The Charlotte News

Saturday, May 28, 1949


Site Ed. Note: The front page reports that in Paris at the meeting of the Council of Foreign Ministers, the three Western powers proposed establishment of a federal government for all of Germany based on the new West German constitution. The three powers favored freedom from arbitrary arrest, freedom of association, freedom of speech, press, and radio, freedom of democratic political parties and of elections, and an independent judiciary, all to be supervised by the four occupying powers. Germany would have control of all governmental powers except security matters and administration of Germany's obligations, to be supervised by the four powers, with Germany gradually able to increase its peaceful conduct of political and economic life in Europe, but not militarily. Soviet Foreign Minister Andrei Vishinsky called the plan "one-sided" and unacceptable to the Russians.

Below Shanghai, all four U.S. warships sailed from their anchorages in the Yangtze River after having withdrawn from Shanghai with the approach of the Communists who had taken over the city the previous day.

For the Memorial Day weekend, the President was sailing aboard his yacht Williamsburg, along the Potomac and up Chesapeake Bay.

Ceremonies would be held at Arlington and all across the country for the war dead the following Monday. Senator Millard Tydings of Maryland, chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, would deliver the oration at Arlington. At Fort Knox, Ky., a museum would be dedicated to General George S. Patton.

In Oklahoma City, the State Legislature passed a bill lifting the 41-year old ban of black students in the state's universities. It would allow black students to attend the University of Oklahoma and Oklahoma A & M. The law brought the state into conformity with a Federal Court order to allow black students to attend the universities absent establishment of equal facilities for blacks, found wanting in certain fields of study.

In Detroit, a thirteen hour session to try to resolve the 24-day old strike of Ford workers disputing the speedup of an assembly line at the River Rouge plant in Dearborn had left the strike still unsettled. The choice of an arbiter was the main source of deadlock.

In New York, cartoonist Robert Ripley died of a heart attack at age 55. He had started as a sports cartoonist in San Francisco at age 16 and come to New York in 1913 at age 19. The first "Believe It or Not" cartoon appeared in 1919. In 1928, William Randolph Hearst had seen a copy of Mr. Ripley's book and signed him on as a syndicated cartoonist for $100,000 per year. The column circulated in 38 countries, translated into 17 languages. He was to be buried in his birthplace of Santa Rosa, California. Only two days before he entered the hospital, he had done a television program for NBC on the story of the writing of "taps", the bugle call for the dead.

His death could have been, however, the result of the Government, displeased with the revelations subliminally contained within his cartoons, or the men from Mars seeking his knowledge, arriving daily in their space ships to take over the planet, believe it or not.

In Cedar Rapids, Iowa, defense counsel in the trial of the doctor accused of murdering his wife's paramour urged the jury to adopt "the unwritten law" regarding homicide as an acceptable resolution to marital infidelity. The prosecution sought a verdict of guilty for first degree murder. The defense attorney concluded his final summation by saying, "May you be guided by the wisdom of Him that counts the sparrow's fall and bring in the wholesome and gladsome verdict of not guilty."

As we suggested at the outset of the trial when this attorney told the jury in his opening statement that the defendant had not committed the homicide but that if they concluded that he had, they should find that it was in self-defense, the hapless doctor, who would be found guilty of second degree murder and sentenced to 70 years in prison, cut short in 1951 by his suicide, could have used another attorney.

In Callander, Ontario, the Dionne quintuplets turned 15 and were intelligent, unspoiled girls.

In Cannes, France, Rita Hayworth and Prince Ali Khan were to go through Moslem rites of marriage after the day before having gone through civil rites. The Prince would declare the amount of dowry he was pledging to his bride.

In Washington, thousands of stolen bras, panties, slips and girdles were recovered by police after the arrest of a man who had a hobby of hoarding such items. He had dropped a woman's skirt from his trouser leg while police questioned him on a report that he had been seen loitering in a basement laundry room. They searched his apartment to find thousands of women's undergarments, stolen from Bethesda apartment dwellers during the previous year. He had not tried to sell any of them.

In Montreat, N.C., the Southern Presbyterian Church conference continued with a reorganization plan being considered.

Near Lenoir, N.C., two teenaged gunmen robbed passengers on a Queen City bus of $166 in cash and a check for $161 the previous night, but were arrested an hour later by police. They had stopped the bus in the Blue Ridge Mountains south of Blowing Rock.

Near Shallotte, N.C., seven persons were killed and three critically injured when two cars collided head-on at 6:15 a.m. just after a light rain on a slick highway.

In Charlotte, a car went out of control on E. Trade Street, hit two persons, one without injury, and crashed into the front of a variety store. The driver said that the car's brakes failed while he was searching for a missing relative who worked in a shoe store.

Help him find his relative before he kills someone.

On the editorial page, "School Bond Issue—IV" tells of another reason to reject the 25 million dollar school construction bond issue set for referendum on June 4, that it did not give special consideration to black schools as recommended by the State Education Commission. The State average investment in white county schools was $154 per pupil while only $44 for black county schools. In city schools, the ratio was $305 for white pupils to $129 for black pupils. The range of investment for white schools across the 100 counties of the state was $459 to $40, while in black schools it was $187 to $2.13.

In 1945, over 60 percent of black high school students were enrolled in schools not meeting accreditation requirements. And 96 of 201 black high schools had only one to three teachers. These students could not receive credit for college entrance.

The Commission recommended abandoning 400 white and a thousand black school facilities, and constructing 3,500 elementary classrooms and 2,500 high school classrooms, plus 1,500 large general rooms for white schools, the same number of elementary classrooms, 1,500 high school classrooms and a thousand general rooms for black schools.

The new money from both the bond and the Legislature's bill for the same amount of 25 million dollars would be turned over to local boards, however, which had shown a discriminatory tendency in the past against black schools. The measures would thus not assure fulfillment of the Commission recommendations. There was already a test case in the Durham County schools, as explored in a piece on the page.

Passage of the bond would likely lead to a county-by-county contest regarding allocation between the black and white schools.

It recommends rejecting the bond issue and starting over with a better plan for the 1951 legislative session of the General Assembly.

"The Political System" finds the new administration of Charlotte Mayor Victor Shaw to have retained virtually all of the old administration heads under Mayor Herbert Baxter, with the exception of the tax collector, Campbell Ansley, replaced by Jim Armstrong. Mr. Armstrong was able, but Mr. Ansley had done a fine job.

"Honor for Mr. Price" finds the election of W. E. Price of Charlotte to be moderator of the Presbyterian Church in the U.S. to be a fitting honor, as he had been active in the local First Presbyterian Church since 1906.

Herbert C. Bradshaw, in a piece from the Durham Herald, discusses the N.A.A.C.P. test case of the Durham County School District's allocation of funds between black and white schools. As previously indicated, the case would be decided in 1951 for the parents bringing the suit and against Durham, though finding that the State had fairly allocated its funds. The Durham School District was found to have violated the Fourteenth Amendment Equal Protection clause in allocating the funds.

Among several cases he reviews on the subject of discrimination in schools was a case which had been brought successfully regarding the schools of Richmond, Virginia, in 1942 for unequal teacher salaries—not an issue in North Carolina where all teacher salaries were equal, based on experience and education. Another case, settled out of court, had been brought in Greensville, Va., seeking equal transportation facilities for black children, with the school board promising to provide equal transportation gradually. Again, as pointed out by the above piece, there was no such issue in North Carolina.

In King George and Gloucester Counties in Virginia, suits had been brought after the war which sought equal high school facilities for black students, with the school boards so ordered to comply by the beginning of the current school year. Black leaders had determined that the order had not been carried out and contempt charges had been filed against both school boards, though held in suspense by the Court for the time being. Voters in King George County had approved a bond for the purpose of equalizing the schools, while voters in Gloucester had defeated such a proposed bond. Nevertheless, members of the school board in the latter county had been fined for contempt.

A piece from the St. Louis Globe-Democrat, titled "A Slap at Wallace", tells of Dr. Annette Rubinstein, a member of the American Labor Party, having run last in a field of four candidates in the Twentieth District New York Congressional race won by FDR, Jr., replacing deceased Sol Bloom. She polled only 6 percent of the vote while campaigning against NATO, calling it a "war breeder", and accusing Mr. Roosevelt of stabbing the U.N. in the back by supporting it. The piece regards the election results as a slap at the Progressive Party and former Vice-President Henry Wallace, who held the same views on which she had run.

Drew Pearson tells of the Voice of America broadcasting behind the iron curtain the story of a boys' school being built through the contributions of the American people in honor of J. Edgar Hoover. It was news in Europe but not so much in America, where Mr. Hoover was taken for granted as the fair-minded head of the FBI. But in Europe, the secret police head was an ominously dark figure who was associated with home invasions, torture, and beatings.

He prints a letter from a Waco, Texas, man who had sent in a $10 contribution for the school, intended to stem juvenile delinquency.

Secretary of State Acheson had been impressed so far by Foreign Minister Andrei Vishinsky's willingness to express cooperation at the Paris meeting of the Council of Foreign Ministers, but, in a letter, cautioned the President that it was only a beginning.

The townspeople of all-black Boykin, Ala., had named their town after Congressman Frank Boykin for his contributions to the town, improving its educational system and guiding people to better farming techniques. That was so even though Mr. Boykin generally voted against progressive measures in the House.

Joseph Alsop discusses the hearings before the joint Senate-House Atomic Energy Committee, chaired by Senator Brien McMahon of Connecticut, investigating charges by Senator Bourke Hickenlooper of Iowa that Atomic Energy Commission chairman David Lilienthal had engaged in mismanagement of the Commission, as evidenced by the giving of an AEC scholarship to UNC graduate student Hans Freistadt, a Communist, and the disappearance of a small amount of U-235 from a Chicago laboratory.

Senator Hickenlooper had sought to stop Mr. Lilienthal from introducing evidence of the overall work of the Commission, but it was likely that the Committee would overrule him and allow it. That evidence would show that the Commission had increased production of fissionable material by at least 50 percent over that of the Manhattan Project under military administration, prior to the creation of the AEC. The overall picture made the mistakes look quite trivial.

When the AEC had taken over its primary facility at Los Alamos, N.M., morale was low, as scientists had been quitting, frustrated by the military command. A recent study conducted by the vice-president of Bell Laboratories had found now a completely different picture under AEC administration.

He concludes that the hearings therefore probably would backfire and prove that Mr. Lilienthal and the Commission had been doing an exceptionally good job, albeit with inevitable mistakes made in the process, that the attack on Mr. Lilienthal had been "prejudiced and irresponsible".

Marquis Childs discusses Government personnel coming from the private sector with prior connections to business or large law firms and the question arising therefore of whether they could sever those prior interests and conduct Government business impartially. Such was behind the investigation into awarding of large new contracts for the B-36 bomber to the Consolidated Vultee Aircraft Corp. Louis Johnson, before becoming recently Secretary of Defense, had been a director of Consolidated and had a close association with the financier who was said to control the corporation, Floyd Odlum.

The Senate Armed Services Committee in executive session had explored these issues during the March confirmation hearings on Mr. Johnson. His law firm wrote a letter assuring that he had severed connections with the firm. But the letter did not satisfy Senator Harry F. Byrd of Virginia because Mr. Johnson's name remained on the firm stationery and he continued to own a share of its assets. Senator Byrd pressed Mr. Johnson to liquidate his assets and sever all connections with the firm. Mr. Johnson said that the 300-million dollars worth of Consolidated contracts with the Government had been approved without any input from him. But Senator Byrd was again not satisfied.

Mr. Childs finds that Mr. Johnson ought welcome the new Senate investigation of the Consolidated contracts so that he could put on the record the whole story, just as David Lilienthal was having the opportunity to do regarding AEC.

Samuel Grafton, no longer carried by The News, discusses the recent Terminiello free speech case, decided 5 to 4 by the Supreme Court, striking down a conviction for disorderly conduct on the basis that the ordinance in Chicago violated the First Amendment. The speaker, a reactionary who had delivered harangues against Jews and the New Deal in Chicago Auditorium, resulting in riotous conduct inside and outside the hall, was determined not to have engaged in speech which posed a clear and present danger of producing a substantial evil which the law could regulate. Mr. Grafton finds the case to have been appropriately decided and applauds the decision.

But, he finds, the real danger in 1949 was not police action against free speech but rather public apathy regarding rights and privileges once taken for granted in the country, something about which the Supreme Court could do nothing. Though he disagreed politically, for instance, with Henry Wallace, he regards his treatment in certain places during the 1948 campaign, when eggs and tomatoes were hurled at him and he was shouted down and prevented from speaking, to have been abhorent to liberty.

"Here the decision has to be made within ourselves, and in our rejoicing over the Court's disposition of a 1946 free speech problem, let us save a corner of our concern for the special and characteristic free speech problems of 1949."

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