Tuesday, September 3, 1946

The Charlotte News

Tuesday, September 3, 1946


Site Ed. Note: The front page reports that Pravda had accused the United States of stripping Japan of its industrial equipment and seeking to establish it as "watchdog against the peoples of the Far East." Russia's observance of V-J Day, of which the comments were a part, made no mention of any United States contribution to the defeat of Japan or the atomic bomb. Pravda and other Russian newspapers contended that Japan would have continued fighting indefinitely had it not been for Russia's entry to the war on August 8, 1945. In addition to claiming that Russia had dealt the "crushing blow" to Japan, it also claimed that Russia had "smashed" Hitler's armies—even the latter statement being only partially correct.

It was, of course, the old Nazi propaganda trick of accusing one's adversary of the precise conduct of which the accuser was guilty. It had been Russia which, post-war, was stripping Manchuria of the industrial equipment established there by Japan during its occupation since 1931.

Pravda had complained that the Japanese had stripped industrial equipment from Southern Sakhalin Island during the last year of the war and shipped it to mainland Japan, before Russia's annexation of the southern half of the island, pursuant to Yalta, at the time of surrender. Russia already had control of the northern half pursuant to earlier treaty with Japan.

In Paris, the Peace Conference military commission approved unanimously that the Italian armed forces be limited to 297,500 men, 250,000 to be of the army, as part of its treaty. Italy would not be allowed aircraft carriers or battleships and would be allowed 200 fighter and reconnaissance planes plus 150 transport and trainer aircraft. The state police would be allowed a force of 65,000 men.

The State Department promised a full statement by this night or the next day re the dispute with Yugoslavia over the downing of the two aircraft in August, the second one resulting in the deaths of all five members of the crew. The passengers and crew of the first flight, originally imprisoned, had been released, as had the bodies of the deceased crew, meeting the terms of the State Department's ultimatum.

State Department officials disclosed that a note from Yugoslavia had expressed official regret over the incident and stated that, henceforth, Yugoslav forces would not open fire on American planes. But the Yugoslav Embassy stated that it had delivered a note Friday protesting unauthorized flights over Yugoslavia by American planes, and eschewed responsibility for the incidents. A Belgrade newspaper printed a note from the Government demanding that the U.S. agree that no more unauthorized flights would occur over Yugoslav territory and claiming numerous such flights, 32 during the period of August 23-27, had taken place since the second incident of August 19. Thus, the picture remained muddled as to Yugoslavia's true intent, prompting postponement by the State Department of its announcement.

General Eisenhower stated in Boston to a gathering of the Veterans of Foreign Wars that the United States had to work to resolve international difficulties within the United Nations, even if patience would wear thin.

Donald Nelson, former head of the War Production Board, warned in his new book, Arsenal of Democracy, that the United States had to be wary of increased military influence during peacetime, as it had largely taken control of the economy in 1944 after seeking to achieve that control throughout the war. If left to military control, he said, the economy and the society would be in peril.

He said that the supposed production crisis of 1944 had been spurious, an effort to divert public attention from military miscalculations. There had never been any shortage of munitions at the front, as had been claimed, supposedly stalling action.

He also stated that the heads of the Army and Navy, War Department Secretary Henry Stimson, Navy Secretary Frank Knox, and War Mobilizer James Byrnes, had combined to try to remove him as WPB chairman in 1943 and replace him with Bernard Baruch; but he had managed to avoid the result by dismissing a vice-chairman of WPB who sided with the Army view. His three-year conflict with the Army had begun, he said, in 1942.

In Tulsa, William Green, president of the AF of L, declared his belief that the 40-hour work week was doomed, to be supplanted in the atomic age by a 30-hour week.

A truck strike by Teamsters, involving 25,000 drivers, hit New York. The drivers wanted higher wages.

In New York, the Democratic State Convention opened with a vigorous attack on Governor Thomas Dewey, up for re-election. Mr. Dewey had been the 1944 Republican presidential nominee and would be so again in 1948.

Eleanor Roosevelt delivered the keynote address, in which she stated that Governor Dewey had merely continued the progressive policies put in place by Democratic Governors Al Smith, Franklin Roosevelt, and Herbert Lehman. The convention was expected to nominate Senator James Mead to run against Mr. Dewey.

In Lansing, Mich., a police officer was held on a first degree murder charge for allegedly shooting to death his wife. He had originally told police on August 22 that the couple's 32-month old son had taken the officer's service revolver and accidentally discharged it into his mother, but had recanted the statement and admitted the killing during a fit of anger.

Another case in which the scenario first described by the officer had actually transpired, had appeared in the prints a few months earlier.

In Fayetteville, the murder trial of politician Wall C. Ewing for the death of his wife proceeded, with evidence presented that he was having an affair with his wife's sister. Mr. Ewing faced the death penalty if convicted of first degree murder. A neighbor said that the two had been playing on a sliding board in the back yard. When Mr. Ewing's wife sought to join them, Mr. Ewing had told her she was too old to slide and should go into the house. The neighbor had also seen the sister on Mr. Ewing's lap in the back yard and stated that they were hugging and kissing. Another witness told of witnessing Mr. Ewing strike his wife on one occasion.

Mrs. Ewing had been found dead in the yard and initially, Mr. Ewing told the police that she had suffered a heart attack, then changed the story to say that she had been robbed.

In Chicago, William Heirens was determined by psychiatrists to be sane enough to cooperate with defense counsel and therefore to stand trial in the three murders to which he had confessed. It also meant that he could voluntarily enter a plea of guilty to avoid the death penalty, as he would.

In Atlanta, two of the nation's top auto racers were killed in a six-car pileup during a 100-mile race, 1946 Indianapolis 500 winner George Robson and George Barringer. Mr. Robson had pocketed $33,800 on Memorial Day in race winnings, averaging 115 miles per hour at Indianapolis. The racers were but two miles from the finish line when the wreck occurred, caused by one car with a broken drive shaft having to plod along at 20 mph and Mr. Robson swerving to avoid it, then crossing the track and hit by the car driven by Mr. Barringer.

OPA issued Spare Stamp 51 for sugar rationing, allowing five pounds through the end of the year. Stamp 49 was extended to September 30 because of the sugar shortage preventing consumers from being able to cash it. Two stamps, 9 and 10, were available for home canning sugar.

In New York, the Savor Bar on upper Broadway gave away to any G.I. or former G.I. free beer, beefsteak, and French fries on Labor Day, starting at 3:00 p.m. until the wee hours. By the evening, the place had been crammed with G.I.'s. The Greek proprietor was a veteran of World War I. He had given 600 G.I.'s holed up in a hotel across the street during 1942 and 1943 free beer and food when they had been without pay for two months.

On the editorial page, "'Two Good Men, Two Strong Men...'" reports of what is counter-intuitive to a modern reader, that the race for Governor in South Carolina in the run-off primary pitted a liberal against a conservative, one candidate being Judge Strom Thurmond and the other being Dr. McLeod, describing Judge Thurmond as the "liberal". Both men, it says, had broken with South Carolina tradition by being respectful of one another and running clean campaigns, the title of the piece being a quote from Judge Thurmond's campaign poster in reference to Dr. McLeod.

It broke with the long tradition of vitriolic campaigns and waving of the Stars and Bars in the other candidate's face. The piece recounts the statement by deceased Senator Cotton Ed Smith: "I was tryin' to conduct this campaign on a high plane, but about the time I got down to the Fields of Runnymede and stopped for a drink of water an old man down on the front row spit out his cud and yelled, 'Hell, Ed, tell us about the time you walked out on them blue-gummed Senegambians in Phillydelphy'."

Parenthetically, about the time we got down to the fields of Runnymede one morning in April, 1970, our left front wheel broke off.

Judge Thurmond was favored, and, of course, would win the race, beginning a long career in South Carolina politics, ending only in 2003 with his retirement from the Senate at age 101, after serving in that body since 1956. He would become known quickly as one of the most fiery and ardent segregationists in the country, anything but liberal, leading his reactionary Dixiecrats from the Democratic Convention in 1948, in Phillydelphy, in a display of secessionist fury regarding the introduction of a strong civil rights plank into the platform. From that point forward, he would be a Democrat in name only, eventually, in 1964, switching to the Republicans.

"Labor Strategy Is Now Defensive" comments on the absence on Labor Day from labor union speeches of any proclamation of new horizons to conquer, that Labor now had all of the rights of which Eugene Debs had ever dreamed and more. The strategy instead now was defensive, to protect the gains obtained.

And with good reason, as there was a decided effort afoot to curtail the power of labor unions. The CIO PAC had shown little power in the elections, as all of the targeted Congressmen had won. The 80th Congress would be no more pro-labor than the 79th had been, and it was assured that new legislation lay ahead to limit labor and bring about new responsibility from both labor and management.

The prediction was correct as the Congress would pass in 1947, ultimately over President Truman's veto, the restrictive Taft-Hartley Act.

"A City Manager Should Manage" comments on the departure from Greensboro of new Charlotte City Manager Henry Yancey, with remarks indicative of there being acrimony vis-a-vis the Greensboro City Council, which had failed to enact his city plan.

It says that he would not find a cooperative City Council in Charlotte either and so it was probably just as well that he had experienced such a challenge in Greensboro. His predecessor had been rendered immobile by the conflict between the Mayor and Council.

It hoped for harmony so that the $16,000 salary, the highest paid any public official in the state, used to hire Mr. Yancey would be put to good use and that he would be allowed, as suggested by the Greensboro Daily News ought be the proper role of a city manager, to manage.

A piece from the Wichita Beacon, titled "Report from a 'Dry' State", reveals that there was more liquor and gambling going on in Kansas than at any time before in its history. It was true in every county of the state. Law enforcement officers, turned out of office at the polls, now sat idly by allowing the law to be broken with impunity.

It wonders what the average Kansan proposed to do about it, but reminds that the condition was merely an intensification of what had gone on perennially in the "dry" state which also had outlawed gambling for many decades.

Robert Hannegan, chairman of the Democratic National Committee, substituting for Drew Pearson, begins with two quotes of FDR, the well known one on fear from his first inaugural address in 1933, and the other from his last address scheduled for a Jackson Day dinner at Warm Springs, never delivered on April 13, 1945: "The only limit to our realization of tomorrow will be our doubts of today."

In the latter statement, he had been talking about the world, and specifically the post-war world; in the former, the country, itself, and its domestic crisis. Mr. Hannegan had just returned from a tour of 22 countries and he was impressed by the fact that all of the people held in their minds a living memory of FDR as having been their beacon of hope. They continued that hope with President Truman.

But he had also noticed that they perceived in America a new cynicism and doubt, as the minority voices of dissent arose against President Truman's program.

He had seen the first Bikini test of the atomic bomb in July and the thought which had pervaded among the witnesses to it was that man could never allow another war to occur. The people of the world, he believed, had faith that President Truman would enable them to avoid it. He had found people uniformly interested in a union for humanity rather than an alliance based on greed and profit.

The people, he says, understood that the country could not retreat to the domestic policies of the 1920's and foster lasting peace. But they heard the "'Me-First!'" minority of Americans advocating such a return, to put labor back where it had been 25 years earlier, to re-establish the policy of laissez-faire, of putting profits before people. They believed such policies would foreshadow reaction abroad. But they also realized that there was the desire in America for continued peace and progress and that democratic will would ultimately prevail.

He concludes by saying that the people of the world would not give up their faith and thus, he counsels, the people of the United States should not give up their own.

Marquis Childs reports from Dennis, Mass., on Cape Cod, that the veterans of the war were returning to civilian life with a sigh of relief, not lust for more war as had been predicted would be the case at the onset of the war.

A dozen apprentices of the Cape Playhouse had put on the play, Out of the Frying Pan by Francis Swann, dealing with the theme of stagestruck youth. The play had a vitality and good humor not ordinarily present in Broadway productions.

Before the war, the summer camp had taught outdoor skills, bringing sports to the young, not common 30 years earlier, just as the playgrounds of the inner cities had.

American youth were being chided for paying too much attention to games and not enough to world affairs, as European youth—who had fueled two world wars during the previous 32 years. Mr. Childs believes that American youth had not turned their back on world affairs but were merely eager to return to normal play activity. They spoke with a kind of bitter resignation, however, to the fact of another war in prospect.

Hitler had believed that the youth of the democracies were soft and effete, would not fight. Goebbels had once characterized Britain as a nation of shopkeepers. To the Nazi mind, sport for the sake of it was incomprehensible. The accumulation of strength and skill had to have an ultimate purpose.

He concludes that the skill and strength of the country could be summoned again if necessary. But for the present, the younger generation of the country were playing and playing hard.

Samuel Grafton returns to the page after a month-long vacation, writing from San Francisco, says that he had watched people playing up and down the California coast, but believed them not to be enjoying the boom times. He did not know why it was the case as everyone was making money. Everyone was playing, but no one appeared happy.

He thought that a recent Reader's Digest article telling of the boom would lift spirits, but the stock market had dipped on the day he read it.

The youth coming out of the war were not so interested in gadgets as was the generation after the First World War, were less confident in the future, having been educated by the past and Depression to understand that prosperity was only transitory. One man to whom he talked was only interested in dropping the atomic bomb on Russia, was distracted only briefly by a discussion of new cars.

There was also a trend toward anti-intellectualism, as evidenced by gloating editorials in the wake of the death of H. G. Wells and the 90th birthday of Bernard Shaw, saying that neither had predicted correctly the downturn of American culture—instead of giving praise to their beliefs in progress and the "illimitable perfectability of mankind and the world".

An article had appeared by Stanley Walker in the Saturday Evening Post condemning New York as being too inclined to excitability over political questions, taking strong positions in response, usually liberal. Robert McCormick of the Chicago Tribune had led similar attacks on New York. Both appeared to Mr. Grafton as attacks on intellectualism, hiding behind an attack on a city.

Thus, he concludes, it was a strange kind of boom, full of confusion and sour predictions, with no one sure why it was so.

A letter criticizes the recent article of R. F. Beasley reprinted in The News, in defense of North Carolina as a one-party state for its good government compared to two-party states. The writer finds the argument specious, that the two-party states, for instance, spent substantially more on education than did each of the one-party North and South Carolina. Only five percent of South Carolinians had turned out to vote in the previous election. Those facts, sdays the writer, suggested lack of responsive government, as championed by Mr. Beasley as supposedly emblematic of North Carolina.

A letter quotes philosopher Blaise Pascal, "Force, not opinion, is the queen of the world, but it is opinion that uses force," and also the advocacy by Leon Trotsky of use of force boldly when force is required, by way of urging the Administration to hear the voice of the people and strike boldly before the country's ears were cut off.

A letter writer named Rider says: "If I were a Jew or a tolerance rascal of the type that use the Negro for a Red Herring to cover their own sinister doings, I would enjoy your so-called editorials. However, having moved out of New York because it smells so bad, my ability to see through something rank is tested but lightly when I pick up your typocritical sheet. Regular N. Y. kike stuff."

The editors respond: "Better not unpack, Mr. Rider; it's getting tougher and tougher to find a place where the air is scented with the heady odors of intolerance."

A letter from Special Agent of the FBI Ed Scheidt, leaving as head of the Charlotte office to take over the New York office, thanks the newspaper for its nice editorial to him on August 24.

Parenthetically, Mr. Scheidt would recommend on February 18, 1949 that a statement to FBI agents two days earlier by informant Whittaker Chambers be maintained in confidence and not made public for fear that it would undermine the credibility of Mr. Chambers in his implication of former State Department attache Alger Hiss, claimed as his former close friend, in providing microfilm of secret documents to the Russians, kept hidden in a pumpkin on Mr. Chambers's Maryland farm. The report in question was the admission by Mr. Chambers of having had homosexual desires and having been a practicing homosexual during the period 1933-38, though claiming to have then turned to religion after leaving the Communist Party, albeit expressly excluding any association between his homosexuality and Communist ideology, and having successfully repressed his feelings, returning to his marital relationship—and, ultimately, turning to Mr. Nixon.

Another way of putting it is that if the statement of Mr. Chambers had not been maintained in confidence in 1949, it would have been in all likelihood impossible to obtain a conviction of Mr. Hiss for perjury before HUAC based on his allegedly false statements in rejoinder to the Chambers testimony. And the political career of Richard Nixon would likely have ended early, his reputation as a Communist hunter irreparably tainted, before his 1950 election to the Senate, defeating Congresswoman Helen Gahagan Douglas in a Red-smear campaign, just as he had Congressman Jerry Voorhis in 1946 by associating him with the supposedly Communist influence of the CIO PAC—and the rest, as they say, would likely not have been history.

Framed Edition
[Return to Links
Page by Subject] [Return to Links-Page by Date] [Return to News<i><i><i>--</i></i></i>Framed Edition]
Links-Date -- Links-Subj.