Site Ed. Note: The front page reports that a bomb exploded in
the Semiramia Hotel in Jerusalem, planted by the Jewish underground,
resulting in at least five known dead and 15 missing. The
three-story building completely collapsed. At least seventeen others
were injured. The hotel was supposedly one of five district
headquarters of an Arab military group. Haganah claimed
responsibility for the attack.
The incident was the worst bombing of a hotel since the King
David Hotel bombing of July 22, 1946, when nearly 100 persons were
killed. That attack was attributed to the Irgun Jewish underground
The previous day in Jaffa, another Arab headquarters was
bombed, killing 18 and injuring about a hundred. Police blamed the
Stern Gang for that attack.
The two attacks were retribution for an attack by Arabs on a
Haifa refinery the previous week, in which 47 Jews were killed,
itself reprisal for a bomb and shooting attack by Jews on Arabs in
an employment line.
A Senate Appropriations subcommittee obtained the commodities
trading records of the President's personal physician, Brig. General
Wallace Graham, following the disclosure by the Secretary of
Agriculture Clinton Anderson of General Graham's name as a wheat
futures speculator in September, when he had purchased 50,000
bushels. The subcommittee was also looking at the trading records of
Edwin Pauley, assistant to Secretary of the Army Kenneth Royall.
The Supreme Court, in U.S. v. Di Re, 332 US 581, a decision delivered by Justice Robert
Jackson, ruled 7 to 2 that OPA investigators and a detective
violated the Fourth Amendment in that they had no right to arrest
and search a passenger they found riding in an automobile with a man
suspected of black market operations. Counterfeit ration coupons
were found on the man when searched and he was charged accordingly,
convicted and sentenced to a year in jail. The conviction was
Chief Justice Fred Vinson and Justice Hugo Black dissented
William Arbogast of the Associated Press looks at the start
of the second session of the 80th Congress, to begin the following
day, facing, in the midst of an election year, the pending Marshall
Plan, the need for a long-term housing bill, military preparedness,
and the President's call for national health insurance. Tax relief
was a major item on the agenda for the Republicans. The GOP, hopeful
of capturing the White House, would likely, he suggests, engage in
The Wisconsin Secretary of State, a supporter of General
MacArthur, reported that the General had indicated a definite
interest in the 1948 Republican presidential nomination. He based
the conclusion on a letter from the General stating that he would
derive great satisfaction from selection by his neighbors for
GOP presidential candidate Harold Stassen of Minnesota
unveiled a five-point plan which he believed would work to rebuild
Europe and halt the spread of Communism.
A member of the Army-Navy Petroleum Board calculated that
Greece was receiving about 7,000 barrels of oil per day under the
American aid program, meeting about a third of its needs. The
disclosure to a Senate Small Business subcommittee was part of an
investigation into the fuel oil shortage in the country. Senator
Olin Johnston of South Carolina wanted an investigation of the oil
industry to determine whether big oil was holding oil off the market
to run the price up.
Former King Mihai I, who had recently abdicated his throne in
Rumania, entered Switzerland. It was believed that he was about to
rendezvous with Princess Anne of Bourbon-Parma.
Princess Emina Tousson, cousin to King Farouk of Egypt, was
planning to abandon her Egyptian citizenship and give up her title
so that she could marry an FHA analyst in Washington, a native of
Raleigh. The couple had met during the war.
In the area of Farmville, Va., four earth tremors were felt,
extending over a 50-mile area.
In Archbold, O., a New York Central "Chicagoan"
passenger train slammed into a bobsled, killing ten children aboard
and seriously injuring two others. The bobsled was being pulled by a
tractor operated by an adult who said that he thought the tracks
were clear when he began pulling the sled across. The children said
that they did not see the train because they were having too much
fun. It was snowing heavily at the time.
North Carolina recorded record income for the first half of
fiscal year 1947-48, 74.3 million dollars, compared to 62.5 million
the previous year. Recent figures showed that 9.3 million dollars
had been earned in December, 2.2 million higher than the previous
December. Teachers were citing the figures in support of holding a
special session of the Legislature to pass a teacher pay hike.
The Charlotte Planning Board launched its 1948 drive to
achieve a master plan for the city, which included new school sites,
library facilities, new auditorium locations, additional hospital
facilities, expansion of museums, and other such projects.
The widow of former President Benjamin Harrison, in office
from 1889-93, passed away in New York at age 89. She was the second
wife of President Harrison and a niece of the President's widow, who
died in the White House in 1892.
In San Francisco, a 74-year old man who kept his life
savings, $2,000, in a telephone book, was forced at gunpoint by four
robbers to disclose the hiding place.
In Hollywood, singer Dinah Shore and her husband, actor
George Montgomery, had a new daughter.
On the editorial page, "ULPC Challenges the Tar Heels"
comments on the formation of the new labor political committee
formed of CIO, AFL, and several independent unions to work for
individual candidates in the 1948 election.
The piece finds it the most formidable labor front ever
formed in the state, with 200,000 members of the participating
Before it could be considered a force, however, in state
politics, it had to show that it had more actuating it than
opposition to the Taft-Hartley law. The attempt across the country
to punish those who voted for the law in June had failed and
backfired in tests.
The rank-and-file in North Carolina enjoyed their voting
independence and so the committee would need to provide compelling
reasons for them to vote in lock-step.
The committee also had to find a way around the Taft-Hartley
prohibition of labor unions engaging in politicking for particular
And it had to offer a program which was broad enough to
appeal to the general public.
In Maryland, a labor-backed candidate had won, but in
Pennsylvania, had lost. In the latter campaign, the independent
voters turned out for the other candidate. The piece thinks North
Carolinians would behave likewise.
It opines that the labor leaders had made a serious mistake
in making such an effort and predicts that they would receive a
lesson at the polls.
"Government with a Smile" tells of a piece by
Washington correspondent Ernest K. Lindley having stated that the
President was conducting the Government with equanimity, rarely
uttering a cross word even behind the scenes. Mr. Truman had always
been cordial, but he had faced a solemn test in a divided Government
with the opposition in control of Congress and the Democrats being
divided politically. Nevertheless, the working relationship between
the White House and Capitol Hill had been strengthened.
Mr. Lindley attributed the result to the President not making
harsh statements regarding the opposition. Recently, he had stopped
aides who were disparaging Senator Taft and urged that Mr. Taft was
an honest man who had come a long way on intelligence and hard work.
The piece suggests that the friendly atmosphere thus created
was compromising to leadership. FDR's penchant for name-calling had
been much more effective than the Truman approach.
But Mr. Truman's manner had contributed to the bi-partisan
foreign policy, had held the Democrats together, and had been good
for the country's nervous system.
A piece from the Richmond Times-Dispatch, titled
"Truman and Boss Tom's Ghost", tells of the Pendergast
machine being back in the news after indictments related to alleged
voter fraud in the 1946 Congressional primary in which the President
successfully had purged Congressman Roger Slaughter, whom he
considered to be obstructing the Truman policy, in favor of Enos
Axtell, only to have Mr. Axtell lose in the fall to the Republican.
The President had elicited the aid of James Pendergast to do so. The
action appeared to have the effect of reviving the power of the
Pendergast machine in Kansas City.
But, it notes, News Editor William Reddig, originally
from Kansas City and author of Tom's Town anent the
Pendergast machine, had set the record straight by editorializing
that the two dominant Kansas City factions had been working together
to revitalize the machine prior to the President calling on James
Pendergast for the help. And subsequently, the factions, as a
result, fell apart, setting the stage for a Republican victory.
The piece finds that the President's reputation had been
tarnished in the matter and that Attorney General Tom Clark had been
less than energetic in pursuing the voter fraud issues, despite
revelations by the Kansas City Star and findings by the House
Campaign Expenditures Committee. Only after thieves had stolen the
sequestered ballots from the primary did the Attorney General begin
investigating the matter. Two Federal grand juries had indicted 41
persons and State grand juries had issued indictments against 71.
Three thus far had been convicted.
Republicans were preparing to use the matter in the coming
Drew Pearson, still in Rome, tells of the first President of
Italy since becoming a Republic, Enrico de Nichola, having signed
the new Italian Constitution nine days earlier. He had to leave
Parliament under Mussolini and had lived quietly in Naples since
Mr. Pearson had interviewed the new President. He wanted
democracy to work in Italy, had advised the year before Italian
leaders to accept the treaty for Italy and not haggle over its
terms. They accepted his advice. Italy was now working hard to
Mr. Pearson had received a Bible from a school teacher in
Trenton, N.J., with instructions to give it to the Italian people.
She had won it for making parachutes in a factory during the war and
wanted the Italians to understand that some Americans who helped the
war effort remained for the Italian people. Mr. Pearson gave the
Bible to the President. The President graciously accepted the gift
and remarked on the great generosity of the American people in
supplying the food and other articles from the Friendship Train.
He relates of the rebuilding of the Abbey of Monte Cassino,
bombed during the war. It had been built in 529 A.D. When the Nazis
used it as a garrison to block the advancing Third Army, orders were
given to bomb it. The town of Cassino also had been leveled. The
people were utilizing machinery provided by UNRRA to rebuild the
town and the monastery. The people, he finds, were not bitter and
when they received the Friendship Train food, they found hope. They
hoped that there would never be another war.
James Marlow, in the last of a series of three pieces
outlining the Marshall Plan, tells of some of the contentious points
in the Congress regarding the Plan. The first point was whether the
country should commit to a four-year plan as recommended by the
President. Many Republicans wanted a one-year appropriation with
annual review. The President countered that such short-term
appropriation would mean that the 16 recipient nations of Western
Europe could not engage in long-term planning, hampering the
effectiveness of the aid.
The second point was that many Republicans believed the
overall amount recommended, 17 billion dollars, was too much.
The third point was that the initial amount recommended by
the President to cover the first 15 months, 6.8 billion dollars, was
also too much.
The fourth point of contention was the extent to which the
recipient nations might repay the aid with raw materials needed by
the U.S., such as rubber and tin. The President did not think any
such condition ought be attached to the aid.
The fifth point was whether the Plan should be administered
by a new agency, as recommended by the President, formed of experts
with a chief administrator and a roving ambassador in Europe.
Republicans wanted an eight-person bi-partisan board to administer
Victor Riesel takes issue again with Henry Wallace, this time
criticizing his criticism of conservative Democrats and Republicans
for not fighting harder against discrimination. Mr. Riesel thinks
that Mr. Wallace, aside from some speeches, had done little to end
discrimination. He thinks numerous conservatives had fought behind
the scenes for "little decencies" and for labor.
He finds Mr. Wallace to be "purchasing" cheaply the
title of "liberal". He accuses him of having run a tight
"Jim Crow agency" while Secretary of Commerce between 1945
and 1946. He had not desegregated the Department of the Census
dining room and washrooms despite being informed of it and having
the power to end the separation. The same was true of Washington
National Airport. But Secretary of Commerce Averell Harriman,
successor to Mr. Wallace, did end the discrimination in these
facilities and did so with a mere phone call.
Moreover, Mr. Wallace, he finds, had done nothing to defeat
the bills which labor despised, the Smith-Connally Act of 1943, the
movement by the President in 1946 to draft labor, and the
He thus questions by what right Mr. Wallace claimed title to
being a liberal.
A letter writer finds The News overly quick to take
issue with Henry Wallace's third-party candidacy in its editorial,
"Henry Wallace, the Wrecker", finds it remarkable that
Southerners were not more receptive to Mr. Wallace, as a
tee-totaling believer in the Bible, a candidate thus fulfilling in
personal character what the South had been preaching for years. He
was also frugal.
The reason, says the writer, Mr. Wallace did not receive such
support from the South was that Mr. Wallace stood for equal rights
and opportunities for all citizens and was in favor of labor unions,
a decent minimum wage and limitations on hours.
A letter writer finds Joseph Alsop's column of December 31 to
be exceptional, concerning relations with Russia and the need for
the Marshall Plan to prevent Russian expansion into Western Europe.
He thinks, however, that only threat of military force would
be heard by the Russians, that the country was in a "hell of a
A letter writer thinks more jobs in City Government ought be
provided local residents rather searching outside the state for
talent. He commends former Mayor Ben Douglas for being a leader on
You can test your current events and general knowledge I.Q.
for 1947-48 on the page, and then turn to the back page for the