The Charlotte News

Monday, November 7, 1949


Site Ed. Note: The front page reports that the Supreme Court agreed to hear the case of Herman Marion Sweatt regarding his refused admission, on the basis of his being black, to the University of Texas Law School. He would be successful the following year in the landmark case, Sweatt v. Painter, holding unanimously that Texas had not met the requirements of separate but equal facilities, as required by the 1896 decision in Plessy v. Ferguson, preserving a case-by-case determination. While not overturning Plessy, the case was another major step along the road to that eventual determination in Brown v. Board of Education in 1954, regarding public schools generally in the nation. Texas had claimed to have satisfied the requirements of Plessy by having established a black law school at Houston and planning a $250,000 law school building for it.

The Court also agreed to hear the case of G. W. McLaurin regarding whether it was constitutional to have him sit separately from white students at the University of Oklahoma, to which he had been admitted as a graduate student for want of an adequate black graduate school in the state. The Federal Court of Appeals had upheld the State in its segregation of the classes as long as the student received an equal education to white students attending the University. The Court, in an opinion announced by Chief Justice Fred Vinson, would unanimously strike down the restrictions as violative of Equal Protection under the Fourteenth Amendment.

The Court also denied review of the decision by the Federal District Court in Washington to impose fines under a contempt citation against John L. Lewis and UMW based on their refusal to heed an order to halt a coal strike in 1948. The Court had earlier cut the UMW fine from 3.5 million to $700,000 based on a contempt citation issued in 1946 under the same conditions. It had left intact the $10,000 fine against Mr. Lewis. The lower court had doubled the fines the second time.

In Chicago, Mr. Lewis was holding a parley with the 200-member policy committee of UMW to consider all aspects of the 49-day old coal strike.

Senator Styles Bridges of New Hampshire, trustee of the UMW welfare and pensions fund, said that he and Mr. Lewis were in conflict regarding the fund and that he believed payments from it had to cease immediately to preserve its assets which were becoming seriously depleted during the period since July 1 when the old contract expired, causing some operators to stop contributions, and, since the strike began, causing all contributions to cease as they were based on tons of coal mined. Since that point, only emergency hospital and medical cases had been paid from the fund.

In Moscow, Russian leaders led celebrations of the 32nd anniversary of the 1917 Revolution, accusing the U.S. of stimulating a new war designed to make the world an American colony. Georgi Malenkov said the previous night that such a war would mean the end of capitalism. Others echoed the sentiment. They claimed that Russia did not want war.

In Warsaw, Marshal Konstantin Rokossovsky quit the Red Army to enter the Polish Cabinet as Minister of National Defense and to be a member of the Council of State, positions expected to give him a major voice in government and military affairs in Poland. He had commanded one of the Soviet Army groups which liberated Warsaw from the Nazis. His appointment had been requested by President Boleslaw Bierut.

U.S. diplomatic authorities stated that the country intended to remain in Japan for years to come, after the end of allied occupation. The decision came as part of the planning stage for a treaty with Japan, next to be cleared with Britain and other allied nations. Under the proposed treaty, occupation would end as soon as the treaty would become effective.

Secretary of State Acheson departed for the Paris Big Three meeting of the foreign ministers to discuss Germany and other matters involving the East-West split.

Russian Foreign Minister Andrei Vishinsky, in Washington for a celebration at the Soviet Embassy of the Russian Revolution anniversary, paid a courtesy visit with Secretary Acheson before his departure.

In Rome, Premier Alcide de Gasperi sneaked through the weekend without the collapse of his coalition Cabinet following the protest resignations by two members being rescinded by the Liberal Party. The resignations, stimulated by police violence against peasants in the south of Italy, would have prompted all Cabinet ministers to resign and the formation of a new government.

West Coast heiress Louise Bransten Berman refused under the Fifth Amendment to tell HUAC whether she had ever contributed money to Communist front activities. She had also appeared about a year earlier before the Committee.

Voters this date were set to pick a new Senator in a special election for the Senate seat, currently held by John Foster Dulles, vacated earlier in the year by ailing Senator Robert Wagner. Former Governor Herbert Lehman was the Democratic nominee for the seat, the term for which would expire at the end of 1950, requiring the winner to stand for election again the following year. Senator Dulles had made the President's Fair Deal program a central issue of the campaign and the outcome was seen as a bellwether for the 1950 Congressional elections.

New Jersey was also electing a governor and two special House races were on the ballots across the nation.

All rent controls were expected to end by the following summer.

In New York, the President's military aide, Maj. General Harry Vaughan, had produced an oil painting of two pumpkin heads, which exhibit sponsors said was inspired by the Senate's "five percenter" investigation into influence peddling in the procurement of Government contracts, in which General Vaughan had been implicated. The painting was for a charitable benefit exhibition sponsored by the Urban League, in which "famous amateurs" were participating. The paintings would be sold at auction after the exhibition, with the proceeds going to improve job opportunities for blacks. Exhibition sponsors had titled the painting "The Path of Investigation". The pumpkin heads, supposedly symbolic of the Senators, looked down a road with a question mark at the end. General Vaughan said that it was simply his attempt at impressionistic art.

On the editorial page, "Bumper Crop of Children" tells of the hired consultant for the Charlotte School Board having estimated that enrollment, presently at 20,000, would increase to 30,000 by 1960, necessitating in a decade the adding of half again as many classrooms in the city schools as existed in 1949. No one could predict how much it would cost to provide a modern education for this new bumper crop of youngsters.

City Schools superintendent Dr. E. H. Garinger had said that a bond issue of several million dollars would be required for the following year, as the facilities afforded by the current four million dollar building program were already inadequate.

In September, the County's indebtedness was at 8.4 million dollars with a State constitutional limit of just under 12 million, its borrowing capacity to increase in subsequent years as the County retired its bonded indebtedness and property valuations rose. But it might not rise fast enough to allow the necessary bond measures.

There were three ways out of the mess: a "pay as you go" school building program; the assumption by the County of old Charlotte school district bonds, increasing its debt limit; and a general revaluation of property in the County to enable more revenue.

Soon, without more funding, a generation of children would be condemned to substandard facilities and equipment.

"Private Pension Defects" tells of the Washington Post having pointed out some of the shortcomings in the private pension funds: that funds forced on weak businesses were not secure; that millions of workers of concerns which could not afford the funds were not covered; that the funds restricted the mobility of labor as pension-covered workers were reluctant to shift employment to businesses not covered; that older workers were handicapped in finding employment where length of service determined the pension; and that accrued liabilities were always high at inception of the fund when many workers with long years of service were close to retirement age, threatening to bankrupt the funds.

The Post preferred expansion of Social Security benefits and coverage. The new Ford and Bethlehem Steel plans, however, took into account Social Security benefits in determining the overall employer contributions to the plan, somewhat offsetting the Post's concerns. Perhaps, it opines, the power of industry, therefore, would be added to the unorganized, unpensioned workers to bring about the expansion of the Social Security program, since it was now to the benefit of these large employers to do so, to lessen their own burden.

"For Want of a Law" tells of a driver's license examiner for the State having been acquitted of ten separate charges of having sold licenses for $20 each, despite an Assistant State Attorney General assisting the local prosecutor in the case and despite the defendant's admission of the act. The reason for the acquittal was that the 1913 statute under which he was charged did not cover license examiners. The defense also argued that because the defendant had sent $2 to Raleigh for each license he sold, the State had not lost its ordinary fee.

Yet, the public was endangered by the practice. It urges that the next Legislature needed to enact a penal law to cover the situation, imposing heavy penalties for violation.

"Mind and Body" tells of an increasing interest within the medical schools of the nation in psychiatric training for physicians. Many of the older doctors had made use of psychology in their practices but not until the beginning of the 1940's had most American doctors come to understand psychosomatic medicine.

Dr. Kenneth Appel, associate professor of psychiatry at the University of Pennsylvania, had spoken in Charlotte the previous week, making clear the necessity for increased application of psychiatric techniques by general practitioners. He had informed that there were 200,000 physicians and only 5,000 psychiatrists in the nation, urged doctors to expand their knowledge in psychiatry, that often physical disturbances were caused by emotional disturbances.

Increasingly, the medical profession had come to realize that the human being was a combination of mind and body, not two separate entities. Dr. Appel was helping to spread this understanding, to bring the day closer when man could become master of his mind and body.

Drew Pearson, in his third column on the dispute of the admirals regarding unification and within the Navy, itself, tells of the air admirals having to battle for years with the battleship admirals to get recognition for the Naval air arm, only then, after the war, having achieved that recognition, finding the air defenses turned over to the Air Force under unification. Their frustration at this turn of events was thus understandable.

The Navy's carrier fleets had served heroically during the war, even more heroically given the major defect in carriers, that they were vulnerable and rendered useless when their decks were ripped apart by Japanese suicide bombers who targeted them with that result in mind. At one point during the battle of Okinawa, virtually all of the carriers were in the water on the way to dry dock or returning from same because of ruined decks, preventing takeoffs and landings.

The British had foreseen this problem and started installing armored decks, and toward the end of the war, America followed suit. But it had taken a long time for the Navy to realize this mistake.

The Battle of Leyte in the Philippines was a major carrier battle which convinced many in the Navy that unification was necessary. A divided command, between General MacArthur, in charge of the western fleet, under the immediate command of Admiral Thomas Kincaid, and the remainder of the fleet under the command of Admiral Chester Nimitz, with the immediate command under Admiral William Halsey, caused problems. Admiral Halsey had chased a Japanese fleet north, a fleet which turned out to be designed as merely a feint. When he gave his orders to disengage from the main battle and pursue, he took the battleships with him, leaving the smaller vessels in the south unprotected. The following night, a Japanese squadron shot up the smaller vessels and could have taken out the larger vessels which, unknown to the Japanese commander, had exhausted their ammunition in battle. Had the commander known the fact, he might have delayed the end of the war.

Had all parts of the Navy been operating under a single command, Admiral Halsey would not have pursued the feinting force. Undoubtedly, Mr. Pearson ventures, it was this incident which had caused Admiral Halsey to tell the Richardson Board in the summer of 1946 that he favored Army-Navy unification.

Joseph & Stewart Alsop discuss the replacement for Dr. Edwin Nourse as chairman of the Council of Economic Advisers being central to a determination of how the Administration's economic policy and approach to the deficit would proceed. If it were Council member Leon Keyserling, a liberal who favored an increase in taxes and, moreover, an increase in productivity as the means to curing the deficit, then policy would be shaped in that direction. He would not favor deep cuts in defense and foreign aid, the only area available in which to make substantial cuts. In this manner, with growth at 3 percent per year, it was believed, the budget could be balanced by 1952, without raising taxes.

If one of the economizers was named chairman, then stress would be placed on defense and foreign aid cuts as well as raising taxes as means to cure the deficit.

The trouble with both approaches, they conclude, is that no one yet knew how either to achieve this constant rate of growth, or, on the other hand, to balance the budget through deep defense and foreign aid cuts without compromising national security.

Robert C. Ruark tells of his plans to go on the road again and how he would go about justifying it to his bosses, seeking to do so subtly so that they did not get the idea that he was taking a pleasure trip when in fact that was what he had in mind.

He says that he intended to start in Denver, to fulfill his contract, since his bosses, after some consideration, seemed to want him to go there. Then from there, he might go to San Francisco, then to Hollywood, perhaps Honolulu, Fiji and Australia. Or he might just stay in Denver. He concludes by saying that he was the boy with a flexible mind and might not come home at all.

A letter writer—believe it or not—remarks on the column of Erich Brandeis appearing on the back page of The News on October 31, which had suggested that it would be wonderful to have a woman president. The writer, however, begs to differ, thinks it would defy common sense.

He argues that man had reached his pinnacle while woman had stuck to her traditional roles as housewife and mother, cook and seamstress, companion. It was then that man produced the works of Socrates, Plato, Shakespeare, Milton, Beethoven, et al. This steady progress, he contends, had abruptly ended when the woman was emancipated. No woman was remembered in history except as a function of having produced a famous son or been married to a man of distinction.

He hopes that women would regain their charm, which could not occur by listening to Mr. Brandeis, could only happen by returning to their "normal and God-given activities as mothers, companions, wives, cooks, rockers of the cradle, and seamstresses."

Yeah, and let's have a civil war in the country and typhoid epidemics, flu epidemics, short life expectancies, prairie living, Injun attacks of the settlers who wander ignorantly onto their hunting grounds, and all the rest which preceded your myopically atavistic, naive sense of the past because of your own personal sense of emasculation in the face of being outshone by a woman—in short, make America Great Again by attempting to turn the clock back to a "simpler time".

Develop a skill, boy. Learn to sew seams or cook or mend fences, something, rather than cutting money and reviewing actuarial charts all day. Then you will feel like a man again.

A letter from J. R. Cherry, Jr., of Chapel Hill addresses the letter of Harry Golden responsive to his previous letter, in which Mr. Golden had asked him who he regarded as an American. He says that he wants to know what Mr. Golden called himself. He recommends that Mr. Golden peruse the books in the Charlotte Public Library, such as those by Henry James on the subject of what it meant to be an "American". He also recommends generally the history books and sociological works on the subject. And, he counsels observation and experience.

He concludes: "Tch Tch—and to think that Mr. Golden is an editor too—and Uncle Walt says that editors are supposed to know about everything!"

This type of response was why the UNC students, no doubt, wanted Mr. Cherry to run for President of the United States.

A letter from the president of the Carolina Spastics Association thanks the national organization of the Azusa Grotto for its generous gift to the Association.

A letter from J. R. Cunningham, president of Davidson College, thanks the newspaper for its cooperation in covering their homecoming event, which was designed around the Davidson endowment fund campaign.

A Quote of the Day: "We've never cared too much for football or a political argument except when the other side was so darn weak we didn't have a chance to lose." —Pelham (Ga.) Journal

Another Quote of the Day: "A hen in Cleveland, Ohio, lays flat eggs. It could be that the square milk bottles may have something to do with this trend." —Columbus (Miss.) Commercial Dispatch

Remember to vote tomorrow, at least for President, because if you don't, you have no ground to complain about whatever form or direction the Government may take during the next four years. It is your responsibility and yours alone. It is the only thing we do in our democracy, other than jury service, which is direct and not representative. Seize the day. As 2000 proved, your vote could mean the difference, literally, in who wins.

Think about it carefully and exercise the choice with dignity. Who is the better qualified to be President for the next four years? That ought be the central question. Any differences in policy may be worked out as we go along, as they always are. Remember that no President is an autocrat who can wave a magic wand and produce results. Any progress requires Congress to work with the President, then the courts to approve or disapprove it all.

And, whoever you vote for, let us not have this dream become the reality on Wednesday morning.

Never take anything for granted, either. Remember 1948 and the Dewey camp's confidence in the poll numbers which showed President Dewey a shoo-in to the White House. Get out and exercise your franchise. You do not have to do it again at the presidential level for four more years. So why should we not have 100 percent turnout? Who has an excuse not to vote? It is free and takes only a few minutes of your time.

And if you see some non-official idiot "poll-watchers" packing open-carried guns, we recommend killing them. Who will blame you?

Herblock, this date, obviously foresaw election day 2016 and the choices we have before us.

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