Wednesday, May 8, 1946

The Charlotte News

Wednesday, May 8, 1946


Site Ed. Notes: The front page reports that Senator Harry Flood Byrd of Virginia had asked the Senate to take action to prohibit the UMW from obtaining a demanded ten-cent royalty payment from the mine owners for each ton of coal mined, which was to be contributed to a fund controlled by the union for the health and safety of the miners. Senator Byrd proposed that the Case bill which had passed the House and was pending in the Senate be amended to include the provision. There had already been some speculation that the royalty would be illegal under the Wagner Act, which prohibited any form of contribution to a union by management.

There was still no sign of progress in bridging the impasse between John L. Lewis and the mine owners after 38 days since the start of the strike.

It was reported that the Government mediator had proposed that the owners would pay back wages for four holidays since the previous August, which the owners believed were not required overtime after the President repealed a wartime order making holidays count as overtime. In exchange for that, Mr. Lewis was to state his demands with specificity, which he had thus far refused to do until the owners agreed to the retroactive pay for the holidays.

There were positive hints of possible resolution of the Westinghouse strike of 75,000 workers which was in its 114th day, the longest since the end of the war.

The Senate rejected a proposal to require Britain, in exchange for the 3.75 billion dollar loan, to cede to the United States title to Atlantic military bases established by the U.S. during the war, and on which the country held 99-year leases. Senate Majority Leader Alben Barkley had predicted that were the proposal to pass, the loan would be defeated quickly thereafter.

The world observed the first anniversary of V-E Day this date. John Hightower of the Associated Press reported, however, that peace had yet to be restored, with the foreign ministers conference in Paris making little progress toward settlement of the peace treaties for the Balkans and Italy, the Chinese Communists and Government forces of Chiang still fighting a civil war in Manchuria, and the situation in Palestine under tension over the prospect of 100,000 Jewish immigrants. The only area of common agreement between the four major powers was on their dislike of Franco in Spain. There was widespread belief that the conference would wind up splitting Europe for a long time to come.

At the Paris conference, Secretary of State Byrnes recommended that the burden for settling the boundary issues be transferred to a 21-nation peace conference set to convene in Paris on June 15. The British and French supported the proposal but V.M. Molotov of Russia wanted time to consider it.

In New York, Andrei Gromyko once again boycotted the U.N. Security Council meeting as it took up the Iranian case which had been postponed for further report on April 4, to determine whether Russian troops were evacuating as agreed. The Iranian delegate told the Council that four provinces had been cleared of Russian troops, but he had not been able to confirm whether Azerbaijan was being evacuated.

King Ibn Saud of Saudi Arabia described the Anglo-American Palestine Committee recommendation on Jewish immigration as a betrayal and that if implemented, there would be serious trouble. He believed that the Jewish settlement problem was one which should be shared by all the nations.

The five-part series of Atlanta Constitution editor Ralph McGill, printed in The News during April, appeared to have had little impact on the Arab world. He had found in his tour of Palestine that there was plenty of arable land which was unused and could serve as a Jewish settlement for all of the million displaced persons of Europe, that Jewish settlement thus far in Palestine, comprised mainly of highly educated persons, had improved the level of farming and could act as a beneficial teacher to the peasant population.

Ohio Democrats nominated interim appointee Senator James Huffman for a full term, against the wishes of the CIO PAC. He would face former Governor and vice-presidential candidate in 1944, John W. Bricker, in the general election. It was the lightest turnout in an election in Ohio in recent years.

Harold Ickes, in his column, discusses the decision of Secretary Byrnes to reverse himself on establishing a separate intelligence division within the State Department and instead dividing up the work between five old divisions.

An unsubstantiated charge out of the House Military Committee had it that there were fifteen pro-Soviet sympathizers within the Department, each of whom had been brought allegedly to it by Col. Alfred McCormack, appointed originally by Mr. Byrnes to head the intelligence unit, resigned in disgust after its dismemberment. Col. McCormack had met the charges head-on and proved them false.

Mr. Ickes found the alternative plan inadequate for national security. In the prewar years, correspondents were generally more informed about matters of national security than were diplomats within the State Department. Assistant Secretary James Dunn, not particularly distinguished in his abilities, was almost solely responsible as the gate through which all information to the Secretary was filtered. The result was that thorough examination of the newspaper could lead to a more thorough understanding of the world situation than that had by the Secretary of State.

Mr. Ickes suggests that the only reason Secretary Cordell Hull had retained Mr. Dunn was because of his skills at croquet, and there was no indication that Mr. Byrnes was a devotee of the game.

As recorded at Fordham University in New York, somewhere in the South Pacific, two more earthquakes of substantial magnitude took place.

William C. Barnard reports from Texarkana, Tex., of the fear instilled in the residents of Texarkana by the five murders which had taken place from gunfire since March 24. The previous Saturday night, the latest of the victims, a farmer, had been fatally shot through the window of his home while reading his newspaper. His wife, who would survive and live until 1994, was shot twice in the head at the same time, escaping the house through the front door before the killer had a chance to enter and finish her off. The killer's aim was so accurate that his four shots made only two bullet holes through the glass.

One assailant was believed responsible for all of the shootings. He carried a flashlight and left footprints but no other clues. Police believed that he was a "sex maniac". In two of the three cases in which the slayer had shot couples, the male was shot first, and all six victims had been shot in the head. Three of the victims had been teenagers.

The killer would never be caught. Be on the lookout. He goes by the moniker, "The Phantom". If someone introduces himself with that name, be calm and call the police immediately. Mention, in a low, mysterious, whispering voice, that he is likely the Texarkana killer from 1946.

He is still out there prowling, and you could be next.

On the editorial page, "The End of a War" provides, with a by-line, reflections on the end of the European war a year earlier, as seen firsthand at the battle front by former Lt. Col. Harry Ashmore, now Associate Editor of The News. The men of his regiment had known for days that the war was over. They had captured Dortmund in an afternoon with little or no resistance. Earlier, they had paid in such cities at the rate of six men per house captured, in block by block painful advance.

They had heard of the prematurely released story of the surrender, in the controversial announcement by A. P. correspondent Edward Kennedy. Finally, the official teletype came on the morning of May 7, setting the time for ending hostilities at a minute past midnight.

He provides a myriad of detail of the ensuing hours and celebrations, which included champagne, Scotch, cognac, bourbon, steaks, cigars, and the singing of songs, even the German marching tune "Lili Marleen".

At midnight, the members of his regiment spontaneously gathered in the street and fired their weapons into the air in one unified volley to signal the end of the war.

In hindsight, it was a foolish display, one skittish sentry, sent behind the lines for quiet duty, having been so alarmed by the fusillade that he had dropped to one knee and aimed his rifle at the men, as another sentry kicked the gun from his hands before he could fire it. The display, no matter how foolish, had been their version of Fourth of July fireworks in release of tension after so long being at attention in warfare.

Yet, after the emotional rush of initial celebration had passed, they realized that they would not likely be heading home anytime soon. The displaced persons and POW's before them presented an enormous task in itself. Nevertheless, they believed that the problems which lay ahead could not possibly be so difficult as those left behind in the war.

"We were past the cold, and the hunger, and the terrible weariness, and the sense of immediate personal danger, and that seemed to us monumental progress. Building, even building a whole new world, we thought, could not possibly be as hard as destroying the old world had been.

"Remembering that bright hope today, across twelve wasted months: I confess that I feel some of the bitterness I believed then I would never feel."

"The Pulitzer Committee's Wise Choice" finds the selection of Hodding Carter of the Greenville, Miss., Delta Democrat-Times for a Pulitzer Prize for editorial work to be an excellent award. Mr. Carter had been a campaigner against racial prejudice, both on the newspaper and in his books, Winds of Fear and Flood Crest. He was an opponent of Senator Theodore Bilbo and sought his defeat. He had previously opposed the late Governor and Senator Huey Long of Louisiana, Mr. Carter's home state.

Significantly, he had not shrunk from the task of voicing his opinions, which often were contrary to those of the people around whom he lived in Mississippi. It was an easier task to condemn racial inequality from outside the South than within it.

It should be noted that Hodding Carter III, former adviser to President Jimmy Carter, and also a journalist, is the son of Mr. Carter. Hodding Carter III took part in the Wake Forest University seminar on The Mind of the South of W. J. Cash on its fiftieth anniversary of publication, in February, 1991.

Hodding Carter II, the subject of the editorial, would live until 1972, and would be a strong supporter of President Kennedy, President Johnson, and the run for the presidency of Senator Robert Kennedy in 1968, having dinner with the Senator, his family, John Glenn, Rafer Johnson, and Roosevelt Grier on June 4, 1968, the night before the California primary, immediately after which Senator Kennedy would be mortally wounded. Mr. Carter had served as a speech writer for the campaign.

It should also be noted again that Harry Ashmore, after becoming editor of the Little Rock Gazette, would also, in 1958, win a Pulitzer Prize for editorial work helping to quell community disturbance regarding integration in 1957 of Central High School in Little Rock.

Drew Pearson compares America's worst traits a year after the war, greed and intolerance, to the fatal traits which destroyed Hitler and the Nazis and should have served as object lessons to Americans.

Greed thrived among lobbyists and black marketeers opposing and trying prematurely to dismantle price controls.

Intolerance, in the form of the Ku Klux Klan, had re-emerged after the war, beginning the previous October 10 when a fiery kross was burned on Stone Mountain in Georgia, near Atlanta, the KKK's national hindquarters. Five Klan Klapters had met regularly since that time, with one in Atlanta having weekly attendance of 150. Several kity policemen, kity officials, and other prominent kitizens reportedly had joined the Klavern in recent weeks.

Klan Klapters had opened in Knoxville, Maryville, Tenn., Birmingham, and Key West. Several krosses had been burned in Miami since V-J Day, but a vigorous expose by the Miami Herald had brought condemnation to the Klan from religious and civic leaders.

In Chattanooga, two Klan Klapters were meeting regularly, one of them led by J. B. Stoner, and had burned about ten krosses since the previous August. Unlike the other Klapters, this one was more biased against blacks than Jews and Catholics. Mr. Stoner had sent out postcards which carried a message designed to instill fear of a worldwide Zionist takeover of kivilization. A Jewish resident of Chattanooga had in March purchased a dry goods store in the nearby community of Red Bank, and the following day, March 5, five men wearing Klan regalia burned a kross across the street from the store, telling the woman that they did not want Jews in Red Bank. The woman sold the store the following day.

John L. Lewis demonstrated greed worthy of Hitler when he had refused to negotiate with the mine owners regarding a new contract until the claim for back pay for the four prior holidays was paid, and refused to submit to arbitration on the issue.

We conclude, after systematic, extensive systemic, epistemological study of the matter: Pilchard go well with crackers, even in Georgia.

J. B. Stoner, incidentally, was convicted in 1977 for bombing of the Bethel Baptist Church in Birmingham on June 29, 1958, and served a third of his ten-year sentence before release on good-time credits. Sometime after the 1969 guilty plea of James Earl Ray, Mr. Stoner served as Mr. Ray's attorney, and was, himself, informally implicated in the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King, though no concrete evidence of his participation was ever discovered. He also ran in the race for Governor of Georgia against Jimmy Carter in 1970, attempting to assume the mantle of segregationist Governor Lester Maddox and become Grand Kopper Kleagle Klucker.

Marquis Childs reports that Democratic National Committee chairman Robert Hannegan was meeting on strategy for the fall campaign with Sidney Hillman of the CIO PAC, reports to the contrary notwithstanding.

Overall, despite recent troubles with Southern Democrats, Mr. Hannegan was doing well with the DNC, bringing in large contributions from successful Jackson Day dinners throughout the country. He believed that Democrats could successfully exploit opposing public opinion to Republican stances on price control and housing for veterans.

Despite rumors of a Democratic purge of those members of Congress working against the President's program, Mr. Hannegan had not fostered such talk, and in only one instance was the DNC preparing to try to defeat a Democrat, in the race of Congressman Roger Slaughter from the President's home district in Missouri. His opposition to such matters as the Fair Employment Practices Bill, when the President had recommended him as a friend to work on the powerful Rules Committee, had worked as a stab in the back to the President. Mr. Slaughter had also stirred dissent regarding the letter sent by the DNC to local party chairmen recommending that they select "proper candidates" for the primary elections. The PAC was supporting his opponent in the primary.

Samuel Grafton, still in Manteo, N.C., tells of Roanoke Island on which Manteo is situated, a bridge from the island leading to a sandy peninsula much like the island, but Roanoke, having defied the bridge, remained, emotionally, very much an island. The visitor obtained the initial impression that Manteo residents knew little of the world, but became quickly disabused of the notion, to the point of conclusion that Manteoans were more world-wise than New Yorkers.

For virtually any resident of Manteo knew which way the wind was blowing on a given day, how the sunset weather would affect moody channel bass, or, via advice gleaned from a bellhop, when best to plant collard greens between cabbages so that they might fully ripen in the summer sun.

You could please a Manteoan by handing him on the street a 50-lb. channel bass to call his own. A New Yorker, by contrast, would likely scream and call the police were you to walk up to one on the street and present a 50-lb. fish. By comparison to the average Manteoan, the average New Yorker appeared quite oblivious to the natural world around him.

"So the thing about small places like Manteo is not the tragedy of ignorance, for there is no ignorance where men have long known everything they have needed to know to live on their own particular plane of reality. The tragedy (if there be one) is that it is becoming increasingly difficult to live on that plane. For another kind of reality, which could be called political reality, begins to overwhelm physical reality, and control over life slips oddly loose."

Dare County found that 300 former service men would rather live on their allotments of $20 per week than take the modest jobs available, the Government checks being "an upsetting visitation, stranger in some ways than the annual arrival of the channel bass, who come in the Spring."

For a little while, it was more important for these young men to know from whence the postman came than the winds, not dissimilar to the fishermen who had forsaken their smart truck gardens for fast boats in which to guide the tourists to catch the channel bass.

Some young men joined the Coast Guard or other forms of Government service.

Inflation would impact Roanoke Island drastically, more so than the riptides or eddies from the sea, making it no longer sufficient merely to understand the natural realities, as the political realities would inevitably intrude. In Manhattan, "to be able to put one's nose in a newspaper and see how the conservative bloc in Congress is blowing becomes more imminently practical than to be able to stand on a hill and read tomorrow in the moon and clouds."

"The other reality slowly rises to its muzzy, enveloping triumph. And it is not without meaning that to this place, where earth and high water stand naked, men now come, not to see reality, but for a day or a week or a month, to escape it."

A letter from an Army colonel promotes the educational benefits under the G.I. bill to be derived from a hitch in the Army and asks that would-be volunteers not be biased against joining the Army either by the publicity surrounding the alleged caste system between officers and enlisted men or alleged inadequacies in the system of military justice, both of which were under investigation, until such time as those investigations were complete.

The editors state their agreement with the colonel.

A letter writer says that by sending all the country's groceries to the Germans and Japanese, the way was being prepared for World War III. He favored letting them fend for themselves or starve. Black markets in food would lead, he says, to World War III. There was big money in the UNRRA.

"Even if a few thousand of them fellows starve it may teach the remainder not to start a war so quick, expecting us to feed them after they starved and mutilated our boys that were captured, and besides the ones that starve to death now are the ones we won't have to fight later on."

He favors building up a strong military and not sending any aid to Britain either.

The editors note that they wished it appeared so simple as it did to the author of the letter.

A young letter writer is troubled by the opposition to OPA and the argument that eliminating controls would work to increase production, which in turn would act as a curb to inflation by affording competition. She finds that instead strikes would be produced as the inflationary spiral would lead to higher prices on consumer goods, causing labor to demand higher wages, and thus, ultimately, production would be stifled. She urges others of her generation to write to Congress regarding OPA.

And do not neglect her wise advice. Your future may well depend on it.


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