Site Ed. Note: The front page reports that a
detailed truce plan was being presented this date to the U.N.
Security Council with prospects of early passage. It was not clear,
however, whether Jews and Arabs in Palestine would accept the
proposal, which included a section barring males of military age from entering Palestine, effectively blocking Jewish immigration except
for women and children, as well as Arabs from other countries. The
truce would be in effect until the General Assembly could determine
what to do with regard to the previously approved partition plan. In
the meantime, in addition to halting the fighting, it would end
importation of arms and war materials.
At Mishmar Haemak in Northern Palestine, 15 miles
southeast of Haifa, Haganah forces numbering 2,000 claimed a victory
over Arabs led by Fawzi Bey Al Kaukji, saying 200 Arabs had been
killed. The Arab League admitted that the Fawzi Bey forces were
surrounded by Haganah forces, but the Arab Higher Executive stated
that the Arab forces had surrounded the Jewish forces. Six villages
near Mishmar Haemak had been captured by the Jewish forces, but the
Arabs claimed that it was the result of a planned withdrawal on their
In Italy, a 32-hour cooling off period began,
banning additional campaigning prior to the Sunday election, with
the Government saying it was prepared for any last minute attempts
by the Communists to cause trouble.
The House passed a 3.198 billion dollar
appropriation to expand the Air Force,
adding 822 million to the original appropriation which allowed for
only 55 groups. While 70 groups had been proposed by Air Force
Secretary Stuart Symington, no one knew how many additional aircraft
the added money would allow. The President stated that he was
supporting Secretary of Defense Forrestal's plan for a 55-group
force with the draft and UMT, and did not know why Mr. Symington was
disagreeing. The President added that unification of the armed
forces was taking time for the services to become accustomed to it.
The President stated that he was as surprised as
anyone else at the previous week's riots in Bogota during the
Pan-American Conference of 21 nations. A Congressional inquiry had
been launched to determine whether the CIA had any advance warning
of the uprising and had warned members of the Administration.
In discussing the newly completed second-floor balcony for the South Portico of the White House, the President, following a meeting with
Bronx boss Ed Flynn and New York Democratic chairman Paul
Fitzpatrick, said that he was confident that he would win in
November. He added that the D.C. Fine Arts Commission criticism of
the White House project was for the fact that they scared more
easily than did he.
Hah, this guy's so far out of touch, it's not funny.
Can't they impeach him for being out of touch with reality?
The publisher of the Ketchikan Chronicle stated
that Congresswoman Margaret Chase Smith of Maine was correct in her
assertion that Russian planes had violated Alaskan airspace. He
added that U.S. planes had also violated the territorial space of
Russia during the previous several months as the Russian planes
transgressed the Alaskan territorial border. The commander of the
U.S. Air Force in Alaska and officers at Air Force headquarters in
Washington stated that there were no reports of Russian activity
The publisher also asserted that a reported Russian
submarine in Kiska Harbor had lingered for about ten days and that
the Navy had a fix on the submarine, had awaited word from Washington
on whether to take any action. He said that the Aleutian bases were
placed on alert during the period.
He also asserted that a B-29 which crashed near Nome
on December 27 had been hit by a Soviet shell and was carrying new
The Navy announced that a fleet of twelve fighting
ships would visit European waters during the summer, with 3,720
In Moscow, Izvestia accused American
correspondent Robert Magidoff of spying for the U.S. and stated that the
Russian Government had asked Mr. Magidoff therefore to depart within
two or three days. Mr. Magidoff worked for NBC, the British Exchange
Telegraph, and McGraw-Hill Publishing. The report was based on a
letter dated April 14 from an American secretary of Mr. Magidoff and
who had worked at the U.S. Embassy in Moscow, that Mr. Magidoff had
dispatched reports and received assignments via Embassy diplomatic
pouches to and from Washington, circumventing Soviet press
censorship requirements. The secretary said that it was evident that
employees of McGraw-Hill, on whose stationery the transmissions were
contained, were engaging in espionage activities in Russia. She said
that the instructions included how to make acquaintances in Russia
with informed persons and particular instructions to Mr. Magidoff on
collection of information on underground buildings.
The report by Eddy Gilmore of the A.P. did not
indicate why the American secretary provided the information to the
Soviet Government newspaper—but apparently she was working, for want
of a better way of putting it, with "Oswald", if not
At Shannon Airport in Eire, a Pan American Airways
Constellation, bound from Calcutta to New York, crashed short of the
runway, killing 30 of the 31 persons aboard, including a crew of
ten. The dead included 19 Americans and a prominent Indian
industrialist, Sir Homi Mehta. The sole survivor was an American
from Burbank, CA., manager of the Lockheed Aviation offices at Shannon,
who was thrown clear of the flaming wreckage as it crashed, shot back through the baggage compartment, suffering only slight injuries. Lockheed built the Constellation.
Visibility was clear at the time of the crash at 2:34 a.m.
As flooding continued for the fourth day in the Ohio
River Valley, the prospect of a respite in the rain gave hope for an
easing of the flood waters. Two young persons, 17 and 9, had drowned
in West Virginia while attempting to recover a wild duck.
The Senate was debating between passage of
amendments offered by Senator Joseph McCarthy to the
Taft-Wagner-Ellender long-term housing bill and those offered by
Senator Taft. The bill encouraged the construction of 15 million new
homes in the ensuing decade.
The contempt trial of John L. Lewis and UMW in
Federal District Court in Washington continued, with the court
hearing final arguments and deferring decision until Monday. Mr.
Lewis had not called off the strike until the previous Monday, a
week after service of the court's order to end the strike
immediately. The demand for a $100 per month pension fund out of the
existing miners' welfare and pensions fund, established in 1946, had
been settled on Sunday, at which point Mr. Lewis called the miners
back to work.
The defense refused the court's invitation for a
detailed argument, resting on the notion that the Government had
failed to prove its case and that Mr. Lewis had never called the
strike in the first place, that the miners had walked out on their own in response to
the UMW demand for the pension pay and the operators' refusal to
agree as not affordable by the welfare fund.
On the editorial page, "Stassen the Giant
Killer" finds the victory by Harold Stassen in the Nebraska
primary, following his victory the previous week in Wisconsin, to
have placed him as the front runner for the Republican nomination
and changed the whole political picture of the race.
He had beat out the entire Republican field in
Nebraska. The emergence of Mr. Stassen was problematic for the
President's chances. The Democrats had asserted that the President
might still have a narrow chance to win the election should the
Republicans nominate either Senator Taft or Governor Dewey. But the
fresh face of Mr. Stassen was not so pleasing as a prospect. Thus,
the movement by the Democrats to draft General Eisenhower had new
Mr. Stassen would appeal to progressives and
independents, as well as labor, causing potentially a stampede from
the Democrats which could have long-range effects on their political
So, it looks like it will be President Stassen. Who
will be Vice-President?
Maybe, this McCarthy fellow. No, he wouldn't provide enough regional balance. Somebody young, maybe, out of the House, with solid anti-Communist credentials.
"$4,500 'Low Income' for Families" discusses a ruling by a New York court that the proper qualifying
family income for low-income public housing was $4,500 per year,
dismissing a taxpayer lawsuit contending that it was too high.
The piece, comparing apples to oranges, looks at
Charlotte and Mecklenburg average family income, finding it,
respectively, at $4,822 and $4,295, thus concluding that almost all
families in the county would qualify for low income housing on the
New York standard. Per capita income in North Carolina was $817 and
It concludes that while public housing had its
place, the standard for qualifying income could not rest near the
average income level lest property values generally be adversely
It never appears to allow for the higher cost of
living in New York than most other places in the nation, including
North Carolina—a bit strange since the publisher of The News, Thomas L. Robinson, had come to the newspaper in early 1947 after a long stint at The New York Times.
"A New Plan for United Nations" discusses the "ABC Plan" advanced by 15 U.S. Senators
during the week for establishing a new U.N. It would provide for an
international police force to enforce U.N. decisions and would be
inclusive of the Soviet bloc members if they so desired. If,
however, they chose not to participate, then the police force would
be formed as a mutual defense pact around the consenting nations,
thus resulting in a continuation of the East-West divide, possibly
making the division deeper. A similar proposal had been introduced
in the House by 14 Representatives.
The proposal was different from world government,
which it regards as the proposal best suited to afford world peace,
based on an international code of laws backed by international
Lorraine Eskew of the Charlotte unit of the United
World Federalists, at the request of The News, provides the first in
a four-part series of articles setting forth the basis for the
proposed world government favored by the organization. She proposes
a system similar to that favored by the foregoing piece, as
distinguished from the Congressional proposal only for an
international police force.
She points out that the old League of Nations had
failed for want of a means of enforcement of its determinations. The
organization she represents favored that the nations give up individual
sovereignty as an outmoded concept in the atomic age.
A piece from the Christian Science Monitor,
titled "Code of Fairness", found it heartening to see a
growing movement to protect citizens against abuse of power by
Congressmen, the latest example of which was a code of fairness
developed by the House Procurement & Buildings Subcommittee. It
permitted witnesses before the committee to have advice of counsel
on answering questions and permitted anyone who believed his
reputation injured by testimony to file a sworn answer which would
be made part of the record of the hearings.
Senator Scott Lucas of Illinois wanted the rules
formalized and to include safeguards against members using Congressional
immunity to broadcast scurrilous accusations.
It favors the move as it would offer protection to
the public against bullying by Congressmen. The Truman War
Investigating Committee and the La Follette Committee had during the
war shown themselves to be fair. Formalization of such practices
would be salutary in protecting citizens' Constitutional rights.
Drew Pearson, as does Marquis Childs, discusses John
L. Lewis and his political game afoot, allowing Speaker Joe Martin
to be the hero who solved the mine crisis during the previous
weekend. Mr. Lewis had a penchant for changing political alliances.
He had supported FDR in 1936 and then in 1940, he urged labor in a
nationwide broadcast paid for by the late William Rhodes Davis,
sleazy Texas oil millionaire who helped to provide the oil for the
initial Putsch of the German Wehrmacht in 1938-39, to vote against the President.
Hermann Goering had said, after he was captured at the end of the
war, that Mr. Lewis was being paid from German coffers to defeat
President Roosevelt on the notion that another President would
provide peace terms favorable to the Nazis.
Mr. Lewis had sought to defeat West Virginia Senator
Harley Kilgore in 1946, also without success.
The previous spring, he had managed to obtain a
large wage hike for the miners following the Government return of the
mines to the private operators, leading to inflationary
prices in coal and steel. It supposedly was a deal worked out between
the supporters of Governor Dewey and Mr. Lewis for him to provide
political support for the Governor. Mr. Dewey had not thus far
appeared, however, to have been helped.
It appeared that Mr. Lewis was shifting his support
to Speaker Martin. Senator Styles Bridges, whom Mr. Martin
recommended the previous weekend to resolve the impasse on the
pension fund demand, had derailed the investigation of the Davis
payment for the 1940 broadcast, which could have proved
embarrassing to Mr. Lewis. It proved that Mr. Lewis could settle a coal strike
whenever he wanted to do so. With both Governor Dewey and Senator
Taft flagging in their presidential fortunes, Mr. Lewis might be
able to put Speaker Martin across for the nomination, making the UMW leader,
for the first time, a kingmaker.
Senator Homer Ferguson's investigation the previous
year of Howard Hughes and his war contracts with the Government had
led to a report just released, but which said nothing of Senator
Owen Brewster's lobbying for Pan Am and the favors which he had
received from the airline and its head, Juan Trippe.
The House Post Office Committee was keeping a
confidential report from the Cleveland Post Office under wraps
because it could lead to wholesale revision of the big city post
offices. It might help to trim the 345 million dollar deficit in the
Department. Cleveland was targeted for experimental streamlining to
save money, which, if successful, would be implemented in other
Marquis Childs finds the power of John L. Lewis to
affect adversely the country having been once again demonstrated in the
strike just ended. The nation's coal reserve was practically gone
and the miners had lost 100 million dollars in wages. Whether his
call to end the strike would be obeyed was still an open question.
The miners followed Mr. Lewis with fanatical
devotion for his having done so much to improve their lot through
time. But the power he had acquired also tended toward corruption
and he was no exception to the rule. With the strike having been
ended by Speaker Joe Martin suggesting that Senator Styles Bridges
become the missing third member of the board of trustees of the UMW
welfare fund, Mr. Lewis had allowed Mr. Martin to be the hero of the
piece. And, he would inevitably want to collect for bestowing that
The Bureau of Mines had recently issued a quarterly
report which stated that half of the more than 12,000 mine safety
violations had not been corrected. The problem lay in varied
enforcement within the states, which had responsibility for
enforcement, while the Bureau could only inspect and report
violations. Enforcement varied from state to state, good in
Pennsylvania, poor in Illinois, where the Centralia mine disaster of
the previous year had taken place.
Speaker Martin was a proponent of states' rights, as
were most conservative Republicans. Thus, in that light, making Mr.
Martin the hero of the strike looked odd. The miner had to wonder,
in his loyalty to the leader, whether he was also backing the
states' rightists who wanted to keep the Federal Government at bay,
enabling the states not to enforce the regulations which kept them
Joseph & Stewart Alsop tell of discussions
ongoing in Washington regarding the U.S. joining the Western
European Union, to form an "Atlantic Union"—that to
become NATO. There were differing opinions in the Administration as
to how to achieve this arrangement, whether by treaty or fitting the
WEU within the U.N. framework. It was also unclear how such a union
would be formed without including Italy, Greece, and the
Scandinavian countries, in greater danger of Soviet takeover than
the five nations of the WEU, France, Britain, and the Benelux
A treaty would be proposed only if the Senate was
sure to approve it. The French insisted on an immediate treaty, a
view shared by the British without being so insistent.
Belgian Prime Minister Paul-Henri Spaak,
representing the Benelux countries, was most concerned about the
practical aspects of providing a means of defense by mutual
America was supportive of Mr. Spaak's view but did
not want the WEU nations to abandon their own defense goals by being
too reliant on the U.S. The ways to achieve a joint command, to
apportion contributions to manpower, and other issues still had to
be resolved. Only then should the WEU call upon the U.S. for renewed
But thus far, the necessary talks of the WEU
nations, prefatory to forming a secretariat and a joint command
staff, had not taken place.
On this date in 1865, President Lincoln, after
leading the nation through the worst period of its young history for
four years of Southern secession and resultant civil war, died at
7:30 a.m., across Tenth Street from Ford's Theater, in the Petersen
house to which he had been carried after the shooting at around
10:15 the previous night, some contemporaneous accounts placing his
death at precisely 7:22. Now, he belonged to the ages.
The bloodied pillow on which his head rested during
the night and the room in which he died, never regaining
consciousness, may still be viewed by visitors to the Petersen
house and the museum across the way.
It perhaps says something about the societal change
in sensibilities since the Nineteenth Century that such bloody
artifacts of the death of a President, while traditionally remaining
on display in the case of President Lincoln, would be viewed today, if displayed afresh from a
contemporaneous event, as grotesque and macabre. Perhaps, in the age
of television and probing into private lives of public persons to
the point of leaving little sacred, the insistence on maintenance of
privacy in matters of death has been given greater sanctity and
Yet, the viewer of the Lincoln death bed and the blood-stained pillow is
impressed with a sensitivity to the fate of the slain President as
no other display could imbue. And so it remains. Whether that
preservation bodes good or ill for the nation has to be left to the
perception of the beholder.
Meanwhile, during the night and early morning hours
of April 14-15, the President's assassin, John Wilkes Booth,
effected his escape on horseback, past sentries, into Maryland,
where he received treatment at the home of Dr. Samuel Mudd in St.
Catharine for the broken leg which he had suffered when jumping from
the Presidential box to the stage after the shooting of the
President, catching one of his spurs on the flag adorning the front
of the box, interrupting his fall.
After making his way into northern Virginia in the
coming days, he would be cornered by U.S. Army soldiers on April 26
in a barn on a farm at Port Royal, and, as the barn burned, was shot
by one of their number. The soldiers present recounted that, as he
lay dying, unable to move, he asked to see his hands, and when shown
them, uttered the word, "Useless," then died.