The Charlotte News

Saturday, April 16, 1949


Site Ed. Note: The front page reports that in Prague, American relief worker Vlasta Vraz, arrested a week earlier by Czech authorities, was released as demanded by the American Embassy. She headed the Prague office of American relief for Czechoslovakia. It was said that the Czech police still believed that she was dealing with Czechs who opposed the Communist Government.

Hungary and Czechoslovakia signed a twenty-year pact of friendship, cooperation, and mutual assistance.

General Walter Bedell Smith, former U.S. Ambassador to Russia, declared on "Meet the Press" that the health of Josef Stalin appeared to be good. He also discounted the notion that the Russian Army could take over the European continent in two or three weeks as problems of supply in a long and rapid advance would bog down such a movement. He also stressed that the Russian Army had never been an aggressive force and doubted that Russia had been able to produce an atomic bomb in quantity.

The Berlin airlift carried a record 13,000 tons this date, the equivalent of one railway car more than the 21 railway cars of food and supplies allowed into the city each day before the blockade. The amount exceeded by more than 50 percent the previous record, established April 11, 8,246 tons.

In Chicago, a University of Chicago surgeon, Dr. Charles Huggins, president of the American Association for Cancer Research, announced that a blood test had been developed which afforded early detection of cancer anywhere in the body, but could neither determine the exact location of the cancer nor distinguish cancer from certain other conditions as pneumonia, tuberculosis and meningitis. Dr. Huggins, Dr. Elwood Jensen, and Gerald Muller, a medical student, had developed the procedure. It entailed heating of blood after iodacetate was added. Normal blood would clot after a certain amount of heating while cancerous blood took much longer. Dr. Huggins would receive the Nobel Prize in medicine in 1966 for his discoveries in hormonal treatment of prostate cancer.

In Merrick, N.Y., a 22-year old man who had been rejected as a suitor killed the father of his former girlfriend with a shotgun and then begged for her forgiveness, asked her to take him back, before finally surrendering to police after a standoff.

To be or not to be...

In Raleigh, eight men escaped the alcoholic ward of Dix Hill, one of whom was returned this date inebriated. Nothing had been heard from the others, who were not considered dangerous.

They were just off getting their share of Easter wine.

The Raleigh News & Observer editorially criticized the General Assembly as "contemptible", producing nothing of worth so far in the session, after the Senate and House the previous day had passed a resolution criticizing a News & Observer editorial which described the Assembly as "Go Backward", in reference to Governor Kerr Scott's "Go Forward" program.

Representative R. L. Harris, former Lieutenant Governor, expressed regret that the editorial had come from the pen or direction of Editor Jonathan Daniels, North Carolina's committeeman on the DNC. He urged that the application of the word "contemptible" to the Assembly would ultimately be shown to be absurd by its record.

Governor Scott was planning to stump the state for his weakened rural roads program, subject to a 200 million dollar bond referendum and, contingent on the outcome, to be funded in part by a one-cent rise in the gasoline tax. He had wanted the gas tax passed separately.

Around the Catawba River near Charlotte, a search continued for a missing nineteen-year old Charlotte boy, an Eagle Scout, whose boat had overturned the previous day. Meanwhile, in a second, unconnected incident, the body of a 42-year old man was taken from the river after his boat also had capsized from being swamped by a wave.

In Beverly Hills, actor Wallace Beery, 60, died unexpectedly the previous night from a heart ailment. At his side were his former wife, brother, adopted daughter and nephew Noah Beery, Jr., also an actor. Mr. Beery had been among the top ten best paid actors in each of the years 1932-35, and again in 1940. He said that he had given up acting years earlier, instead simply donned dirty clothes and appeared as himself.

Emery Wister of The News, in his column "Show Nuf" on page 10-A, tells of phonevision, television delivered via phone lines to your home.

What in the world will they think of next?

But how do you watch it through the handset? It must come through those little holes and is projected somehow on the walls.

On the editorial page, "The Easter Story" quotes from the Book of Mark, Chapter 16:1-16, telling of the Resurrection and enjoining by Jesus of the disciples to preach the gospel to every creature in the world.

"We Must Still Hope" finds that as Easter morning was coming in 1949, there was little on which to base hope for peace, with seemingly "a great war imminent".

Yet, it concludes, at dawn, man could hope, "and though there is no strong foundation for our hopes in the world about us we must hope."

"Lip Service Only" criticizes the minimum wage bill passed by the State House which provided for a 40 cents per hour wage and time and a half for overtime in jobs in intrastate commerce, but exempted a whole range of workers, among whom were the most needful of the minimum wage, such as domestic and farm workers. Such a bill, it concludes, only paid lip service to the concept and opened the door for Federal intrusion.

"The World Is Too Much With Us" tells of Dr. Heneage Ogilvie of Great Britain writing in the British Medical Journal that the reason for ulcers and high blood pressure was excessive thinking about tasks which were distasteful.

The piece decides to side with Horace Walpole, Thomas Hood, Edward Lytton, and the Book of Phillipians in the Bible, each asserting the benefits of thought.

Reverend James B. MacLeod, pastor of Sharon Presbyterian Church in Charlotte, writes of the most difficult problem among those who believed in God being that Jesus Christ was among the living presently. He counsels that if Christians believed in the concept, they would be less distrustful of the motivations of others who professed love of God, and would enjoy more feeling of communion.

The fact that Charlotte had once been the murder capital of the country while at once bragging of being the "greatest churchgoing town in the world, except Edinburgh," reflected this inherent lack of communion, which might be ameliorated through acceptance of the living presence of Christ. Slums would then disappear; the idea of racial supremacy and isolationism would be no more.

He concludes by echoing the Biblical injunction: "Be ye doers of the word and not hearers only."

A piece from the Christian Science Monitor, titled "The Yeahs Have It", suggests that with all the American ways to answer in the affirmative, "yeah", "ya", "yep", "ayah", and "uh-huh", there ought be some way to teach Andrei Gromyko to assent rather than constantly to say "nyet".

Drew Pearson tells of the Dixiecrats planning a comeback by merging with the Republican Party. Their first step was to set up an "educational" office in Washington to publicize their doctrines and establish ties with cooperative Republicans. They would also keep tabs on the votes of Southern Congressmen and inform the South of their voting records in a monthly magazine to be mailed to a million people.

The chief financial assistance would come from the oil lobby, supportive of states' rights candidates so that tidelands oil would be returned to the states. Senator James Eastland and Congressman John Rankin, both of Mississippi, were openly supportive of the Dixiecrats. Governor Strom Thurmond, the 1948 presidential candidate of the party, maintained close ties. Many others were for them behind closed doors.

Many people had written wondering why it was necessary to bring out the facts of former Secretary of Defense James Forrestal's nervous breakdown. Recently, while he was still Secretary, he was involved in accidents which could have been suicide gestures. But the newspapers had chosen to ignore them. Since the White House advanced his exit by four days from the planned March 31 end date, he had suffered a complete nervous breakdown. He had been obsessed with the idea that he was under FBI investigation, continually calling the Justice Department asking that the FBI men be withdrawn. He also believed that dictaphones had been placed in his house and that he was being shadowed.

Mr. Forrestal had been close to the President and the previous year had been able to reverse Administration policy on Palestine over the course of a weekend, from support for the partition plan approved by the U.N. in November, 1947 to alteration of it, a change which most regarded as a grievous error in foreign policy. Mr. Forrestal had also favored rebuilding of German heavy industry in the Ruhr and the proposed shipments of arms to Latin America despite the rise of many military dictatorships. He had also been in charge of military unification.

Mr. Forrestal had not supported the President during the 1948 campaign, instead was close to Thomas Dewey, clearing many appointments through him. This fact, according to friends, caused the Secretary severe mental depression, and for many months he had been feeling sorry for himself and calling himself a failure.

Mr. Forrestal would jump or fall to his death from a 16th floor window at Bethesda Naval Hospital on May 22.

James Marlow discusses the prospect of a housing bill getting through Congress during the session. The Senate was working on it and the bill was expected to pass the following week. But during each of the years 1946 and 1948, the Senate had passed such a bill, only to have it stall in the House. He explains the provisions of the Senate bill, designed to assist cities in slum clearance after relocating the residents, provide for 810,000 public housing units for low income residents over six years, and give loans to poor farm families for home or building construction or repair, provided they qualified for the assistance.

Eleven Democrats and eleven Republicans sponsored the bill. Senator John Sparkman of Alabama said that private enterprise could not provide for the necessary housing. Enemies in the House charged that the program amounted to socialism. But the Housing Administrator had recently told a House committee that the exact opposite was the case, that without public housing, the conditions would be extant under which communism and socialism could thrive.

A letter writer thinks that President Truman had swung far to the left into socialism and that the nation was headed toward a totalitarian state. The Christian Church, he asserts, was asleep at the switch on this transition, while "sons of Judas" were trading with the world's butchers and preparing to betray their country and Christianity with a kiss. "The tomorrows may hold anything. The present day belongs to us."

Happy Easter to you, too.

A Quote of the Day: "Deep in the Southland—below the Smith and Wesson line, home of the Dixiecrats—when we get ready to talk about the President we don't use any initials. —No suh!" —Bunkie (La.) Record

What's wrong with H.S.T.? We don't get it.

A pome from the Atlanta Journal appears, this one "in which is revealed a condition frequently pertaining to those who have imbibed not wisely but too well:

"There's no laughter
The morning after."

But with your Easter wine carafe abaft her,
You can sink the ship and not be your own Master.

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