The Charlotte News

Tuesday, November 29, 1949


Site Ed. Note: The front page reports that Soviet Foreign Minister Andrei Vishinsky, speaking to the U.N. General Assembly's political committee, reiterated that the basis for Russian foreign policy was the struggle for peace. He also repeated the charges that the U.S. and Britain were preparing for a new war and undermining the U.N. by systematic violations of its Charter. He denied that Russia organized revolutions or sought world domination through fomenting uprisings.

The Cominform, holding its first meeting since expelling the Tito regime from its membership in June, 1948, called upon all Communists in the world to help Yugoslav peasants and workers overthrow Marshal Tito. Its resolution referred to Tito's clique as "hired spies and murderers" and said that the fight against him was the duty of all Communist and workers parties.

Reports had reached diplomats that a coup against Tito was planned for sometime between Christmas and Easter.

In Paris, the chiefs of staffs of the armies of the twelve NATO nations met and were said to have reached agreement on unified defense against any future foe. The Big Three chiefs of staff had met the previous day. The main objective of the meetings was to outline a plan for a 3,000-mile defense barrier from the Norwegian Arctic to the Aegean Sea off Greece, to prevent any enemy nation from the East from penetrating it without a fight from the combined NATO nations.

The Nationalist Government in Chungking said that the Army was staving off Communist hordes and that Chiang Kai-Shek was personally directing the fight. The last plane from the doomed provisional capital arrived in Hong Kong at nightfall. The passengers who had fled Chungking told of the Communists being at the Yangtze River bank skirting the city. Acting President Li Tsung-Jen was in the hospital and reported to be seeking a visa to the U.S. to obtain further treatment.

In Dallas, Tex., an American Airlines plane crashed into buildings on the border of Love Field early this date and burned after striking a hangar and then hitting a Magnaflux chemical plant while attempting to land, killing 28 of the 46 aboard. Fourteen survivors were in the hospitals and one was missing. Three other survivors were discharged with minor injuries. Among the dead was a British king's messenger, Lt. Col. A. F. S. Fane, en route to Mexico City and Guatemala on an official mission. Two prominent doctors from Mexico were also aboard, one of whom had survived.

Near Lyon, France, six or more persons were killed, including all five of the crew, when an Air France plane, en route from Paris to Lyon and Tunis, crashed in hazy weather about 15 miles from the city. Thirty-seven were aboard. No information had been received on the fate of the other 31 passengers. The pilot apparently had become confused when the plane entered a particularly foggy spot.

November, 1949 was one of the worst months in aviation history with over 200 deaths in civilian and military crashes, including this date's crashes. On November 1, an Eastern Air Lines DC-4 had collided with a Bolivian fighter plane while both planes were trying to land at National Airport in Washington, killing all 55 aboard the passenger plane, the largest number of air fatalities to date in a single crash. Three days before that, a Paris-New York plane crashed into a mountain peak in the Azores, killing 48 persons. On November 20, a Dutch mercy plane crashed while carrying to Norway 28 Jewish children who were refugees from Tunis, claiming the lives of 34, with one 12-year old boy surviving in the tail section of the airplane. It provides a list of the other air crashes of the month.

Senator Guy Gillette of Iowa said that an Agriculture subcommittee would open an immediate investigation into the price of coffee, which had shot up because of speculators. Coffee imports reached a new high in 1948, and 1949 imports were running at about five percent higher.

John L. Lewis had called a meeting of the UMW policy committee in New York for this date but then, without explanation, did not attend. It remained unclear even to the policy committee whether he intended to resume the strike on December 1, after a three-week hiatus, when the November 30 deadline passed.

In New York, in the second perjury trial of Alger Hiss, Whittaker Chambers, the defendant's accuser of being a Communist spy, testified during cross-examination by the defense that he may have been wrong about receiving one of the Government documents he claimed to have obtained from Mr. Hiss, that it may have come from Harry Dexter White—not of the animal farm, but nevertheless a lefty. Mr. Chambers had previously testified that all 47 documents he received came from Mr. Hiss.

In North, S.C., a coroner's jury absolved the local Sheriff of criminal liability in the fatal shooting of a prisoner he was bringing to jail on November 18. The jury found that the Sheriff acted in self-defense, as he had suffered wounds on his face and head from the prisoner, requiring hospitalization for a week.

In York, S.C., the trial continued of accused murderer Nathan Corn, whose first conviction and death sentence had been set aside by the State Supreme Court, as jurors viewed the two scenes of the crime, where the murder of Mr. Corn's employer took place in June, 1948 and where the body was discovered.

The defense had suggested in its opening statement that suspicion should be cast on a man who had spent the night in a Charlotte hotel with the deceased two weeks before the murder. The prosecutor said that he intended to look into the matter, but complained of being sent repeatedly on a rabbit chase by the defense.

Upon arrival in Key West for a vacation, Margaret Truman, flanked by the President and First Lady, took the picture of the press with her Rolleiflex camera.

The sports page tells of the selection of the Associated Press Little All America football team, with two members from the Carolinas.

On the editorial page, "Mr. Tobin's Pension Formula" tells of Labor Secretary Maurice Tobin having brought down the house at the Massachusetts CIO convention when he proposed a minimum wage of $1 and pension of $100 per month for every retired person in the country. It appeared, says the editorial, to be the newest Fair Deal bait for the mid-term elections.

The piece finds the concept "irresponsible". Senator Taft recently had wondered aloud why other trades should not receive a $100 pension fund when the coal miners and steelworkers now had it. But the cost would be around 12 billion per year and the only way to accomplish that funding would be through Federal taxation.

It concludes that the only logical way to provide better pensions was to revise Social Security to enable it to pay more reasonable benefits. Such an approach, it ventures, was the most certain way to prevent "demagogues" as Secretary Tobin from placing the country in "an old-age welfare program" it could not afford.

"Two Key Street Projects" finds that the two projects receiving publicity during the weekend were both needed, one a third segment of the new Independence Boulevard, tying South Boulevard with Wilkinson Boulevard via old Dowd Road, and the other being connection of South Boulevard with the Thrift Road-W. Morehead intersection.

The way the roads are now in Charlotte, you probably could not find any of those places if you tried for days, probably would wind up in Lizard Lick, if not Dix Hill. So we leave it at that. Charlotte nowadays may rival Mexico City for the worst city for logical navigation in which we have ever driven.

"The New Office Building" finds that the proposed new 18-story building in downtown Charlotte would provide a resurgence of interest in development of the main business district, especially along S. Church Street, following some years of development of fringe areas. It finds that such a building would have been a gamble a few years earlier but with construction costs leveled off and office rental prices stable, there was good prospect for filling such a building.

Wethinks, nevertheless, that the building never got built—unless they blew it up. In any event, the location is still a parking lot.

A piece from the Asheville Citizen, titled "Safe Busses and Dangerous Roads", wonders how many road obstructions existed on the school bus routes, as the blind curve heading into a bridge which had caused the accident in Middlesex several weeks earlier, resulting in the deaths of seven students.

It provides the State Highway Patrol report of bus routes in Buncombe County and problems on them, including having to cross deep and wide creeks.

The piece hopes for action from the grand jury in correcting the issues. The fact that the buses had been operating without mishap for some time over the roads of the county was no assurance against the future accident, as the same had been true in Nash County before the Middlesex accident. The blind curve and the trees and bushes obscuring it had been removed from the route there, but too late to prevent the seven deaths.

Drew Pearson tells of Congressman Mel Price of Illinois visiting Berlin and meeting at a reception General Vassily Chuikov, the military commander of the Russian sector of the city. They talked about what Russian and English each knew, finding, in both cases, that their command of the other's native language was slight. General Chuikov said that he only knew the word, "Okay", to which Congressman Price responded that he wished he could teach it to Foreign Minister Andrei Vishinsky.

Mr. Pearson tells of additional salary kickbacks of Congressman J. Parnell Thomas, on trial for fraud against the Government in the scheme, which the Government would not be able to present to the jury for legal reasons. He concludes that Mr. Thomas had his hand in the till of almost his entire office staff for most of the time he had served in Congress.

The Senate had begun investigation of milk profiteering and alleged price-fixing by big city dairy trusts. In large cities, consumers were charged 21.5 cents per quart while the farmers received from 6 to 13.5 cents. The biggest markup was in Chicago where some dairies paid only eights cents per quart and sold the milk for 21.5 cents. He notes that one reason for the high price was the high wages paid to drivers of the delivery trucks. Some milk truck drivers received between $10,000 and $30,000 per year in Chicago.

The President answered a question posed by a member of the League of Women Voters on how to enroll as a worker in a political party by saying that he would be glad to tell them how to get into the Democratic Party. But they wanted to know generally about entering both parties.

Senator Taft, who was the supposed enemy of labor, refused to do business with a printer who did not have the union stamp on some printing he had ordered. It was subsequently added.

Gordon Gray of Winston-Salem was impressing everyone as the new Secretary of the Army.

The Soviet military mission in North Korea had a strength of 2,000 Army soldiers, 1,500 Navy, and 500 Air, belying their claim of having pulled out their occupation forces.

The Department of Agriculture had produced a cookbook of recipes for dried milk, free to housewives, because it had 200 million pounds of dried milk from price supports. Secretary Charles Brannan wanted to divert the dried milk into commercial markets.

Joseph & Stewart Alsop tell of new chief of Naval operations Admiral Forrest Sherman having insisted on the Navy undertaking to step up its program to meet the Russian Schnorkel submarine, which could evade sonar and every other tracking device of the Navy and destroy a whole fleet of 100 ships with only eight submarines. The German sub which the Russians took over was superior to anything the U.S. had. Admiral Sherman, unlike his predecessor, Admiral Louis Denfeld, wanted to insure that the research and development to combat this submarine was operating at peak levels.

Admiral Denfeld, a submariner, had assured both Secretary of the Navy Francis Matthews and Secretary of Defense Louis Johnson that everything possible was being done to develop the technology. But Admiral Sherman believed otherwise, that the stress on carriers had compromised the funding available for submarines. He wanted the program funding equalized, as he recognized that the submarine was the gravest threat to U.S. Navy superiority of the seas, despite a 10 to 1 U.S. advantage in tonnage of ships.

Russia had about 30 of the Schnorkel submarines but by 1955 would be able to develop enough to drive Western shipping from the seas. For Western Europe to be safe, the seas between America and Europe had to be controlled by the West or American aid would be cut off. It was a critical part of the defense strategy and so it was comforting, they conclude, to know that Admiral Sherman was giving stress to remedy of this problem.

Henry C. McFadyen, superintendent of the Albemarle, N.C., schools, in the thirteenth in his weekly series of articles on childhood education, stresses the problem of overcrowded classrooms. He had once taught a class of 52 students in third-year high school English and it took him half the year to gain some measure of control of the class and by the end, he still did not know all of the names of the students. There were not many classes that large but there were a large number with 40 students.

There were two types of students who posed problems for teachers, those of above average intelligence and those of lower intelligence, both requiring special attention. But in a large class, that was not possible. The teacher was constrained to teach at an average level of comprehension and pace. Everyone had to conform to that level, as if in the military.

Many times in that scenario, he informs, the brighter students would misbehave or become lazy out of boredom, as had been the case with young Winston Churchill when a student.

The dull students also needed special attention from a teacher and could not get it in large classes.

Usually 30 students was an acceptable load for a teacher and between 25 and 30, optimum. A high school teacher would have about 150 students per day with such class sizes, still more than the teacher could know very well. The elementary school teacher, however, with thirty pupils, could manage with relative ease.

A letter writer says he believes that the Constitution was based on the Sermon on the Mount and so was initially pleased when he saw that the President was discussing the latter. But when he read the President's "dissertation", he found that the he had urged the people to follow the principles while not agreeing to follow them himself. He says therefore that he was still in a muddle regarding whether the oaths of office were binding or merely advisory.

A letter from the executive secretary of the Charlotte and Mecklenburg County Heart Association discusses heart disease and urges the public to consult their physicians regularly, especially if they suffered from a heart disorder, accounting for a third of the deaths in the country.

A letter writer comments on the editorial of November 24 anent parking meters, wants it to be required reading for all of the City personnel involved in parking enforcement, believes the meters were "one-armed bandits", which he considers illegal.

He adds that another thing riling taxpayers was that disabled veterans had been "dumped in the trash pile, in favor of a lot of women, who will be much harder to deal with, in case of any and all excuses."

Whatever you do though, don't burn a flag or Connie Donny will try to take away your citizenship and throw you in jail for expression of free speech.

He really is insane, as well as stupid. We hope you realize that.

Justice Antonin Scalia, who he praises as a model for his prospective Supreme Court nominees—God and Congress forbid—, was in the five-Justice majority in the flag-burning case of 1989, Texas v. Johnson, upholding the practice, short of arson, as exercise of free speech. Maybe Donny would strip Justice Scalia of citizenship if he were still alive.

Beware. We hope those recounts proceed well, carefully, and accurately.

Speaking of which, why is Donny so upset about the recounts if there was no fraud, no hacking? He and his people are certainly disturbed about something.

We hope that there will be some forensic analysis also of the voting machines to the extent possible to determine whether they were hacked and that there will be analysis, too, of any and all provisional ballots which were not counted, to determine the validity of those denials.

Our future as a country is at stake, as is becoming more evident by the day.

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