Wednesday, July 24, 1946

The Charlotte News

Wednesday, July 24, 1946


Site Ed. Note: The front page reports that the Baker Test, the second Bikini Atoll bomb, was set to be launched on time this date at 4:30 p.m., Washington time. Weather had cleared and permitted the test to go forward.

A strange control was placed on photojournalists such that they had to time their photographs on five-second intervals to coordinate with official Government and military photographers. Veteran public information officers admitted being baffled by the order, demanding split-second accuracy in snapping their photos of the Bikini Baker Test.

In Jerusalem, an intensive manhunt was underway for the responsible parties who had bombed the King David Hotel on Sunday, killing at least 53 people, including British officers and soldiers, with 72 still missing. Irgun Zvai Leumi, a Jewish terrorist organization, claimed credit for the bombing.

An unnamed Arab leader stated that if the British could not prevent such actions, then the Arabs would be forced to protect their own interests. The individual stated that it would be only a foretaste of what was to come under Zionism in Palestine.

A British white paper published intercepted telegrams of Jewish leaders in Palestine and accused David Ben-Gurion and Moshe Shertok, along with others, of coordinating armed attacks by three Jewish paramilitary organizations, which the paper deemed "illegal": Hagana, Irgun Zvai Leumi, and the Stern Gang.

According to Senator Owen Brewster of Maine, the War Investigating Committee had only begun to investigate the Illinois combine of 19 munitions companies under Government war contracts. They wanted income tax records of undisclosed figures from the combine and War Department help in investigating defective 4.2 mortar shells which had resulted in the deaths of American soldiers. The War Department indicated that it was preparing a report on the defective shells.

Senator Brewster said that, as the Washington operative of the Batavia-Erie Basin combine had testified that he carried around thousand dollar bills in his pocket, the committee wanted to track down the two billion dollars floating around within the combine during the war, implying that the money was used for bribes.

Senator Alben Barkley urged fellow Senators to quickly pass the OPA compromise bill, already passed by the House. White House press secretary Charles G. Ross promised quick action by the President once the bill emerged, not indicating, however, what the President would do. House Majority Leader John McCormack of Massachusetts predicted that the President would sign the measure.

OPA prepared for new life, pending signature of a new bill by the President.

The House declined in a voice vote to accept the Senate bill for terminal bonus pay to veterans in the form of bonds cashable in five years, preferring that cash be paid out to enlisted personnel, just as it was to officers. The bill would now be sent to conference for reconciliation.

Harold Ickes discusses the passage by the Senate of the bill to relinquish Federal assertion of rights to tidal oil lands, allowing the states to continue their practice of leasing the lands to private producers for a royalty. The House having already passed the bill, it would now go to the President who would assuredly veto it. He understood, says Mr. Ickes, that the national interest depended on having these offshore oil reserves in case of another war, that World War II had depleted by one-third the eighteen billion barrels of oil estimated to be in the reserves.

But, he also thinks it a good time to investigate the lobbying efforts by the oil industry, especially Standard Oil of California, exerted upon members of Congress to get this legislation passed. He reiterates that Senator Pat McCarran of Nevada, a state with no interest in these tidal lands, was the chief sponsor of the bill in the Senate.

Edwin Pauley, the nemesis of Mr. Ickes whose contentions against his claims regarding the offer to raise $300,000 for the Democrats in 1944 in exchange for dropping the Federal claim on the tidal lands had caused Mr. Ickes in February to resign his post as Secretary of Interior after 13 years, had raised a lot of money from oil producers during the campaign as DNC treasurer and it had gone to the coffers of many Congressional candidates. This "smelly" lobbying business, he urges, ought be thoroughly aired by Congress, with the aid of the FBI.

In Moscow, Pravda attacked J. Edgar Hoover and the FBI for the arrest in Portland in March of the recently acquitted Russian naval lieutenant, Nicolai Redin, who had been charged with espionage for receiving plans of a new destroyer tender from an American sailor. Terming the FBI as the American "secret police", Pravda claimed that there never had been a case against Comrade Redin. It claimed that in Gestapo-like manner, he was arrested off the streets, hurtled into an automobile, humiliated, and forced to remain semi-naked in a cold cell.

In Tehachapi, then the location of the California Women's Prison, the parole board determined from the indeterminate sentence pronounced against socialite Annie Irene Mansfeldt of San Francisco, that she would serve a seven-year term for the manslaughter conviction resulting from her killing Veda Martin, a nurse who had been sitting in a car with Ms. Mansfeldt's husband. Dr. Mansfeldt shortly afterward killed himself.

Another sweet love tale gone awry.

On the editorial page, "The Center Is Needed, Regardless" continues to gripe about the Medical Survey Board's recommendation to locate the new University medical School in Chapel Hill rather than Charlotte. It recapitulates ground already argued in several previous editorials regarding the merits of Charlotte geographically and in terms of the population served.

"A Note on Hats and Hoods" reports that Drew Pearson's crusade against the Klan, culminating in his Sunday broadcast via ABC to the nation from the steps of the Capitol in Atlanta, had aroused mixed reaction. The Winston-Salem Journal had found it to be a great sermon. The Asheville Citizen, however, thought the event overly commercialized, with Lee Hats being sold to the crowd by the company sponsoring the broadcast, that such an event would not save civil liberties.

Eel, "Lee" spelled backwards, not cabalistically O. H. Ee, had promoted the event with full-page ads in the New York Times, stating that Lee and ABC had insured Mr. Pearson's life for a million dollars. It seemed extravagant to Southern editors who had never been insured for a cent against Klan retaliation, despite active editorialization against it for many years.

Nevertheless, despite the extravagance, it welcomes Mr. Pearson and his sponsors to the cudgels against the Klan and suggests that, despite the childish approach, it might become the best means for defeating the organization. He was correct in asserting that the revitalization of the Klan in the late teens and twenties had begun in Georgia and then spread across the nation with a fury. It needed, this time, to be checked at its origins. Plainly, Governor-elect Gene Talmadge would not seek to inhibit the Klan. So, outside interference was requisite to stop it.

It recommends that The Citizen attenuate its natural resentment at the commercial aspect of Mr. Pearson's campaign. The goal was to rid the South of the Klan and if, in the process, Southerners wound up wearing Lee hats, it was no matter for grave concern, as "they are a great aesthetic improvement over pillow slips with eye-holes."

"'A Minor Angel to Argue With...'" pays homage to a regular contributor to the "People's Platform", S. A. Reed of Southern Pines, who had passed away the previous Tuesday, July 16, two days before the newspaper had published, without realizing his death, his last letter to The News, complimenting an editorial, "Report from Under the Bed".

The editors had never known Mr. Reed personally but regarded him as the most perceptive of their correspondents. He died at age 66. He had a powerful sense of history, had, in his penultimate letter, suggested Harry Truman as following in the footsteps of the ill-fated Warren Harding. He had mourned the loss of FDR and the liberalism for which he stood. But he had never lost faith in the ability of the misled common man eventually to save himself.

Mr. Reed's daughter, in informing of his death, stated that he was likely happy as long as he had a garden to tend and a minor angel with whom to argue regarding the way the place was run.

Mr. Reed had, indeed, contributed several missives which have stood the test of time, and far better than his effort to place Harry Truman on the same footing with the diminutive presidency of Warren G. Harding, arguably the worst President in American history, not only for the corruption which beset his two and a half years in office and which threatened his impeachment, but also for the fact that his first act as President had been to convince Congress to repudiate the Wilson Fourteen Points and not join the League of Nations or ratify the Versailles Treaty, which, had it been done, might have prevented World War II by giving the necessary teeth to the League.

President Truman would considerably improve his lot with the American people after a rough first couple of years in office, even if he left the office in 1953 with a poor approval rating and never captured too much the imagination of the country as had his eloquent predecessor. Nevertheless, Mr. Truman has passed into history with the rightful reputation as one of our most honest and honorable Presidents, though plain-spoken, stubborn, sometimes to a fault, and loyal, sometimes to a fault.

In any event, some of Mr. Reed's better efforts appear on August 11, 1945, August 22, 1945, November 2, 1945, and November 12, 1945.

Incidentally, we cannot help but make mention of the missing link from November 2, 1945 in the Samuel Grafton piece under "brands", a link to an L & M cigarette ad from "Gunsmoke", which aired a mere 55 years ago in 1958-59, withdrawn supposedly because Philip Morris made a copyright claim on the ad, even though in 1958-59, L&M was manufactured by its parent, Liggett & Myers, not owned by Philip Morris until 1999 and so highly questionable as copyright owners of an old ad in any event. But, if so, and they are in fact the entity which pulled the old ad, they are as nuts as one would think, given their business. It is, after all, free advertising, and no one but a psychopathic moron would seek to claim a copyright on an ad from 1958.

Why don't they go to every library in the country with old periodicals and rip from them the old ads if they are trying to cover up something? There is very little difference, both forms of media being quite accessible freely, with the exception that, typically, to access the internet, one must have a computer and an entry ticket through a service provider. And the original broadcast of the ad was free to the viewer, the only difference being that there was the element of control as to when it was being watched, though, after the advent of the video recorder, that control also ceased to exist.

It thus gives us pause to wonder whether some of these videos which are canceled based on claims of copyright ownership are not being canceled by punk kids getting a kick out of posing as copyright owners to the gullible. We say that because certain videos disappear while others of the same song, artist, what have you, remain. We recommend that if someone claims a copyright on your posted video, have them write you a bona fide legal opinion letter establishing ownership and proper identity or tell them to get lost. Demand to see a copy of their contract proving ownership.

There are a few other links in the above listed dates also now missing, but we are not going to waste our time appeasing moronic juvenile delinquents by chasing down again every empty link. Again, while we do not assume that morons waste their time checking our links and then cancelling videos which we do not have anything to do with uploading at any time, we assert that we link to material invariably for a reason, never to make fun of the material itself. The reason varies and it is up to the reader to figure out our meaning. That is the challenge and the fun. And, unless the link is to material which is named directly by the text from which it is linked, we assure that divining the meaning could never be done by hitting the links for a couple of minutes and then seeking to discern what is intended. We intend the material to be read and contemplated at some length, all of it from any given day, before understanding the drift of such indirect links. Sometimes, the meaning is ironic; other times, it is more straightforward. Other times, it is literary or references indirectly other material previously presented. It is not meant to be a "mash-up" purely for laughs unless that is plainly to be inferred from the nature of the editorial or other material in which the link appears.

Sometimes, the material conjoins by natural linkage through the text and subject matter of the date with other material, with underlying links making connections of their own quite spookily between the dates, never intended in the first instance. It is then that we get our payoff from the otherwise mundane exercise of putting forth this material daily in real time, especially if the link is from several years earlier. It is then that we confirm that there is another guiding hand in all of this apparently mundane exercise, something quite apart from our own conscious or subconscious, as we do check it in those instances against either a natural flow downstream or as something out of our own knowledge of a particular event which is likely to be set forth in the prints on another day of the future past.

Except on those occasions, there is, we assure, method in the apparent madness. Nor are we ever mocking real events from the past which were serious or tragic. Yet, there is always an element of the absurd in any tragedy, as the reportage herein during World War II readily communicated.

The internet was conceived as a medium through which interactive sharing of knowledge, experience, feeling, and insight might be had, as an alternative to commercial media prepared strictly by others whose freedom is restricted by the desire to appeal to the largest segment possible of a target market for the sake of earning money, inevitably not directly interactive with the viewer, listener, or reader. It was not conceived as a commercial medium. The increasing intrusiveness of that commercialism will lead, inevitably, to the destruction of the entire experience and render the medium quite worthless as an alternative. Those who make their living from the internet need to consider those potential consequences, which are quite real. Those who value that part of the experience form the base. Destroy the foundation and...

So, morons, take a hike. If not, read and think and stop puncturing tires and stealing hubcaps from the used car lot and junkyard, picking your feet in Poughkeepsie, simply because you are too slow to do anything else. Go watch the latest tv show or take apart your tv set and try to put it back together.

Sine die.

A piece from the Greensboro Daily News, titled "It Could Be an Example", tells of a decision not to prosecute Horace Kennedy of Shelby for delayed reporting of his campaign expenditures. It found no issue with that decision since many had committed "high crimes and misdemeanors" with regard to election laws. The officials responsible for enforcing those laws had a long way to go in dealing with the worst offenders.

Drew Pearson describes Eugene Talmadge as "Hitleresque" and his election, appearing as the most alarming political development in the nation. He had been elected by a minority of Georgians under the Georgia unit-voting system. Georgia Power Co., worried of the CIO effort to organize labor in the South, had put up most of the money for his re-election. He had a tremendous radio appeal while his primary opponent, James Carmichael, had none. His victory had been achieved through appeals to the revived Klan.

So, there were many comparisons to be made to Hitler coming to power in Germany in 1933. Governor Talmadge had even boasted of reading Mein Kampf seven times.

He had proclaimed, "A nigger's place is to come in the back door, hold his hat in his hand, and say 'gee' and 'haw' to a horse."

During his previous tenure as Governor, from 1939-43, he had used the state militia to oust duly elected state officials from office when they did not perform as he ordered. He once had the door blown off the State Treasury vault and spent state money without accounting for it. He employed a former racketeer to inspect the books of the universities and when he did not like them, they were burned.

He had announced a plan to do away with the state primaries to prevent blacks from voting. He intended to have privately run primaries with his own people guarding the ballot boxes. Again, the strategy resembled that of Hitler.

His son, Herman Talmadge, who had managed his father's campaign, was planning to run for Senator or to succeed his father.

Many in Atlanta, he reports, were concerned that they would become the victims of political retaliation.

Mr. Talmadge would die in December before taking office and eventually, after a period of uncertainty as to who would succeed him until the Supreme Court of Georgia declared that it would be the Lieutenant Governor, Herman Talmadge won a special election in 1948 and eventually, in 1957, became Senator, serving in 1973 on the Ervin Senate Select Committee on Watergate.

Marquis Childs comments on the investigation by the Senate War Investigating Committee to examine the influence used on Capitol Hill during the war to obtain commissions in the Army for relatives and friends of war contractors. Chairman James Mead of New York had stated that it was a side line for the Garsson brothers of the Batavia-Erie Basin combine.

Senator Mead would be faced with a tough test if he chose to run for Governor of New York in the fall against Governor Thomas Dewey. But he would be stronger as a fearless investigator who had pressed the issue on the war contracts combine. Thus it was that he was not going to delay the continuance of the investigation until after the fall elections.

Mr. Childs points out, however, that the parties given by the Garssons at Government expense to court generals and members of Congress were nothing as compared to those given by the shipbuilders, until the War Shipping Administration had stopped the practice. At every ship launching, lavish parties had been staged, diamond bracelets presented as gifts to the champagne bottle riders, all at Government expense.

He concludes that the effect of the investigation on the political prospects of Representative Andrew May of Kentucky was difficult to predict, whether the old-fashioned constituents of his district would disapprove of his behavior or find it to be such the object of outside ridicule as to present a case of martyrdom to which they would flock with ironic approval.

Samuel Grafton writes from Los Angeles of British bread rationing and the fact that it might not have been necessary had America not ended its own rationing after V-J Day, begun feeding the grain to fatten farm animals, and, in the process, cut off supplies of grain to Britain.

He did not suggest responsibility in any formal sense for the British shortage, but there was a chain of causation in fact. He relates of a recent incident in which 141 hogs in Omaha, waiting in line for the B-movie with a butchered plot, died in the hot sun. Those hogs could have fed many abroad.

By removing controls, Americans may have lost the ability to plan and solve problems, throwing away a greater freedom for a lesser one. The wage structure was being disrupted after a series of toilsome and tedious strikes of workers in nearly every major industry in the country since the previous November, and conditions in an allied country were being adversely impacted by this freedom not to plan.

A letter writer, who had fought in the war as a member of a CB battalion, comments on the editorials and Reed Sarratt's series regarding "rocking-chair money" to veterans, the "52-20 Club", enabling veterans to receive $20 per week for up to a year in unemployment compensation. He thinks it unfair to judge these veterans who had fought in the war and suffered many hardships, reminding that Congress would not have passed the law without the support of the people. In his battalion, there were three men with grandsons in service and each had given up profitable businesses to fight.

If veterans chose to take a year vacation on the $20 per week pay, it was their business.

The editors respond that not all of the critics had been "Peace Time Patriots" but many were veterans themselves who were wondering whether it was fair that they had chosen to go to work rather than accept a $1,040 bonus for a year. It was fine for the veterans to receive payments while honestly seeking employment but it was unfair to the veteran himself to regard the payments as a basis for a year-long vacation.

A letter from another veteran views with understanding the veterans who had chosen not to return to dull jobs, stamping packing crates or the like, when they had been part of a great and exciting endeavor in the war effort for four years, no matter their role in the war. It was a psychological problem. He had an interesting job but found it also difficult at times because of its seeming triviality compared to the time of war.

The editors ask whether it would be easier or more difficult to settle into a dull, low-paying job after a year in the old rocking chair.

A letter from a veteran who was a truck or bus driver found the best jobs avaliable paying only 60 cents to 70 cents per hour. No man with a family could live on that kind of wage. So, he had apparently chosen to accept the $20 per week until a better paying job would come along.

These letters, as well others on the subject from veterans, along with the editorials from former Lieutenant Colonel Harry Ashmore, beg the question as to whether the necessary promotion of esprit de corps in Army, Navy, and Air Force training and deployment for combat in wartime does not do inevitable psychological damage to a large segment of the population upon their return and effort to re-enter civilian life, as well as to their surrounding communities seeking to accommodate that adjustment. Does it not heighten expectations for something better than a routine job similar to that held before joining the service, even in peacetime? But does it not also, if the person is unqualified or ill-suited to the new job, do a disservice to society?

Is such a conundrum not therefore a collateral cost of war or of maintaining a large peacetime standing military which, while such efforts to reacclimate the veteran must be borne by the society which sent the soldiers to war or drafted or induced them into the military, makes war the more imperative to avoid, aside from the direct casualties and their impact on families and communities?

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