The Charlotte News

Tuesday, October 4, 1949


Site Ed. Note: The front page reports that President Truman visited Fort Bragg, N.C., to review the 20,000 troops of the Army's Fifth Corps and a mass drop of a thousand men of the 82nd Airborne Division at Pope Air Force Base in a simulated establishment of an "airhead", analogous to a beachhead in ground fighting—or a blonde. The press was not permitted to take pictures.

Army officials declared that the object was to be able to speed by air all infantry divisions to any point on the globe within a few hours or days. By ground or sea, it would take weeks or months.

Members of the House Armed Services Committee said they would begin investigation the following week into allegations that Navy morale had hit a new low, dangerously weakening the branch. Documents containing the complaints ostensibly signed by high-ranking Navy officers, including chief of Naval operations Admiral Louis Denfeld, had been given to the press the previous night by a Navy source who did not wish to be identified.

Premier Marshal Tito of Yugoslavia accused Russia of trying to endanger "a small people" and warned that his country was ready to defend itself to the "last breath" from aggression. He also condemned the Hungarian trial of former Communist leader Laszlo Rajk for allegedly committing treason by conspiring with Tito to overthrow the Communist Government.

A Senate Commerce subcommittee voted unanimously against approval of Leland Olds for another term as a member of the Federal Power Commission. The matter now would go before the full Interstate Commerce Committee. Mr. Olds had served on the FPC since 1939 and established a record of consumer advocacy and desire for regulation of the natural gas industry, against the big power and natural gas interests.

Rumania and Bulgaria followed Russia in recognizing the Communist Government of Mao Tse-Tung in China.

In Pittsburgh, negotiations to end the 16-day old coal strike continued without progress. A UMW official claimed that twenty union miners had been ambushed at Pikeville, Tenn., by non-union miners, with three men shot, one seriously and two others missing. In Grundy, Va., a rock falling on a truck had killed the driver hauling non-union coal. Police thought the rock might have been deliberately pushed by someone.

In Uniontown, Pa., a coal miner who had sought in Federal Court to obtain by civil suit an accounting of the UMW welfare fund had been expelled from his local, lost his job, and was harassed by UMW miners when he appeared on a downtown street, necessitating protection by police.

In Ann Arbor, Mich., Senator Arthur Vandenberg's condition was good after he had undergone surgery the previous day to remove his left lung.

In Chicago, Preston Tucker and seven other promoters of the Tucker automobile went on trial for Federal charges of mail fraud and violations of securities laws. The allegation was that the company had defrauded investors of 30 million dollars by only producing 60 hand-made automobiles and never entering mass production.

In Oakland, California, a stunt pilot flying upside down came within about five feet of inadvertently tipping wings with an Air Force B-29, part of a formation of B-29's, during an air show. The crowd of 60,000 gasped.

In Beckley, W. Va., a man was indicted for murder in the killing 33 years earlier of a man during an argument. He had been arrested the previous summer in a West Virginia town on an assault charge and investigation showed that he had been wanted for the murder for three decades.

In Houston, a howling wind was reported sweeping over the city in the wee hours of the morning but causing little damage. The storm, which had packed 90 mph winds when it made landfall but had lost its clearly defined eye characterizing the damage-causing swirl of a hurricane, had moved far inland by mid-morning and was dying out. The edge of the storm also hit Galveston but its high seawalls saved it from damage.

Alton Blakeslee, Associated Press science editor, relates the first in a series on "diseases of shame" being conquered by modern medicine, the first being leprosy. He relates of a story circulating during the war of a girl receiving a bracelet from her fiance serving in the Pacific and then contracting from it leprosy as the bracelet had been made by a leper. It had been a false story, built on fears extending back to Biblical times.

The bacteria producing leprosy resembled that of tuberculosis and was not generally contagious, even when injected directly into mice and human test subjects. One had to live around someone with the disease for a prolonged period to have any chance of contracting it through contact.

Patients had been treated at the National Leprosarium in Carville, La., for 55 years and not a single doctor or nurse had ever contracted the disease. Children were more susceptible to the disease than adults.

In Charlotte, a 79-year old man known as "Uncle Sam" had lost his frame house in a fire the previous night. He had built the house two years earlier and was still adding to it. He had lost all of his belongings except the clothes on his back, including his three walking sticks. Police believed the fire to have been set deliberately, and a man and a woman, found by police at the scene, had been picked up for questioning.

On the editorial page, "Cold War Abroad and at Home" finds the cold war to have taken a new turn with the Russians on the offensive, based on the revelation by the President of the explosion of the Soviet atomic bomb, strengthening Russia's hand in Europe, resulting in abrogation of the treaty with Yugoslavia formed in 1945. It had also accused the Western powers of violating the Potsdam accord and the decisions of the Council of Foreign Ministers in their establishment of a separate Government of West Germany. Russia had also recognized the new Communist Government in China and broken diplomatic relations with the Nationalist Government.

Furthermore, Business Week had hinted at a new hydrogen bomb which would dwarf the atom bomb in destructive capability.

It suggests that in a time of such foreboding, it was good to find escape in UNC football with Charlie Justice and Art Weiner or the Brooklyn Dodgers, "mindful, perhaps, that the time for such pleasures was slowly running out."

We have already told you that the bomb would destroy all of the earth on D-Day, January 4, 1953. You do not exist. You have yet to understand the fact. If you do not think, you fail to exist. Think and avoid the fate of realization that you do not exist.

"Farm Price Muddle" tells of the farm subsidy programs being based on a permanent subsidy at public expense and not attempting to fix a minimum level of prices but rather a medium level, assuring prosperity to farmers. All of the plans placed the farmers as a favored group.

The Senate was about to consider three plans: the plan promulgated by New Mexico Senator and former Secretary of Agriculture Clinton Anderson, providing for higher flexible limits for farm prices and an adjustment upward for farm labor costs, with higher support prices resulting; the plan of current Agriculture Secretary Charles Brannan, allowing perishables to find their own market price, maintaining low consumer prices, while parity payments based on a formula would be paid to the farmer; and the bill of Tennessee Congressman Albert Gore, passed by the House, which would continue the present 90 percent parity price support system indefinitely.

It finds that but for the political value of the farm vote, the nation might find a way out of the mess of subsidizing agriculture, producing a stabilized agriculture in a nation which had grown great by free enterprise.

But that had resulted in the Great Depression. Remember?

"Dual Purpose Exposition" praises Dr. J. S. Dorton, general manager and president of the Southern States Exposition, sponsor of the State Fair and various county fairs in the state, for achieving balance in entertainment and education in the presentations. His fairs did not cater just to the click of the turnstiles on the midway, but also provided farm exhibits, educational booths, and the livestock building, appealing to both fun-seekers and those interested in agriculture. He had thereby placed a well-deserved spotlight on the agricultural achievements of the state.

Dorton Arena on the State Fairgrounds in Raleigh, opened in 1952 as an example of new architecture, is named for Dr. Dorton.

"Nigerian 'Pals' Exposed" finds from the Louisville Courier-Journal that the repeated letters to the editor appearing in The News and elsewhere from Nigerian men seeking pen pals had actually been the product of scam artists who had been punished by the Nigerian Government.

It says that the newspaper had not dreamed that anyone would be so gullible to send money to the individuals but had published the letters only because they were so quaintly phrased. It hopes that the Nigerian Government would turn the culprits' letter-writing skills to more productive and legal pursuits.

We just sent them stamps and picture postcards.

A piece from the New York Times, titled "Politics with the Atom", comments that despite the President having informed the American public of the Soviet detonation of an atom bomb in a manner and with timing designed to minimize any political implications, he was nevertheless charged by the RNC chairman, George Gabrielson, with timing the matter for political impact, to increase appropriations for the military aid program for Europe and to take away headlines from the Republicans at their farm conference in Sioux City, Iowa.

The piece suggests that someone, indeed, was playing politics with the dangerous subject, but it was not the President.

Drew Pearson tells of the suicide of Ray Wakefield, who had worked his way up for 25 years from a deputy district attorney in Fresno, California, to become first a tax appraiser and then finally an FCC commissioner, before having his reappointment withdrawn by the President in June, 1947 because of opposition from his fellow Republicans who wanted someone else who would not administer the laws so even-handedly as had Mr. Wakefield, assuring that political cronyism would not be at work in granting radio licenses. He laments that Mr. Wakefield's death would be mourned by few beyond those who knew him as a "friend of man".

Anne Alpern, city solicitor of Pittsburgh, testified to the Senate Interstate Commerce Committee in favor of reappointment to the FPC of Leland Olds, opposed for his guardianship of consumer interests as against the power interests. In the middle of her defense of Mr. Olds as a champion of the consumer, chairman Lyndon Johnson interrupted her, saying that her time was up. After registering some protest over her having to share her time with Senators who had actively questioned her, she was allowed to continue.

French Foreign Minister Robert Schuman, while visiting the U.S. recently, had taken a plane ride over Niagara Falls. During it, an aide gave him three letters from Paris which he opened. One was his income tax bill, which he promptly threw into the lap of a companion, saying that he would have assumed they could have waited until he returned home to give it to him.

Senator Wayne Morse was in a wheelchair for a wrenched back and when he appeared on the Senate floor, Senator Karl Mundt said that he did not mind him voting as FDR but he did not need to start coming around also in a wheelchair.

That's about as funny, Karl, as when you said in December, 1948, after a HUAC witness fell, jumped, or was pushed to his death from his 16th story office window in New York, that the Committee would keep naming the witnesses as they jumped out of windows.

A wild canary had managed to penetrate the restricted area of the Capitol and, when last seen, had perched on an expensive chandelier in Vice-President Alben Barkley's office. Mr. Pearson comments that perhaps it was a lovebird, referencing the rumors of pending marriage for the 71-year old widower.

Joseph & Stewart Alsop tell of Senator Robert Taft and former Congressman Everett Dirksen, the latter getting ready to run for the Senate from Illinois, having revived isolationism. Mr. Dirksen had flirted with internationalism while in Congress but had discovered that he had strayed from the fold of isolationist Col. Bertie McCormick, publisher of the Chicago Tribune, and so returned to form so that he could run for the Senate against Democratic Majority Leader Scott Lucas.

Senator Taft had never much wavered from isolationism and now found it a convenient means by which to shift focus away from his unpopular Taft-Hartley Act and other domestic issues. He believed that an isolationist tide was at work in Ohio because of the increasing expenditure in Congress for foreign aid with few tangible results evident.

But the announcement of the Russian atomic bomb had probably changed that public outlook once again, as such developments had before. Thus far, however, Senator Taft had not been deterred in presenting his isolationist appeal. During the ensuing session of Congress in 1950, he would thus continue his opposition to bipartisan foreign policy.

The result might be that 1950 would be wasted in angry pre-election debate, before the time when Americans could vote their verdict on their own future.

Robert C. Ruark tells of viewing the mummified remains of Incas and finding that they all had holes in their heads, some neatly bored with surgical precision.

While they had no taxes or atom bomb about which to worry, they obviously still were heir to the basic human instinct to kill each other, with clubs or anything at hand.

While people complained about the present generation having it so much easier than the one before it, surely the ancient Incas must have thought the same thing. But, in 3,000 years, he decides, there was enough passage of time for the ensuing calm of sleep to rub off on the observer in the present, leading him to advise: "Sleep soundly in your mouldered trappings, Old Timer. I doubt if things are very much better or very much worse than when you were a boy. They only seem so at the time."

Henry C. McFadyen, superintendent of schools in Albemarle, N.C., in the fifth of his series on child education finds that it mattered not so much whether the children of 1949 could spell better than their complaining grandmother but whether they were learning to spell as well as they needed, as their grandmother probably learned to spell much better than she had needed.

Modern instruction in orthography was based on the words which were used the most in English, leaving aside the more abstruse words. So, he advises, it was no cause for alarm when the average eleventh grader was unable to spell "triptych" or "saponaceous".

He does not believe in teaching the child the rules of spelling but rather cultivating the habit of noticing words, helping the child to divide words and pronounce them. The spelling bee taught how to spell out loud, but the key to proper spelling was the ability to write the word down correctly, and so the facility to picture the word was of paramount import.

A wise first and second grade teacher he knew had developed a classroom exercise whereby the children whispered into her ear a difficult word they had heard at home or elsewhere and then the teacher would write it on the blackboard, after which the other children would try to guess its pronunciation. The children had learned thereby such words as "umbrella", "rheumatism", and "Hawaii".

Hey, teach, how about this one we've been hearing around town a lot. It goes, f-u-.

Wait, teach, no, come back. You didn't wait for the end. We had not finished whispering it in your ear. F-u-c-h-s-i-a. They say it's about pink flowers.

What did you say, teach? You need some saponaceous cleansing of your glottidean lingual passage.

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