Monday, August 19, 1946

The Charlotte News

Monday, August 19, 1946


Site Ed. Note: The front page reports that the United States State Department had, on August 15, lodged a formal protest that three Yugoslav troops had illegally entered the Allied zone around Trieste on July 12 and, without provocation, fired upon American troops investigating the presence of the Yugoslav soldiers. The protest included a statement that for some time Yugoslavia had been doing what it could to discredit Allied administration of Venezia Giulia, the area of Trieste. Yugoslavia had contended, in a statement of July 16, that Americans had provoked the incident.

The American statement did not make comment on a recent report of an American Army transport plane disappearing over Yugoslav territory after reporting that it had been fired on by anti-aircraft guns. The plane had been en route from Vienna to Undine, with a crew of three officers and two enlisted men. On August 9, another U.S. transport had received fire from Yugoslav fighter planes along the same route, forcing it to land. The crew and passengers were interned in Yugoslavia.

In Calcutta, violence between Moslems and Hindus continued but at a somewhat slackened pace from the previous four days, which had seen 3,000 to 4,000 people killed in the mob action, the worst in the city's history. Many more thousands were injured in the violence, as looting and rape were occurring, followed by sadistic murder and butchery. Factories and homes were burned. The report describes stacks of bodies rotting in the streets, being picked at by vultures, leading to concerns of epidemic disease. The police and military units had restored order in some areas. The riot had been prompted by objection to the British plan for Indian independence as the Moslem League had called for "direct action".

A report from Taiyuan, China, stated that the battle for Tatung between Government and Communist forces had reached a climax with the Communist forces three miles north of the city, and the whole of the Shansi Province in an atmosphere of war as people were building defenses in the Taiyuan suburbs.

In Magee, Miss., a posse of 200 to 300 men surrounded the swampland hideout of a black family, which included two war veterans, accused of ambushing and seriously wounding a deputy sheriff with a shotgun blast to the chest and right arm and wounding also three other white men as they went to investigate a report that members of the family had fired upon a car full of white men. One of the family members had been shot and was taken to a hospital. Two had surrendered. Seven or eight others were still at large. The family members, according to officers, had been drinking.

The Department of Justice instructed the U. S. Attorney at Jackson to confer with the sheriff to insure that orderly processes of law would prevail in the manhunt.

In New York, James Woodard, Jr., victim on February 12 of the vicious beating by the police chief and several officers of Batesburg, S.C., leaving him blind, had been given $22,000 from contributions of well-wishers at a rally in Lewisohn Stadium in which 50 performers raised money for the purpose before an audience of 20,000. Heavyweight champion Joe Louis co-chaired the event with Mayor William O'Dwyer. The performers included W. C. Handy, Bill Robinson, Cab Calloway, Milton Berle, Peter Lind Hayes, Count Basie, Canada Lee, Betty Garrett, Louis Jordan and His Tympany Five, Rex Ingram, and Billie Holliday. Mr. Woodard hoped to use the money to establish a restaurant.

The plight of Mr. Woodard had received nationwide publicity from a series of radio broadcasts by Orson Welles beginning in July.

Mr. Woodard had been beaten by the police officers, led by Chief M. L. Shull, as he had been riding through Batesburg on a bus bound for Winnsboro, S.C., after discharge from the Army as a sergeant. The bus driver had called the police during the scheduled stop at Batesburg and claimed that Sgt. Woodard was arguing with him. The police chief then contended that Sgt. Woodard reached for the chief's billyclub when the chief sought to arrest him for being drunk, and the beating followed. Sgt. Woodard had been fined $50 and was released. A subsequent trial in Federal District Court of Chief Shull for criminal assault, following his indictment in early October, ended in his acquittal after a half hour of jury deliberations.

Harold Ickes comments on the defeat in Missouri's Democratic primary of Congressman Roger Slaughter, following the President's active opposition to his candidacy, supported, at the President's request, by James Pendergast, the head of the Kansas City political machine. Mr. Ickes finds the defeat a good thing in that Mr. Slaughter had led the reactionary bi-partisan control of the Rules Committee to prevent the bulk of the President's reconversion package from reaching the floor of the House.

Moreover, the victory would end the hue and cry raised against outside interference in a Senatorial or Congressional campaign. Since Congress represents the entire country, it was appropriate, says Mr. Ickes, for the President or any other citizen to voice their opinion on elections to Congress. He suggests that the President should have extended his efforts to Mississippi to urge them to dump their "political garbage"—referring to Senator Theodore Bilbo and Congressman John Rankin.

He recalls the great uproar in the Washington area newspapers against President Roosevelt in 1938 for unsuccessfully seeking to purge Senator Millard Tydings of Maryland. These newspapers had condemned the President for interfering in the Maryland election, with the result that Senator Tydings became something of a martyr to the electorate. Many of his campaign contributions had come from outside the state.

Mr. Ickes finds the concept of objection to "outside interference" to be a mockery of democracy. President Truman had thus struck a blow for sound democratic principles.

Near Hamlet, N.C., a Seaboard Air Line Railroad passenger train, bound from Washington to Birmingham, sideswiped a freight, causing both trains to derail. The locomotive engineer of the passenger train was killed and the fireman seriously injured, but no passengers were hurt, and no injuries occurred to the crew of the freight.

In Columbia, S.C., Solomon Blatt, Speaker of the South Carolina House, stated that, for the sake of harmony, he would not seek re-election to the post when the new Legislature would be convened. Mr. Blatt was from Barnwell County and was deemed a leading force in the so-called "Barnwell ring", opposed in the late Democratic gubernatorial primary, which controlled South Carolina politics. He had held the post since 1937.

Ultimately, Strom Thurmond, set soon to be in a runoff election, would win the Democratic nomination and become Governor. He would then be elected to the Senate as a Democrat in 1954, eventually, after changing parties in 1964, serving until 2003, leaving him as the third longest serving Senator, after Senator Robert Byrd of West Virginia and Senator Daniel Inouye of Hawaii.

OPA announced a six percent price increase for refrigerators, resulting in a standard increase of between $10 and $12 per unit.

The Decontrol Board was set to provide its decision the following day on whether food prices would be placed again under control pursuant to the new OPA-extension bill passed July 25, following the expiration of OPA's life on July 1.

In Logansport, Ind., a 40-year old woman, fishing from a boat in the Wabash River, was shot to death by a 28-year old man when he mistook her hat, just appearing over the crown of a bank, for a turtle. He was likely to be charged with involuntary manslaughter for negligent homicide.

In New York, a mother went to the city morgue to indentify her son, killed by police during his robbery of a wallet. Twelve hours later, that afternoon, she attended the wedding of another son in the Bronx.

In Louisville, Dr. John Sempey, 82, president from 1929 to 1942 of the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, died.

In New York, playwright and author Channing Pollock died at age 66 after suffering a stroke. On May 25, 1945, The News had reprinted a short excerpt from a piece Mr. Pollock had contributed in 1936 to The North American Review, titled "Heaven Doesn't Matter".

In Sands Point, N.Y., Bernard Baruch, financial adviser to Presidents and at the time chairman of the U.N. Atomic Energy Committee, celebrated his 76th birthday.

President Truman was not deterred by a nor'easter in Narragansett Bay in Rhode Island as he headed in the presidential yacht to the Navy War College at Newport during a hard rain. The President wondered who had brought the California weather to Rhode Island.

He had just completed a two-mile, 30-minute walk around the Quonset Point Naval Air Station, leaving panting reporters in his wake. He told them that he averaged 120 paces per minute. The reporters did not dispute it.

In Hope, Ark., was born William J. Blythe III, later to adopt the surname Clinton, elected in 1992 to be the 42nd President of the United States.

The summer of 1946 produced two future Presidents, the other being the 43rd President, George W. Bush, born on July 6 in New Haven, Conn.

Happy birthday summer to both. We are sorry that we were remiss in not pointing out the birthday of former President Bush as it occurred. We meant to do it, but forgot. Better late than never.

The only other two single years thus far in United States history to produce two elected Presidents each were 1767, also involving the only other son of a previous President, John Quincy Adams, and Andrew Jackson, and 1924, Jimmy Carter and George H. W. Bush. Richard Nixon and Gerald Ford, named at birth Leslie Lynch King, Jr., were also born in the same year, 1913.

Two Presidents of opposing parties, both among the Founders, John Adams and Thomas Jefferson, died curiously on the same day, July 4, 1826, exactly fifty years after the Declaration of Independence was signed in Philadelphia. John Adams died in Braintree, Mass., and Thomas Jefferson at his home in Monticello in Charlottesville, Va., 550 miles away.

On the editorial page, "Around and Around She Goes..." discusses the decision due the following day by the Decontrol Board on return to food price controls. Since those controls had lapsed on July 1, food prices had steadily risen. Yet, the enemies of control, in their efforts to get the Board not to re-impose the controls, forecasted a return to the black market, restrictions on production, and losses to producers.

Time had produced figures showing that in the first half of 1946, many large corporations had earned their highest profits ever. Motor companies had lost money, but because of strikes and shortages, not price ceilings. Du Pont and American Woolen had increased net earnings despite lower production than during the war.

Regardless of what the Decontrol Board would do, effective price control was nearly impossible under the revised OPA extension bill. Inflation appeared inevitable, and from it would come eventually deflation. Nothing good would come out of the cycle. Large corporations were busy preparing for the eventuality.

"An Era of Orderly Labor Relations?" comments on the lack of conflict between AFL and CIO in their labor organizing campaign through the South. Even at Oak Ridge, where the unions had been in direct competition to organize the 20,000 employees of the plant, there was evident no significant enmity. The determination would be made during the week in an election among the workers.

Furthermore, the traditional opponents of organized labor had not been resistant to the campaign and no violence had been reported. The unions, too, appeared to have abandoned old tactics which had aggravated employers, such as bringing bogus charges before the NLRB regarding opposition to union organizing. During the previous six months, only five complaints had been filed with the Labor Relations Board.

AFL had claimed to have attracted 100,000 new members, only 10 percent of its goal, and AFL claimed fewer members. But CIO had won 74 elections while ten votes had been for AFL or no union. Both organizations believed that it would take years to organize the South.

Out of the orderliness had come the notion that a new era of cooperative labor might be on the horizon in the South, but it was still too early to know for sure.

"Should Wake Forest Grow Tall or Big?" remarks on the suggestion by Gerald W. Johnson that his alma mater, Wake Forest, in its move to Winston-Salem under the Smith Reynolds endowment, should focus on becoming a pre-eminent small liberal arts college, not a large Baptist university. His reasoning was that it could not become the best university between the Potomac and the Gulf, but might realistically seek to be the best college in the region. He preferred it being the best college to being the tenth or fifteenth best university.

The Richmond Times-Dispatch had noted that many of the region's universities, but only a few of the small liberal arts colleges, had achieved national status. The reason, it had asserted, was the lack of financial resources to compete with Swarthmore, Amherst, Williams, Haverford or the like.

The Wake Forest Board of Trustees, it suggests, might do well to follow the advice of Mr. Johnson, at least for the short term after the move would be made, and delay the plans for greater expansion into a university, as favored by some of the trustees, until later. As Duke had proved, the expansion to a great university was by an evolutionary process.

It predicts that Wake Forest University would grow naturally from Wake Forest College over a period of years.

Wake Forest, after opening its new campus in Winston-Salem in 1956, did, more or less, adopt that strategy, continuing as a college, adding a graduate school in 1961, before becoming a university in 1967. The law school of the old Wake Forest, established in 1894, moved, of course, also to Winston-Salem in 1956, and the medical school, established in 1902, had already been located in Winston-Salem since 1941.

A piece from the Winston-Salem Journal, titled "Ye Shall Know Them", says that the greedy hoarders and participants in the black market made reconversion difficult, that the reader would know them by their greed.

Drew Pearson states that the present problems with Russia in the Black Sea and the Near East, especially Iran, were understandable through the lens of documents seized by the Allies in Germany, showing that in late 1940 talks between German Foreign Minister Joachim Ribbentrop and Russian Foreign Minister V. M. Molotov had taken place in which Mr. Molotov demanded, in exchange for Russia entering the war against Britain, a sphere of influence in Bulgaria and Rumania, control of the Dardanelles, domination of Iran, Iraq and the Persian Gulf, a base in Saudi Arabia, control of the Baltic States and half of Poland. All of it was agreeable to Germany except Soviet control of Bulgaria and Rumania, which Germany wanted to exploit. Thus, there was no agreement.

Russia still wanted the same basic demands in 1946. The question was whether Russia would risk war to obtain control in the Near East. It was central to the British position in Palestine and why the British had mobilized the Royal Navy in the Near East.

In Moscow, one group, headed by Marshal Beriya, favored war with Turkey to get control of the Dardanelles and to use the Yugoslavs to provoke war over Trieste. Russia believed that the U.S. would not come to Britain's support over these issues, with the Army demobilized and Americans sick of war.

Another group wanted to wait a year or two until Russia would have the atomic bomb, which they believed Russia would soon have because of German scientists from the Russian occupation zone hard at work on the problem.

Which of the two groups would carry the day was unknown. The Red Army was said to be apathetic as the troops were tired of war and somewhat disillusioned over the benefits of Communism. Red Army desertions had been occurring with frequency.

Many of the Russian generals who had been heroes of the war, such as Marshals Timoshenko and Konev, were no longer heard from, and Marshal Zukhov, hero of Berlin, had been transferred to Odessa, though said to be an important command post for an offensive against Turkey.

The remaining question, which he promises to cover in another column, was whether the United States and Britain would risk another war to stay Russia's hand in these areas.

Marquis Childs comments on the obvious trust reposited in Secretary of State Byrnes by President Truman, as at the crucial hour when the treaties of the five former German satellites were being determined in Paris, the President was sailing aboard his yacht Williamsburg off Rhode Island with only erratic and unreliable ship-to-shore communications available.

In Paris, Secretary Byrnes, according to Assistant Secretary Will Clayton, had achieved a remarkable serenity despite the constant bickering with V. M. Molotov. Whereas Mr. Molotov was said to be in daily contact with Josef Stalin, Mr. Byrnes did not rely on such daily contact with the President.

During the summer of 1933, President Roosevelt had taken a cruise aboard the Amberjack III with two of his sons while the London Economic Conference was transpiring. That conference had failed and President Roosevelt had been accused of deliberately sabotaging it.

But President Truman disliked personal government and had made a special effort to delegate tasks.

The President was tired and needed the rest afforded by the vacation after a year of struggle with labor and Congress since the end of the war.

Some of the problems attendant obtaining qualified personnel for positions, such as on the new Atomic Energy Commission, might have been avoided, in that instance, had the President worked a little harder to achieve passage of the bill earlier in the session. But that, Mr. Childs concludes, would be to second guess, which the President could not afford to do.

Peter Edson suggests that the public test prospective candidates for the Congress by asking about the unfinished business of the 79th Congress, as well as other pressing matters. He then provides a checklist of those issues: rent controls, price controls, control of inflation, balancing of the budget, level of taxation, the minimum wage, long-range housing, veterans benefits, merger of the armed forces into a Department of Defense, universal military training, extension of the draft law beyond the current expiration of July 1, 1947, drafting of strikers, assumption of more responsibility by labor unions, labor fact-finding boards, the poll tax, making permanent the FEPC, support of the U.N., money for arms to train the military in Latin America, China, and other countries, U.S. control of the liberated Pacific islands, international control of atomic energy, and making a loan to Russia and otherwise cooperating with the Soviets.

By finding out where the candidates stood on those issues, he suggests, a voter could become informed, but would also likely give the candidate a bad time.

A letter from Senator Harry F. Byrd of Virginia reports on what the Bureau of the Budget had stated to the Joint Committee on Reduction of Non-Essential Federal Expenditures, of which he was chair, in terms of the number of Federal employees within the Executive Branch. He states his intent to insure that the Pay Act of 1946, which placed strict limitations on the number of employees which could be retained in most departments and agencies, would be obeyed.

A letter writer finds newspaper editors, especially of The News, to be of doubtful ability to think after he had read for the previous year the editorialization on the race problem. He says that he had served in the Army and eaten with blacks, that there had never been any issue of equality of treatment. Blacks expected to return to the South and be treated as equals after doing a good job for the country during the war.

But, he believes, the editors were stirring up the racial issue such that many whites were reacting by denying blacks their rights, that the newspapers had fueled expectations of both races, causing whites to be fearful of black demands for rights.

He believes that if the newspapers would stop writing about the issue, then "the trouble would soon settle down and the Negro would be able to live a free, happy life as he has always done."

The letter writer, of course, ignores certain undeniable realities consequent of the history of slavery and segregation, unequal economic, social, and educational opportunity, disparities the rectification of which were sine qua non to a well-integrated society, living truer to its concept of equal opportunity and justice for all, realities which would not simply go away or dissipate for long on their own without journalists who took the risk not only to oppose the degenerative behavior on both sides of the racial divide, but who also sought to suggest ameliorative methods of action to change both the de jure and de facto system and its institutions for both black and poor white, and even if sometimes impractical of implementation in the particulars, to advance the debate so that salutary results might ultimately come from level-headed discussion rather than violence in the streets, which ultimately did result from too many people seeking to follow the disastrous recipe which the letter writer advocates, dodging reality, pretending the South at its base to be happy-happy land, finally as obscurantist in its implications as that of the most virulent race-baiters.

Track 29 was fine some of the time as an escape, but when the music stopped and the listener, still hearing the tune, actually boarded the train or the bus with some hunky-head bound determined to wipe that grin right off, come hell or high water, even if it took rank lies and violence to do it...

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