The Charlotte News

Tuesday, December 13, 1949


Site Ed. Note: The front page reports that the President urged Congress to pass early in 1950 the bill to establish a fair employment practices commission, with Senator Scott Lucas, Majority Leader, announcing that he would seek a vote early in the session on the FEPC, which he regarded as the mainstay of the President's civil rights program, and that he hoped to complete work on the Fair Deal program by the following July. He disagreed with those who wanted to move step by step to the FEPC, first undertaking to pass anti-lynch and anti-poll tax legislation.

The U.S. denounced Bulgaria for accusing the U.S. legation in Sofia of spying and the U.S. Minister of having met with the principal defendant in the purge trial of wayward Communists, suggested that the U.S. might break diplomatic relations with the Communist Government. The State Department said that the legation had been subjected for some time to such false charges and had undergone restrictions on travel and housing.

In New York, the defense began in the retrial of Alger Hiss for perjury, with Dr. Stanley Hornbeck, the superior to Mr. Hiss in his former position at the State Department, testifying that he believed that there was no question that Mr. Hiss did not take the papers he was accused of taking and transcribing in 1937 for Whittaker Chambers, Communist courier. He also said that former Ambassador to Britain William Bullitt had told Dr. Hornbeck in 1947 and earlier that he believed Mr. Hiss was a Communist or a "fellow traveler". Dr. Hornbeck said that there was no evidence to back up these assertions, based entirely on hearsay.

In Washington, a Capital airliner wandered off the radar path leading to fogbound National Airport the previous night and crashed into the Potomac River, killing four of the 23 persons aboard. Many of the 19 survivors, most of whom were servicemen on Christmas leave, were seriously injured. The landing gear of the aircraft had been reported as up at the time of the crash, enabling a relatively smooth water landing.

On the previous November 1, the worst crash in airline history to date had taken place, killing all 55 aboard an Eastern Air Lines plane when it crashed into the Potomac after colliding with a Bolivian fighter plane trying to land at the same time.

In London, some 1,600 workers joined a spreading wildcat strike against the State-owned power system, with a quarter of the 10,000 electrical workers idle, including the crew of the Barking station, largest in Britain.

Find a new dog.

In Berlin, the German police, after a massive hunt, had found the missing three-year old son of the American deputy military commander of Berlin, who had wandered from his yard during the afternoon. He was found on a street corner looking around, lost, cold, but not worried. The boy had been in the care of his nurse at the time he walked away.

He was lost, but now he was found.

In Kelso, Wash., a search was being conducted for a missing 16-year old Girl Scout who had disappeared on the previous Sunday. Tracks four to six hours old, indicating the traveler was faltering, had been located at around midnight.

Those were probably from the Sasquatch who nabbed her and took her to his cave to steal her cookies.

The Western half of the country, for the second consecutive day, saw temperatures drop to freezing, including in parts of California, Fresno and Sacramento, while the mercury hit zero in some places in Arizona, and below zero in Montana and North Dakota. The cold stretched into the Midwest and Great Lakes region, reaching to Minnesota. The East and South meanwhile enjoyed mild temperatures.

Steady, soaking rain fell in New York, hit by a water shortage. Poughkeepsie received 1.38 inches in the previous 24 hours. Bear Mountain Park got .71 of an inch.

In Berry, Ala., the two wells which furnished the water for the town had run dry, leaving the town without adequate drinking water.

Prime the pump.

A University of Iowa male student was arrested for the strangulation murder of a coed whose body was found at the Empty Arms rooming house after both had attended a fraternity party on the prior Saturday night.

His arms may be empty for awhile.

In Darien, Conn., the daughter of the president of 20th Century Fox Film Corp. was arrested after being fired upon and superficially wounded on her hand by an officer who sought to stop her speeding car. She was committed to a sanitarium for observation after being booked on charges of reckless driving and driving without a license. The officers said that she had been traveling on the Boston Post Road at 80 mph.

In Maxton, N.C., a 27-year old man had threatened to shoot his uncle's dog and wound up being shot by the uncle through the neck and killed with a shotgun.

That'll teach him to threaten his dog.

In Raleigh, Governor Kerr Scott said that he did not know whether Senator Frank Graham would have opposition in the spring primary in the special Senate election and stated, in answer to whether any opponent might seek to make a point of the Senator's past support of left-wing organizations, that it would depend on the opponent and that such an opponent, he believed, would make Senator's Graham's supporters the more eager to keep him in office.

Raleigh attorney Willis Smith, ultimately the winner of the primary, in his campaign to be managed by Jesse Helms, would make use of this tactic and add to it that Senator Graham was in favor of integration.

In Philadelphia, the Philadelphia Textile Institute's drive to collect clothing for the needy of France received, wrapped in clothing, two cameras, a set of silver candlesticks, and a silver chafing dish, among other items of worth.

The annual Good Fellows Club Christmas luncheon at the Hotel Charlotte would hear the stories of three of Charlotte's neediest families. The Good Fellows would then donate cash to the families. The program would include musical selections, "Hallelujah" by Beethoven, "Sanctus" by Gounod, "Gesu Bambino" by Yon, "Birthday of a King" by Niedlinger, and "O Holy Night" by Adam.

The Bambino was King of Baseball for awhile, perhaps in the twilight doubleheader.

On the editorial page, "Abuse of Executive Sessions" tells of the City Council being slated to take up again the following day, this time in executive session, the issue of continuation of rent control, having delayed its decision on the matter after hearings a week earlier. It suggests that in the interest of transparency, the executive session be limited to matters not yet ripe for public discussion and that other matters, including any decision on rent control, be conducted in public session.

"Lessons from Down Under" tells of the conservative victories in Australia and New Zealand over the Labor Party rule which had lasted eight and fourteen years, respectively. The people had tired of controls on the economy and increasing nationalization of industries. It had given Conservatives in Britain optimism for the 1950 national elections.

But it issues the caveat that the British need not be overly optimistic as there were several local issues at work, endemic to Australia and New Zealand, accounting for the results. It also remained for the winning parties to remove the controls and socialization, a speculative process. As one National Party leader in New Zealand had analogized the effort, "Have you ever tried to unscramble eggs?"

"Atomic Energy Pact" tells of David Lilienthal, outgoing chairman of the Atomic Energy Commission, telling U.S. News & World Report recently that Canada and Britain, having been wartime partners of the U.S. in development of the atomic bomb, had sufficient knowledge of the process already that with the right materials, they could build their own bombs. Thus the new pact for sharing atomic knowledge between the U.S., Britain, and Canada had to be viewed against that backdrop. The latter two nations had agreed to abandon plans for building their own bombs, but their scientists would participate in the further development of the U.S. arsenal.

The practical impact of the agreement was to remove the locus for bomb development far away from Europe, avoid competition for the supply of uranium from the Belgian Congo, and prevent dispersion of the bomb among the three nations while encouraging maximum output.

The major stumbling block was to allow Canada and Britain access to the U.S. stockpile in the event of an emergency. But that issue could resolve itself as any such emergency would likely involve also the U.S.

It served as a positive sign that security was more important than absolute secrecy. Cooperation of the type presented by the agreement appeared to assure Western supremacy in the atomic area, vital to peace.

"Charles A. Webb" laments the death at age 83 of the chairman of the board of the Asheville Citizen-Times Company, also a major booster of Western North Carolina, having said that the state's mountains were its strength. He had served as a teacher and lawyer, in the Legislature and as a U.S. Marshal, in addition to being a publisher.

A piece from the Raleigh News & Observer, titled "Profit from a Wrong", discusses the need for revision of the law which afforded a full tax exemption for State bonds, enabling the State to reinvest its own bonds in partially exempt U.S. Government bonds, at a profit of three million dollars because the latter had a higher market value. The State Treasurer was to be commended for the proposal, but the law needed to be changed as the exemption drove capital from productive enterprise into partially exempt U.S. Government bonds. The U.S. bonds were fully exempt when held by a State, adding to their profitablity.

Drew Pearson tells of former Vice-President Henry Wallace, despite Lt. General Leslie Groves having testified to HUAC that he withheld atomic information from the Vice-President during the war, having actually had probably more information on the subject and being more responsible for the bomb's development than General Groves. Following the 1939 letter to FDR from Albert Einstein warning of nuclear research being performed by Nazi scientists, FDR had assigned then Secretary of Agriculture Wallace to head a secret Government board to determine whether the goal of building a bomb was worth the expense. The choice of Mr. Wallace was logical as he was a scientist and had contacts with nuclear physicists. After several conferences, Secretary Wallace reported to the President that the project was worth the expense. The Manhattan Project was thus born and General Groves picked to run it.

At the time, military leaders were not enthusiastic about the bomb. General Breton Somervell, in charge of supplies, opposed it while Army chief of staff General Marshall went along with the idea.

As Vice-President, Mr. Wallace continued his regular conferences with General Marshall and Secretary of War Henry Stimson, the content of which remained secret.

Military leaders in spring, 1945, a few months prior to the initial Trinity blast of July 16 in New Mexico, wanted the Manhattan Project terminated, arguing that the B-29 and its saturation bombing could devastate Germany and Japan without resort to the atom bomb. But General Groves and Undersecretary of War Robert Patterson were emphatically opposed to termination.

Professor Einstein was having his house at Princeton, N.J., painted as he improvised tunes on his piano. He was troubled by the cold war and its effect on the rebuilding of his native Germany. He feared that a strong Germany was a greater menace to peace than Russia. He rarely granted interviews anymore as he had been attacked in the past for his statements. From a recent interview, he permitted only one sentence to be quoted, that the present policy toward Germany was "the same madness the Western powers committed after the last war."

In Orange, Texas, white and black citizens presented a new Ford station wagon to Willie Ray Smith, a crippled football coach at the black high school. He was honored not only for his efforts at coaching football but also for guiding the youth of the community in a positive direction.

Tackle-to-tackle, all fours.

James Marlow discusses the upcoming 1950 census, a decennial process occurring since 1790. It was a felony for the census taker or any other person to reveal any personal information provided.

He explains some differences from the 1940 census which polled 130 million people.

There had, in the interim, arisen a question of the propriety of asking the amount of income being earned by the subject. GOP Representative Clarence Brown of Ohio wanted to know where the President got the legal authority to ask the question. It turned out that in 1929, the Republican Congress passed a census law which permitted the director of the census to determine the questions and in what form to ask them. The question on income had been asked in different forms since the 1850 census when Zachary Taylor and Millard Fillmore were, in succession, President, did not start under FDR in 1940.

Oh, that's different.

Henry C. McFadyen, superintendent of the Albemarle, N.C., schools, in the fifteenth in his series of articles on childhood education, discusses technical schools. A former student who was in the Navy in the Pacific had written him to ask about N.C. State in Raleigh, as he wanted to study about diesel engines. He wanted to learn mechanics but not engineering for four years of college. In high school, he had not taken the course work necessary for admission to N. C. State. So, Mr. McFadyen recommended that he attend Morehead City Technical Institute, a one-year school run by N.C. State for technical training. Industry needed five technicians for every engineer.

There, he could study building trades, drafting, metals, electricity, and internal combustion engines. In high school, course work in shop, science, mathematics, and mechanical drawing would afford a good background for entry to the technical school. The school blended theory with practical application of the skills learned.

While relatively new in North Carolina in 1949, the concept had been in place for many years in the Northern and Western U.S. Mr. McFadyen recommends the concept for the students who did not desire to go to college for four years. Graduates of the technical schools had something to offer the prospective employer.

But don't do what Mr. Corn is supposed to have done down 'ere. Keep your eyes on the beam.

A letter writer praises the News editorial critical of the statements before HUAC and on the radio by former Major G. Racey Jordan, but quibbles with its statement that Russia had been an "ally" during the war, finds that the Russians had insisted on being called "co-belligerents". He also stresses that Russia was no longer behaving as an ally.

The editors respond that Russia was, in the technical sense of the term, a co-belligerent, but also was generally regarded as an ally during the war. The accounts of Yalta by Robert Sherwood, compiling the reports of the late Harry Hopkins, and of Secretary of State Stettinius confirmed that Russia was considered an ally, that the relationship extended beyond the mere practicality of defeating Germany and Japan, to the formation of the U.N. and the postwar world. It concludes that the Soviet failure postwar to live up to this wartime alliance did not change the fact that it had occurred.

A letter from J. R. Cherry, Jr., quotes from The Merchant of Venice by way of comment on the Atlanta Journal piece bemoaning Earl Wilson's finding that Shakespeare had failed on Broadway in the presentation of Twelfth Night, as audiences had found the Bard's sense of humor wanting. Rather than quoting from The Winter's Tale to describe Mr. Wilson's endeavor as a critic, he suggests treading no further than Twelfth Night, itself: "What great ones will [sic] do the less will prattle of..."

He remarks of the recent failed effort of a citizen to bring suit in Brooklyn to have The Merchant of Venice and Dickens's Oliver Twist banned from the public schools as anti-Semitic, finds it remarkable in an age of liberalism.

He concludes that Shakespeare needed no defense. "The man who says that the all encompassing mind of the Bard of Stratford was any more anti than pro simply hasn't drunk sufficiently of his literary nectar."

For a change from his usual palette, Mr. Cherry presents a good argument, though still unable to divorce it from his narrow political vanishing point, for which he had gained notoriety the previous spring, and, in Chapel Hill, going back to the fall before that, starting as a letter-writing contest over Communism with Hans Freistadt, Communist graduate student at UNC, eventually turned in by Mr. Cherry to Senator Clyde Hoey for being present at UNC on a scholarship of the Atomic Energy Commission, leading to hearings on the matter and termination of the scholarship.

It was obviously Mr. Cherry's Shakespearean scholarship which had led his fellow UNC students to believe that he ought be President of the United States. And, indeed, his prescient quote regarding the "vinegar aspect" appears to capture well the visage of the putative 2016 "President-elect" and his dour sense of wit, perhaps made dolorous by his easy access in the short-run to too many dollars for too long.

A letter writer praises the editorials "Charlotte and the Klan" and "Fulton's Folly", the reprinted Washington Post piece titled "Plot to Win the War", and the Alsops' piece of the previous Saturday. She finds Herblock's cartoon of that date the perfect complement.

A pome appears from the Atlanta Journal , "In Which Is Revealed A Sure Sign Of Old Age:

"You find a squeak
In your physique."

But what is worse:
Find one will a leak
In one's purse.

Framed Edition
[Return to Links
Page by Subject] [Return to Links-Page by Date] [Return to News<i><i><i>—</i></i></i>Framed Edition]
Links-Date Links-Subj.