Friday, July 26, 1946

The Charlotte News

Friday, July 26, 1946


Site Ed. Note: The front page reports that a band of 20 to 25 white men had, the previous day, waylaid a car near Monroe, Georgia, 40 miles northeast of Atlanta, containing a white farmer and four blacks, two men and two women, then having taken the two black men into the woods along a side road and shot them to death, each being shot repeatedly. One of the men holding the white farmer and two black women claimed that one of the black women had recognized him; and so they took both black women out of the car and killed them as well, also shooting them repeatedly.

The farmer told the Sheriff that he did not recognize any of the assailants.

The white men, who wore no masks, apparently were motivated by an incident in which one of the two men killed had been arrested for allegedly stabbing his employer, a farmer, and had just been released on bail in that case.

After less than 24 hours since the murders, the Sheriff stated that without more on which to proceed in terms of identity, he could not go further with his investigation, but had called in the Georgia Bureau of Investigation—which had better hurry things along before Eugene Talmadge is scheduled to take his oath as Governor in January.

This incident at the Moore's Ford Bridge presented the worst act of mob-related, racially-motivated violence, thus a "lynching", which had occurred in the South in several years. Undoubtedly, we shall read more of it in days to come on the editorial page. That it occurred in the immediate wake of the election of Eugene Talmadge as Governor after a campaign of race-baiting and encouragement of the resurgence of the Klan in Georgia, is not surprising. That it occurred just four days after the Drew Pearson anti-Klan broadcast from the steps of the Georgia State Capitol on Sunday is not surprising—not that any blame could be cast on Mr. Pearson, the proverbial and perfectly cast "nigger-lovin' outsider down heya gon' tell us what to do".

By dint of coincidence—or was it?—Emmett Till, living in Chicago, celebrated his fifth birthday on July 25, 1946. He would be left to have only nine more.

In Nuremberg, lead American prosecutor, Justice Robert Jackson, starting his closing argument, asked the tribunal to convict all 22 of the Nazi defendants on trial for war crimes. He ascribed Adolf Hitler's acts to each of the defendants, describing Hermann Goering as "half-militarist, half-gangster", and contending that he was the second highest ranking person in the Nazi hierarchy who tied the defendants together in a conspiracy.

From the beginning of the Hitler regime in 1933, all of the defendants had "worked like beavers" to prepare for war, ultimately a war of aggression.

Justice Jackson continued, that they all spoke in Nazi double-talk, claiming that they knew nothing about anything.

The President, as it was thought he would, signed into law the new OPA revival bill. OPA immediately began to take action in lifting controls on numerous items, such as televisions, rubber floor mats, umbrella frames, and certain types of clocks, and raising ceilings on others from the level at which they had been set on June 30, which included coal and other solid fuels, as well as some retail shoe price ceilings.

The major food items were stalled until August 20 under the bill, such that restoration of control would automatically resume at that time unless the three-man oversight board, created by the bill, acted to prevent it. The President had expressed exception to this provision but reluctantly accepted it.

Among the comments on the bill were those of Walter Reuther, president of the UAW, stating in Detroit that the union members would continue their buyers' boycott of consumer goods because the new OPA bill only pretended to restore price control, but actually legalized inflation.

The President gave a statement the previous evening in which he indicated that he was signing the bill reluctantly despite the fact that it did not provide proper safeguards against inflation. Notwithstanding its shortcomings, he had thought it a better bill than the one he had vetoed on June 29.

Harold Ickes reports that the type of pressure which had been revealed by the War Investigating Committee with regard to efforts by Congressman Andrew May of Kentucky to induce the War Department to cooperate with respect to the Batavia-Erie Basin combine, despite their having had higher than normal production costs, ran also to other members of Congress and their relationship to departments of the Government.

During his tenure as Secretary of Interior, he had become aware of pressure brought to bear on Interior by Congressman Jed Johnson of Oklahoma, just defeated in the primary the previous Tuesday. Mr. Johnson, he says, as head of the subcommittee on Interior appropriations, had sought to establish a lucrative position in Interior for a friend to do little or nothing at Government expense. He had also enabled an Indian fair to take place during the war in his hometown of Anadarko, when the tribes had suspended the fairs to conserve on transportation, rubber, and fuel during the war. In a third matter, he had demanded a $5,000 fee for a former law partner for a routine probate court job in connection with an Indian estate. Mr. Ickes promises more detail on these issues in later columns. But in each case, he says, the Department had resisted Mr. Johnson's efforts.

He concludes by relating that Mr. Johnson had succeeded recently in slashing the Interior budget in half, a means of retaliation for not getting his way earlier, demonstrating why it was that the War Department had been willing at least to pay lip service to Mr. May, to avoid loss of Congressional support during the war.

Meanwhile, the physician of Mr. May told the War Investigating Committee this date that Mr. May, 71, could not appear for health reasons for about ten days to two weeks. He had been suffering for several weeks with heart trouble.

In the wake of the Bikini Baker blast, the 32,000-ton Japanese battleship Nagato developed a major list and appeared likely to sink in Bikini Lagoon. Vice-Admiral W. H. P. Blandy, commander of Operation Crossroads, stated that it was likely that had crews been aboard the target vessels, they would have been killed by the blast, either from the explosion itself or from the intense radiation in its aftermath.

A day after the blast, 36 square miles of sea were contaminated with radiation, which prevented a thorough check of the ships in the test.

Correspondent Charles McMurray, aboard a C-54 transport plane, reports of his observations flying over the scene of the blast area in its aftermath, finding a large hole in the bottom of the lagoon at ground-zero and heavy oil half-covering the reef northwest of Bikini, with large oil slicks observable immediately outside the lagoon. Above the sunk Saratoga were bubbles and a slender oil streak.

The lagoon at the center of the target appeared to have been dyed deep green, the result of shattered coral which formed milky white streaks in the water as it moved with the tide. The cameramen observed for two hours white air bubbles emanating from a sunken submerged submarine, as it apparently succumbed and sank to the bottom of the lagoon.

That was some party, wasn't it?

On the editorial page, "The Mushroom Shape of The Future" comments on the results of the 60-million dollar Bikini tests, demonstrating that the atomic bomb could destroy more ships via an underwater explosion than by a bomb dropped from overhead. While the data to be derived and studied in the aftermath of the tests would perhaps show a clear picture of man's fate, it would prove in vain, for recent history had demonstrated that he would ignore it.

The piece finds the reaction of the public to have been blase in the Baker test, whereas the Able test on July 1 had created genuine public interest, combined with a sense of foreboding fear as to what might occur, whether the bomb might set off a chain reaction in the atmosphere and explode the planet. Now, the average radio listener was tuning in to Blondie, and not the Bikini Baker test.

But, it cautions, the passivity with which the second test had been greeted by the public ignored the fact that bigger bombs were in the works and that the potential was unlimited, that a bomb might ultimately be developed which could, in fact, blow up the world. It had taken only six years of development to make one which obliterated whole cities.

Yet, the public had adjusted its thinking to accept the bomb without terror. Admiral Blandy had rationalized the impact of the bomb by claiming that ships could be built with retractable radar gear—that is, we assume, a stealth ship invisible to radar.

But all of the talk seemed to ignore "the voice of the Prophet who warned: For all they that take up the sword shall perish with the sword..."

"Moonlight, Magnolias and Potlikker" comments on an editorial by John Temple Graves II, until the previous March, the Editor of the Birmingham Age-Herald, finding the liberalism of Governor Ellis Arnall of Georgia to be emblematic of the thirties, stressing societies and nations, whereas the new liberalism of the forties stressed the individual. It meant "moonlight and magnolias", not Henry Wallace, but also not the M & M's of 1865.

Even though decrying the tactics of Bilbo and Talmadge in the late elections, the resort to the traditional race-baiting rhetoric, the editorial had received reply in opposition from James Street of Chapel Hill, writing in The Durham Herald, saying that the benighted were driving the country either to Fascism or Communism in the American forms of each. He found Mr. Graves to be the last of the journalistic champions advocating a return to the Confederacy.

While not going that far, the piece says that it did not regard Mr. Graves, as had Mr. Street, to be a "bellhop to Southern reaction". Instead, he was one of the tragic Southerners who failed to grasp that rejecting the progressivism of Governor Arnall was to embrace either the status quo or the return to power of such reactionaries as Eugene Talmadge.

"Notes on a Long, Low Whistle" reports of a Detroit police lieutenant who had resurrected an old law against leering and whistling at females and was handing out citations on the corner for fines of between $20 and $25 for the act of unsolicited attention, though none of the victims of the crime had complained.

The result was that women who had not been ogled complained to the lieutenant for stopping the corner-standing operation. One 19-year old blonde, replete with an appealing photo of herself, had written to him that most girls wanted the attention and that the ordinance was clearly a throwback to the past.

The piece urged on those desirous of an equal rights amendment for women this outraged response and wonders whether women truly wanted to be classified as the equal of males.

It relates of the Western saga in which the robbers stopped a train and said they would rob all the men and kiss all the women. Harold Trueheart had warned that they could rob him of his gold but would molest the women over his dead body. Whereupon, one of the women was heard to say: "Who is robbing this train, you or them?"

A piece from the Asheville Citizen, "Slud, Kelly, Slud!" reports of the protest filed by English teachers with the F.C.C. regarding the St. Louis Cardinal baseball broadcasts of former major league pitcher Dizzy Dean.

He had stated: "Slaughter slud safe into second"; "Marion throwed Reiser out at first"; "The runners held their respectable bases"; and "Musial stands confidentially at the plate".

Fans had come to Mr. Dean's defense, saying that they would rather listen to him than the teachers.

The piece states it had not heard Mr. Dean's broadcasts but was inclined to support his rights to be free from ordinary English syntax, for it had nothing to do with baseball. As there were many ways to slide into second, it was perfectly appropriate for someone to have slud.

"As the Duchess said to Alice: 'Take care of the sense, and the sounds will take care of themselves.' Y'er out, Syntax!"

While we always enjoyed listening to the patter of Dizzy and Peewee in ancient times, we do not recommend following too closely this rule of thumb advocated by The Citizen, as what begins on the diamond often carries over into the classroom, until one fine day, one finds oneself misunderestimating the rules of applicable English to the ball and the base, forgetting that two triangles form the diamond and one triangle plus an arc usually serves to form the overriding outfield, embracing the infield, understanding thusly the scope of the entire park.

Drew Pearson presents a list of legislative successes led by certain members of Congress which served the individual member's personal interests more than the public interest. Representative Frank Keefe of Wisconsin had led a drive to have war veterans buried in private cemeteries. He was president of such a cemetery in Oshkosh.

Representative Dean Gilespie of Colorado had fought against OPA. He was vice-president of a food company which had been forced to pay a fine to OPA for violation of price ceilings and was being sued for treble damages for other violations.

Senator Elmer Thomas of Oklahoma was speculating on cotton while opposing OPA, which was holding down cotton prices.

Senator Hugh Butler of Nebraska opposed famine relief shipments of grain to Europe while voting to remove controls on meat and grain. He was a major grain and flour dealer and raised cattle.

Senator Edward Robertson of Wyoming voted to remove price controls on meat. He was a cattle and sheep rancher.

Senator Kenneth Wherry of Nebraska introduced an amendment to the OPA bill to enable auto dealers to achieve higher profits. He was an automobile dealer.

Mr. Pearson concludes that Congress ought clean its own house by requiring members to register their stock and commodity investments and business interests.

He next discusses the vetoing by Speaker of the House Sam Rayburn of four sections of the Congressional reorganization bill. He took the lead and, with Majority Leader John McCormack, ignored the wishes of the six other members meeting in special conference. He had supported, however, the remainder of the bill.

Marquis Childs discusses the enmity created in the Senate among his colleagues by Senator Wayne Morse of Oregon, a Republican, who later would switch to the Democrats. Senator Morse incurred the ire of both his fellow party members and surviving New Dealers. An example of the type of mischief he played was the attempt to insert into the tidal oil lands bill an amendment to abolish the poll tax. It caused Republicans to have to vote against it to insure passage of the tidal oil lands bill, favored by the Southern states' rights Democrats.

He had also authored a resolution to have the United States accept compulsory jurisdiction of the World Court with respect to any nation which also accepted that obligation. But the Senate Foreign Relations Committee had determined to postpone consideration of the resolution, with the encouragement of Senators Tom Connally and Arthur Vandenberg, both of whom were among the delegations to both the U.N. Charter Conference of spring, 1945, and the foreign ministers conferences of 1945-46. Senator Warren Austin, head of the U.N. Conference delegation, also supported postponement. They based their belief on a report by John Foster Dulles, future Secretary of State to President Eisenhower, that the resolution ought be passed but with amended language which would facilitate its acceptance by the full Senate.

Senator Morse, however, found the move problematic, as only Russia and the United States had refused compulsory jurisdiction of the World Court, the reason for it being left out of the U.N. Charter, to enable its acceptance. Thus, implicit in his statement was the fact that if America accepted it, Russia would be left alone on the outside, while America could not be brought into the Court by Russia should Russia continue to refuse compulsory jurisdiction.

Peter Edson awards the "double banana-split with cherries and nuts" for gobbledygook to Professor F. Wight Bakke of Yale's Institute of Human Relations, for his tract, titled "Tentative Theory of Adaptive Behavior". His hypothesis was set forth in nine propositions, all designed to prevent strikes. The piece then proceeds to provide examples of some of the propositions.

The first appeared to say that the society compelled the behavior of labor unions by the fact of setting individual goals, personal resources, and forming the framework and resources from which those things were derived.

Next, he posited that normally this structure functioned in equilibrium but when it was upset, the workers were prepared for "adaptive behavior" to the disequilibrium resulting.

Dr. Bakke had suggested that to reduce the tensions, men sought suggestions, which might come from several sources. The suggestions which were most likely to re-establish equilibrium were the ones ultimately to which the workers adapted.

Mr. Edson finds the whole theory quite self-evident, stating the obvious by circumlocution.

A letter writer takes on at some length the probable impact of the re-election of the reactionary Senator Theodore Bilbo of Mississippi and former Governor Eugene Talmadge of Georgia. He believes that the impact would be felt for a decade or more to come, that the elections of these two men were indicative of a strong Southern sentiment which was too strong to be overcome by the relatively flimsy forces of liberalism in the South, that college professors and sociologists could not abate the great current behind such reactionary trends, set to take away the hard won rights which blacks had achieved thus far in the society.

He compliments The News for not white-washing the elections of these two atavistic entries on the political landscape.

While both Mr. Bilbo and Mr. Talmadge would be dead within a little over a year, Mr. Talmadge in December, the writer was correct in his prediction of continuity through future time of the sentiment expressed at the polls by these elections, even if Mr. Talmadge was elected by a minority of the popular vote under the Georgia unit-voting system.

Indeed, the reactionary sentiment of which he speaks still runs through part of the South, albeit perhaps no more than it runs these days in parts of the rest of the country. As The News had repeatedly suggested, the only way to fight it is with better education.

We note also that reactionary thought is not confined by race or color or religion, ethnicity or national origin, or any other definite characteristic. Every person needs to check themselves from time to time for its corrosive intrusion to the thought process, regardless of membership in this or that organization. And people should not be branded for life as being reactionary because of some tendencies displayed in that direction or membership in some reactionary organization, as that only breeds more reactionary thought and justification from them. Everyone has the right to change and without apology or justification to anyone.

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