuned. It will be exciting.

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